Lists! Lists! Lists! (That’s to be said in the same manner Kurtwood Smith snickers, “Guns! Guns! Guns!” in the classic Robocop.)
Jeez, I watch a bunch of movies, it seems.
But that’s what happens when you’re looking for work…
And for kicks, this post of LERNER INTERNATIONAL will be illustrated with an exquisite corpse of comic book panels—whether they make sense depends on your point of view…
BTW: I didn’t get the gig I was gunning for—scheisse!
Oh man, I got worries….
That said, the whole job-hunting/interviewing process is nerve-wracking and results in me being a quasi-hyperactive mess half of the time. Jittery, can’t focus or plan ahead (except for the most immediate items), can’t relax…I’m a mess—but a together mess! Or something…. Sometimes classical music helps…
Sigh: Just go to the reviews… (Films and shows listed in other they were watched...)
Patton Oswalt: No Reason to Complain (2004; Paul Miller) This filmed concert/performance has been seen before at LERNER INTERNATIONAL HQ, but we needed some laughs (what with our unceremoniously being laid off)—
and the Fab Mr. O always delivers.
Yes, there are “better,” funnier TV specials that Oswalt has made—my fave is “skycake,” but this was the only one Netflix Strming had at the time.
World’s Greatest Dad (2009; Bobcat Goldthwaite) reviewed HERE
The Outer Limits (1963-1965) is one of my all-time favorite shows; more like a collection of often excellent mini-movies than mere TV entertainment, and the template I compare much against.
These two episodes were watched as research for a future article, and will be commented on then.
“Nightmare” (1963; written and produced by Joseph Stephano; directed by John Erman)
“It Crawled Out of the Woodwork” (1963; written and produced by Joseph Stephano; directed by Gerd Oswald)
Both episodes are excellent works, and highly recommended (although “Nightmare” is the better of the two, if you must know).
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011; released in US in 2012; written, produced and directed by Tsui Hark) reviewed HERE
Air Doll (2009; Hirokazu Koreeda) reviewed HERE
Parks & Recreation: Season Four (2011; created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur) The upbeat mishaps of uber-optimist Leslie Knope are not only funny, but inspirational.
Meanwhile, Amy Poehler will be a giant in television production one day soon, just like Lucille Ball. And you will bow down to her! NOW!
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012; Behn Zeitlin) is a film I support overall, despite several strong specific gripes. Yes, see it, but no—it’s hardly perfect. Maybe wait for the DVD..?
This film is an inspiring fantasy that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages, where a brave and wily child surmounts a multitude of obstacles and ends up as queen of the forest.
Usually I despise child actors (so calculatingly precocious!) but in this case, Quvenzhané Wallis feels so natural and honest that she is the bedrock that lets Beasts succeed.
Because I hated this film’s shakey-cam (sorry, but in 99.999% of the movies that it is used, it is not a “style;” it’s incompetence), and I didn’t like its story-structure: I won’t go into too many details, but I really feel several scenes needed their orders rearranged—for instance, the death of a major character should have occurred sooner. Meanwhile, “magical realism” is a crutch too many indie filmmakers have embraced.
The best reason for this film’s existence, though, is the hope and ingenuity it may encourage in other children (of all ages). If I were a schoolteacher, I would absolutely show Beasts of the Southern Wild to my students.
Frailty (2001; Bill Paxton) is a favorite film which I’m filling up page after page in my notebook contemplating. As such, it will be the subject of longer piece.
John Carter [of Mars] (2012; Andrew Stanton) reviewed HERE
Apocalypse Now (1979; Francis Ford Coppola) The version I watched is the only version that counts, the original release version from 1979.
AN: Redux blows big monkey chunks and effectively ruins the movie with TMI and an attempt to “humanize” Willard. And the less said about the “Abandoned Hospital/Playboy Bunnies” scene, the better.
However, my favorite version of the film in the 35mm print that was released “wide” in 1979, with the napalm strike on Kurtz’s compound under the end credits.
Coppola stupidly removed this scene from the DVD, saying that he couldn’t in good conscience let the “natives” living there get incinerated. Which is dumb: Kurtz’s compound is an evil place that can only be purged with fire from the sky. Coppola has let his petty, lying liberal morality stand in the way of a good story.
Massacre at Central High (1976; Rene Daalder) Incredible political metaphor that needs to be rediscovered, and will be the subject of a longer, forthcoming post. But it can be watched HERE.
The Parking Lot Movie (2010; Meghan Eckman) reviewed HERE
“The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” The Twilight Zone: Season Three (1962; Montgomery Pittman) One of my favorite TZ episodes, where some dumb yokels get the obvious stated to them in a great way by a reanimated corpse…Good spooky fun.
Marat/Sade (1966; Peter Brook) reviewed HERE
The X-Files/various episodes—in the August Index, I commented on my resurgent interest in this classic TV show, stating my preference to the non-alien conspiracy “Monster of the Week” episodes. Interestingly, that’s what I started watching, but then I was intrigued by the more theological-philosophical episodes (and if I hadn’t burned out, I would’ve watched a few more episodes of this kind)—and then found myself plunging in to the last iteration of the “alien invasion” storyline, with indestructible, reanimating super-soldiers. There’s a lot of good writing in this show, and many of the episodes are almost wonderful mini-movies. Great stuff.
“Brand X” (tobacco conspiracy with transgenetic flesh-eating insects)
“2Shy” (mutant fat eater who dissolves his victims)
“War of the Coprophages” (space cockroaches!)
“Quagmire” (American Loch Ness monster—maybe…)
“The Goldberg Variations” (the luckiest man alive)
“Signs & Wonders” (snake handlers) (It’s with this episode that I think my fave X-Files are now the ones dealing with religion, demons and the Holy—and why I started watching Millennium again…
“Terms of Endearment” (demon wants a human baby)
“This Is Not Happening” (alien conspiracy)
“Three Words” (alien conspiracy)
“Essence” (alien conspiracy)
“Existence” (alien conspiracy)
“Jump the Shark” (the death of the Lone Gunmen)---okay, that’s it: now I’m officially X-File’d out.
A Marine Story (2010; Ned Farr) reviewed HERE
Bastards of the Party (2006; Cle Sloan) reviewed HERE
Dr. Goldfoot and His Bikini Machine (1965; Norman Taurog) reviewed HERE
Cul-De-Sac (1966; Roman Polanski) commented upon HERE
A Lonely Place to Die (2011; Julian Gilbey) Reviewed HERE
Superjail! Season Two (2011; ten episodes; created by Christy Karacas, Stephen Warbrick and Ben Gruber) Reviewed HERE
Silent House (2011; Chris Kentis and Laura Lau) reviewed HERE
The Relic (1997; Peter Hyams) reviewed HERE
Project X (1968; William Castle) reviewed HERE
Ruggles of Red Gap (1935; Leo McCarey) is another entry into The Best Old Films Discovered This Year, and is one of my new faves—it’s one of those rare films that can melt my cold, cold heart. A more complete review is in the pipeline.
Watchmen (2009; Zack Snyder) is an overall depressing film that states that all heroics are useless: the bleak flipside to The Incredibles.
However, I do love this flick’s “style overload,” and the fact that it takes a hot poop on Batman/Dark Knight right-wing cop fascism.
Hopefully one day, I’ll finish the essay I’ve been spending two years collecting notes on…
Up Tight (1968; Jules Dassin) is one of my favorite films (this being the second time I’ve seen it), a brilliant look at the changing face of the Civil Rights movement, taking place on the evening of Reverend Martin Luther King’s funeral.
While the “plot” is a remake of The Informer (about the IRA in Ireland), the topics of discussion surround whether the tactics of peaceful non-violent resistance or armed combat should be pursued—while filmed beautifully in the slums of Cleveland, and acted with incandescent intensity by its (then) up-and-coming and unknown cast. I really intend to write about this film more thoroughly in the future, once my brain can put more words together other than “Wow, this movie is revolutionary in all sense of the word, and really blew my mind!”
Never released for home viewing, it’s available on Netflix Streaming.
The Mercenary (1968; Sergio Corbucci) is a fun, if shallow, Zapata Western. Mondo 70 wrote a fab post about this movie, and honestly, I can’t think of much more to add.