Films in 2022: July

It feels like I’ve been saying this every month, but this past month was another great time at the movies. Some highlights include seeing a double feature of American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused at the New Beverly, Short Cuts in 70mm at the Aero, and finally seeing Mad Max: Fury Road on the big screen last night at the Academy Museum (I had always regretted missing its initial theatrical release 7 years ago). But the most memorable repertory screening of the month has to be seeing It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in 70mm; it was so fun to see with a packed audience who applauded practically every famous face that appeared on screen, especially one that included the one and only Quentin Tarantino, who happened to be sitting right behind me! I had no idea he was there until I turned around during the intermission and saw him casually sitting amongst fellow moviegoers. At one point during a small conversation about Spencer Tracy, I name-dropped one of the actor’s films and he responded, which was about the extent of my speaking to him, still cool nonetheless! Anyway, as I mentioned, July was a great movie-watching month, so with that said, a quick look at what I watched for the first time, and the ones that I especially enjoyed discovering.

New-to-Me: 33

Re-Watched: 13

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1910s – 0
  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 3
  • 1950s – 5
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 7
  • 1990s – 3
  • 2000s – 1
  • 2010s – 1
  • 2020s – 7

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)
  2. The Strange One (1957)
  3. Mr. Malcolm’s List (2022)
  4. John Paul Jones (1959)
  5. The Scarlet Coat (1955)
  6. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
  7. High Tide (1947)
  8. Total Recall (1990)
  9. The Buddy Holly Story (1978)
  10. Alice’s Restaurant (1969)
  11. Official Competition (2021)
  12. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
  13. Woman in the Dunes (1964)
  14. Woman in Hiding (1950)
  15. Peter Ibbetson (1935)
  16. Raggedy Man (1981)
  17. Violets Are Blue… (1986)
  18. ‘night, Mother (1986)
  19. Tobacco Road (1941)
  20. Elephant Walk (1954)
  21. Face/Off (1997)
  22. The Half Naked Truth (1932)
  23. The Great Man Votes (1939)
  24. TRON (1982)
  25. TRON: Legacy (2010)
  26. Nope (2022)
  27. Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  28. Armageddon (1998)
  29. Breathless (1983)
  30. The Big Easy (1986)
  31. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)
  32. Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
  33. Both Sides of the Blade (2022)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021), directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a really sweet film that offers up a wondrous worldview through its title character. Jenny Slate gives an excellent voiceover performance as little Marcel, and I also loved hearing Isabella Rosellini as the character’s grandmother. While I somehow missed the online phenomenon of the original YouTube videos from a decade ago, I was still completely charmed by the movie and would easily recommend it.

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall (1990), directed by Paul Verhoeven

Over the past two months, the Academy Museum’s Oscar Sundays screening series highlighted summer blockbusters that earned Academy Award nominations, and that gave me the opportunity to catch up with some ’90s movies that I was too young to see at the time that they came out. Total Recall was one of them, and I was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The movie perfectly blends the cheesiness of the sci-fi action genre into something wholly exciting from beginning to end, and the effects still hold up really well. Also while I was watching, I realized that I hadn’t actually seen Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his signature action roles before (I’ve only seen him in a movie in his small role in The Long Goodbye, and I still haven’t gotten to the first two Terminator films which have long been on my watchlist). His onscreen persona fits nicely into this type of character, and I especially enjoyed his one-liner deliveries.

Face/Off (1997)

Face/Off (1997), directed by John Woo

The movie I ended up enjoying seeing for the first time the most was one I did not see coming: Face/Off! This was another film that I watched from the same series at the Academy Museum, which featured a great introduction by the movie’s screenwriters, who encouraged any aspiring screenwriters in the audience to never be afraid of how absurd their story might be, and this movie is all that and more. The premise is unbelievable, to say the least, but what makes this movie work as well as it does is everyone’s pure commitment to the absurdity, namely Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, who give the most believable body-swap performances I’ve seen, they really embody each other’s characters perfectly!

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