Published on July 14th, 2015 | by Jimmie Dodger0
30 Films In 30 Days – Final Weeks
The last week of films did take a bit longer than I wanted it to but I have now completed all the films; but have already started a new list to watch at some point in the future.
First up was James Cameron’s 1984 film Terminator; this was on my list as I wasn’t sure if I had seen the film all the way through; turns out I had seen most of it but probably not all at once. Overall I enjoyed the film and thought it was a great Sci-Fi action film, and held up to today’s standards of story, and I understood why so many people love this film. However the CGI’s age shows and is terribly shoddy, non surprisingly, once the Terminator’s skin is removed; making the robot, oddly, less able to walk than when it had human flesh.
Next up was the 1982 film Blade Runner by Ridley Scott, myself and Dapper spoke about me watching this on 3Bods1Pod. I personally hadn’t considered the fan theory as to whether ‘Deckard’ (played by Harrison Ford) is a replicant but instead I pondered more if Rachel, who is definitely a replicant, was just faking her love interest in Deckard, as apposed to feeling it for real. I felt the movie dragged for the first hour, however I believe this is to set up the rest of the film which speeds up later on. The lightning and cinematography in the film is truly speculator, and very much feels like the classic dark assumption of the future future with it’s deep shadows and strong harsh lighting all the way through. One thing I did consider was if the crow flying off towards the end inspired the logo for Ridley Scott’s ‘Scott Free’ production house name.
Karate Kid was watched shortly after Blade Runner and I have little to say about the film in all honesty, I enjoyed it overall and thought it had a good story; although highly predictable. But I wouldn’t put it into my favourite films of all time.
I enjoyed Rocky, it felt fairly slow overall but it told a good story about a small time boxer wanting to go the distance with heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). He is finally given a shot at the title when Apollo decides to give a lower level boxer a chance at it, to make things interesting. The ending was a bit confusing to me and I did research it to be sure I was right that Rocky didn’t win but was still proud he finished all 15 rounds with Apollo, which no one had ever done before – and that was all that mattered to him, not if he won or lost.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is yet another film of Steven Spielberg that I hadn’t seen until now, I knew the story vaguely but hadn’t seen it all the way through. As I’m coming to this film with my current film knowledge placed mostly after E.T. this film felt to me like J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, which is totally the wrong way round and I suspect a lot of Super 8’s feel and story told through children protagonists was inspired by E.T. I really liked the feel of the film being told through children who have a different understanding to the world than adults, and how they just wanted to free E.T. and send him home, instead of the adult’s approach of cruelly locking him up for research and intrigue.
One Flew over The Cuckoos Nest was another film that made me think of a different film that I have seen before, Bronson. This comparison is fairly shallow in the sense that both films feature a lead protagonist who is incarcerated in one way or another (R.P McMurphy in a mental institution and Charles Bronson in prison) n0t much else is similar except both characters like to cause trouble. I enjoyed the film and found it to be humorous, but I’m not sure I would go out of my way to watch it again. I was surprised to recognise so many cast members: Christopher Lloyd, Scatman Crothers and Danny DeVito, who I’m sure has used some of this film in his portrayal of Frank Reynolds in Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Raging Bull on the surface may appear similar to Rocky, it’s about boxing and someone trying to improve there life by using the sport. But Raging Bull tells a darker and sadder story than Rocky does, by portraying the story of Jake La Motta who’s life revolves around talking with his fists, both in and out of the ring. Jake is in all essence a man who makes poor and often underhanded life choices, and learns over time that violence and testosterone fuelled anger will win him what he wants in life. The story is sad in a way as Jake slowly loses everything that meant something to him, eventually telling bad jokes in his own pokey bar while members of the public meekly laugh at him; not with him.
One of the last five films I saw was Close Encounters of the Third Kind, A film about aliens coming to earth, and abducting a few people for what I assume was research. The film mostly revolves around Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) who one night see’s aliens and is somewhat ‘scorched’ by their presence as if he was sunburnt. He then becomes obsessed with a vision he shares with a few dozen others, of a mountain. I don’t think I particularly enjoyed the film as a whole but was drawn in initially by the child in the opening 15 minutes (played by Cary Guffey) who gives an excellent performance until he is abducted himself. One thing I did notice was lots of CocaCola advertising.
Dr. Strangelove was a film I enjoyed more than I expected to, and it was funnier than I was expecting also, there’s always the classic line from President Merkin Muffley ‘Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room’ which I knew of before watching the film but other sections of the film, such as the breaking into a CocaCola machine for change to call the president were very funny; it’s all very wry.
A film that impressed me majorly for Camera Movement and long takes was Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. The film is all about the backstory of Charles Kane and what his last word before death meant ‘Rosebud’. The film’s use of long takes is especially impressive as in the days of shooting on film, every second cost you money so to plan on using long takes could prove cheaper in the long run if each shot was captured in the first take, but could however cost far more if mistakes are made further into a shot – a technique far more impressive then than now. Also the complex camera movements was very interesting and impressive for the age of the film, as moving a film camera round is far harder than the movement of digital cameras today, the weight and size far exceed any modern camera and so any movement with them can be highly difficult. I enjoyed the film a lot and sort of wish I’d seen it sooner, however I believe I appreciated it much more having seen it now than if I had been a child.
My second to last film was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which for the most part, I didn’t enjoy; I found the film slow and dull in it’s majority. I do now fully understand reference to pop culture now, such as the episode of of The Simpsons where the Dawn of Man section of the film is replaced with Homer leaning against the Black Monolith; and also the episode of children’s show Reccess where a new clock is placed in the school called ‘SAL 3000’ which has similar problems to that in the film. One part that peaked my interest was the section where HAL kills Frank by ejecting him into Space after HAL realises that Frank ands Dave are looking to shut down HAL as they can’t trust it.
My last film of the 30 was Guillermo del Toro’s Pans Labyrinth. I’m glad I left this till last as I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it was different to how I expected, as I was assuming to see a lot of the fantasy world but instead the film is mainly played out in the real world with short sections in the fantasy realm. I reviewed the film in The Prestige Podcast where I explained I thought the film was beautifully shot with it’s lovely use of colours. The film was far darker than I imagined it would be, with more bullets being fired into people, and more torture than I was expecting to see. One section that infuriated me was when Ofelia eats grapes in the other world when she is strictly told to not eat or drink anything as her life depends on it, which leads to two Pixies being killed in a gruesome way; my reaction is a positive thing though as I should be moved emotionally by the film which I was.
As a whole experience I’m glad I did this experiment, I’m disappointed I couldn’t complete the task in the time I gave myself, but maybe it was too hard-a task. I definitely found some new favourite films in Pan’s Labyrinth, Jurassic Park, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Captain America, Winter Soldier and Good Will Hunting; but I did also come across a few films I didn’t care for so much. I’m glad I’ve caught up with society a little bit and I look forward to the next set, however, over a longer period of time.
As always do keep following on Twitter and let me know what you think of what I’ve seen and tell me of anything else you think I should have watched by now.