Saturday, December 3, 2011


Well, it's over, and I did it. 60 days, each with a new parameter, and I didn't repeat once. I did pick, a few films more than 60. In fact, there's one category upcoming, where I actually picked 7 films, instead of one. That doesn't matter though. I'm not just saying that as a way to excuse my blatant disregard of the artificial "one day, one movie," rule, but also because these are all films that speak to me, in one way or another. I've have drastic opinions on them, and like a song, they all play back a form of memory to me, on just the mere thought of them, and if you gave me 60 more stipulations, I'd probably come up with 60 more films, at least. I hope any who have, and all those who someday will participate in this fun little Facebook game, will have a similar experience as I have. Let's review up until now:

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 18: Favorite Guilty Pleasure: "SECRETARY"
DAY 19: Film that made you Cry the Hardest: "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL"
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 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 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"
DAY 41: Movie You Will Never Watch Again: "MERCURY RISING"
DAY 42: Least Favorite Film By Your Favorite Director: "RESERVOIR DOGS"-QUENTIN TARANTINO
DAY 43: Favorite Sci-Fi: "METROPOLIS"
DAY 44: Favorite Movie From Your Country: TIE: "CITIZEN KANE," and "BEING JOHN MALKOVICH"
DAY 47: Most Overrated Film: "THE GOONIES"
DAY 48: Movie You Walked Out of the Theatre From (Or That You Wanted to): "GHOST RIDER"
DAY 49:  Favorite Black & White Movie: "THE SEVENTH SEAL"
DAY 50: Movie I know the Most Quotes From: "THE BREAKFAST CLUB"

And now: The Final Ten!

DAY 51: A Movie with an Ending You Haven't Expected: "MAGNOLIA"
This was maybe the easiest choice I've made yet. It's one of my all-time favorite films. For many people, it's one of their least favorite movies, and to this day, I don't think a film has drawn such a vast split among both filmgoers and critics. I will not reveal the ending, although if you want you can probably find out how it ended pretty much anywhere, but I didn't know the ending going in, and I think that's the appropriate way to experience the film, at least on the first viewing. I also didn't understand the symbolism of it at the time, and understanding it's influence, I'm not quite sure I get the meaning. All I remembered was staying up 'til way past 4:00am watching the film, fascinated for over three hours and then came with completely impossible to predict ending, and I was annoyed, confused, baffled. Mostly I thought I was tricked into watching something, that turned out to be a trick, like when Andy Kaufman sold out Carnegie Hall, and then read "The Great Gatsby," not realizing that the joke was that I went to see a guy at Carnegie Hall, and he's reading "The Great Gatsby," but nobody who could keep me on-the-edge-of-my-seat for three hours like P.T. Anderson would then end with a sick joke. I knew then, that he know way more than I did, and in many ways, this film probably inspired me to go into film as much as any other film did.

DAY 52: A film you thing would've been better with another actor/actress: ACTOR: "THE TENANT"-ROMAN POLANSKI, ACTRESS: "STRIPTEASE"-DEMI MOORE

While there probably are a few, so-called 'actors' in Hollywood that we can probably do without, rarely do I think a miscast actor is the biggest problem with a film. In face, even with these two selections, I can't be positive the movie would be good anyway. Usually a problem with a film can start with the writing or directing, or editing process, which is way more responsible for the quality of a film. Especially editing, which can often hide a bad acting performance pretty well. The first of I thought of can't be blamed on directing, 'cause the director is the actor. Now, Polanski is actually a pretty decent actor, but he stars in his film "The Tenant," which really is one of his absolute worst films, it doesn't help that he plays the title, who becomes convinced that his neighbors are out to drive him crazy like they might have done with the apartment's previous owner. I don't want to give anything away, but I'd much rather picture Polanski raping a teenager that I would ever want to see him in a dress again. I don't know who would've been better for this part, but Polanski really shouldn't have directed himself here, their had to be multiple better choices. Again, I don't know if that would've made it a good film, but it would've more than likely made it a better one than it currently is. The other choice was a lot tougher, surprisingly. So rarely is there a good lead role for an actress that I think sometimes, just a movie having a leading role for an actress no matter what it is, is often preferable. And in this rare case, profitable. I might be wrong, but I think Demi Moore still holds the record for biggest payday for "Striptease," reportedly $20 million for the part. It's not that good a movie, but I think it could've been. There's a lot of casting problems with it. I think only Ving Rhames and Burt Reynolds are really well-casted for this movie (and actually Burt Reynolds is kind of a stretch, too), but at least they realize that the realize the movie is a comedy. Demi Moore takes the role way too seriously strangely enough. A better actress would've gotten some laughs out of some of the dialogue that she says. The original book and I believe the original script was written with the part being a ditzy dumb blonde character. (Preportedly, I haven't read either.) Now, Demi Moore is a good actress usually, but she's not a comic actress, but this part was way more suited for somebody with a comic sensibility, like Cameron Diaz maybe, or a younger Jennifer Aniston. Possibly a few others. Anna Faris would probably be good choice for a remake. (And in case any of you are wondering, I'm certainly not against Demi Moore stripping and/or taking her clothes off. I just prefer that she do it, in a better movie, and in a better part for her.)

DAY 53: Movie in theatres now, that you want to see: "HUGO"
I don't know what I'll think of "Hugo," when I see it, but being a Scorsese film, and also a film about movies, from what I've heard. I've also that, while I don't normally think of 3-D in a positive light, I think Scorsese using it is certainly interesting. I've also heard almost nothing but good reviews for the film. (As of yesterday, the National Board of Review, named it the Best Film for this year.) However, I want to see a lot of movies too. So, when this came up, I checked out, as well as a few other sites, and looked up all the films out in theaters now. Here's that Top Ten list of movies I want to see, and that's not to say that I'm not equally as interested in seeing number 11, or number 25 or 48 either.
 10. "The Muppets,"- I don't want to know the soulless creature that doesn't love Muppets.
9. "J. Edgar"-With Clint Eastwood, it's almost guaranteed to be good.
8. "A Dangerous Method"-Cronenberg, Freud, Jung, and according to the Christy Lemire updates I subscribe to on Facebook, apparently a lot of spankings. Oddly enough, I would've been intrigued with just Cronenberg.
7. "50/50"-Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been one of my favorite young actor for a while, and this looks like another solid performance.
6. "Take Shelter"-Even the previews have been creepy. Michael Shannon looks like he'll be good in it.
5. "Martha Marcy May Marlene,"-An Olsen getting Oscar buzz. (Nope, not those two, but their younger sister.)
4. "Moneyball"-Actually read the book, and thought it was unfilmable unless maybe Aaron Sorkin gave it a shot (Oh, he's a co-writer. Figures)
3. "My Week With Marylin"-Michelle Williams playing Marilyn Monroe. I have a feeling she's getting another Oscar nomination.
2. "The Descendants"-6 years since Alexander Payne made his masterpiece "Sideways." If it's half as good as that film, it'll be a great one. (And reviews say it is.)

What the fuck is a "psychological movie". Seriously, I don't know what that means? Is that a psychological thriller like "The Silence of the Lambs," or is it a mind-bending puzzle drama like "Mulholland Dr." or is just a movie about, something with psychology, like "One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest". I didn't know. Here's what I did, and it was exhausting. I separated this any category I can think over of psychological films. The first category is "Mindfuckers". I probably could've come up with a better name, but these were essentially films that challenged the mind psychological. As you'd imagine a few David Lynch's showed up like the aforementioned "Mulholland Dr.", as well as "INLAND EMPIRE" (Which for some reason is always capitalized), but some other films showed up. The Top Ten were:
9. Romance
8. Eyes Wide Shut
7. Inception
6. Vanilla Sky
5. After Hours
4. 3 Women
3. Apocalypse Now
2. Mulholland Dr.
and my number one, ended up being Alejandro Jodorowsky's surrealist Western "El Topo", which is probably the ultimate mindfuck movie. Frankly I don't know what other genre I could put that film under, so mindfucker it is. You'll also notice that some of these choices showed up as winners in other categories, and well, some films fit in other categories as well.
Mindfuckers was just the first category, the next one was, "Thriller" or "Psychological Thriller." A far more traditional category that Mindfuckers, but still, quite a lot of good films. This was my top ten in that category:
10. The Night of the Hunter
9. 3 Women
8. Blow-Up
7. The Godfather Part II
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. Chinatown
4. Schindler's List
3. No Country for Old Men
2. Psycho.
It probably is a little blasphemous not picking "Psycho," here, but to me, no movie is more intense and more thrilling that John Frankenheimer's "The Manchurian Candidate." Tense is a good word for that time, and the reason I placed it, just a little ahead of "Psycho," is because, while "Psycho," is equally intense, it has a lull in the middle between two very intense and different thrills, while "The Manchurian Candidate," is a more growing thrill right up to the end of the movie. It's a minor detail, I love both films, but I'll take the mother who brainwashes her son over the mother who's (Spoiler blocked) any day.
The next category is "Character Study." It was at this point that I just stopped doing list altogether, becaue it would'nt have been 10, it would've be 50. These are movies where the theme or the entire focus is one the study of it's characters. This can be anything from "Amelie," to "The Wrestler," to "Secrets and Lies," to "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," to "Y Tu Mama Tambien,", but I finally decided on "The Godfather Part II." We can all debate forever whether it's of equal, lesser or greater stature than the original, but I don't think we get a better sense of the characters in any film or film series than we do in the two "Godfather" movies. (Hell, you can even throw in the third one if you want.) Saying that, I think we gets the best sense of the characters in this one. While I picked the original for another category, that one was about the ways of the mafia family, while here, we get a clearer sense of all the characters, except for Sonny, for obvious reasons. Still, when I think of Michael, I think of him alone on that bench, thinking back to that last dinner he ate with the family before he went off to war, and I think of how he ended up alone on that bench, after all his father did for the family.
Psychological horror came next, and I did make a Top Ten for this one. There's wasn't many categories left for this one. Partly 'cause this one had the fewest amount of film that I considered. Have to see more of them, or they have to make more of them, or more good ones anyway. One of those three.
10. Apocalypse Now
9. The Exorcist
8. Rebecca
7. Black Swan
6. Blue Velvet
5. Sunset Boulevard
4. After Hours
3. The Night of the Hunter
2. Psycho
Again, "Psycho," ended up 2. And I doubt many of you think about 'horror,' when it comes to Robert Altman, but "3 Women," is part "Fatal Attraction," part David Lynch, part 'Single White Female," and it's a strange nightmarish combination, granted with Altmanesque features like overlapping improvised dialogue, but they're ain't many things creepier or stranger than tiny Sissy Spacek following and copying your every move. Make whatever you wish of the ending, but I can spend hours thinking up theories on this one, and it's just creepy.
The next category, I called, Psychological Think Pieces, which is just what it kinda sounds like. Films that are psychological in nature, but aren't really horrors or thrillers, and aren't as mindfucking and mindfuckers, but you watch them and they you go "huh" "ah" "hmm" or "ooh", and a few other soft interjections. Here's the Top Ten I made for this one
10. WR: Mysteries of the Organism
9. The Exterminating Angel
8. Stranger Than Paradise
7. Eyes Wide Shut
6. Exotica
5. Synecdoche, New York
4. sex, lies and videotape
2. Blow-Up
And number one, this is where I finally found a spot for "Apocalypse Now." If this list had a best War Movie category, it would've been number one there. As it stands though, its a journey into the hearts of the jungle and into the soul of man. It's based off of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," and its one of the few movies that really is an experience into the mind as oppose to the action on the screen. They say a great movie will alter your mood, "Apocalypse Now," is capable of changing people forever.
The last category was titled "Actually About Psychology or has something Psychological in it". This included everything from "One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest," to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," to "The Story of Adele H." This category also included a lot more than I thought it would, so I didn't make a Top Ten list, but while I'll admit that their might be one or two better movies, the best film that I think about when talking about a psychologist story is "Good Will Hunting." It's just a brilliant idea for a film, a genius, who stopping himself from greatness, but Matt Damon and Robin Williams getting to the core of this confused complicated young man has always been one of my all-time favorites. I actually strongly considered it for the Film That Should've Won an Oscar Category, since it cruelly lost to "Titanic," when it should of one. (Well, either that or "L.A. Confidential." And I wouldn't have had a problem if "As Good As It Gets," had won it either) but, I got a chance to use it here, so I took it.
So, those were the six categories, and I still wasn't satisfied. I know what you're thinking by now? What the fuck! It's just a fucking game. But, there was one film I needed to put on here somewhere. I had to place "American Beauty in this category. It's not the best in any of these categories, but this movie is all a psychological analysis of characters and their behavior. The best way to watch the film is to get inside the minds of each of their characters so that we can understand their actions, reactions, and motives. We get the voiceover from Lester, probably 'cause he's the protagonist whose changes dramatically alter everyone elses universe, but I think some of us relate to some of the other characters much more. This is the movie you show in a psychology class to reveal behavior, and I guess that's the seventh category.

DAY 55: Best Film from the Year You Were Born: "BACK TO THE FUTURE"
Well, when I looked up the year, I noticed that I had already used two films from the year of my birth, 1985. One, "The Breakfast Club," one of my favorite movies, and "The Goonies," and you can look up and see which category I put that film in. (Not a good one). There were good movies that came out that year. "Out of Africa" for instance, which won the Oscar. "The Color Purple," an amazing film. I thought for a while about one of Scorsese's best, "After Hours," that wonderfully bizarre Kafkaesque comedy of his, but, honestly, who doesn't think "Back to the Future," isn't the coolest fucking film ever made!? I can watch that, over and over again, and just get caught up in it's amazingly kinetic energy. We know all the lines, we turn away when Marty mom kisses him, and we can't wait for the great scene at the clocktower, and John Williams score, my personal favorite of his. (DUN-de-de-dun-dun-dun-DUN....) Just fun amazing film, even twenty-six years later, you just thoroughly get a kick out of it like it's the first time.

DAY 56: Least favorite Horror Film: "CASE 39"
I'm tempted to write a fifty-page article here about how "The Shining," doesn't work. Either that, or a ten-page article about how in "Friday the 13th," it annoys the hell out of me that the kids are playing strip Monopoly. (I mean, think of it, how do you play Strip Monopoly? Like you Pass Go, and takes their shirt off, but what about the $200? Do you put clothes back on for building houses, or winning the beauty pageant? It makes no sense!) But, I sat through this film recently. Renee Zellweger, horror is not your genre. Not that it would've helped, but still... A movie about a sick kid, whose parents, apparently had good reason to try and cook her. It was over-the-top; it was disturbing; it was sickening; (scoffs) it should never have been made. The biggest problem with this movie is that I fear that because I haven't watched a lot of horror in my life, that that's probably a lot worse films out there that better fit this category, and I pray that I never see them.

DAY 57: Most Weird/Confusing Film You Ever Watch: "MULHOLLAND DR."
There's a few movies that could've been here. "Vanilla Sky," and "Open Your Eyes," are equally confusing, but by the end, we get an explanation. We have to figure out the puzzle to "Mulholland Dr." on our own. We have to figure out almost all of David Lynch's films on our own actually, but I usually can. "Mulholland Dr." took me, 15 viewings! Yes, I counted, but I now think that if I needed to I could explain the whole movie ina way that it would make sense. I then realized that there was no task more useless than that one, so I sat bat, and put the movie on play, and watched it all over again, like a wonderful dream I can return that I can return to anytime I want.

DAY 58: Movie You Think Should have won an Oscar: "LOST IN TRANSLATION"
I narrowed this category, first to Best Picture. I could've looked for films that didn't win anything, or really look for some minutae and complain about some obscure categories, like how "Barney's Version," should've won the make-up Oscar last year over "The Wolfman," but that's pushing it. (And in all likelyhood, it is Rick Baker, he is really good and probably deserves most of the Oscars he gets.) Well, this is a favorite parlor game for me, but there's certainly some interesting screw-ups by the Academy. "Citizen Kane," losing to "How Green Was My Valley," "Titanic," beating "Good Will Hunting," "As Good As It Gets," and "L.A. Confidential," that was certainly screwy. Not as bad as "Gladiator," beating "Traffic". (And even worse, "Almost Famous," didn't get nominated that year.) Some mistakes are understandable, though. "Crash," over "Brokeback Mountain," "Munich," "Good Night and Good Luck." and "Capote," but they were all in my top 15, and only the later didn't make the Top Ten. "Ordinary People," and "Dances With Wolves," beat Scorsese two best films "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas," but they're pretty good films in their own right though. I think the most unforgivable mistake in recent years though was "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," beating "Lost in Translation," a couple years ago. Sofia Coppola's wonderful poetic (and funny)  masterpiece, was just a beautiful and masterful film. It belongs on every great film list, and is one of the most distinctive of all films. There is no possible excuse for giving the Oscar to a clearly lesser film, in a blind attempt to honor an entire trilogy, which by the way, the trilogy sucks to begin with. Terrible decision. (Almost as bad as Bill Murray not winning for Best Actor for the film, although Sean Penn was pretty good in "Mystic River," and he was due; he probably should've won for "Dead Man Walking." Well, he should've tied with Nicolas Cage for "Leaving Las Vegas" that year at least.)

DAY 59: Least Favorite Movie Scene: "PRETTY WOMAN"
"Pretty Woman," is a horrible film to begin with. It actually hurts my head that people out there actually like this film. And I generally hear the same reasoning of it, like, "It's a fairy tale." Yeah, but that doesn't mean it should suck. Also, just because something is a fairy tale, you set in a,- I don't know what universe this is, but it looks a lot like reality to me. Alright, granted, you almost never see a streetwalker that looks like Julia Roberts. You might find a high-priced call girl, but not a streetwalker, but I can get over that. I can't get over that. I can't get over the stupidity of this made-up obstacle that this film is infamous for. The scene where she walks into the shop on Rodeo Drive, and gets thrown out, for, looking like/being a hooker. Okay, first of all, I take grave offense to anybody who blindly rejects money. I can't even understand that in the Jim Crow era south and whites only businesses. Like, being a racist, that's bad enough. Not taking their money and serving them, that's just stupid. There's no other word for that, except possibly arrogance. But a hooker on Rodeo Drive, are you kidding me? They need more expensive clothes than possibly anybody, and they can afford it, and no business would reject them, especially if one looks like Julia Roberts. It frustrates me to no end, and to me, it takes any possible plausibility the film had left, and completely throws it out the window.

DAY 60: Favorite Scene: "ANNIE HALL"
Well, last one. I'm ending on Woody Allen. "Annie Hall," is of course, the cheap and easy answer to nearly everybody's question of what their favorite Allen film is, but in many ways, it is. You can probably separate Woody Allen from before and after "Annie Hall," and you'd probably wouldn't be wrong. But this is favorite scene, and there's some great scenes in this film. The cocaine scene always makes me laugh, but, this wonderful long take where Allen and Keaton are waiting in line at the movies.... Frankly, if I were explain my perfect idea of what I think life should be, I would probably just show this scene. In many ways, I think I just want to make sure anybody who doesn't agree with me, or importantly, the ones who are wrong, are in favt correctly and adequately informed about how wrong they are. This is a perfect ending to this list.

Well, that's it. 60 days, 60 81 different films. Wow! I really cheated on the number, but I didn't repeat. And there's a still a lot of films I wish I could've focused on for a day. Some I'm very surprised didn't show up. I couldn't find a place for "Sideways," "Juno," "Love, Actually," "Munich," "Waking Life." Hell, "Goodfellas," not on there. No Steven Soderbergh, no Spike Lee, no Coen Brothers. I had 2 Zucker Brothers but no Coens. No Mel Brooks! Couldn't even find a place for "The Producers." No "Duck Soup."! And These are films and filmmakers I love. No Fellini films! No Kurosawa. 5 Kieslowski films, but nothing from Fellini or Kurosawa. No Godard or Truffaut either. Honestly, I'm surprised, and a little saddened. Still a lot of movies I wish I could mention, but some just fit the category better for me, and sometimes a category didn't show up that some of those movies would've been perfect for. Well, I can't lie what exactly to do next. They have a 30 Song List, I could do that, but... maybe some other time. Right now, as I continue to measure out my life in movies, in nice to just sit back and reflect on this elaborate project, as it's reached it's conclusion, and know that, I've learned a little bit more about myself than I first thought. I hope you've all learned a little bit about me as well, and also that some who dared to participate, even if you couldn't finish, that you have also learned a little bit about themselves as well.   

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