- 3 Months of Movies (I)
- 3 Months of Movies (II)
- 3 Months of Movies (III)
- 3 Months of Movies (IV)
- 3 Months of Movies (V)
Another three months are up and so it’s time again for reflecting up the movies I watched in this time period. The good news is that this time I actually found time to watch more movies, which makes me happy, especially since I didn’t watch any movie during the holidays for two weeks. Still, my ambition to watch any movie in existence tells me I could have done better! There is always room for more movies. (check the Film List for all movies of those months, from American Graffiti to Gamer)
Since January I have watched 36 movies (31, 46, 75 the last three times). A lot of older movies this time, for one because I watched so many movies for 1940 week and 1973 week fell into that time period too.
The average of ratings was 5.9 (compared to 6.2, 6.3 and 5.8 before), which falls right into the middle of all the others. Again, I seem to consistently like movies the same way. The majority of ratings is 7 and 8, so I’m still moving above average most of the time. One 1 and one 10 should make things easy at the end of this article. Or does it?
The reasons are much more equally distributed this time, again because of two theme weeks and more movies I just watched because of school.
I found 13 movies with some kind of stereotype, which again is about the third of my sample. These include indigenous people (North West Mounted Police, Northwest Passage), Hispanic people (The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Kiss Me Deadly), gamers (Gamer), women (see below), black people (Real Steel) and nerds (American Graffiti). Again, the older movies are mostly worse, but so many newer movies are also full of clichés that are not always easy to specify, but simply rely on tropes all along. Still, North West Mounted Police is probably the worst movie I have seen recently in this regard. On the other end of the spectrum we have to mention two non-American movies I have watched: I Killed My Mother, which rarely feels the need to make the protagonists homosexuality explicit, and Sound of Noise, which celebrates being different and only stereotypes “normal” people.
Depiction of Women
Not much change here. This time around I saw women depicted as easily seduced (Birdemic), not to be trusted (North West Mounted Police), helpless (The Incredible Melting Man, 88 Minutes), unable to shoot a gun (Pluto Nash), prostitutes (Gamer), victims (88 Minutes), willing to be sacrificed (Clash of the Titans), giving themselves up completely for a man (Waterloo Bridge) or used as sex or beating objects (Kiss Me Deadly, Soylent Green).
Luckily, there are some exceptions again. I again counted 8 depictions of strong women, which isn’t much, but it’s also nothing. Reign of Fire probably is the weakest example, because the female character seems strong, but still doesn’t get anything to do. On the other hand, Haywire, Sound of Noise, Still Alice and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang feature really interesting female characters that have agendas and can be considered strong. All in all, four of the 36 movies featured women in lead roles.
33 out of 36 movies had white lead characters. The exceptions were Dreamgirls (a “black movie”), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (an Eddie Murphy movie, so no real success here) and Slumdog Millionaire, which at least had Indian actors (since neither director nor writer were Indian). There seems to be some room for improvement.
The movie that most fits this category would be Sound of Noise, which questions a lot of society’s conventions. Badlands also is successful in its very unique way of looking at the world. The Great Dictator qualifies in its own way, but also is only half successful, I think. Dystopian movies like Surrogates and Soylent Green are somewhat noble efforts, but don’t really get there. Movies like Gamer and Birdemic actually fail terribly at attempting to be critical, the first because it is so hypocritical, the second because you are too distracted by exploding birds.
Again, only one movie that got a 10, so this is easy. Drive still lingers on my mind from time to time because it made such a strong, passionate impression on me. It really is an incredible powerful, unsettling, romantic movie that hit me at exactly the right time.
With the worst one, I again have problems with my own rating system. Sure, Birdemic is the worst movie I have ever seen based on sheer lack of filmmaking talent. But it is also one of the most entertaining movies that I basically watched three times and wanted to show it to anyone I knew. I hated Gamer almost as much as Crank: High Voltage, but I have to give the honors to The Adventures of Pluto Nash, because this movie has nothing going for it. It makes no sense, every aspect of its filmmaking is terrible, it’s boring, offensive and actually embarrassing to watch. It will really make me see some of these actors with different eyes, because I will always think: “They agreed to be part of this.” So, congrats, Pluto Nash, you’re worse than Birdemic.
That’s that. See you again in July for the first 12 Months of Movies!