This Week I Watched: Hobbits, Cheerleaders and a Tinkering Tailored Soldiering Spy?


So, I’ve discovered that I am pretty awful at tracking my film habit. I equate it to what I imagine smoking is like. I don’t pay that much attention to how many films I watch since I just put stuff on subconsciously or head to the cinema on a whim. That said, I’m not always in the mindset to track my movies and try to be as organic in my viewing habits as possible But NO MORE, SIR. This year I’m going to do my goddamnedest (is that a word?) to track the films I watch in the theatres AND at home. I did alright last year tracking films in theatres, that is, the ones I paid for. It’s easy when you find a stub in your pocket, but I did piss-poorly on my Foreign Academy Award list (essentially I spent more time planning that post and formatting it than I did actually watching the list) and decided to try something different. Coming next week? My Blind Spot list, inspired by Ryan’s attempt to see those must-see films that somehow he missed. Sneak preview? The list has Hoop Dreams and Die Hard on it so far, this year is going to be pretty good.

My New Years resolutions were simple, stop procrastinating and write more, so hopefully this helps.

January 3rdLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Extended Cut, TIFF Bell Lightbox, $0
I joined Corey, Lindsay and Paolo on this adventure which was Paolo’s first viewing of the LOTR series. I didn’t realize I was in the theatre with a virgin until he started jumping at the Ring Wraiths and then it was just a fun game after that. (It’s very, very hard not to make a jumpy person jump just before a scare, only to make the real scare twice as bad, very hard.) It was nice seeing the extended in theatres again, it really goes to show that a good, long film doesn’t have to feel extended. I can’t say the same for Return of the King, but the extended versions of the first two are quality releases for their lengthiness.


January 4thYou Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, followed by Bring it On, Netflix
After truly enjoying Midnight in Paris I decided to revisit a contemporary Woody Allen flick that WASN’T Whatever Works (because, fuck that movie) and YWMATDS had me going for the first half and then loses the plot and my interest mid-way through. I stopped knowing whether I felt sorry for these characters, or if I was enjoying their suffering and after you hit that point you just move to not caring whatsoever. To counter that feeling, I put Bring it On up next, a predictable, cutesy comedy with Kirsten Dunst. It’s no Drop Dead Gorgeous but it was sufficient to wipe away my unease.

January 5thTinker Tailor Soldier Spy, AMC Yonge/Dundas 24, $0
Funny story, me and Ms Kelly had tickets for The Devil Inside which I won through an email contest, we walked into the cinema which was FULL and hot, mouldy and sweaty and decided instantly to see another film. This turned out to be the BEST IDEA OF THE WEEK as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a genuinely well-crafted, atmospheric spy film with ‘all of my mens’ in it (Firth, Oldman, Hinds, Strong, Cumberbatch, HARDY? C’mon, so good) and super immersive set and costume design that really puts you in a specific time and place, that time and place being London in the seventies. Also, The Devil Inside is supposedly the worst film of the year that happens to have the best ROI for marketing that cinema been seen in years, so, bullet dodged?

January 7thRaiders of the Lost Ark, TIFF Bell Lightbox, $7 (student memberships rock!)
A film I had considered writing in-depth for ‘Classics Revisited’ became a little pointless after I realized that despite the magic and the wonder that I remember about Indiana Jones, it’s not perfect. It’s perfectly enjoyable but there are problematic character representations, sequences, plots, basically the more you think about it, the more it unravels. To stay perfectly sane I just decided to let it lay and just go along with the ride.


January 7thWhite Christmas, computer
I downloaded this a week or two ago when I planned to watch a Christmas movie a day (which didn’t happen) and knew I just had to find time for this feature. While Vera Allen’s tiny waist and anorexic costumes still unnerve me, her dancing is just as impressive as it was the first time I watched it, and oh, Rosemary Clooney, you do shine. While I can never get behind how old Danny Kaye and Bing are, courting women in their mid-twenties, it’s a classic for good reason.


January 8thUp, CBC
We caught the last hour of the Sunday Disney feature (which starts at 5pm now, weird) on CBC which was The Lion King, only to find Up on at 8pm! Yay, double bill of great Disney films (well, Pixar, but you know) in HD for free! I can’t lie, I teared up a bit and then proceeded to throw Up quotes on twitter like an annoying fiend. Oh, Up!

Next up, who knows? There is a bunch of films from the 2011 CAST list I still need to see, I suspect schoolwork will skyrocket soon so I’m going to see as many films as I can before that happens!

Oh yeah, I may have watched about 15 episodes of The West Wing this week, half of Tapeheads and 2 episodes of Community but who’s counting that?

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