The Original Fall Film Challenge…
One. Any action/adventure flick. X-Men: Days of Future Past. This one was pretty nifty. Not the best of the X-films but certainly not the worst. Loved Quicksilver’s character. Loved Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. And I really like James McAvoy as Professor X., but it was sometimes hard to follow, and I feel like some of the storyline was constructed just so the crew could show off their impressive skills at creating special effects.
Two. Any shot in Budapest, Hungary. A Good Day to Die Hard. UGH. This film franchise needs to die. I loathed this film in the beginning. Way too much of the same shit–same car chases, same chaos, same demolition… same story, really… just set in a different country. It got a little better as the film progressed, but… UGH.
Three. Any awarded an Oscar for best cinematography. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor. God, they were beautiful to watch on the screen. Not just because of their physiques… their presence was incredible. But I didn’t love this movie. I know I should. I didn’t like the other couple. You’re not supposed to like either one, really, but… I felt sorry for Burton’s and Taylor’s characters. The other ones irritated me. And it felt long overall. Maybe it was supposed to do so. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I would’ve been okay if I’d never seen this film. I really don’t know how to explain it.
Four. Any drama/biography/documentary. The Judge. I love Robert Downey, Jr. I love him in this film. And Robert Duvall is amazing here. It’s a good story, well-scripted and well-portrayed.
Five. Any awarded an Oscar for best film editing. Argo. I loathe ben Affleck. But here, he did good. And this story… it’s definitely worth watching.
Six. Any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter G. Meet me in St. Louis (Judy Garland). I’d meant to watch this for the holiday category. I did not like it, but I LOVE the trolley song. and Judy garland’s voice… it’s so lovely.
Seven. Any starring an actor whose last name begins with the letter J. Lincoln (Tommy Lee Jones). I fell asleep so many times during this movie.
Eight. Any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter K. Unhook the Stars (Moira Kelly). Usually I love Gena Rowlands. Usually I love Moira Kelly. Usually I love Marisa Tomei. This film is one of those rare exceptions. Don’t bother with it.
Nine. Any shot in London, England. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. So much of this film went over my head, just like the first one. But I enjoyed watching it.
Ten. Any awarded an Oscar for best original score. The Way We Were. Wow. Robert Redford was a damned fine looking man back in the day. Good God. But I could never believe that his character would go for Barbra Streisand’s character. No way, no how.
Eleven. Any adapted from any novel. This Is Where I Leave You. I liked this movie a lot, though there’s a scene here and there that I wish hadn’t been included.
Twelve. Any awarded an Oscar for best original screenplay. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. SO boring. SO, SO boring.
Thirteen. Any awarded an Oscar for best picture. Driving Miss Daisy. This movie beat out Dead Poet’s Society for best picture. That is a horrible, HORRIBLE crime.
Fourteen. Any romance or comedy. St. Vincent. LOVED the acting. Bill Murray is fantastic here. And I actually liked Melissa McCarthy, which has never happened. But the story? Meh. Not so much.
Fifteen. Any sports flick. When the Game Stands Tall. This had the potential to be a BADASS film. What an amazing story. And yes, there were definitely scenes that I found gripping. But overall, too much of the story was told with too many of the usual clichés. There are so many better sports films out there.
Sixteen. Any thriller or mystery. Lincoln Lawyer. Of the film’s I’ve seen for this challenge, I liked this one the best. I am NOT a Matthew McConaughey fan, but here, he’s impressive.
Seventeen. Any starring an actor whose last name begins with the letter U. The Newton Boys (Skeet Ulrich). Boring. Don’t bother.
Eighteen. Any shot in a country you’ve never visited. Rush (Austria). Niki Lauda’s story is wondrous, and Daniel Bruhl did a beautiful job portraying that man.
Nineteen. Any western or war film. Fury. UGH. Such a waste of time and money.
Twenty. Any from American Film Institute’s Greatest American Movies of All Time. A Streetcar Named Desire. This one’s like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I’m glad I watched it, I guess. Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh… but I would’ve been okay not watching it, too.
Films I’d intended but failed to view: American History X; Animal House; Brave; In Bruges; and Twenty-Eight Days.
Originally published November thirtieth, ‘fourteen.
The original bonus round…
- One. Any film featuring music by Louis Armstrong. How to Make an American Quilt.
- Two. Any starring Anne Bancroft. Home for the Holidays.
- Three. Any featuring music by Frederic Chopin. Inside Llewyn Davies.
- Four. Any awarded an Oscar for best costume design. Gladiator.
- Five. Any starring Elaine Stritch. A Farewell to Arms.
- Six. Any awarded an Oscar for best foreign language film. Amour.
- Seven. Any shot in Georgia. Remember the Titans.
- Eight. Any starring Richard Harris. The Guns of Navarone.
- Nine. Any film currently (or soon-to-be) shown in theaters. The Theory of Everything.
- Ten. Any featuring music by John Williams. War Horse.
- Eleven. Any with a color in the title. The Blues Brothers.
- Twelve. Any starring Lauren Bacall. To Have and Have Not.
- Thirteen. Any shot in Massachusetts. Legally Blonde.
- Fourteen. Any with a number in the title (sequels do NOT count;
- i.e. no Men in Black Three). Seven Psychopaths.
- Fifteen. Any awarded an Oscar for best actor. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
- Sixteen. Any awarded an Oscar for best art direction/production design. How Green Was My Valley.
- Seventeen. Any awarded an Oscar for best sound/sound mixing. From Here to Eternity.
- Eighteen. Any shot in the Czech Republic. Swing Kids.
- Nineteen. Any shot in Scotland. Rob Roy.
- Twenty. Any featuring music by Thomas Newman. The Debt.
- Twenty-One. Any with a one-word title. Her.
- Twenty-Two. Any shot in vancouver. The A-Team.
- Twenty-Three. Any starring Robin Williams. Awakenings.
- Twenty-Four. Any film of your choice. What If.
- Twenty-Five. Any featuring music by Hans Zimmer. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
I did not make it through the regular round, so I did not see a single one of these.
Originally published October fifteenth, ‘fourteen.
The Second Annual Fall Film Challenge…
One. Any set in New York City. The Intern. I wish they’d cast someone other than Anne Hathaway. Normally I don’t mind her. But you can’t pair her with someone like Robert de Niro. And the dude who played her husband? He basically ruined this movie for me.
Two. Any that features a child as the main character. Stand by Me. So good. SO, SO good. Best movie on my list. Easily. I don’t know that I’d watch it again, though. I feel like once is enough.
Three. Any Disney film. Brave. I dozed off a lot in this one–not so much that I was oblivious to the plot and all, but… ugh. the only thing I liked were the triplet’s scenes.
Four. Any mentioned in Denim in the Oscars: A Look at Jeans in Cinema. Erin Brockovich. I liked this one a LOT (except for Aaron Eckhart. Pansy). I’d watch it again.
Five. A film about a knight. Gladiator. Man, I miss Richard Harris on the screen. That man had mad skills. Connie Nielsen’s pretty good here, too. The rest of it, though… meh. Not Russell Crowe’s best work. And I definitely did not care for the story.
Six. A love story. The Duff. It’s cute. Completely unbelievable, of course. I liked the main characters quite a bit, though. I love mae Whitman, and the boy’s nice looking… for a boy. I ended up buying this one.
Seven. A movie about something miraculous. Cinderella. So bad. SO SO bad. Richard Madden was too pretty… and not anything like I imagine Prince Charming being. No. Just… no. Cate Blanchett wasn’t quite awful enough. Helena Bonham carter wasn’t quite magical enough (and usually, I LOVE her).
Eight. A film starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Meh. I have no strong feelings about this one. Didn’t love it, didn’t loathe it. Won’t watch it again.
Nine. Any film with a score of ninety percent or greater on Rotten Tomatoes. How to Train Your Dragon Two. Cute. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Toothless. I liked the first movie better, but this one was alright. I’d watch it again.
Ten. A film about a superhero. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Meh. Not nearly as good as the first. Parts of it were alright. It’s not one I’d make an effort to see again, but if I came across on one of the television’s movie channels, I might watch it again. It’s got some nice eye candy.
Eleven. A film about a personal victory. Big Eyes. I’m glad I watched it. But I’m over Amy Adams, and while Christoph Waltz typically owns despicable and loathsome, he doesn’t quite do so here–though there surely are moments of utter nastiness. It’s not a film I’d want to see again.
Twelve. Any set in a country you would most like to visit. Woman in Gold. I’m glad I watched this one, too. I can’t say the cast does a remarkable job of telling the story–even Helen Mirren–but they do well enough. I liked it. I’d watch it again.
Thirteen. A film set in a zoo. Fierce Creatures. Kevin Kline’s got skills, too, yall. I forget. It’s a pretty funny movie. Complete nonsense, of course, but I knew that going in. My older brother loved movies like this. I’m sorry I couldn’t watch it with him. I don’t know that I’d watch this again.
Films I’d intended but failed to view: American Graffiti; Amour; Black Mass; Dude, Where’s My Car; A Fish Called Wanda; Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Oz the Great and Powerful; Raiders of the Lost Ark; State of Play; Up; and Without Limits.
I didn’t make a bonus list for this year’s bonus round because I’d too many films from my original list yet to see.
Originally published December twelfth, ‘fifteen.