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Open Space's Film Journal 2008

Inspired by the likes of Peter Chattaway and Jeffrey Overstreet, I'm going to keep track of the films I watch this year. I made this post a link on the sidebar under "Movie Reviews or Ruminations" and I'll update it perodically. If I review or ruminate on the film, I'll link to it.

(G-R) MPAA rating of the film, if available
(NR) no MPAA rating
* indicates first-time viewing
(TV) watched an edited version
(CMC) watched unedited version on a cable movie channel
(DVD) watched on a DVD
(... 1-5) this blog's enjoyment of the film ("5" is highest rating)

Any comments or opinions will be brief and placed in parentheses after the rating. If you want to know more about my opinions, just comment below and I'll expound, heh. For more about the film, just Wiki it or search it out on IMDB.


January 2008

- Casanova* (R) (CMC) . . . 2
- Holy Smoke* (R) (CMC) . . . 1.5 (excessive sexual content/nudity and muddled message)
- Terminator 2: Judgement Day (R) (CMC) . . . 4
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (PG) (TV) . . . 5
- Wake of the Red Witch* (NR) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (one of only 9 films out of 200+ in which John Wayne dies)
-Cars (G) (CMC) . . . 4.5
-The Wedding Singer (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 5 (I can't help it! I love Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler together)
-My Neighbor Totoro (G) (DVD) . . . 5
-The Comancheros* (NR) (TV) . . . 4 (Another John Wayne flick, Monsieur)
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 3.5 (and I really wanted to like it, sigh)
-The Two Towers (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 5 (I will always love these films)
-The Day the Earth Stood Still* (G) (TV) . . . 5 (Considering biblical allusions in this film, I'm now very interested in seeing how the remake of this film plays out)
-In Old California* (NR) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (another John Wayne film)
-Annie Hall* (PG) (CMC) . . . 4 (my first Woody Allen film all the way through)
-Northanger Abby* (NR) (PBS/BBC) . . . 4 (One of Masterpiece Theatre's films)
-Underdog* (PG) (CMC) . . . 3
-Sunshine* (R) (DVD) . . . 2.5 (the first half gets a 4 but the second half gets a 1, sigh)
-Fun with Dick and Jane* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3
-Mansfield Park* (NR) (PBS/BBC) . . . 4 (One of Masterpiece Theatre's films)

February 2008

-Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper (NR) (DVD) . . . 4 (As far as kids' movies go, these are actually pretty good; about my 20th time seeing it though)
-Jaws (PG) (CMC) . . . 5 (One of my favorite films of all time)
-The Incredibles (PG) (TV) . . . 4.5 (Another favorite of mine)
-Star Wars: A New Hope (PG) (DVD) . . . 5 (This time I got to watch through the eyes of my kids who were watching it for the very first time)
-Battlestar Galactica: Razor* (NR) (TV) . . . 3.5 (It was good, but not as good as some other BSG)
-Persuasion* (NR) (BBC/PBS) . . . 4.5 (This is one of my favorite Jane Austen stories, if not the favorite. Well done.)
-Georgia Rule* (R) (DVD) . . . 4 (It has its flaws, but I really enjoyed it)
-Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End* (PG-13) . . . 2.5 (Not a piece of art by a long-shot, but it had its moments)
-Pride & Prejudice (Part 1)* (NR) (1995/BBC/PBS) . . . I'll wait to rate this one after I see the second half
-Knocked Up* (R) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (Its raunchiness battles for attention with its surprisingly life-affirming moments and theme)
-The Legend of Bagger Vance (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4.5 (It's not the best film ever made, but I love almost every minute of it)
-Empire Strikes Back (PG) (DVD) . . . 5
-Five Children & It* (G) (DVD) . . . 4 (It's good as far as kids' flicks go; I love the next to last scene; and I like the nods to other films, heh)
-The Birds (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 5 (I'm pretending the remake scuttlebutt isn't true)
-Twister (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4 (I know, I know, it's not a great movie, but, hey, I'm a storm chaser wannabe)

March 2008

--Sky High (PG) (TV) . . . 3 (fun movie, love the line "That's what high school's all about, making mistakes. That's what life's all about." heh)
--Secondhand Lions (PG) (TV) . . . 3.5 (I know, it's not the greatest film, but it moves me every time; I adore Robert Duvall)
--Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (TV). . . 4
--Pride & Prejudice (1995) (TV) . . . 5 (my favorite film for this story)
--The Day After Tomorrow (TV) . . . 4 (Only because I love disaster and weather movies with a passion--and this one has BOTH)
--My Neighbor Totoro (G) (DVD) . . .
--Batman Begins (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4
--The Mummy (1999) (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 5 (As B-rated as it is, this is one of my all time favorite films)
--Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who* (G) (In the movie theater!) . . . 4.5
--The Simpsons Movie* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (Irreverent but has its truly funny moments)
--Deep Impact (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (This time, I was particularly struck by how many folks gave up their lives for others)
--In Her Shoes (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4
--Jumanji (PG) (DVD) . . . 4
--August Rush* (PG) (DVD) . . . 4.5

April 2008

--Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 5 (Beautiful music and a good story)
--Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith (PG-13) (TV) . . . 3 (I'd forgotten how not-so-good these "first" three were, oiy)
--50 First Dates (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 5
--Reality Bites (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 2.5 (Oiy, when I saw this film in the theater back in 90s, I thought it was relevant and point-on; now, I can't help but ask: Was my generation really so self-absorbed and shallow?!)
--Aliens (R) (CMC) . . . 4 (I understand Ripley so much better now that I have a kid about Newt's age. Oiy.)
--Stranger than Fiction* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 4
--The Punisher* (R) (TV) . . . 2 (While I tend to like comicbook films, this one was way too violent for me, and the vengence masquerading as justice made me really sad)
--No Reservations* (PG) (DVD) . . . 4
--Dan in Real Life* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 4

May 2008

--Jamacia Inn* (1939) (NR) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (Not my favorite Alfred Hitchcok, that's for sure)
--Ocean's 13* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3 (Not nearly as good as Ocean's 11 but better than Ocean's 12)
--Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG) (TV) . . . 5 (One of my favs)
--Signs (PG-13) (TV) . . . 5 (Another of my favs)
--Iron Man* (PG-13) (Theater) . . . 4.5 (A good addition to the comic-book film genre)
--Jaws (PG) (CMC) . . . 5 (And another of my favs)
--Lars and the Real Girl* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (I really enjoyed this one, particularly the role of community in healing)
--The Sons of Katie Elder (NR) (TV) . . . 4 (A good John Wayne flick)
--National Treasure: Book of Secrets* (PG) (DVD) . . . 3.5 (From the reviews, I expected not to like this movie, but it was actually rather fun to watch - and I learned a bit of history, too, heh)

June 2008

--Raising Helena* (PG) (TV) . . . 3.5 (I didn't get to see the whole thing, but it was an entertaining film with a surprisingly favorable take on faith)
--The Illusionist* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 4 (While I pretty much saw the twist coming a mile away, it was a fun ride getting there)
--Naussicaa of the Valley of the Wind* (PG) (DVD) . . . 4 (A thoughtful piece, though Totoro remains my favorite Miyazaki film)
--Hatari (Not rated) (TV) . . . 3.5 (A fun John Wayne flick)
--X2: X-Men United (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4
--Enchanted* (PG) (DVD) . . . 4 (Wonderful!)
--Alvin & the Chipmunks* (PG) (CMC) . . . 3 (Generous rating, but my kids liked it)
--Tortilla Soup (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4.5 (This American version of Eat Drink Man Woman is of my favorite movies, and, oh my goodness, the food!)
--Walking Tall* (PG-13) (TV) . . . 2.5 (Sigh)
--Hellboy (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4.5 (Oiy, I really like this movie)
--Jumper* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 2.5 (While I liked some aspects of the film, its flaws overwhelm it)
--Transporter 2* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 2.5 (At least the first film dealt with a man facing the choice of whether to live to protect himself or lay his life on the line for another, but this one was all special effects and violence. Though it did have one good line.)
--Golden Compass* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (While I don't like where the rest of the novel trilogy goes, this film was actually pretty good in my humble opinion)
--Cheaper by the Dozen 2* (PG) . . . 2.5 (Just not that great of a movie though I really like Steve Martin)
--Contact (PG) (CMC) . . . 5 (One of my favorite movies)
--American Mystery! Coyote Waits* (NR) (DVD) . . . 4 (A good adaptation of one of Tony Hillerman's novels)
--Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story* (NR) (TV) . . . 2.5-3 (A star-studded made for TV miniseries/movie that seemed to drag on FOREVER but actually had some interesting things to say about how the story we play by affects the way we live)

July 2008

--10,000 BC* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 3.5 (Though it isn't movie making brilliance, we actually enjoyed this one, heh)
--Ghost Rider* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 2 (And I really wanted to like this one, arg)
--American Mystery! Thief of Time* (NR) (DVD) . . . 4 (Another good adaptation of one of Tony Hillerman's novels)
--War* (R) (DVD) . . . 2.5 (The ending made m e scratch my head and wonder if the writers ever heard of foreshadowing)
--Rio Bravo (NR) (TV) . . . 4 (Another good John Wayne flick)
--Lonesome Dove* (NR) (DVD) . . . 4.5 (Robert Duvall + Western = Wow)
--Hellboy II: The Golden Army* (PG-13) (Theater) . . . 4
--The Holiday* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (I particularly liked the parts surrounding Winslet's character)
--Spiderwick Chronicles* (PG) (DVD) . . . 4 (A wonderful fantasy film for kids--and adults)
--Nim's Island* (PG) (Airplane) . . . 3 (I wish it had been better, but it was okay)

August 2008

--Dark Knight* (PG-13) (Theater) . . . 5
--Dragon Wars* (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 1 (ack)
--Mummy 3: The Dragon Emperor* (PG-13) (theater) . . . 2
--Troy* (R) (TV) . . . 3.5 (An interesting way to retell a Greek legend/myth)
--Kuch Kuch Hota Hai* (NR) (DVD) . . . 3 (Bollywood film that had some great dance numbers but it just dragged a little too long)
--P.S. I love You* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (Cried my eyes out)
--Juno* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4.5 (Wow.)
--Road House (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 3 (An old college fav that still has something going for it, heh)
--Starship Troopers 3: Maurader* (R) (DVD) . . . 1 (oiy)

September 2008

--Bucket List* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (I really enjoyed this one)
--Mummy Returns (PG) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (Not as good as the first one, but still fun)
--Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG) (DVD) . . . 3.5 (One of my favorite of the HP films)
--Casablanca (NR) (CMC) . . . 5 (Simply a classic)
--Disturbia* (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (Incredible suspense; I liked it)
--Red Dawn (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (Not the pro-war film many remember it as; hard to watch at this age)
--Tremors (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 4 (Classic cult film, heh)
--The Mummy (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 5
--Die Hard (R) (TV) . . . 3.5
--Mr & Mrs. Smith (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4 (I can't help but like this film, tho I'm not really sure why, heh)

October 2008

--Star Trek: Nemesis (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4 (It's become one of my favorite ST films, along with all the other even numbered films, heh)
--Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 5 (Amazing)
--I Robot (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4 (I love the tech and the theme)
--Hellboy (PG-13) (TV) . . . 4 (One of my favs)
--Somebody Up There Likes Me* (NR) (CMC) . . . 4 (Saw this one after Paul Newman's death)
--Legends of the Fall (R) (CMC) . . . 4 (I always cry at multiple points in this film, ack)
--Sydney White* (PG-13) (DVD). . . 3 (mildly entertaining, an attempt to retell the Snow White classic in modern times)

November 2008

--Lethal Weapon (R) (TV) . . . 4 (There are moments in Gibson's portrayal in this film that I've always admired, though a bit too violent for me)
--Quantum of Solace* (PG-13) (Theater) . . . 4 (Not as good as Casino Royale but good)
--Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 5 (Amazing)
--A Christmas Story (PG) . . . 5 (If simply for the pure enjoyment of it, heh)

December 2008

--WALL-E* (G) (DVD) . . . 4.5 (Great sci-fi and animation in one--plus I could watch it with my kids)
--Exodus* (NR) (CMC) . . . 3.5 (I found it an interesting look at the early days in Israel's history)
--Men in Black II (PG-13) . . . 3 (Not as good as the first one)
--Stargate (PG-13) (DVD) . . . 4 (One of my favs)
--Casablanca (NR) (CMC) . . . 5
--Big Sleep (NR) (CMC) . . . 4.5 (What can I say? I adore Bogart)
--The Women (PG-13) (CMC) . . . 2 (This was awful, ack)

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