Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Movie Status

I saw three new movies in the month of June, plus I re-watched four films.  My movie watching has been much lower the last few months as I’ve started a new job and as I’ve been working on my book – a 15 year supplemental update to my 1999 Parkman genealogy.

I am semi-actively working on the following lists: Oscar Best Picture Nominees, the six 101 [Genre] Films You Must See Before You Die lists, and They Shoot Pictures Don’t They.  All of these different lists can be seen by clicking on the names of them.  They link to my Lists from Chip posts on them.

Here are the 3 new movies and 4 re-watches I saw in June.  Highlighted films are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five.

Oscar Nominees (0):

101 Genre (0):

TSPDT (1): The Circus (1928)

Other Movies (2): The Monuments Men (2014), The Purge (2013)

Rewatches (4): The Parent Trap (1998), The Phantom (1996), Warm Bodies (2013), Commando (1985)

I saw so few films this month that I will just write a bit about each.

The Circus – Chaplin delivers another comic gem.  There are some slow sections where the movie shows us how boring the circus performers are without the Tramp character among them, but the beginning and end of the film are quite good.  3.5 stars

The Monuments Men – Just an okay movie.  The cast are separated through most of the film as they peel off in ones and twos and we see vignettes with each one.  It never feels like we are watching a movie, but rather a bunch of almost unconnected shorts.  2.5 stars

The Purge – This was only a one star movie until a scene right at the end that resulted in a bloody nose (for anyone who has seen it.)  This film isn’t scary or suspenseful.  Every “twist” is telegraphed from a mile away.  It’s too bad because the premise was sort of interesting.  1.5 stars

The rewatches – I like both versions of The Parent Trap and the remake has more for adults in it.  The Phantom is based on the decades long running newspaper serial.  The story has large parts of it that were ripped off to later make Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  This is the first time I’ve seen it since way back when it came to VHS.  I didn’t realize Catherine Zeta Jones was in it.  It was interesting to see her before she was a star.  Warm Bodies still makes me laugh a lot on what is now the third watch of it.  And seeing classic Arnie kicking ass and spewing one-liners is the reason to re-watch Commando.

Looking forward into July I might be watching more movies again.  I’ve ordered proofs of my book.  I just need to finalize that and then get communications out to the family association about how they can buy it and I’ll finally be able to get some free time back.  And I have started posting movie reviews again.


  1. The Monuments Men was a big disappoint. So many great actors that didn't get to showcase what they could do. This was a wasted opportunity.

    It makes me sad that you like Commando... :)

  2. If it's the violence that makes you dislike Commando I get that. A friend and I tried to count the bodies as we were going along, but when whole buildings started blowing up we gave up.

    If it's the sheer goofiness of the action and the one-liners that turn you off that's what actually makes it fun for me.

    Trust me, I don't see this as any kind of well made or well acted movie. I just like how fun (for me) it is.

  3. I also enjoyed Warm Bodies, which is quite smart, funny and endearing. I think there’s some social commentary going on, about yearning to change and be truly alive, but often falling victim to habits. Plus that being in love, makes us feel more human, and can change how we perceive the world.
    To me, the intro of the film is pointing a finger at detached zombie-like behavior today, when people listen to their iPods, and look at mobile phones, barely acknowledging people around them.
    The scene when she pretends to walk like a zombie is pretty funny :)

    1. Yeah, the scene where he's imagining how things were before everyone was zombies and how they were all alive and connected...and all we see are a crowd of people with their faces in phones/iPads no better than the zombies they became...is funny, but also a pretty pointed comment about this trend. I don't know how many people I've had to dodge while walking that would have walked right into me while they were texting/surfing on their phones. (And some idiots thing they can text and DRIVE at the same time.)