We are rapidly closing in on the end of this three-year video adventure. For those just joining us, we’ve been watching all the movies I’ve always wanted to see, but somehow never did… in alphabetical order.
We now present those titles that begin with W. That’s double-u, not Dubya. My apologies to any who might have expected ruminations on everybody’s favorite president.
We begin with the best. These first three films are each great in their own distinctive way.
- Waiting… (2005) I give this one high marks for sentimental reasons, because it premiered at the Prytania Theater in New Orleans just six weeks post-Katrina. It was shot in Kenner. Plus, it has that smarmy Mac guy from the Apple commercials. He’s much more appealing in this movie as the lone serious role. But this is a film that is best enjoyed with high spirits and low expectations. For a teen raunch-fest, this is actually pretty good.
- The Wicker Man (1973) Best horror film I’ve seen in a long while, maybe ever. No gore, but there are plenty of psuedo-pagan folk songs integrated right into the plot, almost enough to qualify this as a horror/musical. Supposedly there is a longer “director’s cut” that I’d like to see.
- The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005) This may be a perfect documentary. It actually made Xy cry, and that isn’t easy.
Next, here’s are some W films which I classify as “damn good”:
- The Wire: Season 1 and Season 3: Each season of this HBO series plays like a long movie. It’s a cops and criminals story but developed to a level of realism I’ve never seen. The scope is expansive and humanizing. The first and third seasons in particular are excellent. I’ve heard the fourth season is even better, but it’s not out yet on DVD.
- Word Wars: Through the auspices of my father-in-law, who is a competitive Scrabble player, we met Marlon, who is one of the key figures in this documentary. The genius of this film is that it make the world of competetive Scrabble fascinating.
Then we have the films that are good, but lacking the “damn” intensifier.
- The Whales of August: I don’t remember much about this flick except that Lillian Gish was in it and some other really old people.
- Wall Street: Greed and deception in the world of corporate raiders. This movie is very 80s.
- The Wild Bunch: A very bloody and nihilistic Western.
- The Wire: Season 2: The second season just wasn’t as good as the one before or after.
- Weeds: Season 1: This Showtime series is ostensibly about drug-dealing, but the real topic is Suburbia and its discontents.
- The Witches: A fun kid flick based on a story by the inimitable Roald Dahl.
Of course this is not the definitive list of W movies. There have been several great films that start with this letter and end with a question mark: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Not to mention Winged Migration and Witness for the Prosecution (and Witness for that matter) and Wonder Boys and The World According to Garp.