186/365: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.
Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward and Bruce Willis
This was very good. We had started watching Zero Dark Thirty, but disliked it so much we turned it off. This got the taste out of my mouth. This was very sweet and quirky.
185/365: The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Stars: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger and Monica Bellucci
I’d seen bits of this before, and watching it all the way through made me realize why I’d never watching it all the way through before. I thought it sucked. There was such a great cast, so I was a little surprised. I will say that there was a bit of a twist at the end, which I did appreciate.
184/365: Lincoln (2012)
This was good, but some of the scenes were painfully long, like they’d never heard of an editor. I missed big chunks of it because I had to keep leaving to help my grandmother. Day-Lewis was incredible. He becomes other people.
183/365: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Director: David O. Russell
Writers: David O. Russell (screenplay), Matthew Quick (novel)
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro
This wasn’t bad. I had heard Jennifer Lawrence was so unbelievably good, but I just didn’t feel it. Her character annoyed me. I don’t like people like that who use sexuality in that way. I thought Cooper’s character was flawed and endearing, and of course De Niro was great. Cooper really carried the whole thing. I didn’t trust a word out of Lawrence’s character’s mouth from the start. I know she was so flawed, but I didn’t feel the same sympathy for her that I did for Cooper, and I’m not entirely sure why.
182/365: Argo (2012)
A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
Director: Ben Affleck
Writers: Chris Terrio (screenplay), Joshuah Bearman (article)
Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman
I love Ben Affleck and I had heard so much great stuff about this movie, that it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, and it didn’t. It was like when I saw Amelie after everyone else and I was like, yeah, this is good, but not GREAT. In Argo, I had issues with the fact that everything happened just in the nick of time. I know it’s for dramatic suspense and once or even twice wouldn’t have bothered me, but it was just one thing after another. I also felt this took a good half hour to get going, and I’m too impatient for that. This also teaches me about my own writing, though, and what I look for from other writers. This is definitely worth a watch, but didn’t live up to the hype for me.
181/365: Cry-Baby (1990)
In 1950s Baltimore, a bad-boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good-girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge.
Director: John Waters
Writer: John Waters
Stars: Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake and Amy Locane
What a weird movie! I guess it was pretty much what I expected? I don’t know. Don’t have much to say about it, really. I’m glad I finally saw it.
180/365: Happy Accidents (2000)
Ruby Weaver has man trouble: she tries to fix them, so she’s stuck herself with a string of losers…
Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Brad Anderson
Stars: Marisa Tomei, Vincent D’Onofrio and Marty Davey
This was a really interesting premise and I liked the end. I’m fascinated by the question of whether or not we can change the future, and love the idea that love can change things. However, the direction in this movie drove me crazy. It’s a personal preference, but I didn’t like it. It seemed very outdated, and the writing took me out of the story a lot with the back and forth nature of it (which makes me think and worry about my own writing…) In addition, Marisa Tomei is way out of D’Onofrio’s league. She annoyed me in this, trying to be sexy, biting her lip, licking her lips and sticking out her rear. I’m sure this was direction, too, though. Anyway, this is worth a watch if only for the premise.
179/365: Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)
A struggling artist working as waitress kidnaps one of her customers to bring home and meet her parents at Christmas.
Director: Ron Underwood
Writer: Sara Endsley
Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez and Timothy Bottoms
This was exactly what I hoped and expected. A feel good family friendly TV movie. I adore Melissa Joan Hart, and Mario Lopez will always be Slater to me, so I’m basically the target audience. This was exactly what I wanted in the Christmas season. It was no great work of art, but I don’t know who watches it for that purpose. It was sweet and cute and I enjoyed it.
178/365: Django Unchained (2012)
With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Don Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio
I can’t say enough for this movie. It’s one of the best ones I’ve seen in a long time! Ordinarily, one of my favorite things about Tarantino is his strong female characters, but because of the time period of this film, that wasn’t really possible, so I did miss that a bit, but not much. It would’ve been unrealistic, I guess. Anyway, Christoph Waltz is freaking amazing! He always is, but he kicked butt in this. The story is so complex and twists around, and I really felt like I’d been taken on a journey by the time it ended. I was exhausted! Such a great movie. It reminded me of High Noon, but that may have just been because that is one of the only Westerns I love, because I don’t really see any other similarities. Seriously, everyone should go see this movie when it’s out. It’s typically Tarantino in many ways, but in my opinion, they’re all good! In addition, there are also some very touching moments. Absolutely loved this movie.
177/365: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
A lone 13-year-old resorts to murder to protect her haven.
Director: Nicolas Gessner
Writers: Laird Koenig (novel), Laird Koenig (screenplay)
Stars: Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen and Alexis Smith
What a bizarre movie! I still don’t totally know how I feel about it. I thought I had worked it out, but I hadn’t really. Jodie Foster is great in it and it was a really interesting, and different watch, although rather disturbing. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was pretty entertaining in its weirdness.
176/365: Anna Karenina (2012)
To be honest, I didn’t like the book Anna Karenina. Almost all of my friends love it, it’s one of their favorites, but I couldn’t even finish it. I adore classic literature, mostly English, French and some German, but I could never get into Russian literature as much. I think my problem with Anna Karenina was that I couldn’t relate to the lead character. I find her spoiled and difficult, and unlike what I thought about the adulterers in Camelot, it seems cut and dry that she is wrong. I also adore Tom Stoppard’s plays. Arcadia is my absolute favorite play, to read or watch, but I don’t like his movies as much. I wasn’t a fan of Shakespeare in Love. I mean, it was OK, but just OK. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is OK, but that was a play first anyway, and not one of my favorites. In any case, I didn’t come into this with a very open mind, I was merely curious. I don’t like the story, and that is very important, but then the staging was so purposefully odd. I don’t like how in your face it is, reminding me again of Moulin Rouge. I don’t know. This wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen by a long-shot, but I wasn’t into it.
175/365: Ben-Hur (1959)
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Director: William Wyler
Writers: Lew Wallace (novel) and Karl Tunberg (screenplay)…
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, and Stephen Boyd
Obviously I had seen the chariot race scene before many times, as well as the Jesus scene before where Ben-Hur is handed water, but I had never seen this all the way through, and to be honest, I was bored. Really bored. It’s not my type of movie, I guess, and I was just waiting for it to be over. It seemed so long and drawn out. It was shot beautifully, but that wasn’t enough to hold my attention. I also found it extremely difficult to follow what was going on, and I’m not sure if that was me or the movie, but it made it hard to enjoy. I’m glad I saw it, but I won’t be watching it all the way through again.
174/365: Camelot (1967)
The story of the marriage of England’s King Arthur to Guinevere is played out amid the pagentry of Camelot…
Director: Joshua Logan
Writer: Alan Jay Lerner (based on the play “Camelot” book by) and T.H. White (from “The Once and Future King”)…
Stars: Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero
Granted I watched this right after watching My Fair Lady, and there’s no comparison, but the music from this just isn’t that great, in my opinion. The only song I had ever heard before was “If Ever I Would Leave You” and compared to anything in My Fair Lady, well, it’s just sub-par. I guess it’s just not my type of movie really. The part I liked the most was the treatment of the love triangle. Each character was treated with respect and was well-rounded showing off redeeming qualities, which is interesting and complicated and reminds me of how I feel about the Gary/Rocky/Patricia Neal triangle. It’s unusual in an adultery situation that I wouldn’t just automatically side with the one who is cheated on, because in theory it’s so cut and dry, but I guess that is a very limited view and also naive. However, I was so incredibly sad for Arthur. He was such a nice guy. In the end, it is nice watching beautiful people on screen, but one fight scene bothered me because they reused the same shot of a horse falling over in battle. I noticed it the first time because it upset me and then they reused it! Anyway, I’m glad I’ve finally seen the movie.
173/365: Evelyn Prentice (1934)
The neglected wife of a high profile attorney dallies with a unscrupulous womanizer and finds herself involved in blackmail and murder
Director: William K. Howard
Writers: Lenore J. Coffee(screen play) and W.E. Woodward(from the book by)
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Una Merkel
This took me longer to get into than I thought it would, but once I was in, I was in deep. I enjoyed it a lot. Not much more to say than that, William Powell and Myrna Loy make an adorable family, as usual!
172/365: Run Fatboy Run (2007)
Five years after jilting his pregnant fiancée on their wedding day, out-of-shape Dennis decides to run a marathon to win her back.
Director: David Schwimmer
Writers: Michael Ian Black (screenplay) and Simon Pegg (screenplay)
Stars: Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, and Hank Azaria
I’ve really enjoyed Simon Pegg’s movies, especially Shaun of the Dead, and Paul maybe to a slightly lesser extent, but this one didn’t really do it for me. It had a heartwarming, fun ending, and some laughs, but I don’t know, it just wasn’t as funny as some of his other works. I think also I couldn’t get into his character as much. Even though his characters in the other movies are heavily flawed, there was something about them that drew me in, and I just didn’t feel that this much in this one. Also, the juxtaposition of characters was a bit in your face, as well. They weren’t that real to me. Having said all this, I don’t regret watching it, though. I love Hank Azaria, and was excited about Stephen Merchant’s cameo.