10.05.2015

Fall Film Challenge: Movie Reviews

Remember when I posted my list for Jenn's Fall Film Challenge? Well, I finished it on Friday, which means I watched 25 movies in 32 days, not including the few I rented and the three I saw in the theater that didn't count towards this challenge. That's a whole lot of movies! My TiVo misses me! Jenn is posting a bonus round soon, so I'll keep you posted on that. The best part of this whole thing has been cuddling up with Jacob to watch most of these because he hurt his knee. We typically don't watch many movies together. I also really love the Facebook group Jenn created where we all talk about what we're watching. It's been so much fun! I loved some movies I chose, hated others, and really liked that I watched movies I never would have seen if it weren't for this challenge. Here are my quick reviews. 


1. Any set in New York City: Splash It was cute and cheesy and not that funny for a comedy, but who can resist Tom Hanks? I had anxiety watching the closing credits because I hate long underwater scenes. I really miss John Candy.

2. Any incorporating hot air balloons in the story: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band I'm a huge Beatles fan and can see why other hardcore fans hated this movie, but I was into it! It's so random and crazy and there are soooo many surprising people in it. I loved that it was sung-through with just George Burns narrating a line or two between songs. I'd definitely watch it again.

3. Any featuring a child as the main character: The Man in the Moon It started out such a sweet coming-of-age story so I wasn't expecting the heavy ending. Reese was adorable and Sam Waterston was so young. I loved all the Elvis!

4. Any Disney film: Tangled I liked this a lot more than my kids did. It was kinda dark, but I loved the songs and felt like the animation was better than Frozen. Cute enough to watch once.

5. Any set in Egypt, has an Egyptian character, or stars an Egyptian actor/actress: Cleopatra Did you know this movie is FOUR HOURS LONG?! I didn't. It was so over the top, but I loved her style evolution and all of the grand entrances and processions. I still think it could have been edited down at least an hour. 

6. A close friend or family member's favorite film: Blade Runner (Jacob's favorite) Blah. I'm not into sci-fi, but everyone loves this movie so I was expecting to at least like it. It was really slow, but Jacob said that could have something to do with the director's cut we watched. BTW, this is like his tenth favorite movie, but I'd already seen the others.

7. Any with the word great in the title: Great Expectations (1998) Some shots were really pretty and I liked the '90s alt soundtrack, but it lacked something for me. I don't think it was a successful contemporary adaptation. Oh, and the art was really, really bad. Ha!

8. Any starring Harrison Ford: What Lies Beneath I thought it was scary right from the beginning, had a really slow middle, but was crazy intense at the end. Harrison just wouldn't die! I liked the music and always think Michelle Pfeiffer is so pretty.

9. Any featuring an idiot as the main character: The Jerk Big fat nope. It was not enjoyable in the least. The only part I liked was when they sang while walking on the beach and he played ukelele.

10. Any mentioned in Levis Strauss' list: Denim and the Oscars: A Look at Jeans in CinemaOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest It was the only one on the list I hadn't seen and it is so good! I read the book for the first time a few years ago and there are some differences, but I liked the movie better. Jack Nicholson is amazing. Actually, the whole cast is really great.

11. A film about a knight: A Knight's Tale I don't think I like anything about knights. I only chose this one for Heath. It has a surprisingly great cast for such a bad movie. I liked the dance scene and the modern soundtrack, but otherwise, it wasn't good. It took me a few days to get through it.

12. A love story: Aloha I really wanted to disagree with the critics on this one because I love Cameron Crowe and the cast, but it wasn't very good. I felt like I was watching two movies mashed into one. I usually adore Emma Stone, but she kind of bugged me. Bummer.

13. A movie about something miraculous: The Martian I loved it! It left out a few things from the book, but not enough to bother me. I liked that Matt Damon's Watney wasn't as nerdy and I loved Donald Glover's small part!

14. Any starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours: Cursed (Christina Ricci) There are so many people in this 2005 Wes Craven teen werewolf movie, I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before. It was absolutely cheesy, but I was entertained up until the end fight scenes, which had the worst special effects.

15. A film about the olympics: Chariots of Fire It was pretty slow, but I loved the story. I'm a sucker for underdog/sports/Olympics movies and I liked that this had a little history thrown in. I really loved the costumes, cars, buildings, scenery, etc.

16. A film on Time Magazine's list: The Top Ten Newspaper MoviesWelcome to Sarajevo Heartbreaking! I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know much about this conflict. I vaguely remember Anderson Cooper reporting on it when I was in 7th and 8th grade. The whole movie is tough to watch, but especially the raw footage. What's even worse is that this kind of thing is happening right now. 

17. Any with a question in the title: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? This movie was surprisingly entertaining! It was slow in the beginning, but picked up and Bette Davis played crazy so well! I can see why it's a cult classic.

18. Any with a score of ninety percent or greater on Rotten Tomatoes: Lolita I've never read the book, but know enough about it, so I appreciated this watered down version of the story. I thought it was beautifully shot and I liked the music, but I really hated all the characters. It's probably just the overacting of that time period though.

19. A film about a superhero: The Dark Knight Rises I never wanted to see this one because I can't stand Anne Hathaway. I loved Bane and JGL did just fine, but Anne was terrible and ruined it for me. It was the definitely the weakest of the trilogy.

20. Any with subtitles: Force Majeure This was really slow and uncomfortable to watch at times, but also had funny, relatable moments and was really pretty. I liked it!

21. Any incorporating unicorns in the story: Heavenly Creatures What the heck did I just watch?! It was VERY weird but kept my attention so it wasn't a total waste. I think Melanie Lynskey is underrated and she had a pretty awesome/creepy performance. Just so weird.

22. A film about a personal victory: Invincible (*I changed this selection from Room because it won't be in theaters for a few more weeks and I wanted to win!) I love an inspirational sports movie, no matter how cliche they are. This one was slow moving and Mark Wahlberg isn't the greatest actor out there, but I liked him here.

23. A film with black or white in the title: Black Mass It was a little slow at first, but I got into it in the second half and really liked it. It's the first performance from Johnny Depp I've appreciated in a long time. He made my skin crawl in a few scenes. I thought the clothes, cars, and locations were perfect.

24. Any set in a country you would most like to visit: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Iceland) I usually steer clear of Ben Stiller movies, but I've come to realize I like him in dramatic roles. I thought this was a cute movie with funny moments. It's very visually appealing. 

25. A film set in a zoo: Zookeeper I was confused while watching because I thought it was a kid movie, but it's actually a love story with talking animals and dumb jokes. I didn't even chuckle.

7 comments:

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I LOVED Donald Glover as Rich! I thought the movie was so well done and even the stuff they left out or changed a bit didn't bother me. The end, though, that was a different story (I don't want to say more for fear of people yelling at me for spoilers).

I've basically quit the film challenge but congrats to you on finishing!!! That's quite an accomplishment!

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

I am super duper impressed that you've finished this already and been able to have snuggle time while doing so.

So many people say how wonderful The Knight's Tale is. I've fallen asleep during it twice. Great, quick recaps of your movies.

Cole said...

Oh my goodness!!!! I'm so impressed! I have a few updates to our challenge group...but I'm still not close to done!

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

So glad you watched The Man in the Moon and What Lies Beneath. I loved both of those. What Lies Beneath scared the crap out of me in the theater.

I just commented about Black Mass on another post not realizing you'd seen it. Depp is so good. He really does become the person he's playing. Those contacts he had in were freaking me out.

Karen Peterson said...

Splash was a childhood favorite of ours.

Man in the Moon is on my list to watch, along with Blade Runner, A Knight's Tale, Zookeeper and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

LOVED The Martian. I really want to go see it again. It's been awhile since I felt that way about a movie.

I didn't love Walter Mitty the first time I saw it at AFI, but I've watched it a couple of times since then and I really like it.

Kristen said...

Holy crap! It blows my mind that you managed to watch all of these movies (and more!) in just 32 days! Congratulations on completing the challenge early! (I'll be lucky if I finish. Haha.)

I'm glad that What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was enjoyable. That's my pick for a movie with a question in the title, but I was a little worried since I don't always like older films.

I love Lolita (the book), and the newer version of the film is on my list for this challenge. I kind of wanted to reread the book before I watched the movie, but that's not going to happen. I have way too many library books checked out right now to justify dropping them all for a book I own that I've already read.

Heavenly Creatures is definitely really weird, but I really liked it. I've seen it a couple of times!

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

It's funny, the director's cut is the better cut of all the cuts for Blade Runner. I watched all of them. Unwillingly. Film Minor. Had to watch and dissect it all. Ugh.
Won't watch Aloha now. So wanted to...and I can't wait for the Martian.

Such a fun challenge....I have to get my movie brain moving again and watch more movies. Been lacking lately...probably going to use your movies as a starting point. :)