Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy New Month: Films of April 2012

There's no other way to say it - April was epic. Never since I started counting in January 2011, have I seen so many films in one month, and I'm sure I didn't see as many before I started counting.
So that's the first epic thing.
Second one is that I managed to top my blog stats once more, plus I almost reached 60,000 hits on the total count!
And I watched 12 films from the 1001 list, which is pretty cool too, I think.

Last but not least, most of the films that I saw were really good, and I even managed to re-watch a few darlings. But read for yourself...
(And in case you haven't already, check out my updated 100 Favourite Films list).

Watched for the very first time:

A Wednesday! (2008) Neeraj Pandey - India | review
A surprisingly realistic and not religiously motivated film about terrorism with a superb performance by Naseeruddin Shah.
Rating: 8.6

All About Eve (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz - USA
I was truly taken aback by the turning point... Otherwise, who wouldn't fall for some old school Hollywood glamour?
Rating: 8.4

Amores Perros (2000) Alejandro González Iñárritu - Mexico
Been waiting to watch this film ever since I first heard of it - this director is starting to become one of my favourites (despite his exotic name). Wanted to write a review, but somehow I couldn't. Anyhow, this could soon make its way into my favourite list.
Rating: 9.4

Antardwand ["Inner Conflict] (2010) Sushil Rajpal - India reviewed for ISHQ-magazine
One of the cool things about writing for a magazine is that you get to see movies you had never heard of before. This National Award winner treats an interesting problem - bridegroom abduction, crazy as it sounds - and has a really great newcomer actress in the lead.
Rating: 8.1

Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919) D.W. Griffith - USA
Though this is the best Griffith film I've seen until now, I just can't get myself to like that man, or rather his films. There's something artificial and pretentious about them, in my opinion.
Rating: 7.2

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari [Int. Title: "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"] (1920) Robert Wiene - Germany
Me and the silent films... my initial excitement after seeing Sunrise soon faded away... I know I sound like people think teenagers sound, but silent films were just so boring! At least most of the ones I've seen.
Rating: 6.9

De røde heste ["The red horses"] (1968) Annelise Meineche - Denmark
There are good danish oldies, and there are bad ones. This one belongs to the latter kind.
Rating: 3.4

De Taali ["Clap your hands"] (2008) Eeshwar Nivas - India
Can't believe people would actually like this. Apart from a few fresh ideas, it's very mainstream, too long and too childish.
Rating: 5.8

Der blaue Engel [Int. Title: "The blue Angel"] (1930) Joseph von Sternberg - Germany
As I said: boooooooooooring. Yep.
Rating: 5.0

Drive (2011) Nicolas Winding Refn - USA | review
Now this is what a good film looks like. I mean, an awesome film.
Rating: 9.4

Ekk Deewana Tha ["Once upon a time, there was a mad boy"] (2012) Gautham Menon - India | reviewed for ISHQ-magazine
A little better than I had expected, especially Amy Jackson. But predictable and not really special in the end.
Rating: 7.0

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) Michael Moore - USA
Oh, how I love documentaries like this one... Might be that they're slightly manipulating, but if you're able to watch them with a critical eye, you'll surely learn a lot.
Rating: 8.5

Fashion (2008) Madhur Bhandarkar - India
Priyanka Chopra isn't the greatest Indian actress of all time, but she does do her best and I think there's a lot of potential of hers that hasn't been fully used yet. The best Bhandarkar film I've seen yet, might be because I'm a sucker for fashion and style. But it seemed very realistic to be honest.
Rating: 8.0

Hævnen ["The Revenge", Int. Title: "In A Better World"] (2010) Susanne Bier - Denmark
Slightly disappointing, maybe my expectations were too high. I mean, there are many better danish films, especially from Susanne Bier. Not that it was bad. Just a little... forgettable.
Rating: 7.4

Inland Empire (2006) David Lynch - USA/ France/ Poland
My first David Lynch film... lived up to my expectations, I guess. It was confusing and mysterious, which I love, and there was some great humour to it. Not really scary though.
Rating: 8.2

La Dolce Vita (1960) Frederico Fellini - Italy/ France
Very interesting! I liked that there was no real story, yet it was intriguing... I especially liked Anita Ekberg.
Rating: 8.5

Paranormal Activity (2007) Oren Peli - USA
And this is supposed to be one of the scariest horror movies ever? Come on, it had like one or two frightening scenes, but that's all. I'm looking forward to seeing the sequels though, they're supposed to be better.
Rating: 7.3

Quills (2000) Philip Kaufman - UK/ USA/ Germany
I was surprised by how much I liked this one, I mean it's not a movie I'd ever heard of before, not even in my research for my Heavenly Creature post on Kate Winslet. Loved the humour and the performances... actually the film was perfect in many ways.
Rating: 8.6

Rebecca (1940) Alfred Hitchcock - USA | review
Undeservedly one of Hitchcock's most famous. I liked the mysterious parts, but both leads were very stiff, as were their characters. Judith Anderson was great though.
Rating: 7.2

Rebel Without A Cause (1955) Nicholas Ray - USA
Finally saw it! My first James Dean film... Well, he didn't let me down. In fact he wasn't just as good looking as one the pictures I had seen, but a much better actor than I had expected. Rebellious, but so very fragile. Of course you know that you have to see this movie if you haven't already...
Rating: 8.4

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Alfred Hitchcock - USA
I had read a lot about it in the book "Film Art" (which I've been trying to finish for ages), so it was wonderful to finally see it. There's much cinematic value in it, certainly, and it was very suspenseful. My second favourite Hitchcock film after Psycho.
Rating: 8.2

The Great Global Warming Swindle (TV, 2007) Martin Durkin - UK
Had to watch it in school... well, there were some confusing parts, but on a whole I liked that it questioned some of the things no one seems to question anymore.
Rating: 7.3

The Hunger Games (2012) Gary Ross - USA
I haven't told you about my Hunger Games addiction yet, have I? Well, it started with me and some friends wanting to watch the movie, so I read the book quickly because I wanted to read it before seeing the film. Which was a great adaption and a good film, in my opinion. Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect choice for playing Katniss and most things were just the way I had imagined them, but most importantly, they worked in a cinematic way too. Can't wait to read the third book.
Rating: 8.0

The Iron Lady (2011) Phillyda Lloyd - UK
Whether better nor worse than I had expected. Meryl Streep was awesome as always, though as many others I had wished they'd focussed more on the younger Thatcher. Quite forgettable I guess.
Rating: 7.1

The Last of the Mohicans (1992) Michael Mann - USA
Entertaining, and my God, Daniel Day-Lewis looked so much better with long hair. Reminded my of Dancing With Wolves, except it was shorter... and not as good.
Rating: 7.1

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) Rob Cohen - USA/ China/ Germany
How can this be one of the most successful films of all time? It was horrific.
Rating: 3.4

The Strangers (2008) Bryan Bertino - USA
Typical horror movie - first half was scary, second half was boring. What has become of Liv Tyler?
Rating: 6.4

The Virgin Suicides (1999) Sofia Coppola - USA | review
The perfect cult classic teenage film. I wish I could... transform it into a blanket and hug it.
Rating: 9.1

There Will Be Blood (2007) Paul Thomas Anderson - USA
Impressive and... epic. Beautiful, even. Though there were no female characters. Couldn't make myself write a review though.
Rating: 8.6

Transamerica (2005) Duncan Tucker - USA
Such a sweet indie gem - Felicity Huffman ist excellent, I wish she would make more movies!
Rating: 8.5

Re-watched with the purpose of intense examination:

Black Swan (2010) Darren Aronofsky - USA
Been wanting to re-watch this one since I stepped out of the cinema, and it was so worth it. Certainly not the last time I watched it.
Rating: 9.0

Crocodile Dundee II (1968) John Cornell - Australia/ USA
I just can't believe the people who freak out when they hear the second part of Crocodile Dundee is on TV tonight.
Rating: 6.0

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) Chris Columbus - UK/ USA | related post
So many things I had forgotten... I almost cried when I realized (once again) that it's all over.
Rating: 8.4 (objectively)

Singin' in the Rain (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly - USA
So glad I bought this one on DVD, it never get's old really... they always get me when the dancing begins.
Rating: 8.4

The Land Before Time (1988) Don Bluth - USA/ Ireland
We had to watch some film in French class, so we chose this one and guess what? Never has my class been so calm and quiet and glued to the screen at a film that we watched in class. Guess we're all still kids after all.
Rating: 7.5

The Little Mermaid (1989) Ron Clements & John Musker - USA
Took me about half a year to trace down a danish DVD copy of this one, because my family and I were dying to re-watch our favourite film after all those years. What can I say? Disney magic at it's very best.
Rating: 10.0

Amount of films watched this month: 36 (!)
Average rating: 7.6


  1. Ooh good month. Rebel Without a Cause is brilliant, isn't it?
    I love many of the films you saw, and the others are in my watchlist.
    I don't really like Fashion so much- I think Madhur Bhandarkar is too harsh.

    1. Yes it is, a wonderful expression of rebellion well... without a real cause.
      Did you see Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji? Didn't like that one, I think Bhandarkar is better for more serious films... Well, I think Fashion was a lot about the love to fashion, but also very realistic about the profession of being a model. But he can be harsh, I think he was very harsh in Page 3 for instance.

  2. Glad you liked Amores Perros, it's one of my favorites too and for me the best movie by Inarritu.

    1. My favourite of his too, until now... I also loved Babel. He hasn't made many movies, has he?

  3. 36 films is awesome!!!
    I love the LIttle Mermaid, but my favourite will always be Beauty and the Beast :) And I swear, I think I'll cry when I re-watch the Harry Potter films again :( No more waiting and anticipation :'(
    I'm going to try and watch the Virgin Suicides this month, I just bought the DVD on sale! And I'm definitely going to have to watch The Last of the Mohicans. I remember struggling to read the book in high school, but I really liked it!

    1. Beauty and the Beast is a good one too, but I just didn't watch it very often when I was little, so maybe that's the reason. And I love water-related films.
      Me and some friends were planning on doing a Harry Potter DVD weekend and watch all the movies... that's going to sentimental for sure.
      I'll be looking forward to your opinion on The Virgin Suicides! And The Last of the Mohicans is very light - I was expecting a minimum 3 hours sit-through, but it was only 90 minutes or so, and highly entertaining.

  4. Epic as you said. Great, quality films in a month.

    Even though I do love La Dolce Vita, I actually do not get what is so great about Anita Ekberg. Maybe, I am missing something. And even though I thik Fashion was great, I don't think it is Madhur Bhandarkar's best work. Have you seen Page 3 or Chandni Bar? or even Satta?

    1. I didn't know before either, but I just think she's so sexy - objectively, even! There's something about her, I don't know...
      Of Bhandarkar's work I've only seen Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (as I said, I didn't really like it) and Page 3, which was good for the performances and the theme, but too long and losing itself at times. Chandni Bar is on my watchlist though... What's your favourite of his?

    2. I guess I will have to go with Page 3. or Chandni Bar just for some phenomenal acting in it.

  5. 36 movies? wow, you must have a lot of free time on your hands! good for you! I really really need to see Virgin Suicides soon!

    1. Somehow I do... we had some free days, and many of my teachers are so lazy they never give us homework or anything.
      But I also did squeeze movies in everywhere I could, and that felt... surprisingly good.
      You definitely have to see The Virgin Suicides.

  6. GEEZ, you did watch a lot of films!

    I had to watch Broken Blossoms and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for a silent film class I took (that ended up being torturous just because a whole semester of silence was hard to deal with). But I actually enjoyed Broken Blossoms and not so much Dr. Caligari. But then again, my literary studies were geared a lot toward Orientalism and exoticism, so that may just be that fascination at work.

    Also, I loooooove Singin' in the Rain. I have it on an ANCIENT VHS tape where the color goes in and out, but I still love it.

    1. I've been trying to get the great thing about silent films, but it seems I haven't, as there's just one I truly liked... Broken Blossoms is okay, but I found it too much in a way... as for Caligari, I almost fell asleep.
      Orientalism and exoticism is interesting, but I like to study these subjects by viewing masala films rather than Griffith silent films ;).

      Singin' in the Rain get's better each time I watch it... it's like the perfect Hollywood musical! So catchy!

  7. Wow, you watched a lot of great films this month. Tons of 8's, four 9's, and The Little Mermaid. Do you think your love for it has anything to do with it being written by a Dane, or is it as you say, all 'Disney magic'? I'm still searching for my 10.0, I know it's out there somewhere.

    1. Interesting thought, I'd actually thought of that before... well, I do love Hans Christian Andersen, his stories are truly magical - but often very sad too. So it's a mixture; I like the original fairytale, but Disney transformed it into perfection...

      My Top 5 from my favourite films list are all 10.0's... so at least I have five. I'm sure you'll find one or more some day.

  8. Congrats on hitting a record with your stats. I try to aim for personal bests every month as well :)

    1. I always tell myself not to run after stats and all that, but sure, I do get proud and happy when I read them.

  9. wow, 36 films, must be a record in the blogosphere! Yeah, Black Swan has a lot of details you miss on first watch, and if you read Sati's "48 hidden images in Black Swan" post, then you will want to see it once again ( :
    Agree it's not Susanne Bier's best and the oscar may be a nod to her career(I think she should have won the oscar for After The Wedding)
    Glad Fahrenheit 9/11 still holds up, wasn't sure if I ought to remove it from my A-Z recommendations list.
    Haven't seen Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, thanks for the suggestion.
    Can understand you didn't review There Will Be Blood, was a good story, acting, visuals, but there really is not much beyond the surface in my opinion to write about.

    1. Sati's post was one of the reasons I had to rewatch Black Swan, it was very inspiring.
      I also think Bier deserved the Oscar for After the Wedding, but even Elsker dig for evigt was better than In a Better World.

      I don't think you should remove Fahrenheit 9/11, it's a great documentary and still shocking to see nowadays.

      About There Will Be Blood; that was part of the reason, but also a lot of people have written extensive reviews about it, so I felt there was really nothing left to say.

  10. Not just an epic month for you, but also a very versatile one: classic, foreign, new releases... Nice!

    I also expected more from Hitchcock's Rebecca, I don't know why it's so famous, comapring it to his other pictures.

    1. That's true - I know that many bloggers try to watch very different movies each month, but actually sometimes I would like to watch my way through say... Film Noir classics or something - but I can't! I just get bored so easily.

      As for Rebecca, that one really was a bummer...


Let the discussion begin!