First Time Viewings: May 2013

Quite a prolific movie-watching month for myself. 24 films in total, one masterpiece and a couple of 6's but the rest fairly solid 7's and 8's. Some notable directors include Peter Jackson, Fritz Lang, John Hughes, Wes Anderson and Ron Howard's debut feature film.
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Dogtooth (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out. (94 mins.)
“ Viewed: 1/5/13
My Score: 8/10

Unique and unpredictable Greek film. Will have you asking many questions afterward so if you like closure than this may not be the best film for you. But, still, highly recommended. ” - Kraemorr
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films. (135 mins.)
Director: Tony Gilroy
“ Viewed: 2/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Pleasantly and surprisingly enjoyable thanks to Jeremy Renner who is one of the finest actors in Hollywood today. Gone are the usual who-am-I? elements of the original trilogy, which while it's not a plus does make it feel fresh as the Matt Damon-lead series was starting to stagnate a bit to me. So it has its negatives and positives which bring onto par with the third film The Bourne Ultimatum. ” - Kraemorr
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style. (93 mins.)
“ Viewed: 2/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Another sequel, but this one had the critics saying it was the best in the series. While it's not far off I have to disagree. I hold the first one in pretty high regard as it holds many special memories for that particular time of my life. Having said that, this one is still very entertaining and well done and will definitely not disappoint. ” - Kraemorr
Hitman (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as 'The Organization' is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Russia and Eastern Europe. (100 mins.)
Director: Xavier Gens
“ Viewed: 2/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Timothy Olyphant makes the perfect Hitman and Olga Kurylenko is especially sexy. As with most movies based on video games some things happen that don't make a lot of sense but probably fewer things than most of those movies. I still wonder why such a mysterious character that nobody is meant to know anything about walks around with a shaved head and a barcode tattooed across the back of it, surely that would stick out to people, oh well thank God for nonsensical video games that make entertaining movies. ” - Kraemorr
Quantum of Solace (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
“ Viewed: 9/5/13
My Score: 7/10

I wasn't expecting much from one of the worst reviewed Bond movies and maybe that's why I liked it. After watching it I understand what the hate was for, mainly the Bourne like editing of the action sequences and the fact that the action took centre stage for a large part of it. As a Bond film I have to agree it's pitiful, but there's still a lot to enjoy as well and unfortunately for the film, if it wasn't a Bond film it may have garnered a few more positive reviews. But I am sure glad they cut that Bourne crap out for Skyfall. ” - Kraemorr
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home - and the gold within it - from the dragon Smaug. (169 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Viewed: 9/5/13
My Score: 7/10

While I thoroughly enjoyed The Lord of the Rings trilogy I wasn't too keen on sitting through this 3 hour prequel. But I did, and time flew by a lot quicker than I expected. It somehow is very entertaining though the action sequences do bog the film down a tad, as they become a blur of one another, like there are just too many things out to get them. Pleasantly, after 3 hours, you feel like you've gone on an exciting journey and I do look forward to part 2. ” - Kraemorr
The Breakfast Club (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. (97 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
“ Viewed: 11/5/13
My Score: 8/10

That's right, this is a first-time viewing for me in 2013, I am also perplexed as to why it took this long for me to watch this film. I was born only 2 years prior to this films release so that's partly my excuse but still no excuse for the last 20 years. This film embodies the 80's like no other I have seen, which is reason enough for people to either love or loathe it. I am pushing for the former. I have very fond memories of the 80's and always wished I was born a little earlier so I could fully experience the 80's, just like the characters in this film. At the end of the day this isn't a great film but it's immensely enjoyable for an 80's kid like me. ” - Kraemorr
My Dinner with Andre (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews. (110 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
“ Viewed: 12/5/13
My Score: 8/10

Another 80's film which is almost the complete opposite of The Breakfast Club. This film embodies any era and every era. I would never have thought watching 2 people converse over dinner in a restaurant could be so fascinating but they have very fascinating things to say. Especially Andre Gregory whom does most of the talking for the majority of the movie about what he's been doing for the last few years. Leaves more food for thought than almost any other movie you're ever likely to see. ” - Kraemorr
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. (94 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
“ Viewed: 13/5/13
My Score: 8/10

I love Wes Anderson. What wonderfully unique films he makes. This is possibly his most slight film to date but still so joyous to watch. You either like him or you don't, he's like Tarantino in that regard. Every film of his is uniquely a Wes Anderson film, there's no mistaking it. Every actor so wonderfully creates yet another memorable Anderson character. This is an absolute joy to watch, I'm just now thinking that I may have underrated it, a rewatch is in order. ” - Kraemorr
The Wrestler (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle. (109 mins.)
“ Viewed: 14/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Another director I love, and this is possibly his most acclaimed film (close race with Black Swan), but this one didn't gel with me like his other efforts. I've never liked pro-wrestling and this film tells me why; pro-wrestlers are pathetic moronic losers (to put it nicely). The film does a great job showing that, and Mickey Rourke is amazing in the lead, as is Marisa Tomei as the main female, so it's quite a success on that front, but damn it, Rourke's character pisses me off so much because of how stupid he is. I don't normally mind watching characters that are losers but this film tries to make you have pity for him and I quite simply had none for him, he wrecked his own life so leave him to his fate. I'm in the minority with this one, but I must admit there is quite a powerful film somewhere in there as I'm still thinking of certain scenes which are extraordinarily done. ” - Kraemorr
War Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. (146 mins.)
“ Viewed: 15/5/13
My Score: 7/10

A classic Spielberg film, meaning sugary to the point that my teeth were rotten after watching it but also very well made technically speaking. It took a while for the story to get good because Spielberg wanted to linger on the early farm scenes which were especially sickly sweet, Spielberg at his most irritating. But once the horse gets out and about it starts to get quite good and there was one truly exceptional scene involving the horse getting stuck in barbed wire. This scene is so good that if that one scene was a short film it would be one of the greatest short films ever made, but no Spielberg goes all out as he does. Some wonderful moments, some terrible moments, in other words classic Spielberg. ” - Kraemorr
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Viewed: 15/5/13
My Score: 10/10

Martin Scorsese's The Departed has been my favourite movie since the 90's since its release but I think I have a new number one. Also by Scorsese but oh so very different. I think any one of any age can enjoy this movie but a true lover of cinema and its origins will embrace this movie on a whole other level. The whole movie is an absolute joy from the opening scene to the final credits. Who thought Scorsese had it in him, sure he's a master film-maker but a family film? He's certainly a master and proves with this film that he is definitely the greatest working director, and maybe the greatest ever. Also a special mention to the leading actor Asa Butterfield, as amazing as Scorsese is, this film would not have been as great without Asa. He is the best young actor I have seen in a long time and he gives a mesmerizingly great performance. I cannot express how amazing this film is, I would just suggest that you go watch it immediately. ” - Kraemorr
Play It Again, Sam (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A neurotic film critic obsessed with the movie Casablanca attempts to get over his wife leaving him by dating again with the help of a married couple and his illusory idol, Humphrey Bogart. (85 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
“ Viewed: 19/5/13
My Score: 7/10

This is one of Woodyphile's everywhere favourite films but I didn't enjoy it as much, and I am a Woody fan (but probably not a Woodyphile). The physical comedy let me down a bit and I can't believe he tries to get with his best friend's wife, he is meant to be a likable character after all. It has some nice witty moments that I really enjoyed and I'll leave it at that. ” - Kraemorr
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A rich girl steals her dad's Rolls Royce and heads off to Las Vegas to get married. However, her angry parents, a jealous suitor, and a bunch of reward seekers are determined to stop her. (84 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ Viewed: 20/5/13
My Score: 6/10

I noticed with most of Ron Howard's films that I have a big fat smile on my face afterward but it was lacking after this one. But afterall this movie is just an excuse to crash some expensive cars, right? On that level it exceeds, and it does have some amusing moments, but character development is none existent and believe-it-or-not it would have gone a long way. ” - Kraemorr
Persepolis (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution. (96 mins.)
“ Viewed: 22/5/13
My Score: 8/10

This film is nothing like you might expect when you hear that it's animated. Surprisingly funny but also serious adult film dealing with Iranian politics told via the coming-of-age of Marjane Satrapi and how she grows up and handles everything that happens. Quite a wonderful film that is far superior than a lot of Hollywood animations. Just remember this isn't one those films that are made for kids but have a lot humour for adults, this is an animated movie purely for adults. Enjoy. ” - Kraemorr
Biutiful (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move. (148 mins.)
“ Viewed: 24/5/13
My Score: 6/10

Being a fan of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's previous three films, not to mention the acclaim that this film garnered, I was looking forward to watching this one. But alas, that was not to be. After watching I felt something was amiss and then I read that Inarritu had parted ways with his writing partner Guillermo Arriaga after Babel, so I guess I can put it down to that. Javier Bardem is brilliant in the lead role which annoys even more that the film can't live up to the brilliance of his acting skills. The problem with the film is that it tries to tell too many stories, but only half-heartedly tells them apart from Bardem's story which is the main story and the film should have focussed purely on his story. As it turns out it's a long slog (148 mins) which didn't need to be that long and the writing is comparatively poor in parts as if it were a midday tele-movie. Overall it's good to see once just for Bardem but Inarritu certainly tries his best to punish the viewer. ” - Kraemorr
Some Girls (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Michael, a college student, visits his girlfriend Gabriella and her family for Christmas in Canada. When he gets there... (94 mins.)
Director: Michael Hoffman
“ Viewed: 25/5/13
My Score: 7/10

I didn't know anything about this film beforehand other than that is was an early Patrick Dempsey film with a poor rating on imdb. I learned from the opening credits that it also starred an 18yo Jennifer Connelly, can't complain about that. I also couldn't complain about the movie, it was fairly well written for a teenage sex comedy. That's just it though it's NOT a teenage sex comedy though it does try to pass as one at stages but it's surprisingly more than that. A 22yo Patrick Dempsey has a very delicate scene with 70yo Lila Kedrova which doesn't come off cheesy at all, and Andre Gregory (from My Dinner With Andre) is a highlight as well. Not great but better than expected. ” - Kraemorr
Bad Company (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A god-fearing Ohio boy dodging the Civil War draft arrives in Jefferson City where he joins up with a hardscrabble group of like runaways heading west. (93 mins.)
Director: Robert Benton
“ Viewed: 26/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Robert Benton's debut film (from Kramer vs Kramer fame) is a western centred around good god-fearing boy Barry Brown getting mixed up with bad boy Jeff bridges, both dodging the Civil War draft. Very well acted by both and well written but with a very light touch, which I still haven't decided is a good thing or bad thing. Very enjoyable might up ratings with a second viewing. ” - Kraemorr
Oldboy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. (120 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
“ Viewed: 27/5/13
My Score: 8/10

Took a while but finally got around to watching this cult classic from South Korea. Haunting film about a man mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years, then when they let him out he has discover who imprisoned him and more importantly, why. Haunting film with an astonishing one take action sequence that must be seen to be believed. There's now a Hollywood remake on the way, and I'm still scratching my head how they thought it would be a good idea turning this into a Hollywood film, but I will give it a chance one day. ” - Kraemorr
The Expendables 2 (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. (103 mins.)
Director: Simon West
“ Viewed: 29/5/13
My Score: 7/10

More of the same from Sly and co., with added screen time for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger but less screen time for Jet Li. They also chucked in a bit of, ahem, Chuck Norris. Jean-Claude Van Damme enters the fray as the villain and I must admit he is brilliant in it. I loved the first one, I liked this one. ” - Kraemorr
Global Heresy (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A rock band bursts onto the scene and then their frontman disappears on the eve of a European tour. (106 mins.)
Director: Sidney J. Furie
“ Viewed: 29/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Another film I didn't know anything about but quite glad I watched it. A stuffy old English couple (played by none other than Peter O'Toole and Joan Plowright) rent out their mansion to a rock band for two weeks and due to a stuff up and a way they could save some money the stuffy old couple pretend to be the servants. Of course a lot of shenanigans happens that you would expect but it is planted a lot firmer in reality than what it may appear at first. Also worth watching for an extremely hot Alicia Silverstone. ” - Kraemorr
Hangmen Also Die! (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed. (134 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ Viewed: 30/5/13
My Score: 7/10

The oldest film I saw in May was Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die! from 1943. It wants to be a masterpiece and has some scenes that could belong in such a film, but it panders around too much in the first half of the film it's hard to get a grip on the plot. Once the plot does become clear the film becomes very thrilling but unfortunately it takes too long to get there. ” - Kraemorr
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene. (120 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Viewed: 30/5/13
My Score: 8/10

Robert Altman's western about a opportunistic gambler (Warren Beatty) setting up his own hotel and whorehouse with the help of high-end prostitute (Julie Christie). A large corporation wants to buy them out but at what cost? This film features a classic finale but I felt like Beatty wasn't the best choice for the role. Still a very strong film. ” - Kraemorr
Violent Saturday (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly. (90 mins.)
“ Viewed: 30/5/13
My Score: 7/10

Yet another film I didn't know what to expect. A few criminals decide to rob a bank in a small mining town, and of course things don't quite go the way they planned. Not a comedy like it may sound, rather melodramatic and even soapy in parts. Some parts work, some don't, but overall quite well done, probably works best watching it late at night. Ernest Borgnine is especially good in the role of an Amish farmer. ” - Kraemorr