I saw 35 new movies in the month of July, plus 1 movie re-watch, plus 2 shorts, plus 4 TV show seasons. My number of movies was down considerably for one big reason: I completed the entire 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list. You can read more about that in this post. After that I was kind of burnt out and took a break from watching most movies. I’ve had some Netflix DVDs sitting on my coffee table for weeks. I definitely didn’t get my money’s worth from them this month. What I mostly did after completing that goal was re-watch all four seasons of the TV show Castle that I own on DVD, and re-read the novels that have been published in conjunction with it.
Siobhan – have you finished watching season 4 of Castle? If not, have you at least made it to the Blue Butterfly 1940s noir episode?
Because of completing the 1,001 Movies I don’t really have a concrete goal for August. I am still working on the Oscar Best Picture nominees. I have a few of the 2013 Big Summer Movies left to see for either review or comment. I added into my Netflix queue some entries from other movies lists (ones I mentioned in the 1,001 Movies post I linked to above), but they may or may not be sent to me in August depending on how fast I start watching those disks again. I might re-watch some or all of Castle Season 5 rather than wait for it to be released on DVD in late September. I might re-watch more movies that I’ve been wanting to get to for some time.
Here are the 35 new movies I saw in July. 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 (22): The Young One (1960), Black Sunday (1960), Mondo Cane (1962), Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965), Shock Corridor (1963), Onibaba (1964), Point Blank (1967), Closely Watched Trains (1967), If… (1968), Zabriskie Point (1970), Walkabout (1971), Murmur of the Heart (1971), Straw Dogs (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Pink Flamingos (1972), The Harder They Come (1973), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), Five Deadly Venoms (1978), The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), The Decalogue (1989)
Oscar Nominees (1): Three Smart Girls (1936)
Other Movies (14): Hysteria (2012), Something in the Wind (1947), The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960), Damsels in Distress (2012), Turn Me On, Dammit! (2012), Despicable Me 2 (2013), World War Z (2013), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), The Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894) – short, Rip Van Winkle (1896) – short, Nine for IX: Pat XO (2013), Pacific Rim (2013), The Lone Ranger (2013), Movie 43 (2013)
Re-watches (1): The Hunt for Red October (1990)
TV Series (4): Castle: Seasons 1-4 (re-watches)
I had no five star films in July. My four star films were Hysteria (2012) and Turn Me On, Dammit! (2012). The Decalogue (1989) had some individual episodes that would be at least a four star rating, but as an overall entity I gave it a 3.5 star rating.
Hysteria is a funny, fun film about the invention of the electric vibrator as a treatment for women's hysteria in 1880
. As the movie says at the beginning: "The
following is based on true events. Really." Doctors actually did prescribe a "pelvic
massage" procedure which would continue until they had "induced
paroxysms" in the woman. As you
might expect, the female patients decided that these treatments would need to
be repeated on a regular basis. What's a
doctor to do when he has so many patients that he develops a permanent cramp in
his hand? England
Turn Me On, Dammit! is a very good movie with a terrible name. The title makes it sound like some kind of cheap softcore movie. That couldn't be further from the truth. In actuality this Norwegian film is a bittersweet tale of a teen girl in a small town in
sure that her constant thoughts about sex make her some kind of freak. There are some obvious parallels with the
Swedish film Fucking Amal (aka Show Me Love), although not in regards to
lesbianism. I didn't even realize that
the cast was mostly non-professional performers, including the lead, until I
saw an interview with the writer/director.
Everyone did quite a good job on this. Norway
The 1,001 Movies list was always reliable for providing me with at least one 1 star movie every month. It’s only fitting that it still delivers one final time.
Yes, I knew about the infamous dog shit eating scene in Pink Flamingos (1972) before I watched this. I was prepared to endure it as well as could be expected. I didn't know about the scene where a guy shows us he can turn his anus inside out, however. Nor did I know about the scene where a chicken really gets crushed to death between a man and a woman during a simulated rape. In comparison, the unsimulated blowjob scene and the subplot where women are kidnapped, impregnated, and their babies sold, seem almost mainstream. For what it's worth, I've liked every other John Waters film I've seen, but those have all been his later films. This one is not worth seeing at all unless it's on a list you are trying to complete, or you just want to see if it really is as shocking as its reputation makes it out to be.