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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A year in watching movies

Earlier this year, between the completion of Post and its release, the amount of DVDs I watched rose significantly. Now it's to a point where I see an average of three DVDs a week, all while finding time to do others things. Again, in lieu of having cable, I choose to watch a lot of DVDs. I don't see a lot of new movies in the theater, mainly because there are a lot of movies out there on DVD that I want to see for the first time.

Four movies I actually saw in a theater
And those four were: Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Saw V, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I still gripe about going to a theater, but these were movies I could just not wait to see them on DVD. Iron Man and The Dark Knight packed a visual and audio punch my home system couldn't, so I'd have to say these films were more satisfying to see in the theater.

DVD I bought just for a commentary track, even though I had never seen the film before
It seems rather risky and stupid, but I bought the "Director's Cut" 2-disc version of True Romance mainly because of Quentin Tarantino's solo commentary track. He has yet to do a commentary for the films he's directed, so this was something of a major curiosity for me. I liked what Quentin had to say, but for some reason I haven't watched the film itself sans a commentary track on. Strange, but that's just me. I also purchased Once Upon a Time in the West just for its multi-person commentary track (including directors John Carpenter and Alex Cox), but I have yet to watch anything off of it.

A great film that should reissued on DVD
Deceiver is a film I had first heard about from, of all places, Zao's Liberate Te Ex Inferis. Just a quick sample of some dialogue from the film made me curious about it. Featuring a number of great actors (Tim Roth, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Rooker, Renee Zellweger, Chris Penn, and Rosanna Arquette), the movie is quite a head-trip that doesn't end on a cheat. It's quite a great noir piece about deception, but its current transfer on DVD is not all that great. A reissue would be wonderful.

A film that everybody I knew liked but I didn't
I heard great things about The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, but when I saw it, I found its premise to be very, very thin. The record holder remains elusive while his fans try to undermine the number one contender. This ain't no underdog story like Rocky or even Mystery, Alaska. As much as I like video games, they aren't something I take that seriously. I just couldn't root for the underdog or this film.

A film I hated, hated, hated
Dan in Real Life looks great with its use of autumn colors, but what could have been a great look at grief and love felt like a long and painful test of my patience. Using a frequently-used plot device in half-hour sitcoms (waiting until the very, very last moment to be upfront with people about something), I could not wait until the film was over. That's not something I often encounter with films I choose to see, but it happened here.

A film that I hope more people see on Blu-Ray and on big screen TVs
It's funny, a Wachowski Brothers movie sold me on DVD: The Matrix. Now another one of their movies sold me on Blu-Ray: Speed Racer. Their live-action version of the beloved cartoon isn't all aces (I found the attempts at comedy with Spritle and Chim Chim rather distracting), but it's a visually stunning film with heart. I never thought I'd say that about a live action version of a cartoon, but there it is.

Films that get even better with repeat viewings
Suspiria, the original Black Christmas, and Southland Tales are films I liked when I first saw them, but love more and more with each viewing. I still can't explain what all happens in Southland Tales, but then again, I can't fully explain what all happens in Donnie Darko.

Film that I hope to see in the theater so I can get a better understanding of why its source material is so revered
I'm looking forward to seeing Zack Snyder's take on Watchmen, based on a graphic novel that is very, very highly regarded. I have only read the book once and found it to be a dated piece of Cold War fiction that apparently works on so many levels that I didn't detect.

Film that I hope to see on DVD once Netflix no longer lists it as "Long Wait"
WALL*E. A film I've heard plenty of great things about, but due to high demand for the movie on regular and Blu-Ray DVD, I, in the words of Bob Nastanovich, will just to wait.

2 comments:

HeyJade said...

Interesting take...I, of course, have only seen a handful of movies this year, but one I really liked that you mentioned...was Dan In Real Life. Ha! Figures. Oh, and Wall-E is great...worth the wait!!!

_KiP said...

Q's True Romance commentary is the most entertaining one I've heard, my favorite. Movie's pretty great too.

I know how you feel about Deceiver - how long must Region 1 wait for Brewster McCloud on DVD?