Thursday, January 27, 2011

Five Films to Check Off the “Must See” List By the End of February

Like most movie fans, I have a large number of films on my personal “must see” list. Now with the Oscar nominations out, this list has just gotten bigger. Considering I have not put a dent in my list for a few months now, I have decided to pick out five random films that I will finally set aside time to see over the next month. Similar to weight loss, it is all about taking the small steps to achieving the overall goal. While not all of them may be considered cinematic gems, here is what is on tap for the coming month:

The Ghost Writer: I won a free copy of this film months ago and it has been sitting on top of my DVD player staring at me ever since.

The King’s Speech: It is the only one of the Best Picture nominees that I have not yet seen. Although, there are a bunch of other Oscar films to see (especially the documentaries and foreign films), I shall start with this one.

Unthinkable: A co-worker lent me this Samuel L. Jackson film several months ago and it has slowly made its way to the bottom of the pile. I seriously need to watch it and return it.

Enter the Void: Gaspar Noé’s follow up to Irreversible received high praise from several of the bloggers at the monthly pub night this week.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird: Okay, I did attempt to watch this late one night but fell asleep within the first 15 minutes. This is not a knock against the film, but more a reflection of the gruelling work week. The Good, The Bad, The Weird has been on the list for a few years now so this is a must see in the coming month.


  1. GHOST WRITER might have been the movie that snuck up on me the most with how stellar it is. Watch it for one of the best endings in a movie ever...not in a "holy shit, what a twist!" way, more in a perfectly crafted "beginning of a beautiful friendship" way.

    My watchlist for the next five weeks includes RABBIT HOLE, INCENDIES, ANOTHER YEAR, THE WAY BACK, ANIMAL KINGDOM, and BIUTIFUL when it finally drops in two weeks.

  2. The Ghost Writer is good. Very good. The ending, as noted, is fantastic, but I wish that The Ghost didn't have to do something so unbelievably stupid to get the movie to that point. I also wish it were made by someone I didn't have to make excuses for to even enjoy. C'est la vie.

    I didn't like The Good, The Bad, and the Weird, personally, but there were extenuating circumstances. Kim's I Saw the Devil was much more to my liking. Check it out when it finally gets a release.

    I'm probably going to pass on Enter the Void. Gaspar Noé has yet to make a movie that did anything more than piss me off.

    I'm seeing The King's Speech this weekend, I hope. Next week at the earliest. Probably The Black Swan, too, but I'm apprehensive about that one. That will cover the Oscar nominees that I want to see. I'm more interested in the foreign films this year. I haven't seen any of them. I've seen some of Susanna Bier's other movies, though, and I like them. I don't really like Inarritu, so I may pass on Biutiful.

  3. I'm going to have to agree with Dr. in that I'm not running out to see Enter the Void either. Irreversible sucked and I can't imagine over 2.5 of Gasper Noe's overstuffed visual wanking being enjoyable.

  4. @Hatter – I watched Animal Kingdom a few weeks back but have been rather lazy in writing down my thoughts on it. Hopefully I will have something up next week. Really looking forward to Incendies (huge Denis Villeneuve fan), it has been on the list since TIFF. Interested in seeing the other films you mentioned but they all fall in the middle of the pack for me right now.

    @dr.morbius – I was able to catch I Saw the Devil at TIFF this past year and really enjoyed it. Devil was the film that reminded me that I still needed to see The Good, The Bad, The Weird.

    As for Noe, it is the fact that he can evoke such a strong reaction from me (similar to Lars Von Tier) that makes Enter the Void a must see for me. I know that I will never walk away from his films feeling indifferent.

    Lastly, the foreign film nominees look very interesting this year. I am going to try my best to see as many as I can (especially Incendies...have to support the Canadian content). Yet I always make it a point to see the BP nominees first, partly because they are the easiest to find in local theatres.

    @Mike – I hated Irreversible the first time I watched it, but could not get it out of my head. I finally watched it again weeks later and loved it. I think my initially reaction to it was based on the fact that Noe took me to an uncomfortable place that I was not expecting. I have a feeling that Void will only take us deeper into the grime.

  5. Excellent list my friend. For me, it's going to be catching up on not just a few Oscar-related films for me to see (on DVD) but also the films that aren't nominated that I missed last year. I'll add Ghost Writer to that list. I'm going to stay away from the movie theaters for a while since I don't believe there's a good movie coming in February.

    Plus, I'm doing my Todd Haynes project in anticipation for Mildred Pierce.

  6. Nice idea for a post. Mine would be:
    - True Grit
    - The Way Back
    - The King's Speech
    - Somewhere
    - Rabbit Hole

  7. I'm also seeing 'The King's Speech' this weekend. Time to play Oscar catch up...

    Soon I'll watch The Last Train Home, a Canadian-Chinese documentary similar to 'Up the Yangtze' that has garnered much acclaim.

  8. @thevoid99 – Did not realize Hayes had a new film in the works.

    @Castor – I am really interested in both Rabbit Hole and The Way Back. Somewhere has dropped a bit in the priority list for me. I think I just got tired of hearing all the hype before it was released. Once people saw it, the reviews were rather underwhelming. I still want to see it but I will wait for it to hit video.

    @Edgar – The Last Train Home sounds interesting...

  9. Actually, it's a TV movie coming on HBO this coming March.

  10. King's Speech - check!
    Ghost Writer - check!

    The other three -- not sure if they're anywhere to the top of my February pile.

  11. @thevoid - I will keep an eye out for it.

    @RC - The King's Speech is definitely the one most people will be going to prior to the Oscars.


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