Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Survey of Film History, Part I of LXXX-something; Also, Public Display of Hostility

The recommendations feature of the Blockbuster online rental service is very nearly useless — at least in my case. A significant portion of the movies they recommend to me are movies I have already rated (i.e., already seen). Another useless feature is the "Don't show me this movie again" level in the rating system; it apparently has no bearing on whether you will actually avoid seeing on the site again, as a number of these show up in my recommendations as well (which makes the "We think you'll like..." heading on the recommendations page more than a little ironic). The saving grace of the Blockbuster online rental service is their vast library.

Last week, after having received no useful recommendations in recent months and seeing that my queue had 7 movies remaining, I went through a number of AFI "Top 100" lists and "Top 10" lists (which inexplicably had different contents than the top ten of the "Top 100" lists), as well as the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" list and added anything I hadn't seen that was major or sounded interesting to my queue. The end result: my queue now contains an additional 80+ movies (yes, 80 out of over 1000) ranging from 1924 to 1989 which I will be watching in a sequence that will approximate chronological order, some or most of which I may have something to say about.

Somehow, first up was a light comedy produced in 1938 called Bringing Up Baby. Starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, it was a rather spectacular box office failure at the time, and came near the end of a string of unsuccessful movies that actually succeeded in putting Katharine Hepburn out of work for a short time. However, it is now considered a classic and has made a number of "Top X Movies of All Time" lists, including #14 on AFI's Top 100 Comedies. Well, they were right. I think I laughed more at this movie than I have at the past five recent comedies that I have seen combined. Katharine Hepburn was fantastic and, well, I never knew Cary Grant was funny. Very entertaining and definitely recommended.

The following glimpse into the seedy underworld of grocery store clerking was being (unintentionally?) broadcast over the loudspeakers to the entire parking lot as I exited Tom Thumb tonight:
Female Voice: "— called you five minutes ago and you haven't answered my question yet. All I wanted to know is whether there are any plastic bags back there so, are there any plastic bags back there?"
Male Voice (thirty seconds later): "Tiffany, 10 minutes is all I ask.
Ah, such angst. A series of bleeps followed, but I think it was a phone being dialed, not anything actually being censored.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home