Lots to get through in this most decimal of months, so I’ll provide you with a nifty ten-point contents list…
All in all, it’s a thorough monthly round-up! So let’s get going…
This one’ll be quick: there’s no WDYMYHS film this month. First time I’ve slipped this year.
Why not? I simply didn’t fancy one. The pool has narrowed to just Oldboy, Rear Window, and Requiem for a Dream, and while I’m sure they’re all great films — and all ones I’ve been keen to see for yonks — an opportunity didn’t arise where they felt right. I could’ve forced one last night, but what’s the point in forcing it?
Two months remain to make it up. And maybe actually watch Raging Bull like I said I would, too.
In happier news:
I’ve tried to make previous #100s notable, when possible: in 2007 it was the (then-)greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane; in 2010 it was the most recent Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker; and last year it was the epically epic Lawrence of Arabia. (The other two, Swing Time and The A-Team, are both films I liked, but both were viewed more of necessity than strict “what would be a good #100?” choice.)
Come this year, then, and what have I chosen for my sixth #100? After being scuppered for several days by not fancying anything too momentous, I threw the desire for meaning out the window and acquiesced to the other half’s request for me to “get that rude-sounding film off the Virgin box”, rendering 2014’s #100 as the debut feature of American Hustle’s David O. Russell, Spanking the Monkey. Here’s my drabble review.
(It’s an unfortunate coincidence that I’ve posted multiple drabble reviews in the past week. Full-length reviews do continue, and I’m sure there’ll be some soon.)
#98 Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978), aka Se ying diu sau
#99 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
#100 Spanking the Monkey (1994)
#101 The Tourist (2010)
#102 Edge of Tomorrow (2014), aka Live. Die. Repeat.
#103 Dead Poets Society (1989)
#104 La Belle et la Bête (1946), aka Beauty and the Beast
#104a The 10th Kingdom (2000)
#105 Ten Little Indians (1965)
#106 Furious 6 (2013), aka Fast & Furious 6
#107 Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
#108 Last Action Hero (1993)
Ahem, ‘scuse me. But that’s undoubtedly the headline of this month’s viewing: as you may’ve noticed, I’ve reached #100, for the sixth time out of eight attempts. That’s a 75% success rate — not bad, really. This is the first time I’ve done it in October; a month behind my two earliest years (2007 and 2010 got there in September), ahead of last year’s November finish, and considerably less stressful than the down-to-the-wire December conclusions of 2008 and 2011 (both of which reached #100 on December 31st!)
This is also the fourth time I’ve passed the 100 films total. The next milestone is last year’s 110, which I’m closing in on (I’m already further ahead than I was at the end of November last year); after that, there’s 2010’s 122 and 2007’s 129 still to overtake. 2007 was my first year and remains unbettered, so it would be just shiny to finally achieve that. I’m 22 films away from that goal, which the averages for this year suggest is possible — a little too possible, actually, as 11-films-a-month is the precise average of the year to date. (Which, you’ll note, makes October a particularly average month.) Alas, history adds no reassurance: my average tally for previous November & December viewing is 17 films — and that’s boosted by strong numbers in 2008 and 2009, too: over the past four years, my Nov./Dec. average total is just 11. Still, 2014 hasn’t played ball when it comes to past averages, so we’ll see.
And, incidentally, though I ‘only’ watched 11 new films this month, I gave over five film-viewing slots to The 10th Kingdom — if I’d watched countable films instead, I’d be at 16, which would’ve made October my second-best month of 2014. But I didn’t, so it isn’t… but without a similar miniseries re-watch project lined up for the immediate future, November and December’s numbers might benefit.
It’s all to play for! Which is exciting for me, at least.
Also this month, I passed 900 feature film reviews. Sure sounds like a lot to me.
OK, firstly, I haven’t posted 900 reviews — my backlog’s still quite extensive — but I’ve surpassed 900 films that will be reviewed. I’m somewhere in the 850s right now, I think.
Secondly, it doesn’t mean I’ve reached #900. The tally includes all the extra reviews I’ve done down the years — the repeat viewings and the not-that-different director’s cuts and so on. The official #900 (as it were) would be this year’s #148. I’m doing well, but that’s not very likely at all. Next year, then.
And with that, there’s a chance for something even bigger: if I can make it suitably far past #100 this year and next year, one of 2015’s last films will be #1000!
(For those interested in a more precise number, I need to reach #124 both years for that to happen. Alternatively, if I do make it to a record-breaking #130 this year, then 2015’s #118 would be #1000. There are dozens of other plausible permutations besides those, of course.)
As I discussed a couple of weeks ago, my old stomping ground of FilmJournal is no more. For more on what that means check out the link, but for the purposes of my archive re-posts: they’re now more labour-intensive to complete, and I’m lazy, so there have been fewer. The project will still be finished, but it may take a bit longer than the speed I was churning through them before.
Nonetheless, the last 31 days have seen 20 reviews re-appear:
Back in August 2013, I finally added some header images to my “list of reviews” and “reviews by director” pages. This month, there’s been a little refresh and addition. “List of reviews” remains the same, but “reviews by director” has been updated to reflect my most-reviewed directors — mostly thanks to zombie movies
George A. Romero barged his way to near the top of the pile when I reviewed all six of his “of the Dead” films this time last year, while World War Z saw Marc Forster tip from the also-rans into the must-includes. There are 20 slots on that banner, and a fourteen-way tie for 18th place means I had to be selective. Quite by chance, I remained alphabetical: Hideaki Anno and James Cameron remain from the previous banner (Cameron due to significance, Anno because I’ll watch Evangelion 3.33 early next year when Manga UK are finally able to release it, which will only cement his place), while Danny Boyle is added. (Directors leaving the banner to make room are Richard Lester, George Lucas, and David Yates.)
Finally, I’ve finally added a header to the “coming soon” page. That’s a page that lists films I’ve already seen but will review in days to come — it’s looking ‘back to the future’, if you will. And that explains that.
Also this month in the world of 100 Films, I finally cancelled my LOVEFiLM (or, as it’s now known, LOVEFiLM By Post) subscription. I liked it for the ability to rent pretty much anything released on disc (a far better selection than any streaming service offers, not to mention the comparative picture quality), but between all the stuff I’ve bought, the convenience of aforementioned streaming services (LOVEFiLM may have more choice overall, but only one or two discs in your possession at any one time), and recording stuff off TV too, I wasn’t getting through my rentals. Indeed, in some cases I’ve theoretically spent more on one rental than if I’d just bought a copy. Ugh. So I finally made the cancellation leap.
I’ve still got a Now TV films subscription for the time being, but as the price of that recently went up, I’m not sure for how much longer…
Once again I haven’t found the time to get stuck into a fully-written list of five, but having watching La Belle et la Bête and The 10th Kingdom in preparation for next weekend’s Fairy Tale Blogathon, I was thinking: what’s your favourite fairy tale movie?
Disney seem to have a near-monopoly on these, so undoubtedly some of their output would’ve made my list — Beauty and the Beast, definitely; The Little Mermaid and Aladdin are childhood favourites for me; and Cinderella is my pick of their older classics. Also from the Mouse House is Enchanted — inspired by fairy tales rather than technically adapted from them, but one of the best movies to play in that sandpit. Similarly, the Shrek series, and The 10th Kingdom too.
And if you want to get really out there, the BFI’s list of 10 great fairytale films allows in cinematic originals like My Neighbour Totoro and Pan’s Labyrinth. The former I could definitely go for in my final five, but I didn’t warm to the latter. Must re-watch that.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Remember, remember, you films in November,
have good characters, dialogue, and plot.
I know of no movie
worth considering groovy
that does not have the lot.
(With my apologies.)