February 28, 2010 Leave a comment
April 25, 2009 Leave a comment
It’s insane because the number of movies available from my Mysterious Disreputable Sources increases sharply for every year of movie history. But as long as I can finish the years in less than real time, I could actually take this pretty far.
What, someone made a good movie this year? Be patient. I’ll get around to it.
A reader has requested a list of only the movies that I think are worth watching. I’m tempted, but that kind of misses the point. There are no lists of movies worth watching, and never will be. There are only lists of movies worth watching for me, or you, or someone else. You could pick some of the movies I watched to the end, (which has been and will remain the only way I grade these movies), but who knows what forgotten masterpieces you’ll miss out on?
Reading reviews in search of the perfect choice of movie is pointless when you can just get a hundred random movies, and watch them for as long as you’re interested, and no longer. (Just remember to get the ones you like from a Non-Mysterious Reputable Source afterwards. Don’t be a leech.) The movies you find that way will be your own, in a way some idiot reviewer’s favorite never can be.
April 25, 2009 Leave a comment
The Old Maid (1939, USA) – I just noticed how grotesque Bette Davis’s head is. Beautiful but malformed, like a real-life manga character. Oh, and there’s a love triangle in the shadow of the American Civil War. Watched: 15 minutes.
Each Dawn I Die (1939, USA) – Journalists vs gangsters. The journalists are the good guys, and the drunk driving frameup isn’t very plausible either. Watched: 12 minutes.
The Little Princess (1939, USA) – Gah, Shirley Temple! Watched: 4 seconds.
King of the Underworld (1939, USA) – This gangster movie has cheap written all over it, from the TV drama sets to the not-even-trying Humphrey Boghart. Watched: 7 minutes.
Five Came Back (1939, USA) – It’s the prototypical disaster movie: A group of diverse people with Backstories, (including a rabid anarchist), ends up on the same plane, which ends up in the jungle. To judge from the foreshadowing, they’ll be running from headhunters next, before at last the Final Five are revealed. Watched: 34 minutes.
Oss baroner emellan (1939, Sweden) – A bored noble fails to pick up a girl on the street, and begins a stalker-like search to find out where she lives. Why is it that behavior that is creepy in real life is romantic in movies, (and vice versa)? Watched: 12 minutes.
April 21, 2009 Leave a comment
The Four Feathers (1939, UK) – On the eve of his first assignment, to quell restless natives in Khartoum, a British officer resigns. Branded a coward by his friends and fiancee, he realizes that they’re right, and sets out to the Sudan alone to prove himself through reckless displays of bravery. This is fantastic both as an adventure movie and as a display of the British imperial self-image. A bit unfocused, not to mention implausible and jingoistic, but all its blemishes are interesting blemishes. Watched it all.
The Three Musketeers (1939, USA) – The movie equivalent of a person who laughs at their own jokes. Watched: 8 minutes.
The Story of Vernon & Irene Castle (1939, USA) – Enough with the Fred Astaire and the Ginger Rogers. Enough. Watched: 21 minutes.
Bachelor Mother (1939, USA) – Ginger Rogers (no Astaire, so okay then) is fired right before Christmas, and through an unbelievable confusion of identity finds herself adopting an abandoned child. I don’t like where this is heading. Watched: 7 minutes.
Le Jour se Lève (1939, France) – A man has committed murder. Locked, trapped in a room, he recalls how he became a murderer. No that isn’t my description, it’s the movie’s introduction text, but it’ll do. Starring Jean Gabin, who dies romantically, (***spoiler apology***). Watched it all.
April 16, 2009 Leave a comment
Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939, USA) – An old teacher at a British public school looks back on his life, and the generations of boys he has taught. This is probably the perfect nice movie, intelligent and well balanced between melancholy and humor. Starring Robert Donat as Albus “Chips” Dumbledore. Watched it all.
Buck Rogers (1939, USA) – Upon being awakened from 500 years of suspended animation, Buck Rogers is immediately handed a space ship and a stupid suit, courtesy of .. the FUTURE! First episode of a serial, but that is no excuse. Watched: 17 minutes.
Der Feldzug in Polen (1939, Germany) – This came without subtitles, but the gist of it seems to be that all Germany wants is peace. Watched: 37 minutes.
Another Thin Man (1939, USA) – Another hard-boiled comedy with Nick & Nora, taking the series to new heights of plot complexity. The underlying message is that every alcoholic (indeed, every man) should have a wife like Myrna Loy. Watched it all.
You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939, USA) – Some moderately funny circus jokes. Watched: 16 minutes.
Made for Each Other (1939, USA) – Apparently even James Stewart can be a terrible actor, as long as the script is bad enough. Watched: 8 minutes.