The Third Annual Fall Film Challenge…
One. About adolescence. The Outsiders. I know I should’ve loved this one. God knows it has an incredible cast, and the story’s a school-read staple. But… meh.
Two. About a character’s rebirth or rite of passage. A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. It’s a rough one. It’s well done. It’s not one I ever want to watch again.
Three. About a comic book character. Deadpool. Didn’t like it the first time I saw it. Watched it again and LOVED it.
Four. Shot or set in Washington, D.C. Jason Bourne. MEH. I’ve liked every other Bourne film. This one was shit.
Five. Set in an academic environment. Clueless. Meh.
Six. About failure. Take This Waltz. My biggest issue with this film is that its ending is like the villain who can’t die. There was a pretty perfect place to stop it, which would’ve made me like the story a hell of lot more, but no… thirty more minutes of failure. I think Michelle Williams is adorable. I liked that Seth Rogen wasn’t over the top. The other guy’s cute. I wanted to like their characters but couldn’t.
Seven. About a man vs. god or gods. The Trojan Women. Ah, the Greeks. They really knew how to wreck the human spirit. All this tragedy over a woman. All this tragedy, really, because Zeus got bored with mankind and decided they should just obliterate each other. So we’ve Katharine Hepburn, Genevieve Bujold, Vanessa Redgrave and Irene Papas, which I love. We’ve LOTS of ranting and raving, lots of scenes that feel better suited for the stage than cinema, which I don’t love. I think what I love most about this film is that some of that ranting and raving (and trust me, these chicks are completely justified for that), are some beautiful, poignant lines. Yeah, maybe some of it’s over the top. But I felt myself tearing up a number of times.
Eight. About a man vs. himself. The Big Chill. Love the cast. Love the music. Liked the story well enough.
Nine. About an invention or an ingenuous individual. Flash of Genius. This one was SO hard for me to watch. I can’t tell you how strong the impulse was to turn it off after having seen maybe twenty minutes of it because it made me angry for so many reasons. The last twenty minutes or so were okay. Bah. The man’s plight is significant, for sure, and worthy of his efforts. but five minutes of reading about it on Wikipedia is enough of an education.
Ten. Set in a jail or prison. American History X. I’ve known I needed to see this film since its release but haven’t wanted to watch it because of how heavy I knew it would be. And I was right about that. I cried in the end. I hate how horrible we can be to each other, and this is a damned fine depiction of that.
Eleven. About a dog. Red Dog. It’s slow at the beginning, but it gets good about halfway through. I liked it.
Twelve. About loss. Truly Madly deeply. I love just about everything starring Alan Rickman, but this one not so much. It’s a great idea for a story, but the performances didn’t do much for me–even Rickman’s. I didn’t like it until the last fifteen-twenty minutes.
Thirteen. About man vs. man. Unbroken. God, it is LONG, and I’m sure this is intentional. Yes, the man’s an inspiration. Yes, his strength is superhuman. Yes, the story is remarkable and fantastic and good… every positive adjective you can find works here. But the film itself… bleh.
Fourteen. About man vs. nature. Deepwater Horizon. GOOD.
Fifteen. One that has a monster or monstrous individual. The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug. So the first of the Hobbit films bored the HELL out of me, and I didn’t give a rats ass about watching the rest of’m because of that, but also because it’s one book that’s been broken into three movies and that trend needs to DIE. NOW. This category, though, I don’t like monster movies. AT ALL. So I figured I’d watch this one, and I am SO GLAD I did because Luke Evans is a handsome lad. And this one’s MUCH better than its predecessor.
Sixteen. Shot or set in Pennsylvania. Flashdance. Let’s ignore the fact that A) I’m jealous as hell that any girl could have a figure like the chicks in this flick AND be so limber; B) let’s also ignore the fact that every time I saw Michael Nouri, I thought ZIVA’S DADDY. It’s ninety-five minutes long, which part of me liked because, hey, films are never so short anymore. But this one glossed over all the things that would’ve made me like it (like my writing critique group likes to say I gloss over all the things that would make them like my story more, so that’s probably why it’s in my head). She’s cute. It’s predictable as shit. I liked it, but I’ve NO desire to see it again (and I’m a girl who can watch a movie DOZENS of times, so that should tell you something).
Seventeen. About a character’s quest of some kind. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. Better than the first Hobbit. Not as good as the second one.
Eighteen. About a character who goes from rags to riches. Joy. Good.
Nineteen. About a man. vs. society. Allied. BLECH. Don’t bother. Seriously. It’s shite.
Twenty. Originally released in the thirties. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. I liked it.
Twenty-One. About undesirable individuals or elements. Ghostbusters. Entertaining. spectacular, but more because it’s a spectacle than because it’s superb. I actually liked Melissa McCarthy, and that NEVER happens. Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones were good. Kristen Wiig is typical. Also… Chris Hemsworth. He’s pretty. :] So were the special effects.
Twenty-Two. About a voyage and return. The Martian. It’s better than I expected. I can’t say I loved it, though. It’s good. I liked Damon’s character a lot.
Twenty-Three. About wizards or witchcraft. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Good.
Twenty-Four. Originally released in the sixties. Tom Jones. Holy crap. HOLY CRAP. I could NOT WAIT for this one to be over.
Twenty-Five. About a yearning or obsession. Hugo. Pretty like a child’s storybook. The first half or so is SLOW. Wish Jude Law’d had more screen time. If you can hang through the first, the finish is good.
The third bonus round…
- One. Big Stone Gap.
- Two. Bleed for This.
- Three. The Book Thief.
- Four. Bridge of Spies.
- Five. The Choice.
- Six. Concussion.
- Seven. Eighty-Four Charing Cross Road.
- Eight. Election.
- Nine. Evening.
- Ten. Flags of Our Fathers.
- Eleven. Gleason.
- Twelve. Hacksaw Ridge.
- Thirteen. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
- Fourteen. Ladies in Lavender.
- Fifteen. Loving.
- Sixteen. The Other Boleyn Girl.
- Seventeen. The Perfect Storm.
- Eighteen. The Queen.
- Nineteen. The Remains of the Day.
- Twenty. Remember the Titans.
- Twenty-One. Spotlight.
- Twenty-Two. A Street Cat Named Bob.
- Twenty-Three. Thirteen Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
- Twenty-Four. The Thirty-Three.
- Twenty-Five. The Three Musketeers.
One. Big Stone Gap. It’s cheesy as heck — like Where the Heart Is kind of cheesy. I don’t know that I could recommend it, but I didn’t mind watching it.
Seven. The Thirty-Three. It’s well-done, save for the fact that after being buried for some sixty days the men are fairly clean-shaven. That’s probably a petty thing. Of the roles I’ve seen of Antonio anderas’, this one’s probably the best so far. I enjoyed the performances of quite a few in the cast.
The Fourth Annual Fall Film Challenge…
One. Jackie. Category: Reviewed last year on slothsandmovies. Natalie Portman is a talented chick. Jackie Kennedy was a remarkable woman, and Portman plays her well. I liked the way the story’s told, but, despite all that, something’s keeping me from saying this film is amazing, and I can’t tell you what that is exactly. Just that’s it’s there. It’s really good, just shy of great. Worth seeing for the history.
Two. Room. Category: About fortitude. This movie had me bawling. That little boy is adorable, and Brie Larson is amazing. They both play their roles so, so well. I hadn’t expected to like this one as much as I did. I was wary of watching it. Borrowed it from the library and kept it for some time after its due date because I wanted to keep it; reviewed several scenes from this film on many occasions. SO GOOD. One of three that I would say is the best from my list.
Three. Gifted. Category: About temperance. LOVE this movie SO much. Chris Evans is phenomenal, best work he’s ever done. Hands down. I love the little girl’s sass and smarts. This is the best movie I’ve seen on my list.
Four. Wind River. Category: About justice. AMAZING. SO, SO incredibly good. Solid storytelling through and through. Chilling film, but so worth watching. One of the three best on my list.
Five. The Founder. Category: About pride. Before I watched this, I thought it was better suited for greed, but it turns out it works better for this category because it’s a fine example of pride going before the fall. I’ve mixed feelings about Michael Keaton’s character in this one. He’s persistent, tenacious, determined, fearless, forward-thinking, clever… such admirable characteristics, and it’s not that he doesn’t use them well. He’s not necessarily a villain. I’d say he’s more an opportunist. He doesn’t give a fuck whom he hurts. He has no conscience. I don’t want to like him. I don’t think he’s an admirable dude, and yet… the men he steamrolls, they could’ve avoided it. Had they been willing to consider his ideas, they could have profited from them, but they were so unwilling to consider any ideals but their own… they should’ve done a better job of protecting their dream, so I didn’t feel as much sympathy for them as I would’ve liked. It’s a horrible train wreck of story; its collision is impressive. Keaton does fine work. But I never want to see it again. Never want to eat at McDonald’s again, either.
Six. Footloose. Category: Starring Kevin Bacon. Okay. I have NEVER liked that song, yall. I thought it was cheesy as shit, and I assumed this movie was just as cheesy. When those opening credits rolled, I was sure my original thought was right. And then it started… I really liked this film, as predictable as it was. The casting’s great, and there are some really, really good scenes in this thing. Some of the dialogue is just perfect, like when the preacher’s wife says: You can lift a congregation up so high they have to look down to see heaven, but it’s the one-one-one where you need the work. I love Dianne Wiest, yall, but never more than in this movie. I’ve never cared much for Kevin Bacon, but after having seen this film, I can understand the world’s fascination with him.
Seven. Chef. Category: About gluttony. I dig this one. Good stuff. I live about Six hours from New Orleans and have never wanted to visit that city. Jon Favreau’s movie has tempted me to give it a look.
Eight. Their Finest. Category: Starring Jeremy Irons. It’s a good story and a pretty film, and I enjoyed it well enough. I had been happy about it, eager to tell folks I really liked it… until this one thing happened in the story (completely unnecessary, badness for the sake of badness, could’ve and should’ve been avoided, really annoyed that it wasn’t) toward the end. I had been thinking it was one I’d watch again, and maybe I will because it’s certainly got merit and shows a bit of history with which I was not familiar, but my enthusiasm for this one’s gone, and I’d really been looking forward to watching it because I love Bill Nighy. Also I’m with Michael, who said, Jeremy Irons has an amazing voice, and I would listen to him read a grocery list for Home Depot. His role is brief (and maybe a little annoying) in this film, but yeah. He does have a damned fine voice.
Nine. Spider-Man: Homecoming. Category: Starring Robert Downey, Jr. God, I love that man. He’s pretty damned awesome. and this was a pretty good flick. I’ve never really cared for Spider-Man, and all the other Spidey flicks I’ve seen haven’t ever inspired me to do so. But this guy, Tom Holland, he does alright. And Michael Keaton’s not so bad at playing the villain. But mostly, Iron Man’s presence make this movie for me.
Ten. The Wolf of Wall Street. Category: About greed. Of the films on my list, this was the one I was least interested in seeing. I loathe the subject matter. I’m not a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio and have never cared for any of his films I’ve seen. I can’t say I care for this one, but he does good work here. It’s a horrible story about utterly despicable people who choose to use their talents for ill. It’s well done, save for the fact that it’s LONG.
Eleven. The Case for Christ. Category: about prudence. Good story. Done well enough. Didn’t inspire me a lick (and I like my God movies to make me love God). Not one I want to watch again.
Twelve. Don Jon.Category: About lust. I actually liked this one and wasn’t expecting to do so. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a manwhore who has to watch porn to really get off. I thought it was going to be awful. I liked seeing his character grow. I loved that he would do Catholic penance (saying his Hail Marys and Our Fathers) while working out. That made me laugh. And I like Brie Larson in this one. She doesn’t say much, but what she says is good. It’s got some sweetness in it that I really hadn’t expected to find.
Thirteen. Bottle Shock. Category: Starring Alan Rickman. Good story. Chris Pine annoyed the crap out of me, and that’s never happened, but despite his character’s antics, the guy had a good heart. That hair though, gah. Anyway. Alan’s his usual bad self. It plods along at times, but it’s good. Yall should watch it, at least for the history.
Fourteen. Mr. Holmes. Category: Starring Ian McKellen. Didn’t love this one. Was bored through most of it. Can’t recommend it.
Fifteen. Megan Leavey. Category: About charity. Good story. The movie’s not bad, but I wanted it to be better.
Sixteen. War Room. Category: About faith. It’s not unrealistic like other religion-based films I’ve seen. I did enjoy it, more than I thought I would. There are some really good moments in this story, and I was surprised to find them. I do think it’s cheesy, but I didn’t mind it so much. It inspired me, which is what movies like this are supposed to do.
Seventeen. Elizabeth. Category: Set in a castle. Everybody wants to rule the world. I didn’t love this one; it’s not one I’d ever want to see again. But I didn’t loathe it either. I did like Geoffrey Rush, which is a rare thing for me. I wasn’t sure I was going to at first, but then… he played a pretty cool dude.
Eighteen. Creed. Category: About hope. It’s like every other Rocky flick, and I knew it would be going into it, but I kind of hoped it would be better than the rest, and it wasn’t.
Nineteen. The Big Sleep. Category: Listed on Nathan Bransford’s best hundred movies challenge. I wanted to love this one because Bogart and Bacall. It’s got some good lines and great camera work, and I did love seeing these two, but it’s hard to follow (or maybe I was too tired when I watched it). LOTS of tampering with evidence. Lots of people dying. Lots of me thinking What the fuck? Meh.
Twenty. Snow White and the Huntsman. Category: About envy. Never seen Charlize Theron overact more than in this film, and Rupert Sanders sure did love to have the camera on Kristen Stewart. There’s some cheesy moments. But the special effects are pretty nifty, and I don’t mind looking at and listening to Chris Hemsworth.
Twenty-One. Dunkirk. Category: Set in an exotic locale. Didn’t care for this. Definitely NOT the best war film ever made. Not even anywhere near the best. And for a story as badassed as this one is, it should’ve been AWESOME. The beginning was strong enough, and the conclusion was alright. The middle sucked ass. I was really disappointed in this one, and the music, if you could call it that, definitely didn’t help sway my opinion in the least.
Twenty-Two. Logan. Category: About wrath. Of the Wolverine flicks, it’s the best, I guess. Of the X-Men films, I liked it about as much as I liked the third one where Jean Grey’s on Magneto’s team. i’m not a fan.
Twenty-Three. Howards End. Category: Starring Anthony Hopkins. LOATHED this one. Too fucking long and boring. Didn’t give a shit about the characters or their plights. STUPID movie.
Twenty-Four. The Space Between Us. Category: Set in space. SO BAD. SO, SO BAD. I knew it was gonna be stupid, but I hadn’t realized the extent. Every time I thought it couldn’t possibly get more ridiculous, they’d pile on another outlandish plot device. I don’t understand why Gary Oldman would agree to be in such a pathetic excuse for a film.
Twenty-Five. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Category: Starring Val Kilmer. The only good thing is this movie was Val. STUPID story, stupid script.
Originally published September twenty-ninth, ‘seventeen.
The fourth bonus round…
- One. Above Suspicion – Shaun Dingwall. The Young Victoria.
- Two. The Big Bang Theory – Carrie Fisher. The Blues Brothers.
- Three. The Crown – Jared Harris. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- Four. Downton Abbey – Douglas Reith. The Queen.
- Five. Elementary – John Heard. Awakenings.
- Six. Firefly – Alan Tudyk. Forty-Two.
- Seven. Game of Thrones – Liam Cunningham. War Horse.
- Eight. How I Met Your Mother – Rachel Bilson. Life Happens.
- Nine. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – David Hornsby. Flags of Our Fathers.
- Ten. Judging Amy – Tom Welling. The Choice.
- Eleven. Knight Rider – Jason Bateman. Tropic Thunder.
- Twelve. Lethal Weapon – Hilarie Burton. The Secret Life of Bees.
- Thirteen. Ally McBeal – John Michael Higgins. G.I. Jane.
- Fourteen. NCIS – Chris O’Donnell. Men Don’t Leave.
- Fifteen. Outlander – Caitriona Balfe. Now You See Me.
- Sixteen. Parenthood – Lauren Graham. It’s Kind of a Funny Story.
- Seventeen. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman – Jane Seymour. Austenland.
- Eighteen. Rizzoli and Isles – Michael Massee. Last Man Club.
- Nineteen. Sex and the City – Justin Theroux. The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy.
- Twenty. True Detective – Taylor kitsch. American Assassin.
- Twenty-One. The Unusals – Jeremy Renner. Captain America: Civil War.
- Twenty-Two. Veep – Allison Janey. Trust Me.
- Twenty-Three. The West Wing – Hal Holbrook. The Firm.
- Twenty-Four. The X-Files – Gillian Anderson. The Mighty.
- Twenty-Five. The Young Pope – Guy Boyd. While We’re Young.
I watched The Choice and Captain America: Civil War. They were decent — typical Sparks and Marvel fare.
Originally published October fifteenth, ‘seventeen.