Films in 2016: October

October saw a well-balanced month of movies. Aside from the 1920s (I really need to make a habit of watching more films from this decade), I saw a few films from each decade from the 1930s to now. I watched a fair share of horror movies too, and while I enjoyed most of them, none of them ended up making the cut of my favorite discoveries of the month. As you’ll see, the select few that I loved the most this month are far from scary (in the traditional horror aspect anyway).

New-to-Me: 33

Re-Watched: 4

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 5
  • 1940s – 2
  • 1950s – 3
  • 1960s – 5
  • 1970s – 3
  • 1980s – 6
  • 1990s – 4
  • 2000s – 2
  • 2010s – 3

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Ghost (1990)
  2. Queen of Katwe (2016)
  3. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)
  4. Roar (1981)
  5. The Sentinel (1977)
  6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  7. Murphy’s Romance (1985)
  8. Crossing Delancey (1988)
  9. Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
  10. America America (1963)
  11. Rose-Marie (1936)
  12. Point Break (1991)
  13. The Babadook (2014)
  14. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
  15. The Chalk Garden (1964)
  16. Eye of the Devil (1966)
  17. The Conspirators (1944)
  18. Shampoo (1975)
  19. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
  20. Mississippi Burning (1988)
  21. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  22. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  23. Wayne’s World (1992)
  24. Stormy Weather (1943)
  25. Fail-Safe (1964)
  26. What Lies Beneath (2000)
  27. Dressed to Kill (1980)
  28. Mon oncle (1958)
  29. The Black Cat (1934)
  30. The Invisible Man (1933)
  31. The Mummy (1932)
  32. Dracula (1958)
  33. House of Wax (1953)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Ghost (1990)

Ghost (1990), directed by Jerry Zucker

This was a movie that I loved much more than I was expecting. It’s a movie that has it all: comedy, romance, and even thrills. You’d think with so many different elements in the film, it’d be a mess, but I thought Ghost did a great job of balancing the mystery at its center with comedic fantasy aspects. I was touched by the love between Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) too, and the two actors are simply wonderful, making you feel for their mutual lost future together. I know many people think it’s weird that this movie ended up getting so many Oscar nominations (including Best Picture!) but I personally think it’s well-deserved. Sure it’s not typical Oscar fare (you likely wouldn’t see this type of movie nominated nowadays), but it’s a well-made film and was the most popular movie of the year! Plus it’s much better than The Godfather: Part III (also nominated that year).

Shampoo (1975)

Shampoo (1975), directed by Hal Ashby

I’ve been catching up on the You Must Remember This podcast, and finished the Charles Manson series a couple weeks ago. One prominent figure in the Manson episodes was Jay Sebring, a famous hair stylist who inspired Shampoo. This movie was already on my watchlist, but after hearing more about Sebring, I was much more interested in checking this movie out, and fortunately TCM featured it for its Trailblazing Women spotlight. In a lot of ways, this movie actually feels more biographical of its star, notorious womanizer Warren Beatty. In the film, he romances a number of women, including Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, and Lee Grant. Grant herself helped introduce the film on TCM, while also discussing her experience with the Hollywood Blacklist (which coincidentally ties back to the You Must Remember This podcast, as I’m currently in The Blacklist series). But anyway, it’s an entertaining film on sexual politics in the late ’60s, set against the backdrop of Richard Nixon’s election into office, creating some fascinating dramatic irony. The cast is superb too, especially Grant, who deservedly won an Oscar for her performance.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

The Virgin Suicides (1999), directed by Sofia Coppola

I’ve always been a little indifferent towards Sofia Coppola’s films; while I found them enjoyable enough I never really cared for them. But with her directorial debut, I was much more fascinated and drawn to the film. Coppola has a great flair for visual style in her films, and it’s evident here without overpowering the story. With a title that basically gives away where the movie is headed, it still intrigues with how everything unfolds. I also have to say there were so many people in this movie that I wasn’t expecting, like Danny DeVito and Hayden Christensen!? Seemingly random but a fun surprise to see some familiar faces pop up. I also really loved the ’70s soundtrack.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing (1987), directed by Emile Ardolino

After seeing Ghost, I thought I should check out Patrick Swayze’s other well-known romance movie (and I needed something more pleasant to watch after seeing Requiem for a Dream). This was another movie that I ended up enjoying a lot more than I expected; maybe it was just seeing it at the right time. One thing it already had going for it is a fun ’60s soundtrack (obviously I love a good movie soundtrack), and of course “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” is one of the great movie songs. This movie has some iconic images, and seeing it all in context was a really nice experience.

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