Iโ€™m missing Godzilla Minus One Minus Color, but then again dogs permenantly suffer from the reverse so I think Iโ€™m doing okay. ๐Ÿฟ

๐Ÿฟ My year in film stats, via Letterboxd. Do I stand behind all my star ratings? No. Will I revise them? Absolutely not. Most interesting takeaway? Only a quarter of the 93 movies I watched were released in 2023.

I went to a Die Hard watch party the other night with mostly folks I didn’t Know in Houston. One person out of maybe twelve hadn’t seen it. Very fun time. ๐Ÿฟ

I saw No Hard Feelings last night. Fun, formulaic, funny moments, and as always Jennifer Lawrence is endlessly charming. ๐Ÿฟ

My friend Jon gifted me the classics. ๐Ÿฟ

The Years of My Movie Watch List

I did a little analysis of my Letterboxd watch list, to see if there were any interesting patterns.

Since the data export only includes the date I added it to the list, the title of the movie, and the year the film was made (and a URL back to Letterboxd), I figured I’d see how many movies I’d added to my watch list by year.

My top five years of movies by amount, somewhat unsurprisingly, lean recent. I hear about a new movie coming out that looks good, I put it on my watch list. Seems logical, and the rule holds. With one notable exception.

Amount Year
20 2022
20 2021
15 2020
12 2012
12 1987

What was happening in 1987? What was so compelling about the year after my birth that drew me to add twelve movies from that year? I needed answers, so I pulled the list of movies on my watch list from 1987. This could do nothing but illuminate.

  1. Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2
  2. Wings of Desire
  3. Where Is The Friend’s House?
  4. Empire of the Sun
  5. Fatal Attraction
  6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  7. Straight to Hell
  8. Bad Taste
  9. The Stepfather
  10. Near Dark
  11. The Untouchables
  12. Full Metal Jacket

Now I’m even more in the dark. Looking at this list, none of them are jumping out as must see. To be frank, if you asked me what Wings of Desire or Where Is The Friend’s House are, I’d say I’d never heard of them. I don’t know what that says about me that I would know what Straight to Hell or Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 were, but that’s the subject of a different analysis.

I just learned that I’ve seen 17 Cate Blanchett movies, which is 18% of the amount of films she’s made. I don’t know what to do with that, but there it is. ๐Ÿฟ

I saw Cocaine Bear last week in theaters, and it was joyous, grind-house, B-movie fun. I see so many reviews miss the point: it’s not Citizen Kane, it’s Citizen Toxie. ๐Ÿฟ

The Alamo 100

Alamo Drafthouse put out a list of 100 movies they’d want on a desert island back in 2020. Sourced from all their creative directors across the country.

I thought it was an interesting place to find new movies, and was tracking my watches privately. Why private? Who knows. Now it’s public. You’re welcome.

Edit Last updated April 6th 2024.

Movies I haven’t seen

  1. Apocalypse Now
  2. Beaches of Agnes
  3. Big
  4. Black Lizard
  5. Bottle Rocket
  6. Carnival of Souls
  7. Daisies
  8. Danger: Diabolik
  9. Dirty Harry
  10. Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The
  11. Hausu
  12. Johnny Guitar
  13. Jules and Jim
  14. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
  15. Leon: The Professional
  16. Napoleon
  17. Night To Dismember, A
  18. Ninotchka
  19. Notorious
  20. Pride & Prejudice
  21. Sixteen Candles
  22. Sons Of The Desert
  23. Step Up 2: The Streets
  24. Streets of Fire
  25. Succubus
  26. Testament of Dr. Mabuse
  27. Vampires, Les
  28. Woman Is A Woman, A aka Une Femme Est Une Femme

Movies I’ve already seen

These are movies on the list that I’ve personally seen at least once.

  1. 10 Things I Hate About You
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  3. 400 Blows, The
  4. Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The
  5. Alien
  6. Apartment, The
  7. Back to the Future
  8. Best Years of Our Lives, The
  9. Big Trouble in Little China
  10. Blade Runner
  11. Brazil
  12. Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, The
  13. Casablanca
  14. City Lights
  15. Christmas Story, A
  16. Clockwork Orange, A
  17. Clueless
  18. Dark Knight, The
  19. Dazed and Confused
  20. Delicatessen
  21. Double Indemnity
  22. Dr. Strangelove
  23. Duck Soup
  24. E.T. โ€“ The Extra-Terrestrial
  25. Ed Wood
  26. Empire Strikes Back, The
  27. Escape From New York
  28. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  29. Evil Dead 2
  30. Fantastic Mr. Fox, The
  31. For A Few Dollars More
  32. General, The
  33. Ghostbusters
  34. Godfather II, The
  35. Godfather, The
  36. Gold Rush, The
  37. Goonies, The
  38. Hannah And Her Sisters
  39. Home Alone
  40. Joe vs the Volcano
  41. Lord of the Rings, The
  42. Love Actually
  43. Mean Girls
  44. Modern Times
  45. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  46. Night of the Hunter, The
  47. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
  48. Pee Weeโ€™s Big Adventure
  49. Plan 9 From Outer Space
  50. Playtime
  51. Princess Bride, The
  52. Pulp Fiction
  53. Raging Bull
  54. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  55. Raising Arizona
  56. Road Warrior, The
  57. Robocop
  58. Royal Tennenbaums, The
  59. Rushmore
  60. Singinโ€™ in the Rain
  61. Some Like it Hot
  62. Star Wars: A New Hope
  63. Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The
  64. Tommy Boy
  65. UHF
  66. Uncle Buck
  67. Vertigo
  68. Waiting for Guffman
  69. Warriors, The
  70. Wayneโ€™s World
  71. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  72. Youโ€™ve Got Mail

I watched Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles last night. It’s so aggressively naturalistic, I had to sink in, but I found paying attention throughout well worth it. ๐Ÿฟ

Watched David Cronenberg’s The Brood from 1979. I wanted to like it more. Someday.

I watched The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). Interesting twist on the Frankenstein legend, but I thought this one was less focused and entertaining than the other hammer horrors I’ve seen. Still, an engaging performance from Peter Cushing.

Just saw The Best Years of Our Lives, which I recommend. Like many movies prior to around 1970, it features a lot of cheery, well-mannered alcoholism. You can get it public domain on archive.org.

I just saw The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie on Amazon Prime. I’d like to like it more.

Saw Jojo Rabbit, and it’s fantastic. Hilarious, touching, poignant, hilarious. That’s 3 for 3 for Taika Waititi. Do yourself a favor and go see it.

๐Ÿฟ I saw #DolomiteIsMyName this weekend and I really enjoyed it. Eddie Murphy is great in it, but can we all agree that Wesley Snipes is a complete assassin? Super fun performance.

๐Ÿฟ I just saw Spartacus for the first time. Amazing to think that the same director is responsible for Spartacus, 2001, Dr Strangelove, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

Original posts:

I just saw North by Northwest for the first time. We watched most of the movie two nights ago, then finished it the next day, making the ending even more abrupt. ๐Ÿฟ

Syndicated to:

๐Ÿฟ I saw On The Waterfront for the first time the other day. Spoiler alert: it’s good. Also, set in Hoboken! Still, I was surprised how much of the plot revolved around re-routed PATH trains.

Syndicated to:

Basic Premise

Still-frame from Titicut Follies showing an inmate arguing with his doctor.

I recently saw Titicut Follies, the 1969 documentary film about the harrowing conditions in a Massachusetts prison for the criminally insane. The movie was banned by the state of Massachusetts until it was deemed unconstitutional in the late 80s.

One of the subjects is a man who has been transferred from a regular prison to this mental facility. He is very clearly sane, and argues logically in his own defense. His explanations are never taken seriously.

At a hearing of some kind, after the man has once again logically laid out that he is not crazy, the officials talk amongst themselves.

“It’s classic paranoid delusions,” says a nurse, “If you accept his basic premise, everything else he says is quite logical. Of course, his basic premise is incorrect.”

All I could keep thinking was that context largely shapes perception; the man was in the nut house, hence he must be nuts.

Hauntingly, he kept repeating, “You’re harming me.”

That got me thinking about how many other times we completely reject each other’s reality because we “reject their basic premise.” I’m not arguing for subjective reality, but I think a lot of what is happening politically is the result of ignoring basic premises. We don’t have different points of view, in America; we have different planets.

Babadook with Laurie

Babadook book

I recently saw Babadook (No spoilers), a fantastic horror movie that was not only scary, but had a compelling, thought provoking, and grounded story to back up the supernatural.

I know lots of people haven’t heard of it, because it’s a smaller Australian production, and others balk at the title, but seriously, if you haven’t seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out.

I had the pleasure of seeing the movie in theaters, with my friends Andy and Dave, and my fiancรฉ, Laurie, who is the perfect audience member.

Let me explain: Laurie cannot hide her emotions, especially during movies, and even more so during horror movies. She screams at every fright, laughs at every joke, and gasps at every reveal, often loudly.

We went to a later showning at the IFC center in New York, and the rest of the audience was pretty tame, in that laid back, expert movie-goer sheek attitude where everyone sits quietly and absorbs the film.

Babadook park scene

The theater was almost full, and as the movie started, along with some creepy music over the first titles, Laurie was already gripping my arm. As the movie continued, and tension built, she kept muttering terrified curses under(ish) her breath, along with advice for the characters, such as, “Don’t do it”.

As things got weirder, Laurie couldn’t contain herself anymore. She started shouting, “Why!” at the screen. It wasn’t as much a question, as a challenge. She was wedged halfway down in her seat before she started screaming. Something startling or terrible would happen in the movie, and Laurie would punctuate it with one of her sharp, gutteral screams. She even screamed at a non-scary moment, when one of the characters said something mean.

However, the tour de force came three quarters of the way through the movie, at arguably the scariest scene. The events in the theater played out in such cinematic clichรฉ, that if the screen and the theater had swapped realities, ours would get a bad review.

Babadook screaming scene

Laurie was holding a half-eaten jumbo bucket of popcorn, and the second that scary scene hit, she threw the bucket up over her shoulder, dumping huge amounts of popcorn on me, her own head, and the people behind us.

It’s scary enough to watch the movie, it’s even scarier to be hit with an avalanch of popcorn.

I couldn’t help laughing as I picked kernals from the inside of my collar. Laurie hadn’t noticed. When I got up after the movie, I saw a pile of popcorn in front of the people behind us (as well as the actual people behind us; they looked miffed).

There’s something incredibly satisfying about breaking through all the cynicism and irony we’ve all built up (especially in a place like New York), and bask in the glory of strong, public, and unfettered emotion. Even if that emotion is terror.

In short, I highly recommend Babadook.

At the museum of the moving image waiting to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm!

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At the museum of the moving image waiting to see 2001 in 70mm!

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If anyone wants to check if they have a pee fetish, go see Dance of Reality. #movie #imagestuckinhead #somanyquestions

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Just saw The Dark Crystal for the first time. It was…weird.

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