2021 Blind Spot Series + 2020 Wrap Up


It's been another successful year of Blind Spots! Here's a round up of my 2020 films and grades. Aside from the dud that was Reanimator I had a pretty good year. A bit of mediocrity, but I loved Meet Me in St. Louis so much that I can overlook a lot of that.

1) Belle du Jour (B)
2) Reanimator (F)
3) Maclolm X(B)
4) Dial M for Murder (B-)
5) On The Waterfront (B)
6) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (B)
7) Raging Bull (C)
8) Top Hat/Swing Time (B/C+)
9) Jules and Jim (C)
10) Nosferatu (B-)
11) Meet Me In St. Louis/Summer Stock (A/B)
12) Mildred Pierce (A)

Here's what I have going on for 2021. I'm getting a little ambitious again with trying to do more than one movie a month. Truthfully with quarantine the way it is, I've actually already watched a few of these and have reviews in my drafts. Hopefully this time around I'll actually be able to find Suddenly, Last Summer. I've been trying to watch this movie for years and someone at Netflix either hoards the DVD, or no one has it on streaming. Thankfully HBO Max seems to be making my life a bit easier nowadays with the classics. Have you seen any of these? What do you think?

1) Seven Samurai
2) Jungle Fever
3) Life of Brian
4) Velvet Goldmine
5) The Graduate
6) Suddenly, Last Summer
7) Roman Holiday
8) It Happened One Night
9) Of Human Bondage/Now, Voyager
10) Mean Streets
11) A Hard Day's Night
12) It's A Wonderful Life (I know)

Alternates: Come and See.

17 comments:

  1. I've seen all of these except Jungle Fever which I've been meaning to watch for years. With it on your list I might just pull the trigger so I can compare my thoughts on it to yours.

    I also haven't seen your alternate choice of Come and See but all I've ever heard is how gut wrenching it is and I have to be honest, that's not something that makes me want to see it with any great urgency.

    My favorite of all your choices is Now, Voyager which contains one of Bette Davis's very best performances (for me her best is in Dark Victory). She's fierce in Of Human Bondage as well but it's a more ragged film.

    The others that I'm a big fan of are: Seven Samurai, It Happened One Night, Roman Holiday and Suddenly, Last Summer. That last in particular is one wild ride of a movie.

    Being of a generation where It's a Wonderful Life was played on an endless loop on nearly every station between Thanksgiving and Christmas because the copyright had lapsed I've become a tad burnt out on it. It is a very good film but I haven't watched it in years because I'm tired of it. I'm hoping the next time I have the urge to give it another go it will be long enough that it will feel fresh.

    Otherwise nothing your planning on watching are films I flat out hated (unlike last year's Raging Bull) but they range from ones I've watched multiple times like The Graduate to one and dones like Velvet Goldmine.

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    1. You're the reason I have Now, Voyager on there! I remember you mentioning it when I talked about Bette previously.

      I've avoided Come and See for a while for those reasons as well, but this year more than ever I keep seeing people talk about it, so I figured I'd pull the trigger if Suddenly, Last Summer falls through - again.

      Seven Samurai I've been putting off for years because of the length. Time to pull the trigger there.

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  2. Oh and congratulations on sticking to your schedule and watching all 14!

    Glad you loved the two, Meet Me in St. Louis and Mildred Pierce, that were my favorites on your list. I love Summer Stock too but grant that it's not up to the same level as the other two. Judy is so delightful in it I cut it considerable slack.

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    1. Thank you! Meet Me in St. Louis just makes me so happy. I'm glad it's on HBO Max so I can easily watch it again when I want. I might actually purchase it if I come across it. I maybe buy 2-3 DVDs a year.

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  3. The only films on the list I haven't seen are: Of Human Bondage, Now Voyager, and Suddenly, Last Summer as I'm sure they will be on Turner Classic Movies.

    It's a Wonderful Life in my opinion is just overrated and I hated the ending (except for the one from SNL back in the 80s).

    Come and See... whoa... that film is traumatic. It is probably the best anti-war film I had ever seen and man, it will fuck you up big time. It destroyed me.

    Seven Samurai is a long film but for all of the good reason as I think it's Kurosawa's best film. A Hard Day's Night is just incredible as a film by itself instead of just thinking it's a Beatles film (though I much prefer Help!). Life of Brian is just hilarious and really says a lot about the stupidity of organized religion.

    Velvet Goldmine I'll admit isn't one of my favorite films by Todd Haynes and I could see why David Bowie at the time refused permission to let Haynes use his music and why it was disliked by a lot of the glam rock luminaries such as Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop. Still, it's quite enjoyable and you do get a nice look at a full-frontal Ewan McGregor.

    The Graduate is a film I liked but I don't think it's that great. Jungle Fever is intense as watch out for both Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry. Mean Streets is Scorsese's first real classic film. Roman Holiday was a Blind Spot that I ended up enjoying while It Happened One Night is a film I hadn't seen in a long time but I loved it.

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    1. There seems to be a lot of very passionate and differing opinions on Velvet Goldmine. I'm really interested to see where I fall.

      That's the thing about It's A Wonderful Life - it doesn't look interesting to me at all, but I feel like I half to at least try it. It's like someone not seeing A Christmas Story.

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  4. Congrats on hitting your goal! I haven't seen a lot of the titles on the 2021 list, but I hope it's just as successful.

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    1. Thank you! I hope it is too and nothing I hate as much as I did Reanimator. lol

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  5. Brittani, thats an excellent list that you`ll find both compelling and marvelous. I just want you to swap "Velvet Goldmine" (total bollocks) for "Come and See" (supreme unparalleled masterpiece), and keep looking for that copy of "Suddenly, Last Summer" its still a superb film, heres a couple of bits of interesting trivia about it: It premiered in New York 61 years ago tomorrow (Dec 22 1959), and it was filmed during the exact 3 months of that year that was a word in its title (Summer) late-May to early September. Just one other item Brittani, some of your other contributers have already stated that "Come and See" is a cinematic endurance test and very difficult to watch, and it most certainly is!, but its also, maybe, THE greatest film ever made in the entire 131 year history of the medium of the moving image since its invention circa 1889, for example, Sean Penn once sited it as being "Totally beyond belief in its unrivaled and unmitigated genius" ! ! !.

    NB: When you watch "Come and see" see if you`re able to spot the one sequence in the film that is incredibly magical and mesmerizingly hypnotic in its stunning visual beauty, its like theres this break from the horror of war as we`re transported into a joyous and beautiful fantasy world for a few minutes before returning to the carnage and despair. I wont tell you which sequence it is Brittani but i`m pretty sure that with your keen eye for movies you`ll recognise it when it appears, you might even want to watch it again a few times before allowing the movie to move on, thats how delightful the sequence is. I`m looking forward to your reviews of all those movies Brittani, as always, happy viewing (even when you`re watching something like "Come and See" ! ! !). Thanks for reading.

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    1. That's a lot of passion for Come and See, I've been seeing that a lot this year more than ever it feels like. Maybe I'll double up one month if all my others are working out. The pandemic is giving me plenty of movie watching time.

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  6. Congrats!!! I have seen none of your 2020 ones but I have seen It's a Wonderful Life.. I know, who am I!? :D

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    1. I feel like the last person on the planet who hasn't bothered with it lol

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    2. I feel like that about most classics. :D

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  7. Well done on hitting your goal! I've only seen It's a Wonderful Life as well... I'm trying to get out of the habit of mindless scrolling and plan in advance what I want to see. It's working so far!

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    1. That's awesome! I need to plan too, or else I rarely watch classics.

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  8. I will not understand at all if you do not like It's A Wonderful Life and your young heart condemns it for a sappy ending blah, blah, blah. I watch it every Christmas and cry every time at the end and I don't care if I broadcast this. This saved Jimmy Stewart's life as he was ready to give up acting after coming back from the war and Lionel Barrymore(Old Man Potter) talked to him about this. Jimmy Stewart was suffering from severe PTSD when making this film and you can see his anguish in the later scenes. If you give it a C, I will find a way to overwrite and place an A+ on it instead....hahahaaa. OK I have seen except for 2, 4 and 10. I am still sad what you gave Top Hat and Swing Time. Musicals were huge during the 30s and 40s because people needed an escape from the horrors of the great depression and WW2. We have Covid, not near as bad as back then and yet we all crave to escape.

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    1. lmaoo well with this ringing endorsement I hope I like it! I would've given Swing Time an A if it didn't have blackface. That just...yikes.

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