Make Your Picks

Thunderbolt's 2021 Movie Diary


Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

Everyone should certainly find the time for doing the things that they love so I am setting myself a challenge. My movie watching has plummeted over the past 6 months due to the chaos of just life in general. I want to make sure that in 2021 I find the time to watch at least 200 movies over the year. To some this is probably a simple task, but at the moment Iím only managing to view a single film every 2 or 3 weeks. Iíve never logged movie watching before but I figure it will keep me motivated to hit the 200 target. Iíll briefly comment and rate each film even if itís something really bad from late night TV.

ĒSo 200 movie views for 2021, or else.......Ē

My ratings system:
Awful, never view again.
Passable, a few entertaining moments at best.
Good effort and would happily view again in a year +.
Great performances and plot.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?
Movies watched so far:

1.The Searchers (1956)

2.The Karate Kid (1984)

3.Inferno (2016)

4.Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

5.The Evil Dead (1981)

6.The Abominable Snowman (1957)

7.The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)

8.The Row (2018)

9.Wind Chill (2007)

10.The Karate Kid Part 2 (1986)

11.The Karate Kid Part 3 (1989)

12.All Is Bright (2013)

13.Re-animator (1985)

14.American Beauty (1999)

15.Get Carter (1971)

16.Final Destination (2000)

17.Final Destination 5 (2011)

18.No Country For Old Men (2007)

19.Groundhog Day (1993)

20.The Polar Express (2004)

21.Them! (1954)

22.Rio Bravo (1959)

23.Seventh Son (2014)

24.Yes Man (2008)

25.Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

26.Ghost Ship (2002)

27.Married to the Mob (1988)

28.The Boston Strangler (1968)

29.Scrooged (1988)

30.Casablanca (1942)

31.Night of the Creeps (1986)

32.Rosemaryís Baby (1968)

33.The Deep End of the Ocean (1999)

34.Raging Bull (1980)

35.Kindergarten Cop (1990)

36.Rio Lobo (1970)

37.The Gambler (2014)

38.Django (1966)

39.Red River (1948)

40.Out of the Furnace (2013)

41.The Bishopís Wife (1947)

42.Angel Face (1953)

43.Videoman (2018)

44.In Fabric (2018)

45.Seabiscuit (2003)

46.Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

47.The Gift (2015)

48.Eddie the Eagle (2016)

49.Predators (2010)

50.Hondo (1953)

51.Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

52.Beethoven (1992)

53.Winchester Ď73 (1950)

54.The Fugitive (1993)

55.Videodrome (1983)

56.Rudderless (2014)

57.3:10 to Yuma (1957)

58.Sahara (1943)

59.Gaslight (1944)

60.The Worldís End (2013)

61.Phantom Lady (1944)

62.Cooganís Bluff (1968)

63.Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

64.Frankenstein (1931)

65.The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

66.Phantom of the Opera (1943)

67.The Wolfman (1941)

68.Phantom of the Opera (1929)

69.Werewolf of London (1935)

70.Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

71.Hitchcock (2012)

72.The Unforgiven (1992)

73.The Shadow of the Cat (1961)

74.X the Unknown (1954)

75.The Old Dark House (1932)

76.The Truman Show (1998)

77.Wolf (1994)

78.Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

79.The Big Lebowski (1998)

80.King Kong Escapes (1968)

81.Chopping Mall (1986)

82.Big Mommaís House (2000)

83.Cliffhanger (1993)

84.Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

85.Return of the Living Dead (1985)

86.Emoji Movie (2017)

87.Train to Busan (2016)

88.The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

1. The Searchers (1956) DVD rewatch
A great start to my challenge with this John Wayne western/drama. One of the best John Wayne films I have seen with great cinematography. The landscapes look stunning.

The trick is not minding
Jabs 2021 challenge is a great way to reach this goal. All told, with both Regular and Nightmare mode combined, itís 162 films. From there, itís an easy walk to reach 200.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

2. The Karate Kid (1984) TV rewatch
After viewing a few minutes on TV, I ended up watching the entire movie. Havenít seen this in 25 years + but for what it was, it didnít disappoint.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

3. Inferno (2016) DVD rewatch
The content certainly made me paranoid about how viruses could be developed. Even though itís not connected with the current pandemic, itís a great film for any conspiracy theorists. Faster paced than The Da Vinci Code and well worth a look for any fans of the Dan Brown novels.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

4. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) DVD rewatch
Sergio Leoneís epic Spaghetti Western is incredibly slow paced but there many moments of creative flare and action. Regarded as a mediocre movie at the time of its release, this has gained a great cult status over the years with many critics rating it as one of the best Westerns ever made.

The score adds a haunting spirit to the movie and was written by the late Ennio Morricone.

Clint Eastwood turned down the role of the protagonist, but Charles Bronson does a fine job as the harmonica playing stranger seeking revenge.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

5. The Evil Dead (1981) TV rewatch
My favourite of the series. Great old school effects.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

6. The Abominable Snowman (1957) DVD rewatch
Peter Cushing brings a touch of class to this lesser known Hammer Studios film. Obsessed with finding the Yeti in the Himalayas, Cushing and his team go in search of the legend. But after a long search, Cushing discovers that itís actually man who is the beast rather the creatures.

This Hammer film was released the same year as The Curse of Frankenstein and was some what over shadowed by the Frankenstein success. There are many Hammer films that are well worth checking out. Not just the same half dozen which are permanently rehashed on TV.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

7. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974) DVD rewatch
Also know as ďLet Sleeping Corpses LieĒ and ďDonít Open the Window.Ē
Tension and suspense build slowly in this Jorge Grau directed Zombie movie. Originally on the UK banned ďvideo nasty listĒ and deemed unacceptable, the gore is by no way over the top. Some may feel cheated by the lack of flesh and blood but there is some pure class to the film making. Well acted, a great finale and with a strong message at the end, this is quite an intelligent Zombie flick.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

8. The Row (2018) TV First watch
Iím a sucker for old Slasher movies but this modern day addition to the genre really scraped the bottom of the barrel. Modern Horror at its worst. Well it was on the Horror channel so that explains the bad quality. Many Slashers are far from great but this was something else.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

9. Wind Chill (2007) TV First watch
What started off promising quickly turned into a pretty dull, uninspiring story. The acting was passable but would not view again.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

10. The Karate Kid Part 2 (1986) TV rewatch
So so sequel which already seems like itís struggling for new ideas and plot. The series should have stopped here.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

11. The Karate Kid Part 3 (1989) TV rewatch
Certainly no worse than part 2. The story is more of a continuation of the first film. A few new ideas keeps the viewer intrigued but this is where my enthusiasm for the series stops. As with many films, the first is by far the best.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

12. All Is Bright (2013) TV first watch
Also know as ďAlmost Christmas.Ē
Dull black comedy about two buddies trying to make a buck selling trees at Christmas time. But things never go according to plan with their love/hate relationship always being put to the test. Most will find it hard to find much to laugh at. Best part was finally seeing the credits roll.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

13. Re-animator (1985) TV rewatch
Die hard gore fans will be in their element with this twist on the Frankenstein story from the 80s. The gore does not disappoint.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

14. American Beauty (1999) DVD rewatch
Adults and teens struggle to find happiness in suburban America.
This movie is easily in my top 10 of all time. I avoided this film for years in view of the hype. However when I finally gave in I was floored. With a sharp script, superb performances and an ending so powerful, this should not be missed.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

15. Get Carter (1971) TV first watch
Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to find out who is responsible for the death of his brother.
Although very well acted, this gritty Northern England drama looks very dated. Michael Caine is however very convincing as the brother seeking revenge.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

16. Final Destination (2000) TV rewatch
Teens try to work out deathís design after they escape a plane accident.
This movie had a greater effect on me at the time of its release when the idea was fresh and new. Although I enjoyed the repeat viewing, the whole idea has become slightly tiresome. That being said this instalment is certainly the best of the series.

Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?

17. Final Destination 5 (2011) TV first watch
Almost a rehash of the first movie. The series has now become very tiresome with no originality. Even the CGI effects are substandard compared with its predecessors. I did however like how the finale comes full circle and links itself back to the first film.