2013: Watched Films (recent and older)

by JMG_Films | created - 06 Jan 2013 | updated - 19 Jan 2014 | Public

Including recently released and previous to 2013. By Filmmaker and Film Curator Jeff M. Giordano.

www.jeffmgiordano.com & www.twitter.com/JMG_Films

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1. The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

After a series of misunderstandings, the head of an aerospace research laboratory begins to suspect his new girlfriend is a Russian spy.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Arthur Godfrey, John McGiver

Votes: 4,117

Frank Tashlin directs another high caliber comedy, filled with vivd colors, hilarious jokes, and elements of sci-fi and espionage. This was his first film with Doris Day, followed by "Caprice" in 1967.

2. The Fairy (2011)

Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

66 Metascore

A hotel clerk searches all over Le Havre for the fairy who made two of his three wishes come true before disappearing.

Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy | Stars: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy, Philippe Martz

Votes: 2,272 | Gross: $0.04M

It feels like a really long short film. The jokes aren't funny and the story meanders from one poor idea, after another. The film attempts to be an homage to the classic silent comedies of France and America, and "The Fairy" falls flat.

Only fans of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki (whom is one of the best directors today) and Roy Andersson (director for "Songs from the Second Floor") would be slightly amused, but even they would become bored.

3. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics (1965)

Approved | 10 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A simple line attempts to woo his true love, a dot, away from the unkempt squiggle she prefers. But he'll have to learn to bend before she'll notice him.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble | Star: Robert Morley

Votes: 1,303

Part of the Special Features on "The Glass Bottom Boat" (1966) DVD. This animated short is an alternate vision on romantic relationships and identity. The film is intelligent and funny.

4. Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 min | Drama, Western

81 Metascore

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Votes: 1,299,673 | Gross: $162.81M

Waltz is brilliant! This is a very entertaining film. While there's not much substance, just see it for yourself and enjoy the ride.

Should win Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars.

5. My Favorite Year (1982)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show.

Director: Richard Benjamin | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna

Votes: 8,408 | Gross: $20.12M

A bit dated, but Peter O'Toole shines.

6. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

86 Metascore

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director: Benh Zeitlin | Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes

Votes: 79,428 | Gross: $12.80M

Should win Best Picture at the Oscars. This is not just fantastic indie filmmaking, but great storytelling.

7. Caprice (1967)

Approved | 98 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

An industrial designer causes chaos when she sells a secret cosmetics formula to a rival company.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Doris Day, Richard Harris, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen

Votes: 1,182 | Gross: $9.98M

Off-beat fun. Not Tashlin's best, but worth your time. See it for the unusually dark story, vivid colors, charming costumes, and impressive set design.

It would be great to see a behind-the-scenes documentary about "Caprice," which has been neglected.

8. After the Fox (1966)

Approved | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

An Italian criminal mastermind, impersonating a film director, plans to grab the loot on a beach where a bogus movie is being filmed.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Peter Sellers, Victor Mature, Britt Ekland, Martin Balsam

Votes: 3,513

One of the best Peter Sellers' films that is more relevant today than ever, for its satire of the film industry.

9. The Future of Pinball (2006)

Not Rated | 58 min | Documentary

In 1998 pinball was dying, thanks to a saturated market and shrinking player base. Williams, the world's largest pinball manufacturer, planned to abandon the game in favor of the more ... See full summary »

Director: Greg Maletic | Stars: Duncan Brown, Larry DeMar, George Gomez, Steve Kordek

Votes: 154

A time capsule of Pinball, its history and the personalities that shaped the game.

10. Escape from Tomorrow (2013)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

58 Metascore

In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father's sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.

Director: Randy Moore | Stars: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Jack Dalton

Votes: 8,981 | Gross: $0.17M

A strong first feature.

11. The Disorderly Orderly (1964)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

When he flunks out of med school, Jerome Littlefield goes to work as an orderly in a private rest home where he wreaks havoc for everyone concerned. Dr. Jean Howard is the exasperated head ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Jerry Lewis, Glenda Farrell, Susan Oliver, Karen Sharpe

Votes: 2,738

Not the best Jerry Lewis films, but one of the best endings in the history of comedic films.

12. Senna (2010)

PG-13 | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, Sport

79 Metascore

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Ayrton Senna, Reginaldo Leme, John Bisignano, Neide Senna

Votes: 61,193 | Gross: $1.61M

One of the best sports documentaries ever made.

13. Brain Donors (1992)

PG | 80 min | Comedy

44 Metascore

Three manic idiots; a lawyer, cab driver and a handyman team up to run a ballet company to fulfill the will of a millionaire. Tribute to The Marx Brothers, antics result as the trio try to ... See full summary »

Director: Dennis Dugan | Stars: John Turturro, Bob Nelson, Mel Smith, Nancy Marchand

Votes: 3,910 | Gross: $0.92M

Outlandish zaniness in the tradition of the Marx Brothers and old-fashioned comedy. Not a total success, but such a unique experience worth taking.

14. Yellow Submarine (1968)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

79 Metascore

The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his yellow submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

Director: George Dunning | Stars: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon

Votes: 23,857 | Gross: $0.99M

Quite enjoyable. One of the few films that would warrant a 3D re-release! No remakes, please.

15. Hellzapoppin' (1941)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy, Music

Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 2,650

Fun all around! This film needs to be released on DVD. One of my favorite discoveries of 2013.

16. Land of Look Behind (1982)

90 min | Documentary, Music

i would like to watch the movie.so much have been said. so much i expect.

Director: Alan Greenberg | Stars: Micalon Stevenson, Jammy Galloway, Louie Lepkie, Mutabaruka

Votes: 103

An oddball documentary in the vein of Werner Herzog. One of a kind portrait of Jamaica and its people.

17. The Story of Luke (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

Sheltered by his grandparents, Luke, a young man with autism, is thrust into a world that doesn't expect anything from him. But Luke is on a quest for a job and true love. And he isn't taking no for an answer.

Director: Alonso Mayo | Stars: Lou Taylor Pucci, Jayne Eastwood, Pam Hyatt, Cary Elwes

Votes: 2,963

One of the best films of 2012!

18. A New Leaf (1971)

G | 102 min | Comedy, Romance

Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.

Director: Elaine May | Stars: Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Jack Weston, George Rose

Votes: 4,759

One of the best comedies ever made.

19. Not as a Stranger (1955)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

55 Metascore

An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Gloria Grahame

Votes: 1,614

Impressive Mitchum and Sinatra film, with a supporting role by Lee Marvin sprinkled in.

20. The Cheerleaders (1973)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Sport

A group of cheerleaders from the local high school decide to show their school spirit for their football team by sleeping with the opponents the night before the game so that they can be so worn out the opposition won't be able to play.

Director: Paul Glickler | Stars: Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush, Brandy Woods

Votes: 1,123

Not much going on here. Interesting for film history buffs.

21. The Joker Is Wild (1957)

Approved | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another,... See full summary »

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Mitzi Gaynor, Jeanne Crain, Eddie Albert

Votes: 1,100

Sinatra's best film role. Criterion needs to release this wonderful film on DVD, because right now it is not available.

22. The Errand Boy (1961)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Family

A goofy paperhanger is hired to root out a financial inefficiency on a Hollywood studio lot, wreaking havoc as he goes.

Director: Jerry Lewis | Stars: Jerry Lewis, Brian Donlevy, Howard McNear, Dick Wesson

Votes: 1,721

Sub-par Jerry Lewis. Some funny scenes in the first 20 minutes.

23. Life of Pi (2012)

PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu

Votes: 564,769 | Gross: $124.99M

Saw it in 3D. One of the best experiences in a movie theater.

24. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

G | 205 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

59 Metascore

A group of motorists hear about a crook's hidden stash of loot, and race against each other across the country to get to it.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney

Votes: 36,542 | Gross: $46.30M

Highly entertaining. It's long, but worth the trip.

25. Mekong Hotel (2012)

61 min | Drama

57 Metascore

Shifting between fact and fiction in a hotel situated along the Mekong River, a film-maker rehearses a movie expressing the bonds between a vampiric mother and daughter.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Votes: 584 | Gross: $0.00M

As a fan of the director's work, I was very disappointed with the story (which is very similar to "Uncle Boonmee...") and underwhelmed with the ending. It feels like "Mekong Hotel" would've been better as a short film. Viewed at CAAM Fest, formerly the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.

26. It's a Gift (1934)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison

Votes: 4,737

Not as funny as "The Bank Dick," but overall enjoyable. Some of the scenes go on for too long, and the jokes wear out.

27. The Sad Sack (1957)

Passed | 98 min | Comedy

Private Meredith Bixby is so out of step in the Army that his six weeks of planned basic training has now stretched to 17 months. After he loses a tank, WAC Major Shelton, a psychologist, ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Jerry Lewis, Phyllis Kirk, David Wayne, Peter Lorre

Votes: 580

One of Lewis' best non-directed films. Very original script for a Lewis film. Strong supporting performances. It was a surprise to see Peter Lorre!

28. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

81 Metascore

James Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 615,926 | Gross: $304.36M

First off, I've watched all of the James Bond films, including the TV movie "Casino Royale" from 1954.

"Skyfall" is the worst of the Daniel Craig Bond films. Solid action for the first hour, then it all implodes. Bardem was wasted as a Bond villain and not developed enough. He's a stellar actor on his own, but the script limited his character.

Notes: Didn't Bond die in one of the two recent films?

He doesn't say: "Shaken, not stirred;" just "perfect." It's a shame.

One of the most underwhelming Bond endings in the history of the franchise.

Overall, "Skyfall" doesn't feel like a James Bond film.

29. Enter the Void (2009)

Not Rated | 161 min | Drama, Fantasy

69 Metascore

An American drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Olly Alexander

Votes: 67,310 | Gross: $0.34M

I've seen all of Gaspar Noé's previous feature-films since 1998. While I like "Enter the Void" best...I didn't like the story (beyond the Tibetan Book of the Dead themes), characters, or dialogue.

However, I kept watching because of the astounding cinematography by one of the best DP's working today, Benoît Debie.

The film can viewed as a "2001: A Space Odyssey" re-imagined by a psychedelic-death experience.

I hope Gaspar Noé makes a film, with a script written by someone else. The man is obviously a fantastic director.

30. All in a Night's Work (1961)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy

Tony Ryder takes over his dead uncle's media empire while trying to keep quiet the mysterious circumstances of his death in a Palm Beach hotel room.

Director: Joseph Anthony | Stars: Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Cliff Robertson, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 644

Very funny and charming comedy. It's a sweet trip that holds up. One of Dean Martin's best. Jack Weston shines as the creepy detective whom also starred in A NEW LEAF (1971) and ISHTAR (1987).

31. Paprika (2006)

R | 90 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

81 Metascore

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

Votes: 66,871 | Gross: $0.88M

Astounding animated mind-trip that rivals any film (animated or live action) dealing with dreams and levels of consciousness.

32. All the Light in the Sky (2012)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama

62 Metascore

Jane Adams is an actress living in a house precariously perched above the beach in Malibu. Her age exempts her from more and more acting opportunities. That's when her young, ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Swanberg | Stars: Jane Adams, Sophia Takal, Kent Osborne, Larry Fessenden

Votes: 533

Solid direction and dialogue. If you're wondering where independent film is today, check it out. Viewed at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival.

33. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

NC-17 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

60 Metascore

Three girls come to Hollywood to make it big, but find only sex, drugs and sleaze.

Director: Russ Meyer | Stars: Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John Lazar

Votes: 9,650 | Gross: $9.00M

Just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's a fiasco, but a very entertaining experience. Nothing like it exists. Meyer considered it his crowning achievement (his best film).

34. Gentlemen Broncos (2009)

PG-13 | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

28 Metascore

A teenager attends a fantasy writers' convention where he discovers his idea has been stolen by an established novelist.

Director: Jared Hess | Stars: Michael Angarano, Jemaine Clement, Mike White, John Baker

Votes: 10,685 | Gross: $0.11M

Better than "Napoleon Dynamite." Awesome retro design.

35. Prince Avalanche (2013)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, Lance LeGault, Joyce Payne

Votes: 18,444 | Gross: $0.20M

Viewed at SF International Film Festival. One of David Gordon Green's best films!

36. Key of Life (2012)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A failed actor switches identities with a stranger at a bath house thinking it is his way out of his life of misery but only to find himself filling the shoes of an elite assassin.

Director: Kenji Uchida | Stars: Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryôko Hirosue, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa

Votes: 1,687

Viewed at SF International Film Festival. Very funny, screwball comedy. Expect stellar films by this director.

37. Youth (2012)

75 min | Drama, Family

Juliette, twenty, falls in love. At the same time her father is diagnosed with a fatal disease.

Director: Justine Malle | Stars: Esther Garrel, Didier Bezace, Émile Bertherat, Lucia Sanchez

Votes: 37

Viewed at SF International Film Festival. Awesome first feature based on autobiographical experiences by the director (Justine Malle).

38. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 30,319 | Gross: $0.44M

Trippiness due to tone and structure. Kubrickian flavors an be tasted. Not terrific, but worth seeing. 3 out of 5.

39. Burn After Reading (2008)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Votes: 300,210 | Gross: $60.36M

Not the Coen's best, but in terms of quality laughs -- close to "The Big Lebowski."

40. Cold Dog Soup (1990)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy

Randy Quaid as the taxi driver drives Zen parables (Is time money - Is time the root of all evil?) into his passenger/protegee in a high-speed, idiosyncratic tour of their city's ethnic ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Metter | Stars: Randy Quaid, Frank Whaley, Christine Harnos, Sheree North

Votes: 439

Quirkiness for the indie fans. Check it out! It's fun.

41. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Craig Van Hook

Votes: 238,426 | Gross: $21.38M

My favorite film of 2013! Shakespearian in its storytelling. Truly epic!

42. Mud (2012)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard

Votes: 162,999 | Gross: $21.59M

Very well-written. Many emotional layers to unpeel and ponder after. Hopefully, it gets Oscar nominations.

43. Bugsy Malone (1976)

G | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Family

71 Metascore

The classic gangster story of Bugsy Malone told with an all-child cast.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Jodie Foster, Scott Baio, Florence Garland, John Cassisi

Votes: 15,432 | Gross: $2.78M

One of the best films in the world. A pure delight to behold! One of my favorite viewed in 2013.

44. Man of Flowers (1983)

91 min | Drama

An eccentric elderly man tries to enjoy the three things in life that he considers real beauty: collecting art, collecting flowers, and watching pretty women undress.

Director: Paul Cox | Stars: Norman Kaye, Alyson Best, Chris Haywood, Sarah Walker

Votes: 537

Extremely quirky, little film with one of Herzog's early acting roles (supporting). If you like offbeat humor, check it out.

45. Up! (1976)

X | 80 min | Comedy