With Anderson doing his Friday/Saturday movie picks on our Facebook page, I’m also going to give my failed “1000 Movies” effort another go (there’s more to life than my fixation with Brian De Palma movies!). This time out, I’m going for a completely different approach, and I’m asking your help in the process!!
And….I’m falling deeper and deeper into the hole since I’ve decided to watch The Bachelor this season and recap it on Deepest Dream. I’ve also recently purchased a PlayStation 4 which means I’ll be playing way more videogames. Also, a big thanks to listeners who’ve given Anderson and I movie recommendations, so I’ll be watching James White, Black Coal/Thin Ice, and The Duke of Burgundy sooner than later (& I’m sure Anderson will get to them as well).
Currently I know two people (Anderson Cowan and my mother) who have a deeper love for movies that I do, but to be in their select company is a good thing. One of Anderson’s goals behind CinemAddicts was to spotlight worthwhile films that may have slipped below the radar or, for that matter, champion movies that just aren’t being given a fair shake at the box-office.
I’ve been discussing movies with Anderson for the past 18-19 years, and part of doing CinemAddicts was to reconnect with an old friend and also reignite my own passion for movie watching. Years of doing press junkets and covering movies with Westwood One, along with my current duties of writing and editing for Hollywood Outbreak and Deepest Dream had left me feeling way too indifferent about film. That was a sentiment that I actually carried on for years, but doing CinemAddicts as well as attempting to watch 1,000 movies has set me back on track.
My 1,000 movies in 2016 goal was set in January, and these are the rules I’ve set down for the task:
- All movies must be films I’ve never watched.
- I have to complete all of these movies even if they suck – no cheating!
- No short films! (I thought back in January that watching a slew of short films would be an all too easy way to get to #1000movies, but now I am regretting my decision!)
- Along with feature length films, the other “movies” that can be included in the list are documentaries and miniseries.
As of this post, I am way behind my goal with just 206 movies under my belt!! I should have done this since movie #1, but from #200 on I will give my quick thoughts on every movie I’ve watched. So here goes (ratings are on a 5 star system):
200. The Fountainhead – Based on Ayn Rand’s novel (she also penned the screenplay), Gary Cooper plays Howard Roark, a visionary and iron-willed architect who will never compromise to society’s demands, even if it means risking a relationship with his one true love (Patricia Neal). Rand detractors will probably dislike all the speeches about individualism that are thrown about like candy throughout the movie, but I didn’t mind. Cooper and Neal’s chemistry is absolutely electric!! 4 stars
201. Garden of Evil – If you love Westerns and films shot on CinemaScope, this should be right up your alley. Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark lead several other adventurers to help a woman (Susan Hayward) rescue her husband who’s trapped in a Mexico mine. Though there’s gold and money to be had, they are right in the middle of Apache territory, and there’s a good chance they won’t make it out alive! Henry Hathaway directs this visually sumptuous movie – there’s a great shootout in the canyons that you won’t want to miss and this is one of my favorite Gary Cooper Westerns (it’s right up there with Man of the West). 4 ,5stars
202. Dallas – It’s another Gary Cooper movie, and this time the love interest is Ruth Roman. Doesn’t have a ton of complexity to it, as it’s another Western that’s saddled with a revenge story. Still, it’s worth a look if you love Gary Cooper. 3 stars
203. The Law and Jake Wade – Directed by John Sturges, Jake Wade (Robert Taylor) is a lawman who rescues his former outlaw buddy (Richard Widmark) from jail. Unfortunately, no “good” deed goes unpunished, as the outlaw has a score to settle with Jake. Widmark, who almost steals the show in Garden of Evil, is the best thing about this movie. As much as a I love Westerns, this one was a bit of a drag (except for Widmark’s work). 2 stars
204. Saddle The Wind – A former gunslinger (Robert Taylor) tries to raise his younger brother (John Cassavetes) the right way, but unfortunately the obnoxious youth is always itching for a gunfight! Julie London, who starred in the aforementioned Man of the West, is the saloon girl who shacks up with younger brother. The movie was penned by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, so I enjoyed watching the movie just to witness Serling’s storytelling at work. Cassavetes, one of independent cinema’s godfathers, is particularly good in his role, but I’m not a big fan of Robert Taylor. The ending is an interesting one, and leave it to Serling to come up with something clever The title song, sung by London, is also memorable. 3 stars
205. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon – This documentary was one of Anderson’s streaming picks on CinemAddicts, and he was right. At 95 minutes, they cram a ton of stuff in, but the feverish pace worked well for me. I also view Chevy Chase in a slightly different light after this one (due to his friendship with Douglas Kenney). 3.5 stars
206. Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood – A must see for movie buffs, as the documentary centers on how various filmmakers, actors, and composers left Germany for Hollywood due to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Clocking in at 117 minutes, this project gave me much more insight on the lives of celebrated filmmakers (Fritz Lang, Fred Zinneman, Billy Wilder, brothers Robert and Curt Siodmak) and actors (Peter Lorre, Marlene Dietrich). The movie also details German Expressionism’s influence on Hollywood, particularly in horror movies and film noir. Filled with archival footage, interviews, the doc (narrated by Sigourney Weaver) is really well put together and had me hooked from the opening moments. 4.5 stars
******Another episode of CinemAddicts comes out via iTunes tomorrow due to a late embargo for The Darkness!! Also – feel free to comment below re: our show or if you have any suggestions for the #1000Movies!