Thomas Balkcom’s Movies

Just another weblog


with 3 comments

Hello all, I had a great birthday yesterday, thank you to everyone who called/ texted me (be it six thirty in the morning or as late as eleven forty five that night), I really appreciated it.

I am abandoning my “listsofbests” project posted a few weeks ago due to the fact that after watching Sunrise and Tokyo Story I was bored to tears and I don’t think I could continue on that streak. Right now I am focusing on seeing as many Academy Award nominated films as possible (speaking of which I will post my predictions on Friday), I only have The Reader left for the Best Picture category and honestly do not have that many films to catch up on, which was the exact opposite of last year. I went out and picked up RocknRolla, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall on DVD yesterday, the usual Tuesday DVD purchases.

I am three films away from hitting thirty on the month and I have until Sunday, unfortunately we have been diving hard into LOST and that’s the reason I have yet to hit thirty. We started Season One last Friday night and we finished it last night, we are trying our hardest to get through Season Three by the ninth of February. I will stop boring y’all for now, expect an update later today/ early tomorrow with other random information.

Appaloosa – 6.5/10 <- – If you have read this blog before you are aware of my inherent passion and love for Westerns, so needless to say, I tend to be very favorable in my reviews of Westerns. I am surprised at myself for missing this in theaters, it received moderately decent reviews and has both Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen in it, but I guess it just came and went too fast. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, Jeremy Irons was absolutely brilliant in his role. It was Ed Harris’ sophomore directorial attempt, and I have to say I was quite impressed.

8 ½ – 10/10 <- – I honestly cannot believe that it took me so long to see this film, I was working on the top ten I posted previously on this site (I have since abandoned this project for reasons I will state later). I am curious as to whether people prefer this to La Dolce Vita, because I personally thought nothing would replace that as my favorite Fellini film but 8 ½ is definitely causing me to think otherwise. I should be more clear that in my opinion La Dolce Vita is the greatest foreign film of all time, and perhaps the greatest film of all time but on a personal level I think I prefer 8 ½. I was particularly blown away by the film’s beauty and writing, and the scene in which all of the women in his life are present (will not go into detail because if I did so and you have not seen the film, it definitely takes away from it). This film was simply amazing.

The Spirit – 5/10 <- – I would like to start off this review by stating that I found The Spirit to be highly enjoyable, it just seemed a bit unoriginal (stylistically at least). Glad to see Frank Miller helming films and I hope he continues to do so in the future.

Traitor – 5/10 <- – This film was extremely generic, but not entirely horrible. Not much else to say about it.

(revisit) Catch Me If You Can – 8/10 <- – Read my previous review.

(revisit) Just Friends – 4/10 <- – Absolutely hilarious, I do not have anything else to say.

Max Payne – 3/10 <- – Where to begin with this, I suppose I should start with the fact that I was a rather big fan of these video games due to the fact that they came out when I was around fifteen and at least sort of into video games at that point. I was honestly expecting another Hitman which wasn’t the greatest movie but it was a lot of fun and very entertaining whereas this movie kind of got boring at times and was just overall not very good. No personal recommendation here, there’s just nothing “good” about it.

Match Point – 7.5/10 <- – A short background on this one, I’ve rented (or gotten through Blockbuster Online) this movie around four or five times? Each time never even putting it in and giving it a shot even after several recommendations. To be completely honest I am very glad that I waited. This was overall a very, very insightful, well written film. The closing moment of this film was absolutely brilliant, I am extremely glad I finally watched it.

Doubt – 7.5/10 <- – To be completely honest, I was not looking forward to this at all (not really sure why) but I forced myself to see it and I was elated that I did. The three main actors gave superb performances, as expected from Streep and Hoffman, but Amy Adams was fantastic in her role and she is completely deserving of her nomination for the role. It’s a very solidly written, well-laid out film that deserves your time.

Frost/ Nixon – 7/10 <- – The first time I saw a trailer for this I honestly did not have that much desire to see it, as time progressed I grew more and more interested so I finally took the time out and watched it. It was outstanding, the film keeps building up and building up until it reaches an amazing climax. Langella was perfect in this as was Rockwell, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Before Sunrise – 6.5/10 <- – Rented this based off a recommendation (easily persuaded due to the fact that I rather like Linklater’s other films) and I was blown away. Those who have seen it and know me will be a bit shocked by that, it’s a very simplistic film and I think that’s why I like it as much as I do. The writing works so magnificently to paint a picture of the two main characters and the ending was brilliant. I would not recommend this to everyone, I can see a good deal of my friends not enjoying this at all.

Before Sunset – 6.5/10 <- – It’s only suiting that I give these two matching scores due to the fact that I could not rate either of these films particularly better or worse than the other. I watched these two sequenced (which totaled to around three hours so it was not too bad). It was fascinating knowing the time difference between the two films and how neither looked like they had aged very much at all, and from I have heard Linklater is planning on making a third eventually. I am not sure how I feel about that, I was amazed by the ending but I think that anyone that has seen both of these would agree that a third installment would be welcomed (as long as it’s handled properly). Both of these films were extremely interesting, and I’m glad I gave them a shot.

Thank you for reading.


Written by thomasbalkcom

January 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Thomas, this may sound obvious, but have you ever seen High Noon? To me it is the ultimate classic Western with themes far beyond the surface of the action.



    January 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm

  2. I have not, so I added it to my queue! I appreciate any and all recommendations.


    January 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm

  3. I also loved Frost/Nixon! I didn’t want to see it that badly, but I thought it was great.


    January 30, 2009 at 12:23 am

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