February 15-22, 2009
95. Broken English. Aimless film about a woman looking for love (in all the wrong places, of course). I wanted to like it. But I didn't.
96. Milk. Oscar-nominated film about the first openly gay politician elected. I liked this movie a lot. There were some structural flaws but overall an enjoyable film. Do I think there's a best actor win in it? No. Maybe Brolin for Best Supporting Actor, though.
97. Frost/Nixon. I'm getting through these Oscar films quite nicely. I liked this one even more than Milk. There was some outrageously slow parts of this film, but I was mostly riveted. I knew little about Nixon but came to dislike him. Lol. SHOCKER!!
98. Waiting for Fidel. I really wanted to like this. I got bored part of the way through. No technical issues, but I was wondering throughout how you could get an honest conversation about socialism from the people who live there. I was also thinking, can you really go into that country convinced that democracy is the only way everywhere and expect to have a real conversation instead of conversion attempts. It did leave the argument open for interpretation which I liked and made me think, which I liked, but I didn't really get any sort of satisfaction from the movie itself.
99. Shelter Dogs. I didn't expect to because I kept hearing animal lovers talk about how hard it was, but I really liked this movie. The beginning was hard but there were lots of uplifting moments. All I know is I don't EVER want to get a dog from anywhere but a shelter. There are too many dogs in shelters who need a home to go buying a dog. And they're so CUTE!! I wanted one really bad. It also made me remember my doggy who we had to put down 4 years ago on February 17th. Awww. Ebony. I loved that dog. I had her from 4th grade until after I graduated from college. Half lab, half husky with a blue eye and a brown eye. All black except for a white patch on her chest. Then when she got old, she had gray whiskers. So cute! And absolutely used to drag me down the street when I tried to walk her when we were both young. Lol.
100. Mighty Aphrodite. A Woody Allen film. It was amusing enough. I was shocked there were no relationships with outrageously young females.
101. D.ream B.ike. I wanted to like this movie... but I didn't. It was about a f.irefighter who died on 9.1.1 and the m.otorcycle he bought but died before he could restore. I didn't like the narration, there were too many interviews with not enough observational sequences and scenes where people were doing something other than just standing there talking. Then the end went off in a completely unrelated direction. Very odd. Unsatisfying.
102. Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life. About the fantastic jazz artist and composer behind many Ellington hits. I love the lighting in the interviews in this film. Truly beautiful and CONSISTENT which is huge. I felt myself yearning to hear more from Strayhorn himself. I assume that's why the reenactments are there with the guy from "Psych" but that didn't do it for me. Dianne Reeves sung in this. LOVE her. Gorgeous jazz voice. I didn't know he wrote "Satin Doll" which my high school marching band played.
103. Tootsie. Sigh. Wow... the music as a transitional device was absolutely awful. The 80s is not a kind period to relive... Perhaps I would have liked it 15 years ago, but it dragged on interminably for me.
104. Secretary. A woman gets out of an asylum because she's a cutter and goes to work as a secretary. It's all downhill from there. Oddly, I'd seen the first scene of this movie somewhere. I don't know where but I remember the opening scene. Very strange. The film meandered unmercifully which I think was intentional on the part of the director. Did I like it? No.
105. Rachel Getting Married. Anne Hathaway is nominated for Best Actress this year for her role in this film. Wow. I really, really did not like this movie. It was like watching someone's wedding home video (that's homage to the loose structure of the script as well as the photography style). If you don't know the people, you don't want to see that many details.
106. Under the Sand. Odd French movie about a man who disappears while his wife naps in the sand and how she deals with his disappearance. I cannot tell how I feel about this film. Detached. But I don't feel too strongly in either direction. Let's use meh.
107. So Much So Fast. Documentary about a man whose family created a foundation to generate a cure for ALS after he was diagnosed with the disease at age 29. It was startling to watch the ups and downs and toll on the entire family. I liked this film. Very few structural issues.
108. Farenheit 911. Like all Michael Moore films, very heavy handed. You never have to wonder about his message. This was one of the better of his films. Full of some great information. I don't agree with his ambush-style, but I understand why he presents things with some humor and shocking behavior mixed in-- to make it more palatable for the general public.
109. Written on the Wind. I liked this movie. A 1956 film in which the woman who played the sister won the Academy Award. The drama shocked me especially at the end! You thought you knew but you had no idea. Awesome.
110. Benjamin Button. Multiple Oscar nominations. It has to win something. I liked it. The "flashback" story line was much better and much more cohesive and interesting than the present day story line. I definitely recommend this one.
111. Revolutionary Road. I liked it okay. I can see why it didn't get nominated for an Academy Award. It wasn't bad but the characters didn't seem to transform enough. Plus the characters could all have been playing themselves. You have to really go nuts and lose it (or in the case of Viola Davis, as I like to say, "Go full crackhead" in her roles (she didn't play a crackhead in Doubt but looked way worse than she does in life) to get an Oscar nod, which is what garnered a nomination for Michael Shannon in this film. But he's up against too many standout roles and of course the favorite in Heath for Dark Knight.
112. The Reader. I liked this movie a lot. Which surprised me since I hadn't heard much about it prior to watching it other than Kate Winslet won an award for it and is nominated for an Oscar. I think she has a good shot at it, but I also really liked Meryl Streep in Doubt. I'm realizing that like watching basketball season all year long not helping you pick for the tournament, watching all the Oscar films doesn't make you any more likely to pick the winners. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to choose many more winners than I normally do. Not that in past years I've ever cared.