Saturday, January 7, 2012

365 Movies, Part 1

Part of my New Years Resolution post focused on seeing a different, previously unseen movie for every day of the year. In this multi-part series, I hope to explore my thoughts on the movies that I watch. This isn't going to be an in depth analysis of cinematography or editing or really anything, as I have yet to watch one of the movies while doing nothing else, but more of a rambling journey through what I saw and how it made me feel.

This first post is about the first five movies I watched this year.

True Grit (2010) was really damn good. I love Jeff Bridges to an outlandish extent, and I have really wanted to see this movie for a while. It is the story of Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old whose father is murdered by a hired hand, who proceeds to hire a US Marshall named Rooster Cogburn, who is quick to kill and even quicker to drink. They are joined by a Texas Ranger named LaBeouf, who is after the man for a previous crime, as they make their journey through the Indian Territory.
Hailee Steinfeld was perfect as Mattie, and while I thought the plot was both ridiculous and predictable at times (sometimes at the same time), I love how melancholy it all was, with only a couple violently depressing moments, interspersed with humor. As a note, the fact that I didn't realize Matt Damon was LaBeouf is either a testament to his acting or to how bad I am at just watching movies, but he was great as well. But mostly, Mattie. So good. And Jeff Bridges, because what else could you want.
Speaking of really good films that I needed to see, Billy Elliot was so adorable, as only a foul mouthed eleven-year-old protagonist can be. I laughed, I cried, and it just made me so happy. The story of a young boy who falls in love with ballet during the 1984-85 mining strikes, and the strain it puts on his and his family, is so fantastic. I loved seeing each layer of depth around the Elliots and their friends unravel, as everyone tried to do what they thought was best for their family, and no one was ever fully wrong or right. The moment of Billy and Jackie Elliots' twin epiphanies was so beautiful and heartwarming, and I can picture this as a movie that will always make me happy.
I wanted to see The Trip when it first came out. I kept reading good things about it, but then it faded as I failed to go to the movies (as usual). But then I heard a radio program, detailing the same bit I had heard before, and I finally had to see it (and it was on Netflix instant). The story of two friendscolleagues on a restaurant tour of northern England, inundated with impressions and references to literature, it was perfectly paced for me. The fictionalized versions of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are great, with Coogan full of just enough self-loathing to make everything work really well. It's not pandering funny, it's two friends trying to out do each other in front of others, and it's perfect for me. Also, I may have mentioned I like melancholy, which Steve has in full.
I expected for Ten Inch Hero to be really bad, but since I've never seen The Lost Boys, I figured a Santa Cruz based movie was in order. Fortunately, it exceeded my expectations. It wasn't great, but it was a harmless romantic comedy, even if it was obviously not actually filmed where it was set (but then, what is, these days). The movie tells the stories of the employees of a sandwich shop, as they help each other find love. It was adorable, and the soundtrack really worked to my taste - which is good, as I was listening more than watching it. The stories were diverse - even though the town was oddly white - and while they were predictable, it still worked... to some extent.
Mallrats successfully encapsulated the 90s. It was silly and over-the-top, and fun, and I enjoyed it a lot. And Stan Lee was in it, so that's cool. The story of two guys trying to win back ex-girlfriends who had recently dumped them, set in, um, a mall, it had a predictably happy ending, and some fun recurring jokes and some really bad jokes...

So, on the beginning of the 7th day of the year, I've seen five films, so I'm doing decently well. I should get ahead before school starts, though, so hopefully I'll watch a couple books in the next couple of days.

Films watched this year: 5

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Welcome to my blog. I like to talk about books. And comics. And other nerdy things. Also, chocolate, cheese, and bread. I am a fan of all of those things. Hopefully you are too.