Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I Watched This Week, May 13-19

Welcome to the sixth installment of What I Watched This Week. I don't review everything I watch, but I have time for quick comments about the movies that I don't fully review.

The Italian Job (2003) (Blu-ray)

I'm a fan of most of the cast and the 1969 original version is a cult classic, but this 2003 version disappointed. I found it unoriginal and quite boring in places. It's not that anyone performed badly, it was just a tired story with nothing to make it stand out.

Overall score 3/5

Killer's Kiss (1955) (Blu-ray)

Stanley Kubrick made so many interesting films in a variety of genres. I'm a fan of The Killing, but I was thrilled to find out that one of the special features on the Criterion Blu-ray was an HD version of Killer's Kiss. I had never seen the film. The story itself is an unremarkable crime drama and it's not something I will watch often, but it's worth seeing just to see how Kubrick's career evolved.

Overall score 3/5 (4/5 for The Killing)

Videodrome (1983) (Blu-ray)

Another Criterion that's been on my shelf for months. I first saw Videodrome soon after release and it was the UK cut version. It was good to revisit after all these years and I enjoyed the unsettling world that Cronenberg creates. James Woods was a good choice for the role of Max and Deborah Harry is surprisingly good as the twisted Nicki. The effects look dated, but it still succeeds in creating a unique atmosphere.

Overall score 4/5

The Secret World of Arrietty (2011) (Blu-ray)

I've seen Arrietty about five times this year, but this was the first time I had watched the Japanese dub. I had already seen the UK and US versions. This version follows the UK script and doesn't include the additional exposition present at the end of the US dub. I think my favorite version of the three is still the UK dub which I have already reviewed.

Overall score 4.5/5

The Grey (2011) (Blu-ray)

I like survival stories and usually enjoy Liam Neeson's movies, so I was excited to see The Grey. It wasn't exactly what I expected, but it may be even better than I had hoped due to the realism. Read my full review for all my thoughts.

Overall score 4/5

A Dangerous Method (2011) (Blu-ray)

I find it difficult to watch Keira Knightley, but she was actually fairly good as Sabina Spielrein. Fassbender and Mortensen were also convincing and I enjoyed the story, but something stopped it from being great. It felt unfinished in a way and I would have liked a stronger final act.

Overall score 3.5/5

Being John Malkovich (1999) (Blu-ray) managed to get this to me on release day, and I was very happy to see it again. Criterion has done another great job and this quirky movie has never looked so good. Cusack, Diaz and Keener are all good, but it couldn't work without Malkovich. It's one of the most enjoyable and unusual ideas that I've seen in a film.

Overall score 4.5/5

Cool Hand Luke (1967) (Blu-ray)

I can't quite agree with Roger Ebert on this one, and I would rate it as very good rather than great. That said, there's still a lot to like. Newman and Kennedy are both superb and the supporting cast includes Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin and Ralph Waite. It's a prison drama and Newman is cast as a rebellious prisoner who doesn't want to conform. I think the thing that holds the film back from greatness is Luke's general behavior. He deserves to be in prison and it's hard to feel sorry for him. Cool Hand Luke is the subject of this week's discussion over at 1:37 exactly, so feel free to join in.

Overall score 4/5

Click here to see what I watched April 8-14.

Click here to see what I watched April 15-21.

Click here to see what I watched April 22-28.

Click here to see what I watched April 29-May 5.

Click here to see what I watched May 6-12.


  1. Thank you! I loathe Keira Knightly and believe she ruins every film she's in because she's a one note actress. From King Arthur to the Duchess, every role she's played as a derivative of Jules, her first major film part in Bend It Like Beckham. I have not seen DM, but with her in it, I don't think I want to see it. Even though I love Fassbender and Mortenson.

    Videodrome is one I will have to revisit. i haven't seen it ages. Being John Malkovich was awesome as was Cool Had Luke.

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Yes, Knightley is annoying. She has that horrible sneer and I get the impression she loves herself. I don't think I admire anything she's done.

  3. Although not a patch on the original Italian Job I did quite enjoy the remake.

    Need to see A Dangerous Method - it has been on my list for far too long now.

  4. Dan, A Dangerous Method is definitely worth a watch. I wouldn't risk buying it before you see it though.

  5. Great post. Seems like you had a fantastic movie-watching week. Those are great titles, but I'm ashamed to say I've only seen The Italian Job. Although, I don't get the Knightley hate! I think she's phenomenal.

  6. Thanks Fernando,

    One of my best viewing weeks for a while :)