Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011 List #4: Catching Classics

One thing that sucks about being a film buff is that a lot of people expect you to have seen EVERYTHING!  People look at me in disgust when they reel off classics that I haven't got round to.  "You haven't seen West Side Story???" my Dad exclaims every Christmas.  You haven't seen a single Rocky film most people weep as I tell them.  As a result my list of films I need to see grows and grows every year no matter how many films I watch.

Well this year I made a list of classic films I needed to see as soon as possible.  I managed three out of the ten on that list.  A very poor show considering how bloody fantastically Eric over at The Warning Sign is doing at his 50 Movies I Need to See by the End of the Year.  Puts me to shame!

But I have made an effort to watch some classic and older films that I felt were important to my film buff credentials.  Some may not be considered real 'classics' (ahem Copland) but I 'd heard so many good things about them for so long that I felt they could be included here.  So following from my previous three 2011 lists so far; Documentary, Horror, Worst, here is my list of classics I watched for the first time this year and how I would rate them.

Kings of the classics

  1. Das Boot (Tense and brilliant)
  2. Spartacus (Epic)  

 Undisputed champions 
  1. Rocky (Surprisingly little boxing)
  2. The Great Dictator (Making a mockery of Hitler)
  3. Paths Of Glory (More Kirk Douglas goodness)
  4. City Lights (More Chaplin sweetness and slapstick)
  5. The Player (Brilliant Hollywood satire)
  6. Cop Land (Stallone CAN definitely act)
  7. Breaking The Waves (Von Trier breaks hearts) 
  8. The Thing (Not as good as Assault on Precint 13)
  9. Frankenstein (Sympathy for the monster) Reviewed here
Worth the wait

  1. Modern Times (More Chaplin satire)
  2. Wages Of Fear (A lesson in tension)
  3. The Hours (Acting masterclass)
Ripe for a remake

  1. Lawrence Of Arabia (Epic, beautifully shot, but very slow and dated) 
  2. Mad Max (The madness of mad Mel)
As you can see I've loved Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas and Sylvester Stallone.  Why doesn't Stallone do better stuff?  I think I'm going to skip Rocky's 2-5 but might catch Rocky Balboa in the New Year.  I'm going to give David Lean another try with Brief Encounter.   And I will be happy to see Mad Max get a remake.

Anyone want to send me death threats over my comments on Lawrence of Arabia?  What are the classics you have yet to see?  Does anyone know why I find films from before the 70s to be nowhere near my favourite films ever?  Have they just dated or am I a philistine?