I recently entered the new millenium by joining Blockbuster Online and getting movies delivered straight to my home (what a coun-try! </Yakov Smirnoff>).
I love movies, but my spouse doesn\’t. So for that past several years my movie consumption has taken a nosedive, but on top of that there are plenty of movies prior to 1983 (when I first discovered HBO) that I haven\’t seen.
After my first spin through what Blockbuster had to offer, I had nearly 200 movies in my queue. That should keep me busy for the next year or two or five.
So what have I watched so far?
Citizen Kane – AFI\’s number one movie. Yes, I hadn\’t seen it. It\’s not like it runs on TV all the time (like It\’s A Wondeful Life) and I had no reason to rent it. I figured it was about time that I saw it. And while it was very good, I\’m baffled how it is better than Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, and others. It was an interesting story, but had I written it I would have focused on different parts of his life that were just glossed over or entirely skipped in the film. And the whole \”Rosebud\” thing is just well, in case you haven\’t seen the movie, I won\’t ruin it for you. It\’s still a good movie that holds up surprisingly well. I\’m suprised no one has tried a remake or a modernization of it yet.
The Prestige – a fairly recent movie that I hadn\’t caught in the theater. I really enjoyed the movie. The performances were strong. And I had a good time trying to figure out if Tesla was played by David Bowie or Tom Skerritt. It had the right mix of drama, mystery, and sci-fi. Although it does move a bit slow at times, I highly recommend.
Collateral – I wasn\’t sure what to expect from Collateral. Would Tom Cruise be believeable as a psychopath? Of course he was! If you\’ve seen him jumping on couches or telling Matt Lauer he\’s being glib, then you know that this role wasn\’t much of a stretch. It was an interesting plot, but the writing wasn\’t very good, and it was really the actors who carried the movie. Sub-par talent and this movie could have been a couple graphic sex scenes away from being on Cinemax. As much as I\’ve wanted to resist the \”Jamie Foxx as a great actor\” bandwagon…he\’s pretty darn good.
Gangs of New York – watching this movie made me realize that I know very little about American History between 1820-1860-ish (outside of the Civil War). Was New York anything like what was depicted in the movie? I do know that the Italians and Irish were hated when they came to America, which really opens a whole other line of thought about integration of peoples into the US, but I digress. The movie is, in a word, long. And this is from a guy who demands his money back if a movie runs for only 90 minutes, but 2:47 is a bit long, even for me. Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal in this film. I haven\’t enjoyed a villian this much since Curly Bill Brocious in Tombstone (just…capital!). Overall I enjoyed it, especially when I could fast forward through slow scenes and watch it in 2:20 minutes!
Up next: Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Children of Men.