Movies From A Hat #5

A new 40 movie list, watched as they're pulled from a hat and re-ordered by whether they're great or terrible, simple as that.
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1.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world. (102 mins.)
Director: Stephen Chbosky
“ #18 -

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
2.
Mr. Mom (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
After he's laid off, a husband switches roles with his wife. She returns to the workforce, and he becomes a stay-at-home dad, a job he has no clue how to do. (91 mins.)
Director: Stan Dragoti
“ #25 -

Buy It ” - acharpentier2010
 
3.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl. (155 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
“ #13 - This movie is so sentimental, well-acted, and fairly sung, as quintessential a musical as The Sound of Music, and worth watching again and again.

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
4.
Return to Oz (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful. (113 mins.)
Director: Walter Murch
“ #11 - Return to Oz is exceedingly watchable, possibly more so than when I was a child. Oz feels much more like a child's imaginary world this go-round and is all the more wonderful and horrific because of it.

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
5.
Smashed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober. (81 mins.)
Director: James Ponsoldt
“ #35 -

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
6.
Night of the Comet (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists. (95 mins.)
Director: Thom Eberhardt
“ #1 - A very intriguing film with incredibly 80's themes, style and soundtrack. Unfortunately, most of the movie seems thrown together and while the plot is coherent, conflicts are generated very spontaneously, and the antagonists suffer from a distinct lack of motivation. Still, it's interesting enough, Catherine Mary Stewart is a great lead, and the dialogue is spot on.

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
7.
Take This Waltz (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street. (116 mins.)
Director: Sarah Polley
“ #30 -

Buy It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
8.
Going the Distance (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A romantic comedy centered on a guy and a gal who try to keep their love alive as they shuttle back and forth between New York and San Francisco to see one another. (102 mins.)
“ #14 - Not a particularly innovative romantic comedy, but there's plenty of realistic dialogue, Jim Gaffigan, Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, and Justin Long. Most of the actors are top-notch (although someone should put that puppy from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia to sleep) and it's an endearing film overall.

Buy It! (if you're a completest of those actors, especially) ” - acharpentier2010
 
9.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing 55-year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl. But, does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era? (76 mins.)
Director: Jay Oliva
“ #15 -

Buy It (because Part 2 doesn't make sense without it)! ” - acharpentier2010
 
10.
The Impossible (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. (114 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bayona
“ #9 - I cannot believe this film wasn't up for a makeup award! While the effects were fine, the story was very narrowly focused and in a sea of Asian faces, it's disconcerting to focus so much on the white folks, but the makeup was terrifyingly realistic and the characters really look as if they were put through the ringer. The movie doesn't quite earn its ending and there's a lot of very specific suggestion that Naomi Watts loses her leg, but she doesn't, which is odd.

Buy It! (Maybe) ” - acharpentier2010
 
11.
Music and Lyrics (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A washed up singer is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he's never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words. (96 mins.)
Director: Marc Lawrence
“ #7 - Music & Lyrics is a dopey, safe romantic comedy with plenty of PG-13 eye candy for both sexes but not much conflict. The worst that can be said about it is that there just isn't much to say about it.

Buy It! (Since it's typically packaged with other/better films) ” - acharpentier2010
 
12.
Wonder Boys (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in. (107 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ #19 -

Buy It (?)! ” - acharpentier2010
 
13.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems. (132 mins.)
Director: James L. Brooks
“ #29 -

Buy It (?)! ” - acharpentier2010
 
14.
Shark Night 3D (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks. (90 mins.)
Director: David R. Ellis
“ #4 - Much like The Innkeepers, the only good thing that can be said about Shark Night is "Sara Paxton". She is a GREAT actress. This movie should be watched only expecting it to be popcorn flick fantastic and it is...for 45 minutes. Then it SINS beyond reproach: it gets boring. The antagonists monologue (not the sharks, that would be terrific) and force me to fast forward. Too bad.

Buy It! (If you're a Sara Paxton completest)
Rent It! (otherwise) ” - acharpentier2010
 
15.
The American President (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Comedy-drama about a widowed U.S. president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all above-board, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway. (114 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ #20 -

Rent It ” - acharpentier2010
 
16.
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world. (114 mins.)
Director: Rian Johnson
“ #10 - The Brothers Bloom hung precariously on the thread of patience typically allotted to a film marketed on the basis of being whimsical with an all-star cast and fell to its death just before the precipice had been cleared. The ending is NOT earned. It hinges on the audience caring about the relationship between Stephen and Bloom, but why should they since Stephen is a con man that never EVER relents or lets his guard down?

Rent It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
17.
Surf's Up (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A behind-the-scenes look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship, and its newest participant, up-and-comer Cody Maverick. (85 mins.)
“ #16 -

Rent It ” - acharpentier2010
 
18.
YellowBrickRoad (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
1940: the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire walked up a winding mountain trail, leaving everything behind. 2008: the first official expedition into the wilderness attempts to solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar. (98 mins.)
“ #28 -

Rent It ” - acharpentier2010
 
19.
Benefit of the Doubt (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
A convicted wife murderer returns 22 year later to seek revenge on the daughter who help convict him. (90 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Heap
“ #12 -Benefit of the Doubt seems, at first, to be a brilliant "did he or didn't he?" film about a father newly released from prison and trying to reconnect with his daughter. It deserves a wholeheartedly recommendation, or would if not for the third act molestation reveal that felt rushed, undeveloped, and unwarranted given that so-and-so had committed murder only moments before, providing plenty of fuel to finish the film on. As a result, it's...just okay.

Rent It! ” - acharpentier2010
 
20.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband. (122 mins.)
Director: Bob Rafelson
“ #5 - Assuming this film was about an affair between a postman and a housewife will probably disappoint. Worth watching for the cinematography and controversial landmark sex scene that broke a barrier or two in Hollywood, but it's too sleazy and repugnant to watch without chapter skipping.

Rent It! (if there's nothing better) ” - acharpentier2010
 
21.
Les Misérables (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Jean Valjean, a Frenchman imprisoned for stealing bread, must flee a police officer named Javert. The pursuit consumes both men's lives... (134 mins.)
Director: Bille August
“ #23 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
22.
The Producers (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop. (88 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
“ #3 - This movie was made by children and (presumably) for children. Five year olds will love it.

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
23.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A crime novelist, whose research on Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck, must confront his worst fears, when a film executive takes a sudden interest in his movie script. (100 mins.)
“ #6 - Simon Pegg is wonderful, but watching him act like a spastic for fifteen minutes without any discernible plot (alright, there is one, but it's bare bones) is plenty.

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
24.
Titan A.E. (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A young man learns that he has to find a hidden Earth ship before an enemy alien species does in order to secure the survival of humanity. (94 mins.)
“ #26 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
25.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A coming of age story involving young love and a mysterious music, coming from a crystal radio left as a memento by an absent father, that leads a young heroine deep into a hidden world. (116 mins.)
Director: Makoto Shinkai
“ #2 - A cardinal sin, luring viewers with striking visuals and then displacing those with long periods of inactivity. Boring, boring, boring!

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
26.
Sleeping Beauty (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires. (101 mins.)
Director: Julia Leigh
“ #17 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
27.
Rust and Bone (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident. (120 mins.)
Director: Jacques Audiard
“ #24 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
28.
Edmond (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A fortune-tellers teasing rumination sends Edmond Burke lurching into New York City's hellish underworld. (82 mins.)
Director: Stuart Gordon
“ #21 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
29.
One for the Money (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin's bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past. (91 mins.)
“ #22 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
30.
Klute (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute. (114 mins.)
Director: Alan J. Pakula
“ #27 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
31.
Detective Dee: The Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu. (123 mins.)
Director: Hark Tsui
“ #8 -

Skip It ” - acharpentier2010
 
32.
Spartan (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official. (106 mins.)
Director: David Mamet
“ #31 - ” - acharpentier2010
 
33.
Letters to Juliet (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Sophie dreams of becoming a writer and travels to Verona, Italy where she meets the "Secretaries of Juliet". (105 mins.)
Director: Gary Winick
“ #32 - ” - acharpentier2010
 
34.
Leap Year (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it. (100 mins.)
Director: Anand Tucker
“ #33 - ” - acharpentier2010
 
35.
Poison Ivy (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A seductive teen befriends an introverted high school student and schemes her way into the lives of her wealthy family. (90 mins.)
Director: Katt Shea Ruben
“ #34 - ” - acharpentier2010
 
36.
Red Lights (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away. (114 mins.)
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
 
37.
Cold Souls (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Paul is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya. (101 mins.)
Director: Sophie Barthes
 
38.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold. (117 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
 
39.
Liberal Arts (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them. (97 mins.)
Director: Josh Radnor
 
40.
Not Fade Away (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Set in suburban New Jersey the 1960s, a group of friends form a rock band and try to make it big. (112 mins.)
Director: David Chase