Worth Watching September 2010

Obviously I watch a lot of things that are not on the 1001 list, and that I don’t write detailed blogs on. So I thought each month I would write a quick summary at the end of each month about what I have seen. The onus here is keeping it really short and simple. I even decided against the witty names I came up with for these categories, in favour of simply telling you if its worth your time or not. And right at the end I’ll select the one you really must see, and the one I suggest you avoid at all costs. Enjoy. Also please feel free to share your thoughts about these films in the comments section of this post.

Worth Watching:

  • Milk (2008), Gus Van Sant – Flawed but still exceedingly interesting biopic, carried by a trio of terrific performances by Penn, Franco & especially Brolin.
  • Lessons of Darkness (1992), Werner Herzog – Beguiling ‘documentary’ by the German maestro on the first Gulf War. Like nothing you have ever seen before – slow paced with astounding visuals. Check it out.
  • La Soufriere (1977), Werner Herzog – More straightforward doco effort from Herzog, still worth a look. He ventures to an almost abandoned island where a catastrophic volcano eruption is imminent. He seems disappointed when it doesn’t come about.
  • Black Books Season 1 (2000) – I’m looking at implementing much of what I’ve seen here into my day job. Hilarious.
  • Titus (1999), Julie Taymor – A notable failure. Not everything in this adaption of Shakespeare’s most violent play works. But worth watching for its visual style and a sequence involving cannibalism, Anthony Hopkins in a chef’s uniform and a dude getting stabbed with a candlestick holder.
  • Them! (1954), Gordon M. Douglas – Fantastic classic sci-fi film which sees the American countryside threatened by giant ants. Say no more.
  • Chicago Cubs Highlights on http://www.cubs.com (2010) – The cubs are winning the occasional game, always a nice change. And the MLB has excellent highlights on the club websites.
  • The Human Body (1998), BBC – Typically assured doco from the BBC tracking the physical form’s journey from birth to death.
  • Tomorrow When the War Began (2010), Stuart Beattie- Initially I had this film in the other section, cause its definitely flawed, especially script wise. But I really hope that the second film gets greenlit, cause Australia needs to produce a wide variety of films including big budget, slick ones featuring young Aussie actors directed by an Australian featuring a wonderful soundtrack of Aussie artists. This is also relatively enjoyable, with a solid young cast and a couple of good set-pieces. So go, see and support this film, so we can see others like it, that improve on its flaws somewhat.

Not Worth Watching:

  • Winter Sleepers (1997), Tom Tykwer – I’m doing a German film course at uni this semester which has introduced me to some astounding films, but this is not one of them. Crap.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010), Edgar Wright – Tries way too hard to be cool and gets ultra repetitive very quickly. Even manages to make a cute girl wielding a novelty sized hammer in a fight seem bland.
  • In July (2000), Fatih Akin – Turkish-German romantic comedy which is not bad, just extremely mediocre and not worth your time. Just cause a Turkish-German director makes a bad Hollywood style rom-com, doesn’t make it any good or interesting.
  • NRL Finals Series (2010) – Stupid Panthers.

If you only have time to watch one Lessons of Darkness.

Avoid at all costs Scott Pilgrim vs the World.

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