Summer Movie Roundup

I’m trying to watch more movies this summer. I’ve been consulting friends and family and peeking at the IMDb top 250 list before adding a movie to the Netflix queue. So far I’ve seen:

The Pained Veil — A cholera epidemic hits rural China; idealistic western doctor goes to help; doctor’s wife has an affair. This is a fine movie but the affair plot line seemed a bit old to me, fantastic imagery of China notwithstanding.

The Departed — Awesome. Awesome lines (Alec Baldwin is genius), awesome plot twists, awesome acting. I loved it. I recommend it.

Seven Up — The famous British documentary which tracks a group of British children at age 7, 14, 21, and onwards. I watched the kids at 7 and 14 — fascinating to see how they develop. The group is socio-economically diverse. The interviewer asked the rich seven year old if he’s traveled much and the boy responds with a handful of names of countries. The interviewer asks a poor seven year if he’s traveled much and the boy says he’s been to the museum and local park.

Doctor Zhivago — In anticipation of my trip to Russia, I had to watch this classic. It’s long, but worth it for any traveler to Russia.

Munich — An intense movie about the Israeli olympic athlete hostages in Munich 1972. While there are debates about the accuracy of Spielberg’s efforts, and there always will be in a film such as this, I didn’t find it heavy handed one way or another. I recommend it.

And the Band Played On — An interesting film about the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s, Regan’s inaction, San Francisco’s role as a hub for activism and infection, and some of the colorful scientific personalities trying to understand it all. The acting is sub-par but in terms of delivering the story the movie does a good job. It made me want to learn more about the AIDS situation both then and now (it still ravages many parts of Africa).

Ah, I already feel more hip and informed. Let the Netflix queue roll on….

14 Responses to Summer Movie Roundup

  1. Steve says:

    I would recommend watching 21 Up and 28 Up as soon as possible. They have been the most interesting documentaries I have seen in quite a while.

  2. ElamBend says:

    If you haven’t already seen them:

    “Stalag 17″, Billy Wilder directs, William Holden stars, it’s great.

    also:

    “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, Staring Bogart and Walter Huston, directed by Huston’s son John; on of the all-time best.

    Also, look to movies made in the late 1960’s to early to mid-1970’s, a high period of film-making, particularly dramas/procedurals and thrillers.

  3. Check out L’Auberge Espagnole. Great movie and it’ll prep you for college.

  4. Jude says:

    Hooray! You’re watching more movies. The movie I watched 3 times in 3 days this summer was “The Fog of War” a documentary about McNamara. You inspired me to blog about how I’m a movie maniac, which led to the author of one of my favorite books leaving a comment on my blog. As he wrote in that book “A movie a week is best for your soul.”

  5. Julianna says:

    hmmm. Here’s some. You’ve probably seen them all.

    The Prestige, The Illusionist
    if you liked one, you’ll like the other. Both’re very good.

    Se7en: disturbing; Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt hunt for serial killer Kevin Spacey

    The Shawshank Redemption: if you haven’t seen it, greatest movie. Ever.

    V for Vendetta: also, fabulous.

    The Usual Suspects: black and white thriller. excellent.

    And my favorite documentary: the flight of birds. It’s astounding that half of that got filmed.

  6. Julianna says:

    hmmm. Here’s some. You’ve probably seen them all.

    The Prestige, The Illusionist
    if you liked one, you’ll like the other. Both’re very good.

    Se7en: disturbing; Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt hunt for serial killer Kevin Spacey

    The Shawshank Redemption: if you haven’t seen it, greatest movie. Ever.

    V for Vendetta: also, fabulous.

    The Usual Suspects: black and white thriller. excellent.

    And my favorite documentary: the flight of birds. It’s astounding that half of that got filmed.

  7. Jude says:

    I also highly recommend The Prestige. I thought it was one of the top 20 films I’ve ever seen, and I especially liked the Colorado connection via Tesla.

  8. es says:

    For subtle sensory indulgence you’ve got to watch Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

  9. Danielle Ouellette says:

    I was introduced to the Seven Up series by my journalism professor last summer. The best part of the series is the editting as the kids get older. You get a really diverse and rich picture of people and how their values and aspirations change as they age. One of the best. Forty-Nine Up is the most recent, I believe.

    If you like the Departed and Boston-based movies you might also really enjoy Boondock Saints. Some of the best quotes ever. A little gore, a little laughing, and even some thinking about life and the value of character. One of my personal favorites.

  10. jared says:

    How about Miller’s Crossing? You like the Coen Brothers?

  11. carli says:

    I’m glad that you watched AND THE BAND PLAYED ON. It’s not the best movie ever, but it provides an important look at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, especially for young people who did not live through it.

    I recently watched THE BOYS IN THE BAND–a dated 1970 gay-themed film with a cast of 9. By the end of the century, 5 of them had died of AIDS. It reminded me that when I was coming of age in the 80’s and 90’s, this was a disease that destroyed everything in its path.

    And I agree with the poster who suggested you add Stalag-17 (and, frankly, most every Billy Wilder film) to your queue.

  12. Dario Abramskiehn says:

    I second Julianna (and maybe others) with Shawshank – amazing film. I also know that Natty P. is also a pretty big fan of it, in case that puts it over the top.

  13. Rufus Quail says:

    Dr. Zhivago: I like long movies. As with a long book, if it’s good, you don’t want it to end. Reading Crime and Punishment, I was kind of sad when I finally came to the end.

    A couple of my favorite long movies: Dances with Wolves and Lawrence of Arabia. You might think me a glutton for punishment for sitting through 4 hours of Dr. Mabuse the Gambler but I loved it. I wish I could have seen all 8 hours of Greed.

  14. Rufus Quail says:

    Dr. Zhivago: I like long movies. As with a long book, if it’s good, you don’t want it to end. Reading Crime and Punishment, I was kind of sad when I finally came to the end.

    A couple of my favorite long movies: Dances with Wolves and Lawrence of Arabia. You might think me a glutton for punishment for sitting through 4 hours of Dr. Mabuse the Gambler but I loved it. I wish I could have seen all 8 hours of Greed.

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