Viewing Journal 2009
* after title indicates film was seen on dvd/video
^ after title indicates film was unfinished.
Title in italic indicates that I had previously seen the film
Title in Blue is TV.
001. (Jan 01) THE WRESTLER (2008, Darren Aronofsky) 69
A surprisingly traditional film from Aronofsky that owes a lot to the cliche of the broken down boxer from films as varied as THE CHAMP and the noir masterpiece THE SET-UP to John Huston's still underrated, late-period film FAT CITY. This approaches those films in terms of quality and unflinching brutality, but comes up short in some significant ways; too many of the plot threads have exactly the same arc to them and the punishing beat-downs away from the ring start to register as predictable and one-note; the sadism of Aronofsky auteur of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM coming through full-force when really a more bitter-sweet approach might be more effective at portraying the long-term destructive path that Ram's life for which he looks increasingly destined. (SPOILER) The final shot is a good example, Aronofsky's unwillingness to allow the viewer even the slightest bit of false joy would have actually stung more than the open-ended one with which he ends the film. Rourke is terrific as everyone has said; Tomei is terrifically naked as Mr. Skin probably said.
002. (Jan 01) MR 73 (2008, Olivier Marchal)* 44
Bleak, depressing police procedural is too oblique with the character motivation behind Schneider (Daniel Auteuil) downfall and barely interested in the details of the case he is working and the case which haunts him. Very little to recommend besides Auteuil's typically solid work, I'm sure I won't remember this film by next week.
003. (Jan 03) MANHUNTER (1986, Michael Mann)* 70
Mann and Spinotti's 2.35 composition and attention to color are absolutely terrific here.
004. (Jan 07) LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008, Tomas Alfredson) 54
005. (Jan 10) EDEN LAKE (2008, James Watkins)* 50
006. (Jan 13) THE WILD CHILD (1969, François Truffaut) 95
Truffaut in humanist overdrive but it's such concise, meticulous storytelling that it sometimes recalls Bresson's attention to rigid structures and behavior. Truffaut wisely keeps the Doctor's relationship with the boy as purely clinical for most of the running time; so that when we finally get a bit of physical contact between the characters it is jarring how powerful it is, similar to Scorsese's hand fondling at the end of AGE OF INNOCENCE in its minimalism to emotional impact ratio.
007. (Jan 16) TWO ENGLISH GIRLS (1971, François Truffaut) 74
Second viewing, I was surprised to find that this is merely a very good Truffaut film and not the near masterpiece that I thought it to be nearly a decade ago. Truffaut distills things so much to the novelistic base that far too much of the emotional content is managed by the narration, it's almost as if he wanted to make the mirror image of JULES & JIM in every possible way, even removing the thrills and feminizing the narrative arc. That's Ed, there are still some incredibly beautiful things to be found here. Also, it is clear that Truffaut's influence on Desplechin can be felt through many of his outlandish stylistic choices (ie. iris effects and people reading their letters aloud for the audiences benefit).
s001. (Jan 17) ANTOINE AND COLLETTE (1962, François Truffaut) PRO
My favorite narrative short film and one of the most beautifully realizations of young love ever captured on film, especially of the so-called "Friend Zone" phenomenon. For a short film, this is still surprisingly detailed and character rich; it feels like a feature film in every way except for length.
008. (Jan 17) STOLEN KISSES (1968, François Truffaut) 100
I'm pretty sure I can't do justice to this film with anything I could write. I will just say that I think this film is just about perfect and represents Truffaut at the absolute height of his powers as a filmmaker. The opening shot is a tribute to Henri Langlois and the cinemateque and, in a way, Truffaut's love of filmmaking and the spectacle of movies is never not on display for the rest of the movie; which is a way better tribute to the importance of film culture than the riots of that time.
009. (Jan 22) MADE IN U.S.A. (1966, Jean-Luc Godard) 61
010. (Jan 25) MY BLOODY VALENTINE (2009, Patrick Lussier) 46
In an early section with a naked girl and a midget being chased by the masked killer this looks like it might approach the slasher genre with the same campy respect that Rob Zombie brings to his material, but the film peaks in that passage and the rest is fairly routine slasher doldrums. I mostly saw it for the 3D gimmick, which is used to varying degrees of success, it seems to work best with shots that are typically cinematic already and most of the elements never really leap off the screen's axis.
011. (Jan 25) REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (2008, Sam Mendes) 42
Wow. I don't know what went so terribly wrong here but I am willing to lay most of the blame with Mendes since he has somehow managed to get uniformly terrible performances from all the principal actors (ordinarily a great cast) and turn a perfectly decent script into mannered, phony bullshit. A huge disappointment and a specimen that should be immediately sent to the lab for an further study.
012. (Feb 06) JCVD (2008, Mabrouk El Mechri)* 51
Refreshing and original in some ways but I think this is getting far too much credit for what finally amounts to two formally audacious, stand-out sequences surrounded by very mildly tweaked genre conventions and lame comedy. Mechri chooses to shot many scenes in show-off, single takes but they hurt the pacing of the film within scenes and have apparently helped produce some of the ugliest 35mm photography of the year (I had to double-check IMDB just to make sure I wasn't looking at HD).
013. (Feb 08) THE DEVIL (1972, Andrzej Zulawski)* 65
About on par with the other Zulawski films I have seen to date: completely batshit insane narrative; operatic, craning camera movements and hysterical performances set at a pitch just shy of conniption fit from most of the cast members. I was exhausted by the end of this two hour film, Zulawski never lets the pace lag but more importantly he delivers most of the film at such an insane pitch that you don't really get the sense that you are being taken on a journey that is allowed to have peaks and build into something. The insanity becomes monotonous after about an hour, but the level of invention and visceral impact is still so high that I certainly can't dismiss the experience, which is singular; Zulawski is certainly a talent worthy of more exploration.
014. (Feb 11) THE GREEN ZONE (2009, Paul Greengrass) No Grade
015. (Feb 12) THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (2008, Uli Edel)* 40
A generous grade considering that I have no idea why this film exists when clearly it has very little to say about the German terrorists of the 60s & 70s other than covering as many historical plot-points as it can cram into its bloated 150 minute running time. A book (like, maybe the one the film is based on) or a documentary would be much more illuminating and probably quite a bit more entertaining. Steve McQueen's terrific film HUNGER is actually a far better criticism of this film than anything I would be able to write about it.
016. (Feb 14) PRIDE AND GLORY (2008, Gavin O' Connor)* 35
Straddles the line between human drama and genre fare without committing to either side with any conviction and just ends up feeling like a movie that is all compromise; in which no strong choices were made. Also, remember when Edward Norton was going to be the new DeNiro? Did he skip straight to the part of DeNiro's career where he cashed paychecks in shitty movies?
017. (Feb 15) THE INTERNATIONAL (2009, Tom Tykwer) 68
Tykwer's storytelling ideas are so swift and economical here that I'd be willing to wager that a more compelling film could not have been made from what is a rather lackluster (first) screenplay by Eric Singer.
DNF (Feb 15) MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA (2008, Spike Lee)
It feels like Spike Lee watched SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and decided to steal only the bad ideas from Spielberg. Absolutely embarrassing.
018. (Feb 15) LAKEVIEW TERRACE (2008, Neil LaBute)* 59
I was about to write off LaBute after his last three weak pictures, culminating with his embarrassing remake of THE WICKER MAN (highlights of which can be found here), but this film is really way better than it had any right to be. Borrowing the plot from UNLAWFUL ENTRY but adding a provocative racial element to the story, LaBute manages to negotiate some very tricky material without stumbling into the many traps that would emerge from playing any of the characters too black or white (morally). That is finally stumbles in the home-stretch really doesn't detract much from what is still a compelling take on very generic material.
019. (Feb 16) STUCK (2007, Stuart Gordon)* 79
A slight come-down from the previous euphoric midnight screening at TIFF but there is still a lot to love about the way Gordon takes a very sad, ripped from the headlines story and tweaks it into a demented black comedy, revenge exploitation film. I also still maintain that Gordon is in the middle of a career renaissance right now with STUCK, EDMOND and KING OF THE ANTS finding carving out a small space in the indie world for his bizarre comic-horror hybrids.
020. (Feb 19) ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (2008, Kevin Smith)* 48
CLERKS II hinted that Smith might be about to re-emerge with a good film for the first time in a decade and the premise for ZACK AND MIRI seemed idiot proof (a variation on the plot of THE FULL MONTY) but Smith's only strong creative decisions here are to raise the level of crude, shock humor to one-up the Apatow crowd and raise the level of schmaltz to a nauseating level. I miss the Smith that would allow his characters to be vulnerable like they were at the end of both CLERKS and CHASING AMY and where his comedy also had a little bite that could surprise you right out of your laughter; here the laughs and emotional turns of the plot are as manufactured and conventional as anything you would find on a sitcom like FRIENDS.
021. (Feb 20) THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK (1969, Robert Altman) 54
An overlong but interesting early effort from Altman where you can clearly see a lot of the stylistic traits associated with his 70s work beginning to take shape mostly in the edges of this offbeat, romantic-thriller. Altman perfected this brand of Bergman-inspired female character study less than a decade later with his THREE WOMEN.
022. (Feb 22) BLACK SHEEP (2006, Jonathan King)* 41
A funny trailer that was expanded to feature length for no discernible reason.
023. (Feb 23) THE READER (2008, Stephen Daldry)* 57
Starts strong as a sexually frank, coming of age romance and then gets progressively worse with every jump forward in time, until it had expended most of the good will I had built towards it. The second half really needs to hit hard, but instead it tastefully soft-peddles key plot points and character development; which shamefully wastes some of the potent emotional terrain inherent in the story.
024. (Feb 27) REMEMBER MY NAME (1978, Alan Rudolph) 71
I am highly susceptible to Rudolph's genre splicing, mysterious, meditations on love from the 1980s (CHOOSE ME and TROUBLE IN MIND) and this is very much a precursor to those films stylistically and quite an impressive early film from a filmmaker that is still worthy of more investigation and deserving of a reputation as a major American auteur; which alludes him despite Altman's career-long endorsement. The stylistic tropes that bleed into Rudolph's later, more successful films like the single-artist musical themes on the soundtrack and the casualness of the storytelling, which leave character motivations mysterious for much of the running time, don't completely gel here but it is interesting to see the way he abstracted things more as he became more comfortable with his technical skills and adjusted to his slightly larger budgets.
025. (Feb 28) Q & A (1990, Sidney Lumet)* 43
Badly misjudged racial content overwhelms the routine police corruption plot and while Lumet gets some good work from Assante and Nolte; he really mishandles tone and pacing.
026. (Mar 01) SCOTT WALKER: 30TH CENTURY MAN (2008, Stephen Kijak) 66
Mileage probably varies depending on how fascinated you are with Scott Walker when you walk into the film; I fall in the very fascinated camp and so I got a lot out of watching Walker record his baffling, scary album "The Drift" and talk about his earlier records with Walker Brothers and as a solo crooner adapting Brel songs about murder and gonorrhea. Also, time spent listening to Walker, Bowie, Eno, Jarvis Cocker and Radiohead (minus the disfigured dwarf) talk about music is time very well spent.
027. (Mar 01) POLA X (1999, Leos Carax)* 64
Brilliant cinematography by Eric Gautier and the rambling sequence through the dark woods is a brilliant piece of film; unfortunately, once you clock the narrative arc the film stops surprising and the emotional payoffs are murkier than expected. Certainly a strange one though and it really makes me want to check out Carax first two films.
028. (Mar 04) MISSING (1982, Costa-Gavras)* 45
Starts out very well with the random chaos involved with living in a war zone (which was realized fully by Stone a few years later with SALVADOR) but falls into lame Odd Couple routine between Lemmon and Spacek after the first act; with Lemmon far too impressed by the establishment upon his arrival, even after we are shown him jerked around by Washington bureaucracy. We are well aware that these are two character types who must melt from initial point of reference in order to reach an emotional catharsis, much like a romantic comedy.
029. (Mar 04) GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON (2008, Alex Gibney) 58
Unlike Scott Walker, Thompson didn't have a very interesting third act and Gibney runs out of compelling footage well before the suicide.
030. (Mar 06) RELIGULOUS (2008, Larry Charles)* 48
I'm on Maher's side in this argument but still I wish he'd found some more thoughtful subjects to interview and debate; instead, he mostly ambushes, ridicules and fluffs his ego. Oh and I say that as a fan of Maher and his HBO show.
031. (Mar 07) HAUSU (1977, Nobuhiko Obayashi)* 63
Batshit insane, technically inventive and often hilarious. Obayashi is either a crazy visionary or, um, just crazy. Best bit is definitely the piano that eats Melody but leaves his amputated fingers stroking the infectious piano melody. It is strange though that so many of the Japanese exploitation and pinky violence films are inventive and wild in much the same way: offbeat music numbers, broad comedy and odd lighting effects that suggest Argento and Bava had a huge following in Japan.
032. (Mar 07) VINYL (2000, Alan Zweig)* 71
It's a little painful to recognize some of my own obsessive collector impulse in the sad, usually lonely collective of misfits here, all united by their life-controlling collections of vinyl (and sometimes CDs, although many of them are proud to say that they don't own CD players). Zweig uses these talking heads subjects to punctuate what is largely a film about Zweig's own self-exploration and confrontation of his own quirks and character flaws and this allows him to be ruthless with his interrogation; sometimes to the point that he gets the subject noticeably disturbed by his analysis of their and his behavior. I am very eager to follow up with the rest of Zweig's so-called Narcissism trilogy.
033. (Mar 08) WATCHMEN (2009, Zack Snyder) 62
It's refreshing to see a more adult, revisionist strain start to emerge in the Comic Book genre; similar to the mutations to the Western genre in the 40s and 50s from the simple cowboys and bandits to more nuanced characters with moral ambiguity. WATCHMEN subverts comic book morality and heroism with its costumed heroes who are capable of rape, cold-blooded murder of civilians and abusing the trust laid upon them in some manner. The one character who actually has superhuman powers has mixed feelings about saving the human race and is more or less used as a pawn by the government to scare foreign powers from nuclear war (even his name Dr. Manhattan was meant to inspire fear in his enemies). Snyder adapts the book very faithfully and could probably have still trimmed some or most of Silk Spectre II plot line which disrupts the narrative momentum at a crucial point without the emotional resonance it achieves in the book; partially because gifted comic actress Malin Akerman doesn't do much with her role besides provide it with a body that can fill out latex in all the right places (Carla Gugina, who plays Silk Spectre I, could have filled in the role and the costume more effectively). Snyder does show an incredible amount of promise though, after the serviceable DAWN OF THE DEAD remake and terrible 300; there are some sequences here of bravura filmmaking that show he could develop into a very interesting stylist as long as the "Visionary Director" claims on the poster don't go to his head.
034. (Mar 14) HOUSE OF NUMBERS (1957, Russell Rouse)* 61
s002. (Mar 15) EVA 1 (2005, Gaspar Noe)* pro
s003. (Mar 15) EVA 2 (2005, Gaspar Noe)* PRO
s004. (Mar 15) EVA 3 (2005, Gaspar Noe)* pro
s005. (Mar 15) PHANTOMS OF NABUA (2009, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)* PRO
035. (Mar 16) GREEN ZONE (2009, Paul Greengrass)*
036. (Mar 18) CHINA 9 LIBERTY 37 (1978, Monte Hellman)* 59
037. (Mar 19) THE EDGE (1997, Lee Tamahori)* 65
Third viewing, first in ten years.
038. (Mar 21) SHORTBUS (2006, John Cameron Mitchell)* 60
Second viewing, first was a misguided 42.
039. (Mar 22) SOUTHERN COMFORT (1981, Walter Hill)* 82
Second viewing, first was about ten years ago.
040. (Mar 22) SUNSHINE (2007, Danny Boyle)* 68
Fourth viewing, no change in grade (from first viewing). I keep expecting that the third act twist will be less crushingly disappointing, but alas it is just not the case.
041. (Mar 22) I LOVE YOU, MAN (2009, John Hamburg) 55
042. (Mar 23) ROLE MODELS (2008, David Wain)* 63
043. (Mar 24) THE DRIVER (1978, Walter Hill)* 77
044. (Mar 27) RED LINE 7000 (1965, Howard Hawks) 57
045. (Mar 28) THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951, Christian Nyby & Howard Hawks) 84
046. (Mar 28) THE GO-BETWEEN (1970, Joseph Losey) 56
047. (Mar 28) THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964, Jack Clayton) 48
048. (Mar 29) NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008, Mark Hartley)* 64
049. (Mar 29) THREE MONKEYS (2008, Nuri Bilge Ceylan) 59
050. (Mar 29) MY SEX LIFE... OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT (1996, Arnaud Desplechin)* 94
051. (Mar 30) ROADGAMES (1981, Richard Franklin)* 58
052. (Apr 02) GREEN ZONE (2009, Paul Greengrass)
053. (Apr 04) TAKEN (2008, Pierre Morel) 59
054. (Apr 04) THE MACKINTOSH MAN (1973, John Huston)* 56
055. (Apr 05) TOKYO! (2008, Gondry, Carax & Bong) 57
055a. (Apr 05) INTERIOR DESIGN (2008, Michel Gondry) pro
055b. (Apr 05) MERDE (2008, Leos Carax) mixed
055c. (Apr 05) SHAKING TOKYO (2008, Bong Joon-ho) pro
056. (Apr 05) DUPLICITY (2009, Tony Gilroy) 53
057. (Apr 09) DESPERATE (1947, Anthony Mann) 40
058. (Apr 10) THE RAID (1954, Hugo Fregonese)* 86
059. (Apr 10) BLOWING WILD (1953, Hugo Fregonese)* 79
060. (Apr 10) MAN IN THE ATTIC (1953, Hugo Fregonese)* 61
061. (Apr 10) DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959, Andrè De Toth)* 91
062. (Apr 11) THUNDER OVER THE PLAINS (1953, Andrè De Toth)* 50
063. (Apr 11) JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (1975, Chantal Akerman) 76
064. (Apr 12) RIDING SHOTGUN (1954, Andrè De Toth)* 56
065. (Apr 12) WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956, Fritz Lang) 73
066. (Apr 12) BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956, Fritz Lang) 59
001. (Apr 12) SOUTH PARK 13.5: FISH STICKS (2009, Trey Parker)* 83
067. (Apr 13) THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933, Fritz Lang)* 84
068. (Apr 14) TOKYO SONATA (2008, Kiyoshi Kurosawa) 64
069. (Apr 18) VINYL (2000, Alan Zweig)* 69
070. (Apr 19) VAMPYR (1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer) 75
Provisional grade. No English subtitles and a super-annoying crowd.
071. (Apr 19) LONG WEEKEND (1978, Colin Eggleston)* 73
072. (Apr 20) MARTYRS (2008, Pascal Laugier)* 66
073. (Apr 20) RUGGLES OF RED GAP (1935, Leo McCarey)* 71
074. (Apr 21) TAXI DRIVER (1976, Martin Scorsese) 93
Third viewing, first in theater.
075. (Apr 21) OBSERVE AND REPORT (2009, Jody Hill) 45
076. (Apr 23) IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (1976, Nagisa Oshima) 65
077. (Apr 23) EMPIRE OF PASSION (1978, Nagisa Oshima) 42
078. (Apr 24) SPY(IES) (2009, Nicolas Saada) 53
s006 (Apr 25) WELL PLAYED (2008, Sandrine Veysset) mixed
079. (Apr 25) SOMEONE I LOVED (2009, Zabou Breitman) 67
080. (Apr 25) SITA SINGS THE BLUES (2008, Nina Paley) 64
081. (Apr 25) HAPPINESS (1998, Todd Solondz)* 81
082. (Apr 25) LUKE AND BRIE ARE ON A FIRST DATE (2008, Chad Hartigan)* 54
083. (Apr 26) RAZORBACK (1984, Russell Mulcahy)* 51
084. (Apr 26) VIOLENCE AT NOON (1966, Nagisa Oshima) 52
085. (Apr 26) DIARY OF A SHINJUKU THIEF (1968, Nagisa Oshima) 60
086. (Apr 26) DONKEY PUNCH (2008, Oliver Blackburn)* 63
087. (Apr 27) BABYSITTER WANTED (2008, Jonas Barnes & Michael Manasseri)* 68
088. (Apr 27) ADVENTURELAND (2009, Greg Motolla) 76
089. (Apr 28) NEXT OF KIN (1982, Tony Williams)* 66
090. (Apr 28) LOST HORIZON (1937, Frank Capra) 64
091. (Apr 28) THE TRAIN (1964, John Frankenheimer) 88
092. (Apr 29) ALEXANDER THE LAST (2009, Joe Swanberg)* 71
My first experience with Swanberg and now I am regretting that I haven't been following along more closely. Here he does some very cool things with juxtasposing plot threads through associative editing to show the thrills and anxiety that comes from the romantic entanglements of creative people; sex with staged sex, acting intimacies with musical confessions. Very advanced stuff for a guy that gets a bad rap from some critics for being limited to self-concious, navel-gazing talk fests.
093. (Apr 29) FUNNY PEOPLE (2009, Judd Apatow)^ 54
Funny but terribly overlong and poorly structured narrative (Bana doesn't appear in the first two hours of this two and a half hour film). Maybe the next few months will allow Apatow to shape this strong material into a good film.
094. (Apr 30) GOODBYE SOLO (2008, Ramin Bahrani) 58
Bahrani is looking more and more like the Stanley Kramer of the indie film scene right now and this is tasteful and humanist filmmaking without taking any chances or risking a disharmonious challenge to the characters. CHOP SHOP went down similarly easy but it allowed the bitterness of survival to take precedent over Bahrani's need for compassion.
095. (Apr 30) THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT (1974, Michael Cimino) 82
A loopy, wild ride for the first half that's anarchic and funny (especially the bit with the rabbits in the trunk) before settling down into a terrific heist picture, that's still loaded with surreal touches and ramshackle humor. A truly original and unexpected delight.
096. (May 01) CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE (2009, Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor) 43
I described CRANK as "RUN LOLA RUN made by frat boys" and I don't think I can improve upon that here, which is basically a retread of the silliness of the original but now expanded with some ridiculous bad taste and audience hazing, but it doesn't build to anything because it blows its load early and borrows heavily from true provocateurs like Takashi Miike or Eli Roth, who usually have something else on their mind and are using their outrageous shock images as something more than visceral thrills.
097. (May 01) MOROCCO (1930, Josef von Sternberg) 90
By turns funny, romantic and scary. A simple story expanded by von Sternberg's slinky rhythms and haunting atmospherics; a suicide trip far too lovely to stop marching towards the forgone conclusion that is the final scene, which is romantic fatalism at its most powerfully rendered.
098. (May 02) DEAD-END DRIVE IN (1986, Brian Trenchard-Smith)* 67
An audacious plot, described by Trenchard-Smith as "MAD MAX meets THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL," that allows Trenchard-Smith to run wild with satirical deconstruction of the troubled Aussie youth content to eat junk food, sleep in their suped up cars and watch trashy exploitation films on the drive in screen. Then he expands the satiric net to the Australian past of a society of criminals and racist hatred of Asians immigrants with their "White Australia Policy." Trenchard-Smith never allows for his subtext to get heavy-handed and he doesn't forget to deliverer the goods within the exploitation genre and pads the first and third act with a lot of wild car stunts; all while juxtaposing with the images on the drive in screen. Larry Eastwood's brilliantly detailed Production Design also deserves a mention.
099. (May 02) KING KONG (1933, Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack) 74
Amazing creature effects built within a (now) well-worn action structure moving at a speed similar to a contemporary action film. This is way more light on its feet than the recent Jackson remake and it finds sympathy for Kong without having him slow dance with the dame across a frozen pond.
100. (May 03) WINCHESTER '73 (1950, Anthony Mann) 65
Second viewing, first in theater. What seemed like formal brilliance to me 6 years ago now feels like a structural flaw that takes away from the master narrative to provide loosely related subplots that keep Stewart and his revenge obsession on the backburner for far too long. The gun finally becomes something of an afterthought in the final sequence and while it ties in with the theme of violence bonding men, it could have done so with more conherence to the story. However, the final gun showdown on the rocky terrain is a masterful action filmmaking from Mann.
101. (May 04) THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932, Irving Pichel & Ernest B. Schoedsack)* 72
Impressive mostly in how economically it handles its (oft-repeated) premise and lays the groundwork for the 40s & 50s B-Movies that would follow; especially those produced by Val Lewton. There are also surprisingly quirky performances from the cast, especially the clever work from Leslie Banks as Count Zaroff which suggests the vivacious grace and twisted nobility of Vincent Price. Max Steiner's score also deserves special mention, as does the editing in the rousing foot chase with hunting dogs.
102. (May 05) THE OUTFIT (1973, John Flynn) 69
Gritty crime drama that hints at the nastiness of Stark's prose without fully embracing it but still maintains the loose, novelistic structure of a good hard-boiled pulp. Bruce Surtees' photography is typically strong, doing a lot with low, natural lighting schemes and handheld camera work; making up for the largely workman like approach Flynn brings to directing. It's also terrific fun to see Robert Ryan play the nasty head of the outfit and the always bizarre Timothy Carey as one of his top henchmen.
103. (May 05) BEND OF THE RIVER (1952, Anthony Mann) 76
Second viewing, first in theater. The psychological richness of Mann's later westerns with Stewart is starting to creep into this film, culminating in a frightening scene late in the film where Stewart calls out his warnings of revenge in a pose that predicts his work in THE NAKED SPUR. Mann packs a lot of plot into 91 minutes and the moral complexity of the characters make this a nearly great, if a little sluggish, western.
104. (May 06) LEPRECHAUN 3 (1995, Brian Trenchard-Smith)* 52
My first experience with the LEPRECHAUN series and it was actually a mildly pleasant surprise given my very low expectations. Trenchard-Smith uses his Las Vegas setting for some satirical effect, with Vegas as a perfect match for the greedy leprechaun looking to destroy anybody lusting for his gold. There are also some laughs to be had if you are the right mind set for a ax-wielding Leprechaun spouting humorous couplets like "For pulling that trick, I'll chop off your dick!"
105. (May 06) THE LIMITS OF CONTROL (2009, Jim Jarmusch) 50
I thought for a while that Jarmusch was making his version of WAKING LIFE but finally he revealed that this is actually supposed to be his IDIOCRACY, an attack on what he views as the prevailing anti-cultural movement within the United States as we absorb foreign cultures without pausing to think of their worth. The recurring line "You don't speak Spanish, do you?" becomes an attack on a country mood of cultural disinterest and the people our nameless hero encounters are all signifiers of the rejected (sex, art and science). Jarmusch's approach to the material is an extension of the theme, it is all shiny surfaces and color schemes, but it makes for a very dull and repetitive film that would feel more at home among the counter-culture films of the 1960s, which is not a great result for a film that desires to speak to contemporary culture.
106. (May 06) THE BROKEN (2008, Sean Ellis)* 55
Impressive for a while until it becomes clear that all the stylistic hoops Ellis is jumping through are to distract you from increasingly lame plotting to come. Both CASHBACK and THE BROKEN have had their moments but Ellis would be well served to find a script that he doesn't write next time.
107. (May 07) THE BURROWERS (2008, J.T. Petty)* 43
I still have Petty pegged as a very talented director but he has been defeated here with this strange horror/western that doesn't deliver upon either of the distinct genre expectations associated and it ends up just feeling very uncommitted to the rhythmic or stylistic needs of either genre.
108. (May 07) LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE (1997, Brian Trenchard-Smith)* 38
Trenchard-Smith goes through the motions of another Leprechaun movie but without the wit or satire he brought to the third film, instead he seems perfectly content just to push the Leprechaun character through an assortment of film parody gags which are unfunny and pedestrian. The only moment you really feel some mad inspiration is the quite illogical way the Princess ends up topless; the leprechaun doesn't even speak in rhymes.
109. (May 08) BOY (1969, Nagisa Oshima) 81
Nothing much to say here. The snow man/alien being destroyed by the child is surely a film image that will stay with me for some time.
110. (May 11) TYSON (2008, James Toback) 61
Mike Tyson is a suitably fascinating topic for a documentary and this film covers his entire career as a boxer without covering up the more provocative aspects of his life (spousal abuse, rape conviction, ear biting incident). He is by turns: tragic, ridiculous and unexpectedly emotionally extroverted. Toback's cute transitions and audio montages sometimes get in the way of the riveting performance that Tyson gives while talking about himself.
111. (May 11) RED ROAD (2006, Andrea Arnold)* 58
I don't know how they managed to make this film where the heroine spends most of the first half monitoring people through security cameras without even attempting to discuss what it means to our lives that these camera exist and allow for a big brother monitoring of our lives that is quite frightening. Other than that, there are some beautifully captured scenes by Arnold and some of the audience manipulation allows for some harrowing material sometimes, while other elements are initially mysterious to little purpose (especially the heroine's estranged parental relationship).
112. (May 13) JULIA (2008, Erick Zonca) 80
A riviting experience that barely cracks from its hard-boiled conceit and central character; the comparisons to Jim Thompson are completely appropriate especially when the story shifts to the Mexican landscape of corruption. Swinton is terrific.
113. (May 13) THE CONSEQUENCE OF LOVE (2004, Paolo Sorrentino)* 59
Central character is too much of an empty vessel for my taste, with only narrated quirks distinguishing him and not enough to sell the relationship which is alluded to by the title. Sorrentino's style is the whole show here and his mastery of both visual and audio cinematic techniques is quite impressive but doesn't necessarily point to someone using the tools as an aid rather than a crutch. I will continue exploring Sorrentino and probably would even if Cannes hadn't canonized him with subsequent Competition slots.
114. (May 13) THE FAMILY FRIEND (2006, Paolo Sorrentino)* 61
Style seems to embrace the material more this time but Sorrentino still maintains so much distance from his characters that they feel like empty sketches.
115. (May 14) BRICK (2005, Rian Johnson)* 81
Third viewing, back down to 81. I wish I could hear the dialogue more clearly on the dvd.
116. (May 15) THE LITTLE THIEF (1999, Erick Zonca)* 74
Feels like Dardenne brothers directing a TV movie script by Alan Clarke. Zonca sure knows how to embrace unredeemable character and follow their downfalls without sugarcoating the potential for redemption from their clumsy criminal enterprises.
117. (May 15) THE NAKED CITY (1948, Jules Dassin) 50
Second rate murder mystery is given some nice location detail by Dassin, unfortunately Producer Mark Hellinger is on hand to narrate the importance of shooting on locations and add very little color to the procedural shoe leather.
118. (May 16) STAR TREK (2009, J.J. Abrams) 56
Positive elements of Abrams TV serial storytelling mind are canceled out by the DP and Production Designer he brought from Television and flattened out the visuals and turned the Enterprise into a sterile, boring set.
119. (May 17) NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950, Jules Dassin) 82
A moment out of time: during the wrestling match there was an earthquake that shook the theater (and apparently the rest of Los Angeles). I barely noticed it. Along with PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, this seems like the quintesential Widmark performance; a scary, savage dreamer with a golden tongue and manic energy. He was James Woods' father.
120. (May 17) THIEVES' HIGHWAY (1949, Jules Dassin) 75
Like NIGHT AND THE CITY, THIEVES' HIGHWAY represents the post-WWII society losing grip on the American Dream and the mind-set of the blacklisted.
121. (May 17) THE DOGS OF WAR (1980, John Irvin)* 63
Tip of the hat to Miss Pauline Kael for talking me into this film, her books have recently found their way into my bathroom and she was quite enthusiastic about this film. It is admirably lean structurally and the dialogue is terse and jagged. It's great to see Walken playing a non-weirdo and seeing his strange, hollow face at the end of the action sequence suggests Kabuki theater. Makes me long for the action movie as it existed before Spielberg's RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK buried it in fragments of action set-pieces; this one builds to the action and it feels more rewarding for it.
122. (May 18) DIVINE INTERVENTION (2002, Elia Suleiman)* 49
I wasn't really feeling this comedy even before it broke up the comedy by repetition scheme and unwound the tension with message mongering and dumb, fantastic ninja sequence. Comparisons to Tati are understood but undeserved.
123. (May 19) MAGIC BMX (1983, Wang Chin-Tsan) 16
Title may be incorrect, there was no title card. Director may be incorrect because I didn't have a pen to jot it down. Film was a unintentionally hilarious kiddie movie hybrid of the BMX and post-ET Alien movies apparently plucked from out of Tarantino's personal collection of prints for potential screening at Cinefamily. It is barely passable on camp level and completely atrocious as a film.
124. (May 20) WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY... (2000, Dominik Moll)* 64
Moll walks the thin line between comedy and thriller similar to Chabrol (or Highsmith), as he did with LEMMING, but again he goes too far with his premise instead of just following through with variations upon the impeccable premise which is like a cosmic joke spin on the Saturday Night Live skit about the neighbor who would not leave.
125. (May 21) THE SINGER (2006, Xavier Giannoli)* 47
Performers are blameless and solid; premise is contrived and characters are unbelievable.
126. (May 21) JERICHOW (2008, Christian Petzold) 71
It's hard to get a handle on this James M. Cain riff because the mechanics of the plot appear to be heading towards a conventional noir direction, but this is a head-fake and the film reveals itself to be far more interested in playing with the audience sympathies and preconceptions. Great final note. I might be underrating this.
127. (May 22) SALVAGE (2006, Jeff & Josh Crook)* 62
Tip of the hat to Jeremy Heilman, who is currently knee-deep in the morass of DTV horror films and unearthed both SALVAGE and BABYSITTER WANTED recently. This one has some severe flaws (the score, source music and editing) but the actors are eccentric (Lauren Currie Lewis especially, who seems genuinely terrified when she should be) and the simple set-up keeps twisting into something more perverse and nightmarish; with an enveloping sense of dread and betrayal that resolves itself in a way that is haunting and forces you to think back over the characters and their motivations.
128. (May 22) THE MATING SEASON (1951, Mitchell Leisen) 65
Funny and terribly contrived in much the way contemporary romantic comedies rely on the dishonesty of the idiot plot. On the otherhand, Leisen doesn't pussyfoot around the class issues and the script is writerly and clever in the same way as Brackett's collaborations with Billy Wilder.
129. (May 22) TO EACH HIS OWN (1946, Mitchell Leisen) 69
A touch flabby structurally and about an hour straight is just punishing melodrama, but the ending is so poignant and powerful that I found it impossible to resist.
130. (May 22) THE CROWD ROARS (1932, Howard Hawks)* 61
s007. (May 24) TULIPS SHALL GROW (1942, George Pal)* pro
s008. (May 25) LAND WITHOUT BREAD (1933, Luis Buñuel)* pro
131. (May 25) TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009, McG) 37
132. (May 26) GO GO TALES (2007, Abel Ferrara)* 51
133. (May 26) TAXIDERMIA (2006, György Pálfi)* 64
134. (May 26) JE T'AIME, JE T'AIME (1968, Alain Resnais)* 83
135. (May 27) UNFORGIVEN (1992, Clint Eastwood)* 95
136. (May 27) [REC] (2007, Jaume Balaguerò & Paco Plaza)* 78
137. (May 27) ONE HOUR WITH YOU (1932, Ernst Lubitsch)* 80
138. (May 28) PONTYPOOL (2008, Bruce McDonald)* 67
139. (May 29) DRAG ME TO HELL (2009, Sam Raimi) 72
140. (May 31) ULZANA'S RAID (1972, Robert Aldrich)* 79
141. (May 31) YOU, THE LIVING (2007, Roy Andersson)* 76
Still an overwhelming piece of work; simultaneously funny and mournful, sticking a knife in human desire and fantasy and thoroughly skewering self-importance. I don't think I can improve upon my pegging of this as B-SIDES FROM THE SECOND FLOOR back when I saw this at TIFF, but this is clearly an important work with or without Andersson's previous works to help put it into context.
142. (Jun 01) MONTE CARLO (1930, Ernst Lubitsch)* 77
These Lubitsch comedies are so supple and charming that they easily overcome any shortcomings within their narratives by gracefully copping to and embracing their ridiculousness (as this one does brilliantly by incorporating a play to tie up the lose ends in the third act).
143. (Jun 01) DRAG ME TO HELL (2009, Sam Raimi) 72
Second viewing, no change in grade even though it certainly plays better with a rowdy crowd at midnight. Raimi's narrative is tight and clean with just enough character flourishes to suggest motivation and specializes in misdirection within a scene so that each scene pops out at you in an unexpected way. This viewing, I found more appreciation for the wit of the performances, especially Lohman who proves herself deft as a silent comedian.
144. (Jun 02) KILLSHOT (2008, John Madden)* 42
Madden is too restrained to underline the pulpy material and instead of working towards a narrative through-line he gets bogged down with incident and back story. The film also feels like it has been tampered with a lot in post-production and so many of the elements feel compromised and soggy.
145. (Jun 03) THE PATSY (1964, Jerry Lewis) 46
Structurally resembles the 50s technicolor musical of Kelly and Donen with sudden flights of fancy and two sequences that are the comedic equivalent of ballet sequences. A very strange film with some funny gags mixed with surreal gags and long stretches that seem intentionally deadly. End credits with the character actors walking out individually and taking a bow might actually be the highlight of the film. I'm certainly not going to rule out the rest of the Jerry Lewis festival based on this uneven effort, especially since there seem to be very few prints remaining in the world and this might be my last shot at seeing them.
146. (Jun 04) IN THE ELECTRIC MIST (2009, Bertrand Tavernier)* 48
I saw the shorter, US cut that Tavernier was unhappy with and it does feel like a deeply compromised film with sudden spurts of narration and an ending that feels rushed and unsatisfying. I will check out the longer Tavernier cut if it comes my way because there are certainly elements here for an interesting film.
147. (Jun 04) UNDER SIEGE (1992, Andrew Davis) 76
148. (Jun 05) THE HUNTED (2003, William Friedkin)* 74
149. (Jun 06) THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940, Ernst Lubitsch)* 98
150. (Jun 07) THE HANGOVER (2009, Todd Phillips) 60
I laughed a lot and I can appreciate that Phillips has some grasp over shot composition and making his work somewhat cinematic (especially when compared to most of the output from the Judd Apatow dream factory). I just wish some of these gags and joke premises were so dusty that they seem like they came from a joke book that's yellowed by both age and urine stains. Manages to avoid most of the pratfalls that usually stop comedies dead in the third act and rushes by some plot points that would usually be labored over (the destroyed car is not mentioned, thankfully). Very snappy and fun, probably the best thing Phillips has made yet and it will probably be held as a comedy classic by those that think the same of OLD SCHOOL.
151. (Jun 09) STARDUST (2007, Matthew Vaughn)* 51
152. (Jun 09) PONTYPOOL (2008, Bruce McDonald)* 68
153. (Jun 11) LAKE TAHOE (2008, Fernando Eimbcke) 65
154. (Jun 13) DINNER AT EIGHT (1933, George Cukor) 39
155. (Jun 13) THE BELLBOY (1960, Jerry Lewis) 70
156. (Jun 13) THE ERRAND BOY (1960, Jerry Lewis) 67
157. (Jun 14) BEFORE SUNRISE (1995, Richard Linklater)* 85
158. (Jun 14) BEFORE SUNSET (2004, Richard Linklater)* 92
159. (Jun 15) CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977, Steven Spielberg) 58
Second viewing, first in theater. All build up and the final third is a bit of a let down because Spielberg is far more interested in treating his audience like children in awe of spectacle than adults with curiosity in other cultures. There are a lot of missed opportunities in the first two acts with Dreyfuss' descent into madness played mostly for humor (with the exception of the terrific dinner table scene) and while you eventually see his family leave him, Spielberg doesn't really play up what kind of sacrifice is being made. It's instructive to think about this film in comparison to 2001 from roughly ten years earlier and how both of the films have aged; Kubrick's film still has the ability to dazzle with its vision but Spielberg's film seems defused and distanced, like an old arcade game.
160. (Jun 15) STARMAN (1984, John Carpenter) 61
161. (Jun 17) THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (2009, Steven Soderbergh)* 62
162. (Jun 19) HUMPDAY (2009, Lynn Shelton) 66
163. (Jun 21) STELLA (2008, Sylvie Verheyde) 76
164. (Jun 21) A WEEK ALONE (2007, Celina Murga) 65
165. (Jun 21) EMBODIMENT OF EVIL (2008, José Mojica Marins) 63
166. (Jun 23) DOGVILLE (2003, Lars Von Trier)* 94
167. (Jun 24) THE TENANT (1976, Roman Polanski) 64
168. (Jun 25) 35 SHOTS OF RUM (2008, Claire Denis) 66
169. (Jun 26) LIONS LOVE (1969, Agnès Varda) 27
170. (Jun 26) MUR MURS (1981, Agnès Varda) 74
171. (Jun 27) A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) 91
172. (Jun 27) CINDERFELLA (1960, Frank Tashlin) 48
It's hard to believe that this is the same Tashlin who was responsible for THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT and WILL SUCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?. The jokes are not well-intigrated and the Cinderella plot is so slow to reveal itself that it feels like an afterthought.
173. (Jun 27) THE LADIES MAN (1961, Jerry Lewis) 64
An amazing set, some beautiful crane shots and a genuinely winning premise but it seems like Lewis just loses interest and the film bogs down with unnecessary sub-plots ("Up Your Street") and basically completely forgets to pay-off the premise.
174. (Jun 28) THE HURT LOCKER (2008, Kathryn Bigelow) 69
Very unconventionally plotted as just a tense, series of war maneuvers but sometimes Bigelow manufactures tension dishonestly by having characters not communicate or behave irrationally to illustrate her trite "war as a drug" theme. This film works much better as pure cinema than when it focuses on behavior and becomes too grounded by conventional characters and played-out riffs from older war films. Bigelow's female touch is overstated, this is not BEAU TRAVAIL, if anything it reminds me of the surprisingly effective TIGERLAND.
175. (Jun 28) WHATEVER WORKS (2009, Woody Allen) 65
A funny script that gets occasionally tripped up by neatly tying all the characters together by the film's thesis. Larry David offers an interesting cover version of Woody Allen, allowing lines that are typically Woody to feel organically integrated into David's sour perspective from Curb/Seinfeld. Evan Rachel Wood is miscast and offers some pretty painful line-readings; Anna Faris would have dominated the part and carried it past some limp plot-heavy, comedy-light scenes in the second half.
176. (Jul 04) THE TERMINATOR (1984, James Cameron)* 76
A very fluid action movie that doesn't bother to stop and explain itself until about an hour into the break-neck action. The only major mis-step is with the series of flashbacks meant to flesh out Cameron's vision of the future but instead gives unnecessary distance from the characters and action.
177. (Jul 05) THE ISLAND (1980, Mitchael Ritchie)* 42
Bat-shit insane but treated with normalcy by Ritchie except for when he occassionally confuses tone with odd score choices that contrast the horror of the imagery with a fun, swashbuckling score; but instead of subversion, these feel like studio involvement trying to make the dreary film more fun.
178. (Jul 07) PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009, Michael Mann) 56
I'm probably overrating it considering how put off I was by the distraction technicals decisions made both visually and on the atrocious sound mix (which almost drove me to complain to the management, until I realized that the dialogue was perhaps intentionally muddled and of fluctuating volume). I think some of the set pieces are still very effective and I was very impressed by Marion Cotillard's work with a character of marginal importance to the framework of the narrative.
179. (Jul 08) IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994, John Carpenter)* 58
Second viewing, I think I liked it about the same last time. Intriguing set-up but once the wackiness starts it becomes a monster show but the monsters don't feel like manifestations of anything that has come before. Ending feels like a copout.
180. (Jul 09) OPERA (1987, Dario Argento) 65
I don't think this is as creaky as the audience I saw it with seemed to, in fact I think this is Argento's last gasp of greatness before settling into a disappointing two decades that have found him slipping into obscurity. The horror images are as strong as any Argento has ever come up with and his stylistic flourishes feel well integrated and exciting. Sure the plot takes a turn towards silly in the last twenty minutes but in a charmingly campy way. Apparently, the audience thought the whole thing was just camp silliness.
181. (Jul 09) CEMETERY MAN (1994, Michele Soavi) 71
An odd duck this. Part horror, part surreal black comedy but always with an underlining romanticism which is quite creepy and intriguing. The ending is spectacular and puzzling, definitely memorable.
182. (Jul 10) JAWS (1975, Steven Spielberg)* 96
Spielberg's (only) masterpiece. Classical storytelling, great characters, brilliant filmmaking. I wish this guy had continued more in this direction instead of twisting himself up trying to over-explain and comfort the audience.
183. (Jul 10) IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART ONE (1944, Sergei Eisenstein) 66
184. (Jul 10) IVAN THE TERRIBLE, PART TWO (1958, Sergei Eisenstein) 64
Both are crazy films that feel like they were made outside of influence and time. The images are specialized, fetishized and ornate. Eisenstein's editing schemes have disappeared and instead he cuts along the Y-axis, taking the picture within the picture; each shot feeling composed within an inch of its life.
185. (Jul 12) JURASSIC PARK (1993, Steven Spielberg)* 51
A downgrade. Shoddy characters and pacing hurt this spectacle but once the monster movie antics start this is pretty effective.
186. (Jul 13) TETRO (2009, Francis Ford Coppola) 74
187. (Jul 15) HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (2009, David Yates) 55
188. (Jul 16) BLOOD WORK (2002, Clint Eastwood)* 57
189. (Jul 16) THE BORDER (1982, Tony Richardson)* 46
190. (Jul 17) THE EIGER SANCTION (1975, Clint Eastwood)* 60
191. (Jul 18) LA CIÉNAGA (2001, Lucrecia Martel) 72
192. (Jul 18) THE HOLY GIRL (2004, Lucrecia Martel) 69
193. (Jul 18) TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (1985, William Friedkin) 81
194. (Jul 19) PREDATOR 2 (1990, Stephen Hopkins)* 51
195. (Jul 19) THE LONG RIDERS (1980, Walter Hill) 76
002. (Jul 20) HUNG 1.1: PILOT (2009, Alexander Payne)* 57
003. (Jul 20) HUNG 1.2: GREAT SAUSAGE OR CAN I CALL YOU DICK? (2009, Craig Zisk)* 56
004. (Jul 20) HUNG 1.3: STRANGE FRIENDS OR THE TRUTH IS, YOU'RE SEXY (2009, Scott Ellis)* 53
196. (Jul 20) IN THE LINE OF FIRE (1993, Wolfgang Petersen)* 80
197. (Jul 21) THE RIVER WILD (1994, Curtis Hanson)* 63
198. (Jul 21) LEVIATHAN (1989, George P. Cosmatos)* 50
199. (Jul 21) UP IN THE AIR (2009, Jason Reitman)^ 66
200. (Jul 23) TONY MANERO (2008, Pablo Larrain) 58
201. (Jul 23) ABOVE THE LAW (1988, Andrew Davis)* 53
202. (Jul 24) VAN GOGH (1991, Maurice Pialat)* 57
203. (Jul 25) FLETCH (1985, Michael Ritchie)* 51
204. (Jul 26) WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART (1990, Clint Eastwood)* 72
205. (Jul 26) WISE BLOOD (1979, John Huston)* 67
206. (Jul 28) REPO MAN (1984, Alex Cox) 75
207. (Jul 28) NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959, Alfred Hitchcock) 92
208. (Jul 29) WATCHMEN: DIRECTOR'S CUT (2009, Zack Snyder) 66
209. (Jul 31) FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009, Marcus Nispel)* 18
210. (Aug 02) SPEED (1994, Jan de Bont)* 62
211. (Aug 03) COLORS (1988, Dennis Hopper)* 60
212. (Aug 03) GRAN TORINO (2008, Clint Eastwood)* 77
213. (Aug 04) ORPHAN (2009, Jaume Collet-Serra) 58
214. (Aug 06) BRUNO (2009, Larry Charles) 50
215. (Aug 06) APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX (1979/2001, Francis Ford Coppola)* 81
First viewing of Redux version, second viewing of film.
216. (Aug 07) NOTHING SACRED (1937, William A. Wellman) 75
Second viewing, last seen 2003 when the grade was 70.
217. (Aug 07) LE DOULOS (1962, Jean-Pierre Melville) 83
218. (Aug 09) SOMERS TOWN (2008, Shane Meadows) 65
Charming and slight. Refreshingly not given a huge third-act push by Meadows, hopefully learning from his THIS IS ENGLAND mistakes.
219. (Aug 09) MATINEE (1993, Joe Dante) 57
Fine premise loses focus in the second half when the film-within-a-film takes over and all of the intriguing ideas from the first half fall away.
220. (Aug 10) DISTRICT 9 (2009, Neill Blomkamp) 51
I liked the set-up but felt it eventually became a much more conventional action film and got very repetitive (cue 40th human exploding on camera lens) and less ambitious in it's social commentary (with the Nigerian gang leaving a bad taste in my mouth). It is nice to see a sci-fi/action film with some ambitious aims and difficult themes but I prefer my social commentary in the sly, subtle register of STARSHIP TROOPERS; where most of the audience probably didn't even realize there was a satirical layer beneath the alien battle scenes.
221. (Aug 10) IT'S A GIFT (1934, Norman Z. McLeod) 60
My second WC Fields film and my second shrug reaction. The comedy set-pieces stretch their comedic premises so far with their slight variations that they stopped amusing me and began to irritate me. I am clearly the minority on this one but a little of WC Fields goes a very long way.
222. (Aug 10) ANGELS OVER BROADWAY (1940, Ben Hecht) 39
Overwritten and flat. Saved only occassionally by terrific supporting turn by Charles Mitchell.
223. (Aug 11) DEAD OR ALIVE 2: BIRDS (2000, Takashi Miike)* 64
Second viewing, first since 2002. This is Miike's GROSSE POINT BLANK with hitmen returning home and encountering their youthful innocence but this one has a similar lack of focus that has come to be Miike's signature in the years since. Some great gags and a shockingly sentimental streak but this is not the nearly great film that I remembered it to be.
224. (Aug 12) KISS ME, STUPID (1964, Billy Wilder) 62
225. (Aug 14) PROOF OF LIFE (2000, Taylor Hackford)* 49
Caruso and Crowe are really the whole show here. Hackford's ambitions seem to have gotten the better of him, I don't know how else you can explain the bloated length and numerous subplots.
226. (Aug 14) IN THE LOOP (2009, Armando Iannucci)* 63
227. (Aug 16) RICOCHET (1991, Russell Mulcahy)* 40
Really dumb. Section of Lithgow in prison is the only memorable bit.
228. (Aug 16) DROP ZONE (1994, John Badham)* 54
Really, really dumb. Some great aerial stunt sequences keep this very watchable but it's no TERMINAL VELOCITY.
229. (Aug 17) BIG (1988, Penny Marshall)* 67
One of my favorite films from my childhood brought down to reality. Really sloppy scene/emotional transitions.
230. (Aug 19) THIRST (2009, Chan-wook Park) 56
Park occasionally lapses into extreme silliness which badly upsets the balance of what is otherwise an interesting vampire variation on some of his familiar themes.
231. (Aug 19) LORNA'S SILENCE (2008, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne) 64
Another fully digested Dardenne brothers film that shows their naturalistic style is masking some very manipulating storytelling; with the moral tale spelled out more clearly through their technique than Rohmer's characters could articulate in his Morality Tales. There is so little work to do here that I can only note that the film becomes much less interesting when Lorna becomes stops calculating and loses her mind because there really isn't anything for the Dardennes to do with her character once she gets to that point and the film loses the moral complexity, which was the whole show to begin with.
232. (Aug 20) MURDER BY CONTRACT (1958, Irving Lerner) 81
A cheap film, shot quickly but you'd never know it by how much of the film is devoted to the characters exploring their milieu and passing time waiting for something to happen. Lerner is definitely a director to explore as he clearly is onto something very effective here; hard-boiled poetry with a quirky sense of humor and prevailing dread.
233. (Aug 20) THE SNIPER (1952, Edward Dmytryk) 62
Intriguingly corrosive view of the world as seen mostly through the eyes of the title character.
234. (Aug 20) LORD OF THE FLIES (1963, Peter Brook)* 66
Conceptualizes the story within wartime but does little else to expand upon the narrative of the book and only the party sequence stands out as an exceptional stretch of cinema instead of glorified cliff-notes.
235. (Aug 21) INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009, Quentin Tarantino) 89
Three brilliant prolonged sequences and it fits neatly into the evolving Tarantino world view. This will probably be a masterpiece when I look at it again.
236. (Aug 22) JACKIE BROWN (1997, Quentin Tarantino)* 94
Some of Tarantino's best characters and wisest dialogue can be found here. Probably the last time that Tarantino shaped his stylized dialogue to sound like natural human talk, which is why everyone thinks it's his most mature film.
237. (Aug 23) A PERFECT GETAWAY (2009, David Twohy) 55
Dumb but entertaining; almost gets a pass but Twohy's aggressive style in the last half hour really started to grate on me.
238. (Aug 24) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984, Wes Craven)* 60
Craven has better ideas in this original than what ended up filling the sequels but the execution of the dream sequences are actually improved by more surreal, imaginative touches in some of the sequels (especially 3 & 4).
239. (Aug 24) INSIDE (2007, Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury)* 64
Intense and provocatively violent imagery. Less story and more atmosphere and this might have been a masterpiece of mood.
240. (Aug 25) DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007, George A. Romero)* 71
Slight reduction of grade for no obvious reason (I blame TIFF midnight madness crowds).
s009. (Aug 25) PARTLY CLOUDY (2009, Peter Sohn) con
241. (Aug 25) UP (2009, Pete Docter & Bob Peterson) 54
Frustratingly conventional in the homestretch when the film turns into a protracted chase scene but some of the early storytelling ellipses are dazzlingly and some of the jokes are even funny. Ending doesn't really work, at all.
242. (Aug 26) BEESWAX (2009, Andrew Bujalski) 49
Slight and mostly uninteresting. Bujalski's technicians need to catch up to his ambitions to open up his films.
243. (Aug 26) PONYO (2008, Hayao Miyazaki) 67
A more restrained effort from Miyazaki that still has enough of his zany imaginative tangents to keep things perpetually off-balance and humorous without being pushy about it.
s010. (Aug 27) PURE SPIRIT (2004, Mia Hansen-Løve)* pro
244. (Aug 27) ALL IS FORGIVEN (2007, Mia Hansen-Løve)* 78
The fragmentation of the narrative for the opening 50 minutes rather touchingly contextualized once Hansen-Løve takes a bold structural leap and reconstructs emotional history within a lyrical framework. Stretches of cinematic poetry suggest Lynne Ramsay at times, but with a more studied eye for the complexity of behavior and self-destruction.
245. (Aug 30) INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009, Quentin Tarantino) 93
s011 (Aug 31) WORLD CINEMA (2007, Joel & Ethan Coen)* pro
246. (Sep 01) THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, Robert Aldrich) 67
247. (Sep 03) SUNSHINE CLEANING (2008, Christine Jeffs)* 42
s012. (Sep 03) WORLD CINEMA (2007, Joel & Ethan Coen)* pro
248. (Sep 03) ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008, Sacha Gervasi)* 59
249. (Sep 05) STATE OF PLAY (2009, Kevin Macdonald)* 47
250. (Sep 05) CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS (2003, Andrew Jarecki)* 77
251. (Sep 06) EXTRACT (2009, Mike Judge) 73
252. (Sep 06) NOT ON THE LIPS (2003, Alain Resnais)* 60
253. (Sep 09) TAKING WOODSTOCK (2009, Ang Lee) 52
Surprisingly decent because of Gautier's cinematography and Lee's concentrated focus away from the concert stage on the people attending and the scene around the hotel. It's also notable how subtle and unstated the homosexual relationship is here; I guess maybe our films are starting to evolve in this arena. Split screens are one of the biggest mis-steps though because they are too visually reminiscent of the concert film, although they do effectively represent the chaos.
254. (Sep 10) AN EDUCATION (2009, Lone Scherfig) 44
This film really shelters its protagonist: blaming others for her bad decisions and not allowing them to have consequences. All the characters are made stupid and one-note in order to highlight her superiority and when they are finally allowed to show brief glimpses of another dimension to their character, it is treated as an epiphany.
255. (Sep 10) ANTICHRIST (2009, Lars Von Trier) 81
A hard film to know exactly what to do with, partially because it opens in such a blunt intentionally arty manner, with perfume ad images and bold, underlined themes rendered in Black & White and slow-motion. Von Trier is setting up certain expectations with this opening but the style for the next hour of the film is more closely identified as Bergman-esque, featuring long passages of a married couple talking about their relationship and psychological profile, while Von Trier also begins to introduce chaos and darkness as an element forcing its way into the film; similar to the way Lynch disrupts the relationship in LOST HIGHWAY with characters walking into darkness and sound design illustrating discontent. When the film makes the final leap into visceral horror, it is starting how effective it is. I was reminded of Stephen King's condemnation of Kubrick's THE SHINING as a film that wants to hurt the audience, I think Von Trier also aims to cause trauma with the way he removes identification figures and starts to unpeal the sanity of the characters in the moments immediately preceding the violent mutilations (which are shocking even if you have not managed to avoid spoilers). This is a major work by Von Trier.
256. (Sep 11) THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (2009, Radu Jude) 59
This is probably too repetitive and single-minded in its approach to be entirely successful at capturing the world; for instance, I think it's very disappointing that Jude isn't able to show more sides to the film crew than what is captured here.
257. (Sep 11) HUACHO (2009, Alejandro Fernández Almendras) 53
I think a more rigorous approach might have helped the structure cohere more or it might have been interesting to cross-cut between the threads in order to create conflicts within the structure that otherwise don't exist when they are segregated.
258. (Sep 11) I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND (2009, György Pálfi) 22
Isolated universe of characters where the boys hate the girls and abuse them and vice versa. Nothing works here and Pálfi's stylization that made TAXIDERMIA so memorable is completely missing here; this looks like a bad Dogme director.
259. (Sep 11) HADEWIJCH (2009, Bruno Dumont) 69
Works great until Dumont forces his protagonist to leap into a direction that runs counter to her character in order to fit his agenda, but then he rebounds with a beautiful final section.
260. (Sep 12) IRÈNE (2009, Alain Cavalier) 40
A lot of journal reading while we look at crap DV footage of empty hotel rooms or blankets folded in a way that reminds Cavalier of his beloved dead wife Irene. Cavalier doesn't really invoke this period of his life though and his memories are too fogged to make him an effective storyteller and his visuals do nothing to convey the emotional state that he is trying to evoke.
261. (Sep 12) THE WHITE RIBBON (2009, Michael Haneke) 45
This seems more aligned with the dry early Haneke than his recent, vital work. It feels like a lit adaptation made for prestige awards and not like the work of one of the modern European masters.
262. (Sep 12) WILD GRASS (2009, Alain Resnais) 85
Resnais has made quite a crazy film here in order to help further express the qualities of his central characters; who are flighty, impulsive and indecisive. The film mimics these traits flowing between varying narrative devices: sometimes placing us within the heads of the characters or sometimes giving us an omnipotent narrator who goes off on tangents of his own and sometimes loses his train of thought. The camera floats away from the characters, up over their house or cranings around them while they walk, which is particularly important because of the characters' obsession with aviation. It is also a film in love with cinema, which is a land of endless possibilities and when Resnais playfully flashes "FIN" on the screen a good five minutes before the actual end of the film, it's as if the film is decisive even about what kind of ending these characters deserve, finally resolving to be unresolved with an oddball last moment that is Resnais final rug pull. An exhilerating film.
263. (Sep 12) SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009, George A. Romero) 48
Romero on auto-pilot, only concerned now with finding new ways to kill the zombies. Hints at darker material but always stops shy and basically plays like a bad direct-to-video horror film made by a hacky imitator.
264. (Sep 13) THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN (2009, Mia Hansen-Løve) 67
Another split narrative for Hansen-Løve that reveals its meaning gradually and finds some soft nuances to her characters as they struggle through difficult passages of their lives.
265. (Sep 13) DOGTOOTH (2009, Giorgos Lanthimos) 70
A tricky film to pin down completely since it works just fine as a surreal black comedy not altogether dissimilar to something a modern day Buñuel might make. However, it also holds the capacity for a daker reading on the same material and the film never really committs to either tone; ending up in a muddy middle ground. Certainly a filmmaker to watch and his fim KINETTA (which I watched post-fest) is similarly strange and compelling without being fit into any box.
266. (Sep 13) AT THE END OF DAYBREAK (2009, Ho Yuhang) 64
A very sharply edited film with a strong sense of visual design, I only wish it didn't move in such a predictable trajectory.
267. (Sep 13) A PROPHET (2009, Jacques Audiard) 63
Like the Grand Prize winner GOMORRAH from last year, this film feels too overloaded with plot and secondary characters and feels like it would have been more compellingly told in either a miniseries or TV series format. Of course it also resembles the terrific HBO show OZ at times, which doesn't help matters. Audiard does engage in a bit of audience wish-fulfillment by shaping the narrative in the way he does, having his cake and eating it too.
268. (Sep 13) ACCIDENT (2009, Cheang Pou-Soi) 41
269. (Sep 13) THE LOVED ONES (2009, Sean Byrne) 34
270. (Sep 14) A SERIOUS MAN (2009, Joel & Ethan Coen) 46
271. (Sep 14) GET LOW (2009, Aaron Schneider) 38
272. (Sep 14) THE ROAD (2009, John Hillcoat) 51
273. (Sep 14) SOUL KITCHEN (2009, Fatih Akin) 66
274. (Sep 14) LEAVES OF GRASS (2009, Tim Blake Nelson) 56
275. (Sep 15) WILD GRASS (2009, Alain Resnais) 85
276. (Sep 15) ENTER THE VOID (2009, Gaspar Noé) 78
277. (Sep 15) LEBANON (2009, Samuel Maoz) 47
278. (Sep 15) WHITE MATERIALS (2009, Claire Denis) 65
279. (Sep 15) VENGEANCE (2009, Johnnie To) 63
280. (Sep 15) [REC] 2 (2009, Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza) 69
281. (Sep 16) LIFE DURING WARTIME (2009, Todd Solondz) 57
282. (Sep 16) MOTHER (2009, Bong Joon-ho) 54
283. (Sep 16) MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE (2009, Werner Herzog) 38
284. (Sep 17) MICMACS (2009, Jean-Pierre Jeunet) 27
285. (Sep 17) POLICE, ADJECTIVE (2009, Corneliu Porumboiu) 75
286. (Sep 17) LOURDES (2009, Jessica Hausner) 72
287. (Sep 17) FACE (2009, Tsai Ming-liang) 60
W/O. (Sep 17) SYMBOL (2009, Hitoshi Matsumoto)
288. (Sep 18) VINCERE (2009, Marco Bellocchio) 64
s014. (Sep 18) PHANTOMS OF NABUA (2009, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) PRO
s015. (Sep 18) PHANTOMS OF NABUA (2009, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) PRO
s016. (Sep 18) PHANTOMS OF NABUA (2009, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) PRO
289. (Sep 18) TO DIE LIKE A MAN (2009, João Pedro Rodrigues) 49
290. (Sep 18) I KILLED MY MOTHER (2009, Xavier Dolan) 52
291. (Sep 18) INFERNO OF HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT (2009, Serge Bromberg & Ruzandra Medrea) 35
292. (Sep 18) ONDINE (2009, Neil Jordan) 55
293. (Sep 18) LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL (2009, Hong Sang-soo) 67
294. (Sep 19) AIR DOLL (2009, Hirokazu Kore-eda) 61
295. (Sep 19) THE HOLE (2009, Joe Dante) 54
296. (Sep 19) THE BAD LIEUTENTANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (2009, Werner Herzog) 73
297. (Sep 19) ONG BAK 2 (2009, Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai) 46
298. (Sep 20) KINETTA (2005, Giorgos Lanthimos)* 53
299. (Sep 25) LACOMBE, LUCIEN (1974, Louis Malle) 71
300. (Sep 26) LES AMANTS DU PONT-NEUF (1991, Leos Carax)* 85
Up from 74 on previous (VHS) viewing.
301. (Sep 27) POLICE (1985, Maurice Pialat)* 68
302. (Sep 27) THE INFORMANT! (2009, Steven Soderbergh) 59
303. (Sep 30) DEATH PROOF (2007, Quentin Tarantino) 91
First theatrical viewing of Extended International Cut.
304. (Oct 01) BADLANDS (1973, Terrence Malick)* 96
305. (Oct 02) FORTY GUNS (1957, Samuel Fuller)* 63
306. (Oct 02) TEENAGE CAVEMAN (2002, Larry Clark)* 58
s017. (Oct 03) L'AMOUR EXISTE (1960, Maurice Pialat)* mixed
307. (Oct 03) L'ENFANCE NUE (1968, Maurice Pialat)* 88
308. (Oct 03) MURIEL (1963, Alain Resnais) 74
s018. (Oct 03) NIGHT AND FOG (1955, Alain Resnais) pro
309. (Oct 07) DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER (2008, Kurt Kuenne) 28
310. (Oct 09) AT MIDNIGHT I'LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (1964, José Mojica Marins) 59
311. (Oct 09) THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE (1967, José Mojica Marins) 52
312. (Oct 10) PERFECT LOVE (1996, Catherine Breillat)* 68
s019. (Oct 13) LA CAMARGUE (1966, Maurice Pialat)* con
313. (Oct 13) WE WON'T GROW OLD TOGETHER (1972, Maurice Pialat)* 54
314. (Oct 14) THE CHILDREN (2008, Tom Shankland)* 57
315. (Oct 15) GIALLO (2009, Dario Argento)* 39
s020. (Oct 16) TOASTED SCHIZO 2: THE SCHIZOS ARE TOASTED (2009, Will Penley) CON
316. (Oct 17) MON ONCLE D'AMÉRIQUE (1980, Alain Resnais)* 88
317. (Oct 18) SECRET THINGS (2002, Jean-Claude Brisseau)* 74
Up from 66 on first viewing.
318. (Oct 18) À L'AVENTURE (2009, Jean-Claude Brisseau)* 56
319. (Oct 21) ZOMBIELAND (2009, Ruben Fleischer) 55
320. (Ocs 22) BRIGHT STAR (2009, Jane Campion) 68
321. (Oct 24) THE MISSION (1986, Roland Joffe) 57
322. (Oct 25) ANTICHRIST (2009, Lars von Trier) 81
323. (Oct 27) THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980, John Hough)* 51
324. (Oct 30) ANTICHRIST (2009, Lars von Trier) 81
325. (Oct 31) FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA (2009, Melissa de Raaf & Razvan Radulescu) 53
326. (Oct 31) THE THING (1982, John Carpenter)* 86
327. (Nov 01) MADE IN BRITAIN (1982, Alan Clarke)* 84
328. (Nov 02) ABOUT ELLY (2009, Asghar Farhadi) 60
329. (Nov 02) A LAKE (2008, Philippe Grandrieux) 36
330. (Nov 03) SCUM (1977, Alan Clarke)* 62
331. (Nov 03) TRASH HUMPERS (2009, Harmony Korine) 61
332. (Nov 06) ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (1993, Daniel Stern)* 50
Last seen when I was 12 years old and I quite enjoyed it then, but I realized then that LITTLE BIG LEAGUE was the superior kid-enters-baseball film. Good job young me.
333. (Nov 07) THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981, George Miller)* 89
334. (Nov 10) RUNAWAY (1984, Michael Crichton)* 55
335. (Nov 11) WHAT ABOUT BOB? (1991, Frank Oz)* 63
336. (Nov 12) WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (2009, Spike Jonze) 44
337. (Nov 13) ANACONDA (1997, Luis Llosa)* 60
336. (Nov 15) THE BOX (2009, Richard Kelly) 57
337. (Nov 17) CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (1994, Phillip Noyce)* 68
338. (Nov 17) THE LAST RUN (1971, Richard Fleischer) 71
339. (Nov 17) FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009, Wes Anderson) 80
340. (Nov 18) PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE (2009, Lee Daniels) 32
341. (Nov 18) TWILIGHT (2008, Catherine Hardwicke)* 41
342. (Nov 19) NEAR DARK (1987, Kathryn Bigelow)* 69
343. (Nov 19) BROTHERS (2009, Jim Sheridan) 51
344. (Nov 21) LATE AUGUST, EARLY SEPTEMBER (1998, Olivier Assayas)* 76
345. (Nov 22) SURVEILLANCE (2008, Jennifer Lynch)* 12
346. (Nov 24) ADVENTURELAND (2009, Greg Mottola)* 76
347. (Nov 29) ME AND ORSON WELLES (2008, Richard Linklater) 70
Linklater's instincts are mostly right on but the film eventually succumbs to some very conventional storytelling tropes and becomes much less interesting than some of the individual scenes and performances would lead you to believe. I particularly liked the work of the supporting females here and the magic of evoking being in the presence of Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton as young, ambitious men of the theater (although, Welles might be given too much screen-time because he is such an overpowering character). Doesn't finally add up to much but I had a hell of a good time watching it unfold for most of the running time.
348. (Nov 30) THE LOVELY BONES (2009, Peter Jackson) 39
349. (Dec 01) MOON (2009, Duncan Jones)* 50
350. (Dec 02) INVICTUS (2009, Clint Eastwood) 42
351. (Dec 03) NINE (2009, Rob Marshall) 36
005. (Dec 03) LOST 1.1: PILOT: PART 1 (2004, J.J. Abrams)* 57
006. (Dec 03) LOST 1.2: PILOT: PART 2 (2004, J.J. Abrams)* 54
007. (Dec 03) LOST 1.3: TABULA RASA (2004, Jack Bender)* 56
008. (Dec 04) LOST 1.4: WALKABOUT (2004, Jack Bender)* 64
352. (Dec 04) INSIDE DEEP THROAT (2005, Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato)* 51
009. (Dec 05) LOST 1.5: WHITE RABBIT (2004, Kevin Hooks)* 56
353. (Dec 06) ELEGY (2008, Isabel Coixet)* 49
354. (Dec 08) IT'S COMPLICATED (2009, Nancy Meyers) 57
W/O (Dec 08) JENNIFER'S BODY (2009, Karyn Kusama)*
355. (Dec 09) THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009, Ti West)* 66
010. (Dec 12) LOST 1.6: HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (2004, Michael Zinberg)* 42
011. (Dec 12) LOST 1.7: THE MOTH (2004, Jack Bender)* 51
356. (Dec 13) HALLOWEEN II (2009, Rob Zombie)* 29
357. (Dec 14) CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY (2009, Michael Moore) 56
358. (Dec 15) SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009, Guy Ritchie) 50
012. (Dec 16) LOST 1.8: CONFIDENCE MAN (2004, Tucker Gates)* 56
013. (Dec 16) LOST 1.9: SOLITARY (2004, Greg Yaitanes)* 61
014. (Dec 16) LOST 1.10: RAISED BY ANOTHER (2004, Marita Grabiak)* 65
015. (Dec 16) LOST 1.11: ALL THE BEST COWBOYS HAVE DADDY ISSUES (2004, Stephen Williams)* 62
016. (Dec 18) LOST 1.12: WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE (2005, Jack Bender)* 50
017. (Dec 18) LOST 1.13: HEARTS AND MINDS (2005, Rod Holcomb)* 53
018. (Dec 18) LOST 1.14: SPECIAL (2005, Greg Yaitanes)* 53
359. (Dec 19) I JUST DIDN'T DO IT (2007, Masayuki Suo)* 65
019. (Dec 20) LOST 1.15: HOMECOMING (2005, Kevin Hooks)* 55
020. (Dec 20) LOST 1.16: OUTLAWS (2005, Jack Bender)* 69
021. (Dec 20) LOST 1.17: ...IN TRANSLATION (2005, Tucker Gates)* 43
022. (Dec 20) LOST 1.18: NUMBERS (2005, Daniel Attias)* 61
360. (Dec 20) KINGS & QUEEN (2004, Arnaud Desplechin)* 97
Third viewing, no change in grade from second viewing.
023. (Dec 21) LOST 1.19: DEUS EX MACHINA (2005, Robert Mandel)* 59
024. (Dec 21) LOST 1.20: DO NO HARM (2005, Stephen Williams)* 56
361. (Dec 21) AVATAR (2009, James Cameron) 58
025. (Dec 21) LOST 1.21: THE GREATER GOOD (2005, David Grossman)* 47
026. (Dec 21) LOST 1.22: BORN TO RUN (2005, Tucker Gates)* 50
027. (Dec 21) LOST 1.23: EXODUS: PART 1 (2005, Jack Bender)* 58
028. (Dec 21) LOST 1.24: EXODUS: PART 2 (2005, Jack Bender)* 54
Overall Average Grade for S1 is 56.
029. (Dec 22) LOST 2.1: MAN OF SCIENCE, MAN OF FAITH (2005, Jack Bender)* 50
030. (Dec 22) LOST 2.2: ADRIFT (2005, Stephen Williams)* 24
031. (Dec 22) LOST 2.3: ORIENTATION (2005, Jack Bender)* 54
032. (Dec 22) LOST 2.4: EVERYBODY HATES HUGO (2005, Alan Taylor)* 52
033. (Dec 22) LOST 2.5: ...AND FOUND (2005, Stephen Williams)* 36
034. (Dec 22) LOST 2.6: ABANDONED (2005, Adam Davidson)* 40
035. (Dec 22) LOST 2.7: THE OTHER 48 DAYS (2005, Eric Laneuville)* 67
036. (Dec 22) LOST 2.8: COLLISION (2005, Stephen Williams)* 55
037. (Dec 22) LOST 2.9: WHAT KATE DID (2005, Paul A. Edwards)* 59
038. (Dec 22) LOST 2.10: THE 23RD PSALM (2006, Matt Earl Beesley)* 64
039. (Dec 22) LOST 2.11: THE HUNTING PARTY (2006, Stephen Williams)* 56
040. (Dec 22) LOST 2.12: FIRE + WATER (2006, Jack Bender)* 38
041. (Dec 22) LOST 2.13: THE LONG CON (2006, Roxann Dawson)* 64
042. (Dec 23) LOST 2.14: ONE OF THEM (2006, Stephen Williams)* 67
043. (Dec 23) LOST 2.15: MATERNITY LEAVE (2006, Jack Bender)* 66
044. (Dec 23) LOST 2.16: THE WHOLE TRUTH (2006, Karen Gaviola)* 58
045. (Dec 23) LOST 2.17: LOCKDOWN (2006, Stephen Williams)* 70
046. (Dec 23) LOST 2.18: DAVE (2006, Jack Bender)* 59
047. (Dec 23) LOST 2.19: S.O.S. (2006, Eric Laneuville)* 45
048. (Dec 24) LOST 2.20: TWO FOR THE ROAD (2006, Paul A. Edwards)* 63
049. (Dec 24) LOST 2.21: ? (2006, Deran Sarafian)* 68
050. (Dec 24) LOST 2.22: Three Minutes (2006, Stephen Williams)* 60
051. (Dec 24) LOST 2.23: LIVE TOGETHER, DIE ALONE (2006, Jack Bender)* 64
Overall Average Grade for S2 is 56.
052. (Dec 24) LOST 3.1: A TALE OF TWO CITIES (2006, Jack Bender)* 60
053. (Dec 24) LOST 3.2: THE GLASS BALLERINA (2006, Paul A. Edwards)* 62
054. (Dec 24) LOST 3.3: FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS (2006, Stephen Williams)* 50
055. (Dec 24) LOST 3.4: EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF (2006, Stephen Williams)* 61
056. (Dec 24) LOST 3.5: THE COST OF LIVING (2006, Jack Bender)* 57
057. (Dec 25) LOST 3.6: I DO (2006, Tucker Gates)* 59
058. (Dec 25) LOST 3.7: NOT IN PORTLAND (2007, Stephen Williams)* 69
059. (Dec 25) LOST 3.8: FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES (2007, Jack Bender)* 61
060. (Dec 26) LOST 3.9: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND (2007, Paris Barclay)* 53
061. (Dec 26) LOST 3.10: TRICIA TANAKA IS DEAD (2007, Eric Laneuville)* 47
062. (Dec 26) LOST 3.11: ENTER 77 (2007, Stephen Williams)* 64
063. (Dec 26) LOST 3.12: PAR AVION (2007, Paul A. Edwards)* 58
064. (Dec 26) LOST 3.13: THE MAN FROM TALLAHASSEE (2007, Jack Bender)* 67
065. (Dec 26) LOST 3.14: EXPOSÉ (2007, Stephen Williams)* 62
066. (Dec 27) LOST 3.15: LEFT BEHIND (2007, Karen Gaviola)* 46
067. (Dec 27) LOST 3.16: ONE OF US (2007, Jack Bender)* 65
068. (Dec 27) LOST 3.17: CATCH-22 (2007, Stephen Williams)* 54
069. (Dec 27) LOST 3.18: D.O.C. (2007, Fred Toye)* 51
070. (Dec 28) LOST 3.19: THE BRIG (2007, Eric Laneuville)* 60
071. (Dec 28) LOST 3.20: THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN (2007, Bobby Roth)* 70
362. (Dec 28) MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971, Robert Altman)* 98
072. (Dec 29) LOST 3.21: GREATEST HITS (2007, Stephen Williams)* 52
073. (Dec 29) LOST 3.22: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (2007, Jack Bender)* 71
Overall Average Grade for S3 is 59.
074. (Dec 30) LOST 4.1: THE BEGINNING OF THE END (2008, Jack Bender)* 62
075. (Dec 30) LOST 4.2: CONFIRMED DEAD (2008, Stephen Williams)* 60
076. (Dec 30) LOST 4.3: THE ECONOMIST (2008, Jack Bender)* 63
077. (Dec 31) LOST 4.4: EGGTOWN (2008, Stephen Williams)* 51