Movies Watched, June 2021

Former location of Pathé Cinema studios in the 18th Arrondissement in Paris
Former location of Pathé Cinema studios in the 18th Arrondissement in Paris

Short roundup here due to the fact that I’ve been traveling for the first time since the pandemic began. We’ve very luck to have been in France visiting family all month. It’s great to be abroad again though the Delta variant has meant we’re still masking up and taking extra care, and we’re not even allowed into movie theaters. That’s okay as I’ve been walking around taking a lot of pictures including this shot of the old location for Studios Francœur in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. That film company would eventually go on to morph into Pathé Films which still operates today.

As for what I actually watched last month: a lot of random, older stuff. The ones I’d seen before were great; the ones I hadn’t were mostly just okay. I did see Pixar’s Luca which, as usual, was exquisitely crafted but also just kind of annoying in its stereotypes.

Here’s the full list of eighteen movies I saw.

  1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000) ★★★★
    Rewatched. Exceedingly well made and entertaining and also really problematic
  2. Star Wars” (1977) ★★★½
    Rewatched. The best way to enjoy this is to pretend that no sequels or spinoffs were ever made. Read my review.
  3. Cruising” (1980) ★★★
    Hollywood just did not know how to handle this material.
  4. Smooth Talk” (1985) ★★★½
    Impossibly young and beautiful Laura Dern and Treat Williams in a truly creeptastic face-off.
  5. GoodFellas” (1990) ★★★★★
    Rewatched. Brutal poetry in motion. Nearly flawless.
  6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) ★★½
    Rewatched. A big, beautiful, ambitious, swing that ultimately strikes out.
  7. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989) ★
    Rewatched. I guess I understand the continued affection for this franchise but this movie is actually incredibly boring.
  8. Italianamerican” (1974) ★★★½
    Martin Scorsese shows us how to make a movie about making a movie about your heritage.
  9. Miami Vice” (2006) ★★★★½
    Rewatched. I can’t think of another film that was more truly of the 21st Century as early in the 21st Century as this one was.
  10. Luca” (2021) ★★★
    Entertaining but clumsy.
  11. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” (2019) ★★★★
    Dead simple and I really, really liked it.
  12. The Rules of the Game” (1939) ★★★½
    Rewatched. I’m starting to understand this better with each viewing.
  13. Riders of Justice” (2020) ★★★½
    Rarely is a movie this willing to go to such weird lengths to make its emotional points.
  14. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop” (2009) ★★★
    A true oddity: a Chinese language remake of “Blood Simple” with a totally unexpected visual aesthetic.
  15. Thor” (2011) ★½
    Rewatched. Out-to-lunch filmmaking.
  16. Force of Evil” (1948) ★★★½
    Surprisingly rich and dense noir that’s also quite gabby for its 76-minute runtime.
  17. The Gambler” (1974) ★★★
    James Caan is the most ridiculous high roller ever in this macho take on the gambling lifestyle.
  18. El Condor” (1970) ★★★½
    You could get a lot worse than Lee Van Cleef as the goof and Jim Brown as the straight man in this rough and ready spaghetti western.

This is the latest roundup of my monthly movie consumption. You can also see what I watched in May, April, March, February, and January, and in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. Finally, you can always keep up with what I’m watching by following me on Letterboxd—where I’m also writing tons of capsule reviews.