Okay, let’s start with what’s good about this film. Spielberg’s direction is great, naturally. A few of the shots were flat out amazing. I loved a lot of the war scenes. The cinematography is beautiful too. It had a nice enough story also. Nothing wrong with the acting either. However, at least for the first half, I couldn’t get into this movie. Its attempts to tell the audience exactly how they should feel were so obvious (especially through the score) and I just felt annoyed. Of course, I’m pretty critical and cynical when it comes to films, so this may not bother or even be recognised by everyone else. My main issue with the film, however, was the horse. I’ll be honest: I am NOT a horse person. I know some people are, and that’s cool or whatever, but I just don’t get it and have no interest. The mere (or should that be “mare”?) presence of horses doesn’t bother me, but rather how they tried to make the main horse in this film a proper character. They kept on trying to present to us that, 1. horses can understand human speech, and in particular 2. that horses have real, genuine, human emotions. I’m sorry, but that is just not true. “But my horse has real personality!” Shut up, no, it doesn’t. At least not on any sophisticated level. Horses can feel pain and all that, but they don’t have true emotions. Despite this, they kept trying to convince us that this horse had all these thoughts and goals and feelings and desires. I just found it really irritating. I’d get into one of the fleeting moments of emotion between two humans and then they cut to the bloody horse and ruin it. Anyway. It’s not a bad film at all. Just one that I didn’t love because I’m cynical and not a horse person.
I don’t have that many followers, and I’m not really sure how many of those actually read each entry in P365 Films, but do y’all want me to keep writing these mini-reviews just whenever I see a new film?
Well, I did it. I watched 365 films within the year 2011. Phew. It got a little trying towards the end there. It wasn’t as creatively challenging as my photo project, but definitely more time-consuming. Here are some of my thoughts on the whole thing:
Here’s my top 10 films from the project. Or rather, what I’m going to call, the top 10 films that affected me the most, in whatever way. Catchy, huh? They’re merely in alphabetical order.
Black Swan (2010)
Enter the Void (2009)
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
The Wicker Man (1973)
And, just for fun, the 5 worst films I saw:
I’ve not been so good with watching lots of classic and famous films for most of my life, and this project was in part a way to rectify that. I saw my first Marilyn Monroe film, my first Charlie Chaplin film… Really monumental stuff. And a lot of films that I can’t believe I hadn’t seen earlier.
Another thing I’m really proud of is the fact that I saw films from eleven different decades. Here’s a rundown:
1910s: 1 film
1920s: 8 films
1930s: 13 films
1940s: 19 films
1950s: 23 films
1960s: 27 films
1970s: 27 films
1980s: 29 films
1990s: 39 films
2000s: 95 films
2010s: 84 films
So, as I suspected, there’s a lean towards more recent films, but I’m still happy with the amount of older ones.
I’m glad I completed it. I’m happy with the wide range of films I got to see. I’m also very glad I can now just watch a movie whenever I feel like it, rather than by a self-imposed schedule.
P365 Film #365
I didn’t know before watching it, but this film was written by Nick Cave of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This instantly made it cooler. He also did the music for the film, which is, of course, fantastic. It’s an Australian western about an outlaw who is told that if he does not find and kill his older brother, the law will kill his younger brother. I liked it. It was quite slow and with minimal action, which I thought worked really well. The action was great and uncompromising when it did happen though. Yeah. Good film.
Also, Project 365 Films is complete!
P365 Film #364
I really liked this film. It’s a Spanish-language movie about two young people trying to escape their lives in Mexico by crossing the border into the US. I though the direction and writing were slick and the actors were great. One or two things seemed a bit unbelievable, but mostly it was an engaging, raw, well-told story that I can totally recommend. I’m now even more keen to check out the director’s recent film, Jane Eyre (2011).
P365 Film #363
This is a truly epic film. Not just in its running time (which is substantial), but in its scope and ambition. It depicts a man’s travels and experiences in Arabia during World War I. The landscapes are pretty amazing and it’s filmed beautifully. However, I can’t say I enjoyed all of it. What I did enjoy were the scenes of emotion and character moments. On the other hand, seeing people ride on camels for extended amounts of time, political talk and a rather slow-moving film in general, doesn’t interest me so much. I imagine a lot of film buffs would heavily disagree with me on all of this, but, while I can easily praise how well-made it is, simply, this film just didn’t do it for me.
P365 Film #362
I’m actually a big fan of the first film, Final Destination (2000). I think it had a really clever concept and it’s a fun and suspenseful movie. I also like the sequel, Final Destination 2 (2003). It’s not as good as the first one, of course, but I liked how it took the original concept and took it to the next level. However, the next three sequels are pretty much crap. They feature a whole bunch of young unknown actors and are really formulaic. The acting and dialogue in this one was probably the worst yet. There were a couple of death scenes that gave me a good chuckle, but it’s all a bit old hat now. The disaster scene at the beginning was quite well done, I’ll admit. Mostly. I sort of liked how they tied it back to the original, although it felt a bit cheap. I can’t recommend this much at all.
P365 Film #361
I’m a few days late for watching a Christmas movie really, but oh well. Like everyone, I already knew the story of this film, having seen it copied or parodied in dozens of different media. It’s a lovely movie. It’s quite short, but I didn’t really think it needed to be any longer. The characters are so genuinely nice in this film, it’s so heartwarming. I can easily see why it’s a Christmas classic.
P365 Film #360
I don’t think I would’ve bothered with this film if it wasn’t for Dustin Hoffman. And he was great. The plot has his character (an unemployed actor) disguising himself as a woman in order to get a role on a soap opera. Sound familiar? Yeah, I think that was my problem. I’ve seen this sort of thing in Some Like It Hot (1959) and again in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). So, the whole “it’s funny because he’s actually a man” thing was tired and didn’t work for me. It’s not a terrible film at all, just nothing special.
P365 Film #359
Oh, how I miss slightly chubby-Christina Ricci. Anyway, this was a good film. I think it would’ve been more effective if I’d seen it when it came out. It feels like I’ve seen lots of similar films. American Beauty (1999) comes to mind in particular. They’re both about seeing the ugly underside of family life. This film had a good cast and was very well-directed by Ang Lee. I really loved his attention to detail in this one. It perhaps didn’t affect me as much as I would’ve liked, but it’s by no means a bad film. Totally worth a watch.