Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First-Time Viewings: August, 2011

Well, August turned out to be a real personal ass-kicker but I did manage to plow my way through twenty or so new and old films I hadn't seen before. The dregs of the bunch were, not surprisingly, newer films like 30 Minutes or Less (a real waste of a talented cast) and Insidious, which I was particularly disappointed with since I really enjoyed James Wan's previous films.

Among the best films I caught up with in August were a few that I wrote on here, American Grindhouse, Cat in the Bag, Claire Dolan, Blonde Ambition and Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie. I also really found much to admire in the seventies spooker Cathy's Curse, the Madonna directed Filth and Wisdom, the early Joe Sarno work Moonlighting Wives, Sam Fuller's Pickup on South Street, the Peter Guralnick produced and written documentary Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll, Norman J. Warren's terrific Satan's Slave, James Gunn's distinctive and disturbing Super and the Tom Hardy BBC production of Wuthering Heights.

Theatrically the two best films I caught were Woody Allen's lovely Midnight in Paris and the funny and moving My Idiot Brother.

I has mixed reactions towards a handful of others but still recommend the George Hilton-Erika Blanc Euro-Western I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin, Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Millennium Mambo, Michael Winner's Scorpio, a later Joe Sarno film Tigresses and Other Man-eaters and Blake Edwards' The Carey Treatment.
All in all a pretty good movie-watching month with several really great discoveries.

Pre-2011 Films:

American Grindhouse ****1/2
Cat in the Bag ****1/2
Cathy's Curse ***1/2
Claire Dolan *****
Filth and Wisdom ***1/2
I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin ***
Law Abiding Citizen 1/2 *
Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie ****1/2
Millennium Mambo ***
Moonlighting Wives ***1/2
Ondine **1/2
Pickup on South Street ****
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll ****1/2
Satan's Slave ***1/2
Scorpio ***

Super ****
The Carey Treatment ***
Tigresses and Other Man-eaters ***
Travelling Saleslady **1/2
Wuthering Heights (2009) ***1/2

2011 Films:

30 Minutes or Less *1/2
Conan the Barbarian **1/2
Crazy, Stupid, Love ***1/2
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **1/2
Insidious *1/2
Midnight in Paris ****1/2
Our Idiot Brother ****


Kev D. said...

I'm a Woody Allen superfan, and to me, Midnight in Paris was one of his finest in the past 25 years.

Maxim said...

I'd love to get hold of a copy of the Guralnick/Sam Phillips documentary. I was lucky enough to be present for a screening at the NFT in London where it was followed by a Q&A with Sam himself, which was one of the most entertaining and mesmerising experiences of all time (he was genuinely like a Biblical prophet).

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Kev. I would rank it among the best films he has done for the past 25 years as well...maybe even among the tope five but I have loved a lot of his work in the past couple of decades.

Thanks Maxim,
I got to see it at a screening in Memphis with Guralnick and Knox Phillips present (and on hand for a Q&A). It was really special and Gurlanick said it would finally be hitting DVD (with bonues material) in the next year or so to coincide with his book on Sam!

dfordoom said...

Satan's Slave is great fun. All the Norman J. Warren films I've seen have been fun.

I'm in the mood to see more early Sarno - Moonlighting Wives might have to be added to my shopping list. Pickup on South Street is on my list of movies I need to watch again - my admiration for Sam Fuller has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year or so (especially after seeing Forty Guns which is now officially my favourite western ever).

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks D.
I really like WEarren a lot and, yes, Satan's Slave is great great fun. Thanks for reading and commenting.