Films in 2021: March

Well with March now behind us, it’s finally Oscar month! Which is weird to say, as usually, we would’ve already had the Academy Awards by now, but of course because of obvious circumstances, that had to be delayed to April. So I’ll have my usual Oscar Sunday post of my picks and predictions toward the end of the month. In the meantime, I’ve caught up with the few Oscar contenders from the top 8 categories that I had left to see, but I’ll try to catch some more nominees before the ceremony. Aside from that, March was filled with a lot of Doris Day thanks to TCM’s Star of the Month tribute, so I revisited several of her films and watched a few of her early ones that I hadn’t seen before. Now I only have a handful of her movies left to see! I’ll try to watch the rest before her 100th birthday next year, but stay tuned, because I’m working on a post in honor of her 99th birthday this Saturday. Anyway, there were a bunch of other movies I watched between all of those, so before I move onto TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar and other films, a look back at what I watched in March.

New-to-Me: 53

Re-Watched: 17

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1910s – 0
  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 6
  • 1950s – 12
  • 1960s – 7
  • 1970s – 8
  • 1980s – 3
  • 1990s – 6
  • 2000s – 2
  • 2010s – 0
  • 2020s – 6

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. The Straight Story (1999)
  2. From the Terrace (1960)
  3. A New Kind of Love (1963)
  4. The Rocketeer (1991)
  5. RoboCop (1987)
  6. Old Joy (2006)
  7. The West Point Story (1950)
  8. I’ll See You in My Dreams (1951)
  9. April in Paris (1952)
  10. Lucky Me (1954)
  11. Starlift (1951)
  12. Wise Blood (1979)
  13. News of the World (2020)
  14. Crooklyn (1994)
  15. Clockers (1995)
  16. Roughshod (1949)
  17. Gentle Annie (1944)
  18. Ever Since Eve (1937)
  19. Broken Embraces (2009)
  20. The Night Holds Terror (1955)
  21. Hondo (1953)
  22. Guns of Diablo (1964)
  23. Fools’ Parade (1971)
  24. The Winning Team (1952)
  25. Big Leaguer (1953)
  26. Irene (1940)
  27. The Luck of the Irish (1948)
  28. Young Cassidy (1965)
  29. The Affairs of Martha (1942)
  30. Music for Millions (1944)
  31. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937)
  32. Kim (1950)
  33. The Dunwich Horror (1970)
  34. Time (2020)
  35. American Dream (1990)
  36. Bugsy Malone (1976)
  37. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
  38. Foxes (1980)
  39. California Split (1974)
  40. The Hot Rock (1972)
  41. To Sleep with Anger (1990)
  42. The Father (2020)
  43. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)
  44. Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
  45. The White Tiger (2021)
  46. Starman (1984)
  47. The Damned (1969)
  48. Despair (1978)
  49. Back Street (1961)
  50. Born to Love (1931)
  51. Everything I Have Is Yours (1952)
  52. The Steel Fist (1952)
  53. The Cool Ones (1967)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Rocketeer (1991)

The Rocketeer (1991), directed by Joe Johnston

I enjoy watching most superhero movies and am still keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now includes TV shows, and so far I’ve been tuning into those as well. But with The Rocketeer, it was nice to see something on a smaller scale that still has a lot of wonder to it. One of my favorite MCU movies is Captain America: The First Avenger, much of it thanks to its 1940s setting, so it wasn’t too surprising that I would enjoy director Joe Johnston’s earlier venture into the genre, which even goes a step further in blending some fun ’30s Hollywood elements. I would’ve loved to see sequels to this, but on its own, it’s a satisfying adventure.

The Hot Rock (1972)

The Hot Rock (1972), directed by Peter Yates

I watched The Hot Rock as a part of a George Segal double feature I had following the news of his passing. He was an actor I’d become more familiar with in the past couple of years and have really enjoyed seeing pop up in various movies, and I’m looking forward to seeing even more of his work. One thing his films have in common is how well he works off of his co-stars, and that’s still true here as he teams up with his brother-in-law and fellow burglar played by Robert Redford in this atypical heist movie. Directed by Peter Yates and with a screenplay co-written by William Goldman, it’s an underrated ’70s gem in the careers of all involved that’s well worth seeking out.

Starman (1984)

Starman (1984), directed by John Carpenter

Prior to watching Starman, the only John Carpenter movies I’d seen were Halloween and his two most famous collaborations with Kurt Russell, The Thing and Escape from New York. This feels pretty different from his previous films that swing between horror and action, but it’s still just as engrossing, focusing instead on an unlikely love story between a widowed Karen Allen and an alien played by Jeff Bridges, who takes on the form of her late husband. Bridges gives one of my favorite performances that I’ve seen from him; his Oscar-nominated work here is much more subdued than what I’m used to seeing, and he brings an authentic touch to a role that could’ve easily come across poorly. Allen is also wonderful, as she shows a lot of vulnerability while bringing warmth to her character. Some could see this as a sort of riff on E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but there’s more to it than its familiar sci-fi elements, and a lot of that is due to the natural charisma and chemistry from the two stars.

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