Day Twenty-Nine: I Care a Lot (March of the Movies 2023)

Another recommendation by one not titled as “myself.” I Care a Lot features one Rosamund Pike, whom I’ve heard nothing but adoring praise for, in a role that promises to be rather ruthless. Undoubtedly, many who view this will be asking the age-old “Can I like despicable characters?” question concerning fictional media. Is there a moral? Should there be?

No answers are provided here. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Day Twenty-Eight: Fatal Frame (March of the Movies 2023)

At some point in 2021, I was asked by my superior at my job as a games journalist to create quizzes for the website, because content. While a lot of topics were pretty large names that were relevant at the time, one franchise I ended up doing a quiz for was Fatal Frame. Researching the series erected interest in trying out the game for myself (have yet to do so). Some time later, I came to find out something even more fascinating: Fatal Frame got a movie!

With the whole “There has never been a good video game movie” stigma out there, I’m surprised this hasn’t been brought up more. At least based on Letterboxd user scores, this has a pretty reputable consensus. That, combined with the lingering curiosity I have for its video game parent, invited me to give this a shot and see how it fared.

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Day Twenty-Six: Between the Lines (1977) (March of the Movies 2023)

As the days go by, I’m becoming more and more willing to just go through a random actor’s history and pick lesser-known films they’ve starred in. Today’s subject is Jeff Goldblum in one of his earliest roles. Between the Lines encapsulates a slice-of-life-like moment in history that was well before my time. Due to this, I instantly became intrigued (also Jeff Goldblum).

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Day Twenty-Four: Decision to Leave (March of the Movies 2023)

Despite not being marked as such, this is technically a re-watch. I will not mark this as a re-watch since I do not already have an article covering it on this site. My first viewing of Decision to Leave came more than three months back upon the recommendation of a close friend. This same close friend recommended I re-watch it for this month, and so it has come to that point.

Back in December, I liked this film a fair amount, though its ratings felt a little inflated to me. Nevertheless, I did intend to re-watch it at some point because this film is pretty dense with its themes. And for reasons I will get into during this review. Oh, and there will be spoilers for this film going forward.

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Day Twenty-Three: Wild Strawberries (1957) (March of the Movies 2023)

There is a name in the film industry that is new to me, but not to many others: Ingmar Bergman. He, during a majority of his life, made films dealing with the inner intricacies of humanity. If you go on any film database site, you will see that most of his films are almost universally beloved for their personal, humanistic quality. I’ve yet to see anything of his, so I wanted to dedicate at least one day this month to see what I was missing. In comes Wild Strawberries, one of his earlier works.

Recently I saw a short bio on Bergman describing him as “one of the most influential existentialist filmmakers of all time.” Existentialism is something that should intrigue me, especially with my constant urging for more “grounded” stories. With such enormous expectations, though, it may have been doomed to fail from the start.

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Day Twenty-Two: The Menu (2022) (March of the Movies 2023)

She really is superb at that pouty, standoffish stare, isn’t she? One of those rising stars that have taken filmgoers by the heart, Anya Taylor-Joy is certainly a name that piques my interest in upcoming pictures. Then you include a varied cast of names like Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau (who was terrific in The Whale), and John Leguizamo? Goodness, this is one flexible meal. I just hope The Menu lives up to its starpower.

The film’s synopsis, coming soon, leaves a lot to be interpreted. Its trailer, alternatively, kind of spoils the entire course. Would not recommend watching the trailer (which I will provide anyway; SEO score and all that). Luckily, I never saw a trailer for this, so this was a relatively blind viewing. My assumption was that the chef would feed them human meat or something.

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Day Twenty-One: The Mummy (1999) (March of the Movies 2023)

Curiosity is something that influences many of my daily decisions. Much like the astute character played by Rachel Weisz, my desire for knowledge carries me forward. I’ve always had a sort of flirtation with being a scientist, even as a child, though anything that involves investigation and study of information is fun. Which is why The Mummy was a watch based on incredible word of mouth. I had to study it for myself to see if the praise is warranted.

It’s a hoax.

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Day Eighteen: The Children’s Hour (1961) (March of the Movies 2023)

Back when Hollywood was younger, it seemed more relevant to be a star. Given how the sample size of credible actors was smaller, or perhaps the opportunities were less viable, earlier decades often had faces that would become household names. Aubrey Hepburn was one of those superstars of ye olden days, and viewing The Children’s Hour was partially inspired by seeing her in one of many leading roles throughout her career.

Hepburn had a sort of mythos around her, particularly due to her fast rise in the ’50s and ’60s, only to step away closer to her 40’s. And, of course, she was very, very beautiful. Talented and eye-catching, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that many developed a passion for cinema because of her. If they were to be introduced to her through this film, I think it would be a deserving adoration.

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Day Seventeen: Destroy All Monsters (March of the Movies 2023)

Destroy All Monsters is probably one of my favorite Godzilla films in terms of the human element. That may seem like high praise, but given the state of humanistic conflict within this franchise, it’s actually like saying I prefer untoasted white bread to moldy bread. The benefit to this era of the king of the monsters is that plots can be as uproariously stupid as possible and be endearing because of it.

What that goofy nature ends up doing as a negative consequence, however, is making the kaiju scenes relatively dull. I adore the Heisei era of films from this series (1984-95) because of their scale and atmosphere. The incredible size of Godzilla and the weight to its movements. The booming score as it stomps around cities or fights other gargantuan beasts. Back before then, Godzilla was more… Power Rangers. Such is the case here.

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Day Thirteen: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (March of the Movies 2023)

Good ol’ Studio Ghibli. One of the most recognized names in animated film production in the entire world. Considering their immense reputation, one would think they’ve been around forever. I was actually kind of surprised to learn that their first animated film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind—the subject of today’s post—was made in 1984. Compared to, say, Disney, that’s practically infantile!

…Wait, what? This isn’t Studio Ghibli? Of course it’s Studio Ghibli, it’s directed by Hayao Miyazaki and based on his own work. Topcraft? What the hell is… oh. Huh. Apparently Studio Ghibli was the phoenix that rose from the bankrupt ashes of Topcraft in 1985. So… this isn’t technically a Studio Ghibli film. I feel like I’ve been lied to for the last decade.

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