Happy 5th Blogiversary To Me

Yikes. Five years?! I honestly didn’t think I’d be doing this movie blogging thing for five years.

I want to say a huge thank you to the fellow bloggers who’ve dropped by in these last five years & had little chats with me on my silly movie & book reviews. I’m sorry I’ve been around a lot less this year and hate that it’s becoming almost impossible to spend any time on my blog or on the blogs that I follow. The whole reason for starting this blog was so that I could discuss movies with fellow film lovers since, in the real world, it’s hard to find obsessive movie nerds. You think I talk about movies all day long with people at work? Hell no! (That would be fun, though – where can I get a job like that?). So, thank you again to the special few who were here from the start and are still around and to all the lovely newer bloggers who’ve come along since. I feel like an “old blogger” now!

I always say I need to cut back on the time I spend here and I’ve done that this year but I’ll be doing it even more in 2018. I’d always kind of planned on quitting on my 5th anniversary but I’d miss the occasional movie chats as well as the one other reason I keep this thing going: to use it as a “movie diary” and keep a log of all I’ve seen & read. Because, as well as being a movie nerd, I’m also massive LIST NERD! I now have a record of every movie I’ve watched since 2012. Which is totally not important when the world is f*^%ing falling apart, right?! To psychoanalyze myself, I think it helps keeps me calm in the face of all the bullshit in the world. Or something. Nicely ordered lists! Nicely ordered lists could create world peace!!

So, I do have a plan to keep this blog going with a bare minimum of posts in 2018. I’ll focus only on reviewing 12 more Blind Spot movies (as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that project) and the 2018 UK cinema releases I manage to see. The main other thing I’ll do is bring back an end-of-month post so I can at least very briefly discuss all I’ve watched in that month. At the moment, the movies I watch at home are getting no attention as I don’t have time for full-length reviews. I’ve watched a lot of really good movies this year and am annoyed to have not even mentioned some of them (For example, I really liked an obscure movie called The Frame. Here’s the IMDb link. I believe it’s still showing on Amazon Video.)

With these blogiversary posts, I tend to do a “Year In Review” post since it’s close to the end of the year anyway. This time, I’m going to do a “Five-Year Review“(!!). One thing I can really thank this blog for is that I’ve seen some TRULY brilliant movies since starting it because of things like my IMDB Top 250 Challenge and the Blind Spot project. Knowing you’ll be writing for a blog kind of helps “force” you to finally watch the more highly acclaimed classics you’d been avoiding for no good reason. Plus there’ve been some damn good new movies released since 2012. SO GET READY FOR SOME LISTS!!!! Let’s see if these can create universal harmony.

Here are some ranked lists of my favorite movies I’ve seen & the best books I’ve read for the very first time since starting this blog in November 2012….

My Top 20 Books Read Since 2012 (No one gives a shit about books so let’s get this list out of the way first.): 😉

Top Twenty:

20. End Of Watch by Stephen King
19. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
18. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
17. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
16. The End Of The World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker
15. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
14. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
13. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
12. Horns by Joe Hill
11. The Fireman by Joe Hill

Top Ten:

10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
9. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
8. The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
7. Joyland by Stephen King
6. The Martian by Andy Weir
5. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3. The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett
2. Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin
1. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

My Top 30 Older Movies Seen For The First Time Since Starting This Blog (Movies Released Before November 2012):

Top Thirty:

30. Daft Punk’s Electroma
29. The Return Of The Living Dead
28. Million Dollar Baby
27. The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari
26. Escape From Alcatraz
25. Howl’s Moving Castle
24. The Last Unicorn
23. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
22. Ikiru
21. Natural Born Killers

Top Twenty:

20. The Untouchables
19. The Secret In Their Eyes
18. The Kid
17. Watership Down
16. Grave Of The Fireflies
15. Escape From New York
14. Battle Royale
13. Kiki’s Delivery Service
12. The Great Escape
11. Laputa: Castle In The Sky

Top Ten:

10. Road House (Seriously. How had I never seen this huge slice of AWESOMEBAD?!)
9. Rocky
8. Modern Times
7. Princess Mononoke
6. Akira
5. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
4. The Bridge On The River Kwai
3. City Lights
2. The Warriors
1. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind 

(If you only knew how many times I flipped numbers 1 & 2 around…)

My Top 30 New Releases Seen For The First Time Since Starting This Blog (Movies Released After November 2012):

Top Thirty:

30. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
29. Your Name
28. Rush
27. Circle
26. Gravity
25. Robot & Frank
24. The Way Way Back
23. Baby Driver
22. Wreck-It Ralph
21. Edge Of Tomorrow

Top Twenty:

20. Train To Busan
19. The Wolf Of Wall Street
18. The Lego Movie
17. Ex Machina
16. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
15. It Follows
14. The Babadook
13. Predestination
12. Space Station 76
11. Sing Street

Top Ten:

10. In Your Eyes
9. Frozen
8. Blade Runner 2049
7. Mad Max: Fury Road
6. It
5. Inside Out
4. Guardians Of The Galaxy
3. Arrival
2. Room
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Yep – I can’t NOT have a Star Wars film as my number one movie released since 2012. I can’t wait for The Last Jedi in a couple of weeks!

As you can see from these lists, I really do have this blog to thank for my newfound love of Studio Ghibli & Charlie Chaplin. I’d seen & loved My Neighbor Totoro & Spirited Away before blogging but decided to watch all the rest of the Miyazaki films for a month of Ghibli reviews. I’d seen no Chaplin at all before 2012. I highly recommend his stuff to all true film lovers, especially City Lights & Modern Times.

Oh yeah! I also discovered a love of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, it seems. I loved The Dollars Trilogy (especially the music in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly) and Once Upon A Time In The West. Brilliant! Thank you, blog! 

The other two directors I’ve been trying to further explore are John Carpenter (I’d already seen the majority of his best films, though) and Akira Kurosawa. That’s why they have the only two films in the lists above which I haven’t yet reviewed as I want to devote an entire week (or month) to their work someday in the future.

Okay – it’s time for me to shut up. You all probably stopped reading halfway through my lists anyway. Ha! I don’t know how many movies I’ve seen in these last five years (I’m too lazy to count, although I do have them all listed year by year on my blog pages). But I’d say I average about 100 per year. So… Narrowing it down to 60 favorites out of 500 isn’t too bad! Thank you again, everyone! Especially those who made it to the very end of this post… 😉

Now, as I feel really bad about putting The Warriors in second place after originally having it at number one, I’ll end this post with the ending of the movie. Seems appropriate. All our lives deserve appropriate songs that play over our end credits. Hmm. That sounded a little morbid. Sing it, Joe!

Actually, I want Morricone to score my real life end credits…

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A Separation (2011) IMDB Top 250 Review & The Films I’ve Watched So Far (Ranked!)

*This is a very short review so I’ve decided to also rank all 42 films I’ve watched so far for my Top 250 Project. Woohoo! 😉

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A Separation (2011) (Persian: جدایی نادر از سیمین‎ Jodaí-e Nadér az Simín, “The Separation of Nader and Simin”)

Directed by Asghar Farhadi

Starring: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zarei

Running time: 123 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
A Separation is a 2011 Iranian drama that focuses on an Iranian middle-class couple who separate, and the conflicts that arise when the husband hires a lower-class care giver for his elderly father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

My Very Quickie Opinion:

I watched this movie on August 9th, 2014. Whoops! Is it really taking me almost two years to get around to reviewing some of these Top 250 films?? Yikes. 

This is truly going to be a quickie “review” as I don’t remember this film very well (I had to read the full plot synopsis online just now to refresh my memory). This is a very good film, so I can see why it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. It’s a drama with great performances from all involved but it just isn’t my type of thing. I rarely like realistic dramas. I watch movies for escapism, which is probably why a lot of my favorites are sci-fi or fantasy.

I remember thinking the two main actors (the separating husband & wife) were especially good & I felt for their situation, particularly the husband struggling with taking care of his father who has Alzheimer’s. I won’t give away the plot but something happens with the woman who is hired to take care of the husband’s father and that’s just one of several stories woven together. It’s good in that most people watching this will relate to at least one of the stories/characters: whether it’s dealing with an aging parent, marital problems, religious beliefs & customs, etc. I didn’t relate to it any more or any less than I do to American films dealing with the same sort of issues. The themes are universal so it’s certainly worth a watch if this genre is your sort of thing – don’t let it being a foreign language film or my “meh” review put you off. It’s a good, Oscar-worthy film. But it’s just not my favorite genre. Once again, my ratings are based more on personal enjoyment than “worthiness” – I’d rate this one more highly if I rated only on worthiness.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Well, watching A Separation got another Top 250 film crossed off my list & I did say at the start that some might not get lengthy reviews from me. I started this project (details HERE) on 01/01/2013 & my goal is to watch all the IMDB Top 250 movies that I hadn’t yet seen at that point (I’d already seen 100 – those 100 are the ones I’ve let guests review). So I’m very slowly working my way through the rest of that 2013 list. I’ve watched 42 of the remaining 150.

As this review was so short, I thought I’d rank the 42 films I’ve watched so far. Because I’m sad like that. 😉 It’s quite obvious that the ones I’ve loved the most are the Studio Ghibli & the Charlie Chaplin films. I’d already watched a couple of Ghibli films when I started this but I do have this project to thank for introducing me to Chaplin. 🙂

I did keep some Top 250 favorites of mine to be reviewed by me someday instead of guests – things like The Shawshank Redemption & WALL-E (which I did review) and the Star Wars original trilogy & The Princess Bride. This list is only ranking the films I’ve watched since starting this project, not the 100 I’d already seen in the past. Most of my all-time favorite films are in the Top 250 – I just struggle to write about the ones I really love so I haven’t reviewed many of those. How could a review of mine ever express just how awesome Aliens or The Princess Bride are?! 🙂

So here are My IMDB Top 250 Project Movies Watched So Far (Ranked From Least Favorite To Very Favorite): (and I rated them all, too! I need a life…)

42-31:

42. Mary And Max – watched 7/6/13 – Rating: 4/10

41. Slumdog Millionaire – watched 28/4/13 – Rating: 5/10

40. Life Of Pi – watched 15/1/13 – Rating: 6.5/10

39. Warrior – watched 22/8/15 – Rating: 6/10

38. A Separation – watched 9/8/14 – Rating: 6.5/10

37. On The Waterfront – watched 9/9/14 – Rating: 7/10

36. Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? – watched 24/3/13 – Rating: 7/10

35. Paths Of Glory – watched 22/8/15 – Rating: 6.5/10

34. Raging Bull – watched 29/9/13 – Rating: 7/10

33. Unforgiven – watched 17/8/14 – Rating: 6.5/10

32. Dog Day Afternoon – watched 18/1/13 – Rating: 7/10

31. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid – watched 26/1/13 – Rating: 7/10

Top Thirty:

30. Anatomy Of A Murder – watched 2/8/15 – Rating: 7/10

29. Witness For The Prosecution – watched 12/1/13 – Rating: 7/10

28. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – watched 9/9/14 – Rating: 7/10

27. A Fistful Of Dollars – watched 28/4/16 – Rating: 7/10

26. Sleuth – watched 5/2/13 – Rating: 7/10

25. City Of God – watched 18/1/14 – Rating: 8/10

24. Bicycle Thieves – watched 5/6/13 – Rating: 7.5/10

23. Rashômon – watched 16/8/14 – Rating: 7/10

22. Shadow Of A Doubt – watched 5/1/13 – Rating: 7/10

21. Notorious – watched 6/5/13 – Rating: 7.5/10

Top Twenty:

20. Sunset Boulevard – watched 7/11/15 – Rating: 7.5/10

19. For A Few Dollars More – watched 14/5/16 – Rating: 7.5/10

18. Rope – watched 4/1/13 – Rating: 7.5/10

17. Howl’s Moving Castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro) – watched 14/9/14 – Rating: 7/10

16. Ikiru – watched 1/1/16 – Rating: 7.5/10

15. Nosferatu (1922) – watched 14/7/13 – Rating: 7.5/10

14. M – watched 26/9/15 – Rating: 7.5/10

13. Once Upon A Time In The West – watched 02/07/13 – Rating: 8/10

12. Full Metal Jacket – watched 11/5/14 – Rating: 8/10

11. The Secret In Their Eyes – watched 23/3/13 – Rating: 8/10

Top Ten:

10. The Kid – watched 19/2/13 – Rating: 8.5/10

9. Grave Of The Fireflies (Hotaru no haka) – watched 1/1/15 – Rating: 8/10

8. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – watched 16/2/16 – Rating: 8/10

7. The Great Escape – watched 28/10/13 – Rating: 8.5/10

6. The Bridge On The River Kwai – watched 23/6/13 – Rating: 9/10

5. Laputa: Castle In The Sky – watched 7/3/13 – Rating: 8/10

4. Princess Mononoke – watched 25/1/13 – Rating: 8.5/10

3. Modern Times – watched 1/1/13 – Rating: 9/10

2. City Lights – watched 15/2/13 – Rating: 9/10

1. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika) – watched 2/11/14 – Rating: 9/10

I highly recommend my Top Ten. No… I highly recommend 38 of these! There are so many true classics here. The bottom four don’t deserve a place in the Top 250 (but I only hated the bottom two – 39 & 40 are decent enough movies). I have to say that the top three are extra special to me & instantly became all-time favorites of mine. It’s sometimes a struggle to “force” myself to watch classic films such as these but I’m rarely disappointed when I do finally make the time for them. 🙂

My Top Ten Hats In Movies

I’ve been lazy with these Top Ten Lists lately so it’s time to make a bit of an effort again. Here are My Top Ten Hats In Movies.

This is a pretty simple list & not exactly as creative as My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies but, thanks to discussing this one with my husband, he came up with the most creative answer (in the below Honorable Mentions). Other than that, I don’t think there are many big surprises – I’ve gone with some very well-known & iconic hats. I’ve also included one helmet but have drawn the line at full face masks, etc (so I’m not including things like Darth Vader’s helmet – that would open a huge can of worms).

As ALWAYS, these are my own personal favorites as opposed to what I think are “the best”. I like what I like. 🙂 But it means that some big ones will of course be left out. Feel free to add any more you can think of in the comments!

Here are My Top Ten Hats In Movies:

10. The Babadook in The Babadook

9. TIE: The Wicked Witch Of The West in The Wizard Of Oz & The Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films

8. Mei Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro

7. Pvt J.T. “Joker” Davis in Full Metal Jacket

6. Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia

5. All those hats in The Prestige

4. The bras on the heads in Weird Science

3. Wayne Campbell in Wayne’s World 1 & 2

2. Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp in various films

1. Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones trilogy (& that other one…)

**Honorable Mentions:**

Woody & Jessie in the Toy Story films

Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare On Elm Street films

The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland

Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange

Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins

Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde

And, finally…

Bonnie Rayburn’s ass in City Slickers

(Okay – I better include the quote for those who haven’t seen City Slickers. Which everyone should see, by the way!! Love it.) 😉

Bonnie Rayburn: [walking by] Good night! I’m going to bed.
Mitch Robbins: [smiling widely at her] Good night! Sleep tight.
[Bonnie smiles and waves]
Ed Furillo: [to Mitch] That was flirting.
Mitch Robbins: No, that was… politeness. That was “have a pleasant and restful evening.”
Ed Furillo: No, that was “I like your ass. Can I wear it as a hat?”

And, yes, I’ve left A LOT of hats out of my Top Ten. For the record, I did think of these…

Lawrence Of Arabia, Curious George’s man in the yellow hat, Dumbledore, V for Vendetta, Fargo, The Blues Brothers, Gandalf, The Mask, The Joker, Maleficent, Magneto, Audrey Hepburn’s various stylish hats, Elf, The Three Amigos, Dread Pirate Roberts, The Scarecrow & The Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz, The Smurfs, Clint Eastwood in various Westerns, Fred Astaire in Top Hat, The Cat In The Hat, Oddjob’s bowler hat in James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Santa Claus in various films, Singin’ In The Rain, The Wild Ones, Jack Sparrow, Abraham Lincoln in various films, Robin Hood, Crocodile Dundee, The Seven Dwarfs, Rambo, John Wayne in various Westerns, The Pink Panther, Princess Mononoke, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Logray’s pig hat & Wicket’s balaclava

Now there’s really no other way to end this post than with the Tom Jones You Can Leave Your Hat On clip from The Full Monty: 🙂

My Top Ten Movies That Are 90 Minutes Or Less


Because sometimes, you like ’em short.

I’m sure we’ve all sometimes chosen what movie to watch based on whichever has the shortest running time. Life is busy and, for movie lovers, it isn’t always easy to find the time to devote to watching a film. And it seems that many of the most critically acclaimed films are at least two hours or more. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Well, luckily, there are some good ones to watch that don’t go to the lengths of Seven Samurai (which is an awesome movie that you really should watch when you have a spare three hours and 27 minutes). So, I’ve gathered some of my favorite cinematic quickies together in this list. And thanks to the hubby for this one as he’s the one who came up with the idea for the list (but, of course, I’ve done all the actual work. as always). 😉

While scouring IMDB for running times, it soon became apparent that certain types of films tend to be the ones that are always short. Loads of animated movies, especially older ones from Disney, are under 90 minutes. Then there are all the old, silent films. Finally, a lot of horror films are also short. So I’ve decided to create two Top Tens as there are way too many short animated films & it’s always hard to know where to put them within a list of non-animated films.

So first, here are My Top Ten Animated Movies That Are 90 Minutes Or Less:

10. The Jungle Book (1 hr 18 min)
9. Yellow Submarine (1 hr 30 min)
8. Heavy Metal (1 hr 26 min)
7. TIE: Sleeping Beauty (1 hr 15 min) & Beauty And The Beast (1 hr 24 min)
6. TIE: 101 Dalmatians (1 hr 19 min) & The AristoCats (1 hr 18 min)

5. The Last Unicorn (1 hr 24 min if I cheat & go by the British version’s running time, which is always shorter anyway due to frame rates per second or something like that) 😉

4. The Iron Giant (1 hr 26 min)

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1 hr 16 min)

2. Grave Of The Fireflies (1 hr 29 min)

1. TIE: My Neighbor Totoro (1 hr 26 min) & Toy Story (1 hr 21 min)

Now we have the list that more people will probably be interested in – here are My Top Ten Non-Animated Movies That Are 90 Minutes Or Less:

10. TIE: License To Drive (1 hr 28 min) & Before Sunset (1 hr 20 min)
9. The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1 hr 18 min)
8. Robot & Frank (1 hr 29 min)
7. Daft Punk’s Electroma (1 hr 14 min)
6. Videodrome (1 hr 27 min)

5. TIE: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1 hr 30 min) & Freaks (1 hr 4 min)

4. This Is Spinal Tap (1 hr 22 min)

3. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1 hr 30 min)

2. TIE: City Lights (1 hr 27 min) & Modern Times (1 hr 27 min)

1. Stand By Me (1 hr 29 min)

Other Greats That You Can Watch In 90 Minutes Or Less:
I figured I’d list a lot – all of these are more short movies that I like as well. Use it for future reference if you’re short on time! 😉

Animated:
Corpse Bride (1 hr 17 min), Alice In Wonderland (1 hr 15 min), Lady & The Tramp (1 hr 16 min), Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (1 hr 23 min), The Rescuers (1 hr 18 min), Cinderella (1 hr 14 min), Peter Pan (1 hr 17 min), Bambi (1 hr 10 min), Pinocchio (1 hr 28 min), Dumbo (1 hr 4 min), The Lion King (1 hr 29 min), South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1 hr 21 min), Ghost In The Shell (1 hr 23 min)

Non-Animated:
Airplane! (1 hr 28 min), Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1 hr 27 min), The Kid (1 hr 8 min), Brief Encounter (1 hr 26 min), Exit Through The Gift Shop (1 hr 27 min), Rubber (1 hr 22 min), The Wicker Man (1 hr 28 min), The Purge (1 hr 25 min), Rope (1 hr 20 min), Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (1 hr 28 min), Office Space (1 hr 29 min), Hobo With A Shotgun (1 hr 26 min), Scrooge (1 hr 26 min), Attack The Block (1 hr 28 min), Primer (1 hr 17 min), Circle (1 hr 27 min)

Horror:
Night Of The Creeps (1 hr 28 min), Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (1 hr 29 min), Zombieland (1 hr 28 min), What We Do In The Shadows (1 hr 26 min)

My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2013

So I’ve already done a list of my top ten films released in the UK in 2013 (List HERE). I love actually going out to the cinema to watch a new movie more than anything but since starting this blog a little over a year ago, I’m trying to watch a lot more “quality” movies at home as well. My IMDB Top 250 Challenge has helped with this a lot. So I think these films all deserve a mention as they’re better than most all the 2013 films combined. These are My Top Ten Movies Watched Outside The Cinema In 2013 counting down from ten (I’ve also done a full review for each which you can read if you click each title):

10. TIE: The Man Who Fell To Earth & The Great Escape

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9. The Secret In Their Eyes

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8. Laputa: Castle In The Sky

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7. Princess Mononoke

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6. Exit Through The Gift Shop

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5. The Warriors

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4. The Kid

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3. The Bridge On The River Kwai

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2. City Lights

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1. Modern Times

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HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Rope
Tucker And Dale Vs Evil
Brief Encounter
Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
The Descent
Once Upon A Time In The West
Notorious
Sleuth
Grabbers

MOST WTF MOVIES:

Rubber, Monkey Shines, From Beyond & Hobo With A Shotgun. (Well, and also The Man Who Fell To Earth which is in my top ten above). I love a good WTF movie sometimes. 🙂

WORST MOVIES I WATCHED:

Obviously the two Shitfest movies I watched for Eric were the worst (The Hottie & The Nottie and one which is still a secret). So of the ones I watched voluntarily, I hated Mary And Max the most. It’s not a “bad” film so it’s probably unfair to call it the worst. I also hated Slumdog Millionaire. But the actual worst was probably Lockout, which I did for Cara’s NOOOOvember.

Again, I have a full (sad) list of every single film I watched in 2013 HERE. Most every one is reviewed & linked and… again… Ranked in order from favorite to least favorite. I have a problem. I need to go to Listmakers Anonymous. (But to defend myself, it’s easy to do these lists if you add each movie right after watching them. Never mind – I’m still probably coming across as being completely mental…) 🙂

My Top Ten Tearjerker Movies

I haven’t done a top ten list in ages so I thought this would be a good topic. I’m not a girly girl & don’t get all teary eyed at the usual sort of contrived chick flicks (piss off Beaches!). For the most part I’m going to leave out true stories (except for my number one) because it would be insane to not have something like Schindler’s List at the top. So bear that in mind before asking why certain movies based on horrific real life events aren’t on here. I’m also almost more of a sucker for happy endings than sad ones so you won’t only find sad ones here.

So here are my Top Ten Tearjerker Movies counting down from ten: 😦

10. American History X

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9. Brokeback Mountain

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8. Toy Story 3

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7. The Bucket List

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6. The Shawshank Redemption

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5. Stand By Me

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4. City Lights

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3. Cinema Paradiso

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2. Up

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1. Mask

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Honorable Mentions:

Bambi
The Lion King
The Green Mile
Always
Midnight Cowboy
The Lives Of Others
Legends Of The Fall
The Elephant Man
Untamed Heart
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Secret In Their Eyes
Untouchable

Happy Birthday to Charlie Chaplin

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At the beginning of the year, I decided to start my IMDB Top 250 Challenge. The plan is to watch all of the Top 250 movies at IMDB and as I’d already seen 150 I figured I could manage to watch the rest. Eventually…!

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Anyway, I started with the Alfred Hitchcock movies I hadn’t yet seen as I was already a big Hitchcock fan. And there are also a lot of Studio Ghibli films in the 250 and I’ve really enjoyed the few that I’ve watched so far and can’t wait to see the rest. However, my biggest “new to me” discovery was Charlie Chaplin. I first watched Modern Times then City Lights and then The Kid. They are BRILLIANT. By far the greatest movies I’ve seen in a long time & they’re now in my list of all-time favorites. I can’t recommend them enough and if, like I had, you’ve waited years to check out some Chaplin I suggest you do so now. 🙂

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I reviewed the three I’ve watched so far so I’ll include the links here if you want to check them out. I say very little about Modern Times as I didn’t feel I knew enough about Chaplin at that point but say a bit more about it in the other reviews.

Modern Times review

City Lights review

The Kid review

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Charles Spencer Chaplin
16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977

IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #11 – The Kid

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The Kid (1921) – IMDB Rank #128

Watched 19/2/13

The Kid is the third Chaplin film I’ve watched now for my IMDB Top 250 Movie Challenge. I first watched Modern Times and then City Lights.

Hmm… I think I’m watching these out of order! I was kind of going by what ones were the most highly rated on IMDB. It was a bit strange going from the 1936 film Modern Times, which was made after movies with sound came along, to the much older 1921 film The Kid – I probably should have watched them in order starting with the oldest. You really can see how much Chaplin’s comedy (especially physical comedy) evolved in the years between these two. Not that I’m exactly an expert after only watching three of his films! I’m assuming the budget was much bigger for later films as well & that other advances in filmmaking made for much more complex gags (such as the gears in Modern Times). I’m not saying that The Kid doesn’t have some great comedic moments, though. It’s just a more simple story and as sweet & heartwarming as City Lights. You can’t watch the movie and not fall in love with that adorable kid in the over-sized trousers. 🙂

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The story is about an unwed woman (oh, the shame in those days!) who leaves her newborn baby in an expensive car with a note asking them to take care of her baby. The car is stolen, the baby abandoned by the thieves and, of course, Chaplin’s Tramp is the one who finds the baby boy & raises him.

The relationship between The Tramp and the boy is so sweet and charming and it’s fun watching them trying to earn a living by The Tramp fixing windows after the boy has broken them with rocks and run away. At one point the now five-year-old boy gets into a fight with an older boy (and kicks his ass!). The boy is GREAT in this scene and so funny. He was so excellent in this that I had to look him up on IMDB. Kind of wish I hadn’t – how did that adorable little kid grow up to be Uncle Fester in The Addams Family?! Haha! Ruined the magic of The Kid for me a little bit… 😉

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I’m not sure how safe this is. Someone call Social Services!

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In one funny scene, The Tramp doesn’t want to get out of his warm bed to eat breakfast. He decides to make use of the hole in his blanket by sticking his head through it and wearing it to the table. That’s right, folks – Charlie Chaplin invented The Snuggie! Who knew?! 😉

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The Kid is sweet & charming and has as much heart & comedy as the later Chaplin films I’ve seen. I highly recommend all three.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #10 – City Lights

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City Lights (1931) – IMDB Rank #41

Watched 15/2/13

So I finally watched my second Chaplin film, City Lights, for my IMDB Top 250 Movie Challenge. I watched Modern Times on 1/1/13 and LOVED it. It’s still my favorite movie I’ve seen in a long time but City Lights is a close second, I think. I don’t know – they’re very close. Not sure which one I prefer. Both are brilliant. Can’t decide!

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When I “reviewed” Modern Times, I didn’t say much about it as I didn’t feel I could as I have zero knowledge when it comes to silent films. I just know what I enjoy & what I don’t and I’m quite surprised that, so far, the Chaplin films are the ones I’ve enjoyed the most by far since starting my IMDB Top 250 thing. My hubby is quite annoyed as he’s been trying to get me to watch Chaplin for years. But even though his movies are widely considered to be brilliant, you still kind of don’t expect silent films to be THAT much fun, do you? Yeah yeah… I should have watched them years ago! But at least I’ve finally made a start. 🙂

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City Lights is fantastic. A sweet love story where The Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl. It’s full of The Tramp’s usual funny & charming antics (usual in the three I’ve seen, at least! I’ve also now watched The Kid, which I’ll review next). The drunken times with the millionaire are very funny and I loved it when they went to the restaurant – the spaghetti gag was hilarious. I don’t know if it quite beats him accidentally getting high on cocaine in Modern Times, though. Lol! That was awesome. I wasn’t quite expecting that from a 1936 film…

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I think Modern Times is probably a slightly better film overall – I think the comedy is a bit better and the overall look is very very cool with the different types of machinery (how cool were those gears Chaplin goes through?). However, though it does have an ending I really liked, it certainly can’t compare to the ending of City Lights. LOVED IT. Too bad I’d already done my list of Top Ten Movie Endings before watching City Lights – I’m going to have to go back & add it because it’s amazing and I’m getting all happy just sitting here thinking about it.

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I highly recommend this film, to say the least. 🙂

My Rating: 9/10

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IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #1 – Modern Times

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Modern Times (1936) – IMDB Rank #45

So I started my 2013 challenge of watching IMDB’s top 250 movies that I haven’t yet seen by watching a movie at midnight on 01/01/13. How’s that for commitment?! And insomnia…

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never watched a Charlie Chaplin movie. You would think that after absolutely loving The Artist I would have explored the silent era a bit. I also watched the Robert Downey Jr Chaplin movie years ago and found it fascinating so would like to revisit that once I’ve worked my way through the Chaplin films.

I’m not sure how to review Modern Times. I think I’m not going to say a lot at this point as silent era movies are something I know absolutely nothing about and I would feel weird talking about something of which I have zero knowledge.

Did I like it? I loved it! I want to go out and buy the entire Charlie Chaplin collection now – I chose Modern Times as it’s the only one I already owned. It’s the second highest rated Chaplin movie on the IMDB list so I assume I’ve started with a good one. I’m really looking forward to watching the rest now. Then maybe I’d be able to say a little more about them. 🙂

My Rating: 9/10

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