Movies

2014 Movie List

Since typing out the 2013 "Movies" list was more than a little tedious, I've written a short Perl script to do the work for me. Never underestimate the power of a short Perl script! Here, then, is the list of everything I watched in 2014. Hmm. I sure racked up the couch-time!

2013 Movie List

Sometime in August 2013, I decided to add a "Date Watched" column to my movie database, thus allowing me to at least list what I have watched each year, by year.  Obviously this list only goes back as far as August... :-)

Now that I've got my script working (produced for the 2014 list) I've regenerated this list too!

Nights of Cabiria

Nights of Cabiria

Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Original Italian title: Le Notti de Cabiria

On the whole, I tend to watch movies with aliens, or zombies, or lots of explosions -- or even exploding alien zombies, given half a chance.  Every now and then, however, I convince myself that I should branch out and watch something with a little more depth to it.  I start looking through the foreign movie section, at artistic movies, movies with culture.  (Hey, they're foreign, that's automatic culture points, that is!)  On my last visit to my Amazon wishlist, I bought a few box-sets of movies by French and Italian directors.  I also discovered that one of the movies contained therein was also listed independently.  Obviously, at some point, I had read something that convinced me I really wanted to see that movie.

And who am I to argue with my Amazon wishlist?  The movie in question was Nights of Cabiria, by none other than Federico Fellini; a name I certainly knew, but I can't say I'd seen any of his work.  Now I have!

Warning: this review may contain spoilers.

The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

World War II.

Jung speaks of synchronicity, of "events having a coincidence in time". It is just such a synchronicity that lies behind this story. In 1943, German paratroopers pulled off a daring raid, freeing Mussolini from his prison. Excited by this success, Adolf Hitler makes the patently absurd suggestion that a similar raid could, perhaps, be carried out to abduct Winston Churchill. His sycophantic followers delight in seeing the poor Admiral on the spot sweating, so they build the idea up. The Admiral knows the Fuhrer will quickly forget the idea, but that his followers will not, so he is forced to order that a feasibility study be carried out.

The Colonel given that task has just received an otherwise meaningless report that suggests, yes, it is feasible.

Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare (1968)
"Broadsword calling Danny Boy. Broadsword calling Danny Boy."

World War II.

An Allied, US General with information critical to the war effort—detailed knowledge of the planned Second Front—has been shot down over German-held territory, high in the Austrian Alps, and taken to the Schloss Adler. The "Eagle's Nest"; so called because "only an eagle could get to it." An extraction team—six Brits, one American Ranger—is sent in to retrieve the General before he can be made to talk. Secrecy and stealth are to be their methods, hoped to succeed where a full-scale assault would surely fail.

Simple enough—but in this tale, nothing is what it seems.

Dr. Who and the Daleks

Dr. Who and the Daleks (Movie: 1965)

This may be news to some of you — it came as a complete surprise to me when I first discovered it, some ten-odd years ago — but in the mid-’60s, Britain was gripped by Dalekmania.  More than anything, it was the wild popularity of the Daleks that helped launch Doctor Who into the public’s imagination, and keep it on the air long after it might otherwise have faded from history.

In 1965, two big-screen movies were made about the megalomaniacal pepper-pot menaces, starring Peter Cushing as “Dr. Who”.  This is the first of those movies, based upon the Doctor Who serial The Daleks.  Since I’ve only just watched that episode, it seemed only fair that I should give this movie another viewing, and compare the two versions of the story.

I, Robot

"I, Robot" poster

I, Robot (2004)

The Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Warning: this review may contain spoilers.

The movie I, Robot is "inspired by" the book of the same name—a collection of short stories—by Isaac Asimov. I'm currently reading The Complete Robot which is, I believe, an extended version of I, Robot with a couple of extra stories. When I first saw this movie, I was familiar with the Three Laws, but not the content of the book. I remember, at the time, there seemed to be a group of Asimov fans expressing their disappointment at the path the movie took—but I thought it was actually a quite logical outgrowth of the three laws…

Latest Articles

2014 Movie List

Since typing out the 2013 "Movies" list was more than a little tedious, I've written a short Perl script to do the work for me. Never underestimate the power of a short Perl script! Here, then, is the list of everything I watched in 2014. Hmm. I sure racked up the couch-time!

Read more...

2014 Reading List

2014 was also a slow year for me. I think I'd almost go so far as to say that 2014 was my Annus Horribilis; certainly I didn't seem to be particularly productive with anything. My heart just wasn't in it. Neither were my kidneys.

Read more...

2013 Reading List

2013 was a slow year for me, book-wise. Apparently. I only read 26 books, and there were a couple of large gaps during which I was too focused on other projects to do much reading. (And since 2014 was, uh, not a good year—for many reasons—I never finished typing this up until April 2015!)

Read more...

2013 Movie List

Sometime in August 2013, I decided to add a "Date Watched" column to my movie database, thus allowing me to at least list what I have watched each year, by year.  Obviously this list only goes back as far as August... :-)

Now that I've got my script working (produced for the 2014 list) I've regenerated this list too!

Read more...

Barbara Wright

Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) was Susan Foreman's history teacher at the Coal Hill School; along with Ian Chesterton she followed Susan back to the junkyard in which she was living, and encountered the Doctor.  When, concerned for their student, they forced themselves into the TARDIS, they were essentially abducted by the Doctor.

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