My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2014

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8077.jpg

Hi everyone! Crap – when did it suddenly become almost-2015?! Shouldn’t we be living on Mars by now or something? This isn’t the future I imagined back in 1984. What a disappointment.

Anyway! Where was I? Well, it looks like I have two days left of 2014 so I guess I better post my Top Ten Lists! Looks like I did this well into January last year but I’ll be busy this January with my Studio Ghibli Month starting next Monday. Woohoo! (Oh man, why did I decide to do that to myself?! I’m sooo not prepared!).

I’ll start with the list I actually enjoy the most: These are My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2014. Tomorrow I’ll post My Top Ten Movies Of 2014 (going by UK cinema release date). Then I may do My Top Books Read In 2014 on New Year’s Day – that’s a pathetic list since I didn’t read much this year. I’ll stop rambling – here’s my list counting down from ten to my number one favorite. As always, these are the ones I enjoyed the most although there are others I watched that are probably more “worthy” and I’d give those higher ratings. I’ve included the links to the ones I’ve reviewed. 🙂

10. Spring Breakers

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8069.jpg

This probably doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but… You know when you like a movie but you have NO idea WHY?? This is one of those movies for me.

9. TRON: Legacy

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8072.jpg

I know it has its flaws but I don’t care – I had a lot of fun with this one. Plus: Garrett Hedlund! He’s so pretty… Also: DAFT PUNK SCORE!

8. Phantom Of The Paradise

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8071.jpg

What’s not to like about Brian De Palma’s totally 1970s Faustian rock opera horror film?? Okay… Most of you went “WTF?” in the comments of my review but I do appreciate when a good discussion gets going on an interesting film like this one (thank you, Man In Black! I’ll get to the rest of your comments soon – I’ve just been taking a blog break over Xmas). 😉

7. The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8074.jpg

I’m surprised by how little I knew of this classic before watching it this year. Not only was the style of the whole film amazing but I thought the story was also ahead of its time. Every film lover should watch this movie.

6. Kiki’s Delivery Service

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8073.jpg

This is one of several Studio Ghibli films I watched this year but I never got around to reviewing any of them, which is partly why I’m going to review a bunch of them together in January. I like the simplicity of this one. It’s the most “child-friendly” Ghibli I’ve seen so far and it’s one that really grew on me after watching it a couple of times.

5. Bernie

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8075.jpg

I like doing these lists at the end of the year because I find that some movies really grow on me & end up much higher on the list than I would have expected. Bernie is one of these movies. I’ve always been a fan of Richard Linklater’s style and I’m not sure why I hadn’t checked this one out until this year. I’m also not sure why it seems to have not received as much attention as some of his other films considering that the story is quite fascinating, especially the ongoing story involving Linklater & the real-life Bernie. I’m still amazed by the whole situation…

4. Full Metal Jacket

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8076.jpg

As I always say, I’m NOT a fan of war movies. However, I’ve worked my way through most of the war movies in the IMDB Top 250 and ended up loving a lot of them (The Bridge On The River Kwai and The Great Escape being my favorites). I didn’t love Full Metal Jacket as much as those and the first half was far better than the second half but I still really liked the film. I may have to stop saying I’m not a fan of war movies…

3. Daft Punk’s Electroma

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8078.jpg

I like Daft Punk. And sci-fi. And cool robots. And “artsy fartsy”. I loved Electroma. So sue me. (Btw – thank you to the whole five commenters on the review for this! Lol! More than I expected… 😉 I’ll catch up on replying to comments on this blog soon!)

2. The Return Of The Living Dead

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8079.jpg

I love zombies. And I especially love the 80s. I have no idea why I never saw this one before now but it’s certainly one that’s a new favorite I’ll re-visit every now & then.

1. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/90e/43272996/files/2014/12/img_8083.jpg

Obviously, I’m a fan of Studio Ghibli films as I’m dedicating a whole month to them. But there are maybe four or five Ghibli films I LOVE (so far) while the rest I just “really like” so I still wouldn’t call myself the biggest Ghibli fan compared to other people out there. However, Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind really blew me away. (Ha! “Blew” me away… Blow away? Wind? Get it? Okay, it really wasn’t that funny). This was like some weird sort of mash up of the later, more well known Ghibli stuff and 1981’s Heavy Metal. It’s post-apocalyptic and fairly violent for a Ghibli and very much not for young kids. I LOVED IT. It’s so very “me” and I can’t wait to review it for Studio Ghibli Month.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Like I said, the above are the ones I enjoyed the most but I watched a lot of other very good films that really deserve a mention as well:

City Of God
Marnie
Blue Is The Warmest Color
Night Of The Creeps
Rashômon
Howl’s Moving Castle

You can see my full list of movies watched in 2014 HERE. Sad, I know… 🙂

Advertisements

The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1920) Review

IMG_7268.JPG

The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1920) (German: Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari)

Directed by Robert Wiene

Starring:
Werner Krauss
Conrad Veidt
Friedrich Fehér
Lil Dagover
Hans Twardowski

Running time: 71 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film. The story centers around Dr Caligari and his somnambulist Cesare, whom the doctor keeps asleep in a coffin-like cabinet and controls hypnotically.

IMG_7331.JPG

My Opinion:

Well. This movie is pretty freaking awesome. I’m so glad I finally watched it and would highly recommend it to all horror movie fans to see a silent movie from 1920 that kicks the ARSE of most modern day films.

IMG_7335.JPG

You can read lots of excellent reviews of this film elsewhere. I don’t have the knowledge to discuss German Expressionism or silent film, really, as I haven’t explored much beyond Charlie Chaplin. For my Halloween Horror Fest last year, I watched another silent horror (Nosferatu – review HERE). I’ll compare the two as they’re of the same time period and genre.

IMG_7340.JPG

Both these films rightly deserve their status as horror classics. I can’t quite decide which one I liked more. I think The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari is better in many ways. It has a great story that works just as well today and doesn’t feel “dated”. Plus… My god I loved those sets! (I guess they’d be that “German Expressionism” style I won’t pretend I know much of anything about). The look of a film is very important to me and, although I may know next to nothing about art, I know what I like the look of and I LOVED the style of this film. I’m assuming Tim Burton is a huge fan of this film. The somnambulist is an awesome cross between Edward Scissorhands and Robert Smith (of The Cure, Cara). 😉 Check him out!

IMG_7342.JPG

Should I pretend I didn’t have to look up the word “somnambulist” when I watched this? Okay, I had to – it’s a sleepwalker. Dr Caligari goes around “displaying” his somnambulist at carnivals, who can tell people their futures whenever Caligari awakens him from his slumber. I won’t say any more so as to not ruin the story for those who may want to watch this but the story feels very ahead of its time, especially the ending. I didn’t realize how much modern horror films owe to The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari.

IMG_7337.JPG

As for the “horror”, I’d have to say The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari is really not going to be very scary or creepy to anyone watching this today. I’m sure this wasn’t the case at the time but Nosferatu certainly has the edge on it now when it comes to the “creepy factor”. Nosferatu has SUCH an iconic look that I think most everyone immediately knows if the name is mentioned. I have to admit I’d not seen any of the images from The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari before watching it whereas I’d seen plenty of Nosferatu. Caligari is more “arty” and the look and story feel very modern for its time while Nosferatu is a much more old-fashioned take on the timeless vampire tale. They feel years apart yet Nosferatu was actually two years after Caligari. I loved them both in different ways but, if you go for a more classic horror story, you may prefer Nosferatu. It feels more like a “horror” film overall than Caligari does.

IMG_7333-0.JPG

Summary:

Whether you’re a fan of horror or just a fan of “film” (as in, like, not just the stuff made by Michael Bay which will be the case amongst movie bloggers anyway I’m sure), you should really give The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari a watch. Nosferatu as well! They’re true classics in both the silent film and horror movie genre but they’re also both very different. I’d be interested to know which one more people prefer. If you’ve never watched a silent film before, though, I’d definitely say to go with Caligari first as it looks and feels like it was made years later than Nosferatu and is an “easier” film to watch.

My Rating: 8/10

IMG_7330.JPG