My cinematic life the past several months has been gravitating towards Marilyn Monroe. It started last year and has been continuing ever since – having never seen a Monroe film before I made it my plan to view her work, all of the films where she had played a major role, and some of the others too. I can now talk about her with confidence, whereas before I had no clue, and I have to say she has commanded much of my respect and admiration also. That’s one talented and intelligent woman, no matter what her contemporaries say.
So here we go, a short summary followed by summed up opinion. Here are the films I have watched so far this year for which it was my first time watching them.
Avatar (USA, 2009) – A quadriplegic takes up the challenge of binding his mind with an artificially-created alien life-form in the hope that humans can understand them better. Very good.
Bus Stop (USA, 1956) – Marilyn Monroe stars as a less stereotypical blonde girl who gains a parasite in the form of a young man determined to marry her despite the fact that they don’t know each other. Great until the ending, the wrong ending was chosen
The Fugitive (USA, 1993) – A man who didn’t kill his wife must prove that he didn’t. Fast-paced goodness from a younger Harrison Ford.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (USA, 1953) – A duo set sail to further their theatrical dreams, however there is an issue in that one of them is rather taken with wealth and gravitates towards unseemly men. A great movie and a lot of fun.
How To Marry A Millionaire (USA, 1953) – Three women who want wealthy husbands rent an apartment together and try to meet their matches, all the while losing their money and putting off men more suited to them. Hilarious, a good moral, and a brilliant twist.
Iron Man (USA, 2008) – A manager of a weapons company becomes disillusioned with the trade and after being kidnapped sets about making an impenetrable suit of armour with supernatural powers. Keep you attention on what’s happening as it has the possibility to get confusing.
It Had To Be You (USA, 2000) – Two people engaged to others meet and fall in love whilst planning their respective weddings. It’s alright, but easy to see why it wasn’t released in cinemas.
Marie Antoinette (USA/France, 2006) – Historically inaccurate but otherwise good story, however the music ruins it and the ending comes too soon.
Monsters Vs Aliens (USA, 2009) – A girl struck by a meteorite becomes a giant, and having been taken in by security forces looks to save people from peril with the help of other changed beings. Not bad but doesn’t really go anywhere.
Niagara (USA, 1953) – Honeymooners holiday near the falls and meet a couple in a poor marriage, who both seem capable of doing the worst by each other. Pretty good but far from the best film.
Perhaps Love (China, 2005) – A story within a story; a couple who were together before they were famous find themselves playing roles in a film that mirror their real lives. Rather confusing and not nearly as spectacular as the trailer suggested.
Round Ireland With A Fridge (UK, 2010) – An Englishman makes a bet that he can hitch-hike around… well, Ireland with a fridge. Unusual film for our often unusual film industry.
We’re Not Married (USA, 1952) – It is found out that several couples were married by a mayor before he was officiated, and the viewer sees how each couple were before knowing and how they reacted afterwards. The variety of situations and reactions make this one worth it because otherwise its simply a rather disjointed film that doesn’t go anywhere.
My favourite of the bunch is difficult to determine. I thought both Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How To Marry A Millionaire were excellent, yet the sheer difference to Bus Stop sends it further up the list than it otherwise would be. And of course I must be rather unoriginal and say that yes, Avatar is good and the symbolism well done. But part of me wants to point out Round Ireland With A Fridge for its bizarre nature. I’ll likely be reading the book.
I think I need a new goal now that my desire for Marilyn Monroe has been sated. Foreign films foreign films foreign films. I am embarrassed by the western nature of my list.