Month of Previously Released in Theater

previously-releasedYou might have noticed a lack of reviews on this blog for new movies in October. Well, there is a simple reason for that: I haven’t seen many. The only new movies I’ve seen at the theater have been Deep Water Horizon, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader and The Dressmaker, which I both enjoyed very much.  I also saw Miss Hokusai and Long Way North on dvd screener but that’s it for new releases. On Netflix I saw The 13th which is an amazing documentary.

The reason I’ve been so sparse at the theater is two-fold. First, there haven’t been many movies I’ve been interested in seeing. I didn’t want to see Girl on the Train because I didn’t like the novel.

And then Jack Reacher: Never Go Back despite having a horrificly awful title I didn’t see because I didn’t see the first Jack Reacher because of the violence. This was a definite skip. Inferno is the same way. I haven’t seen either of the 2 previous films so I will pass. The Oujia movie isn’t my cup of tea and The Accountant was evidently pretty boring and violent.

However, the other reason I haven’t seen new releases (I’ve debated about seeing Birth of a Nation and a few others) is because this has been the month of seeing previously released movies in the theater!

I ended up seeing 10 movies that had previously been released. 5 of them are Harry Potter movies I saw on the IMAX during a 2 day marathon. 3 are classics I am seeing as part of the my local theaters Classic Film Series. And then 2 were just for fun.

I thought it would be fun to go over all 10 and give you my quick thoughts.

Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban-

So I’ve been rewatching these Harry Potter movies for a podcast I’ve been doing with my friends getting ready for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. Unfortunately I haven’t found them as compelling on the rewatch as I expected. They are all drawn out and I find myself getting bored. However, one of the best of the group is Alfonso Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban. It is without a doubt the best made film of the series with beautiful cinematography and a darker sensibility than the Chris Columbus films (which are BORING!). It actually didn’t end up being my favorite on the rewatch but it is strong film. The kids take a definite step up in acting over the first 2 films as well.

Overall Grade- A

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

A movie that is better for moments than the end product. Instead of being boring like most of the films it has the opposite problem. It feels rushed and there are definitely the most plotholes in this entry in the series. Still, when it does work it really works. I love the ball and Hermione’s Cinderella moment and I the stand off with Voldermort in the maze is emotional and gripping.

Overall Grade- B-

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

My new favorite of the series. I know that is unusual but this is the leanest storytelling in my opinion. Also instead of just talking about a villain this entry actually has one (2 if you count Voldermort). Umbridge is so great as played by Imelda Staunton. This entry actually improves upon the book which spends way too much time with an emo grumpy Harry. Dumbledore’s Army is fantastic with Harry learning to be a teacher not just a wizard. And the ending with Sirius is emotional and really works. I also love the room with the prophecies and some of the other visual effects/production design. Plus, we get the introduction of Luna who is my favorite HP character

Overall Grade- A+

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I must say it wasn’t quite as bad as I remembered it being. I hated part 1 in the theater and found it super boring but it’s still pretty bad. This is the first one where I felt they were trying to rope in the YA Twilight crowd. The beginning is pretty good and the end with Dobby’s sacrifice moves me but for the most part it isn’t my cup of tea. All that drama in the tent and the weak attempt to make a love triangle happen doesn’t work. And the naked scene I found completely unnecessary and unseemly.

Overall Grade- C-

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

It’s true it is very different from the book but I think that partly comes from them splitting it up, which I still think was a terrible idea. Nevertheless, I like this movie. I think it ends the series in a very satisfying way. I like that all the minor characters are given their moments to shine. I like seeing Harry defeat Voldermort by being a better man and human being. There’s something so pure about that rather than him defeating him with valor or a warrior’s spirit. We definitely get some very sad parts, which feel earned but it is also fun. I love when Harry is in the spirit world and gets the chance to talk to Dumbledore and decide what to do with his life.

Overall Grade- A

Lawrence of Arabia

I had long heard about this movie but never seen it and holy cow! I LOVED it!  This movie has some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever seen in a movie. Lawrence is an enigma and is not the perfect hero I expected. Of course it looks gorgeous and is well made but I was surprised how invested I felt. It drew me in and earns it’s 3.5 hour running time. Every aspect of the film is superb

Overall Grade- A+

Sound of Music

I mean where do I begin on this masterpiece? I LOVE this movie so much I never realized it was over 3 hours. That’s how absorbed I get. It is one of the best stage adaptations because I actually think it improves upon the source material in every way. The casting is perfection with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer having amazing chemistry together. I love all the songs from Rogers and Hammerstein, and the cinematography throughout Austria is beautiful. In my mind just about a perfect movie

Overall Grade- A+

Gone with the Wind

I have a complicated relationship with Gone with the Wind. It is my Grandma’s favorite movie of all time, so I have happy memories of watching it with her.  There is no doubt the epic nature of the movie. The sets, costumes, production design are some of the best ever. I also enjoy the melodrama of it all. It’s like watching a soap opera but with the best production values you could imagine. On the other hand, the magnolia version of the south makes me uncomfortable. Slave holders are the heroes who have been horribly treated by those darn yankees…The depiction of the slaves is cringe inducing and the marital rape towards the end isn’t right. So, I enjoy watching it but I acknowledge all those flaws. It was neat to see it on the big screen.

Overall Grade- B

Young Frankenstein

This was the first time I saw the iconic Gene Wilder film Young Frankenstein. It’s pretty hilarious about Frankenstein’s grandson trying to disprove his grandfather’s theories. The cast is above reproach- so funny. I particularly liked Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn. They are two of the funniest ladies ever. The black and white photography elevates it above a spoof movie. It’s very well done.

Overall Grade- A

The Shining-

One of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen because it dares to leave questions unanswered. This makes the film a puzzle you can come to again and again. It was great seeing it on the big screen and trying to notice how the small details fit together.  While it is bloody, most of the scares are psychological horror rather than gore. It’s about a man unraveling due to cabin fever but is it so much more than that? I think so!  Stanley Kubrick is at top of his game with the cinematography, production design and everything else. I also love the child actor Danny Lloyd and Jack Nicholson is of course amazing. He’s funny yet terrifying at the same time.

Overall Grade- A+

So there you have it! My thoughts on all 10 movies and my grades. Let me know what you think about these movies in the comments section. Hopefully November will have more new releases I can watch!

8 thoughts on “Month of Previously Released in Theater

  1. Good list!

    Did you cry watching The Sound of Music whenever Liesl showed up? I don’t think I did when I saw it recently, but I did miss her as I watched it.

    And I guess Gone with the Wind has problems, but as a film, I did love it! And was there really marital rape? I don’t really remember. I just remember Scarlett O’Hara waking up happy and humming one morning; was that the same scene?

    1. I actually did cry at Liesl but that’s always been one of my favorite parts of the movie. I love her l. RIP
      Yeah it’s that scene. Rhett drags her against her will and that is marital rape. Like I said I have a complicated relationship with Gone with the Wind but in the end I do enjoy it very much

  2. I would just like to point out that the reason why there are so many plot holes in the Goblet of Fire film is for the most part due to the exclusion of what you claimed to be needless exposition.

    It would be nice if you would re-evaluate your perspective on that.

    1. I’d say a B- is a pretty good review for that movie. It’s a solid entry but the screenplay has problems

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