Friday, January 10, 2014

A Fistful of Cinematic Resolutions 2014! (Matt’s Picks)

    Last year, co-Dork Brad put together a list of ‘cinematic resolutions,’ conspicuous holes in his film viewing history.  I enjoyed watching several of them with him, and decided I’d missed the boat by not making my own list.  This year, I’m not making the same mistake.  So what follows are movies many can’t believe I haven’t seen.

5.  Glengarry, Glen Ross:  I briefly thought I was a David Mamet fan, after seeing the Spanish Prisoner and being totally jazzed to find a modern day Alfred Hitchcock.  But while I enjoyed several movies he wrote and/or directed, none ever quite lived up to that initial discovery.  And along the way, I happened to not watch Glengarry, Glen Ross.  It was never an intentional thing; I would frequently look at it in the rental shop.  Just never actually rented it.  However, more and more, I hear it referenced, and it seems like everyone's seen it but me.

4.  The General, The Gold Rush, and Safety Last:  I’ve watched a lot of silent films and classics in general, but I’ve never seen a Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, or Harold Lloyd film.  Though I know The Great Dictator is usually considered Chaplin’s best, I figure I’m gonna hit up his silent film first.

3.  The Shawshank Redemption:  I don’t remember this movie ever causing much of a stir when it came out, but over the years, it seems to have grown into quite the beloved classic.  Nobody ever seems to talk about it, but it’s been in the number one spot on IMDB’s top 250 since I can remember.  I like the cast, and I hear nothing but good things.  But I’ve never been one for prison films.  Still, I’ve had enough shocked responses to finding out I haven’t seen it.  It’s time to finally get down to brass tacks and check it out.

2.  Rio Bravo:  I do not like John Wayne movies.  Hearing him talk and looking at his ruddy meat-face create ugly feelings that burn in the lump of coal I have in place of a heart.  He represents some kind of ‘back in the day’ America that makes me feel bad to be alive.  So, generally speaking, I try to avoid watching his shitty films.  However, I continually hear about Rio Bravo, and that it’s one to watch, in spite of The Duke being in it.  OK.  Fine.  I’ll give it a try.

1.  Sunset Boulevard and The Lost Weekend:  Two classics about personal demons and lives going down the tubes.  Each is often featured on Film Noir lists, though I don’t know that either should quite qualify.  Still, they’re films I’ve heard about frequently over the years, that always show up in ‘must see’ books and articles.  So this year, I’m going to finally mark these two off my list.

    I feel a bit bad that I didn’t put any foreign films of note on my list.  I still need to see La Dolce Vita, for example, but after seeing 8 ½ last year (and totally hating it), I’m not quite ready to try Fellini again any time soon.


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