Just as in August, I wasn’t able to make it out to theaters to see a single movie in September. I try to go at least once a month, so this is a bummer for me. But work—and more specifically traveling for work—tends to constrain my free time during this part of each year. The only new thing I watched was Zach Galifianakis and Scott Aukerman’s “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” on Netflix. I had admittedly unwisely high expectations for it, given how much I’ve enjoyed the web series’ reliably raw comedic disposition over the years, but this adaptation felt flat and uninspired.
Watching old movies yielded better results. I continued powering through Quentin Tarantino’s back catalog by watching “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” both of which fully stand the test of time. I also rewatched a few other old favorites, including the 1937 screwball comedy “The Awful Truth,” if for no other reason than to reconfirm for myself that this is one of the greatest movies ever made. Romantic comedies have earned a terrible reputation over the past few decades but this classic of the genre starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne shows the true potential of the form.
Thanks to The Criterion Channel, I also got to see a number of other old movies for the first time—five of them, in fact. Jean Renoi’s “Grand Illusion” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Circus Time” were the standouts. Pound for pound, I get far more pleasure from this streaming movie service than Netflix, Hulu or any other. It’s just a treat to have access to this library of truly amazing films, and the fact that the service’s native apps now allow downloads to your phone or tablet for offline viewing makes it even more invaluable.
Here are all sixteen movies I watched last month. Regular readers may notice that I’m including the star ratings from my Letterboxd diary entries here too. More on that in a future blog post.
“Police Story” (1985) ★★½ It’s hard to resist Jackie Chan, but this one is way too sloppy for my taste.