Last Year in Movies

Last year I watched at least one movie from every decade of filmmaking, starting with the 1910s. The full list is way down there.

But first, here are a few highlights.

The one I should've seen by now: Casablanca. The setup for this story is so simple and perfect and the filmmaking so well done, I can't believe I hadn't seen it before. Also, it's one of my wife's favorites.

The one that took me by surprise: Arrival. Once I started to hear rumblings about how great this one was, I tried to keep my expectations in check. I don't think I had to. Though the story does wear thin at the end, the initial approach to the alien ship had me epoxied to my seat. The fact that they used a boring old scissor lift made that scene a perfect blend of ordinary and extraordinary, natural and supernatural.

The biggest disappointment: Kung Fu Panda 3. I knew the adventures of Po were too fun to last. Even Shifu was boring in this one.

The one that will stay with me the longest: Night of the Hunter. A fairytale, complete with big, bad wolf.

The most forgettable: The Age of Adaline. Pretty movie. Apart from that... Love, time, San Fransisco... That's all I remember.

The most worthy re-watch: The Right Stuff. I saw this movie so long ago that re-watching certain scenes was like revisiting old dreams. The tone of the film is weird, even hokey, but magical all the same. Sometimes, unabashed heroism is exactly what you need.

The re-watch that didn't hold up: The Mummy. Except my favorite part: Brendan Fraser throwing a chair at the little weasely guy. Love that bit.

The one I am not worthy to judge: The Thin Red Line. It may be years before I feel like I have anything of substance to say about this movie.

The one that most closely resembles my real life: Sunset Boulevard. Yup.

The one you should watch: Hail, Caesar! The Coen brothers can be off-putting, what with their borderline cartoon characters and penchant for abrupt acts of startling violence. Still, they make movies that are miles ahead of most of what you'll see in the theater nowadays. Hail, Caesar! is cleaner and friendlier and more obviously spiritual than many of their other films, so it's a good starting point for newcomers to the Coen-ucopia.

Here's the full list of what I watched in 2016 (those in bold I've seen before):

2010s - The Martian, The Revenant, Slow West, The Visit, Megamind, Hail, Caesar!, The End of the Tour, Mood Indigo, Temple Grandin, Experimenter, Spotlight, Man Up, Brooklyn, The Song, Inside Out, Selma, Love & Friendship, Moneyball, Finding Dory, The Man from Nowhere, The Little Prince, Room, Trumbo, Zooptopia, The Age of Adaline, The River Thief, The Imitation Game, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Midnight in Paris, Foxcatcher, Rogue One, Arrival

2000s - The New World, The Da Vinci Code, The Passion of the Christ, The Holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Monsoon Wedding, Insomnia, Up in the Air, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Eloise at Christmastime, Death at a Funeral

1990s - Leon: The Professional, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Mummy, Rudy, Good Will Hunting, The Thin Red Line, Back to the Future Part III, Shakespeare in Love, Saving Private Ryan

1980s - The Right Stuff, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future Part II

1970s - The Sting

1960s - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Bride Wore Black, Funny Girl, Amblin' (a long short film)

1950s - Night of the Hunter, Sweet Smell of Success, Call Me Madam, Sunset Boulevard

1940s - Rope, Casablanca

1930s - Another Thin Man

1920s - Wings (Technically I finished this in 2017. It's long.)

1910s - The Tramp

Documentaries: Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal, Milius

This doesn't count the (no doubt) hundreds of hours I spent watching scenes from Hitchcock and Spielberg movies on Youtube. I also watched most of Rashomon, Amistad, and Escape from LA. I started Men, Women and Children, but didn't make it more than ten minutes in.