June 3, 2010

#082: May 2010 Recap

Starting with May, I am going to try and recap of all the movies I watch each month.  There is no way I can write in length about every of them, but I will try to highlight them with some quick thoughts. I have emboldened the titles of the films that I would encourage you to seek out and watch if you haven't yet seen them.  This is sort of independent of whether I liked it or not, and depends more on if the film can bring something compelling to the table.  This could be an original idea for a story, or an impressive acting performance. 
May had quite a few rainy days, so I ended up catching a lot of movies. In total I sat through 16 films. Here they are in the order in which I watched them.
  1. An Education - I dedicated a whole post to this one so read that.  It was really good, and really well acted.  Even though it was based on a true story it felt contrived most of the way. 
  2. Sherlock Holmes - Another one I dedicated a post to. Couldn't find many redeeming qualities in this one.  I can't understand why so many people liked this film so much. 
  3. Triangle - Wasn't expecting much out of this low-budget thriller, but ended up loving it.  Read my post. It is a well structured story that paid off. Triangle is available in Redbox, so you might be able to watch it for a dollar.  What a deal. 
  4. Sherman's March - I would never have watched this one if it hadn't come highly recommended... and it was available on Netflix Instant.  It was okay, but I started to find it tedious to watch.  Would not recommend this documentary.  Too History-Channel for me.
  5. Away We Go - As a comedy this worked in moments, but overall wasn't very funny.  It felt over-acted and disingenuous.  The ending didn't pay off for me, but it wasn't a total waste of time.  
  6. This Is It - Read the post.  It wasn't really a movie in the sense that there was no narrative.  
  7. Shaun Of The Dead - I was the last one to the boat on this film.  I really enjoyed the style and delivery of the comedy.  It was pretty much what I expected.  Nothing stood out to make it a great experience, it was just a really well crafted satire.  
  8. Labyrinth - I was worried to watch this on again after all these years, but it held up really well.  I might have to buy this one so I can watch it with my kid someday.  It is better than most films made for children these days. It is a little bit weird, and I really like that.  And it has BOWIE.  As a youngster I remember being not quite sure if he was a chick or a dude at first. 
  9. Very Bad Things - This wasn't nearly as good the second time around, but it still made me cringe. Which is an accomplishment when I knew everything that was going to happen.  
  10. North By Northwest - First Hitchcock film I have ever seen.  I can appreciate it for being a very watchable film after all these years, but so much of the drama didn't hold up for me.  I am glad I exposed myself to such an iconic film, but I can't say I completely enjoyed the experience.  
  11. Oldboy - If this one hadn't been on Netflix instant I may have never seen it.  That would have been a shame.  The film geek in me loved the style and storytelling.  The regular moviegoer in me enjoyed the action and bad-assery.  One of my best films of the year.  
  12. Brothers - This was better than I expected, but never really amounted to what I thought it should have.  Solid acting from Gyllenhal, McGuire, & Portman sell the story well enough, but it never built up the emotion that I felt like it was going for.  
  13. A Clockwork Orange - This is another one that I had always heard about but never seen.  It also suffered a bit from its age, but held up surprisingly well.  It never built up the tension I was expecting, and by the end had worn me out.  It was tough to watch, not because of the short bursts of graphic imagery, but because of the slow burn and eventual meaninglessness.  I wanted something more from this film, and it took me too long to realize I wasn't going to get it. I am glad I watched, and there were moments of possible greatness, but I will never watch it again.  
  14. The Wackness - I watched this film primarily for Ben Kingsley, and it was available on Netflix.  It did a good job developing the characters, and the world.  I enjoyed that it was a coming-of-age story and a midlife crisis story at the same time, and succeeded pretty well at both.  I liked the film, but in the end I can't say anything other than it was "just okay". 
  15. Crazy Heart - I'd heard a lot of good things about Crazy Heart, so I was excited to really get swallowed up by an emotional story.  Unfortunately that never happened.  It ended up being much more quaint than I thought it would be.  Solid acting, but I wasn't blown away by the narrative. Even though it wasn't that impressive, I feel like it is worth watching.  I was glad I watched it and felt satisfied with the ending.
  16. Timecrimes - Having already seen Triangle, this made the second crazy time-loop film of the month.  I found this one more frustrating than Triangle, with less impact in the end.  Timecrimes scores higher on the shirtless hot-chick-o-meter though.  The two films felt so similar that Timecrimes suffered because I had just seen Triangle, which is kinda sad.  Timecrimes is kinda hard for me to recommend, but I still will.  It should have been more awesome than it was.
I have to pick Oldboy as the best film I watched in May.  Triangle was also up there, but it will have to settle for number 2. Shaun Of The Dead was very good too, but I feel like I might be the last person in the world to see that film.  An Education still edges that one out for the number 3 spot for the month.

The worst film of May has to go to Sherlock Holmes.  Surprisingly, this could be the easiest to just sit down, turn your brain off, and enjoy.  For some reason it just really rubbed me the wrong way. Its mediocrity pissed me off more than if it would have really tried to do something compelling and totally failed. 

That is going to conclude my first monthly recap post. Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.  I don't know if I am going to follow the same format every time.  Also let me know if there is anything I should add that would make it more worthwhile to read.  

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