Thursday, June 21, 2007

blah de blah blah

I have had the most difficult time lately coming up with something to write about. Part of the reason is that I am normally a reticent person - once past the first blush of acquaintanceship where you talk about your history and discover your mutual likes and dislikes - I am normally the listener in any conversation. Even with Laura - she does 90% of all of the talking. I've been blogging just long enough that the remaining topics I am considering writing about will wind up being longer projects (living on crete, for example) and I just don't have the energy right now to find pictures, check my version against Laura's better memories for fill-in-the-gap and correction and do the hard work of crafting a travelogue.

So, today you get...........movies. (I know, big whoop.)

I really, really like movies. I don't actually get to see many new ones. We don't have a local theater, so a movie outing to the nearest one involves a round trip of @40 miles. So - I have to rely on movie channels. Once in a blue moon, when I'm feeling down, I will stay up all night watching movies. (Isn't cable wonderful?) I dip into movies to try them out, sometimes staying, sometimes moving on if it doesn't grab me (I see a lot of pieces of movies). Here's some I've dipped into within the past week:

Love comes to the Executioner (bizarre, kinda liked it)
Mumford (I really liked this one)
Psycho Beach Party (parody of '60s beach movies - fun)
Superman Returns (I've only seen the last 20 minutes, I'll eventually see the whole thing)
The Deer Hunter (I can't watch the whole movie again, it was tough to watch the first time.)
Die Hard 3 (I like action movies, I liked 1 and 3, 2 not so much)
That Thing You Do (light fare, not so bad for Tom Hanks first write/direct/produce effort)
The Mark of Zorro (I didn't know that Banderas made a sequel to the his first Zorro movie...ehh)
Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo (don't ask, I didn't hang around long)
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (the 2nd best of Leone's spaghetti westerns - Once Upon a Time in the West is a little better, but I have always liked Clint Eastwood's westerns)
Comanche Station (good oater with Randolph Scott)
Six Days, Seven Nights (okay, not much to write home about)
Delicatessen(bizarre french film - black comedy - set in a post-apocalyptic france where the landlord(butcher) of a building kills and dismembers people to provide meat for the tenants of the building.)

I will watch almost any kind of movie - I only actively shun the modern gory horror movies. I was going to list my favorites, but there are way, way to many. I particularly like comedy/satire, old westerns, old war movies, foreign films, and a good many of the action movies. I usually prefer the originals instead of the remakes, although the Birdcage was better (to me) than La Cage aux Falles - it was a bit too vicious for me. The original Producers was better too, I thought that Matthew Broderick didn't do enough to make the role his own, he spent too much time (poorly) being Gene Wilder. I haven't seen much of The Shop around the Corner, but You've got Mail is okay. Stalag 17 was the inspiration for the TV show Hogan's Heros - but is no comparison. I like (some) animated movies, I am a big fan of Nick Park (Wallace & Grommit) from way back. Pixar has made some good ones, it is amazing what computers can do these days. I enjoy camp - or satire - depending on the emphasis. Lust in the Dust and Rustler's Rhapsody are particular favorites, John Waters made some really good ones, but you have to watch for the raunch. Mel Brooks made the definitive satire of westerns (Blazing Saddles) and horror movies (Young Frankenstein). His sendup of Hitchcock - High Anxiety was pretty good too, it was fun to pick out which movie he was making fun of during each scene. Hitchcock defined the thriller for me. Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo. You can't get a better leading man, romantic or comedic, than Cary Grant - from Bringing up Baby to Father Goose to An Affair to Remember. He and Hitchcock made some classics together, the epitome being To Catch A Thief and North by Northwest. Notorious and Suspicion aren't bad, either.

I like to experiment with foreign films. Amelie is a particular favorite, as are several of Almodovar's - particularly Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I've watched some of Eisenstein's stuff, most famous of which is his (propaganda) film Alexander Nevski. I also like a good bit of Kurosawa's work, including - of course - The Seven Samurai. (which was remade as The Magnificent Seven.) Other of his films were remade - A Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leoni, one of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns of his character The Man with No Name.

Do you have any particular favorites? I could discuss them for hours.

15 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

Oh, The Joys said...

I have always like The Princess Bride.

patches said...

Favorite, hmmm, I guess that would be American Beauty. I left the theater absolutely stunned by Kevin Spacey. We watched Kinsey this week (Liam Neeson, Laura Linney). It's too early for me to classify it as a favorite, but it is worth taking a look. It's a drama with a sense of humor. If you're extremely conservative, it's probably better to consider something else...

meno said...

Oh god, do i have favorites.

Blade Runner, the director's cut. I have probably seen this movie 10 times, more than any other except Rocky Horror, and that was about the experience not the movie. "If you could see, what i've seen, with your eyes." Sigh.

Velvet Goldmine. Deeply moving, and i have no idea what really happened.

Local Hero. You need to pay attention to this quiet little movie.

Princess Bride, The moment where she says, "You're alive. If you'd like i can fly" always makes my heart swell. *sniffle*

I'll stop now, but i could go on.

Bob said...

Joys - I can't believe I left out The Princess Bride. Have you read the book? It's better - but not by much. Rob Reiner did a good job.

patches - I've heard a lot about American Beauty, but not seen it yet. Its not been on cable. I've been thinking about joining netflix. I've wanted to see Kinsey for a while now.

Meno - I also can't believe I left off Rocky Horror. Laura and I went to the Dream Theater in Monterey on a date (before getting married) to see it.

Local Hero - I like Burt Lancaster in this. It was also the first movie I saw Peter Reigert in since Animal House. It brings to mind Waking Ned Divine, Saving Grace, and Undertaking Betty. The English seem especially adept at ensemble pictures about small village life in the UK. (Although I've always liked True Stories by David Byrne). I've never heard of Velvet Goldmine. I'll keep it in mind.

urban-urchin said...

The Princess Bride
Waiting for Guffman
Spinal Tap
Withnail and I
Rocky Horror
Best in Show
Bringing Up Baby
Le Femme Nikita (the first one)
Say Anything
Better Off Dead
The Thin Man series
Roman Holiday
Breakfast At Tiffany's
The Queen
A Time For Drunken Horses
The Dogma series of Movies
Welcome to the Dollhouse
Little Miss Sunshine

I should stop because I could go on and on...

Mother of Invention said...

I don't see many movies...I recently saw on tv, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Kramer vs Kramer which I loved. Cider House Rules, Dead Poets' Society, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, (my first Merly Streep) Out of Africa,Ryan's Daughter, all Oldies!(I also love Hogan's Heroes! I still knoe the theme song.)

Bob said...

Urban-urchin - I thought about starting to list my favorites and as the list would be SO LONG I decided against it.

I REALLY enjoy the thin man series too. I like both William Powell and Myrna Loy. (Have you seen My Man Godfrey?) Their Thin man characters were represented in Murder by Death as Dick and Dora Charleston (David Niven & Maggie Smith).

Little Miss Sunshine is a new favorite of mine. I remember Toni Collette from Muriel's Wedding.

MoI - Robin Williams is a comedic genius - and shows true acting chops in Good Will Hunting, the Fisher King, Dead Poet's Society, etc.

I like Hogan's Heros too, the gadgets were great. Bob Crane's bizarre sex life came to light after his still-unexplained murder.

Lee said...

Oh I love that Princess Bride is everyone's favorite...mine too! I also adore garden state, i heart huckabees, amelie, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, baraka, hero, the adventures of baron munchausen, the matrix airplane, crash, toy story, shrek, alien, fight club, love actually, breakfast club, indiana jones and the temple of doom, grease, raise the red lantern, the royal tenenbaums, the big lebowski (swiped from my profile). :)

Bob said...

Lee - AirPlane! Surely you can't be serious. I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.

thailandchani said...

I am not familiar with most of these movies you mention. :) There are many movies I like on TCM and CMC. Alfred Hitchcock, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and so on. Those are the movies I like. :)



Anonymous said...

My mind goes blank when I try to think of movies I have enjoyed. But I definitely recommend Netflix. It's a great convenience. You'll love searching through and creating your queue. Lots of good ones in this post and comments. I haven't seen anything good lately, although we finally saw Little Miss Sunshine (my father saw it when it came out and told me the whole movie, so it seemed like the second time around.)

Bob said...

Chani - I like watching old movies to, TCM and AMC are frequently watched channels in our house.

De - We bought a copy of Little Miss Sunshine we liked it so much.

Lee said...

One of my favorite memories with my dad is watching Airplane with him and watching him laugh so hard he cried.

Bob said...

Lee - I can quote great stretches of that movie. After all of this time it still makes me laugh. I'll bet your dad likes (liked?) Blazing Saddles. "Like some beans Mr. Taggart? I think y'all have had enough!"

Lee said...

Oh yes. He cries then too. It's the best.