Alright, this post is going to cover a lot of ground. Not only have I made it to my halfway point of this summers’ milestone (100 movies watched), but we have yet another death on our hands this summer as well as the beginning of my journey through the 15 odd movies I have acquired during the Criterion Sale at Barnes and Nobel.
To start, let’s talk about the death of yet another acting legend. James Garner died early this morning (July 20th), at the age of 86. Many will remember him from The Notebook as Ryan Gosling’s character later in life, while a few of you will remember him most from his starring roles in Maverick and The Rockford Files, and even fewer will remember him from his brief stint on 8 Simple Rules after John Ritter passed away. No matter what reason you will remember him for, we will all remember him, for he was truly great.
Movie on to the Summer Series update, two films I rewatched which I have previously reviewed (Saving Mr. Banks and Under the Skin) can be read here: http://wp.me/p43Tw9-3v and http://wp.me/p43Tw9-66. Saving Mr. Banks was one of my most favorite of 2013 thanks to its performances, story, and message. Under the Skin already holds a position on my best of 2014 thanks to its hypnotic visuals, trance-like score, and Scarlett Johansson’s performance. It truly is one of the best films of the year. Film #51 of Summer Series is one by a man people love to hate, Mel Gibson, but it is one of my absolute favorites.
Say what you want about Gibson, but Braveheart is a fantastic film. Being one of the true epics to win Best Picture, it has a phenomenal score, beautiful cinematography, and contains some of the best “pre-battle speeches” ever. There is something about these speeches that really gets to me. In films like Lord of the Rings, The Last Samurai, and Gladiator, these speeches are so powerful as the men fighting them are about to head to certain death. Braveheart has numerous speeches, and they are all about the common theme of the movie: freedom.
Now, starting tomorrow morning we are shifting gears to my Criterion Collection series. Since there are some new followers since my last explanation of what the Criterion Collection is, I will explain the “mission statement” of the company. Essentially what the Criterion Collection does is compile films that have had some sort of shaping effect on cinema — whether it is an old foreign film from anywhere in the world, to a little known gem from America– and they restore it to excellent quality, cram the discs with special features, and include a booklet of essays in the case and ship it out. They are, however, expensive. Each film costs at least $20 during the Barnes and Noble sale which is usually twice a year.
I have gathered a mix-bag of films during the sale and will be watching them and commenting on them in phases. Up first, though I have already seen it, will be the Qatsi trilogy, which you should be expecting in the next 24 hours. I have also gathered a selection from Britain, America, Japan, and an assortment of European (French and Swedish) films. I will be watching them from oldest to new and have it planned out to vary between English-speaking and not so as to give my brain a break from reading 5 hours plus of subtitles.
Anyway, thank you for following my blog and be sure to be checking your email in the days to come for some comments on some of the films that are considered the greatest in history.