Monthly recap: What have I been watching in March?

This month, I completed my Yearly top 10 lists 1950-2012. It was quite a big effort, and will be updated the more I watch. You can see how I did here. I decided for 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s to go by decade, as I haven't seen that many from that era yet.

So on to viewing, what did I watch in March? As always, my ratings below are what I think the films should be rated on IMDb.

Sister (2012)
Emotionally engaging French drama. Simple story of a brother and sister(Léa Seydoux) living by themselves, who struggle to make ends meet by a ski resort. The sister is immature in her decisions, and the boy steals from tourists. I had empathy for both. Recommended if you like cinema in the style of director duo the Dardenne's, this has a similar atmosphere. Switzerland's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language film, though it didn’t receive a nomination. The film won the Special Award - Silver Bear at 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.
Rating 7.6

Laurence Anyways (2012)
Wow, now THAT's a movie. Will go in my top 3 of 2012. Atmospheric Canadian drama with a brilliant mix of haunting soundtrack and inventive visuals, gave me chills.
Best soundtrack of 2012, why is it not available to buy?
It’s not just style, the human drama is never forgotten. I was unsure whether I would have any interest in the story of a transsexual, but don't let that stop you from watching. The film depicts a 10 year period of Laurence Alia’s life. A bit overlong at 2 hours 45 minutes, yet you do get to know the main characters and care what happens. A lot of the dialogues are loose conversations without direction, I was okay with that.
The approach is a relationship between a heterosexual woman and a transsexual man, and what happens to them.
Clearly the object is for us to empathize with this marginalized, misunderstood group, who struggle to fit in, and have difficulty accepting who they are. The focus in this film is also how difficult it is to deal with the physical realities of their relationship, when the emotional need is undiminished.
Suzanne Clément won the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes for Best Actress. I can’t believe the director Xavier Dolan is only 23-years-old, I’m curious about his previous films.
Favorite quote: Confident no, determined yes”
Rating 8.2

Arbitrage (2012)
The title Arbitrage can be understood, in that you buy at one price, and sell at a higher price.
Better than average financial thriller with Richad Gere, in his best performance in years. Exceeded my expectations, and maintains tension and suspense throughout. I liked it more than Margin Call (2011)
Gere said in an interview for BBC radio, that “And that is what these guys do, it’s all motion. (...) They don’t stop long enough to evaluate their lives (...) They are gamblers, it’s very boyish, about playing games, it’s about winning the game.”
Rating 8.0

Cloud Atlas (2012)
People seem to either love or hate this movie. It looks great, but overall I disliked it, an overlong, ambitious, and confused mess. Trys to be about everything, but ends up being about very little. We don't know what is important, and what is not important in the story. The Jim Broadbent story was my favorite. Wachowski’s have disappointed me since The Matrix. Perhaps it would have worked better as short films.
Favorite quote: "If God created the world, how do we know what things we can change, and what things must remain sacred and inviable"
Rating 5.5

The Hunt (2012)
Drama of a man (Mads Mikkelsen) falsely accused of child molestation. I guessed where is was heading, but still very powerful. The story can be broadened to other flock mentality witch hunts. About the importance of not judging too soon. Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award for his role at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. I was surprised that it was a Cannes entry, as it's quite mainstream.
I think anybody watching The Hunt would think twice about looking for work at a kintergarden. Teachers must tread carefully, from one second to the next their reputation could be tarnished forever, if they are wrongly accused, or a student has a grudge.
Spoilers may occur:
Director Thomas Vinterberg acknowledges his film is "an old tale in modern clothes" when interviewed in Sight & Sound mag: "I've always said Lucas wants to believe in the good of his community, but in that sense he's also waiting for them to be good - and that's a test (...) They are all very good-hearted, like hobbits, but very stern inside. When they feel this strength of togetherness, they can be tough"
In interviews, Vinterberg has claimed that the film reflects a crisis in Scandinavian masculinity. There is a certain gulf between the Lucas we see off duty, carousing with friends or hunting, and the kindergarden worker being scolded by the headteacher. (...) On one warped level, the accusations can be seen as benefiting him, since they give him an excuse to fight back. In his defiance, he reclaims his identity and becomes ever more macho, confronting his tormentors"
Rating 7.8

This is Not a Film (2011) (documentary)
Brave, yet overpraised video diary documentary, which feels slow even though only 75 minutes. Noteworthy for being smuggled from Iran to Cannes on a flash drive hidden inside a birthday cake.
The Iranian filmmaker tells us about his latest script, and you do feel sorry for him stuck in his flat, as Iranian authorities prevent him from making cinema. I can see why this film is important for its critique of censorship. Maybe the genre of doc/drama is somewhat original, the director Jafar Panahi at one point saying he is not even aware he’s in a film for example(hence the title?). Film students might get a few useful tips here and there, but I should warn you most of the scenes are quite trivial and boring. If you like the dogme films or Lars von Trier's The Five Obstructions (2003), this doc is in the same ballpark, trying to find new ways of self-expression. Will divide audiences, not for everyone.
I don't know if there was enough material here to justify a film. The way the film is told seems more important than the content.
Rating 6.3

Ratcatcher (1999)
Director Lynne Ramsey’s first feature, and probably her weakest. (She later made We Need to Talk About Kevin). I was a little bored at times by Ratcatcher, the setting is a bit grey. More of a situation from the perspective of a boy, than a story.
Visually the film has some memorable highlights, children playing with a mouse and it being attached to an umbrella. Also a scene stayed with me when the boy goes off on his own on the bus, and reaches a corn field. I don’t remember any of the dialogue, the film aimed at atmosphere rather than writing.
Rating 7.0

Giant (1956)
An epic saga that is over 3 hours. The story holds up well. Particularly the themes of the American dream, wealth, and racism. James Dean's last performance before he died. Received 10 Oscar nominations, George Stevens won for Best Director.
Rating 7.6

Logan’s Run (1976)
Futuristic sci-fi dystopian adventure. About people who live in luxury. However they are not permitted to explore what lies beyond the world in which they live, and nobody is allowed to live past age 30. A man and a woman plan to escape. The special effects are a bit primitive, but the set design is impressive, and I felt I was in that universe. The rushed, implausible ending was the weakest part of the story, but didn’t bother me too much. Won an Academy Award for its visual effects.
Rating 7.4

The Dirty Dozen (1967)
WWII actioner. Not as funny as it thinks it is. A few memorable scenes, for example Donald Sutherland as a convict pretending to be a major. The training goes on a bit too long. The mission towards the end is entertaining, although I hated the inability of the film to fully question the morality of the soldier’s behavior when they trap those Germans underground. That was cruel, and the characters showed no remorse, at least not on screen.
Rating 7.4

The New World (2005)
Beautiful retelling of the Pocahontas story as is to be expected from a director like Malick. The weakness is the slightly predictable story. It was shot on location not far from the site of the historic events. Maybe the extended cut is better?
Rating 7.5

The Right Stuff (1983)
Don’t think it’s as good as its reputation. Roger Ebert calls it the 2nd best film of the 80s. Really? Overlong and feels like Tom Wolfe’s book would be better suited as a mini-series. Perhaps should have focused on fewer characters and fewer events. My favorite part was the portrayal of Gus Grissom and the controversy with the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft. I prefer Apollo 13 (1995) or even Top Gun (1986)
Rating 6.4

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Probably the best film I’ve seen in 2013. Won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film concerns Lawrence's experiences in Arabia during World War I. Wow, several ambitious battle scenes are just mind blowing, especially with that score, and since they filmed them without CGI. Shooting lasted 18 months, the actors were told it would take a few months! I liked the main character Lawrence was not just a hero, but had flaws as well.
A minor issue I had, would have preferred the intro scene had been cut. Same story device as Life of Pi (2012) and The Hobbit (2012), we know what happens to the protagonist in the opening scene.
Rating 8.4

Get Carter (1971)
A classic British Gangster drama that disappointed me. It’s quite slow, and I think story needed a few more action scenes. A couple of memorable moments. Perhaps it didn’t speak to me because the genre is not usually my cup of tea. The score and Michael Caine’s performance are the best things about it.
Rating 6.5

The African Queen (1951)
The music score feels a bit forced. The locations, and the chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn make it special. Bogart won his only Oscar for this performance. Much of the film was shot on location in Africa.
Rating 7.5

Things I Never Told You (1996)
The ending was pretty implausible, but I like Isabel Coixet’s style of filmmaking, and the characters are quite cute and introspective. An unknown gem, which I would gladly rewatch. Not the directors best film (I prefer My Life Without Me, or Secret Life Of Words). Things I Never Told You is still well worth checking out, if you like her other work.
Rating 7.5

The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)
Snuck into my top 10 of that year. A love letter to Paris, could almost be called a silent film, as the pictures tell the story, more so than the words. From the director of Holy Motors, only this time I could relate to, and get to know the characters. Stars Juliette Binoche and Denis Lavant. A handful of cinematic visual moments stayed with me: fire-eating followed by air planes in the sky, the violinist providing the soundtrack in the subway, the confused woman who sees birds which become helicopters, the fireworks and speedboat, drugging the restaurant guests, burning posters in the subway, etc.
The construction of a new version of the Pont-Neuf - and its surrounding buildings in Paris - helped make the film one of the most expensive French films ever made.
Rating 8.0

The Long Day Closes (1992)
Does recreate the era of UK in 1950s. Has its own atmosphere of childhood, the lonely boy’s upbringing, and bringing back memories for me of head lice at school. A non-narrative story of random scenes, that ultimately feels like a pretentious version of Cinema Paradiso (1988). Filming a piece of carpet for close to a minute? Really? I prefer Terence Davies’ recent effort The Deep Blue Sea (2011).
Rating 6.3

The General (1926)
Classic silent with Buster Keaton with so many great moments. The recruiting office scene, and sitting on the wheels of the train, were for me stand-outs.
Judging from this film, Keaton is better at physical slapstick than emotional acting. I suppose the part didn’t call for anything else. Keaton performed many dangerous physical stunts on and around the moving train.
At the 1 hour 5 min mark, features the most expense shot in silent movie history, when the bridge collapses and train falls in river.
Very entertaining, and I’m certainly interested in exploring Buster Keaton’s other work.
Rating 8.3

Hot Fuzz (2007)
Mildly amusing and overlong, yet entertaining and well-written non-horror sequel to Shaun of the Dead (2004).
Still interested to see part 3 of the trilogy later this year, The World's End (2013)
If you’ve already seen the film, there’s an audio commentary with Quentin Tarantino and director/co-writer Edgar Wright, where they according to wikipedia discuss nearly 200 films, as Hot Fuzz had many influences.
Rating 7.4

True Romance (1993)
Tagline in trailer “Not since Bonnie and Clyde have two people been so good at being bad”
I liked Hans Zimmer’s score. It’s a memorable film, and probably deserves a higher rating than I’ve given it, but I personally disliked the characters. The only reason I watched is because Tarantino wrote the script.
Favorite quote: “You know Lee, most of these movies that win a lot of Oscars I can’t stand. They are all safe geriatric coffee-table dogshit. All those assholes make unwatchable movies from unreadable books. Mad Max THAT'S a movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, THAT'S a movie, Rio Bravo THAT'S a movie. And coming home in a body bag, that was a f-ing movie. It was the only movie to win a lot of Oscars with balls since Dear Hunter.”
Rating 7.4

Amores Perros (2000)
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Debut feature from director Alexandro Gonzalez Inarritu, first part of his trilogy of death. An anthology film, sometimes referred to as the "Mexican Pulp Fiction". Very powerful stuff. My only complaint is it doesn't seem like the filmmakers know how to end each of the three stories, sort of up in the air what happens to them. Which is okay with me, but may leave some viewers dissatisfied. I could easily watch this movie again.
Rating 7.9

Agree? Disagree? Have you seen any of the above? How was your month?

My Top 5

1.) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (8.4)
2.) The General (1926) (8.3)
3.) Laurence Anyways (2012) (8.2)
4.) The Lovers on the Bridge (1991) (8.0)
5.) Arbitrage (2012) (8.0)

6.) Amores Perros (2000) (7.9)
7.) The Hunt (2012) (7.8)
8.) Giant (1956) (7.6)
9.) Sister (2012) (7.6)
10.) Things I Never Told You (1996) (7.5)
11.) The New World (2005) (7.5)
12.) The African Queen (1951) (7.5)
13.) Logan’s Run (1976) (7.4)
14.) True Romance (1993) (7.4)
15.) Hot Fuzz (2007) (7.4)
16.) The Dirty Dozen (1967) (7.4)


  1. The African Queen is a great film. I'd agree completely about the onscreen relationship between Bogart and Hepburn. I like the look of Giant too. I've enjoyed quite a few films by the Dardennes, so if Sister is in a similar style I think I'll have a look at that too. Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. @Keith: Yes, The African Queen has wonderful onscreen chemistry, according to Bogart wikipedia those two had an affair during shooting :)
      I remember reading reviews of Dardenne films at your site. Excellent performances in Sister (2012). You're welcome!

  2. Awesome job on the top 10 lists! Love seeing less popular films like Signs (2002) and The Sure Thing (1985) make the cut, and it's nice to see Tape (2001) in your top 5. Also, it's great to see the mentions of Kieslowski, Bergman, Hitchcock and Wilder, and that films like Match Point, Before Sunrise, The Great Escape, Star Wars and two Indiana Jones ones top your lists.

    I'm really looking forward to Sister, Laurence Anyways, and The Hunt, and I'm thrilled that you saw and enjoyed so many classics. Glad you liked The Lovers on the Bridge and Amores Perros as well. Great month of films, Chris!

    1. @Josh: Happy that you liked the Yearly Top 10 page! In fact it was your site that inspired the look of it, so thanks for providing the inspiration. A good list to have to keep track of my cinematic blind years, and which are my all-time favorites.

      Also, appreciate The Lovers on the Bridge recommendation. I was surprised how much I liked it, since I wasn’t keen on Holy Motors.
      I enjoyed most of the 2012 films I saw this month: Sister, Laurence Anyways, The Hunt, Arbitrage. So, yes, overall, it was a great month!

    2. No problem! Glad my blog inspired you and that my recommendation worked out.

    3. @Josh: Yearly Top 10 is a great feature on your site, it really did inspire the blog change. Thanks again

  3. Well, since you saw the theatrical version of The New World. I would recommend the extended cut of the film as it has some more scenes but I don't think it will make much of a difference since it only has subtle changes from the theatrical version.

    1. @thevoid99: Thanks for the info. Only has subtle changes from the theatrical version. I may watch extended cut if I rewatch.

  4. I have Laurence Anyways, Arbitage and The Hunt on my watchlist, guess I'm in for a treat! I agree about Cloud Atlas - I was so bored during this movie I fell asleep 3 times.

    1. @Sati: I hope you like Laurence Anyways, Arbitage and The Hunt, all three went into my top 10 of 2012, I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts on those. Cloud Atlas just wasn't for me.

  5. Haven't heard about Laurence Anyways, but I'd give it a go if I could see the movie. Seems quite a nice month as always. I also a bit dislike The New World. Huh, I was interested to see This Is Not A Film, but good to know your point of view!

    1. @Andina: You should give Laurence Anyways a try, if you have the chance!
      This Is Not A Film is an important statement about censorship, and interesting experiment, but for me, an average film. I have my doubts you'd like it.

  6. I'll be watching The Hunt later this week, glad you liked it.

    I'm also happy you didn't care much for Cloud Atlas haha.

    1. @Lights Camera Reaction: Hope you like The Hunt, a powerful watch for me.
      I need to read a great defense of Cloud Atlas to start believing movie is doing something interesting. I presume the book is far better :)

  7. You always bring really interesting films to my attention, Chris. I'm adding Sister, Laurence Anyways, The Hunt, and Amores Perros to my list.

    1. @Quirky BookandFilmBuff: You're welcome! I hope you enjoy those ones you picked out.

  8. Also, I love The African Queen! That's a film I haven't seen in years -- I'm due to rewatch it soon.

    1. @Quirky BookandFilmBuff: The African Queen is definitely rewatchable

  9. This month our bag is little mix.

    Sister: I am not saying I didn't like this movie. It was good, especially Lea Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein. But it felt like these two characters ended exactly where they were at the start. I guess I wanted something more to happen. Good or bad, just anything.

    Arbitrage: I am glad you liked it. Gere was one of my favourite performances last year. He deserved a little more attention than he got.

    Cloud Atlas: It worked really well for me. Not only did I like the story, I thought it had a lot of heart to it. But you are right, it is very polarising movie in terms of reaction it invokes.

    Giant: Now this one really did not work for me. It was epic and sprawling and boring and too long. Usually Liz Taylor is reason enough for me, at least not to bore me(I did sit through 4 hours of Cleopatra because of her). It did have some good performances like James Dean.

    The General: My first and still favourite Buster Keaton. Loved everything about it. So glad you liked it as well.

    Apart from that, African Queen is another movie that doesn't work quite well for me. Even Bogart/Hepburn don't but I don't have any major complaints and glad Lawrence of Arabia did impress you. Now that is how you make long and sprawling epics. David Lean knew it. :) Good Month.

  10. @SDG: Thanks for the comment!

    Sister: That’s an understandable reaction to Sister (2012), did feel like filmmakers didn't know how to conclude the story. I thought the rest of it was solid. Maybe we have to think up our own ending.

    Arbitrage: Richard Gere can act, and this movie is proof.

    Cloud Atlas: We’ll have to agree to disagree. However, I liked the visuals and makeup, and the score was not bad. But for me, didn't live up to the promise of the trailer.

    Giant: I think it needed to be long, so the aging was not too sudden. If that makes sense. Yes, agree about James Dean. Haven’t seen Cleopatra, it’s on my list!

    The General: A lot of fun, surprised I had never seen a Buster Keaton film before. So many between 1920-1950 I haven’t watched! Sherlock Jr next in line.

    African Queen: The music feels out of place, but apart from that, I enjoyed it.

    Lawrence of Arabia= masterpiece :)

  11. Wow Chris so many films I haven't even heard of in here. Glad you liked The Hunt. I loved that film. One of my best of 2012. You've got me intrigued by Laurence Anyways and The Lovers on the Bridge, particularly as its from the Holy Motors guy.

    1. @Pete Turner: Well you have heard of them now :) I agree The Hunt is among the best of 2012. The Lovers on the Bridge is a memorable watch, very cinematic, very visual, I prefer it over Holy Motors.

  12. WOW, such great selections for this month, Chris!! That's cool that you saw LoA too, I responded to your comment on my post about the intro, totally agree with you.

    I'm curious about Laurence Anyways now, though I'm not sure I want to see a film about a transsexual either. It's funny but my dad was a director back in my home country in the 50s and 60s and I think his first film was about a transgender, which was very controversial in that region. I wish I could see it but it'd be impossible to find as things aren't archived as well as Hollywood movies.

    As for The New World, my favorite part is actually the last 20 min or so with Christian Bale as John Rolfe, it's one of my fave performances of Bale as he's soooo tender and romantic, not the dark and tormented type as he seem to prefer, ahah.

    Been wanting to see Arbitrage, now even more interested as you gave it a high rating. Amongst the classics, I've got to see The Giant, that's one classic film that's somehow eluded me.

    1. @Ruth: Thanks! Lawrence of Arabia was probably my most embarrassing blind spot :)
      I had that too initially, thinking transgender movie was not for me, but don’t let that that dissuade you, I think part of what makes Laurence Anyways a strong film, is that we see the story in equal measures from the perspective of the heterosexual female, and how difficult it is for her, since she loves him for his personality, despite his sexual change.

      That’s cool that your dad directed films in 50s and 60s, a pity with those archive issues.
      I agree Christian Bale is tender in The New World. Interested to read your reviews of Giant, and Arbitrage.

    2. I'm considering watching Arbitrage tonight, unless something else caught our eye. I'll let you know what I think. It's been a while since I saw Richard Gere in anything, sounds like it was a good role for him.

    3. @Ruth: It was a good role for him. I hope you enjoy the film, once you get to see it

  13. Wow, this is another awesome month of movies! You've got me more interested in seeing Arbitrage now. I keep passing over it while perusing Redbox, but I think I'll rent it next time.

    Great to see you watched and enjoyed Lawrence of Arabia. Only an 8.4 though?? :D Curious what it would take to get a 9 or 10 from you.

    As for Buster Keaton, The General seems to be his best-praised film, but I think I prefer Sherlock, Jr. and Steamboat Bill, Jr. I would recommend seeing those next.

    1. @Eric: You really should, I didn’t expect to like Arbitrage so much.
      Haha, I know, I’m stingy with my ratings. So when I give a score above 8, people notice :) I just can’t get myself to type 9s and 10s anymore :) I guess it comes from watching so many films. I used to, I think I gave Fight Club a 10/10, and Tree of Life a 9/10, if you go back to those reviews.
      Our tastes in classic film quite often match, so I’m noting those Buster Keaton films you mention. Thanks for the recommendations!

  14. Sister - Visual metaphors were a bit heavyhanded and the story relied a bit too much on a certain plot point, but there was great acting from both leads. Have you seen Meier's previous film HOME? I think I liked that one slightly more.

    Laurence Anyways - Pleased you gave this one a chance, and that you agree with me it's one of the best films of last year. Indeed has a killer soundtrack, and Suzanne Clément is a force. It is scary how good of a writer/director Dolan already is. You should definitely check out his first two.

    Cloud Atlas - I didn't like the cgi or the crappy makeup (especially unconvincing when the actors were made to look like a different race), but I really admired the scope and complexity of the story, and I felt the score should have been nominated for an Oscar.

    The Hunt - Really a terrifying and frustrating film, but handled so well by both actor and director. Yeah it's predictable but we can really feel for the guy, and the little girl too.

    This is Not a Film - I agree this one was overrated. I think too many critics, and I'm also guilty of this sometimes, let the politics and background behind a film cloud their judgement. There is no question that Panahi is a talented storyteller, maybe too much of one, because I felt the whole thing was scripted and not as spontaneous as he'd have us believe.

    Logan's Run - I've always been a fan of these types of scenarios. Yeah the effects look dated, but I feel that's part of the charm. Maybe it's my age, but I will always prefer to see practical effects like that over the video game graphics we get in modern films.

    The Dirty Dozen - A good Sunday afternoon flick with an awesome cast. Not quite a favorite but it would always get my attention whenever I used to channel surf.

    The New World - I watched this on DVD awhile back, and remember it being stunning. Think I need to get the extended BluRay to fully appreciate it.

    The Right Stuff - Haha yeah this one always bored me. Tried watching it a few times in my younger years and could never end up finishing it.

    Lawrence of Arabia - For sure one of the greatest epics of all time. I wish Hollywood still had the balls and the budgets to make films like this.

    Get Carter - Michael Caine has always been a really cool lead actor. I definitely prefer this to the horrible Stallone remake.

    The Lovers on the Bridge - Lovely film. It was the first time I fell in love with Juliette. :) Hard to believe they actually got the money to build a replica of that bridge. A side note: I thought it was really cool that Carax returned to this location in Holy Motors. He actually tried at first to get JB to play the role that Kylie Minogue did, but it didn't work out.

    True Romance - That's probably my favorite Zimmer score. Tarantino's dialogue makes this movie. The scene between Walken and Hopper is brilliant.

    Amores Perros - It does have some real memorable and powerful moments, but I think it gets more credit than it deserves, IMDB's top 250 is just silly.

  15. @Bonjour Tristesse: Another epic comment! Thanks for taking the time to do so.

    Sister - Visual metaphors, you are right in your review that there's a contrast between scenes at the top and at the bottom of the mountain. I'm sure you've also noticed the wintry setting that likely hints at a lack of warmth in their family. I might give Meier's previous film HOME a look, thanks for the suggestion.

    Laurence Anyways - We are in agreement. Will try and catch up on his earlier films, though I doubt they will top this one.

    Cloud Atlas - Yes, the scope and ambition are to be admired. I was impressed by makeup-way it was done is not something I see everyday. Maybe should have been HBO TV-series instead, with so many characters and plotlines to be explored...Okay to read a chapter in a book, but for me, too overwhelming to see all of Cloud Atlas at once...

    The Hunt - I agree

    This is Not a Film - Glad I'm not the only one who found it overrated. I'm ok with it possibly being partly scripted, just hope his next project will have a bit more content. I should probably not speak about Closed Curtain (2013) since it was made in secret :)

    Logan's Run - I liked it quite a bit. All those models of the city are quite cute. I think I read it was a big thing for sci-fi fans in the 70s, before Star Wars changed everything.

    The Dirty Dozen - Yeah, I'd put it in that Sunday afternoon category too, along with The Great Escape, and Where Eagles Dare, to name a couple of others.

    The New World - For me, the story didn't quite match the stunning visuals, but I did enjoy it.

    The Right Stuff - I'm confused why this is rated so highly on various sites, yet nobody in blogosphere ever recommends it...

    Lawrence of Arabia - Maybe James Cameron has? On Charlie Rose, interview in 1997, promoting Titanic:
    “The films that I loved as a kid were the big films, Spartacus, the Lean films, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The films that put something up there that you could not experience in your life.

    Get Carter - I heard that Stallone remake was awful.

    The Lovers on the Bridge - I'm with you that Juliette Binoche is quite adorable in this. Yes, the making of is a bizarre story in its own right, I'm just glad the film was finally completed. I didn't know about that Holy Motors trivia.

    True Romance - Agree

    Amores Perros - I'm curious how it would hold up on rewatch.

  16. There seems to be a trend taking place in the blogosphere to review Lawrence of Arabia, one of those really famous classics I haven't watched yet. Maybe it's time!
    Buster Keaton's The General is truly a great film filled with wonderful scenes. One of my favorite early films, and my personal favorite by Buster Keaton. I would recommend the short but sweet "One Week" if you haven't seen it. A physical comedy marvel.

    After your review, I think I'm going to avoid "This is not a
    film". Glad I read it.

    I think I'm not the only one who's stingy with his ratings...
    Impressive collection all around, as always Chris.

    1. @niels85 I know Ruth wrote about it in March, and Eric did couple months ago. Lawrence of Arabia is a film everyone should watch, that’s probably why it re-surfaces in the blogosphere. You really should, a masterpiece.

      I wouldn't recommend "This is not a film". To me, the doc was more about form than content.

      My ratings are a kind of ‘second opinion', I post what, in my humble opinion, the rating should be on IMDb. Even though I realize it’s an average score of many votes over on that site.

      I haven’t heard of ”One Week”, going to look that up, thanks for the suggestion. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. I contend that "Margin Call" was so much better than "Arbitrage"!

    1. @Shala: We can't agree on everything! I quite liked Margin Call, I just prefer the approach of focusing on fewer characters, which was also the case in Wallstreet (1987).

  18. Wow Chris that is quite the month of film watching. Quite a few films that I really enjoyed on your list. Giant is epic, and Lawrence of Arabia was very impressive when I finally watched it for the first time a few months ago.

    Always up for a re-watch of the Dirty Dozen and True Romance.

    I have to start keeping a monthly list like this.

    1. @3guys1movie: Nice that you enjoyed those films. I would definitely read your monthly post, if you started doing that.

  19. I recently watched True Romance for the first time back in January. I thought it was just "meh". I thought Cloud Atlas for an okay one-time watch. I probably won't revisit it.

    1. @Robert: I wouldn't go so far to say it was "meh" for me, I did quite like True Romance, and I can see reasons why it's a cult movie. Cloud Atlas, maybe will become a cult film too, who knows?

  20. auch...such low rating for cloud atlas. Now I am really curious. I have read a review telling its a great movie. 2 diffrent reviews are intriguing.

    1. @novroz: I know, I read positive and negative reactions to Cloud Atlas too, and I was a bit confused by that. I like the directors, so gave it a shot.
      For me, there are many other new films which I prefer. But if you are going to see Cloud Atlas, best on the big screen.


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