What I've Been Watching (August 11-August 18, 2020)
American Graffiti (1973) (Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast) - Showtime Anytime
- Listen to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, and RadioPublic
Insomnia (2002) - HBO Max
- One of two films I had yet to see by my favorite director, Christopher Nolan. This one pops up every so often, but I'm glad I was able to finally get to it. This is a well made movie with several wonderful stars including one of my favorite actors, Robin Williams (RIP). However, other than a couple of scenes, this is a very basic movie compared to what we've gotten and expect from an auteur like Nolan. There really aren't any plot twists or big set pieces, and I think this is just going to be a forgotten one in the Nolan collection. Yet, it's worth seeing if you're a Nolan fan like I am.
Blade Runner (1982) - HBO Max (AFI 100 - 2007)
- The sci-fi noir. Most people have heard of this movie, and it did get a sequel that I am hoping to watch soon. However, this isn't something that a lot of people have seen. It is extremely difficult to follow, and, even though I've seen it before, I had to really strain to remember certain portions of the movie. That being said, the final scene between the two leads is still outstanding work by both even though I'm not sure I would have this movie in personal top 100.
Psycho (1960) - Peacock TV (AFI 100 - 2007)
- More than almost any other of his films, I think this movie gives Hitchcock his reputation as the Master of Suspense. I personally love several of his other films more than this, and there are things that haven't aged well for me that I would get to in our eventual podcast on this movie. Nevertheless, the camera pans of slow turning knobs, Martin Balsam slowly walking up the stairs, or the final reveal are true works of art with an absolutely iconic score that is still a part of pop-culture. Also, while its reputation for scariness is overblown by comparison to some of the things we have now, this is pretty close to absolute must-watch as I'm going to get, and probably will end up in my top 25 greatest when its all said and done.
To Catch a Thief (1955) - Prime
- It was Hitchcock week for me as I start a new project watching the film collections of all of my favorite Directors. This movie works both as a heist film and a whodunit, and is always going to be charming when you have such charismatic stars as Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. I will say that Hitch had my head turning quite a number of times as to who the real thief was right up until the end, and this was a perfect place to shoot a movie. I really hope to go back to France at some point and visit Monaco. Overall, this is a fun little classic that is lighter in tone, but not one of the best Hitchcock classics.
The Birds (1963) - Peacock TV
- Another in the Hitchcock library, this is one I haven't seen before, and who's reputation is bigger than the actual movie to a degree. I think this would be great remake, and would be a perfect 3D movie due to the fact that this might be the most claustrophobic movie I've ever seen. The only thing I knew about this movie going in was that my mother was terrified of this movie, and I now understand why given her proclivities toward claustrophobia. Personally, I didn't find this that scary, just more claustrophobic, and I think you can definitely see the limitations in tech from the time. Moreover, the explanation, or lack thereof, kind of detracts from the movie. However, given its reputation, its something that most cinephiles should see.
The Godfather (1972) - AMC (Best Picture Winner, AFI 100 - 2007)
The Godfather: Part 2 (1974) - AMC (Best Picture Winner, AFI 100 - 2007)
- For once, I'm going to address these movies at the same time because they really are two halves of a whole. I still haven't seen part 3 despite owning it for several years, but these are some of the easiest movies to rewatch and lose yourself easily for more than six hours. While my heart has always been with Part 1, I am getting a new appreciation for Part 2 as time goes on, and this really plays out like a Shakespearean drama told through immigrants who became a powerful crime family. I won't go into too much here as I don't want to undercut our eventually huge podcast episodes on this, but, if you haven't seen these, you are missing out on some of the most significant movies in American cinema and culture. So many parts of these still pervade our collective culture yet.
My Weekly Shows:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Holey Moley! The Sequel