Saturday, January 30, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

One of the exciting things about watching movies I've never seen before is not knowing what to expect. Sometimes my expectations are low and I get a pleasant surprise, while other times I end up disappointed. The Fearless Vampire Killers was a movie I wanted to like, but it just did not resonate with me. The first part of the movie dragged, and I really wanted to give up on it, but I forced myself to stick with it, hoping it would pick up, which it eventually did. There are some moments I enjoyed in the film, but they weren't enough to leave me feeling like it was an evening well spent overall. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

My resolution to watch a new movie every day really took a hit this week, but as I come to the end of a hectic, stormy workweek, I am Singin' in the Rain tonight, and looking forward to catching up on my movie viewing this weekend. Since I got a late start, I'm not up to properly documenting this movie, but suffice to say it's simply spectacular. There are some musicals I am quite fond of, but I am not generally drawn to them, so I was not only surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, but by how little I really knew what the movie was about, despite being incredibly familiar with the title song. As an avid fan of early film, it was interesting to see a depiction of the challenges of transitioning from silent film to early talkies, and I look forward to seeing this movie again. The immense talent displayed in this film leaves me awestruck. 

"But most important of all, I continue living up to my motto: Dignity. Always dignity."

Saturday, January 23, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Ambulance (1990)

It's a Larry Cohen night! I was contemplating It's Alive, but decided to watch The Ambulance. One thing you can expect with Cohen is a rollicking, good time, and he certainly didn't let me down with this picture. 

"This is the story of what can happen to you for talking to a strange woman on the street."

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Twist (1992)

Here's an unlikely movie. I was going to skip movie night tonight after working late, but decided to cruise the Criterion Channel for something I didn't feel I'd have to commit to, and came upon Twist and got hooked. While the Twist is the main focus, it covers other dance styles leading up to it, as well as the ones that came after, and the music that inspired the dances. The interviews were interesting, but one of the best parts of the movie was seeing The World's Greatest Twisters perform during end credits. They truly deserve the title. It was a fun movie to watch, and it did inspire me to get a little exercise. 

"The reaction to the Twist has been about as violent as the dance itself. Dancer, choreographer Geoffrey Holder says it is not a dance and it has become dirty. It's synthetic sex turned into a sick spectator sport."

"Nothing's nasty when I do it. I make everything nice.
I have that talent. I do." -Chubby Checker

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Politics (1931)

I am ready for some lighthearted entertainment, and tonight seemed like a good night for Politics. The first time I saw Marie Dressler was in Dinner at Eight, and I was intrigued by the reverence she seemed to inspire, which caused me to seek out more of her movies. She was certainly not the glamour gal that was the norm of the day, but was truly a talented and beloved actress. This is one of nine films where she partnered with Polly Moran, and they made a great comedic team.

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Year, New Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

I decided to double down and watch another award winning, heart wrenching, thought provoking movie that I've never seen before, To Kill a Mockingbird. The acting was stellar, it's beautifully filmed and it's certainly a movie that deserves accolades. 

"There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep them all away from you. That's never possible."

Saturday, January 16, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Doctor X (1932)

It's time to relive my fond memories of a Creature Features Saturday night with some classic horror.  I have decided to go for some pre-code horror directed by Michael Curtiz, featuring Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray, for this evening's entertainment.

"The human mind will only stand so much. We are all a little strange up here."

Friday, January 15, 2021

New Year, New Movie: An Inspector Calls (1954)

I am going from one Scrooge to the next, as the last film I watched had Reginald Owen and tonight's film features Alastair Sim, both of whom played in my favorite versions of the Dickens classic. I only began to appreciate the delightful and talented actor that Alastair Sim truly is after seeing him in Stage Fright, which inspired me to seek out more of his films, and what has led me to watch tonight's movie. 

"The things we do to people without realizing it. Only for once we've seen the consequences."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Good Fairy (1935)

It's been one of those days when I need some Movie Rx, so I turn once again to another Preston Sturges screenplay to lift my spirits. This film is directed by William Wyler and produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. as was yesterday's film, Hell's Heroes. What initially inspired me to pick this movie up was the appearance of Herbert Marshall. I first discovered him in one of my favorite early Hitchcock movies, Murder, which led me to watch Trouble in Paradise, which led me to pick up movies with Miriam Hopkins and Kay Francis as well, which is one of the ways I have ended up with so many movies, that has necessitated my resolution to try and watch a new movie every day. It's absolute folly, but I am truly enjoying the escape. 

"Each day a goodly deed I place to my account in heavenly grace. A bank whose customers are blessed with peace of heart for interest."

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Hell's Heroes (1929)

Westerns are not really my cup of tea, but the story sounded intriguing, and since I have been exploring outside my norm this week, it seemed appropriate to pick this film out of the Criterion Channel lineup to watch tonight. It is directed by William Wyler, who also directed Ben Hur (1959), The Best Years of Our Lives and Dodsworth, among many others. 

"Once there was three wise hombres. Rode out of Jerusalem."

Monday, January 11, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Angel Heart (1987)

And now for something completely different. I heard about this movie during a discussion of film noir on Ask Eddie and was intrigued enough to step outside my usual viewing fare to check it out. It was a worthy recommendation.

"However cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye."

Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Smart Woman (1931)

It's about time for a light and fluffy pre-code this evening. I will watch any movie with Edward Everett Horton. For my fellow Generation Xers, you will remember him as the narrator of Fractured Fairy Tales on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and just the sound of his voice elicits fond memories, though he really is quite funny and always entertaining to see. He is here to support in this movie, with Mary Astor doing most of the heavy lifting.

"A wife should stick to her husband. If she doesn't, another woman will."

Saturday, January 9, 2021

New Year, New Movie: La maldición de la Llorona (1963)

Saturday nights were made for horror, and The Curse of the Crying Woman is just the sort of movie to watch on a foggy winter night. 

"You're entering the Kingdom of the Supernatural...the origin of Evil!"

Friday, January 8, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Damned Don't Cry (1950)

I am back in the saddle tonight with a gripping film noir with a great title. 

"I know how you feel. You're a nice guy. But the world isn't for nice guys. You gotta kick and punch and belt your way up cause nobody's gonna give you a lift. You gotta do it yourself cause nobody cares about us but ourselves."

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Invasion U.S.A. (1952)

Well. I'm getting a late start tonight because I've been watching real life drama. I wasn't entirely sure what movie would fit the bill for this evening, but I've decided to go with Invasion U.S.A. 

"The enemy is attempting to seize the seat of government! We are surrounded!"

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Monster (1925)

Tonight is a foggy night that is ideal for watching an old dark house mystery that features Lon Chaney as a mad doctor, which is what inspired me to pick up The Monster

"A human monster watched with cat-like eyes for a victim."

Monday, January 4, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Seventh Victim (1943)

I'm turning to the Criterion Channel for tonight's movie. I am learning to check the films that are leaving the Channel at the end of the month much earlier in the month so I can prioritize my viewing. Since quite a few of the movies on my watchlist will be gone in February, I thought I'd better start working on some of them. Tonight's film choice is a noiror from Val Lewton studios that features satan worshippers. 

"Your sister had a feeling about life. That it wasn't worth living unless one could end it."

Sunday, January 3, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Secret Beyond the Door (1947)

I am enjoying my New Year's resolution to discover a new movie every day. I realize now how my past attempts at resolutions were all wrong. Each new year, you should always resolve to do something nice for yourself every day. 

I was considering two different movies by Fritz Lang starring Joan Bennett to watch tonight, Man Hunt and Secret Beyond the Door. I finally settled on Man Hunt, but the disc wouldn't play for me, so the choice was made for me.

"Mark, my sweet lamb, you're tetched in the head."

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Year, New Movie: Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

*This is what I love about movies.*

That is what I was thinking when I came to the end of this film.

My resolution this year is to watch a new (to me) movie every day in 2021. Here are the films I had considered watching today that I've never seen before:

The General

Pandora's box

City Lights


The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

Razzia sur la Chnouf

It's quite a mixed bag, though, isn't it? Sometimes it's hard to choose when one is fortunate enough to have such a range of movies available. Today, I finally settled on Unfaithfully Yours, a Preston Sturges film. I recently watched another film he wrote and directed, Christmas in July, with Dick Powell. Other films of his that I have enjoyed are A Palm Beach Story and Sullivan's Travels. The Lady Eve will be up next for consideration in what I am going to watch. If you need a good laugh that is deeply satisfying, then Preston Sturges is your man!

"There's nothing the matter with me that a couple of magnums of champagne won't cure."

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year, New Movie: The Phantom Carriage (1921)

It's another new year! Time to make some resolutions you have every intention of keeping, but know you probably will not. I generally don't make them, but this year shall be different! I resolve to watch a new (to me) movie every day this year! How's that for an ambitious resolution that's probably not going to happen. Let's see how I do.

Ordinarily at this time of year, I like to delve into silent film. Silent films can be enjoyed at any time of year, but they just seem to call to me during the cold, dreary days of winter. On the other hand, I received several film noir collection sets for Christmas, in addition to an already large collection I own and have not yet explored, which is also calling to me. I have the will and the desire to keep this resolution. The question is whether or not I can make the time. 

I decided to start off with a New Year's film from 100 years ago. I picked up The Phantom Carriage in 2018 during one of those Criterion Flash Sales I love so much, so it was about time I got around to watching it, and today was the perfect day for it. 

"You know, David, if I could send a message to mankind, I would like to send them a New Year's greeting. I would like them to dwell on a single New Year's prayer:  'Lord, please let my soul come to maturity before it is reaped.'"