I saw 40 movies in the month of February, plus 3 TV series, plus 2 movie re-watches. I spent most of my time trying to see Oscar nominees and 2012 films, so my 1,001 Movies numbers are a lot lower than other months. I concentrated on those two groups because I was reviewing the 2013 nominees, and because when I do my Top 10 of 2012 list next I want to have seen as many possible candidates for the list as I can.
Currently, the two main lists that I am taking movie suggestions from are the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list and a list I put together of every Oscar Best Picture nominee. You can see those lists by clicking on these titles: 1,001 Movies; Oscar Nominees. I only saw one entry from the 1,001 Movies list, and that was only because it was expiring from my Netflix Instant queue. Half of the Oscar nominated films I saw were ones from this year, too.
Here are the 40 new movies I saw in February. Highlighted movies are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five. I will single out the four and five star films, as well as the worst films, in the paragraphs below the lists.
1,001 Movies (1): The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Oscar Nominees (8): Argo (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Lincoln (2012), The Nun’s Story (1959), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), The Robe (1953),
Peyton Place (1957),
Other Movies (31): The Other Dream Team (2012), Nobody Walks (2012), Waking Madison (2010), Ruby Sparks (2012), Wanderlust (2012), Bernie (2012), Flight (2012), Ted (2012), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), The Impossible (2012), The Master (2012), Skyfall (2012), Hotel Transylvania (2012), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Rise of the Guardians (2012), Hit and Run (2012), Deadfall (2012), Side By Side (2012), End of Watch (2012), Robot & Frank (2012), This is 40 (2012), Cherry (2010), Pocket Money (1976), Friends (with Benefits) (2009), Savages (2012), The Nines (2007), The Kennel Murder Case (1933), Taken 2 (2012), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012),
For a Good Time, Call… (2012), Cosmopolis (2012)
Re-watches (2): Friends with Benefits (2011), Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
TV Series (3): How I Met Your Mother Season 6, How I Met Your Mother Season 7, Game of Thrones Season 2
I did not have any five star films this month. My four star films were The Other Dream Team (2012), Ruby Sparks (2012), Argo (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Bernie (2012), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Side By Side (2012), Friends (with Benefits) (2009), and The Nines (2007). I just reviewed Argo, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, and Wreck-It Ralph as part of my 2013 Oscar Nominees category. The Other Dream Team, Bernie, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower will be reviewed soon as part of my Top 10 of 2012.
Ruby Sparks is an interesting romantic comedy/drama that asks what if a man’s perfect, but fictional, female character came to life and what if she wasn’t as perfect as he thought she would be. It has a lot more depth than I was expecting. Side By Side is a documentary on the changes digital filmmaking has ushered in not just in filming, but in editing, coloring, and almost every aspect of the process. It is balanced, informative and easy to understand. If you have any interest at all in how films get made you should see this movie. Friends (with Benefits) is not the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis movie with a similar title, but an independent comedy/drama about six young adults (three men, three women) and what the distinctions are among being friends, having sex, and being in love. People who are uncomfortable with human sexuality should probably avoid it. The Nines is a real “mess with your head” kind of movie, and I mean that in a good way. If the 2002 film Adaptation and the Robert Heinlein story The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag had a love child it would be this movie.
Even with 40 movies watched in February, I did not have any one star movies. This was a welcome relief from the last year or so where working my way through the 1,001 Movies list has produced at least one or two every month. A few of my February two star movies from 2012 that you might want to avoid are Wanderlust (unless you have to see every Jennifer Aniston movie), Hotel Transylvania (unless you are a kid), This Is 40 (unless you found the depressing married couple from the 2007 film Knocked Up to be fascinating and want to see over two more hours of them fighting with each other), and Cosmopolis (unless you like the 1960s foreign films where the characters artificially communicate via monologues filled with Deep Meaning, and respond with non sequiturs.)
Next up is my Top 10 of 2012.