I realize that it’s mid-September and I’ve got to get cracking on knocking out some items on the list. For now, I’m trying to focus on the AFI list. Several family members have let me borrow movies and we’ve bought a few. I’ve also sat down and checked which movies are on Netflix, Hulu, and for rent on iTunes. This would be a lot easier if we had cable, but as much as we read and visit family, it doesn’t pay to have a service that we only kinda use. Without a DVR, tv really doesn’t fit our busy lives. The only time we miss cable is when there’s a ballgame we really want to see. ACC and SEC team schools should have an alumni package where you can buy an ESPNU pass to watch your school’s team play per season. But I digress.
So far, the best movies that I’d never seen from the list are:
As a Southern girl, how had I never seen The General before? With a mix of comedy, action, and history, it really should have been shown in my middle school Georgia history class. The train scenes stand the test of time and are amazing for its day. No CGI needed, just good film making. I kinda have a crush on Buster Keaton now. I definitely want to watch more of his films in the future.
Sunset Blvd. is everything I think an AFI classic movie should be. Great actors, great sets, wonderful cinematography, and plenty of drama. I was only familiar with William Holden from an episode of I Love Lucy. Now I know why Lucy was so ga-ga to meet him. It’s another great movie that caused me to question why I’d never seen it before in all my twenty-nine years.
My not-so-favorite movies:
The Maltese Falcon
Chinatown, well, I’m glad I watched it once, but I’m not fired up to ever watch it again. So sad. I like Jack Nicholson as a villain, probably because as a kid I knew him best as The Joker. As a hero/protagonist he’s a little too intense for my taste.
I like Humphrey Bogart and I should have liked The Maltese Falcon, but I didn’t. I respect that it’s where all the pop culture references about detectives and/or gum shoes comes from. However for me, it was a lot of back and forth with the main character having an attitude of “whatever, babe.”
I bought Swing Time on DVD, feeling that I would really like it. Fred Astaire is wonderful when he sings and dances (minus the black face number), but as an actor he’s just ok for me. The plot was really cheery for all the “being-left-at-the-alter” that happens. Overall, I liked the music better than the plot.
Annie Hall and The Deerhunter are the latest watches on our list. We kinda dreaded watching Annie Hall and decided to get it over with. No offensive intended, but we are not big city New Yorker types. That world and our world are so far removed from another. I try to be open to all cultures, yet, in the past I’ve had some bad experiences with people who are those types, and movies in this vein serve as a reminder. I guess that means it’s a personal thing. Additionally, in the past, I have failed to see the fuss over Woody Allen. As a kid, I merely knew him as the guy who married his adopted daughter. But, having watched Annie Hall, I get it now. I liked the unique flashbacks and wall breaks between the characters and the audience. I liked Annie’s outfits. Allen’s character is annoying, but he’s intended to be. I don’t plan to rush out and watch more Allen films, but Annie Hall did pleasantly surprise me.
The Deerhunter was also a mixed bag. It has an amazingly long wedding scene. You really feel you are at these people wedding and reception cause it goes on forever. But I like weddings, so that was okay. Robert De Niro needs a beard again, it was cute. However, I had to look away during several of the Vietnam scenes. This probably means I will have a hard time watching the other Vietnam related movies on the list. I don’t look forward to them. But, as much respect as I had for Vietnam veterans before, my respect has grown even more after watching The Deerhunter.
Our next movie priorities include The Godfather, Singing In The Rain, and Vertigo, so we can knock out the top ten on the AFI list.