Tuesday 28 November 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 68. Favourite and least favourite films of the year.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
It's not always easy to think of worthwhile introductions to posts but, as always, I'm not going to let that put me off.

Instead, I'm going to say it's the final Tuesday of this very month we've been living through - and that can only mean one thing.

That I've run out of things to talk about and must disinter, from its hole in the ground, the feature that dare not speak its name. Mostly because it's too busy speaking its brain.

It's the slot in which the first person to comment gets to decide the topic of the day. That topic could involve almost any activity known to man - or even not known to man.

Therefore, have no hesitation in grabbing your typewriter, putting a new ribbon in it, warming up your typing fingers and commenting below.

And wherever it is the conversation takes us, I'll meet it when it gets there.


Matthew McKinnon said...

What have been your favourite and least favourite films this year?

And which old film(s) have you seen for the first time and really liked?

Anonymous said...

I really liked The Killer which surprised me as I’m often underwhelmed by Fincher. Worst was The Flash, which I found bloated and boring (admittedly I did watch it during a flight).


Anonymous said...

I finally watched Avengers: Infinity War, which was better than I expected. Avengers:Endgame, on the contrary, was much worse.

The only old film I've seen lately, is Legend of the 7 Golden Vamps - but I can't say I particularly liked it!


Colin Jones said...

I haven't seen any new films this year so I can't answer the first question. I don't even know which films were RELEASED this year as I used to get all my information about new films from SFX magazine but I haven't bought a copy since March 2022.

As for old films - back in the Summer I watched 'The Exorcist' for the first time (on BBC iplayer) which I'd heard was really scary but I was a bit underwhelmed to be honest. I also watched 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' for the first time and I ended up watching it three times over five days because I found it totally batshit crazy but also very compelling!

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I did see twelve angry men for the first time ever on 29 Feb and thought it was amazing. The limited cast. The limited stage. The increasingly sweaty brows. The way they all have different personalities but we don't get them all thrown at us at once - they all get gradually dripped in. And how we never get to see trial or the jury reporting the verdict. And we don’t get to find out whether the accused really was guilty.

It did get me thinking, though. If I were to recast the film with different actors from the past or the present, who would I pick to play the twelve characters in it? I'm just going to copy over some old Facebook posts. Here we go…

Let's start with the film's protagonist. The only member of the jury at the start who votes not guilty and it's because he has character and integrity and doesn't want to send the accused to the chair without proper consideration; if the evidence. When I read this, there was one particular actor I was expecting to see in the role. Out: Henry Fonda. In: James Stewart.

These are in no particular order. Next is the wise old bald guy. Someone like Patrick Stewart has too much gravitas, whereas the bald guy from the Benny Hill Show doesn't have enough. It's hard to find someone in the middle and I ended up googling bald actors when I got home. But I did find the perfect actor for the role. Out: Joseph Sweeney. In: Sir Ben Kingsley!

Then there's the mild mannered bank clerk. Whenever he tries to make a point, he's always drowned out by the extroverts. I reckon this guy could do a job here. Out: John Fiedler. In: Malcolm Hebden.

Right. The polite Eastern European immigrant. The most difficult of the lot and I did need google for this. I'm not convinced I've struck gold here but I do have someone who could do a job. Out: George Viskovec. In: Mads Mikkelsen.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

The gobby salesman who would rather get to a quick verdict than hang around in a meeting room all day and miss the ball game he's got tickets for. All through the film I was getting Phil Collins vibes from this character, so it's an easy choice for me here. Out: Jack Warden. In: Phil Collins.

The racist. At some point he goes off into a bigoted rant and everyone gets up from the table and turns their back on him in an iconic scene. I thought about going for someone with an alleged nasty streak * cough Spacey cough * but in the end went for someone whose acting skills could get them the role rather than their personality. Out: Ed Begley. In: Gene Hackman.

Toughish guy who thinks everyone should respect the elderly and will stand up to bullying. A really tough one and I almost went for Hugh Scully from the Antiques Roadshow just for his looks. Out: Edward Binns. In: Matt Le Blanc but there must be a better choice out there somewhere.

The cold, logical stockbroker. Only interested in facts and not in the human side of things. Only one choice here. Out: E. G. Marshall. In: Leonard Nimoy.

Another difficult one. The foreman of the jury. He doesn't participate much in the conversation but acts as a link between the jury and everyone outside the room. Loose tie, sleeves probably rolled up. You get the feeling he'd rather be somewhere else doing work with his hands rather than sat around in a meeting. But he knows what his job is today and he does it to the best of his ability. Out: Martin Balsam. In: Steve Kanaly.

The bully. Seems to hate the younger generation and has chased his son out of his life with violence. Seems to be on the verge of exploding throughout the film. When he demonstrates some stuff about how to stab someone in the chest, there's a genuine worry among the jury that he's going to just lose it and stab Henry Fonda's character. Unfortunately neither Gordon Ramsay nor Roy Keane are actors but I did come up with someone. Out: Lee J. Cobb. In: Sylvester Stallone.

The easily distracted, creative marketing guru. Another easy one. This guy was made for the role. Out: Robert Webber. In: Jim Carey.

And finally the guy brought up in the slums who's made something of his life but still remembers how tough life can be for some. Sounding like Danny Wilde from The Persuaders, making this another easy choice. And that's the lot! Out: Jack Klugman. In: Tony Curtis.

Anonymous said...

Dangermash! Wow now that is a classic! 12 Angry Men. haven’t heard / seen it since 1993 when working on my MBA at University of Chicago. We spent a week discussing all the interpersonal dynamics in the context of a course on Organizational Learning and Leadership.

There really is a ton of “clinical behavior” going in in that movie. The one bit I remember 30 years on is where Henry Fonda takes a stick of gum from someone… maybe the “mild mannered bank clerk?” The premise being that you can “win an ally” by accepting a favor / good deed from them. IIRc wasn’t the clerk then the first one to vote not guilty like Fonda?

Anonymous said...

Charlie is in the same soup as COLIN. My wife does not watch TV as a rule. Thus we dont watch movies… zero. but somehow we both had seen ROCKY HORROR around. 40 years and , whilst i was surfing channels between soccer games,it was on! We both watched and had some laughs (no we did not throw hot dogs at each other or snap laltex gloves like on the movie theatres lol. )

Redartz said...

Haven't seen anything lately. Probably my favorite film this year was Everything Everywhere All at Once. My wife and I watched it early this year when we were checking out the Oscar nominees. Pretty odd, and frequently funny- a rare thing for an Oscar winner in this day and age.

Have seen numerous old movies this year, but none for the first time. Did watch " It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World " for the first time in many years. About busted a gut laughing!

Colin- welcome to the Rocky Horror club! Saw it several times at the local art theater, usually with arty friends. We did throw toast; but in case anyone was wondering, I never wore fishnets...

Matthew McKinnon said...

I watched ‘Tar’ in January and really enjoyed it, which is odd because I’ve been a bit fed up with Cate Blanchett’s scenery-chewing in recent years.

Also really liked Cronenberg Jr’s ‘Infinity Pool’ and this year’s animated ‘Spiderverse’ film.

‘Beau Is Afraid’ was a massive disappointment. An amazing and hilarious first 45 minutes but then it get progressively worse and worse for the rest of its 3 hour running time. A shame, as I really like ‘Midsommer’.

Another 3 hour behemoth was ‘Oppenheimer’ which failed on every single level for me (as have all Nolan films for pretty much the last decade).

I have never seen ‘12 Angry Men’ though I picked up a copy earlier this year and have been meaning to sit down and watch it.

I went to see the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ a couple of times when I was 15 as I t was an 80s teen rite of passage. But I haven’t seen it since and I keep meaning to rewatch it. It will be tough to schedule in as my wife doesn’t like musicals and this particular one became extremely ‘uncool’ for folks of our particular generation.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Can’t remember who gives him the gum or who’s the first to defect to not guilty but, yeah, you could spend a lifetime watching the film and picking up on little stuff like that.

McSCOTTY said...

Favourite films that I have seen this year ( both on a plane and released 2022 I'm afraid) were "The Whale" with Brendan Frasers wonderful performance and "A man called Otto" with Tom Hanks. I also enjoyed the UK film "Living" with Bill Nighy. I haven't watched too many movies this year and none of those I have watched were awful.

Sorry but I can't think of any old movies I have seen for the first time.

12 Angry Men is brilliant. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...


Charlie was not given the option to attend the film Barbie this summer as it was part of a birthday lunch/family movie to celebrate the son-in-law‘s birthday.

I truly found the film, to be most enjoyable lighthearted satire.

Poor Ken… Having no purpose in life now that Barbie was independent. L O L

The real challenge was staying awake, after a rather hearty lunch with a couple of glasses of red wine, sitting in these ultra plush seats that reclined, at two in the afternoon.

Me missus only gave me one elbow shot to the ribs! But in truth, though my eyes were gently closed, I was fully awake.

Anyhow, I do recommend the movie if you want a good chuckle and enjoy some satire.

Perhaps one of the best parts was at the end when they showed all the different types of Barbies that have been released over the last 60 years. The one where you move her arm up and down and her boobs get bigger and smaller is hysterical.

Steve W. said...

Matthew, thanks for the topic.

Off the top of my head, I'm struggling to think of any newish films I've seen in the last 12 months.

Thanks to TalkingPicturesTV's Friday night Cellar Club with Caroline Munro, I've seen a whole bunch of ancient films I've never previously encountered. Most of them have been terrible, with one starring Caroline herself being possibly the worst film I've ever encountered. However, some of them have been good. I think the most memorable was one with a pre-Star Trek William Shatner as an evangelical race-hate preacher who arrives in town and stirs up nothing but trouble.

Colin, I remember first seeing The Exorcist about 25 years ago and was surprised by just how unscary it was. I can only put its reputation down to the effectiveness of the studio's publicity department.

Matthew McKinnon said...

Tell you what I did watch recently, for the first time: cult 70s horror movie ‘Messiah Of Evil’.

It’s definitely one for indie comics fans: I just knew watching it that it had clearly been a massive influence on Steve Bassett and Dan Clowes.

A quick Google search showed Bissette hosting a screening!

Matthew McKinnon said...

*Steve Bissette, not 'Bassett.

Anonymous said...

Steve Bassett is a UFOs/disclosure guy!


Anonymous said...

Two “old” movies I watched for the first time recently:

THE SEVEN UPS (1973) and ARSENUC AND OLD LACE (1944) — both enjoyable — SEVEN UPS has a downright stunning car chase sequence

Several movies from this year — all of which I enjoyed to varying degreees:



MEGHAN (most recent movie I’ve seen in a theatre, this past January)


Anonymous said...

I saw ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW on its original theatrical release , without the audience participation stuff — in fact, the theatre was practically empty. It was on a double bill with PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. I thought ROCKY HORROR was fun and thought PHANTOM was brilliant.


Anonymous said...

Not been to the cinema for a while, so I haven't seen any films that came out this year, Matthew.

In fact the last time I went to a cinema was before the pandemic, to see Australian flick 'The Nightingale', about a transported Irish convict in 1820s Tasmania, when the British were wiping out the locals. Not exactly a cheerful night out, but well worth seeing.

The last film I saw was 'Seven Days in May'.
"You can't gear a country's economy to war for twenty years and then just put the brakes on..." Interesting to see a film about an attempted military coup made just before the Kennedy hit. It was pretty good (apart from a sub-plot that seemed a bit tacked on, to - in the jargon of the era - include a dame in the picture).

Of course after dangermash's comment I'm now trying to imagine what a modern remake would be like. There'd almost certainly be set-piece action scenes, probably with (gawd 'elp us) Tom Cruise on a motorbike.


Anonymous said...

dangermash, On the subject of remaking 'Twelve Angry Men' someone made a trailer of the Christopher Nolan version...


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

That's one great trailer Sean