It's January again so it's time for me to recap my film watching life of 2015, an annual tradition hotly anticipated by people named me. First thing to note is this blog received much better attention than last. In fact it's had the most posts since 2011. That indicates the lack of any personal bad news, so there's that. Here's to hoping for no personal bad news in 2016!
I hit the theater only three times in 2015, which is actually up from previous years. Mockingjay 2 was a slight disappointment. Not exactly in its demographic, clearly a film I was obligated to see with the family. I did force the issue and make my boys see Fury Road. This was more of a trick than it should because everyone lolligags when it's not their movie of choice. We barely got there on time and my sons loved it. Wifey did not attend, and hasn't seen it yet. It sits on my dining room table, unseen on New Years Eve. It shouldn't have been that hard of a sell. It was the best film I saw in a theater in many years.
Then, of course, we saw The Force Awakens. I saw the original trilogy in the theaters, the first several times. I saw them re-released in the late nineties. And I saw the abominable prequels in the theater. Couldn't stop now. My oldest, an EU stalwart, refused to watch on principle. It was excellent, the second best film I saw. In a theater, that is.
Movies On The Block shows old films on the side of a building in Downtown Providence. It's a great experience. Would be better still if there were porta potties, but I won't go there. I got to see Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Jaws, The Shining, Frankenstein, and Dracula, in that order. I can't wait until June to start again.
Additionally an eccentric friend, who owns a masonic temple (not kidding) started inviting friends over and projecting films on a wall. We saw The Holy Grail and The Princess Bride. He intends on doing this every month. This man, living alone in a giant commercial building, appears to fancy himself as a phantom in his own opera.
So, how did I do with the old movies? Twelve of the 54 films were either Sci-Fi or Horror, an unusually low ratio (I think - didn't run the numbers). Five of the nine horrors came in October. Seven films were silent and a surprising four were musicals. However, two musicals were Marx Brothers films and the other two were long time personal favorites.
I got in three Hitchcock and one Kubrick films. I do intend on covering all of theirs. I intended on hitting Bond, William Castle, and maybe even a Russ Meyer film, but that didn't happen. Not that I'm disappointed. Something interesting is I saw six Cary Grant films after not seeing one since January of 2013, a gap of over two years! His movies always seem to please. I saw only one best picture, but they don't interest me all that much. I'll try to do one more this year.
The big winners (skipping the films I was already a big fan of) are Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Shining. I had seen Breakfast before but didn't remember it how good it was. I rewatched a scene to get my quote right and I felt a strong compulsion to rewatch the entire movie right then. My film education continues. I can't explain how I missed The Shining all these years. It was fantastic. The Road Warrior, The Philadelphia Story, and The Great Dictator all stuck with me as well.
The big loser is Mad Max. I loved the others in the series, and I liked it's spirit, but this one was a mess. I also have to give nods to the 1925 version of The Wizard of Oz. Tedious, racist, and bizarre. It could have been so much more, and I could have rated it lower. Also THX 1138 was a terrible bore.
My film resolutions are to visit the theater more often. To keep up the film a week pace I managed. To Attend something at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. To do more of what I am doing, and learn.
Happy 2016, peoples!