Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let's Go to the Movies

I love movies. All kinds of movies. I’ll even watch bad movies just to see how they are put together. But most of the movies I like the best are the ones my family won’t watch with me. Foreign movies and documentaries are my alone time movies.

My father was a film editor. Growing up, I was used to my father adlibbing through movies. Usually cracks about a bad cut. He always knew the plotline and if I asked what was going to happen, he would tell me. He always knew.

My first boyfriend once got really pissed off at me over my movie watching habits. We were at the drive-in (ah, remember drive-ins?) and actually watching the movie (which means we had been dating for awhile and weren’t there just to make out). I was saying, “OMG. What’s going to happen?? Where’s she going?? Why would she go there??”

He turned to me and basically told me to shut the fuck up and let him watch the movie and why the hell would I ask him what was going to happen when I knew he had not seen the movie before either???

First of all, this is not the person I married.

Second of all, a major epiphany. Up until this ripe age of 16, I had assumed that knowing what would happen next in a movie was a male thing. I was too stupid to realize it had more to do with the line of work my dad was in. Other epiphanies on how my dad did not symbolize all men would come later with my husband. Like men putting the lights on the Christmas tree and being handy with fixing things in a house. But I digress.

I used to be somewhat hip and up to date on all the movies coming up. For two years I taught an elective, “Film as Art,” and it gave me a reason to watch a lot of movies and read my Entertainment Weekly somewhat religiously. Since this is not a post on the sorry state of electives in the public school system, I won’t go into why I went back to teaching regular English.

Sooooooooooo, this break I was able to see two movies that I did not know about until recently, but surprised me in how good I thought they were and how much I enjoyed them.

I took a colleague friend to the movies one night and since it was her Christmas present, she got to pick it out. We saw Slumdog Millionaire. I highly recommend it.


On Netflix I rented Sex and Lucia. It’s Spanish with subtitles. It has a lot of sex in it. Don’t watch it when your kids are around. It’ really hot and sexy and I should probably get it again because my husband would probably like it because of the naked chicks and sex. But I also loved it because it is a writer’s story. It blends fiction with reality. The writer’s novel with what is really going on in his life. I also prefer foreign movies because they do not abide to American formulas and I love not being able to figure out what is going to happen.


Let’s get some recommendations going in the comment thread. Seen any good movies this break? What is your all time favorite? Hidden gems anyone?

43 comments:

Irish Gumbo said...

Whaa...huh...umm, we're you saying something? Sorry, you lost me after the 'naked chicks and sex' comment...jeez.

Sorry to say, the last movie I saw was "SpongeBob Squarepants' Atlantis Squarepantis", so I'm a little short here. Sigh. We really need to get a babysitter...

Mama Dawg said...

The only movie I saw over the holidas was Bedtime Stories.

I do not recommend.

I love movies. I used to go to them all the time. I'd actually take days off of work and go to the movies to watch what I wanted to watch instead of what others did. Cause my taste run differently to others.

My favorite foreign film lately (and by lately, I mean in the last like 10 years) was Pan's Labryinth. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Hey Irish - Babysitters are great. We did not have a lot when the kids are young, but now they both drive and are hardly home...
Your day will come sooner than you think, I envy your cartoon watching.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Hi Mama - you and I must havebeen commenting together. I loved Pan's too. Idragged my kids to see it with me, but they ended up liking it.

You should try netflix. They have everything.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I've been dying to see Slumdog. Hopefully soon. The only movie we've seen recently is Yes Man with Jim Carrey. He makes me laugh. I've avoided downer movies since my car accident. I just haven't felt like I needed anything depressing in my life while battling high pain levels. I'm now into feel good movies or ones that make me laugh.

hillgrandmom said...

Someone else recommended Slumdog Millionaire. But it hasn't come to our part of India yet.

Kristan said...

I TOTALLY want to see both of these! I cancelled Netflix (to save money and more importantly TIME/focus -- I have issues) before I could rent Sex and Lucia though. :( Thank you public library!

Movies I have recently watched and do NOT recommend: Shrek 3, Mamma Mia, Burn After Reading.

BAR has spectacular acting, but it's inconsistent in tone and pacing, definitely not a Coen Brothers best.

Just B said...

I generally like to be challenged in my reading and escape in my movies and I don't put up with bad writing in either. That's not exactly true in that I will sit through a bad movie for a laugh or two.

I love anything with Bill Murray in it and just watched Broken Flowers which was interesting. Since all my movies come from the library nothing is recent.

The girls just watched Because of Winn Dixie and I really, really liked it.

Usually too much of an American pansy to watch foreign films, but I loved Pan's, too.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

24 - Don't see Slumdog soon. Although very good, it is the story of growing up poor and an orphan in India. There is a lot of grittiness.

Hillgrandmom - that just doesn't seem right- that I got to see it inHawaii before your part of India.

kristan - my fav Coen brothers are No Country for Old Men and Fargo.

B - I've had Broken Flowers in my cue for wahile, but have still not watched it. Thanks for the Win Dixie recommendation. I think I'll get it. My favorites from when my kids were young are Alaska with Thora Birch (she's so young in this) and Fly Away Home. They are old so are probably at the library.

Jan said...

I collect films on DVD and adore foreign films - we recently bought and watched "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and I HIGHLY recommend it.

I also love the films of Almodovar ("Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" - I knew who Antonio Banderas was before most people because of that one) and the films of Juzo Itami ("A Taxing Woman", "The Funeral", "Tampopo").

Filing away your recommendations for my future viewing pleasure.

Liam said...

Can't really recommend any movies... but I gotta say... OMG, my wife is just like you with movies...

We'll be watching a movie... "Who's she?" I don't know! I saw her the same time you did! "What's he doing?" I don't know! I can read his mind about as well as you!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Jan - I liked the Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Haven't see the rest, so I am going to put them in my queue.

Liam - thanks for helping me discoer my gmail chat.

only a movie said...

Despite my blog title, I am not a movie person. I used to quite enjoy the indie film or three, but that was before becoming a mom. Now, not so much time, and the other half tends to enjoy things blowing up on the screen. Ick.

I saw Step Brothers over break. It was sophomoric. But hysterical.

I really loved Lost in Translation and Local Hero, but one is sort of old, and the other really old. :-)

Fun post, Pseudo!

McEwens said...

As far as movie reviews, I saw 7 pounds and the boy in the striped PJs. Both, I hated the ending.... so wrong, I think that is why 7 pounds is NOT in the top ten

What a cool thing that your dad did!

SO with you on the loss of great electives. This semester my son has 2 gym classes... there is no shop class, just language and gym... so much for well rounded kids

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Movie - I saw Step Brothers with my kids. Very sophomoric. Very funny. I have not seen Local Hero. I'm going to look it up.

Pam - I think well-rounded and keeping kids interested in school is a golden key that has been misplaced....

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I've got nothing! I love movies but all I seem to do is talk about going and never really make it there. *sigh* I love this idea. It will help with my Netflix queue! Thanks for the recommendation.

Joanie said...

I have to say my all-time favorite movie EVER is The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. I am a John Wayne junkie. Not sure why.
On New Year's Eve we saw L.A. Confidential and No Country For Old Men. I liked LA Confidential but didn't really like the other one. Not sure what the hooplah was that earned it 4 Oscars.
We recently saw Seven Pounds and really enjoyed it (although I'm not sure if "enjoy" is a term I'd use for that movie but you know what I mean :) )

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

SMB - I was hoping for ideas for the Netflix queue...

Joanie - What is the "Seven pounds?"

Fragrant Liar said...

I spent the holidays in Florida, and while there, I managed to get in a dozen movies, eight or nine of which I had never seen before. I have no idea why I did that, but the movie I liked best was probably Valkyrie. There were a lot more I wanted to see, but I mean, we ran out of time!

KJ
http://fragrantliar.blogspot.com

Robin said...

We saw Slumdog Millionaire the weekend before Christmas and we loved it. Great sstory, well told, which is my main criteria for a film.

One of my favorite under-the-radar films is The Winslow Boy, directed by David Mamet, based on a Terrance Rattigan play, all about truth and lies. Plus it is a British costume drama, another big criteria on my list. I live vicariously.

I love movies. There are so many I have missed out on, so my Netflix queue is maxed out at 500 and I have a secondary list on my desktop that is at about 175...

Robin said...

Oh, here's another favorite: 84 Charing Cross Road, with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. I’ve probably seen 20 times and even though I have it on DVD, if I am channel surfing and it is on I will watch it!

Robin said...

Oka, ne more and I'll stop: Children of Heaven, in Farsi with English subtitles, one of the most charming films you’ll ever see.

Casey said...

You sound a lot like me when I watch movies (or TV). I'm a talker and a guesser. It drives my husband nuts but I'm usually right about my guesses.

Glad you got to relax and watch some flicks! We haven't seen any movies lately but we've been watching "Breaking Bad" which is really great so far!

goodfather said...

I love *all* of Steve Martin's movies, without exception. A 'hidden gem' of his is 'A Simple Twist of Fate' (1994). It's not his stock comedy role, and I thought he was really good.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Cool. We have some really good suggestions here. My netflix queue is getting loaded up.

I thought I watched a lot of movies, but most of the titles are ones I haven't seen.

thistle said...

Hmmm...i was thinking about doing a post on movies this week also...how weird. It was a post by brandy about movies that got me thinking about it...perhaps i still will.

But i confess to not being too current on what's now in the theatres...Slumdog was one a friend wanted to go to and 'marley & me' was recommended...altho the GUY who told me about it said he cried several times during it...so might wait til it's out on DVD....

I like to catch the weird and little known movies...subtitled foreign films i find are on late at night on some channels. And Bravo tends to show some non-mainstream stuff also...

Great post and interesting comments...lots of good ideas...

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

thistle - i hope you still do the post. we'll find more of the little known and weird movies that we want to watch but just don't know about.

Eudea-Mamia said...

I so want to go see Slumdog Millionaire!!

My movie recommendation?

Pixar "Cars" - it's the kind of movie you don't mind seeing 12,000 times.

Thank God for that.

smiles4u said...

I love movies but sadly never go to the theater and although I will rent a movie, it seems like I either keep getting interrupted or I fall asleep. These movies you mentioned sound interesting. Makes me realize that I need to get out and do more things that I enjoy...maybe this should be a goal for this year?

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

EM - I like your recommendation. Since my kids are not kids anymore (19 and 16) I miss seeing movies like Cars. Last summer, my husband and I saw Kung Fu Panda, just because.

Smiles - That would be a good goal for you. Keep to happy movies now that make you laugh out loud.

essee said...

I LOVE movies. That is so cool your dad edited films. Loved Sex and Lucia too. Need to check out the other one, I love documentaries esp. We just watched You Without Me and I hihly recommend it - Michelle Williams is in it, I did a post about it here- http://leclaw.blogspot.com/2008/12/me-without-you.html I recommend all Mike Leigh films, Almodovar, Jane Campion, Ross McElwee, I could go on and on, here is another link to a movie post I did - http://leclaw.blogspot.com/2008/07/whats-on-your-queue.html

essee said...

I meant me without you, not you without me.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Thanks essee. I was hoping you would stop by because I knew you would have some great suggestions.

Kristan said...

I haven't seen No Country, but I've heard it's great (if you can stomach the killings) and I adore Javier Bardem, who I watched in several Spanish films (including Mar Adentro -- see it if you havent'!).

And my dad and I LOVE Fargo!!

I also really liked Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

I'll add No Country to my queue...

Jack said...

Wow, loved, loved, loved this post!

I do remember dive-ins, and have just discovered that one still exists about an hours drive from me. Hubby and I are planning to catch a couple movies there this summer.

I have been doing some movie watching lately too but none are new or even recent releases, the classics are what I'm really into... African Queen, Death of a Salesman, Casablanca and A Nun's Story, just to name a few. I usually watch them alone or on occasion with my oldest Daughter when she comes to visit.

Again, fabulous post... Happy Wednesday!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

kristan - I've been meaning to watch O Brother - need to get to that.

Jack - classics are always good for me too. I like to watch them with my daughter.

Other films that have popped into my head in the last 24 hours.

Best Documentaries: My Flesh and Blood (special needs children in adoption) Born into Brothels (outstanding) and Wal-Mart: The High Price of Low Cost Living (excellent use of persuasion).

A film I loved last year was Dear Frankie. Stumbled on it in Netflix.

Best "bad" film. It's horrible yet oh so fun and entertaining to make fun of while watching Next of Kin.

daughter said...

no country for old men, really guys? i walked out on it... with me its on the rankings of the ring, which i didn't walk out of but it haunted me for weeks.

shaunna said...

slumdog was absolutely fantastic, wasn't it? i loved it, definitely should be a best picture nominee. most recent movie i've seen... marley & me (sniffle sniffle). sunday will be going to gran torino (with mom). your niece and i want to see bride wars. i'll go to benjamin button when i'm up for almost three hours in the same movie. i want to go because of fincher (director) and blanchett, not necessarily pitt. i love all coen brothers films (they appeal to my twisted humor, can't help it, it's inherited)... and own a few of them. i really liked old country, (but) it's not my favorite. the big lebowski gets that honor.

the past two days i've been having a dexter - showtime series - marathon with your niece. (how she used her blockbuster gift card.) i never thought i'd love a series about a serial killer, but it's the best. highly recommended.

Tricia said...

I don't have any recommendations, but I'm definitely borrowing some of the ideas here as well. Great post idea, thanks!

essee said...

my so bad they are good list always includes - showgirls, wall street, devil's advocate and cocktail. These movies are awful but I must watch them whenever I come across one flipping channels so I can cringe with glee. p.s. if you haven't checked out werner herzog and claude chabrol movies - do so. fantastic directors.
now I have to check out my flesh and blood, sounds great.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Thanks Sherri - I'm going with a lot of your suggestions in my queue.

Kristan said...

Just saw Slumdog. That movie -- and the 5-min conversation with friends that ensued -- is probably going to stay with me for a while.

Also, can I trade faces with the lead girl?!

starrlife said...

Both of those trailers were great! I love the movies but don't get out much. The hubby saw 7 pounds and liked it. I would Like to see the Lucia movie but I think without the hubs since our agenda's would be entirely different! I will have to check out Netfilx. One of my fav movie's is Whale Rider. Currently the girl is into The King and I which is fabulous (the original version)! Fun post there Ms. phhhst.