Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 DAY MOVIE CHALLENGE UPDATE: DAYS 41-50!

Well, while I have stuck to my "no repeats," policy, I have completely obliterated the one movie per day standard, that I'm sure 99% of the people who've participated in this have followed, and I still have ten days left to brake that rule as often as humanly possible. Frankly, I think it reveals as much about me as having only one movie per category does. Although, part of my picking so many movies, is a technical jam oddly enough. There's a question coming up, where I have to pick my least favorite film by my favorite director. Not an untypical problem, and certainly a fun parlor game, however, I already used every movie I've seen from my favorite director. Oops. Well, you'll see how I fixed that, as well as some of my other quick end arounds of the "no repeats," standard, I set for myself, but first, let's take a look back at 1-40!

DAY 1: Favorite Fim: "CASABLANCA"
DAY 2: Least Favorite Film: "AMANDA"
DAY 3: Favorite Comedy: "AIRPLANE!"
DAY 4: Favorite Drama: "THE GODFATHER"
DAY 5: Favorite Action: "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK"
DAY 6: Favorite Horror: "CARRIE"
DAY 7: Favorite Animated Fim: TIE: "PRINCESS MONONOKE" and "WALL-E"
DAY 8: Favorite Thriller: "THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS"
DAY 9: Favorite Musical: "NASHVILLE"
DAY 10: Favorite Foriegn Film: "THE DECALOGUE"
DAY 11: Favorite Kids Movie: "ALMOST FAMOUS"
DAY 12: Favorite Love Story: "BEFORE SUNRISE"
DAY 13: Favorite Chick Flick: "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"
DAY 14: Favorite Documentary: "THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS"
DAY 15: Favorite Play Adaptation: "THE ODD COUPLE"
DAY 16: Favorite Book Adaptation: "ADAPTATION."
DAY 17: Least Favorite Book Adaptation: "THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS"
DAY 18: Favorite Guilty Pleasure: "SECRETARY"
DAY 19: Film that made you Cry the Hardest: "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL"
DAY 20: Favorite Actress: KATHARINE HEPBURN-"GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER"
DAY 21: Favorite Actor: HUMPHREY BOGART-"THE MALTESE FALCON"
DAY 22: Film I'd Like to Live in: TIE: "CLERKS" and "LAUREL CANYON"
DAY 23: Movie that Inspires you: TIE: "WINGS OF DESIRE" and "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT"
DAY 24: Favorite Movie Soundtrack: "ONCE"
DAY 25: Movie with the Most Beautiful Scenery: "L'AVVENTURA"
DAY 26: Movie you're Most Embarassed to say you Liked: "HOUSE OF NUMBERS"
DAY 27: Movie with your Favorite Villain: "THE THIRD MAN"-HARRY LIME
DAY 28: Movie with you Favorite Hero: "ROCKY"-ROCKY BALBOA
DAY 29: First Movie you ever Remember Watching: "RUTHLESS PEOPLE"
DAY 30: Last Film You've Seen: "BEFORE SUNSET", and "PULP FICTION"
DAY 31: A Movie by Your Favorite Director: "THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE"-KRZYSZTOF KIESLOWSKI
DAY 32: Favorite Death Scene: "STRANGERS ON A TRAIN"
DAY 33: Movie I've Seen the Most Times: "THE LADY AND THE TRAMP"
DAY 34: Movie with the Best Movie Monster: "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE"-ALEX DE LARGE
DAY 35: Favorite Trilogy: "THREE COLORS TRILOGY" ("BLUE," "WHITE," and "RED")
DAY 36: A Movie You Think Not Enough People Have Seen: "DINNER RUSH"
DAY 37: Favorite Western: "BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID"
DAY 38: Favorite Comic Book Adaptation: "THE DARK KNIGHT"
DAY 39: Favorite/Least Favorite Remake: Favorite: "BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS," Least Favorite: "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS"
DAY 40: A Movie That You Wanted to be Remade: TIE: "6IXTYNIN9", and "THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER"

Okay, on to days 41-50!

DAY 41: Movie You Will Never Watch Again: "MERCURY RISING"
There's quite a few films I will probably never watch again, many of which I don't want to. There's also a strange list of films I can't stand, and hate, that I actually could easily myself watching again. "Mercury Rising," however is a very personal choice for this category. The movie's bad. I didn't realize how bad as I was watching it years ago. (Originally, I said that I wasn't able to make a determination) The movie involves one of the most absurd plots ever conceived, but even more dispicable is how it treats autism as a device to jump start an action film. The movie involves a top secret government code, that a young autistic savant solves by finding the code in a crossword puzzle book. (Why the code is in a crossword puzzle book, who the hell knows). The kid's parents are then killed, and Bruce Willis now has to protect the kid. The movie's portrayal of an autistic child, a savant-like one, is accurate. My brother is autistic. He's not a savant, but I am overly familiar with all forms of autism, the fact that it is portrayed accurately, make the movie nauseatingly offensive, and just disturbing. There's so many things about the movie that are just wrong, it bothers the hell out of me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6ir_4nPYvU

DAY 42: Least Favorite Film By Your Favorite Director: "RESERVOIR DOGS"-QUENTIN TARANTINO
Well, like I said before, I used every Kieslowski film I've seen so far, so I had to find a 2nd favorite director. So, after careful consideration, using a 5-film made/seen by me limit, here's my second favorite directors, and their worst films. (Listed in alphabetical order by director's last name)
Woody Allen-"Cassandra's Dream"
Robert Altman-"Cookie's Fortune"
Paul Thomas Anderson-"Hard Eight," (aka "Sidney")
Michelangelo Antoniono-"L'Eclisse"
Ingmar Bergman-"The Passion of Anna"
Mel Brooks-"Life Stinks"
Francis Ford Coppola-"Youth Without Youth"
Cameron Crowe-"Singles"
Atom Egoyan-"Ararat"
Federico Fellini-"Juliet of the Spirits"
Werner Herzog-"The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser"
Alfred Hitchcock-"Vertigo"
Stanley Kubrick-"Killer's Kiss"
Spike Lee-"Miracle at St. Anna"
Richard Linklater-"The Newton Boys"
Sidney Lumet-"Q & A"
Christopher Nolan-"Following"
Martin Scorsese-"Boxcar Bertha"
Kevin Smith-"Cop Out"
Steven Spielberg-"1941"
Gus Van Sant-Last Days
Orson Welles-"The Lady From Shanghai"
Wim Wenders-"Buena Vista Social Club"
Billy Wilder-"Irma La Douce"

Okay, so that was the list I was deciding from, and I'm going get some shit for saying that "Vertigo," doesn't make any sense, that "Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," is overrated, and probably one weird "Juliet of Spirits," fan gonna be annoyed at me. Some of these movies I actually like very much, they're just the director's worse film. I mean, who thinks of Sidney Lumet, and thinks, "I really liked "Q & A"? Nobody, it sucked. Same with most of these films. However, I used my, which-of-these-films-would-I-like-to-watch-right-now standard, and carefully I decided on "Reservoir Dogs." Tarantino's early film, is not great, but still pretty entertaining. He can't really make a boring or an unentertaining film, and there's a lot to like in that film, and quite memorable, and yeah, of all these films, I'd watch that one again right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCgulNG5w9g

DAY 43: Favorite Sci-Fi: "METROPOLIS"
Despite my blah opinions on "Star Wars," "Blade Runner," "Alien," "Avatar,"... I actually am a huge fan of science-fiction. Especially the last decade or so has produced some great sci-fi films. "Inception," "Minority Report," "Children of Men," I already used "Wall-E," in another category. I do think it's a tricky genre. It can completely fall flat just as easily as it can shine like the stars. I thought about "2001: A Space Odyssey," here, as well as well of those earlier films I mentioned, but I really just kept coming back to "Metropolis," and wouldn't you. It's really an unbelievable filmmaking achievement, especially for its day. It's hallucinogenic, it invented dozens of other sci-fi characteristics and references, it's use of scale models,... although what I love is its use of people and extras. This movie has thousands of extra, that a certain point become their own character themselves. It's a really amazing movie that keeps growing on me, and apparently it keeps growing itself, as they've just recently found a completed copy of the film in Argentina of all places, and it's better than ever now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSExdX0tds4

DAY 44: Favorite Movie From Your Country: TIE: "CITIZEN KANE," and "BEING JOHN MALKOVICH"
This category basically is a freebie to pick a favorite film that I haven't already, and I've picked multiple films in these categories throughout, it seemed relavtively a benign to do it again. (I also apparently wrote "since it 'eat' so random", instead of "is" so random on my Facebook post. I know I think quicker than I type, and sometimes I miss words, but that was strange. I must've been hungry at the time.) Anyway, I decided to look for one film that is a prototype of America, and another that show the prototype of the American Dream. There's obviously a lot of good options for both of these, "Citizen Kane," is a very obvious choice for the former. It's won every Best Picture of All-time award that it's been eligible for since 1956, and deservedly so. Although I do personally like to joke about how nobody actually like "Citizen Kane," it really that true. We love it, we admire it, we watch it everytime it's on, and really, what is more the epitome of America than Charles Foster Kane. The American Dream choice, is far more odd. Very odd in fact, but it's one of my personal favorites. It's about people striving to find themselves, whether through love, through fame, or through a hole in a wall on the 7 1/2 floor of an office building. The Charlie Kaufman script is brilliant, and this strange comedy about what one would do when walking in another's shoes, is very American to me. It's also funny as all hell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyv19bg0scg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icysehz-OVc

DAY 45: A Movie By Your Favorite Director From Your Favorite Country: 5-WAY TIE: "CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS"-WOODY ALLEN, "M*A*S*H"- ROBERT ALTMAN, "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY"-STANLEY KUBRICK. "MEAN STREETS,"-MARTIN SCORSESE, " and "MINORITY REPORT"-STEVEN SPIELBERG
Remember that list of 2nd favorite directors? Well, I went back to it with this list, picked favorite films by those directors that I hadn't picked previously, and well, still couldn't make up my mind, so I picked 5 that I thought were worth noting. They're listed alphabetically by Director's last name. Woody Allen, I picked "Crimes and Misdemeanors," cause I've actually worked with that film as an inspiration before, and it's constantly grows deeper in my mind; the more I think about it, and the more I see it, it really ranks as one of Allen's absolute best films. I've seen "M*A*S*H", more than any other Robert Altman film, and while in many ways I like some of his other films better, and the TV series spun-off fro the movie is actually superior to the film, the movie remains one of the great anti-war films ever made, and one of the greatest comedies. I already picked "A Clockwork Orange," for Kubrick, and part of me wants to pick "Dr. Strangelove..." as his very best, it might be a personal pick, but "2001: A Space Odyssey," literally is in another world. I don't think there's a film that's really equal to it in scope in range, in visual effects, even today it's a marvel to look at, and have it wash over you, and then to really think of all it's meaning and possible meanings we can interpret from it.... You really can watch it over and over again and think of something new and interesting about it. I'm a little surprised actually that until now, I hadn't picked a Scorsese movie. He's one of my favorite directors, although occasionally I do get tired of him. Personally, I think "Goodfellas," is his best film, however, my favorite film of his has really become "Mean Streets," for me in recent years. Maybe it's a youth thing, I tend to be amazed at the levels of meaning in that film, moreso than in something like "Goodfellas," or "Raging Bull," which I think are amazing films, but are really just biopics essentially. I love how raw and natural "Mean Streets," feels, there's a real poeticness to the film that I think lacks in some of his other films. It talks about guilt and religion, and gangsters and other movies, and all the other aspects of Scorsese best work, but it creates a better sense of place than his other films. I don't know why suddenly this realness of it has attracted me lately, but it has. As for Spielberg, I don't know who doesn't like Spielberg, and I think those who do, just don't like movies. While I think he made better movies, "Minority Report," is probably my favorite. It's the movie I always think "Blade Runner," should've been. (They're both based on Philip K. Dick stories) Here, he creates a very believable futuristic world, and really explores all the little nuances of this question of what would you do if you could prevent a crime from happening, in a way that makes sense. I don't think there's any cheating here, there's great performances, and what I particularly wanna note is that, while Spielberg has been a master of product placement, (Reese's Pieces, in "E.T...." for example), here he makes it an art form, and I think it's one of the most underrated aspects of this tricky little film noir. It's also just a really entertaining thriller, one of the best and most underrated in recent years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wXqwL3akhw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UeYGS0UU6E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU4TQ1NTo50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx6fbGBYi84
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-6UImAP7c

DAY 46: Most Overrated Actor/Actor: ACTOR: JOHN WAYNE-"THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE", ACTRESS: MERYL STREEP-"MANHATTAN"
This was a tough category. Generally, acting is probably the least problematic part of a movie. A bad acting performance, is usually the fault of a bad editor/director than an actor/actress. Still, after a while, I thought of a couple choices. John Wayne, is just a little too popular compared to how good an actor he was. He was a good actor at times, like in "The Searchers," or "Stagecoach," I even liked him in "True Grit," which he won the Oscar for. And I like this movie, my favorite Ford/Wayne collaboration, but he's more of an image, a star than an actor, and a lot of his films really don't hold up particularly well anymore, but he's still extremely popular in as an icon and cultural figure of America, when he probably really shouldn't be. As for actress, I thought a bit about Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, people who are also better stars than they generally are actresses, but Meryl Streep has a tendency to get an nominated for whatever movie she happens to be in that year, especially if rightly or wrongly, there doesn't seem to be a fifth worthy nomination. Now, sometimes there aren't as many great roles for women as there are roles for men, but some of her nominations are just strange. Who remembers "One True Thing," or "Music of the Heart," or, and "The Devil Wears Prada," was an especially strange nomination that made no particular sense. Not a good movie, and only a, half-way decent caricature character, strange choice to me. And I think there's 5 or 6 of her 16 total are like that. Now, I still love her in "Out of Africa," or "Kramer vs. Kramer," and "Sophie's Choice," and I love her in "The Deer Hunter," even though I criticize that film, she's unbelievable in it, and many other films. I used "Adaptation." already, one of my favorite performances of hers, so looking through her filmography, "Manhattan," while, she's not in the movie much, she's very good in it, and it's probably my next favorite film of hers; it should be mentioned somewhere here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA2JgS6zycQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuU6XU0_Gfs

DAY 47: Most Overrated Film: "THE GOONIES"
Well, if you can't tell my internal nature might be a critic-first mentality, this will be a clue. Instead of doing a Top Ten list, I ended up posting for this category, a TOP 20!. Overtated, is a tricky category, its dependent first on perception by the public at large, many of which has surprised me, and also on what the reality of the film is, or at least my reality. I'm sure some of you will disagree but... here's the Top 20, over-rated that I posted.
20. "BLADE RUNNER"- Is he a replicant? Isn't he? How does the movie change, either way, 'cause it doesn't. For a good Philip K. Dick adaptation, go see "Minority Report"
19. "TRUE LIES"-Can I name this honor for James Cameron?
18. "TOP GUN"-I'll admit the soundtracks good. Nothing else about it is.
17. "SNATCH."-Guy Ritchie=style over substance squared. I get headaches watching it.
16. "AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN"-The one time I want a soldier to die in battle.
15."SCREAM"-Too Slow-moving, too-boring, and unfunny. Wes Craven, you know better.
14."FLASHDANCE"-God, they're all bad in the '80s, but compared to "Footloose," and "Dirty Dancing," this one's unwatchable.
13. "THE DEER HUNTER"-This is not a movie about soldiers coming home from Vietnam! It's a film about a bunch of guys who left home to play russian roulette for a while.
12. "FIGHT CLUB"-The ending is am absolute cheat and an impossibility considering what happened before, and I'm not even talking about the blowing up of the buildings.
11. "BATTLE ROYALE"-Not a thoughtful retrospective on youth and life, it's about somebody wanting to see teenagers kill other teenagers.
10. "SE7EN"-Two bad detective travel from crime scene to crime scene until the murderer turns himself in. And since Fincher later made "Zodiac," its annoying that he can make a great serial killer story, but also make this stupid one.
9. "THE SHINING"-There's so many things to be afraid of that, by the time we find Nicholson's trying to kill his family, I've long lost interest.
8. "AVATAR"-Last hour killed what could've been the Best Movie of the Century. Should've written better if you had 12 years to think it over.
7. "TITANIC"-How anyone can watch a James Cameron movie more than once, is mind-boggling to me, they seem to get worse the more I watch them.
6. "TRUE ROMANCE"-Way to ruin a Tarantino script there Tony Scott.
5. "ARMAGEDDON"-Pretend all you want that it's so bad it's good, it's just bad.
4. "SHANE"-I think most westerns are over-rated, but this one's unwatchable. How's it considered a masterful essential, I have no idea.
3. "GLADIATOR"-Best Picture Oscar over "Traffic," "Chocolat," and a not-nominated "Almost Famous," what-the-hell were we thinking?!
2. "NAPOLEON DYNAMITE"-I'm anti-bullying, but we should've bullied him more.
Now, this actually was from a list that I narrowed to twenty films. I seriously thought of a few Frank Capra films as well, including "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," mainly because it annoys me that nobody ever tells Jefferson Smith that his Boys Camp is a terrible idea that they shouldn't vote for it anyway. And, I've got a spot saved for "Pretty Woman," later. But, nothing has boggled me more, than when I say very casually say that I didn't like "The Goonies," and then get yelled by everybody in my class. I didn't like it when I was eight, and I first saw, I've had to watch it three other times, each time against my will, and each time it's just gotten stupider and stupider to me. Sorry, it's kids doing a bunch of things I would never in a million years do, and I can't figure out the appeal. Oh, a pirate ghost, underground, or whatever the hell it is, and the kids are pissed that there's development, and they have to move to the city? That's stupid, the city's better! Nothing in this film has even made sense to me, and I can't believe it made sense to anybody.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWgc8Ute2tU

DAY 48: Movie You Walked Out of the Theatre From (Or That You Wanted to): "GHOST RIDER"
I got dragged to this film, made fun of how bad it was for about, 40-60 minutes, I guess, then I fell asleep out of boredom. Even Nicolas Cage couldn't keep me entertained. Just a bad, dumb film. You now, I was two-years old and when I saw Robbie Knievel jump the fountains at Caeser's; those kind of stunts, really are only impressive in real life, and are definitely not that cool when they're unrealistic, impossible special effects.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAa375C_FOA

DAY 49:  Favorite Black & White Movie: "THE SEVENTH SEAL"
Can you imagine "The Seventh Seal," in color? At least without bringing up a "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" reference? I can't either. It's certainly not the only movie that would seem impossible to be shot in color. I think most of Billy Wilder's greatest films like "Some Like It Hot," "Sunset Boulevard," "Double Indemnity," and "The Apartment," are amazing in black and white. There's some great modern films too. I used "Manhattan," earlier, but "Zelig," "Young Frankenstein," "Good Night, and Good Luck.", "Schindler's List," that's probably an obvious one. I used "Clerks." arleady too. Basically though, we're thinking, older films basically, and with the exception of "Gone with the Wind," and most of "The Wizard of Oz," I can basically pick anything. "The Seventh Seal," was my first Bergman film. My 12th Grade English Teacher Prof. Akers loaned it to me. He said he showed it to his least behaved class, but I watched it for myself. After three attempts, I finally got through it. It's not my favorite Bergman, that's "Persona", and I also love "Winter Light," and "Saraband," his last one, the sequel to "Scenes From a Marriage." But this is the film we all remember Bergman for. Heavy symbolism, beautiful amazing imagery, and really, playing chess with death, is there a more iconic film image that would be completely screwed up if it was in color?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtqB2XO9jtI&feature=related

DAY 50: Movie I know the Most Quotes From: "THE BREAKFAST CLUB"
This was a category where a lot of my earlier choices were lost. I thought a bit "Jerry Maguire," but that has, a few really great lines, not the most lines. I often quote "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", in everyday life. "No, no! Gingerbread lane is this way!" I have to explain where that line is from more often than not, but I find it comes up surprisingly often. A few other movies. "The Godfather Part II," for instance.  A lot of films I already picked as well. However, when in a jam, I've often borrowed from "The Breakfast Club." I've seen the movie, I-don't-know-how-many times now, I think I pretty much know it by heart. I certainly know at least the last hour or so by heart. I've borrowed the ending structure of the kid's final paper in about three different essays now, and everytime I do, I seem to get an A. Guess that Brian kid was smart. He can write a paper for five people, make spaghetti, and he's a genius 'cause he can't build a lamp.
Note: I changed this from the clip I posted on Facebook. It's was a mirrored imaged scene, and just didn't like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7wIEC4glrk

Well, I'll be continuing even during the holidays, as we're coming don the home stretch. The last 10 left. I think I might miss it. Up next though, A Movie with an Ending I didn't expect. That one's easy for me. I'll give you a hint, I consider it the Best Film of the 1990s, and either you've it, and you agree with me, or you haven't seen it, 'cause if you've seen it, and claim you saw the ending coming, you're a liar. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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