100 Movies/100 Days
June 9, 2008 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Stomp Tokyo's Scott Hamilton has completed 100 Movies/100 Days, in which he watched and "reviewed"... uh, 100 movies in 100 days. Many of the reviews are scarcely a paragraph, but quite a few are witty and insightful (particularly the last line of his Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull review).
posted by cog_nate (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I hadn't ever thought about Indiana Jones in that light, but he's exactly correct. Huh.
posted by EarBucket at 9:00 AM on June 9, 2008

One hundred movie reviews in one hundred days, huh? I could do that. If I didn't have a life. Believe me, I've been trying to find a way to not have a life just so I could do something like this.

As for Indy 4? Yeah. It was rancid, but hey! Now that means Indy films could follow the same pattern as Star Trek films, only in the reverse. With ST, movies two, four, and six were great and movies one, three, and five were horrid. With Indy, movies two and four have sucked and movies one and three were great. This means Indy 5 is gonna rock! ...provided Ford isn't filming it from inside an oxygen tent.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:02 AM on June 9, 2008

ZachsMind, you could argue that Star Trek 8 was decent, but surely that rule was smashed to small pieces by the 10th film. Nemesis had absolutely nothing of merit whatsoever.
posted by bap98189 at 9:07 AM on June 9, 2008

I guess it's impressive that he watched a whole bunch of movies (except that since a few of his reviews are just callbacks to reviews he'd already written, I don't know that he actually watched one hundred movies in as many days), but I'd be more interested if the reviews themselves were more substantial. This is pretty much just snark and screenshots. Lots and lots of screenshots.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:11 AM on June 9, 2008

bap98189: the even/odd pattern for ST movies still holds because anything after VI isn't real Star Trek.

(*runs, hides*)
posted by Prospero at 9:22 AM on June 9, 2008

posted by DU at 9:27 AM on June 9, 2008

A movie a day is scarcely an accomplishment, even if you do happen to share your name with a famous alopecian figure skater.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2008

Reminds me of Kevin Murphy's A Year at the Movies, where he watches a movie a day for a year. And only one of those times was a DVD: the other 364 were on a projector!
posted by JHarris at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2008

I'm not sure "real" Star Trek is the right term. "Classic" might be better, because certainly anything with Patrick Stewart is real.

But yeah, there is a distinct difference once they moved to the new generation. For one, they stopped numbering them.
posted by Caduceus at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2008

Bap98189: "ZachsMind, you could argue that Star Trek 8 was decent..."

Sorry? What's that? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA LA LA la la la la la la!

What Prospero said. The Undiscovered Country was the last great STOS film, and RICK BERMAN IS AN ASSHOLE.

There were no great Star Trek movies after number six. Star Trek Generations was a STNG movie. Doesn't count. They continued numerically from the last STOS movie, but they shouldn't have, cuz they so weren't the same.

So it's like this:

STOS-01 sucked
STOS-02 rocked
STOS-03 sucked
STOS-04 rocked
STOS-05 sucked
STOS-06 rocked

STNG-01 was ...okay
STNG-02 sucked
STNG-03 sucked more
STNG-04 sucked more than more

This new thing that allegedly J. J. Abrams is cooking up? Totally new pattern. I anticipate it to suck less than STOS-05 but not rock as much as STOS-02. Why? Because:

Nothing can suck more than STOS-05 (except for Nemesis)
Nothing can rock more than STOS-02 (Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest movies of all time ever in the history of anything end of argument)
posted by ZachsMind at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

Being old and getting on. I am one to brag. I did the same thing in the 70's in D.C. when we had over 50 movie houses. I'd see 3 a day. The best places were The
Circle Theater which showed 2 shows per ticket and The Ontario Theater which showed 3 films per ticket. That meant sometimes...5 movies a day.
After that, I got a steady girlfriend and sex won out over the movies. At 17, them
hormones win over the celluloid eye candy.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:13 AM on June 9, 2008

The percentage of Indiana Jones movies that would end the exact same way if Jones just went home to take a nap instead of chasing the bad guys.

That was exactly my feeling coming out of this movie. You could argue that maybe he saved Marion and Oxley, but it's not like they were being held over a cliff or anything. I guess he helped the Commies find the damn thing, but they probably would have figured it out after a bit.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:17 AM on June 9, 2008

They're more fun if you pretend they're being read aloud by Scott Hamilton, figure skater extraordinaire.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:28 AM on June 9, 2008

I have to ask, why was the lighting in Indiana Jones 4 so bizarre? Mainly in the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, but almost every person in any given shot had an other-worldly reflection on their face. I understand the film wasn't shooting for realism, but it was really to a level of distraction. Not to mention the horrendous editing. And plot. And dialogue. I tried really, really hard to not question the movie, to just let it run over me, but I'm not good at that.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:34 AM on June 9, 2008

We are in a golden age/ renaissance of the "review". With the Internet everyone can post their thoughts on everything: movies, books, blender, leaf blower. There are review sites for teachers, even for politicians on human rights issues get grades. At the same time there is very little direction on how to write a review - we are not taught in school how to review, are there books on it? It remains a amateur gentleman/scholars hobby, as quirky as the reviewer. It's one area that resists classification or the "genre" stigma. In a world with lots of "stuff" and many choices, reviews become ever more important and what makes a good review is a question it seems rarely examined.
posted by stbalbach at 10:39 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I would review stbalbach's comment....but I've never been taught how to do so correctly.
posted by HuronBob at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2008

Indiana Jones 4 was god awful. Not only was it considerably worse in absolutely every single respect than National Treasure 2, but it's final act is a poor copy of NT 2's as well.

What's worse is that the movie looked cheap. Every single set looked like a soundstage, including the scene where the Baronness confronts Jones outside of Hangar 51 (that's what the sign read when the soviets turned down the dirt road. Hangar 51. You'd think with the collective knowledge of folklore Spielberg and Lucas claim to have, someone would have recalled that the UFO myth revolves around Hangar 18 at Area 51).

It's as if Lucas and Spielberg decided to make a movie in the style of a 1980s film made in the style of a 40s film. About the 50s.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2008

I have to ask, why was the lighting in Indiana Jones 4 so bizarre?

Not an expert, but to my eye that's a signature look of Janusz Kaminski's photography. The first three Indy movies were shot by Douglas Slocombe, but Kaminski has been Spielberg's regular DP ever since Schindler's List.

Compare the look of Indy 4 to the look of Minority Report, where the Kaminski-ness is turned up to 11.
posted by Prospero at 11:04 AM on June 9, 2008

I think I like this guys taste in movies. There is a lot of cheese here, but I think that's the point. Though, based on what I see, he was remiss in not including the following:

Hell Comes to Frogtown (He does 'The Frogs')
They Live (He does 'They' and 'Them', this should have been a natural progression.)
The Returner (There is lots of Anime and several Japanese films, this is... something in the middle)
Death Machine (All film reviewers should have to screen this movie)
Killer Tongue (...)*
*So wonderfully bad, it leaves me speechless.

And in no particular order, but in keeping with some of his other tastes:
Dead Alive (Braindead)
Cemetery Man
Afro Samurai
The Nest

Hell, maybe I should just do my own version of this project...
posted by quin at 11:08 AM on June 9, 2008

And I, in turn, like the cut of your jib, quin. Hated Afro Samurai, though.
posted by Shepherd at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2008

Compare the look of Indy 4 to the look of Minority Report, where the Kaminski-ness is turned up to 11.

See, that makes total sense to me. The futurist setting of Minority Report practically begs for that stylized look, but we're supposed to be watching 1950s Communists on a military base.

He was the DP on Munich, and that looks considerably toned down while still using lots of dramatic lighting.

I also agree with Pastabagel about the sets looking very cheap. As to why they stuck a giant "51" on the hangar doors instead of "18" - The lovely family sitting next to me last night were very proud of themselves when they caught that subtle reference to Area 51. I know this because they were telling each other out loud.

I kept hoping in that opening scene that the college kids would turn out to be secretly Russian and take out the real military convoy, instead of the stupid "Russian in US uniform" reveal at the gate - "Oops, I have to tie my shoe. Don't mind the gentlemen with rifles behind me."
posted by shinynewnick at 11:25 AM on June 9, 2008

Watching film snobs have heart attacks during this scene is pretty fun.

Can anyone explain why? (I have not seen this movie.)
posted by yath at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2008

The lighting, like shinynewnick mentioned, was what I noticed most about Crystal Skull. My friend and I were both wondering why everyone was glowing.

Thanks for the reminder about Frogtown, quin. It's been the better part of a decade since I last saw that one. Have to check it out again soon, I could use a laugh.
posted by cog_nate at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2008

yath, here you go.
posted by cog_nate at 11:37 AM on June 9, 2008

I don't really understand the nap comment. Both the third and fourth movies would have ended quite differently had Indy not chased yonder bad guys. In number 3, Indy's father would have remained in captivity and, as such, there is at least some chance that the Nazis would have discovered the Grail with his help. Sure, the cavern holding the Grail collapses, but that wasn't necessarily inevitable; the use of the Grail cavern as a mass Nazi resurrection station would have been quite terrifying.

In the fourth film, as is noted above by Bookhouse, Oxley and Marion would have stayed in captivity and Oxley would never have regained his sanity. The final scene could not have remotely happened had Indy not intervened.

If he's talking about the fate of the key artifacts in three quarters of the films, then perhaps there's some merit to the comment. Still, to say that Indy could sleep through the story in 75% of the movies and have it turn out the same way is patently incorrect, as at least 50% of the movies could not have ended the same way without him.
posted by lumensimus at 12:49 PM on June 9, 2008

Caduceus: ...because certainly anything with Patrick Stewart is real.

Oh...I don't know. Anything? Anything? (see around 1:13)

(full disclosure--I love this movie to pieces)
posted by Prospero at 1:39 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I noticed the odd lighting, but I kind of figured it was an attempt at making things look like silky, shiny fifities movie star portraits, or alternately soviet propaganda posters (the main Soviet henchman guy certainly has the face for it). Not sure I loved the look, but at least it made some sense to me.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:45 PM on June 9, 2008

I will preface this with the following statement: It was good to see Marion Ravenwood again.

In the first film, doing nothing is precisely what saves both Indy and Marion. "Don't look at it" was the right thing to do. This kinda set a precedent. In Indy 2 he was stuck on the bridge with that weirdo guy and was essentially saved by the cavalry, and Kali. In Indy 3 essentially the answer to persuing the Holy Grail was to "let it go." Which he did. And therefore didn't die.

The franchise isn't about Indy making a difference; never has been. He doesn't have to do something at the end in order to be the hero of the piece. The journey of an archeologist is about discovery, not about what is done to said discovery. That's what the bad guys do - exploit it. Indy's all about the knowledge.

So Indy 4 isn't bad because of how they ended it. Indy doing nothing is kinda how these movies end.

Indy4 is bad cuz Cate Blanchett in drag is like the epitome of unhot.
Indy4 is bad cuz Sean Connery didn't reprise the role of Henry Jones Sr.
Indy4 is bad cuz the mutt on a motorcycle being Henry Jones III was lamer than lame.
Indy4 is bad cuz they used cannibalistic ANTS to eat the badguys.
Indy4 is bad cuz they used monkeys in trees so the mutt could swing like Tarzan.
Indy4 is bad cuz online fanfic has better plots.
Indy4 is bad cuz I've seen improvised shows on YouTube with better dialogue.
Indy4 is bad cuz ancient aliens found in the 1950s is as stupid on film now as it was in the 1950s.
Indy4 is bad cuz throwing a snake at Indy to get him out of quicksand was megastupid.
Indy4 is bad cuz if you're gonna pay for John Hurt, you give him a part that doesn't involve drooling for the last two reels of the film.
Indy4 is bad cuz decapitating a statue of the respectable Denholm Elliott (Marcus Brody) for humor impact was doubleplus unfunny.

Indy 4 is bad because they had like twenty years to get it right and that was the best they could come up with! Frankly I think they purposefully made it bad, and cheap, and all that, so the people who kept harping on them to make a new Indy film would shut up.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:49 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well, the ants aren't really cannibalistic, since they don't eat other ants. They are man-eating, though.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:26 PM on June 9, 2008

If I didn't have a life.

MeFi: 134 posts , 6640 comments
posted by flaterik at 8:51 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

This post is really disappointing. There are plenty of amazing movies out there, and plenty of interesting blog posts about them. But this post choses to highlight the saddest strain of moving image fanatic out there: the undiscriminating, male-yet-probably-sexless, thirty-something-yet-likely-virginal, Internet obsessed, lowest common demoninator fan - someone who is so inexperienced in life & art that their only reference point for movies is other movies. Sadly, there are people out there who watch movies because they are incapable of sustaining a life themselves; and Scott Hamilton's summaries of movies make him seem like one of them.

Imagine a movie that is the complete opposite of Sex and the City in every way, and that’s 49 UP.

Dude, take off those blinkers. Get out of the house. Your imaginings are feeble. You've been squeezed through the looking glass by corporations and you don't even know it
posted by dydecker at 3:05 PM on June 10, 2008

shoulda been called "Indiana Goonies of the 3rd Kind of Chariots of the Gods" or something
posted by sineater at 7:14 PM on June 10, 2008

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