I saw 5 new movies in the month of August, plus 2 TV show seasons. For those people who remember seeing me post a couple of months with 100+ new movies seen, that “5” is not a typo. After completing the 1,001 Movies list in early July I’ve been taking a break from movies. In fact, I’ve seen only 11 movies in the last eight weeks, and one was a re-watch. The only Oscar Best Picture nominee I saw in August was watched mostly because it was expiring from Netflix Instant viewing. I watched Late Spring on the last day of the month just so I had seen at least one film from a couple of other lists; in this case, it was the only film in the They Shoot Pictures Don’t They Top 100 that I had not seen. It was also on the Sight and Sound 2012 Critics Top 250 list.
Here are the 5 new movies I saw in August. Highlighted movies are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five.
Oscar Nominees (1): A Farewell to Arms (1932)
Other Movies (4): Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), Kick-Ass 2 (2013),
Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Late Spring (1949)
TV Series (2): Castle: Season 5 (re-watch), Covert Affairs: Season 3
I had no four or five star movies in August. Since I saw so few, I will comment on each.
A Farewell to Arms (1932) – This is based on the classic Hemingway novel. Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes play the star-crossed lovers. The film was surprisingly frank about sexual matters for its time, even with the fact that the Production Code was not yet being enforced. I don’t know how faithful it is to the novel, but I did read that after some debate the studio kept the ending from the book.
Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) – Submarine drama with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. You can read my review of it here.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013) – Sequel to the very entertaining Kick-Ass. It’s a step down, but still has its moments. You can read my review of it here.
Late Spring (1949) - This is basically the exact same story as Ozu's later film An Autumn Afternoon (1962), which I had already seen. It even has the same actor playing the same role - the widower who is trying to get his daughter to marry. I have no idea why the 1,001 Movies editors picked An Autumn Afternoon over the more celebrated Late Spring for inclusion in their book, especially if the former is a remake of the latter.
I like the films of Ozu's that I have seen, and I respect him as a filmmaker, but I don't love his films. Perhaps its cultural, perhaps his style just doesn't mesh well with me. If it's the latter, he wouldn't be the first acclaimed director I've had that reaction to.
In September I may be taking some time to do some hiking, so I don’t know if my total of movies seen will be higher or around the same as August.