Film Diary: August


August brought me to 270 films for the year. That puts me at ~74% of the year’s goal at only 67% of the way through the year. There’s still a nice cushion for me to work with, which is good; now that I’ve started drawing a weekly comic, I need to spend more of my free time doing things other than watching movies!

We took a rare trip to see a 1st run movie in the theater because Murderously Violent Space Raccoon. “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a hoot, holler, and a bunch of other synonyms for ‘fun’. Sure it had too much crammed into one movie, leaving it both thin and unwieldy, but I haven’t had that much cinematic joy in a long time. Even my inner comic-nerd shut up about how they got everything wrong and just giggled like a lunatic. As soon as we got home (we had both taken the day off), we put in “The Avengers” just to keep our high going.

That was at the start of the month, and it took a while to get another decent movie in. The worst, in the meantime, was “The House of Seven Corpses”. Such a waste of a good title! The biggest crime was just that it was dull. Then again, I’ve never had a lot of patience for movies about actors. (See, my utter disdain for “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things”, which admittedly has a terrific finale.)

One cinematic bright spot was “Safety Last!”, presented in a glorious Criterion edition. It’s plot rivals many modern films for coherency and tightness, and nearly all of the humor was as funny now as in the 1920s. Harold Lloyd is a delight to watch, and this is a film that I whole-heartedly recommend.

The month closed, as usual, with a mini-marathon. This time, by some miracle, everyone chose good movies. Perhaps it was the theme — a film you haven’t seen from a favorite actor or director — that made us opt for quality, or at least enjoyment. The day’s line-up: “After Hours” (directed by Martin Scorsese), “Cry-Baby” (directed by John Waters), “Easy Living” (starring Ray Milland), and “To Be or Not To Be” (starring Mel Brooks). All in attendance allowed that “Easy Living” had finally broken my streak of showing the worst movies imaginable, so I’ve got that going for me now!

After Hours (1985)
The Avengers (2012)
Count Dracula (1970)
Cry-Baby (1990)
Dead in Tombstone (2013)
Destroy All Planets, aka Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
Easy Living (1937)
Gamera vs. Gaos (1967)
Golden Earrings (1947)
The Green Girl (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The House of Seven Corpses (1974)
Pale Flower (1964)
Pearls of the Deep (1966)
Safety Last! (1923)
The Shrine (2010)
Speed Racer (2008)
To Be or Not To Be (1983)

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