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The SaintApr 10th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

A couple movies I watched a while ago, but just now getting to writing something up on them.

The Natural
Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs a man with a natural talent to play baseball. The movie tells the story of his journey to the majors and what happens to him along the way. I was expecting the beginning that dealt with his childhood to last longer. It came of as “There are there things you need to know about his childhood. Check, check and check, moving on.” After that, the movie flows well through the story it is actually trying to tell. The story isn’t that complicated, but I enjoyed going along for the ride. And surprisingly,
[spoiler title=”spoiler “]I was ok with fireworks going off when he hits the last home run.[/spoiler]

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Wow! And I thought Assassination of Jesse James was a long movie that was slowly paced. I understand the story it was telling why that means it needs a slow pace, but Assassination at least looked amazing along the way. You really don’t need 80 minutes to show that her life is uneventful and routine. Followed by 80 minutes of things slowly becoming more out of place. The last 40 minutes were not bad because I was waiting for the point when she breaks. In the end, the climax of the film was just as quiet and sedated as the film.

Proportional to his catalog, I have only seen a few Woody Allen movies, but of those, none of them have done it for me. The ones I have seen all seem to be telling the same story of him being an awkward jewish man and dealing with a sexual relationship. And it makes me uncomfortable to have to think about Woody Allen and sex at the same time. All that being said, I think I enjoyed this the most of the movies of his I’ve seen. I like how he used the black and white in various scenes, especially the one in the planetarium.
[spoiler title=”spoiler “]I also thought that fact that Yale didn’t tell Emily the full story about the affair was a nice touch. Issac was shocked when he realized it, like the audience, but decides that it is not worth going into.[/spoiler]

Still Life

The SaintMar 13th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

La Jetée
Does a movie need to have moving pictures to be a movie? La Jetée is a 28 minutes montage of still photographs. A narrator speaks throughout the duration of the film and presents that story that is being depicted. Paris has been destroyed by after a world war. Prisoners of the war are now being experimented on in the hope that time travel can be used “to call past and future to the rescue of the present”.

You would think that not showing actual movement would make it feel like there is no action. However, the pictures shift within the scene just as the camera would if it were a motion picture. The transitions between shots are now even more important than a cut in a normal movie because it is one of the biggest tools available to the director. The story being told is great piece of science fiction fits perfectly into the short story format. La Jetée was the inspiration for another good science fiction movie from the 1990s that I will not mention by name to prevent spoiling this movie for others.

intercourse, non-truths, and magnetic storage

The SaintMar 4th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

This review has been pushed back almost a week after viewing the film. Partially because I was busy with work, but more importantly because I did not know what to say. The film did not stand out in either direction. While I would not say I didn’t like the movie, I’m also not really sure I enjoyed it either. It just was. After almost a week of thinking, that is all I’ve come up with.

The film has historical significance because it had a major influence on the wave of independent films that were released in the 90s.

Yeah, I just don’t have much to say about the film. It just was.

Who Are Those Guys?

The SaintFeb 4th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up to play the classic western outlaws. As is true with many of the movies I watch, I knew very little about this movie going in. In fact, the first sentence sums up the total information I had about the movie when starting. I was expecting a serious western and the opening scene delivered that. However, it became immediately clear that this movie was going to be something much different. I can’t classify what the movie actually is. Butch and Sundance are continually making jokes between one another. But at the same time there is lots of serious exposition that develops the characters. There is also a three minute scene where Newman and Katharine Ross ride around a farm on a bicycle as Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head plays. If I hadn’t spent the first half of the movie trying to figure out what it was trying to accomplish, I think I would have enjoyed it more than I did. The standout part for me was photo montage that works as an intermission of sorts between the two halves of the film. You could have had an entire movie based only off what was presented by the montage.

Don’t Touch the Suit

The SaintJan 27th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

Atlantic City

The city is dieing. Prohibition has been over for decades and the mobsters that gave life have left. What they left behind was a number of deteriorating hotels, boardwalks and society. There is also Lou. He used to work withe the guys that ran the town. But now he is just an old man living in a building that is waiting to be torn down, looking out his window. Through that window is Sally. Sally came to Atlantic City to get her life together by becoming a dealer at one of the new casinos that just opened up. What will the future hold in a city that looks so grim?

Atlantic City has the honor of being one of the few films to be nominated for the big five (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay), but not win any of them. Burt Lancaster plays the role of Lou well. He seems to genuinely enjoy the excitement that has come into his life and remember the days of old. Susan Sarandon seemed a little awkward at time. However, this could be attributed to the fact that Sally did not belong in Atlantic City. Sally saw this place has her gateway to the future, but it was not the place for her.

Have you ever been to Paris?

The SaintJan 24th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

Paris, Texas
Wandering through the deserts of Texas, a man has lost his way. Will being reunited with his brother after 4 years help him on his way? Harry Dean Stanton plays Travis in his long slow journey of rediscovery.

Clocking in at almost 2 and a half hours, the slow paces seems intimidating at first. But as Travis begins to open up and you learn more about his past, you are pulled in. You need to see what the resolution will be. I’m not go into details about the end of the film, but I think the climax is done very well. It does exactly what it needs to do and I don’t think there could be a better way to handle it.

The Plague and The Sun

The SaintJan 17th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

For no particular reason, I didn’t make this post earlier. But, now it will have a second part.

Nosferatu the Vampyre
A remake of the original Nosferatu by Werner Herzog. The remake was very faithful to the original. A number of the scene could have easily been shot for shot remakes of the source material. The beginning of the film is very unsettling and kind of hard to watch. I say this from a film perspective, not from a horror perspective (I will expand on this later). However, once Jonathan makes it to Transylvania and meets Dracula things get much better, becoming creepy and unsettling from a horror perspective. Klaus Kinski joins Herzog again (Aguirre: The Wrath of God) to play Dracula and does a great job of it. These two work together very well to produce characters that draw you in and see something that is out there.

After finishing the film, as I do with all the movies on the list, I went to Wikipedia to read up on the film. This lets me learn fun facts about the production and read some input on why the film was added to the list. The fact I learned this time directly related to why the start of the film felt very stiff and uneasy.

At the request of distributor 20th Century Fox, Herzog produced two versions of the movie simultaneously, to appeal to western audiences. Scenes with dialogue were filmed twice, in German and in English, meaning that the actor’s own voices (as opposed to dubbed dialogue by voice actors) could be included in the English version of the film. However, many consider the performances in the German language version to be superior, as Kinski and Ganz could act more confidently in their native language.

The beginning of the film contained most of the dialogue and felt poorly acted. However, coinciding with the arrival of Dracula, the dialogue becomes a second player to the visuals and the acting improves.

A Year in Review: 2010

The SaintJan 4th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

We all know that I watch too many movies and should get out more. But lets try and quantify this.

(As usual) 2010 had 365 days. In that time, I watched 173 movies. This means I watched a movie every 2.1 days. Of those 173 movies, 45 of them brought me closer to me goal and 12 of them were released this year.

Here is the list of all the movies I watched in 2010. The ratings are on a 5 point scale with no half points (I don’t agree with it, but it’s what Netflix provides). Within the rating group the movies are alphabetical. List movies are in bold and movies released in 2010 are italicized.


(500) Days of Summer (2009)
A Prophet (2010)
A Single Man (2009)
African Queen, The (1951)
Amelie (2001)
An Education (2008)
Apartment, The (1960)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Black Swan (2010)
Blindness (2008)
Blue (1993)
Brothers Bloom, The (2008)
Cashback (2006)
Chasing Amy (1997)
Cold Souls (2008)
District 9 (2009)
Doubt (2008)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Fall, The (2006)
Gilda (1946)
Great Dictator, The (1940)
Great Muppet Caper, The (1981)
Host, The (2006)
Inception (2010)
Ink (2009)
It Might Get Loud (2008)
Jaws (1975)
Malcolm X (1992)
Man on Fire (2004)
Memories of Murder (2003)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Pixar Short Films: Vol. 1 (2007)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Social Network, The (2010)
Special (2006)
Spun (2002)
Street Fight (2005)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Third Man, The (1949)
Timecrimes (2007)
Touch of Evil (1958)


21 Grams (2003)
All About My Mother (1999)
Angel Face (1952)
Artists and Models (1955)
Ascent, The (1977)
Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
Asphalt Jungle, The (1950)
Awful Truth, The (1937)
Babel (2006)
Better Luck Tomorrow (2003)
Big Fan (2009)
Blast of Silence (1961)
Blow (2001)
Boys on the Side (1995)
Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
Caché (2005)
Champion (2005)
Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) (2000)
Crazy Heart (2009)
Days of Thunder (1990)
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill (1999)
Empire Records (1995)
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Europa Europa (1990)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Following (1998)
Frozen River (2008)
Gold Rush, The (1925)
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Harvey (1950)
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The (2009)
In the Loop (2009)
In the Mood for Love (2001)
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Into the Wild (2007)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Irreversible (2002)
Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
La Strada (1954)
Labyrinth (1986)
Lady from Shanghai, The (1948)
Laura (1944)
Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
Mean Girls (2004)
Mighty Ducks, The (1992)
Muppet Movie, The (1979)
Notorious (1946)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Please Vote For Me (2007)
Poltergeist (1982)
Puffy Chair, The (2005)
Red (1994)
Red Shoes, The (1948)
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Run Lola Run (1998)
Salton Sea, The (2002)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Seven Year Itch, The (1955)
Seventh Seal, The (1957)
Shutter Island (2010)
Sling Blade (1996)
Stranger, The (1946)
Swimming Pool (2003)
Syndromes and a Century (2006)
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Thirst (2009)
To Be or Not To Be (1942)
Top Secret! (1984)
True Lies (1994)
Virgin Spring, The (1960)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Whip It (2009)
White (1994)
Youth of the Beast (1963)
Zach Galifianakis: Live at the Purple Onion (2006)


A-Team, The (2010)
Amarcord (1974)
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)
Ariel (1988)
Baghead (2008)
Beautiful Losers (2008)
Bodyguard, The (1992)
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)
Carlito’s Way (1993)
Closet, The (2000)
Count of Monte Cristo, The (2002)
Death of a President (2006)
Fletch (1985)
Game, The (1997)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Grand, The(2007)
Hellraiser (1987)
Invictus (2009)
Latter Days (2004)
Life After People (2008)
Machete (2010)
Minus Man, The (1999)
Monster (2003)
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Performance (1970)
Pickpocket (1959)
Red Dawn (1984)
Repulsion (1965)
Ridicule (1996)
Risky Business (1983)
Russian Ark (2002)
Sex Is Comedy (2002)
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Slacker (1991)
Timecop (1994)
To Be or Not To Be (1983)
Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)
Warriors, The (1979)
Wordplay (2006)


Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1971)
Hamlet 2 (2008)
Hard Boiled (1992)
Knightriders (1981)
Ponyo (2008)
Quiet City (2007)
Unstoppable (2010)

Betty Blue (1986)
Gerry (2002)

And Now For Something Completely Different

The SaintJan 3rd, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

The Jerk
There is something special about a movie that starts with a homeless white man describing how he was “born a poor black child.” The movie is a heartwarming tale of a complete idiot who heads out into the world to see what it is like. Despite the name of the movie, Steve Martin’s character really does have the best intentions in everything he does. When he finds out what his special purpose is, he writes his family to tell them how good it made him feel and how he intends to do it a lot. At first I thought that gag of Navin not understanding what was happening around him would get tired, but it managed to prove me wrong scene after scene.

Let’s Try This Again

The SaintJan 1st, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

With the start of the new year, I’ve deiced to be more thorough with all of the movies I watch. At minimum, I want to write something for each of the movies that get me closer to 1001 goal. Once I make a habit, there are bound to be other reviews as well.

For those keeping track, all one of you, as of this review, I’m at 325. This fall I slacked off and fallen to a movie from the list every 4 days. This was mostly due to class and The Sopranos. There was also a wave of non-list movies, but the pendulum is about to swing back in the other direction.

Gone With the Wind
A picture of the South spanning from just before the Civil war through Reconstruction. We watch as southern high society deals with the changes of the times and the people they interact with.

This is classic Hollywood. The movie is almost 4 hours, but does not drag. The back and forth between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler always keeps you waiting to see where they will go. The colors jump out and grab you because of all the scenes with fancy dresses and ornately decorated rooms.

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