New Year ‘To Watch’ List

I was checking out Bob’s A Year of Favourites on Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind and I found myself chuckling at his 5th New Year Resolution to “See more of those unwatched DVD’s hanging around the house”. However, despite Bob’s claim that “no one ever does anything about it” I felt an overwhelming urge to tackle the problem head on.

Unfortunately, I have a grand total of 248 DVD’s that I have yet to watch and the list is continually growing so to complete the task would be nigh on impossible. My idea, to help me set off on the right foot, is to open up my list to the general public for a bit of inspiration.

I want people’s thoughts on which films I should prioritize and which films I should resign to the dusty bowels of my DVD collection (some of these are obvious – I blame cheap boxsets). I’d like reasons why too (that you’d like to see it reviewed on Row Three would be a good one).

And yes, I noticed John Allison did something similar back in May 09, but I want to use my list as a tool to start a bit of a discussion, whereas John’s list unfortunately went by with not a comment to it’s name.

DVD’s in my collection that I have never seen

À Bout de Souffle
A Private Function
Alphaville
An Inconvenient Truth
Andrei Rublev
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Autumn Sonata
Babel
Battleship Potemkin
Before Sunrise
Before Sunset
Behind Enemy Lines
Black Narcissus
Black Sabbath
Breezy
Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Brighton Rock
Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth
Cabaret
Candyman
Capturing The Friedmans
Carlito’s Way
Casshern
Chocolate
Cinema Paradiso
Coogan’s Bluff
Corpse Bride
Crank
Croupier
Death Duel
Death Proof
Détective
Doom
Dragon From Russia
Dune
Early Summer
Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41
Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion: Beast Stable
First Blood
Fist of Fury II
Flaming Lips: The Fearless Freaks
Gates of Heaven
Gilda
Ginger Snaps
Graduation Day
Gran Torino
Great Expectations
Hand Of Death
Hard Target
Helas Pour Moi
Hellboy: Blood and Iron
Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
How To Get Ahead In Advertising
Ice Age 2: the Meltdown
Ice Cold In Alex
In Bruges
Inglourious Basterds
Jarhead
Jesus Camp
Joe Kidd
Judgement At Nuremberg
Jules Et Jim
Junebug
Kill, Baby… Kill!
Killer’s Kiss
King Boxer
Knives of the Avenger
Kung Fu Panda
Land Of The Dead
Last Metro
Le Mepris
Le Petit Soldat
Let the Right One In
Lethal Weapon
Limelight
Little Children
Lust, Caution
Made in U.S.A.
Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey (seen 2 of 7)
Master With Cracked Fingers
McCabe And Mrs. Miller
Metropolitan
Moby Dick (1956)
Mona Lisa
Monkey Business
Moon
Naked Kiss
Ninja Squad
Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell
Opening Night
Passion (1982)
Peau douce, La
Persona
Pierrot le fou
Planet Terror
Play Misty For Me
Predator 2
Prenom Carmen
Pride And Prejudice (2005)
Purple Storm
Rambo (2008)
Rambo III
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Reds
Road to God Knows Where
Rumble In Hong Kong
Sabotage (1936)
Short Cuts
Silent Running
Skinny Tiger And Fatty Dragon
Sling Blade
Spellbound (1945)
Syriana
The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
The 400 Blows
The Age Of Innocence
The Barefoot Contessa
The Beguiled
The Buster Keaton Chronicles (various shorts and features – seen several)
The Crying Game
The Darjeeling Limited
The Detonator
The Dirty Dozen
The Eiger Sanction
The Exterminating Angel
The Fabulous Baker Boys
The Fly
The Fly 2
The Foreigner
The Good The Bad and The Weird
The Great Dictator
The Heroes of Telemark
The Hitcher (2007)
The Holiday
The Ipcress File
The Killers
The Killing
The Killing Fields
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
The Last Emperor
The Lives of Others
The Misfits
The Missouri Breaks
The Naked Island
The Skeleton Key
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
The Transporter
The Unforgiven (1960)
The Vikings
The Walker
Through a Glass Darkly
Tokyo Story
Trilogy – Three
Troy
Two Mules For Sister Sarah
Une Femme Est Une Femme
United 93
Unknown Pleasures
Vengeance is Mine
Viridiana
Wanted
Wild Strawberries
Young And Innocent
Zero de Conduite

Unwatched DVD’s in my collection that I have previously seen on another format

12 Angry Men
12 Monkeys
A Fish Called Wanda
A History Of Violence
About Schmidt
Alien: Resurrection
Apocalypse Now
Apollo 13
Atonement
Backdraft
Bad Boys
Batman
Boogie Nights
Born On The Fourth Of July
Brief Encounter
Children of Men
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Die Hard With a Vengeance
Don’t Look Now
Dreamgirls
For Your Eyes Only
Full Metal Jacket
Goldeneye
Goldfinger
Hard Boiled
Hardware
HeatHigh Plains Drifter
Highlander
His Girl Friday
Howl’s Moving Castle
Hulk
Hunger
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Key Largo
Kill Bill: Volume 1
Kind Hearts And Coronets
Knife In The Water
Kung Fu Hustle
Lady Vanishes
Lawrence Of Arabia
Lifeboat
Mad Max 2 – The Road Warrior
March Of The Penguins
Mash
Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World
A Matter Of Life And Death
Minority Report
Mission Impossible
Mission Impossible 2
Mission Impossible 3
Moon Warriors
No Country for Old Men
Pan’s Labyrinth
Paths Of Glory
Rebecca
Red Dragon
Requiem For A Dream
Reservoir Dogs
Spartacus
Superman (1978)
Ten Dead Men
The 39 Steps (1935)
The Big Sleep
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Dark Crystal
The Haunting (1963)
The Last King of Scotland
The Magnificent Seven
The Opposite Of Sex
The Orphanage
The Searchers
The Squid and the Whale
The Untouchables
The Wild Bunch
The Wrestler
There Will Be Blood
Thin Red Line
Titanic (1997)
Toy Story
True Lies
Unforgiven
Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

David Brook
RowThree's UK correspondent.

27 Comments

  1. Wow, you've got a lot of great filmwatching in store! I'll have to go through your list more carefully when I get home to pick specific ones. But I'd vote all the Godard ones first. 🙂 But I am biased.

    Reply
  2. You have these and haven't watched them?!?!?! Get thee to a DVD player and see Moon, In Bruges, Let the Right One In and Junebug. You may want to watch Silent Running after seeing Moon. Enjoy!!!! BTW I loved The Darjeeling Limited, not everyone felt the same.

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  3. Moon is easily one of my favorite of the year. You could start just about anywhere in your collection and it'd be a good start. I'd throw Wild Strawberries out there though as my recommendation. Shook me up watching it. Also, I think you own more unwatched DVDs than I own DVDs total. Impressive.

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  4. Someone read my blog! WooHoo! Thanks Dave…B-)

    Looks like you'll have a good year ahead. If you really apply yourself, you could get through them all you know…

    Faves from your unwatched list:

    Anvil! The Story of Anvil – More fun than headbanging, more emotional than a power ballad, warmer than molten steel…And a story arc that follows This Is Spinal closer than you might think. Do you need more?

    Battleship Potemkin – The Odessa Steps sequence is really as great as I had imagined. Now put it into the context of when the film was made and it's extraordinary.

    Before Sunrise

    Before Sunset – Two people talking for about 3 hours (across both movies) through some gorgeous scenery. You'll wish it was longer.

    Black Narcissus – The Archers do technicolor better than just about anyone and merge it with melodrama perfectly.

    Black Sabbath – Bava.

    Capturing The Friedmans – There's a moment in this film that made me say "Oh shit!" out loud in the theatre when I saw it originally. I wasn't the only one.

    Female Convict Scorpion – I've only seen 2 of the 4 from the series (the other two are in my own stack), but Meiko Kaji just rules. She rarely speaks and doesn't have to. She'll kill you with a stare. See also these series: Lady Snowblood, Wandering Ginza Butterfly, Stray Cat Rock

    Ginger Snaps – Because you will love it.

    Kill, Baby… Kill! – Bava.

    Let the Right One In – Yeah, it's really pretty much as good as everyone says it is. You can look at it in so many different ways as well.

    Little Children – Just because it's SO beloved by everyone at RowThree…except for me. I like it well enough and I know I'm just not "getting" the narrator, but there might as well be one more person against me.

    Persona – Any of the Bergmans on your list. This is my fave, but you can't go wrong.

    Short Cuts – You should watch this along with Nashville and Magnolia. 9 hours and about 5000 different characters. It would be great.

    The 400 Blows – I put off seeing this for years. I knew the famous final shot and just figured that whatever led up to it would amount to a shrug. Wrong.

    The Buster Keaton Chronicles (various shorts and features – seen several) – I adore Keaton. Best physical comedian ever.

    The Darjeeling Limited – What Linda said.

    The Killing – Just a plain great Noir heist film.

    And from your previously watched list: the classics –> 12 Angry Men, His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep. Each gets better every time you watch I think.

    You've got a bunch I'd be curious about too. "Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell"? Oh yeah. Sign me up.

    I'd skip any re-watches of Heat, the Mission Impossible films or True Lies (I cringe whenever I think of Jamie Lee Curtis' striptease for Schwarzenegger – embarassingly bad).

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  5. That, is a fantastic collection. There's more than a few in there on my to watch list (like Moon, Black, Narcissus, Little Children and United 93). I'll comment on a few.

    Let the Right One In: Watch this as soon as you can. But beware the North American DVD, it seems to think you want the dubbed audio. The original performances are (as might be expected) far more compelling. I got fairly embarrassingly far into the dvd before I realized what was going on.

    The Last Emperor: Somehow manages to encompass almost everything that is sad and beautiful about the history and myth of China.

    An Inconvenient Truth: Unless you are particularly interested in how documentary persuasion techniques can shoot themselves in the foot, you might be better off watching this TED video: http://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_p… Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, and a worthwhile cause, but it needed to be better. From the perspective of a well informed environmentalist, I found it hard to watch.

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  6. Wow, great collection! While there's a ton of places where you could start, I'll second Jandy's recommendation and say you go with the Godards first. And throw in the Truffauts while you're at it.

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  7. Skip Godard (except for Pierrot Le Fou if that's on there), because it's boring, and watch the Bergman movies instead, because they are the best ones.

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  8. Not to fuck this up completely bu Jandy, how the hell can you recommend Godard when you bitch and complain about Avatar being all flash and no substance?

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  9. Okay, have looked over your list more carefully. I WANT YOUR DVDs. Don't ever let me near your collection, you might find half of it missing!

    MUST SEE FOREIGN CLASSICS:

    The 400 Blows

    Persona

    Jules et Jim

    Le Mepris

    The Exterminating Angel

    Through a Glass Darkly

    Wild Strawberries [I technically haven't seen this, but I need to, badly]

    MUST SEE AMERICAN CLASSICS (with a noir focus, except on a couple)

    McCabe and Mrs. Miller

    Cabaret

    The Killing

    The Killers

    Gilda

    Black Narcissus

    MUST SEE CONTEMPORARY (or more so) FILMS

    Little Children

    The Darjeeling Limited

    The Lives of Others

    Let the Right One In

    Moon

    JUST PLAIN AWESOME

    Planet Terror

    The Naked Kiss

    DOUBLE FEATURES

    Before Sunrise / Before Sunset

    Pierrot le fou / Made in USA [MIU is like a more nonsensical companion to PLF)

    OR

    Le petit soldat / Pierrot le fou [PLF seems almost a remake of LPS, where he actually did it right]

    Cinema Paradiso / Inglourious Basterds

    The other Godards I've seen (Une femme est une femme and Alphaville) aren't quite as must-see to me, although I do love the former to pieces and the latter gets a lot of cred in sci-fi circles. And I haven't seen the later ones you have (Prenom Carmen, Passion, Detective), but I would kill to have the box set that you apparently have.

    Oh, and also….Ice Age 2? Really? As far as stuff I haven't seen, I'm with Bob – review all those ones with the terrible cult B-film sounding titles. Those are the best!

    Marc, you a Godard fan? I'm hoping to do a series here on him later this year – glad to have someone in my court! I know rot's not a big fan, so I'm hoping for some heated discussion.

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  10. How you have Moon on DVD already? Me jealous.

    I'd say see Anvil and Let the Right One In pronto. Also, that is a really large # of films!

    I did the 'see all unseen DVD" in 2009 – and I completed it but I only had 17 to get through. I think I'll make it a yearly go to keep on top of no only watching but also purchasing.

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  11. Henrik, okay. (But I also just plain find Godard fun and playful, and I found Avatar neither of those things, except for in the training sections, which I did love unequivocally.)

    Back on topic, sort of, am I the only person who rarely buys DVDs I haven't seen? I think my only two unseen ones are Lethal Weapon 2 (which someone gave me as a present) and A Beautiful Mind.

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  12. I'm the same, Jandy – I rarely let a DVD I've just bought sit for too long before watching it. The few unseen ones I have right now include Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha (which I thought about seeing after hearing about Carradine's death, but didn't), The Last Waltz, The Million Dollar Hotel (which I'll be getting to soon) and a few Japanese ones from Christmas.

    Oh, and Wild Strawberries is fantastic.

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  13. Whoa wait you're telling me you've never seen Wild Strawberries fucking bump that shit to the top immediately thats one of Bergmans best movies.

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  14. Cheers guys. I think there are a few selections that are repeated here so I'll have to check them out (Godard, Bergman, Truffaut, Before Sunrise/Sunset). I'm surprised no one noticed I haven't seen Tokyo Story yet! I got an Ozu boxset and I've watched Late Spring though which I thought was fantastic. I only just bought the big recent releases in the sales around Christmas (Let the Right One In, Moon, Inglourious Basterds, Anvil!), that's why those haven't been watched yet.

    And as you guessed, that's a Goddard boxset I have with all those titles in. What'll really make you jealous is it only cost me about £18 (probably $24) for 10 features plus a doc. It was a crazy deal in a department store in Finland! I've only seen one Goddard so far and that's Sympathy For a Devil, which I really didn't like, so it might take some convincing to try out more.

    As for Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, I bought that for about £1 because of the title (plus I felt I needed a Troma film in my collection), but I've heard it's really bad and not even in a good, fun way.

    I know it's a crazy number of unwatched films. I'm an obsessive bargain hunter and I really don't watch enough these days. My problem is my girlfriend isn't as mad on films as I am and I'm also a bit of a video game fan so I don't devote enough time to watching my growing collection. Now that I'm back into reviewing though I've got a good excuse to get watching, so expect to see some of these titles reviewed throughout 2009!

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  15. Does your Godard set have Band of Outsiders? Or Breathless? Those two are his most accessible, I think. Of the ones you listed, I guess Pierrot le fou's probably the one to see first. I haven't seen Sympathy for a Devil (or know anything about it, really), so I can't comment on that. And yes, I am very jealous!

    Tokyo Story….I've tried to watch that at least three times and I haven't made it yet. It's on my list to try again this year.

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  16. I have Breathless on a stand alone release (it's on the list as À Bout de Souffle, the French title). It's not got Band of Outsiders on it though.

    Sympathy for the Devil is a film Goddard did that intercuts footage of The Rolling Stones recording the title track with scenes examining contemporary (at the time) and revolutionary movements like the Black Panthers and feminism. I just found it quite pretentious and tediously repetitive. The footage of the Stones in the studio was interesting because I'm a big fan, but the film as a whole just didn't do anything for me. It didn't have a narrative at all though, so I'm hoping that some of his slightly more conventionally structured films will interest me more.

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  17. Oh, my bad. I saw A Bout de Souffle on there and somehow interpreted it as Le douxieme souffle, a Jean-Pierre Melville film I wasn't crazy about.

    And oh, right. I remember reading a little about Sympathy for the Devil now. He was starting to move into his more political/essayistic phase then. I actually haven't seen anything of his past 1967. That's one of my other goals this year.

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  18. I'm afraid to take count of what DVDs are on my shelf that I've never seen. I think the list may rival David's.

    I only did a quick run down the list but off the bat:

    DUNE because it's all sorts of crazy awesomeness and

    JUNEBUG it's an easy, casual watch but pretty sweet. And Amy Adams rocks it.

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  19. I just got the Jean-Pierre Melville collection today to add to my list, with Bob Le Flambeur, Leon Morin Pietre, Le Duolos, Army of Shadows, Le Cercle Rouge and Un Flic.

    Any Meville lovers amongst you?

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  20. Yes, David, Le Samourai is one of my all-time favorites and Le Cercle Rouge is definitely among my favorite heist movies. I finally caught Army of Shadows a few months back too and it was mindblowingly great.

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  21. Oh yeah…Melville is one of my favourites. Too bad your set doesn't have Le Samourai as it's quite amazing. And as Jonathan said, Le Cercle Rouge is one of the best heist films (though it's more than just that). It's main heist scene rivals Rififi – it's about 25 minutes long and wordless. And riveting.

    Le Doulos and Army of Shadows are pretty fantastic as well. Even Un Flic is great (as Jandy mentioned in a comment recently, Le Douxieme Souffle doesn't quite reach the greatness of the others, but it's still good). Haven't seen Leon Morin Pietre though,so I'm jealous…

    The only Melville I didn't much like was his collaboration with Jean Cocteau called Les Enfants Terribles. Didn't like it much at all.

    Reply

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