Third Films Update

It’s been a while since my last post on this list item. Partly because I was focusing on other list items and partly because I felt guilty for giving up on the original list of films. However, there has been a lot of progress over the last week and a half.

The Shining (1980)

I normally avoid horror movies, just in case I can’t sleep afterwards, but this film wasn’t scary. There were a few unexplained things that must have been better outlined in the Steven King book of the same name. The very-youthful Jack Nicholson looked creepy from the beginning, because of his eyebrows. The rest of the cast seemed to have very little expression on their face until the mischief started much later in the movie. I wasn’t very impressed, but maybe just because I haven’t read the book.

Citizen Kane (1941)

The movie seemed to be saying that Kane was lonely, but it made the point early on and then there was very little of interest in the rest of the movie. If I was more interested in filmmaking, this would have been worth watching for me. Another point of note was the original theatrical trailer on the DVD: it looked like an amateur theatre advertisement played to a small suburb. No preview of the film, mostly just introducing the actors offscreen.

Taxi Driver (1976)

The main character’s ‘limbo state’ was very well depicted in this film, but it’s a bit hard to sit through if the viewer is looking for a pleasant escape from reality. The DVD cover said that the main character was going to clean up the streets, vigilante style, but he only attacked a few people in the one building. I can only conclude that later movies with vigilantes (such as Die Hard, Taken, etc) tried to beat prior movies, leading to increased carnage in each new release. Again we were surprised by seeing young actors: Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster both looked really young in this film.

Psycho (1960)

I first saw the shower scene in the animated TV series The Simpsons, so it was interesting to watch the original. The plot of the movie was certainly different to what I normally watch, which was good. I was also surprised when the main character was killed off part-way through the movie. The silhouette in the shower scene left little scope for a surprising twist at the end, but it was still mildly interesting. I found the psychiatrist’s explanation annoying, as the actor kept speaking and moving as if he was at the climax of his explanation, rather than building up to one climax.

Twelve Angry Men (1957)

I enjoyed this movie. It seemed quite realistically detailed; the jurors were sweating over the course of the movie and a few things weren’t working (the window, fan and bathroom towel). I also liked how the plot moved forward in a variety of ways, and the occasional break in the tension. It may have helped that I read the plot on the Wikipedia article first, so I knew that it ended well. Otherwise, I may have had trouble dealing with the stupid people.

Hurrah, another five films watched! That leaves only 17 to go. Some of them I may not watch, but I thought that about The Shining. I’m also still considering modifying the films list, by substituting some recommendations from family/friends or some Australian ‘must see’ movies. I’ll think about it for a while, so it may be some time before my next post on this list item.

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  1. Pingback: Fourth Films Update | Ben's Bucket Blog

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