I make a lot of goals or intentions for what to do throughout the year, most of which I don’t fulfill, but this one I have been. last year I tried to watch one movie a week, and I ended with well below half of that goal, this year I am well on pace to achieve this and maybe even make up for the quantity I missed last year. Here are all the movies I’ve watched so far this winter (starting on January 1st).

 

The Short List:

  • God’s Gun^
  • Bulldog Drummond’s Peril ^
  • Time Raiders
  • Bulldog Drummond’s Revenge^
  • The Front Page^
  • The Pale Face^
  • Grumpy Old Men^
  • The Flying Deuces^
  • Groundhog Day*
  • What’s Up Tiger Lilly*
  • Airplane*
  • British Intelligence^
  • His Private Secretary^
  • Palooka^
  • False Pretenses^
  • Fando Y Lis
  • The Milky Way^
  • Dead Again
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • The Last of the Wild Horses (MST3K)

Key:

* = Movies I’ve seen before

^ = Movies from Bargain Bin DVD Boxes.

 

Commentary:

 

God’s Gun – A very good western starring Lee Van Cleef (in two roles) and a very young Leif Garret. This is the 4th movie I’ve seen off my Western 20 movies for 5$ DVD, and all 4 of them have been great so far, and I didn’t even think I liked westerns that much, but I guess I do.

 

Bulldog Drummond’s Peril – Noir/Comedy, not bad, not the first Bulldog Drummond movie I’ve seen and probably not the best either.

 

Time Raiders – interesting Chinese kung-fu/adventure/fantasy/archeology movie. My wife read the book that the movie is based on and then made her mom and I watch it. It was pretty good.

 

The Front Page – a Pre-Code Comedy based on a play of the same name about Tabloid reporters. The movie is too long and convoluted to be good, but it gets an extra star for being pre-code and a very good punch line ending.

 

Grumpy Old Men – Never saw this movie before, though I think I saw a few small pieces when they first showed it on TV.  Right at the beginning, when Walter Matthau greets Jake Lemon with “Mornin’ Dick-head” you know this is going to be a funny movie, and it was. Extra points for Burgess Meredith (in my opinion one of the greatest most underrated actors of all time) in the roll of Lemon’s rakish and hard living 90 year old Father. I am adding this movie to my cannon of movies to be watched during the Christmas season. The others of which are: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express (recently added), What’s Up Tiger Lilly, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Bank Dick, The History of Mankind, my 1988 Xmas Tape (several times-blog entry forthcoming), Rifftrax Starwars Holiday Special (also several times), 1995 Cartoon Box.

 

The Flying Deuces – when I first got into old comedies (back in 2001), I came across Laurel and Hardy and wanted to see some of their films. My mom said “you might not like their stuff,” well it turned out she was right (it happens once in a while), because it sucked. Most of it I didn’t find funny, and half of it I couldn’t even tell what was supposed to be funny. The famous flying sequence for which the movie is named is only maybe 10 minutes at the very end of the film, whereas the rest of it is about Hardy joining the French Foreign Legion to get over a girl.

 

Fando Y Lis – I’ve wanted to see this movie for years, it’s frequently put on lists of very bizarre movies, and it is unarguably the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen. Not bad, it’s definitely one to look into and think about and discuss long after watching it, but it is not for the weak of heart. The film is so strange that when it was first shown in Mexico (the director’s native country) the audience literally rioted.

 

The Milky Way – the first Harold Lloyd movie I’ve ever seen, and not bad, definitely willing to check out his other films. This one is about a boxer (one of several boxing related movies this season).

 

Dead Again – we did this movie for the film club, I had never heard of it before and I don’t know who recommended it, but I really enjoyed it. Magical Realist Historic Noir Rom-Com, I never head of a combination like that before. And it works really well, 5 star movie all the way. It may have only been a 4 star, but the stellar performances of minor characters played by Robin Williams and Wayne Knight, and the few unlikely plot turns puts the movie easily into the highest of ratings.

 

Conan the Barbarian – really liked this movie. The acting is pretty universally bad (James Earl Jones notwithstanding) however the Score, Scenery, Action and Plot make up well for the words that the actors struggle to deliver. I immediately noticed that Subotia’s theme music is almost the same melody as “Firewings” by Aquaria, and the Orgy Temple Attack is again very similar to “Epicus Furor” the opening song off “Symphony of Enchanted Lands” by Rhapsody of Fire. Check out the links to see the similarities, they are striking I assure you, and there are probably other musical homages by later power metal bands, but I don’t know what they are off the top of my head. I don’t know how often I’ll be rewatching this movie, but I am looking forward to the sequel (included in the same DVD Box)

 

The Last of the Wild Horses (MST3K) – Not one of MST3K’s best episodes. I was hoping it would be good because the first quarter or so of the movie is actually watched by Dr. Forester and TV’s Frank, while Mike and Crow are evil and conducting the experiment due in part to a switch between an alternate universe. However the jokes fell a little flat throughout, audio was not good and hard to make out at points, and the movie also seemed like it might be okay, certainly not one of the worst they did (though that could just be my predisposition towards Westerns, also this is one of the few if not only western they ever did).

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