The Long and Short of It

The SaintJan 18th, 2012Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

This film tells the story of John Reed. Reed was a communist and journalist who wrote a book documenting the Russian Revolution. This epic tale details Reed’s life, relationship with Louise Bryant and the effects on communism in Russia and America. The thing that stands out the most in the film is that it includes interviews with people that lived during that time. Some of them were even directly connected to the story being told in various ways. These interviews are generally used to help a transition into a new scene, helping to frame it with other context. That being said, I felt that in most cases, they pulled me out of the story. Rather than see the collective as a narrator providing insight, they seemed to me as extra characters. Additional people that I should be thinking about, but never really learn much about.

Brief Encounter
A married woman and a married man briefly meet at a train station in a chance encounter. However, they agree to meet again in a week. This weekly meeting leads to another, and things escalate from there. The story is told as a flashback with the woman recounting her experiences as if she were telling her husband. The film was well down, with a few shots that I liked, but the story did not grab me. I was going along for the ride, but did not care how things would end.

Why can’t we all just get along?

The SaintJan 8th, 2012Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

After pissing off everyone with the release of Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith made Intolerance to show that he was not actually racist1. Like Birth of a Nation, Intolerance is a 3 hour epic and a silent film. Intolerance is actually four parallel stories (Babylonian, Judean, French Renaissance and Modern-day America) that depict tales of people being discriminated against. Of the four, the Modern and Babylonia arcs are the most gripping and, towards the end, I found myself hoping to return to one of those stories when the Judean or French stories were on screen. The Babylonia story features a massive sets and thousands of extras. There is also a battle scene that reminded me of the final battle in The Two Towers with a huge fortress being attacked en mass with large siege towers. Intolerance was unable to make back the estimated $2 million (~$40 million with inflation) it cost to produce, which lead to the sale of the production company.

1. That was not the only reason the film was made, as the modern story arc was planned before Birth of a Nation was started.

A Year in Review: 2011

The SaintJan 1st, 2012Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

At the end of 2010, I summarized all the movies I had watched that year. Now that 2011 has come to an end, it is time to look back on my year in movies.

This year was busier than last year, so I was only able to watch 155 movies (18 fewer than last year). This means I watched a movie every 2.4 days. However, it can still be considered productive. I watched 48 movies from the list, beating last years record by 3 movies. Something I didn’t point out last year is that these numbers do not count movies that I re-watched. Those are harder to keep track of as I generally not using Netflix when re-watching a movie. So the total count is higher, but not by a substantial number.

Here is the list of all the movies I watched in 2011. Same set up as before, but for those that need a refresher: The ratings are on a 5 point scale with no half points. Within the rating group the movies are alphabetical. List movies are in bold and movies released in 2010 are italicized.


13 Assassins (2010)
A Tale of Two Sisters (2004)
Barbarian Invasions, The (2003)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Descent, The (2005)
Dinner Game, The (1998)
Drive (2011)
Exiled (1907)
Get Low (2009)
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The (2009)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Good, the Bad, the Weird, The (2008)
Graduate, The (1967)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Hole, The (1960)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Ip Man (2008)
Killer Inside Me, The (2010)
Like Stars on Earth (2007)
Misery (1990)
Muppets, The (2011)
Omen, The (1976)
Paris, Je T’aime (2006)
Peeping Tom (1960)
People Under the Stairs, The (1991)
Persona (1967)
Rabbit Hole (2010)
Rope (1948)
Shutter (2004)
Sin Nombre (2009)
SLC Punk (1999)
Terribly Happy (2008)
Thin Blue Line, The (1988)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Wait Until Dark (1967)
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)


2046 (2004)
American Zombie (2007)
Attack the Gas Station! (1999)
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Ballad of Narayama, The (1984)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946)
Cape Fear (1962)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Catfish (2010)
Cloverfield (2007)
Color of Money, The (1986)
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (2011)
Cook, Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, The (1989)
Creep (2004)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Dead Snow (2009)
Delicatessen (1991)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Fantasia (1940)
Felon (2008)
Fighter, The (2010)
First Snow (2007)
Four Lions (2010)
Ghajini (2008)
Good Hair (2009)
Grapes of Wrath, The (1940)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
Heathers (1989)
Hudsucker Proxy, The (1994)
Hustler, The (1961)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jerk, The (1979)
Kick-Ass (2010)
Kids Are All Right, The (2010)
Kontroll (2004)
La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
La Jetée (1961)
Le Samourai (1967)
Last Picture Show, The (1971)
Man in the Iron Mask, The (1998)
Man with the Golden Gun, The (1974)
Manic (2001)
Messenger, The (2009)
Moneyball (2011)
Natural, The (1984)
Network (1967)
Nine Queens (2000)
Ocean’s Eleven (1960)
Once (2006)
Pandorum (2009)
Paris, Texas (1984)
Piano Teacher, The (2002)
Prodigal Sons (2008)
Pusher (1996)
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Ratcatcher (1999)
Restrepo (2010)
Sans Soleil (1983)
Up in the Air (2009)
Winter’s Bone (2010)
Woodsman, The (2004)
X-Men: First Class (2011)


American Pie (1999)
Atlantic City (1980)
Babes in Arms (1939)
Babette’s Feast (1987)
Bad Santa (2003)
Barefoot Contessa, The (1954)
Belle de Jour (1967)
Birth of a Nation, The (1915)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Days of Being Wild (1990)
Days of Heaven (1978)
Dreamchild (1985)
Election (2005)
Femme Fatale (2002)
For Love of the Game (1999)
Friday Night Lights (2004)
Hangover Part II, The (2011)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Home (2005)
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
Local Hero (1983)
Long Goodbye, The (1973)
Manhattan (1979)
Moonlighting (1982)
New York, I Love You (2008)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Prince of Darkness (1987)
Rebecca (1940)
Red State (2011)
Scanners (1980)
Secret Agent (1936)
sex, lies, and videotape (1989)
Soldier’s Girl (2003)
Sucker Punch (2011)
Table for Three (2009)
Thor (2011)
Ushpizin (2004)
Withnail and I (1987)
You, the Living (2007)
Zero Kelvin (1995)


Band Wagon, The (1953)
Black Dynamite (2009)
Double Take (2009)
Easy A (2010)
Exit Wounds (2001)
Expendables, The (2010)
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
Mortal Kombat: The Movie (1995)
My Dinner with Andre (1981)
Over the Top (1986)
Parking Lot Movie, The (2010)
Return of the Living Dead, The (1985)
RoboCop (1987)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)

No movies were rated 1. A step in the right direction, despite there being more movies ranked 2 or lower than last year.