My Movie Confessions

What’s that you say? A film survey/blogathon about those deep dark secrets we all hide about our moviegoing past and present? Yep, Nostra over at MyFilmViews has put together a nifty little quiz that’s making the rounds this week, and I figured I’d throw my own confessions out there, for better or worse.

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?

I enjoy most classic movies, at least ones that anybody cares about, so this is kind of a tough one. I would say that I don’t like Citizen Kane or The Godfather or Apocalypse Now AS MUCH as most people do, but I wouldn’t say I don’t like at all. I might go with The African Queen as one that people acclaim and I thought was pretty dull and average, which especially gets to me because I love both Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, and I was expecting to like it a lot more than I did.

Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?

I’ll cheat and pull some from my Blind Spots list (which I’m woefully behind on), and fill in to replace the non-classic films on there:
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Pandora’s Box (1929)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
Tokyo Story (1953)
Stalag 17 (1953)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Wild Strawberries (1958)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Solaris (1972)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

Of course, this list is never-ending. :)

Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?

One time, in terms of actually doing it and watching the whole second movie, and not that long ago, either (I was such a rebel in my late twenties…) – I paid for Kick-Ass and watched it, then snuck into The Losers and watched it all the way through. I’ve walked into the back of theatres at multiplexes and watched a few seconds/minutes of things fairly often, when I get there early for my movie.

Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?

I’m gonna get raked over the coals for this, but Daniel Day-Lewis. I just can’t get into his performances at all; they’re so big and intense they pull me right out of the movie.

From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?

I try to hit all the big name ones, but one that’s eluded me so far is Rainer Werner Fassbinder. As far as why…no reason, really, other than the ’70 and ’80s have generally been blind spots for me – I grew up watching classics (1930s-1960s) and then added in current films in the ’90s, so getting to those ’70s and ’80s has been a slower process. Plus, I’ve never really known where to start with him, and I remember having trouble with Netflix putting his movies into perpetual “saved” mode, back when I had DVDs. So yeah. I currently have Ali: Fear Eats the Soul on my Blind Spots list, so hopefully I’ll be able to locate and watch that one this year.

Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?

Hmmm…hated is such a strong word. And so is love. Heh. Most of the movies that immediately spring to mind (Speed Racer, The Fountain, etc) have a lot of supporters as well as all the detractors. Similarly, most of the films I’d consider guilty pleasures (like Bring It On or Mystery Men) fall into the same category for a lot of other people, so I can’t really say they’re hated. I dunno. Speed Racer. :)

Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?

I remember one time when I was like twelve, maybe? My parents and I were on a family trip and we’d stopped at Sun Valley, Idaho. A theatre there played the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade with Sonja Henie on a constant loop, pretty much, and being a classic movie addict, I got my parents to go see it. (I also got them to stay an extra couple of days to watch a professional figure skating competition that was about to take place there, but that’s a different addiction.) The film stars John Payne, who was a pretty common leading man in 1940s programmers (his most well-known film is Miracle on 34th Street, as Maureen O’Hara’s love interest). Anyway, he’s a blander doppleganger for Robert Taylor, and since I hadn’t seen Payne in much before, I was fascinated by how much he looked like Taylor, and I loudly whispered such to my mom OVER AND OVER every time he was on-screen (which was often) until my dad finally shushed me out of respect for the two other people in the theatre. I was so chagrined I’ve barely made a peep in any theatre since then.

Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why?

The entire filmography of Milla Jovovich. Why? *points up*

Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?

No. I may have at times delayed watching a subtitled movie in favor of a non-subtitled one depending on mood or attention span, but I’ve always returned to the subtitled one at a better time.

Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?

I’ve had A Beautiful Mind for a very long time and haven’t watched it. I bought it in the wake of its Oscar win, because I was big on watching Oscar-winners at that time, but then sometime between buying it and watching it, I became wholly disenamoured of Ron Howard and didn’t feel like watching it. I still should at some point, I guess.

Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?

Geez, for this I’d have to go look at the boxes I never unpacked after my last move, because I left most of the bad movies packed up. One I know for sure is Daredevil. I actually didn’t hate it when I first saw it, and picked it up from Blockbuster used for like $2 or something. I haven’t watched it all the way through since, but I saw some clips on YouTube not long ago and yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway, the reason I still have this and several other bad movies is because I tried to sell them to a second-hand shop, and because a lot of them were rental copies before I got them on the cheap, they were too scratched up for the shop to take them. And I hate throwing things away. So there in the boxes they sit.

Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?

Well, I’m not sure I have the surround sound hooked up right. But I’m too lazy/unknowledgable to fix it. I know one of the speakers is broken because I just have them on top of DVD shelves and one fell off when I was getting everything set up. Beyond that, not really – I’ve got a pretty good set-up, at least until I can afford a projector. :)

Any other confessions you want to make?

Not really. I’ve done enough, I think.

  • Dan Heaton

    Nice. I’m looking forward to pulling my post together in the next day or so. I’m actually in the midst of watching Solaris today. I haven’t seen it before, so it would also have made my list. Pandora’s Box and The Passion of Joan of Arc are both fascinating movies. I’m not sure that I can totally agree on Daniel Day Lewis, but I do think his legendary status is a bit much.

    • I’ve watched about half of Solaris, actually – I just can’t seem to find the time to finish it, even though I really quite liked the part I saw. I really need to get back to it.

      I knew picking DDL was going to be controversial, but that’s what this is about, right? :) My backup would’ve been Jack Nicholson, which is equally controversial, if not more so.

  • More love for Speed Racer – sweetness!

    I have so many unwatched movies in my colection I’m not sure where to even start. I have devised a new approach though – I don’t file anything until I’ve seen it so at least I’m not adding more stuff to the library unwatched.

    As for bad movies that I stil have copies of… the place I used to take my stuff to for trade has closed and I haven’t found a replacement. Too bad because the crap is really adding up. I may need to start unloading it on unsuspecting strangers or swap meets or something. As they say, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!

    • Speed Racer deserves all the love we have to give! I keep meaning to make my husband watch that…maybe we’ll get to it soon.

      I should probably just donate all my crap DVD somewhere or just toss them. Most of them I bought used for super-cheap, but I just have such a packrat mentality about DVDs and books, it’s hard for me to let them go. Even the crap ones.

  • Josh

    I’m with you on Day-Lewis. The only performance of his that I really liked was in My Left Foot.

    I also need to dig into Fassbinder’s work, and I enjoyed Speed Racer when I saw it in theaters.

    • I haven’t seen My Left Foot! Maybe that would turn me around on DDL. But maybe not, if it didn’t make you like his other performances any better. I’m glad to find someone else, anyway, who doesn’t think he’s all that. I thought I might be the only one.

      I wish I’d been prescient enough to see Speed Racer in theatres. I saw the negative reviews and decided to hold off. Rented the Blu-ray and sat with my jaw dropped the entire time. Hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to see it in a theatre – when its cult status is fully recognized. :)

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  • You will love Pandora’s Box. As for Daredevil, there is a good reason to keep it. Either you have the theatrical cut, in which case the bonus disc is terrific – particularly the hour-ish doc on the history of the character in Marvel Comics – or you have the director’s cut, which is a much more solid film. I’m not saying it’s a masterpiece or anything, but it’s a more satisfying and respectable work.

    I might dash off my own movie confessions post later.

    • I’ve actually never seen a Louise Brooks film. The rep cinema I volunteer at is showing Beggars of Life next Wednesday, so I’ll definitely be there for that, but I really want to see Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

      I’m actually pretty sure I don’t have either of those Daredevil editions, since I got it used from Blockbuster. It’s probably from the original DVD release (not director’s cut), but without the second disc, because rentals never have the second discs. Unfortunately.

      • Ah. Well, you should rectify both matters: see Pandora’s Box (it’s streaming in The Criterion Collection on Hulu, I believe) and you should look for a cheap used copy of the 2-disc Daredevil DVD just for the bonus content.

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  • dirkmalcolm

    I have A Beautiful Mind on my VHS slushpile. The next stop will be the charity shop I think!

    • Have you seen it, then, and don’t care to keep it? I’m actually still hoping I enjoy it, once I get around to watching it.

  • Umm. Put me down as someone against Pandora’s Box. It might be because I’m not too fond of Silent films in general, but it didn’t engage me at all when I saw it. If I had to suggest something to watch this second I’d say Tokyo Story in a heartbeat. I love that movie.

    • Silent films are kind of my current obsession, and the fact that I haven’t seen any Louise Brooks movies (until I see Beggars of Life tomorrow, anyway!), is really bothersome to me. We’ll see. There are some highly regarded silent films that don’t do much for me, but a lot of my favorites lately have been silent.

      It’s interesting you recommend Tokyo Story instead…I’ve tried to watch Tokyo Story at least three times, and I always stop within fifteen or twenty minutes, bored out of my mind. I’m determined to make it through sometime, and I’m much more appreciative of Japanese film now than I was on my last Tokyo Story Attempt, so I’ll probably give it another go soon.

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