Movies/DVDs/TV Seasons/Concerts Watched in 2012

This is a running list for the year. The list will include the movie and indicate whether it is a re-watch otherwise it can be assumed it was my first time watched.

(the year)(owned/rental/library/borrowed/theatre/Netflixed) and a brief review which could be just one word such as good, great, just OK, whatever. If I feel like expounding on the review I will. No rules here just a list with a bit of extra information. I will also note which ones I watched with my 11yo/12yo by starting off with a red (#).

January: 1

1.  Mission: Impossible IV Ghost Protocol - (2011) (theatre) I don't have a lot to say about this.  Dh and I went to see it on date night.  We enjoyed it.  Of course.  We both like Tom Cruise (for different reasons, hehe) The movie was just what you'd expect but I didn't enjoy it as much as the others.  It was just more *tame*.  It certainly deserved its PG rating; we could have taken our son to see it.  Their was lots of action but no real violence and Tom didn't even have a love interest!  So no sexy bits.  But still I loved the action.  We enjoyed our time.

February: 0

March: 1

2.  A Quick Journey Through the Bible: An 8-Part Introduction to the Bible Timeline - (at church)  A group of us at church used this program as a bible study.  It teaches you to read the 14 main narrative books of the bible to gain the Story within the bible.  It also corelates the other 59 books into the proper time sequence as to where they fit chronologically whithin the narrative story.  Since the bible is not presented as one chronological story, this often makes it confusing to understand or make secse of to some who struggle with reading it.  This course first gives you the main story of the Bible then leads you forward into reading through the Bible adding in the other books at the appropriate time in the story.  We had a fantastic time with and I enjoyed every minute of it!  I would do a Jeff Cavens study video course again without hesitation.

April: 0

May: 0

June: 1

3. Shutter Island - (2010) - (Netflix) : Hubby and I watched this while having a quiet night at home.  I've never read the book, nor have I read any Dennis LeHane books at all.  We enjoyed it, lots of twists and suspenseful.  Neither of us are huge Leonardo DiCaprio fans, but he was good in this movie.  Dh found it a bit too long, would hve liked something just under the 2 hours.  That doesn't bother me but I was expecting a final twist.  I'd already assumed the ending would be the way it did end and couldn't believe there wasn't one more twist thrown in to stun the audience, otherwise it was a fairly typical plot which has been done before. Good, not great.  However, I think this may have made a better book than movie and it has inspired me to finally getting around to read a Dennis LeHane in the near future.

July: 6

#4. The Raccoons: Vol. 2 - (1987) - (DVD) (owned) - Ds and I are going to watch some of our dvds that we plan on donating to the library.  These are ones we/he haven't watched in ages or just don't really feel the need to *own* but would like to watch once more before they go.  And if we want to watch more we can always borrow them  from the library!  This vol. contains three episodes from Season 2 of the clssic Canadian cartoon thaat ran from 1985 to 1991.  These are Episode 4 in which Cedric Sneer dams up the river to creaate his own electricity because his has been cut off due to non-payment. Episode 6 in which Melissa discovers some prehistoric cave paintings and Cedric Sneer scams to turn them into a money making tourist trap and finally, Episode 7 in which Cedric Sneer incorrectly overhears the doctor and thinks that he is dying instead of only having a cold.  With only a few days left to live the Raccoons set out to honour him in a big way.  I used to watch this with my eldest son back in the early 90s and enjoyed it at that time, but having not seen any reruns since wasn't sure wht I would think now.  This cartoon has held up amzingly well and is well known for its amazing soundtrack with some wellknown 80s singers.  The cartoon focuses on environmentalism (in a good way) and friendship.  It is not soppy such as Care Bears and Cyril is haard to really hate because his son Cedric is the Racoons best friend, and Cyril is, after all, his Dad.  Ds and I both enjoyed these ageless cartoons.  Recommended for families looking for something wholesome and non-violent, yet not gushy and sickly sweet.

#5. Osmosis Jones - (2001) - (animated/real life) - (DVD) - (own) - Ds has seen this multiple times but I however had manged to make it up to this point without ever seeing this before.  Ds enjoyed as much as he probably usually does laughing at all the toilet-type humour jokes and getting grossed-out when they went a little too far.  I'll admit to even thinking this wasn't too bad (I've seen worse).  The inside-the-body parts were even educational at times.  A science class could possibly get away with watching this as curricula.  Cute, not bad, not a movie I'd watch more than once and even though ds has seen it multiple times he is plenty fine with donating it to the library.  I was a bit tickled to recognize David Hyde Pierce's voice as the cold/flu pill as he fit the character well.

#6. Transformers- (2007) - (DVD) - (own) -This is the first movie and ds and I have both seen it more than once.  We originally saw it in the theatre and the whole family thought it was spectacular; the big screen is definately the place to watch this one for full effects.  We all went to see #2 in the theatre but I was underwhelmed, the guys liked it though and for number 3 I stayed home and the guys said it wasn't that great but they still enjoyed it.  So the best thing about this is the Transformers themselves; the special effects are fantastic and I just love every moment they are onscreen.  There is lots of humour and we laughed and had a good old time with this, not stellar, but simply fun! sci-fi/action movie.  After watching it ds decided that he did not want to donate it but would rather keep it with his movie collection for future viewing in case the desire should arise.  Rated PG-13 for the language used, needlessly coarse, but mostly the "tamer" curse words.

#7. Justice League: Secret Origins - (2002) - (DVD) - (animated) - (own) - Originally released in 2001 as the first 3 episodes of Season One of the Justice League TV Series that ran from 2001-2006.  This pilot movie introduces how the Justice League came to be with the introduction of Jo'nn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, though he's never referred by that name in these episodes.  Totalling 60 mins. we love this episode.  Neither of us has watched it since ds was much younger, but it all came back as we re-watched it. This is a good production, intense but not dark with plenty of humour.  My favourite character is Hawkgirl; I just love her weapon.  I usually love Flash but here he's portrayed mostly as a doofus who rushes into things without thinking first and an eye for the ladies, especially newcomer Princess Diana, who has not been named Wonder Woman in this episode.  The other characters are already established: Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. We will be donating this to the library; they don't have it but they do have 3 other Justice League DVD's so I'm going to ask ds if he'd like to borrow those and do a bit of a JL marathon.  He's rather contrary so who knows whether he'll agree or not!

#8. Justice League Unlimited: Saving the World - (2005) - (DVD) - (animated) - (library) - Originally released in 2004 this contains three episodes from Season One of the Justice League Unlimited (JLU) TV Series that ran from 2004-2006. It contains the pilot episode 1 "Initiation" which brings the story of how Green Arrow joined the League. Next is episode 4 "Hawk and Dove" which introduces to the audience the brotherly superteam of Hawk and Dove who join with Wonder Woman to fight against Aries the God of War and his robot "The Annihilator".  Finally, this disc ends with episode 3 "Kid Stuff" which has founding members Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman turned into kids to battle against Mordred after he has removed all adults from the world.  This was great!  Ds and I both loved it.  It's a more polished and slightly more mature series than the one we watched previously.  This one is rated PG, while yesterday's was G.  JLU contains like 50 superheroes and each episode features a few characters sent off by J'onn J'onzz (the leader) to go on a mission.  We both thought "Kid Stuff" was funny bought agreed that the first episode "Initiation" was the best of the three.  We have another JL DVD out from the library so our marathon continues ...

 #9. Justice League: The New Frontier - (2008) - (DVD) - (animated) - (library) - This 75 minute original movie is based on the graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke which is a re-imagining of the origins of the Justice League in a post Korean War 1950s. Even though produced in 2008 the animation style is more old school than the previous JL movies we've watched. This is also the most mature one we've watched to date being rated PG-13 for alien violence, off screen human violence and the use of the word "s.o.b." twice. There is quite a bit of blood and heads are either chopped off or explode. I really enjoyed the story here and so did ds, though he took a bit to get into it as he found the beginning slow. I didn't though. An intense story line that has the superheroes saving the world from a dark force called "The Centre". In this movie we get to see the origins of Hal Jordan's Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz, though, he only goes by the name of John Jones, or the Martian, here. Lots of famous actors doing the voices such as David Boreanaz, Lucy Lawless and Neil Patrick Harris. While the other JLs have been good cartoons this one really merits the status of a good movie. Highly enjoyed by both of us. This DVD version also includes a special feature documentary on the history of the Justice League from it's origins in the 1930s to the present (well 2008). Very entertaining and interesting! I enjoyed commentary by Mark Waid as he is one of my favourite GN writers. We have also found that we both are finding ourselves interested in Green Lantern. Ds is asking me questions about him and he is one superhero I never really read before, so we are learning about him together. We do both prefer the John Stewart Green Lantern we've seen so far much more than this more old-fashioned GL. Off to the library to pick up our last JL DVD to end our marathon...

August:  5

#10. Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths - (2010) - (DVD) - (animated) - (library) - Another star-studded cat shows up in this 75 minuted animated movie with voices by like likes of William Baldwin, Mark Harmen, Gina Torres, Chris Noth and James Woods.  The movie starts off with an action/battle scene and never really lets up to the end.  Here we have two alternate earths where the second earth is populated with a Justice League of heroes who are the counterpoint of our Earth's villains, we meet Lex Luther the only remaining member and The Jester just before his demise.  The Criminal Syndicate is taking over this alternate Earth and they are counter points of the JL on Earth: Superman has Ultraman, The Flash has Johnny Quick, Batman has Owl Man, Green Lamtern has Power Ring, ut the most vicious villain is Superwoman, who easily takes down anyone including Superman.  DS enjoyed this one immensely; he thought it was a great superhero story and has said it his favourite of our Justice League marathon.  My favourite was yesterday's The New Frontier.  The animation is back to the slick, smooth modern style.  This movie is rated PG-13 but compared to The New Frontier could have got away with a PG.  Yes, there is violence, but only so far as cartoon violence usually goes, punch ups and beat-up bad guys.  Killing is not the objective here.  As to language, I only recall one "damn", again much tamer than the previous movie.  Good movie, we've certainly had fun with the Justice League.  Ds goes to camp next week so we'll be taking a break from movies.

#11. The Amazing Panda Adventure - (1995) - (DVD) - (own) - This DVD collection features four films with the theme "boy and animal".  We have never seen this movie before.  The cinematography of China is fantastic, even the 12yo appreciated it.  I expressed my desire that I've always wanted to visit China but ds said he would not because they speak a different language there and he felt a little more interested in the idea when I told him that many people there speak English and he could always learn some Chinese too before he visited, if he ever went.  The pandas are absolutely gorgeous, especially at the beginning when they use real footage of real panda's but as the movie progresses and the children interact with the baby panda, a robot or puppet of some sort or combination is used and it is pretty fake looking.  The story itself is pretty dull.  They all have to rescue a baby panda from a bumbling duo of poachers.  Plenty of action though, the kids have a knack for surviving the rapids and going over waterfalls, even when one of them can't swim! I did appreciate that the boy/girl relationship did not degenerate into a romantic-type of deal; they did not like each other at first and by the end they appreciated each other though their friendship was still tentative.  An ok movie.  None of the actors are exactly famous.  Though the main adult lead is recognizable by face if not by name. He's the idiot Colonel in "Avatar" and I recognized him from "The Men Who Stare At Goats" In conclusion, nothing much.  Good for scenes of China and pandas.  Ds did enjoy it much more than me though.  He thought it was really cute.  Rated PG. I don't remember why, there must have been a few of the mild curse words.

#12. Flipper - (1963) - (DVD) - (own) - This DVD collection features four films with the theme "boy and animal".  We have never seen this movie before.  I'm actually surprised that I haven't seen this but there you go; I haven't ever seen the TV series or any of the various remakes either.  The movie does show its age both in positive and negative ways.  The stereotypical roles of male and female, but also the freedom and responsibilities of the 12-year-old.  The first comment my son made was the question "When is this supposed to be happening?" to which I replied "about the late 1950s".  The dolphin footage was wonderful, even if they used some of it over and over again.  I think this would have been a fairly "exciting" concept at this point in time.  Ds enjoyed these parts the best.  His next comment about half way through the movie was, "This isn't much of an adventure is it?" and with that he sums up the movie.  It is a pleasant diversion but in all reality, quite boring.  The daily interactions of the boy and the dolphin as they fall in love, the stress of the father making him get rid of it, the dolphin ends up saving his life but all of this is taken in its stride.  There is no great suspenseful climax or anything and the cheesy theme song is annoying, but if you like 50s commercial ditties it might be your thing.  So, we were pleasantly diverted for an hour and a half while we watched the movie but wouldn't recommend it or ever watch it again.  Not exactly bad, but not exactly good either.  The DVD had a bonus feature of a Tom and Jerry cartoon from the late 1940s which we watched and enjoyed extremely. I love the old T&J because neither of them win.  First Tom will get Jerry, then Jerry will get Tom and so on until the end where they are both a little worse for the wear.  I forget the title of this one but in keeping with the "Flipper" theme it took place on the beach and was 7 mins. long.

#13. Shiloh - (1996) - (DVD) - (own) - This DVD collection features four films with the theme "boy and animal". This movie is based on the novel by Phyllis Naylor Reynolds which won the Newbery Award and is the first in a trilogy.  I believe all three books have all been turned into movies as well.  I have not read the book, yet, but will someday as reading all the Newbery winners is one of my projects on the go.  This is your typical pull-at-the-heart-strings dog movie.  I don't like dogs, in real life.  In a movie or in a book, I'm far enough away from the things I don't like to appreciate them as a character and I've certainly read my fair share of dog books though I do tend to stay away from dog movies.  All that aside, this was a nice little movie.  The Beagle of course is cute and the movie continuously is pulling at the watcher's emotions.  My son thought it was unreal that a human could be so mean to an animal nor was he impressed with the boys father's strictness.  Ds is terrified of dogs in real life (for no particular reason; it's just a quirk of his autism) so he didn't have any emotional response to the movie at all.  But he sat there quietly watching the whole thing and I can tell he enjoyed it though when asked he said "There was no adventure!" I enjoyed the movie, despite it not being my type of thing, the young actors played their roles very well. A good family movie that will (normally) pull at the emotions but everyone can rest at ease that this is no dead-dog movie.

#14. Duma- (2005) - (DVD) - (own) - This DVD collection features four films with the theme "boy and animal".  Of all the movies on this collection, this is the only one I had previously seen; on TV and not straight from the beginning.  I told my son I'd seen this one so of course he choose it as the last movie for us to watch. LOL. Duma is one of the best nature movies you will ever see.  This is a genuine film, set in South Africa about an abandoned cheetah that is taken in by a farmer's family and raised to become the beloved pet of Xan the 12 year old boy.  They start off knowing that they will return him to the wild when the time comes, before it is too late.  Many things happen and the boy ends up running away from home with the cheetah going across the country to return the cheetah to where they found him by himself.  This is his adventure.  A very realistic movie with fantastic cinematography of Africa: the desert, the grasslands, the farmland.  This movie also pulls at your heartstrings, though neither autistic son nor I were too emotionally invested, except that we loved the cheetah, Duma.  This is fantastic family fare and highly recommended but adults will enjoy this without any kids as well.

After watching all of the movies, ds is refusing to donate the DVD to the library.  So we will be hanging on to it for the time being.  In order our favourite movies were:

12yo ds: Duma>The Amazing Panda Adventure>Shiloh>Flipper

Me the Mum: Duma>Shiloh>Flipper>The Amazing Panda Adventure

September: 3

#15.  Ewoks: The Battle for Endor - (1985) - (DVD) - (Made for TV) - (own) - This is a VHS transferred to DVD copy that I own.  This was a sequel to Ewoks Adventures: Caravan of Courage, available at the above link as both movies are sold together as a set.  I remember watching these movies when they came on TV and they are especially aimed at children and those who just loved the adorable Ewoks after "Return of the Jedi" came out.  I always wanted an Ewok doll but never got one :-( This sequel starts off with the little girl being orphaned and taken under the wing of Wicket the Ewok, they meet the strange but adorable creature called Teek who has "sonic" speed as my son described it.  Of course there are bad guys after them, kind of a lord-of-the-rings-type of deal as far as the plot goes.  DS and I both enjoyed the movie very much.  The special effects are what you would expect from '80s TV (not the Star Wars movies) and that's why these movies get bad ratings.  There are some stop-animation Ray Harryhasuen-inspired creatures and action scenes that were fun to watch.  Aside from the little girl the main character actor in this film is Wilford Grimley and I used to love that man in anything.  Perhaps because I didn't have a grandfather growing up, he always seemed to me to be the quintessential Grampa.  I remember him in an old TV show from the '80s where he was the grandfather and from the Quaker Oats commercials.  This was a feel good movie for me.  Ds enjoyed because of all the action and yet it wasn't too scary for him.  He particularly liked Teek, whom he compared to his favourite video game character "Sonic".  This is a great '80s TV Movie and good family watching!

#16. Ewoks: Caravan of Courage orig. title The Ewok Adventure - (1984) - (DVD) - (Made for TV) - (ILL) - After watching the sequel to this, which we own at home, we thought we would try ILL and see if we could come up with the first original made for TV movie since it too had received an Emmy. This movie however we found rather tiresome. After the initial sequences in which the children are separated from the parents and we get to see some huge special effects creatures, the movie really slows down. The brother's character really bothered me. He doesn't trust the Ewoks at first, calls them names, then suddenly he's ok with them, but he continues to have an attitude the entire film. Cindel's main purpose seems to be to stand around and look pathetic. Which she is very good at doing. Anyway nothing of significance happens as they look for their parents except a few comic moments with the Ewoks, until the big scene at the end where everyone is reunited. Ds was bored with the movie and I was glad when it was over. The sequel is much better.

17. Grown Ups - (2010) - (Netflix) - The story of about four dads and their still bachelor friend who come together for the funereal of their high school.  Someone who made a difference in their lives back then, someone who believed in them, and challenged them to be all they could be.  Fast forward 30 years and Coach would be proud of no-one.  Only one of them made it big financially, but he's created snobbish, self-indulgent children.  The others aren't all that proud of their stay-in-the-house all the time kids either.  So they gather their families together and go stay at a lakehouse where they used to party as teens and try to re-connect with their life, lost ambitions and their families, as they remember Coach.  The movie is actually a comedy but not my usual type of thing.  I do however like Adam Sandler (one of the very few comic actors I like) so often enjoy his movies.  It also has a star-studded cast with co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, (a subdued) Rob Schneider and Salma Hayek.  This one had a few funny moments but I didn't really find the movie as a whole all that funny.  I wouldn't watch it again.  Hubby and I watched this together and this was his pick.  Next time I get to choose!!!

October:  6

#18. Gunga Din- (1939) - (DVD) - (library) - This is one of my all time favourite movies.  I have watched it numerous times.  Recently I read a graphic adaptation of the Kipling poem and it gave me a desire to see the movie again.  I am a fan of the poem itself and Cary Grant is my ultimate favourite actor ever.  This is a classic movie and before I borrowed it from the library I checked to see if there was a Criterion DVD as I would have bought a copy if there was but, alas, there are no deluxe editions available.  However, this copy does have a couple of extra perks.  My son watched the movie with me and he really enjoyed it. He is not a fan of b/w, does not understand it but I warned him beforehand and told him it was an adventure/comedy so he was game.  Well, it was a big hit with him, I am pleased to say.  He laughed at Grant's antics, loved the fisticuffs and battle scenes and had to leave the room at the climax when the tension got too much for him. (He's very sensitive that way).  On top of all that at the end he started to talk about Gunga Din, the character, and I was able to ask him questions and he explained on his own the significance of why this minor character is the most important part of the movie.  I was very proud of him.  Anyway, the movie is very poignant and though there are people who can't get past the 1939 representation of British colonialism, if you watch the movie past the halfway point you will see how powerful the dialogue is at times.  It is portraying an attitude, while at the same time being very much  against that attitude.  It is done with subtlety and is a compelling movie.  One of the best of all time, imho!!  The extras on this DVD include an ancient b/w Porky Pig cartoon, The Film Fan, and a short "Making of" documentary with some excellent footage of the director's home movies made while filming, and interviews with his son and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. himself!

#19. Batman: The Animated Series: The Legend Begins- (1992) - (DVD) - (animated) - (own) - This includes five random episodes from season 1 of the series.  They are not in any particular order and the placement of one episode in particular is confusing.  First off, though, I absolutely love this series!!  I watched it on TV when it was originally on air/in re-runs with my oldest son.  And I'll say I enjoyed watching this much more than the 12yo.  This Batman is dark, speaks in the deep monotone voice and people obviously die (though it's not shown).  The atmosphere is a very 1940s gangster movie setting.  The cars, clothes, phones, slang, etc. are from this era and yet nothing from the modern day (1992) is missing so the time is irrelevant.  It really appeals to me and I just love the animation here.  This disc contains: Episode 2 "On Leather Wings" featuring a mad scientist and my favourite on the whole disc; Episode 38 "Christmas with the Joker", this one is terribly out of place because it includes Robin and he hasn't been introduced yet nor does he appear in any of the other episodes on the disc; Episode 10 "Nothing to Fear" featuring The Scarecrow, another good episode; Episode 15 "The Last Laugh" once again featuring the Joker; and finally Episode 9 "Pretty Poison" featuring, you guessed it, Poison Ivy, my second favourite episode of the disc.  Poison Ivy is one of my favourite Batman villains and I absolutely hate the Joker. A good disc for an introduction to the series or a stocking stuffer but there is no need to get these one-offs as the complete series is available on DVD.  We will be donating this to our library.

#20.  Batman: The Animated Series: Tales of the Dark Knight- (1992) - (DVD) - (animated) - (own) - Instead of repeating myself on how much I love this animated version of Batman,  you can read my thoughts on our viewing the first DVD in this set above.  This is the second disc in the one-off series of random episodes from the show.  It also has a very short documentary on how voices are chosen and done for animation.  Warner is particularly proud of their attention to detail and not using stock sound effects.  This one features 4 episodes from season one in random order but there are no continuity issues with their placement.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and did my son who was a little reluctant to donate it to the library.  But he had decided ages ago he didn't want it anymore, and he did donate the previous one we watched; in the end he decided to donate.

The four stories included here are:  Episode 27: The Underdwellers featuring The Sewer King.  Batman goes back to roots here and fights against a simple evil of a man who is exploiting runaways and street children.  Episode 13: P.O.V. (my favourite of the four) this one does not include any villains.  After a drug sting operation turns sour, with Batman's presence   The three main officers involved are put into interrogation  Bullock & Montoya regulars of the series and a rookie) each tell the events from their own point of view.  Episode 23: The Forgotten which I actually remember watching on tv!  Bruce Wayne goes down to the docks, disguised as a workman, to investigate the mysterious disappearances of homeless people and dockworkers.  He ends up being boinked over the head and comes to in an enforced labour camp headed by a most repugnant fat man.  Wayne's problem is that when he wakes up he finds that the bump on the head created amnesia.  A great episode, quite intense, but of course ends up quite alright in the end.  And finally, Episode 11: Be a Clown, Doesn't take much to figure who the villain is in this one!  The mayor, who hates Batman and Joker on the same level, has a self-centred birthday party or his son, Jordan, who would just like to be a magician.  All the prominent citizens are present with their children when a clown magician arrives, entertains, creates diversions, and then tries to blow up the party.  Bruce Wayne saves the day, but that's when we find that Jordan has run away and is know under the control of The Joker.  Batman to the Rescue!!

#21. Lassie Come Home - (1943) - (DVD) - (Technicolor) - (own) - Well, I had no idea how this movie was going to go over.  I asked ds if he knew who Lassie was, and he said "no".  So I told him everybody had to know who Lassie was and showed him the Triple Feature DVD we have.  He was set to watch it and we had a grand time watching this oldie but goodie.  Filled with a stellar cast, the acting is excellent.  Elizabeth's part is quite small in this movie and I think she had the same wardrobe the entire movie.  It is Roddy McDowell who shines as the main character of Lassie's boy owner. Also included are Elsa Lancaster, Nigel Bruce, and J. Pat O'Malley along with others not so well known still today.  Another surprising thing that happened with this movie was that dh came into the room, first stood, then moved to the arm of the couch, and finally ended up in a chair; and watched the whole thing with us.  Supposedly a tear-jerker, we all managed to stay dry-eyed and slipped into a fit of giggles remembering some of the more over dramatic scenes.  An excellent story that still appeals over time, as the story of a boy who must give up a beloved pet and the incredible story of a pet's determined will of survival to make it back home to him.

#22. Son of Lassie - (1945) - (DVD) - (Technicolor) - (own) - Two years later the sequel to Lassie Come Home was made, but now the little children have grown up.  Well, sort of ... they are supposed to be 17 but Lawford is actually 23 and Lockhart 21, though she looks the older.  Taking on Roddy McDowell's part as Joe, owner of Laddie & Lassie is the handsome Peter Lawford and taking over for Elizabeth Taylor as Priscilla who is madly in love with Joe is June Lockhart an unbelievable replacement for the character.  This is Lawford at his best.  Usually he plays the debonair Englishman in suits, sipping a drink in the parlour as part of the Rat Pack, but here in Son of Lassie he is an energetic, outdoorsy youth trapped in Norway (which is actually Banff. I recognized Lake Louise!) during WWII who undergoes a trek of survival to make it back to England alive with his dog who traipsed across the country searching him out.  Nigel Bruce and Donald Crisp reprise their roles as father and grandfather respectfully.  I enjoyed the movie once the action moved to active war duty.  Prior to that the soppy romantic angle was hard to watch.  I'm not a fan of Lockhart and it is so obvious that Lawford's character loves the dog way more than the girl that she comes off as begging him to love her.  Peter Lawford is gorgeous and I did enjoy him best about this movie.

Ds really enjoyed this.  This type of action is right up his alley   He can't take suspense or gross stuff very well and these old movies are just the thing for him.  He loved all the spying and dangerous situations Joe got himself into, he really enjoyed the war aspect, having bad guy Germans to root against and thought Laddie was cool, even though he doesn't like dogs in real life.  He enjoyed the movie way more than I did.  After the movie we were treated to an old Tom & Jerry cartoon called "Flirty Birdy".  I don't like the newer T&J where Jerry always gets the upperhand but love these old ones.

23. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - (1920) - (DVD) - (B&W/Silent) - (ILL) - After reading a graphic novel adaptation of this recently it spurred me on to wanting to re-watch this movie which I've only ever seen once before, somewhere in my twenties I would think.  I had to place an Inter-Library Loan and received a copy which included three other movies called "cult classics".  At only 52 mins. this is a short movie but certainly a classic.  I cuddled up in bed and watched this on the laptop by myself.  The story is phenominal and one can only imagine how it thrilled audiences at the time.  There is the creepy aspect of the sideshow somnambulist, the use of this word alone sounds eerie, of course it only means sleepwalker; but in the film it seems to mean someone who sleeps all the time and when awake is still in a sleeping state.  However brief, there is the story of best friends being in love with the same woman, there is an ongoing murder mystery, the mad scientist/doctor is thrown in for good measure and finally when you think it is all over, a twist ending leaves one re-examining what one has just seen.  Brilliant really how so much story has been condensed into actions, body language, facial epressions and occassional snippets of text!  I really love this movie.  The first viewing of Cesare, the somnambulist, is held off as long as possible and is quite a spectacular moment.  It must have been quite frightening to 1920s audiences.  The style of this movie is called German Expressionism.  Now I don't know what that means and I'm not about to look it up but obviously it has to do with the un-realness of the set designs.  Everything is presented on a slant, shadows and trees are painted on the background and some of these turn into doors.  There are only a handful of stages which are re-used over and over again for different scenes, sometimes slightly changed but always recognizable.  There is abstract art painted on backdrops and the whole over all affect is very surreal nd otherworldly.  The only thing I can think to compare it to, is a Salvadore Dali painting without colour.  If you are into dark, gothic stories this is certainly a must see.  I highly enjoy it and it deserves to be on all the "movies you must watch" lists.

Now this DVD also contains Nosferatu, so I plan on watching it next.  I had no intentions, but since it is on the DVD, I might aswell.  I have seen it before around the same time I first watched "Caligari".  I was doing the whole silent movie thing back then :-)  ETA: Couldn't be bothered to watch Nosferatu at this time.

November: 5

24. The 13th Day - (2009) - (DVD) -  (partial B/W) - (own) - (watched at friend's house) - At a gathering at a friend's house, five adults joined together for a movie night.  This is the first movie we watched.  I've been wanting to watch this for some time.  I know the whole story of Fatima so was familiar with the topic.  This movie is a British production filmed on site with many local (Portuguese) actors and is what I would call an "artistic" movie, "avant garde".  Set in 1917, the movie is filmed in black & white but makes artistic use of colour.  For example there is a scene where blood flows and is shown in red.  All the visions are in true colour as is the miracle of the "dancing sun".  The movie tells the whole story focusing on Lucia telling her story backwards near the end of her life.  It also focuses heavily on the disbelief the children faced from their own mother outwards and the hostile reaction from the so-called government which was in a turmoil at that time being in somewhat of a revolution, an atmosphere of civil war and the Church had been banned socially.  An inspiring true story of a Marian apparition, healings, prophecy that has since been realized and the true courage of three children who persevered persecution in the name of Christ.  The movie was enjoyed immensely by all.  A keeper for my collection.

25. The Song of Bernadette - (1943) - (DVD) - (B/W) - (watched at friend's house) - This is the second movie we watched that evening and my favourite of the two.  This movie was the winner of four Oscars including Best Actress for Jennifer Jones who played the titular character, Saint Bernadette.  This was her first starring role and the acting is magnificent.  I really appreciated this movie as though, of course, I knew about Lourdes, I did not know the full story behind the apparitions or much about Bernadette.  This is probably one of the best religious movies to come out of Hollywood.  They don't make sympathetic movies like this today, and for the time it was made it was not overly sentimental or didactic at all.  A truly excellent historical period piece.  There are a couple of well-known actors from the day in the movie but the only name that will ring true with most viewers of today is Vincent Price.  He had a well-played role as the villain, a government prosecutor who wanted Bernadette disproved.  It was through one of the guests that evening, a movie buff and catholic history expert, that I learned that Price was a Catholic himself and didn't particularly enjoy playing this role because of his beliefs.  Price is one of my favourite actors and I do love his roles and acting before he was type-cast as the prince of horror films.  They show what an accomplished actor he was, though I *do* love all his horror movies too!  A fantastic movie that again, we all thoroughly enjoyed!

#26. Courage of Lassie - (1946) - (DVD) - (Technicolor) - (own) - Ds and I finished off watching this Triple Feature DVD by watching the last movie on Remembrance Day which ended up being a war movie, like its predecessor, unbeknownst to us.  We both enjoyed the movie, though nowhere near as much as the previous two.  I thought this was very corny in parts and there were continuity issues that I picked up on right away that made me laugh when I shouldn't have been.  Ds just wasn't that thrilled with the first half since it was all about Elizabeth Taylor and her dog Bill.  No adventure, according to him.  However, the last half of the movie picks up when Bill is injured in a car accident, taken from home, sent to War Dog Training and sees active duty in Europe.  Bill comes home "shell-shocked" and the movie waxes on about how we can expect the returning soldiers to need this type of recovery once they are home too.  This movie has nothing to do with "Lassie" except that the same dog "Pal" plays the part of the collie in both this and the previous movie.  Also Elizabeth Taylor is in both this and the first Lassie movie, though playing completely unrelated parts.  There are no other famous people in the movie but Frank Morgan, most known as the Wizard of Oz in the movie of the same name and Alfalfa of "Little Rascals" fame makes a brief appearance as a "youth".  A decent movie but not up to par with the first two which were excellent.

The bonus features here provided us with two cartoons from 1946.  First "Northwest Hounded Police" starring Droopy Dog and then another Tom & Jerry in "Solid Serenade".  Ds absolutely loved the first one, laughing his head off the entire way through, he wasn't very impressed with the T&J, but I liked it because of the song "Is she Is or Is she Ain't My Baby?"

27. The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven - 2010 - DVD - TV Documentary - Watched at friend's house - Absolutely inspiring! A small group of us watched this and cried and rejoiced. The boy was almost decapitated and survived at 6 years old, is paralyzed from the neck down now but his life is amazing. He went to heaven while he was in a coma and describes that experience so beautifully. His family accept the miracle in their lives and of Alex's journey but they don't make it the focus of Alex's life. They have other children and try to lead as normal a life as possible. It is an amazing story of the community's outreach to the family in their time of need, the response of other Christians in the emergency/police/medical field during this horrific time and the grace of God at work in a family's life making a tragedy become the positive turning point in all their lives. Twelve year old Alex was so impressive, he is so genuine and the face of Jesus just shines through him. An amazing story and must watch. It really gives you a perspective on your own life.

28. Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol - 1962 - DVD - Animated - Made for TV - Watched at friend's house - This is the second movie we watched last night. Something lighthearted after the dramatic heaven movie. I remember watching this on TV as a kid; my Dad loved Mr. Magoo and of course, to me, it was Mr. Howell doing the voice. I didn't really remember much of this version going in, it must be ages since I've seen it now. It is a pretty straightforward retelling of the Dickens' story, only it is set as a play within the movie. Mr. Magoo is an actor and plays the part of Scrooge in the musical play. The whole story is there except they left off the bits about Scrooge's nephew and for some reason Christmas Present visits first, then Past and To-Be. The songs are delightful, very Broadway-ish and the song that is repeated "The Lord's Bright Blessing" is a wonderful Christmas Carol. A wonderful, feel-good, true meaning of Christmas movie. Recommended!


29. Catholicism: The Journey of a Lifetime - (2011) - (DVD) - (Boxed Set) - (own) - (watched at weekly "class" put on by Mt. Carmel) - I own this set but did not watch my copy as a 10-week class was put on at the local Mt. Carmel by a priest who occasionally presides at our church.  A 5 disc-10 episode documentary program.  This was absolutely amazing! Father Barron is just one of the absolute best teachers of current times, comparable to a 21st century Fulton Sheen imho.  The whole series covers the history of the church, saints, theology and why and what the faith is and why it matters.  From episodes on Who is Jesus, Who is God, Who is Mary, to Hell, Purgatory, the Saints, the Sacraments and my favourite episode on the Eucharist, Barron imparts knowledge and information with pure joy.  A must watch for all Catholics!!  However the show has purposely been made accessible to people of all or no faiths.  This is not a preachy, evangelical or conversion program.  It is historical and information, filmed around the world in all the great cities and filled with art from throughout the ages.  Anyone interested in history or finding out about Catholicism from someone who speaks frankly will enjoy this.

#30. Skyfall - (2012) - (theatre)  - It was cheapie Thursday and a friend called and asked if I wanted to take in a movie.  So, since this was rated PG, ds and I took her up on the invitation and had a splendid time with the new James Bond movie.  I don't really have a lot to say, you get what you expect from a James Bond movie.  I like the new direction these movies have.  It is sad though to see new actors taking over the old roles but well, people die, time moves on and things must change.  However, Daniel Craig is a very good Bond.  My only complaints not enough gizmos/gadgets from Q, that is always a fun part and the opening sequence has got to return in the next movie; it just HAS to.  I missed it.  I also enjoyed the title song "Skyfall" by Adele.

#31. Rise of the Guardians - (2012) - (movie theatre) - It is a tradition for us to go see a family movie on Christmas Day.  This year dh works so we went on Christmas Eve Day.  There were plenty of movies to choose from this year but ds and I have been reading the William Joyce Guardian books since the first one came out so we have planned to see this movie all along and had hoped it would work out to be our Christmas movie.  I'm not really going to say to much about it.  For the movie itself, I thought it was ok.  An enjoyable kid fantasy, better than a lot of stuff over the last years.  Ds enjoyed it very much as a movie.  The two men with us were pretty much bored, though they did laugh from time to time.  As to how the movie compared to the books?  It didn't.  It didn't have anything to do with the books.  AT ALL.  Not even the same plot.  Some of the same characters, sort of. If you change their names and personalities, and want to call them the same characters.  The movie has nothing to do with the books.  Enjoy them entirely separately from each other.  The books are far, far better and really the movie just can't be compared since they have nothing to do with each other.  Movie - Okay, for what it was.


  1. Wow! You definitely have a busy year ahead of you, I am currently watching my first film of the year....Fiddler on the Roof to be followed by Paint Your Wagon :) Have a great 2012.

  2. I never have seen Fiddler on the Roof! But I've seen Paint Your Wagon more than once. Used to love the old musicals growing up!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts