The 2014 Hitlist Revisited

Readers with a long memory may recall I started this year with a hitlist of movies to watch during 2014. A wishlist of films that either had been on the shelf for too long or new discs I had yet to see, I set up the hitlist thinking it might be enough to drive me into actually watching some of the films. Well, it had mixed results really, and if I decide to set up a 2015 Hitlist I’ll need to be more disciplined/determined about nailing it. Or more choosy about what I put on it.

So looking back at the 2014 Hitlist, what do we have, and how did I do?

betty1) Betty Blue– Well, we’re off to a bad start immediately, as this one somehow slipped through the cracks and didn’t get watched at all. Which is rather odd as I ‘ve always been curious about it, ever since a friend raved about his VHS copy many moons ago. Maybe one to add to the 2015 Hitlist then.

2) Cinema Paradiso– This one I watched, and really enjoyed. Finally I could understand all the fuss and attention around this film for all those years. Indeed, one of the better films that I would see all year.

3) Only God Forgives– Watched this one too. Found it rather odd and disappointing really, particularly after I had enjoyed Drive so much before. Smacked of over-indulgence on all levels really, to the detriment of ‘proper’ or effective storytelling. One to revisit sometime maybe.

4) Cleopatra– Another one slips through the cracks. I’m not expecting anything special, which is why I guess I’ve been putting it off still (well, that and the length of the darn thing). Maybe because I know its a film more famous for the stories behind it than for the film itself. Which is something true of the next film on my list-

hgate5) Heaven’s Gate– What a shocking disappointment this was. I really wanted to like it but good grief it was so poorly constructed with a really lacklustre script. I think it should be screened every year in Films Schools as an object lesson in How Not To Do It. Really, its one of those rare films that even though its bad, I’d actually recommend, particularly to film buffs as its quite an eye-opener. In an odd way, it almost forgives Hollywood for all the ‘safe’, over-marketed and simplistic/sanitized crap we get these days. Subject for discussion one day: Its because of Heavens Gate that we now suffer Transformers.

6) The Maltese Falcon– Didn’t get around to it. Shame on me.

7) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition– This I did see, and quite enjoyed. Frustrating thing is, watching it I have the constant thought that this should have been a live-action Batman or how Nolan’s trilogy ended.

8) Harry Potter 8-Film Collection– Hey, now this I did watch, a boxset binge of a massive film franchise that passed me by on its cinema releases. Unfortunately this is how movies are going these days; turning into boxsets. Its a strange thing really. The Potter films are fine but increasingly fail to function as individual movies, which is a bit of a problem. As a series boxset, there is also an issue that the best of the films is the third instalment, and that its frankly all downhill from there. But hey, its eight films so it was some kind of result actually getting through it. Of course this is how some people now ‘discover’ the Star Wars films or the Lord of the Rings films (one day it’ll be a LOTR saga of six films, which will give newbies a struggle getting through three bloated Hobbit movies before getting to the good stuff).

9) Lolita (possibly the last Kubrick film I have yet to see)- Ah, no. Didn’t get to it, so its a Kubrick I have still to see. It occurs to me that there is something very wrong with the world if I watch so many rubbish films and yet still have a film by Kubrick that I have yet to see.

10) Marnie (one of the few Hitchcock’s I have yet to see) ) No, not this either. Again, I watch stuff like Transformers 4 but I have a Hitchcock film on the shelf unseen? Okay, I hear its hardly vintage Hitchcock but all the same, its got to be seen, yes?

Beyond those ten, I had a further ten, which were films I had seen before but not yet in HD. These were Blu-rays I’d bought usually as upgrades from DVDs but hadn’t watched yet. Unfortunately I only watched two of them, so won’t go into any detail here. Other than to say I must try harder next year, and I cannot believe I haven’t watched my Blu-rays of Big Trouble in Little China or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. What the hell have I been doing in 2014?


2 thoughts on “The 2014 Hitlist Revisited

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    That looks like a really good idea. If all my films weren’t in boxes [we moved in July, and the house renovations are only just finishing up], I’d do the same thing.

    I keep meaning to watch ‘Cleopatra’ as well. My wife loves it, we need to set aside a Sunday afternoon to watch her Blu-ray.

    I watched ‘Only God Forgives’ this year, as well: the trailers etc gave me A Bad Feeling, so I skipped it until it urned up for ‘free’ on Netflix, and thought exactly the same thing as you did.

    It’s one of those directorial masturbation movies [of varying quality, but generally quirky and hip, and always very self-indulgent] you often get off the back of a hit… Scorsese follows ‘Taxi Driver’ with ‘New York New York’, Lynch follows ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ with ‘Wild At Heart’, the Coens follow ‘Fargo’ with ‘The Big Lebowski’, Boyle follows ‘Trainspotting’ with ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ etc.

  2. I always find the pull of easy-on-the-brain or just-come-out stuff to be terribly strong, even when one has a dedicated list of stuff to aim to watch. There’s still a few days left to watch one or two more, though!

    (I’ve got through 11 of my 12. Unfortunately the last is Requiem for a Dream, which is hardly post-Christmas end-of-the-year viewing…)

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