Tuesday, July 2, 2013

HAPPY NEW MONTH: Farewell, June 2013

Summer holidays!!! Can you believe it? Well, it's hard for me to, because summer apparently decided to take a different route this time. So all that's left for me is holidays, but that's pretty great as well. I watched a high score of movies for this year in June and there are some really good ones among them...


Talaash (2012) 
I didn't have the time to maintain my posts on essential Hindi films of 2012, but if I could've, you'd have read a very positive review on this movie. It's an interesting crime story, which is very rare in Hindi movies and I loved the supernatural dash. I could care less about Aamir Khan and even Rani Mukherjee in it, but Kareena Kapoor was amazing.
Rating: 8.5

OMG Oh My God! (2012) 
Like Vicky Donor, this was a highly praised Hindi movie of 2012 with a promising concept that left me  highly disappointed.
Rating: 4.0

Can't Buy Me Love (1987) 
For the movies I wrote about in my Movie Mixtape "Coming of Nostalgia", I'll just copy the texts and slightly modify them: A very, very unrealistic and utterly exotic movie for a non-American student. Decidedly more fun than romantic, which goes for most 80s rom-coms I've seen and is one of their biggest advantages over new ones.
Rating: 8.0

Say Anything... (1989)
The most dramatic and most realistic of the ones referenced in Easy A, and one I am going to rewatch countless times. Leaving clichés aside, it touched and moved me, and simply stood out. By the way, the music scene isn't even one of the best parts.
Rating: 9.0

Sixteen Candles (1984)
Watching this movie, you watch clichés come to life. Good thing about it is that they're not clichés yet in the movie. Which makes this movie every teenage girls' dream come true. Yep, that was a cliché right there and I don't even care.
Rating: 8.1

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Loved the introduction of Yoda and his character in general, although he had much less screen time than expected. As with the other two movies, I loved this one to bits.
Rating: 9.5

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
In theory, this was my least favorite movie from the Star Wars trilogy, but I have to rate the three as one and therefore they all have the same rating. It's a nice ending to the saga, however predictable, with some great effects, good acting and that typical, lovely Star Wars humour.
Rating: 9.5

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
As talked about in Episode 4 ("Trapped in a Box") of the podcast, this was the last of the Easy A movies I watched and I can see how it's a lot of people's favorite, including the director of Easy A. It's sweet, funny and inspiring, and I can't wait to see it again.
Rating: 9.0

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012)
Heart-wrenching Belgian-Netherlandish co-production with an awesome blue grass soundtrack sung by the cast. Haven't cried in a movie as much as this for a long time.
Rating: 8.3

Braindead/ Dead Alive (1992) (LAMB MOTM)
Classic horror/ gore movie from a pre-Tolkien Peter Jackson. An entertaining, well-crafted, bloody ride.
Rating: 8.2

Jaws (1975)
By no means a bad movie, but it didn't live up to my sky-high expectations. Although I noticed and appreciated all the elements, they didn't work together for me and I didn't really get into that atmosphere of fright and suspense.
Rating: 7.5

Superman (1978)
I might have seen this before as a child, but I can't tell for sure, so let's call it a first-timer. It was refreshingly funny and bold, in contrary to many newer superhero movies I had seen before this little post-less blogathon. Loved Christopher Reeve as Superman/ Clark Kent.
Rating: 8.6

Kick-Ass (2010)
Slightly disappointed in the sense that it wasn't another Scott Pilgrim. Some stuff seemed a bit half-baked and the use of Myspace instead of Facebook was very awkward. However, it's entertaining and cool for what it is, plus it got a real kick-ass female superhero.
Rating: 7.9

Side Effects (2013)
Soderbergh's last feature film was only my second of his. It's a nice thriller with many twists, turns and layers, so I liked it.
Rating: 7.3

Batman (1989)
Definitely my favorite of all the superhero movies I caught up on this month. I love Tim Burton at any rate, although I have to agree with the chorus of critics of his latest productions. Back in the day, he brought just the right amount of good stories and originality to his crazy style, and that combination is what I value most about him. Michael Keaton was a bit bland, but we all know this is all about Nicholson's Joker.
Rating: 8.7

Superman: The Donner Cut (1980/2006)
A recommendation from Bubbawheat made me watch this one instead of the theatrical version. I loved it just as much as the first movie - it had the humour, the boldness and well, Christopher Reeve. There was one issue with the story, but otherwise I loved it.
Rating: 8.6

Batman Returns (1992)
Whether it's due to the lack of a supervillain as cool as the Joker, or Keaton's lack of charisma, I didn't enjoy this movie as much as its predecessor. That doesn't mean it's bad though, since it does feature one of my now-favorite superheroes, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.
Rating: 7.3

Batman Forever (1995)
Despite many a voice telling me not to, I did watch this sequel to Batman Returns, mainly because I'm a fan of Jim Carrey. What can I say... it's bad. It's dull, bland, uninspired... and too bold for Batman in my opinion. But then again, people say the opposite of Man of Steel, so maybe some are going to like this one too.
Rating: 3.0

Iron Man (2008)
A big gap in my knowledge of contemporary (film/ pop) culture. Robert Downey rocked the role and made the robot come to life and even Gwyneth Paltrow was ok!
Rating: 8.1

Monsters University (2013)
By far not as good as Monsters, Inc. - which I really need to rewatch - but a satisfying prequel with the usual amount of Pixar awesomeness.
Rating: 8.0

X-Men (2000)
This one I'm also guessing I've watched part of some time, but at any rate I had the idea I hated X-Men for a long time - mainly because I've had to watch part 3 a lot of times. The first one is really cool though. It made me realize that we need more ensemble superhero movies.
Rating: 8.1

Man of Steel (2013)
You'll be hearing more about this on wednesday's episode of the podcast, but let me tell you: it was awesome.
Rating: 8.6

X2 (2003)
Commonly known as the best of the X-Men movies and one of the best sequels, I liked this one, but not better than the first. It simply continued along the path of greatness.
Rating: 8.1

Ugetsu Monogatari (1953)
So. Damn. Perfect. I'm going to write a post on it for the LAMB Foreign Chops, which will be out on wednesday.
Rating: 9.7

She's the Man (2006)
One of those movies everybody calls their little gem or guilty pleasure. Very funny and cute.
Rating: 7.7

Taste the Waste (2010)
Documentary on food waste. Shocking topic and facts, but it could've needed a better director to make it look interesting and truly shocking.
Rating: 6.5


Fight Club (1999) 
Watched in philosophy class. Sweet.
Rating: 10.0

Inception (2010) 
One of these movies everybody has watched a 1000 times. This was only my second round but it definitely holds up more than well.
Rating: 8.5

My favorite superhero movie. Period.
Rating: 9.9

Die unendliche Geschichte (Never Ending Story) (1984) 
One of the most-watched movies of my childhood. It's weird to know all the lines and don't even realize until you re-watch it.
Rating: 8.6

Yes, Man (2008) 
One of my go-to feel-good movies. Couldn't believe two of my friends hadn't seen it so we watched it on DVD night. Jim Carrey's mimicking in the DVD rental shop always gets me.
Rating: 7.4




Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women (1868) [Little Women #1]
A sweet little book about a sweet little family. I found it a bit too moralizing in parts, especially since the "flaws" of the four March sisters really weren't such a big deal, but then again I think they were back in the day. Keeping this in mind, Little Women is an interesting portrayal of the time it was written in and entertaining at the same time, although I do prefer Austen.
*** OUT OF 5

Alcott, Louisa May: Good Wives (1869) [Little Women #2]
For a "series" that started out so well, there's really not much to this sequel. I hated how everything was wrapped up, hated all the pairings and the "lessons learned" and even the girls' happiness and all that other stuff didn't make up for that. I don't have anything against formal language, but when paired with awful moral lessons, I simply can't stand it. What a pity... she should've ended the story with Little Women.

Grass, Günther: Im Krebsgang/ "Crabwalk" (2002)
I know this is stupid, but I have a general dislike of books we read in German class. This being said, I can be won over if the book is as wonderful as The Sorrows of Young Werther - and this one wasn't. It had some interesting technical aspects, but I hated the rest of it. It feels like Grass is always looking over your shoulder, whispering into your ear: "I'm so much ahead of you stupid readers". And that I can't stand.

Siegel, Jerry & Shuster, Joe: The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1
So I'm having sort of a superhero kind-of phase right now, mainly in relation to our next podcast episode but I've really become a bit obsessed, and I decided to dive in to the actual comic books behind the movies. So far this is the first superhero sort of book/ comics I've read and I loved it. It's crazy to see Superman come to live at the beginnings of comic book culture itself, as one of (or the) first superhero(es) of all time. I like to see him change - he's a little less morally perfect in all aspects at the beginning, and he can't even fly in these first editions of Action Comics and the Superman comics. So I can't wait to read more, both of Superman and all the other stuff. As a side note, there's a little advertisement for a new comic called Batman at the end of one of the comics. 

Another TV masterpiece from BBC. How did I not watch this earlier? But then again, this is going to make the wait for the next three episodes easier. You can expect a post soon-ish.
Brilliant deduction, Moffat!

An intriguing take on the famous cannibal played by somebody I would never have expected to play this role: Mads Mikkelsen. The man I've been rambling about for years now. I love the many psychologic levels of this show and the fact that it's so visual.
Hungry for more.

The Sex and the City of our generation... is what I had heard of this show. It is, in many ways. I've never been a fangirl of the previous series, although I enjoy watching random episodes from time to time, but I really connect with Girls. Not that I agree or like everything about it, but it's a fresh take on life in NYC and female-driven tv.
All adventurous women do.


Been listening to a lot of my old stuff these days, as well as podcasts. However, I really like the Girls soundtrack, especially Montezuma, Same Mistakes, Infinity Guitars, Sight of the Sun aaaaand Dancing on My Own. Oh, and there's a great song on Sherlock two: Nina Simone's Sinnerman

What about you? Share your recent cultural experiences with me down in the comments...


  1. LOTS of superhero movies! I'm glad you liked Say Anything, I've tried watching it many times but couldn't get through more than five minutes of it -- I guess it's worth it, then. I've only seen Inception once, I've been afraid that the second watch won't be as entertaining... I can't really remember Kick-Ass. I guess enjoyed it but wasn't blown away. Anyway, Aaron Johnson = worth rewatching.

    Oh, Hannibal, I miss it/him already! I'm glad you liked Sherlock, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it :D

    As for me, I've seen more films in June than usual, and about 90% of them were classics from the 30s and 40s. There were some great new discoveries of actors and actresses, which is always nice.

    1. I feel wiser now ;). No, it's an important part of pop culture and I actually found myself enjoying most of the superhero movies I watched. Say Anything is definitely worth it, and I noticed many new things about Inception when I rewatched it. We seem to agree on Kick-Ass. I remember Stevee being crazy about it, so I had high expectations. It's entertaining but not that special, and unfortunately, Aaron Johnson wasn't that handsome in it...

      Oh, that sounds nice! I love discovering new things, especially when it comes to movies.

    2. ...you're right, I just saw some pictures to remind myself -- I think it's the lack of a manly beard.

    3. Well... he didn't have a beard in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging but that was the movie that I find him most attractive in so far...

  2. Wow! So Many movies and so high ratings. :) You had a great month.

    I didn't think Talaash was a bad movie but I certainly didn't like it as much as you did. Ending really didn't work for me. Probably the fact that I guessed it almost 40 minutes before the end, didn't help much.
    Agree about OMG though. It had potential to be ggod and I liked some aspects of it but too damn preachy! I was really infuriated by the end.
    Star Wars never really worked for me though I appreciate A New Hope and Empire. I saw them in order. So by the time I got to A New Hope, I had seen three awful, awful films and I had no real interest left. Maybe that's why(BTW, as per your discussion on the podcast, it wasn't called Part 4 at the time of its releas. Lucas changed it after releasing the prequels)

    1. Indeed.
      I can see why you didn't like the ending of Talaash, but what can I say - it worked for me. The worst thing about OMG for me was that it looked like a bad soap opera. The cinematography, over-acting, set design - everything was so fake and over-the-top! Also, I would have liked it to trust the audience a little more and not carve out the message as much as it did.
      I'll probably be watching Star Wars 1-3 some time but it's not something very high on my to-do list. Thank you for that information! Interesting... nowadays the movies are known under those "new" titles, so I never realized he changed them.

  3. Ooo good month. So glad you liked Say Anything and Ferris Bueller. I swear, John Cusack in the former is to be blamed for half my issues in my love life (or lack thereof).

    Kind of sad you didn't like Kick-Ass and Batman Returns more- I really love those two.

    LOVE your TV list. Love love love :D

    1. Definitely. I swear, I have no idea when I watched all these movies. John Cusack... I never knew he was such a heartthrob back in the day. Not his appearance I mean... it's his character. He's like the most perfect male character I've ever seen in a movie.
      Hmmm... Maybe I have to re-watch Kick-Ass and BR... I don't know.

  4. 80s movies, superheroes, Star Wars, Jaws, and Fight Club.... Darn! Its like you went through my collection of all-time favourite films in just one month! I totally love these.

    1. It was an outstanding month indeed, so I must say you have good taste! So far it's the month with most movies for this year, and along with March the best average rating.

  5. Finally someone who has seen Ugetsu! Long has it been one of my favourites, but I've had no one to speak about it with. So looking forward to your write-up on it!

    Surprised that is the first superhero comic you've read, the majority of people get into comics via those kinds of characters, but that's cool you haven't gone down that path!

    Also wait until you watch, if you ever watch, Batman and Robin...now that film is a blinder.

    1. Yay! I've heard it mentioned a lot of times, but haven't really read a full post or seen it in a favorites list or anything. The post is going to be up tonight :D

      Well, when I was a kid the popular comics were japanese manga and Disney comics like Donald Duck. So I grew up with those and still love 'em, but I'm very excited to dive into the "real, big" comic book culture.

      Don't know if I'll ever see Batman and Robin. Maybe just for the fun of it ;)

  6. So many movies, I can hardly comment on them all. Suffice to say, I was thinking of checking out Ugetsu so you gave me a good kick over the threshold. I bought it. Let's hope I love it as much as you do.

    1. I hope I'm not disappointing you by saying it's available on youtube for free (with multi-subs). But I can imagine the DVD has better quality :) It's a great movie, so let me hear what you think once you've seen it :)


Let the discussion begin!