Saturday, January 01, 2005


Happy New Year everyone. The year started off well for me as I sat in front of my television and started in with the inaugural movie of the year, the Cary Grant vehicle Every Girl Should Be Married. Clearly a B screwball comedy, with Grant being his usual charming and abstract self in the middle of a confused muddle of a movie, it featured the absolute creepiest leading lady I've ever seen. Betsy Drake is a determined department store worker who decides Grant is her Mr. Right after a chance meeting at a newsstand and proceeds to stalk and embarass him until she traps him into marriage. Grant is the only thing worthwhile in the whole mess but even his scattered one liners weren't enough to save it. I intended to go to bed after the movie was over, but I saw that Death and the Maiden was on IFC and decided it was worth staying awake for. Weird little chamber piece, with Sigourney Weaver as a kidnap/torture victim who's tormentor unexpectedly falls in her lap when he picks up her husband on the side of the road and drives him home. Weaver is absolutely crazy, which works, but its a very talky movie and I found it hard to stay awake near the end (though it was 5 AM at this point so that was also a factor). The ending was a little disatisfying in that whole "there is no way I would have done that" sort of way. After a good night's rest I watched some football and then caught The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. I LOVED it. Rush plays Sellers perfectly and the storytelling was completely engaging. I especially enjoyed the Rush stepping into the other character's roles to give quick asides of their take on Sellers. Great little device. I've only seen a few of Sellers's movies (Dr. Strangelove, Being There, Casino Royale), so I'm pretty inspired to make sure more of them get included in the tally. After some shopping and cooking (fried chicken and mashed potatoes, excellent) I popped in Bullitt, the Steve McQueen cop drama of the late 60s. Its one of those "classics" that I've never gotten around to seeing so I had some pretty high expectations. It was pretty good as far as cop movies go, but I was kind of bored through a lot of it. The same thing happened to me with The French Connection. I saw it because I thought I should even though I wasn't really in the mood for a cop movie and I didn't really care for it until I saw it again a few years later. As far as an objective opinion goes, its a good story and is well acted, so I'm sure I'll wind up watching it again someday and really liking it. I finished the day off with Johnny English, a movie I was pretty excited to see because of Rowan Atkinson. I was pretty sure it would be stupid and it lived up to my expectations, but it was enjoyable anyway. New favorite French joke: "As far as I'm concerned the only thing the French should be allowed to host is an invasion." Also, I'm now madly in love with Natalie Imbruglia.

Friday, December 31, 2004


So tomorrow starts my greatest challenge. Watching one thousand movies I've never seen before in one year. The plan is pretty simple. Two movies each weekday and ten each weekend. Doesn't sound so hard, but I'm already kind of dreading it after a month of excited anticipation. The clock starts at midnight, so I'll be ringing in the New Year in front of my TV, which is usually how it happens except this time I'll have a good reason.