The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) *****
The Night of the Hunter (1955) *****
V/H/S (2012) **1/2
Shadows (1959) ****1/2
Amarcord (1973) ***1/2
La Bete Humaine (1938) ****
Pat and Mike (1952) ****
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) ****
The Master (2012) *****
Adam's Rib (1949) ****1/2
The Curse of the Cat People (1944) ****
The Wild Bunch (1969) ****
Breaking Bad, season 5
Boardwalk Empire, re-watching season 1
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
Dexter, season 7
Doug season 4
Parks and Recreation, season 5
Real Time with Bill Maher
Seinfeld seasons 4 and 5
The Simpsons (various seasons)
Weeds, season 8
Notes: I started the month out with two films from the Brandon Musa Essentials list - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Night of the Hunter. Both have quickly become essentials of my own.
Brilliant stuff from John Ford, as expected, with Liberty Valance. The story and the cast were perfect (shout out to Edmond O'Brien for kicking ass). Because the characters are so loveable, it's easy to feel involved in the film. I love the shot of Valance being gunned down (the reveal at the end). This is everything a film should be; I think I felt every emotion while watching it.
Robert Mitchum gives one hell of a performance in The Night of the Hunter. He's dangerous, terrifying, with charm. Also, I can't believe we got that shot of Shelley Winters underwater - haunting and cool. A shame that this all we have from Charles Laughton, director.
Shadows was my first Cassavetes film...maybe I'll watch them all in order if I can. I really dug this picture. Very impressive and fascinating. There's so much going on in the film that it only deserves an in-depth analysis. Hopefully I can get to that at some point here.
I'm still not in love with Fellini, but Amarcord was never going to be the film to change that. It's beautifully shot, though, and I'll never be one to write Fellini off as being too pretentious or boring. It's a fun film, but it didn't do enough for me.
I really enjoyed La Bete Humaine, but I'm afraid I don't have a lot to say about it. Jean Gabin is awesome, as always, and I love the story. Here's a bit of train movie for you, John. And as far as train movies are concerned, this might be one of the best.
Jeff told me to get Pat and Mike on Netflix, claiming that he liked it better than Adam's Rib. Sorry, J-dawg, but give me Adam's Rib over Pat and Mike anyday. Both are enjoyable, though. I love the Tracey/Hepburn team; they play off of each other so well. It's a case where, each time they play a married couple or two people who've fallen for each other, you immediately buy into it.
Gentlemen Prefer Jane Russell...I mean, Blondes was grand, but it started off a bit slow for me. But once it got going, it didn't disappointed. Jane Russell is great and definitely more a catch than Marilyn Monroe. Because I'm of a younger generation, I admit that I don't really give a crap about Monroe. I don't find her very attractive (I mean, clearly she is, she's just not my cup of tea) and she obviously isn't the most talented actress. Anyone else agree with me here?
The Curse of the Cat People is the strangest sequel of all-time, which Jeff had previously warned me about. I watched Cat People a year ago, and probably should've watched it again before CotCP as a refresher. I did really enjoy it though. The little girl is great and it's got some nice, creepy moments. It's nice to see that Simone Simon's character gets a chance to redeem herself.
I like Sam Peckinpah's style, but I admit, there were a few moments when I was bored watching The Wild Bunch. The gunfight in the beginning, the train robbery, the gunfight at the end - all great, but there were some dull moments as well. I think the problem was that I found it a little difficult to connect with the characters. I'm going to see Ride the High Country soon.
September saw the final episode of Weeds. I'm considering doing a big write-up on it. I liked the final season, though, and the series finale. It felt satisfying, which is what you always want from a final episode.
Dexter is back. After having seen the first episode, I've gotta say, it's got my interest back quite a bit. I wasn't sure how to feel about the season finale last year, but now that I know where the staff is going with this new development, I am pleased. We'll see how it all plays out.