Achievement Unlocked: Film Century 1.5

It’s been quite a task to slog through, but we persevered and here we are. So now that it’s over, what did this all prove? I don’t really know what I was going for with this little experiment. 150 movies was sort of an arbitrary sum; I picked it because it was somewhere between “impossible” and “unimpressive”. The 1-sentence limitation started out as an afterthought to the actual watching of the films, just a way to get any left-over reaction out of my system and prove I’d actually watched it. These days it sort of seems like the important part of the experiment. I guess the quickie reactions are reminiscent of movie-poster pull-quotes or those little subheadings on movie reviews. They reek with the musk of my great enemy, Metacritic. I think that we have found ourselves swamped with so many options for how to divert our attention that a single sentence is all that can be spared to base a judgemnet upon before we need to look elsewhere or risk falling behind. It’s likely that some of my reviews completely bought into this habit we have developed of attempting to boil every cultural product down into a 1-line sales pitch. I like to think that some of them were more like satires or inversions of that tendency.

Let’s finish this:

Dec. 29 Law Abiding Citizen – Sports more icebox logic than Spock’s Frigidaire. 148/150
Dec. 29 Fanboys – Nerd camp; not as in chess camp, but as in gay camp. 149/150
Dec. 30 Zatôichi – Probably the best ultraviolent samurai slapstick musical I saw this year. 150/150

I think I’ll go watch TV now.

Film Century 1.5

Well here we go, down to the wire.

Dec. 22 The Simpsons Movie – There are probably movies with more jokes per minute, but few with as many good jokes per minute. 142/150
Dec. 23 Red Dragon – Sometimes more of the same just isn’t the same. 143/150
Dec. 23 The Silence of the Lambs – The difference between these movies is one of emphasis, I think: is Hannibal Lecter a hissing maniac who happens to be brilliant, or an impossibly perceptive mind without any moral center? 144/150
Dec. 26 Sherlock Holmes – Rocky Balboa and the Case of There Is No Goddamned Case 145/150
Dec. 27 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle – Producer Drew Barrymore is proud to present Drew Barrymore’s Ass: A Drama in Two Parts. 146/150
Dec. 28 Brazil – There are several accounts of Kafka reading his stories to friends in which both author and audience are forced to stop, wiping tears of mirth from their eyes and clutching sides that ache with laughter. 147/150

Film Century 1.5

Dec. 19 Monty Python’s Life of Brian – It’s a damn shame that the Santa Clause gets played on TBS every Christmas and this doesn’t. 137/150
Dec. 19 6ixtynin9 – Sort of a peanuts and lemongrass version of Jackie Brown. 138/150
Dec. 20 Up In The Air – Imagine what would have happened to Jack if Tyler Durden never showed up. 139/150
Dec. 20 LA Confidential – A glittering, ticking Rolex of a film. 140/150
Dec. 21 Wild Zero – OK, so Alex Cox, Ryuhei Kitamura, and Link Wray walk into a bar… 141/150

Film Century 1.5

Dec. 11 Fantastic Mr. Fox – Spend a charming hour watching Wes Anderson play with his dolls. 133/150
Dec. 12 Say Anything – So does Lloyd Dobler grow up to be Dale Cooper, or is the universe just fucking with me? 134/150
Dec. 14 The Botany of Desire – I never thought domestication was a one-way street where humans do all the exploiting and none of the getting-exploited: I’m a cat owner. 135/150
Dec. 16 Good Night and Good Luck – George Clooney delivers a black and white movie that is – not coincidentally – shot in monochrome. 136/150

Film Century 1.5

I’d been worried that December would be a crunch, but we’re heading into that final stretch with a strong head of steam and only a couple more movies to thrash.

Dec. 4 Red Cliff – Impossibly luscious but with an odd quality of being not-quite-there, like a cinematic version of Megan Fox. 129/150
Dec. 5 The Nightmare Before Christmas – So what’s St. Patrick’s Town, some kind of green-beer brewery full of belligerent leprechauns? 130/150
Dec. 6 Identity – For all you budding Shyamalans out there, a quick primer on twists: a good twist recontextualizes past events in a way that’s suprising, entertaining, and still makes sense. 131/150
Dec. 7 Four Christmases – American studio filmmaking is based around the fact that the lower you aim, the more likely you are to hit your target. 132/150

Film Century 1.5

Nov. 11 Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto – Having been raised on a steady diet of Shogun and Seven Samurai, I’m gonna go ahead and pretend this is Toshiro Mifune’s autobiography. 118/150
Nov. 12 Bart Got a Room – I tried writing a script for a romantic comedy where the protagonist quickly realizes that his quirky best friend who is not-at-all-secretly in love with him would be a good match and they get together without any antics or confusion, but it turned out to only be 5 minutes long, so we get stuff like this. 119/150
Nov. 13 A Christmas Carol – Startlingly expressive in its quiet moments, it eventually drowns them out with needless roller coaster antics. 120/150
Nov. 15 Ghost World – Where do teenagers get the idea that being a sarcastic, judgmental bitchass makes them more grown up? 121/150
Nov. 17 Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple – Cranks the combat, chivalry, and cinematic misogyny from the first film up to 11. 122/150
Nov. 24 Barbarella – Say what you will about Altamont, but at least it put an end to this sort of thing. 123/150

Film Century 1.5

Hell yeah, power movie weekend!

Nov. 4 The Professional – For all the blood and smoke, there’s something charmingly innocent about a tale of perfectly chaste love, no matter how many bullets are involved. 112/150
Nov. 6 (Untitled) – A well-deserved blowtorch up the ass to self-obsessed artists and the assholes that enable them. 113/150
Nov. 7 Nerdcore Rising – Shockingly honest and instrospective at times for a documentary about novelty music. 114/150
Nov. 7 Franklyn – What do you bet people will still whip out the tired old gambit of calling this director “visionary” even when his vision consists mostly of other people’s movies? 115/150
Nov. 8 Resident Evil – 100 minutes of stuff that isn’t fucking Resident Evil! 116/150
Nov. 9 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – Too goddamned much of a good thing, like being forced to eat a gallon of ice cream at gunpoint. 117/150

Film Century 1.5

Oct. 22 Fast & Furious – Some movies wear their stupidity proudly, like a badge of honor, but then there are those movies so profoundly, prophetically stupid that they think the badge is actually for being smart. 106/150
Oct. 26 Hellboy II: The Golden Army – Relentlessly grim and hopeless in its way, like a post-modern Lord of the Rings where the good guys and bad guys have all been shuffled up. 107/150
Oct. 27 Death Race – Wait wait wait, did Paul W.S. Anderson, of all people, seriously try to bite Ridley Scott’s style from Gladiator for this? 108/150
Nov. 1 Man On Wire – Looks like a documentary about tightrope walking, but is actually a mash note to the beauty in urban landscapes, a search for the cathedral in every building. 109/150
Nov. 2 The Goonies – It’s probably a sign of a life lived completely out of order that this movie reminded me of the Deadmines instead of the other way around. 110/150
Nov. 4 The Mummy – Bastardizes Indiana Jones, splitting a single complex character (two-fisted adventurer, passionate intellectual, and treasure-hunting rogue), into an ensemble of 1-dimensional ones; and you know, it’s still better than half of the actual Indy movies. 111/150

Film Century 1.5

Oct. 4 How to Lose Friends and Alienate People – ((Ugly Betty + The Office) – all ethnic minorities)/Mean Girls = yeahhhhhhhhhhh. 101/150
Oct. 11 Gangs of New York – Hey, remember when everyone else was so completely oppressed that white people had to take out their racist insecurities against each other? 102/150
Oct. 16 A Serious Man – Having already reworked the Odyssey as a quirky nugget of Americana, the Coen brothers decidede to really mix it up and rework the Book of Job as a quirky nugget of Americana. 103/150
Oct. 18 Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – A sort of comedy thriller, the movie changes a lot once you’ve seen it once and the shock value has worn off. 104/150
Oct. 18 Sleepy Hollow – Perhaps not the Burtoniest Burtoning ever Burtoned, but just Burtony enough, and no bad thing for it. 105/150

Film Century 1.5 – 100th Film Gala Extravaganza!

Eh, I got nothin’.

Sep. 25 Surrogates – With the help of a poor man’s Jack Black and that creepy face-smoothing technology they used on Patrick Stewart in X-Men 2, Bruce Willis will murder the Internet to save his family! 97/150
Sep. 26 Whip It – Sports Movie XVII: You’re A Big Fat Pedophile, Rob. 98/150
Sep. 29 Paris – Something between fragmented and shattered. 99/150
Oct. 2 Zombieland – God bless Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg for inventing the single best genre of films ever conceived. 100/150