Tom and Summer


Let me start with a promise: this is the last time I’ll mention my recent road trip for the foreseeable future.

The trip had two big influences on what I’ve watched over the last two weeks. The first bit of influence is clear – it had me reaching for a lot of San Francisco-set films, and luckily for me they are plentiful. Contrast that to last year’s trip to St. Louis, and you see what I mean. It’s always neat to see a place you’re going or just returning from embodied on film, isn’t it? You suddenly feel a different kinship with them after walking their streets, sitting in their rooms, and seeing what they saw.

This of course would continue when I got back home and watched a few more films that I was reminded of while I wandered (namely, AMERICAN GRAFFITI and ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ).

The other influence was that with time and energy being spent on the trip, the films watched were primarily repeats. There was less time to sit and soak-up stories for the first time, and more gaps to put things on while packing/unpacking/chilling out in the hotel. So if the list seems a little random, that’s certainly not on-purpose. Perhaps I’ll make up for it by making the week to come a block where I focus on first-timers.

Speaking of focus, I couldn’t help but let my focus wander on the flights to and from California. Since we live in a time where everybody can choose their own film on a plane, it’s interesting to snoop around the seat backs of the people ahead of you and see what other passengers have chosen. On my flight, the most common selections were AMERICAN SNIPER, MORDECAI, THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, and THE WEDDING RINGER. I wanted to go down the aisle and plug these people into GONE GIRL…or MOMMY…or even classics like BREATHLESS and THE GREAT ESCAPE.

But no, the masses are looking for something far less challenging, something far more middlebrow.

This is how shows like TWO AND A HALF MEN and CSI stayed so popular…this is what keeps Appleby’s in business. The glut of people just want a distraction, and don’t feel up to really being inspired, moved, or challenged. As I said on Twitter this week, I felt like standing up on my seat and saying “Don’t you people see what’s happening??!!“…but considering I didn’t know if the air marshal was also watching MORDECAI, I resisted the urge.

And so it was…movies came, movies went, and movies distracted. Time to get back into the good stuff: Is it time for SLOW WEST yet?


Here’s the week at hand…


THE GHOST TRAIN – Watched at The Castro as part of The San Francisco Silent Film Festival. A joyous experience, to be sure


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
WITHNAIL & II’ll come back to this sometime.
F IS FOR FAKE – I suddenly feel the urge to rewatch EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP.
ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ – My brother actually spoiled the end of this tonight. The nerve!


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
LEON: THE PROFSSIONAL – Does LUCY mean we’re getting Luc Besson back?
AMADEUS“…too…many notes”
THE ROCK – They actually ask on the Alcatraz tour “How many of you know what you know because of this movie?”
VERTIGOA lot of the locations from this film were sadly out of reach this time.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESSYou didn’t think I was going to stick to the Frisco of the past, did you?
GOODFELLAS – Seriously, I could watch the steadicam entrance into the Copa on a loop.
THE WAY WAY BACK – In my mind’s eye, I’m as cool as Sam Rockwell.
THE BREAK-UP – Upon rewatch (something I never thought I’d say), I feel like this could have been an amazing Duplass Bros. or Baumbach movie.
AMERICAN GRAFFITII chuckle when I think about how much my father laughs at this movie.


Boxscore for The Year
109 First-Timers, 69 Re-Watched
40 Screenings
179 Movies in Total
How’s about you – seen anything good?