This Week in the Box: Dirty Harry

dirtyharryNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Dirty Harry opens remarkably darkly. It’s a ballsy move to open your movie through crosshairs, which is menacing enough, but for the first action in your movie to be a sniper killing a woman as she does some swimming, well, that’s something. Continue reading

This Week in the Box: A Unsurprising Programming Note

So! You may have noticed that there hasn’t been a post in, oh, a couple months on this project. While I’ve seen another handful more movies than have been posted about, I’m still woefully behind. The best laid plans of mice and men, etc.

That said, I’m not abandoning the project, because I’m far too stubborn for that. The plan as it currently stands is to not bother with the rest of this year, officially, and start up again with the first week of next year, and again trying for the perfect average of one movie a week. Therefore, you can expect the post for Dirty Harry to appear in the first week of January, A Clockwork Orange in the second week, etc. I did okay for half a year, all I need is another half a year and the project will officially be complete!

This Week in the Box: Recap of Films 11-20

charltonhestonHaving now completed 2/5 of the task of watching all 50 films in this box set project, it’s time for another recap. You can find the retrospective on the first ten films here.

We’ll start off the same way, which is listing all 10 films from this batch in the order in which I prefer them, best to worst. Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

willywonkaNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Throughout the course of this project, there has been the occasional film that I remembered fondly from my childhood. I wasn’t nervous at the prospect of watching any of them again; while many things I liked as a kid turned out to be terrible, it stands to reason that it’s probably pretty good if it got included in this fancy box set. But of the films I’d seen before, there were none I was more curious to see than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Bullitt

bullittNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Because of blah blah life stuff whatever, it’s been a couple weeks since I saw this movie and I’m only just now writing about it. At that remove, here is the complete list of what I remember about it:

  1. Steve McQueen’s name is Bullitt.
  2. He’s a cop, and a good cop working for good.
  3. There’s a car chase that’s very exciting but kind of unpleasant to watch, because those muscle cars don’t seem built to land comfortably after catching air going over those San Francisco hills. Continue reading

This Week in the Box: 2001: A Space Odyssey

aspaceodysseyNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Note the Second: this post will contain spoilers for 2001: A Space Odyssey, as much as revealing the actual events can spoil anything in this strange, strange movie.

2001: A Space Odyssey is possibly the best regarded movie of all time that not a single viewer can entirely explain. We all seem to agree that it’s a masterpiece and there are certainly major touchpoints that everyone covers (the impersonalness, the masterful craft, etc). But anyone who claims to understand what it means once and for all, to the exclusion of all other interpretations, is selling something I just can’t buy. Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Cool Hand Luke

coolhandlukeNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Cool Hand Luke, being one of my father’s favorite movies, was something of a staple in my house growing up. I hadn’t sat down to watch it in a couple years, though, so I went in to this with some trepidation. Turns out I had nothing to fear: while it remains imperfect, I love it no less now than I did when I was a kid and my dad sang the Plastic Jesus song in the car.

Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Doctor Zhivago

DoctorZhivagoNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

When I told a friend I was going to be watching¬†Doctor Zhivago¬†for this project, she said she’d never seen it because she believed it to be mostly about miserable Russians. Having watched it: it’s mostly about miserable Russians.

Continue reading

This Week in the Box: How the West Was Won

How_the_West_Was_WonNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Having conquered two-thirds of the Epic Slog (that is, the sequence in this series of Ben-Hur, How the West was Won, and Doctor Zhivago, a combined nine-and-a-half hours of screen time between them), I can say definitively that, while I didn’t like two thirds of the musicals in this set either, at least they were quick.

Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Ben-Hur

Ben_hurNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

Charlton Heston! Charlton Heston Charlton Heston Charlton Heston! Here is the complete list of things I learned from watching Ben-Hur:

  1. Chariot racing is awesome.
  2. Being dead is bad, but being a leper is way worse.
  3. Charlton Heston has some damn blue eyes.

Okay, fine, maybe I learned more than that. But I can’t say that I learned that being a slave in Roman times is not awesome, since it’s not really like I thought it would have been.

Continue reading