Sunday, January 2, 2011

Films Viewed (December 2010)

Repo Man was, as always, a scorching punk blast. It was great to see a nice print projected on the big screen with the audio cranked. Many thanks to the Maryland Film Festival and the Gunky's Basement crew for making this happen.

The Fighter could get lost in the year-end prestige-film Oscar-bait shuffle, but I say give it a chance. Not so much a sports film as a story about one particularly dysfunctional working-class Boston clan. I had a good time, but I grew up amongst such characters.

To re-watch Mickey's Christmas Carol, an enjoyable viewing memory from my childhood, was an experiment. Has my appreciation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol been ruined forever by Robert Zemeckis? The answer: No, not really. Also, I am not eight years old anymore.

I have turned watching the first episode of Fanny and Alexander: The Television Version into a Christmas-eve tradition. The turn-of-the-century Swedes celebrate Christmas sumptously, are also dsyfunctional and sad. I always enjoy checking in.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
still ruled upon a second viewing. I feel that one day this film will get its due, perhaps now that the DVD is available to the young people? Of course, I am also a huge fan of Pootie Tang, so maybe I will remain in the minority on this one.

True Grit was a rough and ready adaptation of a book I have not read that stands in the shadow of a film of the same name that I have not seen. A young woman seeks revenge, hires a sozzled Dude, meets a fancy-pants guy. People get killed. The Coen Brothers continue to rule, and long may they reign. Watching and enjoying this has sparked my interest in the viewing of more Westerns, I genre I take in only sparingly.

Black Swan scared the hell out of me, leading to night wracked with nightmares filled with the images and ideas presented in the film. A young woman makes it to the top of the ballet game, at great cost. My sleepless night following my viewing is the sign of an effective psychological horror film, as well as a reminder of why I don't watch too many of them.

Home Alone capped off the year. I dismissed the film at the time of its release, watching the beginning and ending sequences on the pay channels when the film was in heavy rotations after its run as a box office juggernaut. To be in a theater surrounded by others who were clearly more impacted by the film, listening to them recite the dialogue verbatim, added to my appreciation, not to mention the realization that Home Alone is a John Hughes movie.

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Senator
The Landmark Harbor East
Video Americain
Netflix Instant/ Netflix DVD
(Please note: All releases are now linked to their pages on the Netflix website)
Total: 6 features, 1 short film, 1 portion of a television program also released in truncated form as a film (5 in theaters)