Wrapping up October 2013.
Everybody had a nice Halloween? Watched some scary movies, drank loads of Pumpkin Spice Latte? Reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone just for that Halloween chapter?
I personally have been in a very Halloween-y mood this year and in fact did watch a lot of new-to-me horror movies aside from a probably badly timed viewing of Groundhog Day - which I loved nevertheless. Other than that I've done each one of the things I mentioned. Well, I only drank PSL once. But since I had been dying to do so - and nobody question that totally mature goal - since the last time I was in a big city in autumn, it felt as good as drinking loads of it, I'm sure.
Oh, I almost forgot: I changed my plans of studying film because I see absolutely no purpose in it and I think if at some point I'll feel like making movies, I should just make them. It's what most directors did at any rate. And I'm not even sure that's what I want to do, at least it's not what I want to do right now in my life. So I made some new plans to study computer science after my gap year. But since there's still about 1,5 years until I have to decide, let's talk about something more light..
WATCHED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
Hærværk [Havoc] (1977)
Reeeeeeaaaaaally boring. Yet in parts better than the book.
Amusing and very experimental. Loved Rani as always, as well as the fact that the "lovely male stalker" stereotype is turned upside down. However, there were some annoying bits here and there and I wasn't overly fond of the ending.
A unique genre-bender with Saoirse Ronan in the lead - I'm very glad we picked this over The Fifth Estate in London. Also: I wrote a review!
Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Getting myself involved in a LAMBcast about the Universal Monsters seemed like a good way to make myself watch some classic horror. I enjoyed the overwhelming vastness of the sets and the Phantom itself here, however it's still one of the rather annoying kind of silent films.
The Ring (2002)
For no apparent reason, I always assumed that The Ring was THE scariest movie out there, so although I do enjoy horror quite a bit, I never had any intention of watching it. Turns out it's not that scary - but a very well-crafted and well-shot movie. Hear me talk about it here.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Love a good comedy as well as a good time travel story - this mixture lived up to my expectations of it being among the best of both. Bill Murray is awesome and Andie MacDowell has never been less bland. I wish I had the time to become the best person I can, learn to play the piano and be nice to people. And then get the perfect happy ending.
What the hell, Ridley Scott? What became of you? Where's the guy who directed this?!
The Butler (2013)
Very moving and extremely beautifully shot. The characters felt a little bit glossed over at times but still, it's much better than the critical consensus seems to be.
Actually, I could ask you the same question as Scott, Cameron: who are you? Or: what did you do to James Cameron?
The Thing (1982)
I was sort of absent when watching this so that's probably the reason why I didn't *love* it. However, the ending scene with the drums was perfect.
Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
Definitely not as scary as it wants to be. But just like in the case of The Ring: very well-shot, interestingly narrated - a good movie to introduce you to Asian horror.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Two things. 1) It's so weird to see zombies in black-and-white. 2) It's so weird to see a black person in a big role in a black-and-white movie! The last thing obviously was the more surprising revelation for me. I just feel so very... angry? People now have recommended some movies to me but I just feel that there are few of these movies - even today! - where a black person is in the lead but it's not a "black" movie.
Overacting is difficult - most of the time it's simply annoying and off-putting for me. Especially the kind you see in some Indian movies. But sometimes the filmmakers manage to hit just the right note, as for example in Sweeney Todd or Borat. In this one I'm very sure the overacting was intended to be just regular, scary acting - but it's a treat.
The Mummy (1932)
Not very special but still an interesting part of the UM series. Especially because it was its first original story.
The Wolf Man (1941)
Has its bland times and its good times, but I really don't have much to say about it. I did like some of the symbolism.
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
It's been a long time since I've disliked a movie as much as I disliked this one. And I know that many people are going to wonder why I'm not saying that about the following movie but we'll get to that. This just had such an awful female main character, the beast was boring and completely uninteresting and the story wasn't very compelling either. The only thing I cared about was the production history and the way they constructed the monster. As with all other UM movies, you can hear me talk about them on the LAMBcast.
Bad Grandpa (2013)
Now, I've never seen a Jackass movie or anything, and generally I prefer situational comedies over slapstick with the exception of young Woody Allen. However, I can enjoy "stupid" comedies and I often find myself laughing at "bad" jokes. This is the only way I can understand why I liked Bad Grandpa, since everyone else seemed to hate it. I just thought that the actors were great, especially Jackson Nicoll and there was a good atmosphere at the theater. Yes, some things were mildly off-putting but whatever. It was fun as long as it lasted.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
A tad more interesting than the original Frankenstein to me. Maybe I'm superficial like that.
The Invisible Man (1933)
HOW did they film this movie? I still can't decide whether to look it up or not, because it is just mind-boggling. Actually, the story isn't that great compared to the effects but like I said, I'm superficial. That's why I love Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola.
There's nothing to say no one has said yet. The visuals are flawless, nobody knows how they did it, there's some scientifically incorrect stuff that I don't care about because I really just don't and Sandra Bullock never looked better. Or acted better even? What you maybe didn't know about this movie: I, Mette Kowalski, was 99% close to being George Clooney! Oh, and the average moviegoer in Germany hates this movie. My sister disliked it a lot too.
Porco Rosso (1992)
That's what I sometimes miss about being a non-movie-buff: just watching tv (I almost watch none at all anymore, because I think it's a waste of time) and stumbling upon some great movie you never heard of. Luckily, this still happens once in a while. Porco Rosso is as beautiful as any 90s anime movie and the story it tells is just as wonderful as you would expect from Miyazaki. I've got to get back to reading more Manga and watching Anime and all that good stuff.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
So since my poor sister had to sit through Gravity, I agreed to sit through Hansel & Gretel. That decision had nothing to do with Jeremy Renner at all. So the movie was okay, the CGI wasn't very good but the practical effects actually were. The story had some pacing problems as well as editing problems but there was nothing to genuinely hate upon.
The Exorcist (1973)
Another one of those pop-culture-induced movie misconceptions - I had always assumed that I'd seen The Exorcist, but in fact I had only seen some important scenes, Scary Movie and the thousands of references in other movies. Anyway, it's great. It's awesome. It's up there. It deserves to be a movie you think you've seen even when you haven't.
REWATCHED WITH THE PURPOSE OF INTENSE EXAMINATION
Sweeney Todd (2007)
I've now succeeded in showing this movie to all of my friends as well as my sister - which took me about 2 years - and no one has disliked it so far!
Same here. Well, some didn't really have an opinion. But I don't care, I could watch this all the time.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)
Hey, don't look at me like that. It's... a guilty treasure. And this time I actually felt more grown up than the girls in the movie. A little.
Trois Couleurs: Bleu (1993)
My French teacher made us watch this again. I just get so depressed when I watch this movie - even when I see a GIF set of it on tumblr. I love Juliette Binoche and I see all the themes and the symbolism - and I'm sure the other two films are great. But this one; not my piece of gateau.
AMOUNT OF FILMS WATCHED: 27 (SEPTEMBER +12)
AVERAGE RATING: 7.5 (SEPTEMBER –1.1)
Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone/ हैरी पॉटर और पारस पत्थर (1997)
YESSSSS, I DID IT! I actually read a book in Hindi! Not that this little project served any purpose. I don't know what I want with my Hindi. I don't know what to use it for. I'm not going to go to India in the near future. But whatever, it's fun and I loved re-reading Harry Potter after so many years. I'm definitely not reading the next ones in Hindi but Rowling got me hooked once again.
***** out of 5
Nothing special, a podcast here and there - actually a lot of podcasts. Do listen to the Rambling Ramblers if you get the chance, they're fairly new to the business and they rock.
Now it's your turn to tell me about your month - of course you can always choose to remind me that Bad Grandpa is the worst film you've ever seen or tell me how much you love Kieslowski.