Friday, February 3, 2012

(Very, very) Happy New Month: Films of January 2012

Another month has gone by, and I am proud to tell you that...

...this is one of the happiest days of my life, because I just got to know that I'm going to write for the ISHQ-magazine, which is the most-read Bollywood magazine in Germany!
So I'll spend the rest of the afternoon singing and dancing around in my room.

Anyhow, I've managed to watch one movie a day, at an average! At least one new years resolution that I've managed to obey.
Of the films I've watched, 9 were 2011-films that I caught up with (some of them I wish I hadn't), but I also managed to watch quite a few classics, which I'm proud of.

It feels like I say this every time, but sadly I haven't watched too many Indian films. I'm not going to promise anything, but hopefully this is going to change next month.

I'm also partly looking forward to the month of the Oscars (even though I'm not that into the award season), while I'm crying over the fact that Drive did not have a release in my home town, as promised by our theaters home page (which, by the way, has lied to me a few times now).

Watched for the very first time:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick - UK/ USA
One word: mind-blowing.
And in my opinion not boring at all. Actually reminded me of last year's Melancholia and The Tree of Life.Very beautiful and technically ahead of its time, I couldn't believe it's from 1968 until I saw some very 60-ish characters on one of the computer screens.
Rating: 9.3

Andaz Apna Apna (1994) Rajkumar Santoshi - India
This 90's Bollywood blockbuster comedy failed to impress me. There was too much slapstick for my taste, though I admit it wasn't humiliating. The best thing about it was the cast. Who would've thought that Aamir has made films like that.
Rating: 6.0

Awakenings (1990) Penny Marshall - USA
My first Robert de Niro film was quite intriguing, though a bit formula-based too. But a good film indeed - and I still like Robin Williams, no matter what I read about him anywhere.
Rating: 7.8

Beastly (2011) Daniel Barnz - USA
I can't believe I watched the film of 2011 I wanted to see the least - and didn't hate it! It really isn't as bad as everybody thinks. But it isn't good either.
Rating: 4.6

Cycle Kick (2011) Shashi Sudigala - India
Didn't have any money at the start of the month, so I watched some of the legal youtube streams. Nothing overwhelming, but an interesting try at a low-budget Indian film.
Rating: 6.1

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009) Marc Lawrence - USA
There are worse films. And there are worse Hugh Grant films. And worse Sarah Jessica Parker films.
Rating: 6.3

E-Love (2011) Anne Villacéque - France
Good idea, good leading actress - bad realization, even worse title. Felt a bit like soft porn. But maybe I'm to sensitive.
Rating: 4.2

In Time (2011) Andrew Niccol - USA
Sometimes, a movie you think is good gets a bad reception. But you still have to see it, even though it might not be as good as you think. In Time has loads of unused potential (for example, Cillian Murphy, who is rather unattractive in this one... oh, and the whole idea, of course) - but also a lot of well-used potential. Let's just hope they don't make a sequel.
Rating: 6.5

La Strada (1954) Frederico Fellini - Italy
If you feel like watching a certain movie you know nothing about: do it. Your intuition is mostly right.
Black and white art-house still makes me depressive in the end, but if I watch only a little of it (like one or two a month), I'm able to survive.
Rating: 7.8

Lord of the Dance in 3D (2011) Marcus Viner - Ireland
I am amazed by Flatley's talent - as a film... well, not so much.
Rating: 7.0

Payanam (2011) Radha Mohan - India
My third or fourth Tamil film. You don't see flight films that often in India, so it was interesting - and never boring - but the actors were not the best. And the terrorists were Pakistani, so... thumbs down for that.
Rating: 6.4

Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock - USA
A huge burden has fallen from my shoulders after I've finally, finally watched this film. Phew.
And it was good, by the way. I was a bit disappointed by the shower scene, though. But after reading about it I understood why it's so famous. By the way, the trailer of this film is one of the coolest I've ever seen.
Rating: 7.6

Rashômon (1950) Akira Kurosawa - Japan
Luckily I gave Kurosawa a second chance after not liking Seven Samurai as much as I had expected. This incredibly ingenious crime film still fascinates me when I think of it. Fabulous.
Rating: 9.3

Rio (2011) Carlos Saldanha - USA
Can anybody please explain to me, why I watched this film? A complete waste of time. Come on, a blue bird that is called "Blu"?
Rating: 5.4

Soundtrack (2011) Neerav Ghosh - India
Had one of the coolest posters of last year, but I feel like I'm the only person on earth who actually watched it. The start is a bit tough, but as the story develops you get more and more in to the film - and in the end, it's quite a good one. Rajeev Khandelwal, the man with the blue, blue eyes surely has got a future in Bollywood.
Rating: 7.5

Stand By Me (1986) Rob Reiner - USA
I am absolutely surprised by how great this film is, and how much I already love it.
Now, I'm a bit older than the protagonists, but the thing with growing up, and along the way losing some of your old friends touched me a lot, because it's something I often think of.
Stand By Me is one of the best "children's movies" I've ever seen - actually I wouldn't even call it a children's' movie.
Rating: 9.5

Survival of the Dead (2009) George A. Romero - USA
Yes, I did watch this film. And it wasn't that bad for a horror film. Well, compared to Psycho it definitely was. But it's a decent time-filler.
Rating: 5.0

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Scott Derickson - USA
Interesting composition for a horror film. Even though it's not that scary, it definitely stimulates your thoughts.
Rating: 7.0

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) David Fincher - USA | review
"It is both small and the big details that make it an overall better film than the original: the style, the opportunity to identify with the characters, and its inclusion of some of the book's key scenes - most importantly the ending."
Rating: 8.2

The Great Gatsby (1974) Jack Clayton - USA
While waiting for the 2012-remake, I decided to watch this most famous filmatization of the novel. Turns out Robert Redford was a hottie (sorry for this teenage expression) when he was younger. A bit too melodramatic for my taste (the film, I mean), but still decent.
Rating: 7.2

The Name of the Rose (1986) Jean-Jacques Annaud - France/ Italy/ Germany
We watched this in history class, but only the first 20 minutes, and the last 60 minutes. Which I hope you understand that I was extremely mad about. So I finished it at home.
I already told you I'm a sucker for history films (and novels), so...
Rating: 7.5

The Nanny Diaries (2007) Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini - USA
I would like Scarlett Johansson in anything, and this was by far not the worst. At least I don't want to be richie-rich now.
Rating: 7.0

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Frank Darabont - USA | review
Good film for a IMDB Top List #1 to be.
Rating: 8.3

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) Ken Loach - Ireland
Finally! Ever since Jack L.'s Irish Film Marathon, I've been wanting to see this film, and I finally did. And it wasn't just good because of Cillian Murphy's blue, blue eyes.
Rating: 8.2

The X-Files (1998) Rob Bowman - USA
Sorry for not having been older in the 90s, but I will never understand the success of The X-Files. Come on people, the acting is as wooden as the script is holey.
Rating: 6.0

The Young Victoria (2009/10) Jean-Marc Vallée - UK/ USA
In my opinion a rather underrated film, you don't/ didn't hear enough about. This was the first time I saw Emily Blunt in a serious role, and she has potential to make it to my favorite actresses list.
Of course this is not a film for everyone, but if you're a sucker for historical films (like me, admittedly), then I think you'll like this.
Rating: 7.7

Útlaginn (1981) Ágúst Guðmundsson - Iceland
Another new year's resolution was watching more films from "unknown" film industries. Iceland - checked. We watched it in school, because in Danish schools you have to learn about Nordic literature, obviously. Not bad, but not really good either.
Rating. 6.0

Verfolgt (2006) Angelina Maccarone - Germany
The title of the film means "hunted/ traced", and it's a perfect title for me - because I have been and still am hunted by this film. I first read about it and thought I had to watch it (black and white/ interesting theme/ good German actors). The next day I find it in the library. And after having watched it, I often think about it. There are many parts I don't like, mainly because I can't really... relate to sado-masochism. And because black and white art-house films tend to depress you. But on a whole I'm happy I watched it because.. I had to.
Rating: 6.9

Re-watched with the purpose of intense examination:

Dil Se.. (1998) Film of the Month
See: Why is Dil Se.. my favorite movie? or All the Things I Love About Dil Se..
Rating: 10

Water for Elephants (2011) Francis Lawrence
I still like it and Christoph Waltz is still awesome. That's it.
Rating: 7.3

The Crimson Permanent Assurance (1983) Terry Gilliam - UK
Puts a smile on your face, nothing more, nothing less.

Amount of films I've watched this month: 31
30 feature films, 1 short


  1. Andaz Apna Apna is one of the best Indian comedy films, and Aamir Khan is brilliant in it. It's one of the only few comedies that stands the test of time and is always extremely entertaining.
    Good films all of these.
    And congrats again!

    1. Haha, I know that I'm probably the only person that didn't like it, but I can't help it. I agree that Aamir was fantastic though.
      Thank you :)

  2. You seriously didn't like Andaz Apna Apna ??? Strange. I have seen it like 50 times. So much that I know all the dialogues by heart.

    And I see you liked Rashomon. Nice ! and I love the actual exorcism scene in Exorcism of Emily Rose. And yeah, Congrats Again !!

    1. Well, yes, I didn't... I hope I don't get blacklisted by some Indian bloggers for that, haha.
      The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a very technical film, I think, you learn a lot about exorcism itself, the meaning and how it is done.
      Thank you, too, SDG.

  3. Wow another impressive month of viewing for you. I'm glad you found a Kurosawa film you loved. Stand By Me has always been one of my favorites, and I was younger than the protagonists when I first saw it. I haven't seen Útlaginn but Iceland does have a surprising amount of films for such a tiny country, some of them pretty good ones too.

    1. The icelandic people also read and write a lot, it must be a quite intellectual country. I wish I'll be able to go there some time.
      I'm working hard at gaining some more knowledge of films, which naturally can (almost) only be done by watching many (good/ famous) films.

  4. Wow very impressive month of movie watching! I probably haven't seen 3/4 of those. Glad you really liked Rashomon and Stand By Me. The former was incredibly innovative filmmaking at the time and Stand By Me is just good old 80's fun!

    1. Wow, this is the first time anyone writes anything like that - usually it's me who is impressed by others' end-of-the-month posts. Thanks, Castor :).
      Normally I feel that "innovative filmmaking at the time" films can be a bit boring, because usually the things they introduced have been used in many newer films that I've seen. Anyhow, Rashomon was a welcome exception.

  5. Congratulations! Cannot imagine how happy you have to be! Oh you lucky Germans - even have a Bollywood mag! I´m seriously jealous! :D

    As for the films here..... only saw Andaaz Apna APna and unlike you I really, really liked it :) It was all just innocent and fun, and Salman and Aamir were still so very much enjoyable to watch, before one turned into an unnccesarrily serious filmmaker and other to a caricature of an actor.

    And The Lord of the Dance... oh my...! Seen the DVD and was to a live performance... one of those incredible things everyone should go through in life!

    1. Thank you, Gaja!
      Yes, my mother and I went absolutely crazy about the music and the dance and everything (LOTD) - I wish I'll be able to see it on stage one day.
      As I already said, Andaz Apna Apna is one of the few very popular films I didn't enjoy as much as others did. Yes, Salman and Aamir were sweet and everything was filled with good intentions, but I don't know what went wrong for me ;).

      I don't think you'll be happy to hear that we actually have... 3(?) Bollywood magazines. I'm not supposed to say my opinion on other magazines in the public anymore though, so not more about that.


Let the discussion begin!