July has come and gone and in that time I viewed sixteen films for the first time along with four re-watches. These films ranged from being just ok (70/100) to now being some of my favorite of all time (perfect 100/100’s). Here they are:
J. Edgar: Much better than it’s reputation led me to believe. Not one of the strongest bio-pics I’ve seen but it still managed to be interesting and engaging. Mainly because of Leonardo Dicaprio’s remarkable performance. (78/100)
Hotel Chevalier: A wonderful prequel to Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited that not only manages to give you insight into the backstory of one of the film’s characters but also ends up being a solid stand-alone segment. (85/100)
The Darjeeling Limited: My third experience with Wes Anderson following Moonrise Kingdom and Hotel Chevalier was a bout of cinematic perfection. Everything about this film worked for me. From the trio of flawless lead performances by Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman to the enchanting color palate, to the breathtaking cinematography. Near perfection. (98/100)
Short Cuts: This is a film that manages to transcend genres, cross half a dozen story-lines, and still manages to be somewhat coherent. Supplying a massive cast of brilliant performances and featuring the legendary direction of Roger Altman this is a brilliant piece of work. (100/100)
My Own Private Idaho: Gus Van Sant is a master of filmmaking, and it shows in this early work of his which features perfect performances by Keanu Reeves and the deceased (and extremely talented) River Phoenix. A flawless film. (100/100)
Paths of Glory: One of the few Kubrick’s I had yet to see. An utterly brilliant film containing a magnificent performance by Kirk Douglas and one of the finest scripts I’ve seen. (100/100)
The Dark Knight Rises: YES YES YES YES! It came and it delivered and it was awesome! (94/100)
Being John Malkovich: Watching a film written by Charlie Kaufman is like allowing him to cut open your skull and punch you in the brain for two hours. That is exactly what happened here with this colossally brilliant film that really highlights the acting talents of John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich. (99/100)
My Week With Marilyn: This one falls into the territory of J. Edgar where it was an interesting film because of who it’s about but without it’s remarkable performances then it isn’t that good at all. (83/100)
Blue Valentine: Terrifying and raw, this film’s unique style of narrative and marvelous lead performances of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams allow this film to shine. (97/100)
La Haine: I loved this film. The black and white cinematography, the brutal performance by Vincent Cassel, the use of music, and the ending. Oh, the ending. One of my favorites of all time. (97/100)
Earrings: Alex Withrow’s second short film accomplishes a lot in a relatively small amount of time. It provides you with a dialogue-less first act where you are introduced to a woman (played by Catherine Werner in a fearless performance) at a very bad point in her life. It follows that up with an extended conversation that allows you to piece together her backstory, and from there goes into a haunting sequence complemented by an excellent use of music. In all it is an excellent short film. (93/100)
Persona: Further evidence that Ingmar Bergman was the greatest filmmaker of all time. A true classic. (100/100)
La Sortie des usines Lumière: It kind of is incredible to see how far film has progressed. It started with this 46 second shot of people leaving and building and has become multi-million dollar projects that tell breathtaking stories.
Best Film I Watched in July:
Worst Film I Watched In July:
21 Jump Street (Which was still a good movie)
Toy Story: The genesis of all modern animated films. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
My Own Private Idaho: Held up just as well the second time.
Midnight in Paris: Creative and brilliant with some of the best casting I’ve ever seen.
I’m Not There: One of the most unique films I’ve ever seen.
It was a good month.