Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy New Month: Films of June 2012

I can't go on calling every month legendary, can I?
Honestly, I'm afraid the bubble is going to burst some time... just like with the financial crisis. I'm on my way into a film crisis, am I not?
Whatever, I'll enjoy it as long as it lasts.

So, I watched a lot of films last month. No idea how or why I did it. Well, one reason is that I was trying to compensate for my lack of movie watching during the Roskilde music festival, which I attended at the start of July (who would've thought there'd be a cinema there!). Also, there movie I watch the more I want to see, and I had a lot of free time in the last weeks of school... so I stayed awake late and watched a whole bunch of classics and must-sees. 
I also bought many DVDs on the flee market, for example Ratatouille and Never Let Me Go, so I managed to finally re-watch them. The cherry on top of course was re-watching The Dreamers, an incredibly experience (no, I don't own the DVD yet, sadly). 

By the way, my stats were topped again, thanks to everybody who out of some reason stopped by and read one or two of my posts. I'm not really prolific, so I'm really thankful for the increase in followers and everything, really my heart makes a jump every time I see a new number (except when someone leaves of course). 
I hope you'll take the time and read about the record high of films I watched this month. 

Watched for the very first time:

50/50 (2011) Jonathan Levine - USA
Another enjoyable double feature night at the cinema - we watched this one and My Week With Marilyn. Both were decent, but I liked this one a little better. I read that it was showing only the funny sides of having cancer and that it was too light-hearted, but in my opinion it was just right. 
Rating: 7.3

About a Boy (2002) Chris & Paul Weitz - UK/ USA
Another of the previous kind - good and entertaining, nothing to re-watch except on a DVD night with friends. The best Hugh Grant film I've seen until now. The book was better though.
Rating: 7.3

Across the Universe (2007) Julie Taymor - USA/ UK
A musical that re-interprets songs from the best band of the world (The Beatles, in case you wondered). So underrated too - a bit too romantic, admittedly, but still excellent. Also, it's so nice to see a female directed film for a change. Thanks to Nikhat for recommending this one by having it on her 100 Favourite Films list. 
Rating: 8.0

Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012) Anik Dutta - India
The worst Bengali film I've seen. I reviewed it for the ISHQ magazine because I thought it would be as amazing as people said online. What I loved was the portrayal of different film eras, it was very realistic. Otherwise, too much slapstick and bad acting (mostly). 
Rating: 5.3

Biutiful (2010) Alejandro González Iñárritu - Mexico/ Spain
I only need to see one more of Iñárritu's feature films (21 Grams). Really, he has become one of my favourite directors lately. As always, this one was great and depressing at the same time. More depressing than the other films I've seen, and also my least favourite. But that doesn't say anything, just look at the rating. 
Rating: 8.2

Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009) Anurag Singh - India
People say you either love or hate this one. In my case, that's not true. I liked parts of it - it was entertaining and fluffy, but there wasn't enough fresh air about it to make it stand out. Also, both Shahid and Rani deserve better roles.
Rating: 6.3

Double Indemnity (1944) Billy Wilder - USA
Interesting story, but I just find the acting from that era very stiff at times, especially from the ladies. Maybe I've been watching the wrong movies. However, the narration in this one was fantastic.
Rating: 7.3

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) Shekhar Kapur - UK/ France/ Germany
Very boring, if it weren't for the impressing costumes and Cate Blanchett. I realized this was the sequel when I was halfway through the movie, and then I thought I'd just as well finish it.
Rating: 7.0

En kongelig affære (Int. Title: A Royal Affair) (2012) Nikolaj Arcel - Denmark/ Sweden/ Czech Republic
Amazing work for a Danish movie, especially with the costumes and sets and all that. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard's performance was the best I've seen this year, if he doesn't win the Oscar I don't know what I'll do. But actually I don't think the jury will even get to watch it. 
Rating: 8.4

Fight Club (1999) David Fincher - USA
Rating: 9.8

Gulliver's Travels (2010) Rob Letterman - USA
It would be interesting to see Jack Black in some serious role for a change. And Jason Segel. Although I love him and I think he's one of the funniest actors of the time.
Rating: 6.0

Hitman (2007) Xavier Gens - France/ USA
Good action. Boring otherwise.
Rating: 5.1

Ging chaat goo si 4: Ji gaan daan yam mo (Int. Title: Jackie Chan's First Strike(1996) Stanley Tong - Australia/ Hong Kong/ Russia/ USA
I love me some Jackie Chan - isn't that guy amazing in anything?
Rating: 6.0

Johnny Gaddaar (2007) Sriram Raghavan - India
I wasn't as impressed as most other people, but the style was awesome for a Hindi film. And by that I don't mean to hate on the industry, you know I love Indian films. It's just that they mostly don't make really stylish films with three exclamations marks, the kind that drips of badass-ness and cool ideas. 
What "ruined" this was the mostly bad acting (Neil Nitin Mukesh was surprisingly good) and at times confusing story line.
Rating: 7.2

Kaakha Kaakha: The Police (Int. Title: Protect Protect) (2003) Gautham Menon - India
See what I mean? Okay, Tamil film is a whole different thing, but my point remains the same. Sure, I liked the music, but a gruesome bloodshed scene followed by a love song? It's too much.
But it was fun to see the supposed-to-be starter of the currently huge new masala movement. And Surya (finally). 
Rating: 6.5

Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) Quentin Tarantino - USA
Stylistically just as awesome as Vol. 1, but I found the story a little less fast-paced. It was cool to find out the background stories and all that though, and again there was a lot of female kick-ass-ness. 
Rating: 8.2

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean - UK
My God, is this epic, or what?! I'd have never ever expected to love it that much!
And there really wasn't a single woman in it (though Lawrence seemed a little gay). I could just talk about Peter O'Toole's performance all day, as well as the music, the story, the characters...
Rating: 8.6

Life in a Metro (2007) Anurag Basu - India
The first time I saw that Dharmendra is actually quite attractive. For an old actor. Otherwise, very interesting movie. I always like movies about people in big cities, especially Indian ones. 
Rating: 8.1

Lost in Translation (2003) Sofia Coppola - USA/ Japan
So very beautiful. My wish of visiting Tokyo has been both confirmed and the opposite. My idea of Scarlett Johansson being one of my favourite actresses and Sofia Coppola being one of my favourite directors has been confirmed too. 
Rating: 9.3

Lourdes (2009) Jessica Hausner - Austria/ France/ Germany
I watched this one for Léa Seydoux (the girl from the ending of Midnight in Paris), sadly her role wasn't that big. It was a calm and quiet film, and some things about it were quite thought provoking. Most things were forgettable though.
Rating: 6.5

Mary and Max (2008) Adam Elliot - Australia
The darkest animated movie I've ever seen. Really depressed me at times, but I generally feel depressed by films about "losers". There were a lot of brilliant ideas in this one, and the animation was superb as well, so I can only recommend it if you're a fan of animated movies - even if not. 
Rating: 8.4

My Week With Marilyn (2011) Simon Curtis - UK/ USA
My mind was rather split after watching this one. On one hand, I loved each performance, be it from my heart-throb Eddie Redmayne (despite his awkward name), Kenneth Branagh or the big star above them all, Michelle Williams. I even liked the story, and I didn't think that some parts seemed unrealistic; they were unrealistic, and it was intended to be like that. However, there was something missing in this film, like an overall message or feeling... you know, that special... je-ne-sais-quoi?
Rating: 7.2

Nanhe Jaisalmer: A Dream Come True (2007) Samir Karnik - India
Sometimes I have the feeling that Indian critics or big fans of Indian cinema haven't seen enough non-Indian films. Again, I do not want to offend anybody, and I repeatedly state that I love Indian films. However, there are many very mediocre films that tend to be described as "must-sees" and "the best of Indian cinema" just because they're distinctively different from the Indian mainstream movies. Nanhe Jaisalmer had good intentions and a sweet story, but it wasn't a great film, and that's what I want people to realize. The difference between a good idea and a good realization.
Rating: 6.6

Nanook of the North (1922) Robert J. Flaherty - France/ USA
The first silent documentary I've seen. It was quite boring, but still okay for a silent film.
Rating: 6.9

Noel (2004) Chazz Palminteri - USA/ Canada
Sweet but definitely my next favourite christmas movie. By the way, it's so weird to watch a christmas movie in summer.
Rating: 5.8

I'm sure the makers were inspired by Lawrence of Arabia's eyes.

Ra.One (2011) Anubhav Sinha - India
Considering the fact that I expected to loathe this, I was quite surprised about how funny it was. Sure, Shah Rukh should start doing something more challenging soon, but he was perfect as G.One. 
Rating: 6.5

Rejsen til Saturn (= Journey to Saturn) (2008) Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Craig Frank - Denmark
The worst film I saw last month. Almost made me throw up.
Rating: 2.0

Saving Face (2012) Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy - USA/ Pakistan
I'd like to see more documentaries. You learn about things you never even knew existed. 
Rating: 7.4

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) Edgar Wright - USA
Like, the coolest teenage movie in the world. I'm just afraid to rate it higher because I'm not sure whether it holds up to a re-watch. I'm in love with Michael Cera by the way.
Rating: 8.5

Sorte Kugler (= Black Balls) (2009) Anders Matthesen - Denmark
Very philosophic, though predictable at times. One of the many movies we watched in school during the last few weeks.
Rating: 7.0

Spellbound (1945) Alfred Hitchcock - USA
I really like what I've seen of Hitchcock until now, but I feel I haven't seen anything truly exceptional and mind-blowing yet, except for maybe Psycho
Rating: 7.5

Stuck on You (2003) Bob & Peter Farrelly - USA
Okay comedy... as mediocre as it can be.
Rating: 6.0

The Green Hornet (2011) Michel Gondry - USA
It's weird, but I've been seeing a lot of Seth Rogen films lately. Funny guy. This one was funny too.
Rating: 7.1

The Queen (2006) Stephen Frears - UK/ France/ Italy
Somehow this is one of those newer movies you just have to have seen, isn't it? Although I feel like I get the whole Diana-fascination even less, I think I understand Queen Elizabeth better. Of course Helen Mirren was excellent.
Rating: 7.4

Toy Story 3 (2011) Lee Unkrich - USA
It's amazing that the third part actually is the best. I still can't believe I only discovered Toy Story two months ago... 
Rating: 8.8

Wag the Dog (1997) Barry Levinson - USA
Another interesting movie we saw in school. What fascinated me the most was to see Kirsten Dunst in a 3-minute role. It strengthens my belief that you can work your way up from the bottom. 
Rating: 7.2

Waterworld (1995) Kevin Reynolds - USA
Cool props and costumes, and awesome idea. This could have been much better.
Rating: 5.9

Re-watched with the purpose of intense examination:

Never Let Me Go (2010/11) Mark Romanek - UK/USA
Unexpectedly, this one was better at the second view! My mum found it strange but good, she said I watch sick films. It's true, but the sick films tend to be the best, don't they?
Rating: 8.5

Ratatouille (2007) Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava - USA
Another movie I watched with my mum. She fell asleep. Anyhow, I had fun, though I found it less ingenious and rather sweet this time. 
Rating: 8.3

The Dreamers (2003) Bernardo Bertolucci - UK/ France/ Italy
Can you just please read my review? Everything I want to say is in it.
Rating: 9.4

Amount of films watched this month: 40 (May + 4)
Average rating: 7.2 (May + 0.2)


  1. Aww yaay! I love Across the Universe! So glad you dug it.
    Totally agree with your descriptions of Fight Club, My Week with Marilyn and Kill Bill Vol 2. I love your rewatched list especially.

    Awesome month man!!

    1. And Scott Pilgrim!! That film is too awesomeee.

    2. Yeah, thanks for making me notice it :). I love going through people's favourite lists and watch some of the movies.
      Awesome month indeed.

  2. So happy you like Toy Story 3. Tears, tears every time! :')
    You had an awesome month for films, it looks like!

    1. Toy Story is amazing, I already bought part 1 and 2 on DVD.

  3. That's a lot of movies. Fight Club and Lost in Translation are definitely great movies. I did not love Biutiful as you, thought the movie was depressing. Wouldn't mind on seeing Never Let Me Go again!

    1. I wrote I found it depressing, but still fascinating. It's not a favourite though.
      Do re-watch Never Let Me Go, it's really worth it! And if you haven't read the book yet, you should, it's even better.

  4. I feel like Across The Universe got a lot of negative sentiment when it came out but I find it to be quite wonderful so I'm glad you liked it too.

    1. I read a lot of negative comments too, saying it was too much, and too romantic... But there was quite a lot of positive sentiment too after all, which is great.
      Thanks for commenting, Bondo.

  5. Wow you watched a lot of films!! The Dreamers is the perfect film for movie lovers. I love About a Boy too, never read the book though. I do think it's one of Grant's best as well.

    As for Spellbound... I'm not crazy about it. Together with Torn Curtain they're my least favorite Hitchcock films so far. There are a couple of Hitch's films that I like more than Psycho, don't know if you've ever watched them, but I'd recommend: North by Northwest, Rear Window, and especially Notorious, which is my favorite.

    I'm glad to know the blog is growing, you deserve it!

    1. Thanks, Maria.
      I haven't seen any of the three Hitchcock movies you mentioned, so thanks for that too - I need to see something better of his work soon, otherwise I'll loose my faith in him.
      I thought Spellbound was okay, like... cozy, a film you can watch without thinking too much.

  6. Oh no, you can't loose your faith in Hitchcock! Yes, I agree, Spellbound didn't really do much for me, which was a shame because Bergman and Peck are two of my favorite actors and I was really excited to see them working together.

    But do watch the ones I've recommended! North by Northwest is more of Hitch's version of an action thriller with a good sense of humour; Rear Window will surely keep you on the edge, a true thrill; and Notorious is noir so it is sexy, dramatic, mysterious... I hope you like them! Oh and watch them at night, of course!

    1. Of course - I once watched a Hitchcock film at day and it wasn't really great. Generally, I think black-n-white films need to be enjoyed in darkness to fully unfold their magic.
      I've read a lot about North by Northwest in the book Film Art, as well as Rear Window, and I've only heard great things about Notorious.
      Spellbound was my first Peck movie, and man he is sexy! Ingrid Bergman is also excellent as always.

  7. Lawrence of Arabia and Lost in Translation for the first time in one month? Color me jealous.

    Lost in Translation is my all-time favorite movie and I'm so happy that you loved it. Most people would just cast it aside because there isn't a high level of conflict in it, but I think it's a beautiful movie.

    Lawrence of Arabia is a tour-de-force from Peter O'Toole. It's amazing he carries that huge movie on his shoulders for much of the runtime.

    1. "Color me jealous" - I like that expression ;).

      I don't think films really need much conflict, if only they are interesting in one way or another. Sofia Coppola has proved this a hundred times. But still, I think there is some conflict in Lost in Translation - the question whether to start an affair or not, the unsureness about your future...

      Lawrence of Arabia - amaaaaazing movie. Sorry for being so immature, but this is the only way I can describe things I love, with immature sentences and expressions, haha.

  8. Across the Universe I keep seeing mentioned and never watch, should change that! A Royal Affair I'm going to look out for too.

    I tried Lawrence of Arabia few months ago, couldn't get into that one, maybe when the mood is right(and I have 4 hours to spare) I'll give it a second chance ( :

    1. You have to have a lot of free time when you want to watch Lawrence of Arabia. In the middle of the night, during holidays, that's the perfect time. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to concentrate for that long, but really got caught up in the movie.

      And as a Dane you have to watch A Royal Affair. Don't know if Across the Universe is something for you, I think one either hates or loves it.


Let the discussion begin!