Zero, through August 1997.
September seems to be breaking the record, however. However, they've all been rental
movies; not seen in theatres. Maybe I just hate greasy overpriced popcorn.
Movies seen by video rental:
- The Absolutely Fabulous Movie Special. B-
- This movie is based on the now-defunct British tv comedy
series of the same name. And it isn't as good, although there are some splashes of
funny bits. Rent or find the videos of the tv series for the true flavor of this
wild and politically incorrect show. (This one was rented by friends.)
- Joe's Apartment. C
- Another one rented by friends. Incredibly stupid, which may
well have been its drawing card. I couldn't pull myself away; I needed to see the
depths it could sink down to. The plot had holes wide enough to sink battleships in,
and the characters lacked any real sense of believable (or unbelievable) charm. A
young man finds himself an apartment, shares it with a horde of singing cockroaches
(animated reasonably well), has romance, and saves the place from being knocked over
in favor of a federal pen. All with the torments and the help of the aforementioned
cockroaches. It rates as high as "C" out of its sheer chutzpah.
- Like Water For Chocolate. A-
- I rented this one. ( !!!! ) Dubbed dialog which would have
been better most likely if one could watch this in its original Spanish. An innovative
approach to a tragic relationship -- a young man marries the sister of a woman he is in
love with, so as to be near her, as she is not allowed to marry. The ups and downs
of the young woman's emotional states are conveyed through food.
- The Saint. C+
- This started with promise. We got bored quickly. I was
hoping that this one would be at least redeemably campy, but no. Fortunately, I didn't
choose to rent this one, either.
- The Fifth Element. B+
- I liked this one, amazingly enough. It dudded out quickly and
went to video. It probably requires a second viewing, to catch some of the ideas which
spring by fast. The end was rather anti-climatic, as if the director and screenwriters
had run out of ideas; a shame, as the rest of the movie had good innovative moments. I
especially liked the traffic organization of the cities of the future, although I'd
never want to drive there... (I actually ended up seeing this movie a second time, in 1998,
although I only mention it here. I still like it. Go figure...)
- The Hobbit. A-
- Well-drawn and designed cartoon version of the classic Tolkien
tale. They had to cram a lot into a small time frame, which is where any weaknesses
crop in; overall though well worth the look-see. The character of Gollum is great!
Movies are graded as though they were in grade school...
- Movies seen at the theatre:
- Star Trek: First Contact C+
- Big on special effects, short on character, although Piccard
was, as usual, his wonderful self. The scientist/inventor fellow
wouldn't have been able to invent his way out of a paper bag, much
less get the following together to build that spacecraft. The bad
guys, the Borg ("we will assimilate you") were boringly repetitive,
sort of like Dr. Who-style Daleks, but with money.
- Trainspotting. A-
- An alternative film high, er, lowlighting the existence of a
group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh, Scotland. The real horrifics
are supposed to be in the book, which I haven't read yet. Obnoxious
characters, but then again they're meant to be such. Well done
visuals, and some rather dark humor. Not for everyone.
- Movies seen by video rental:
- Network. C+
- "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more." Best
line in the movie. The rest of it was hokey. In ways this satire
looking at news broadcasts as entertainment is dated -- in 1997
we've far outstripped the outréness and self-serving media
hype that this movie attempted to
parody. Maybe I would have liked it better had I seen it when it
was first released.
- Apollo 13. B-
- Rented for the Blizzard of '96. The tension arose over the
fate of the Apollo spacecraft (even though we knew the outcome...),
more than over any real involvement with the characters, who pretty
much seemed indistinguishable, except for the guy who liked to clown.
Even this doesn't lead one into any memorable sense of personality.
- The Client. A-
- Rented for the Blizzard of '96. A rather decent movie about a
kid who witnessed a murder, and how he engages a lawyer to help him.
Kept my interest, and the characterizations were mostly believable.
- Movies seen via TV broadcast:
(Life's too short to keep tally on who plays what in which movie.
I'm lucky to remember where I've put my glasses when I wake up in the morning. Besides,
the only two actors I can recognize on sight are Woody Allen and Whoopi Goldberg. Anyway,
I suspect knowing who directed a movie is a better indicator of what the overall
movie "feel" might be than knowing who played in it. Not that I always track that,
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