08 May 2009

Anything Chronicle Critics Can Do I Can Do Better (Okay Maybe Not Better But I Can Do It)


In the movie section today of today's San Francisco Chronicle eight of the paper's film critics past and present were asked three questions:

1. What movie have you watched more than any other in your adult life?

2. What movie would you consider the most painful to have to watch again?

3. What review would you change if you could?

Click on this sentence if you'd like to see their answers and the article entire. Better yet, stay here and see how yours truly, world renowned film blogger and bon vivant, answered those questions. Ready?

1. I showed Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Glory (1989) (photo above) to my U.S. History classes every year I taught, and with several classes a year that's a lot of viewings. But let's assume the question refers to non professional occasions. Then it would be either Manhattan (1979), Annie Hall (1977), Duck Soup (1933), It's A Wonderful Life (1946) or The Roaring Twenties (1939). At the risk of being obvious, I really, really like those movies.

2. There's some Peter Jackson films that might qualify. The family took in the first of the Lord of The Rings movies together and enjoyed it. We thus made it a point to see the next two together. I was bored to tears, especially during the never ending third one. I also suffered greatly watching what Jackson did to the King Kong story. Jackson shows real talent but he seems to believe that too much is never enough.

3. I haven't botched a review here yet (plenty of other stuff though). But I've badly misread some films in the past. When I first saw There Will Be Blood (2007) I thought it was terrific. With my second viewing I found it a completely empty experience. Daniel Day Lewis was magnificent but the story was as hollow as Republican's head. On the flip side when i first saw The Shop Around the Corner (1940) I wondered what the fuss was about. I'm not sure why I gave it a second chance but I did and fell in love. Now I watch it most every Christmas season.

There you go, much more interesting than those professional newspaper guys with their big salaries and their expertise and talent and clever writing. Am I right?

Three Dot Blogging: The latest incarnation of the Star Trek movie/TV franchise hit theaters today. I aim to keep my record intact. I've never watched an episode of any of the TV versions nor seen a millisecond of the films. I was once told that I should give Star Trek a try. Really ? And what would I give up to do that? You don't expect me to pass an opportunity to watch a beloved classic like Sunset Boulevard (1950)? That'd be silly. By not working out? Pish, posh, I miss enough trips to the gym as it is. Not a nap. I love a good nap, or even a bad one for that matter. Not writing a blog post? My public demands more as it is. (What's that you say? You're actually demanding less?)...
I think Alec Baldwin is a most worthy co host with Robert Osborne on TCM essentials. Osborne has been teamed with some excellent co hosts, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich and the late Sidney Pollack. You know who would be the best to team him with? Marin Scorsese. I love listening to him discuss films...
Rumor has it that my favorite novel of all time The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is being made into film. Please no. The only way they can do it justice is as a 12 hour five night HBO presentation. A two or even a three hour film would leave out way too much. Say it ain't so Michael Chabon (he lives a block away from me, maybe I should TP his house)...
A few reminders. Absolutely no outside food or drinks, please. Visit our concession stands conveniently located throughout the blog. Restrooms are for patrons only. We apologize but the souvenir stand is currently out of mugs, we expect a shipment by mid week. Thanks...
That's it for now I've got the Riku Writes first anniversary party to prepare for.

1 comment:

Skitch said...

Those are pretty interesting questions...and difficult to answer, really.

1) Hard to say. See, I tend to catch something on cable that I've already seen many times but will still stop to watch (Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, GoodFellas, Radio Days and many others). However, when we first got HBO when I was young, I probably watched Neil Simon's Murder By Death at least 3 or 4 times a day for weeks on end!

2) Without a doubt, it would have to be Revenge of the Sith--my nomination for the WORST big budget film of all time with a single word that laid waste to a great original trilogy ("Noooooooo").

3) Usually I'll reverse my opinion on comedies if I wasn't in a good mood upon the first viewing. Ghostbusters, Funny Farm, Tommy Boy...things of that ilk would be on my list because after seeing them again, I did laugh...a lot! Pure escapism.