In November I watched some classics that I didn’t get to seeing before like All The Presidents’ Men, There Will Be Blood and Schindler’s List. It sure feels great to cross them off the list. I kept watching one day after day but it didn’t last long. It became exhausting. It was nice while it lasted though.
I also went to a Film Festival about Psychoanalysis and Film in Bucharest where I saw two films that are getting released here next year: Whiplash and Clouds of Sils Maria. The former deserves the praise it got from the beginning of the year while the latter I liked more in retrospect. But they are both worth watching,
Because of the amount of time it takes me to write this end of the month list I decided to not write every thought I have on each films. It takes me a long time. I’ll mention my general impression of them at the end of the list.
These are the films I watched this month for the first time. No rewatches and no Twilight Zone.
First Time Viewings:
All The President’s Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976) – A+
Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige, 1993) – A+
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) – A+
Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014) – A
Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993) – A
Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998) – A
Begin Again (John Carney, 2013) – A-
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) – B+
Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972) – B+
Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 1996) – B+
Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen, 2014) – B
Fury (David Ayer, 2014) – B
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014) – B-
Home for the Holidays (Jodie Foster, 1995) – B-
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001) – C+
The Guest (Adam Wingard, 2014) – C
The highlights this month were All The Presidents’ Men, Farewell My Concubine and There Will Be Blood. Just fantastic from top to bottom. Schindler’s List is as good as people say it is but I had an issue with the inclusion of English. It took me out of the story. Imagine if it were in Polish. Saving Private Ryan and Fury showed me what real war is and put me in the shoes of those on the front. It’s important for us to know how men really felt about war and how terrified they were back then. Bottle Rocket, despite its small budget, still shows us how Wes Anderson’s style works. Deliverance was amazing and scary but felt it went too long. With A.I. Artificial Intelligence I had issues with the story. Why did Jude law’s character even exist? The acting was terrific but the story was extremely flawed. Regarding Home for the Holidays, I am sick of seeing in every TV show or family film about the Holidays how crazy the families are. It became a cliche. In this film I liked the cast’s chemistry and that the ending wasn’t tied up with a ribbon. But it still was cliche. And I found it exaggerated how mean Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr.’s characters were to their sister. Too much. At times I felt the film would turn into a sick family drama.
In terms of 2014 releases, as I said at the top of the article, I saw Whiplash and Clouds of Sils Maria. Also, Interstellar (which I reviewed), the film event of the year, finally got released. Magic in the Moonlight is an enjoyable little romantic comedy but without much surprise. Two films released this year had a big impact on me. The Babadook scared me. That rarely happens. I wish they tidied up the monster’s origins more. However, the acting from the mom is outstanding. Wow!!! Also Begin Again is surprisingly fresh and left me with a smile on my face. We need films like this. The music isn’t necessary what I would listen to but it fit the story. The splitter scene is among my favorites this year. Thus is what I wished Lucky Them would be like. And finally The Guest, which everybody loves, left me disappointed. Dan Stevens does great work but I didn’t catch on the action film spoof many say it is. Too silly. But the soundtrack rocks.
Seinfeld: Seasons 4 – 6 (1993 – 1995) – A+
Broadchurch: Season 1 (2013) – A
I continued watching Seinfeld. I laugh every episode but I still hate the hell out of George. What an idiot. I wish they would make them win from time to time. Actually I find the four characters unlikable. I’d probably hang with Elaine and Jerry but Kramer and George…no thanks. I did like that episode when George did things oppositely. I know it’s a comedy but come on… Give me something to work with. Let’s say I’m warming up to them for now. Probably this month I’ll finish the show. Even though I don’t like the characters that much I’ll still give it an A+. The writing does it for me. The actors are pretty great too. Jerry is the weak link in terms of acting but he does the stand up moments which are always funny.
The other show I watched this month is Broadchurch. An 8-episode crime and mystery drama about a small town and the murder that shook its inhabitants. Outstanding acting and writing. It talks about grief, media scandals and secrets. Everyone has one. The ending was somewhat predictable. It went where you didn’t think they would go. But it worked in my opinion.
So how was your month? What did you watch?