Submit Your
Comedy
List
The deadline for the Top Comedies of All Time list is coming up! Submit your ballot now, or read about it here

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - 2022 Edition

Tools    





New year, new challenge!



Once again, I will use this thread to post details and reviews of my personal movie challenge where I gather a monthly "loot" of films based on a different set of criteria. This will be the sixth (6th) year I do this type of challenge and it has led to some really interesting film discoveries, so why not continue?

Without further ado, here are the criteria for MAY 2022

A film with the number 5 (Five, Fifth, etc.) in its title:
A film with a title that starts with the letters I or J: It Happened One Night
A film from the TSPDT 1,000 Greatest Films list whose ranking includes the #5 (i.e. 15, 365, 958): Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (#506)
A film from the 1950s:
A fantasy film: Man of Steel
A film about mothers:
A film with a bird in its title (Bird Day, May 4):
A film mostly set on a train (Nat'l Train Day, May 8): Runaway Train
A film with Frank Capra (born May 18): It Happened One Night
A film from Ecuador (Battle of Pichincha Day, May 24):


For anybody curious, here is the link for last year's challenge thread. Once again, I'm sticking with 10 films per month, which is manageable for me. Moreover, I'm not gonna be as strict as in the past to complete the monthly "challenge". To be honest, sometimes it becomes a bit of a struggle to juggle watching a certain amount of certain films, along with real work, family, running a podcast, etc. so I'm gonna take it easy on myself and just watch what I have time to, whether it's 15, 10, or 6 films per month.

I will also continue to use the thread to post new episodes of my podcast, which has been officially renamed as The Movie Loot (you can also find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and most podcast platforms).

Anyway, anybody is welcome to offer recommendations for any category, and anybody is welcome to join in the challenge. Let's loot!

---------------------------------------------------

Links to the loots of past months

January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022 • May 2022 •
__________________
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!



Just for kicks, here is a kinda comprehensive list of everything I saw during the year: a total of 163 films; a tad less than the 201 I saw in 2020, but that was expected what with me lowering the monthly goal. Anyway, here it is...

NUMBER IN ITS TITLE  


ALPHABET TITLE  


BY DECADES  


BY GENRES  


OTHER GENRE CLASSIFICATIONS  


FROM THE CRITERION COLLECTION WHOSE  


BY COUNTRY'S INDEPENDENCE OR NATIONAL DAY  


BY BIRTHDAYS  


AWARDS AND OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS  


MINORITIES & RELATIONSHIPS  


HOLIDAYS & SEASONS  


BY SETTING & TOPIC  


WORDS IN TITLE  


FREEBIES  


Rewatches are in blue, short films in red.



Seeing them all in one list like that highlights what an impressive lineup that was. I feel like everyone else watches better movies than I.
It was a good bunch of films, and a lot of those really great ones were courtesy of the MoFo Hall of Fames, so thanks to everybody here for recommending great films!



SHERLOCK, JR.
(1924, Keaton)
A film from the TSPDT 1,000 Greatest Films list whose ranking includes the #1



"Don't try to do two things at once and expect to do justice to both."

That is the proverb that opens up this silent film classic that follows a projectionist (Buster Keaton) that dreams of being a detective. When he is falsely accused of stealing a pocket watch from the father of the girl he loves, he is forbidden from seeing her again. Burdened by this, he ends up dreaming he is inside a film with a similar storyline where he is "the world's greatest detective".

This was only my second Keaton film after The General (I ended up seeing two more of his short films after this), but this one follows a "similar" template in which he finds himself in wacky predicaments to earn the love of a girl. Although there is good slapstick comedy, the main attraction in both are the impressive stunts and effects that Keaton comes up with.

Two of the most impressive moments are the scene where the projectionist steps inside the picture screen, as the scenes change randomly, putting the character in a wide variety of scenarios: from a house to a park bench, from a busy street to a high cliff, from a jungle with lions to a desert with a speeding train. The effect is impressively executed in a seamless way that even to this day, you have to wonder how did he pull it off.

The second most impressive moment for me was the final stunt in the motorcycle where Keaton rides in the handlebar of a motorcycle across different obstacles and terrains without falling off. There is one moment in particular where the motorcycle speeds past both a train track and a road, just as a train and a car are coming through. The shot is done with a camera mounted on the side of the bike and it looks impressive (I just found out it was shot in reverse).

But again, aside from the stunts, there's also good slapstick comedy and a charm to the innocent romance portrayed. The opening proverb about not doing two things at once referred to the projectionist character that was trying to be a detective as well, but it obviously doesn't extend to Keaton, who directs, stars, does his own stunts, and edits the film, and still does more than justice to all of it.

Grade:



Awwww look at the ickle fluffy-wuffy bunny
Sherlock, Jr. is a hoot imo - very, very nearly made my pre-1930s ballot.
__________________
201620172018201920202021+
NomsPre-1930 Countdown


terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.



Sherlock, Jr. is a hoot imo - very, very nearly made my pre-1930s ballot.
It is indeed. Had a lot of fun with it.



Awwww look at the ickle fluffy-wuffy bunny
It is indeed. Had a lot of fun with it.
If you enjoyed that and The General you really ought to check out his others that also made the pre-1930 Countdown: The Cameraman (#24), Steamboat Bill, Jr. (#33) and The Goat (#46) at some point.



If you enjoyed that and The General you really ought to check out his others that also made the pre-1930 Countdown: The Cameraman (#24), Steamboat Bill, Jr. (#33) and The Goat (#46) at some point.
Yeah, trying to cover as much as I can. I did see two other short films of his: The Rough House (which is more of a Fatty Arbuckle vehicle) and One Week. I will get to those two reviews soon.



Awwww look at the ickle fluffy-wuffy bunny
Yeah, trying to cover as much as I can. I did see two other short films of his: The Rough House (which is more of a Fatty Arbuckle vehicle) and One Week. I will get to those two reviews soon.
Well, you beat me to both of those as I've not seen either. I'm such a bad MoFo



Well, you beat me to both of those as I've not seen either. I'm such a bad MoFo
Found both on YouTube and they're both fairly short, so easy watches. I don't wanna jump ahead too much, but I adored One Week. That one's gonna rank high for me this month.



PREDATOR 2
(1990, Hopkins)
An action or adventure film



"You can't see the eyes of the demon, until him come callin'."

That's the warning that Jamaican drug lord King Willie gives Lt. Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover), as they find themselves and their people stalked by the titular alien creature. That's what it is, but to all of them that just don't know or don't understand what's after them, it could very well be the devil.

Predator 2 transplants the creature from the jungles of Latin America to the "street jungles" of Los Angeles which, on paper, is a rather clever idea for it to not be just a rehash of the first one. The city, which is embroiled in a turf war between a Colombian gang and a Jamaican gang, now has to face a new threat, which puts Harrigan and his team against the wall.

Back in the day, the original Predator was known for doing a rather clever genre shift halfway through. But with people already knowing what the deal is, I thought the setting change was a nice idea. Not only that, but the film doesn't lose time by jumping straight into the action right from the get-go.

Unfortunately, the drawback is that you end up with two-dimensional, paper-thin characters; not that the characters in the first one weren't, but there was a bit more time to develop a better attachment to them. Glover is a nice lead, and the supporting cast (which includes Bill Paxton, Ruben Blades, and María Conchita Alonso) is solid, but they just don't get enough time to flourish.

I do think that the fast-paced action works pretty well for the first half, which is a pretty energetic stretch of the film. But after the half-point mark, it does feel like it overstays its welcome. The plot keeps stretching things far too long and the ending feels more like a whimper than a bang. I do like how the very final act expands a bit into the nature of the predator, but I didn't really care too much about it at that point.

Grade:



Your podcast is very impressive Thief!
Thank you very much for the kind words! Feel free to explore the catalogue of episodes and let me know your thoughts. I always appreciate any type of feedback.

EDIT: I've heard some of my first episodes recently and they're... a bit rough, so make sure you listen to recent ones for a bit of balance



Awwww look at the ickle fluffy-wuffy bunny
Seen it, forgotten it, never been tempted to go back to it. About all I can say about that one really. I do quite like the original though (even if I'm rarely drawn to rewatch that one either).



Seen it, forgotten it, never been tempted to go back to it. About all I can say about that one really. I do quite like the original though (even if I'm rarely drawn to rewatch that one either).
The first one is one of my favorite action films, hands down. I've seen it more times than I can count. I certainly wasn't expecting this to surpass it, but I thought it had the foundation to be a tad better than it ended up being.



Awwww look at the ickle fluffy-wuffy bunny
The first one is one of my favorite action films, hands down. I've seen it more times than I can count. I certainly wasn't expecting this to surpass it, but I thought it had the foundation to be a tad better than it ended up being.
Honestly can't remember anything of any substance about the sequel but I do remember thinking the urban setting was simply far less appealing than in the original where for me the jungle was really suited as a setting for an alien creature that could 'cloak' itself. In my head (rightly or wrongly) the sequel was just a far less interesting retread.