10 movies deserving of a second chance

Posted December 23rd, 2009. Filed under Movies

*These are ranked in order of how likely I think I would be to like each film if I gave them a second viewing.*

10 - Syriana (pictured above)

Directed by Stephen Gaghan, 2005

I think I didn’t give Syriana a fair chance because it kept feeling to me like an anti-westerner rant about how the oil industry is all screwed up because of westerners alone.  My respect for Jeffrey Wright’s acting abilities along with a growing suspicion that the assessment of the influence of the west in the oil industry might not be entirely off-base is reason enough to give this a second chance.

09 - The Fountain

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, 2006

My distaste for this movie is due to just plain not understanding what is happening from scene to scene.  Some of the imagery is beautiful, and Rachel Weisz is a treat (I think I’ve mentioned that before?). Perhaps if I come equipped with a pen and paper to jot down some notes, I’ll be able to follow along a little better?

08 - The Prestige

Directed by Christopher Nolan, 2006

I absolutely hated the way this movie ended.  It felt like a parody of Hollywood twist endings.  Coming across as an unintentional parody is never a good thing.  In hindsight, there was alot to like about The Prestige, though.  Perhaps if I watch up until the last 15 minutes and then imagine my own ending in my head?

07 - The Darjeeling Limited (pictured above)

Directed by Wes Anderson, 2007

I think this one boils down to me not getting Wes Anderson’s M.O. When I first saw The Darjeeling Limited, I hadn’t yet seen the Royal Tenenbaums.  I loved the Royal Tenenbaums and, after watching it, I looked up Wes Anderson’s filmography.  I think I might appreciate this movie more now after reading about how the two films are stylistically and psychologically very similar.

06 - I Heart Huckabees

Directed by David O. Russell, 2004

I saw this movie as being quirky for the sake of being quirky and I thought it just tried too hard for it’s own good.  I honestly don’t think I gave it a fair chance — I couldn’t recount the plot to you if I tried; I don’t think I could even name any of the characters.  I vaguely remember a large rock? And a dinner scene?  Yea, I need to watch this again.

05 - Shaun of the Dead

Directed by Edgar Wright, 2004

I watched Shaun of the Dead at the tail end of an October full of watching horror movies.  I think I was all zombie’d out and didn’t really appreciate this as much as everyone else I know.  I did love Hot Fuzz, so I imagine I am capable of loving this too.

04 - Waltz with Bashir (pictured above)

Directed by Ari Folman, 2008

This was beautifully animated, but I think I was too busy enjoying the visual spectacle and didn’t pay enough attention to the story.  In the end, I just didn’t get it.

03 - Punch-Drunk Love

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002

A while back, I watched and hated Robin Williams in One Hour Photo.  I think this experience convinced me that comedians should stick to comedy and colored my viewing of Punch-Drunk Love in less than rosy colors.  More recently, Will Ferrel’s Stranger Than Fiction has convinced me that I was probably wrong -  comedians are definitely capable of putting together a good, serious, even sublime performance.  Also, Paul Thomas Anderson directed one of my absolute favorite movies of all time more recently (this unnamed movie will appear on my big 50-movie list.  You could go look up his filmography, of course - but if you don’t already know what movie I’m referring to, why spoil it? :P) so I feel compelled to give his earlier work a second chance.

02 - Donnie Darko

Directed by Richard Kelly, 2001

I understand there are several different versions of Donnie Darko out there?  Maybe I’ll have better luck with one of the other cuts?  I really want to like this movie - just about everyone whose opinion I respect loved it and recommended it.

01 - Lost in Translation (pictured above)

Directed by Sofia Coppola, 2003

Lost in Translation is the poster child of movies almost universally loved by critics and journalists yet panned by the viewing public.  Over the years, I’ve found myself agreeing more and more with critics.  Every time I see this movie referenced, I find myself saying “I should really see that again.”

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