Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy New Month: Films of May 2012

Topping my 36 films from last month wasn't my intention, but I did expect to have time for a little more than ("just") 26 films. I had some time being sick, but I mostly watched Desperate Housewives then...
But still, I managed to watch a few classics and films I've been wanting to watch for a long time. And then some quite bad films too, but that can't be avoided once in a while.

Although this month held another record in blog stats, I want to excuse for not posting the Fabulous Filmic Fashion Friday post the last two (?) Fridays - I've been extremely busy and/ or sick. I hope I'll have the next post ready for next week. 
Other announcements... well, I might not be able to post from the 22.06 - 09.07, but we'll see. I also changed the sidebar and post layout a little, I hope you like it.

Watched for the very first time:

(500) Days of Summer (2009) Marc Webb - USA
Exactly as fresh and entertaining as I had expected, but much funnier. I loved all the small details and the varying cinematography and other experiments, for example the scene that is shown at two different times with two different dialogues. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levit are a couple made in heaven, and both play their parts very well. 
Rating: 9.2

Another Year (2010) Mike Leigh - UK
A lovely and very psychologic drama, and the first Mike Leigh film I've seen. I like that the film focusses on elder people without really underlining its doing. If you know what I mean.
Rating: 7.2

Bandit Queen (1994) Shekhar Kapur - India/ UK
Harsh but moving and... brave? Seema Biswas was great.
Rating: 7.4

City Lights (1931) Charles Chaplin - USA
A typical but somehow special silent Chaplin film. But I still get tired of silent films quickly. They have to be short (except Sunrise).
Rating: 8.1

Der amerikanische Soldat [Int. Title: "The American Soldier"] (1970) Rainer Werner Fassbinder - West Germany
So, this is what a Fassbinder film looks like. I've heard a lot about him. Guess he's one of the most famous German directors ever. But HELL this film was boring! And whoever was the casting director, somebody needs to give that person some lessons in what good acting is. I did like the ending scene though.
Rating: 2.0

El laberinto del Fauno [Int. Title: "Pan's Labyrinth"] (2009) Guillermo del Toro - Mexico/ Spain
Absolutely fantastic. It's been a long time I've seen such a great fantasy movie - haven't seen Dark Shadows, but I think Tim Burton should watch this one if he hasn't yet.
Rating: 8.9

Få meg på, for faen [Int. Title: "Turn Me On, Dammit"] (2011) Jannicke Systad Jacobsen - Norway
I'm so in love with this movie, despite some of the scenes making me feel a little uncomfortable. The existence of a film like this is a triumph!
Rating: 9.0

Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006) Rohit Shetty - India
Not the worst Indian slapstick I've seen yet but still not very entertaining. The closest I came to laughing was a twitch of my upper-lip. 
Rating: 3.3

Honeymoon Travels. Pvt. Ltd. (2007) Reema Kagti - India
Surprisingly amazing! Much like (500) Days of Summer, this film was all about the details and offered some fresh comedic entertainment - two years before 3 Idiots really shook up the Indian comedy genre. 
Rating: 7.7

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) Quentin Tarrantino - USA
It's hard to find a better word to describe this movie than "awesome". 
Rating: 9.1

Le Salaire de la Peur [Int. Title: "Wages of Fear"] (1953) Henri-Georges Clouzot - France/ Italy
Sometimes I ask myself why I watch movies like these. Why I don't shut them off after an hour. Or half an hour. Whoever put this film in the 1001 Movies book must be a real bore. Okay, there were some good scenes, but in a nutshell it was a waste of time to watch.
Rating: 5.3

Million Dollar Baby (2004) Clint Eastwood - USA
So, this movie has literally been following me ever since it came out - almost everyone of my mother's friends and other people I've visited had a copy of it and I walked past it in the library a thousand times. Anyway, I finally decided to watch it and was surprised by how suspenseful it was. And just how awesome is Hillary Swank in this one? Still, I don't really think the movie deserved all those awards, except for Hillary's.

One for the Money (2012) Julie Anne Robinson - USA
Yeah, I... watched this. My friend wanted to watch it. And honestly: it was better than some of the "classics" I watched this month (cough, Independence Day). 
Rating: 5.4

Ordinary People (1980) Robert Redford - USA
Did I ever tell you about my love for Robert Redford? Although I haven't seen many of his films, I am a huge fan of his work... I mean, has he ever done something bad? This one was a little slow at the beginning but turned out to be an amazing psychologic study in the end.
Rating: 8.4

Reversal of Fortune (1990) Barbet Schroeder - USA/ Japan/ UK
Wow, how did this film become so famous? I mean, it was entertaining and everything, but pretty much ordinary and not unusual really. It was fun to see Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) so young though. And Jeremy Irons was great.
Rating: 7.1

Rockstar (2011) Imtiaz Ali - India
I've been thinking about this movie a lot, trying to figure out whether I'm satisfied or disappointed. I think I liked it, but... it could have been really, really great with a different actress in the lead. Ranbir was excellent though.
Rating: 8.1

Salinui chueok [Int. Title: "Memories of Murder"] (2003) Joon-ho Bong - South Korea
This one is supposed to be the greates South Korean film of all time - if that's the case I'm not sure if I want to see more of their films. It was a good crime film but a bit tiring in the end. 
Rating: 7.2

Shutter Island (2010) Martin Scorsese - USA
All the things I've read and heard about this film are true: by far one of the best mainstream Hollywood film of the latest years. 
Rating: 8.0

Tears of the Sun (2003) Antoine Fuqua - USA
The typical rough-Bruce-Willis-discovers-his-weak-point-and-saves-Africa-and-woman action film. A tad to long to truly entertain.
Rating: 5.7

That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010/11) Anurag Kashyap - India
Another film I had been waiting for so long, and it was just as great as I had hoped for. A bit more ruthless than I had expected. Kalki Koechlin deserves a bright future.
Rating: 8.0

The Horse Whisperer (1998) Robert Redford - USA
This one was very different from what I had always thought it was. As I said, I love Robert Redford, and Scarlett Johannson and Kristin Scott-Thomas are great too. Actually, this one was much profounder and also more depressing than I had expected.
Rating: 7.2

Thor (2011) Kenneth Branagh - USA
High quality cinematic fast food. 
Rating: 6.3

Toy Story 2 (1999) John Lasseter - USA
... "'Cause you've got a friend in me"...
Rating: 9.5

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara ["You only live once"] (2011) Zoya Akhtar - India
The perfect summer movie, with everything from eye candy to great music and settings to a good story. 
Rating: 8.0

Re-watched with the purpose of intense examination:

Independence Day (1996) Roland Emmerich - USA
This film is perhaps the worst blockbuster I have ever seen. It is so patriotic and violence-glorifying in a disgusting way, that I want to throw up. The last line: "I promised you fireworks, didn't I?" is the last straw.
Rating: 2.1

Terkel i knibe [Int. Title: "Terkel in Trouble"] (2004) Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Stefan Fjeldmark - Denmark
Sadly not as good anymore when you're older than 14. 
Rating: 6.9

Amount of films watched this month: 26
Average rating: 7.0


  1. Oh I really need to see Ordinary People and Girl in Yellow Boots.
    You saw some great stuff there- 500 Days, Pan's Labyrinth, City Lights etc.

  2. What..! 2.1 for Independence Day? ( : I watched that in cinema in 96 and it was very popular at the time, amazing for special effects & fun dialogue by Will Smith, I'm sure isn't as good on TV. That's an interesting opinion about Another Year. I can imagine Robert Redford is a heartthrob for the girls ( : He's smart also and Ordinary People I think is his finest effort as a director.
    Sorry to hear you've been ill, hope that's sorted itself out by now.

    1. I know, I've seen it with my Danish guest family and they of course loved it because they had seen it back in 96 in the theater. I did like Will Smith and that guy from Jurassic Park, but some parts where just despicable (in my opinion).
      I just can't believe Robert Redford is still so good-looking (although I do prefer his older films) - and he is an amazing actor and director too!

      Thanks Chris, I'm fine now ;).

  3. Ordinary people is on my list, too! Great selection this month, I love it!

    1. It's much better than you would think from what people write about it.
      Thanks, Diana. I'll have a look at your list.

    2. I mean, your May Recap ;).

  4. Nice to know that you loved 500 Days of Summer. That is one of my all time favorite movie! Some nice movie list here.

    1. I know, it's amazing! Thanks for commenting, Andina.

  5. What I especially love about your monthly posts is that you put the average rating of all movies watched. It seems like a good idea, just to sum up what the month was for you, film wise.

    I'm really curious about Turn Me On, Dammit, since it's your current treasure. I hope I'll get it to see someday.

    1. Thank you! I had the idea one or two months ago, as I love figures and facts and averages and all that.

      Hope you'll get to see Turn Me On, Dammit - I too couldn't wait to see it after hearing about it.

  6. Not quite as impressive a month as your last one, but still some very nice titles here.

    (500) Days - Really was a refreshing take on the formulaic romcom that restored my faith in American cinema

    City Lights - I enjoyed this and I share the same feelings as you with silent films. Sunrise is one of the few rare ones that I love. I also recommend People on Sunday and The Passion of Joan of Arc

    Pans Labyrinth - Agreed. This is exactly what a fantasy film should be like.

    The Wages of Fear - First one that our opinions differ on. This was a masterful exercise in direction and tension. I have a review coming up soon as part of my Palme d'Or series.

    Million Dollar Baby - Yeah not the best film of 2004 by a longshot (Eternal Sunshine), however Clint and Morgan have amazing chemistry, and Miss Swank's performance was outstanding.

    Ordinary People - Brilliant directorial debut. I was just thinking the other day, Redford doesn't direct enough films.

    Reversal of Fortune - It's famous because of Jeremy Irons' devastating performance.

    Memories of Murder - Fine example from one of my favorite current genres. Maybe South Korean thrillers are not for you, but please watch Oldboy and A Bittersweet Life before writing it off.

    Tears of the Sun - I remember watching this in the cinema when it came out, but that's all I remember of it.

    1. I spent more time than usually with my family, so that's how I was forced into watching some not-so-good films. And well, I watched a lot of series.

      Wow, I'm surprised you share my feeling on silent films - you write a lot about older films, so I thought you'd be totally into silent films. I've read a lot about The Passion of Joan of Arc, so I'll definitely see it. What I think is amazing about City Lights too, is that it was released quite a few years after the invention of the talkies, yet it was such an immense success!

      Maybe I'll appreciate Wages of Fear when I watch it another time in... 20 years or so...

      I agree that Redford should direct more films, although I've only seen two of them.

      What you said about Reversal of Fortune was what I had suspected - and yes, that performance is definitely worth seeing the film.

      I did like Memories of Murder, but somehow I found it very cold... coldly exotic, if that's possible. A Bittersweet Life is already on my watchlist, and I'm not done with South Korean cinema, don't worry :).

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Let the discussion begin!