Day One

Seven Samurai (1954) Seven hired samurai battle a group of bandits to save a farm village. Widely considered one of cinema’s greatest classics, this is Kurosawa at his most masterful. Plus, I ate a total of three turkey sandwiches during the film. With cheese. A

Day Two

Sanshiro Sugata (1943) Even in his first film, Kurosawa’s striking visual style is on display, seeds of the hallmarks of his later films can be seen, and I texted this girl whose number I’d gotten at the bar the weekend before while I was watching. I ate some ice cream mid-way through the movie, but the girl didn’t text me back. B

Day Three

Sanshiro Sugata 2 (1945) This is the sequel to the one I watched yesterday, and it was basically more of the same. That girl still hasn’t texted me back, and I was watching my phone for the whole movie, so I would’ve seen it if she did. D-

Day Four

Dodesukaden (1970) A story of the lives of a community of people who live in a garbage dump. Pretty interesting film, and his first in colour. Like, look, even if you’re not interested, a text back is just common courtesy. D

Day Five

Stray Dog (1949) A rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen pistol, which is being used in a series of escalating crimes. Finished off that ice cream from the other day and didn’t leave the apartment. B+

Day Six

Dreams (1990) A visually stunning collection of vignettes inspired by recurring dreams from throughout Kurosawa’s life. I had a bunch of McDonald’s when I watched it because I got some coupons in the mail, and by the time the movie was done I could already feel the rumblings of some pretty horrific diarrhea ahead. C-

Day Seven

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945) Some guys are trying to sneak through the mountains dressed as monks for some reason? I don’t know, I fell asleep for a lot of this one. It was a great nap, though. B

Day Eight

The Bad Sleep Well (1960) A taut drama about a man seeking revenge on the high-powered bureaucrats who forced his father to commit suicide to cover up their embezzlement. I was sexting with an ex throughout most of this one, and then about two hours into its two and a half hour run I left to go hook up with her. A+

Day Nine

Scandal (1950) A damning portrayal of the invasive nature of the media. The ex I hooked up with last night said something about this mole on my arm looking bigger than it used to. Does it? I’ve been trying to figure it out the whole movie. C

Day Ten

Ran (1985) A sprawling epic about an aging patriarch and his three jerk sons who all won’t stop trying to kill each other. This is one of Kurosawa’s last films, and is his last period epic. The composition of each shot is incomparable, the colour is absolutely vibrant, and I had a burrito during it that was the size of a fucking newborn baby. A

Day Eleven

Drunken Angel (1948) An alcoholic doctor goes beyond the call of duty to try to save a young gangster from tuberculosis. Visually striking shots and powerful performances make this a gripping watch. All the stuff about doctors kept making me think about this mole, though. Is it bigger?? B

Day Twelve

The Lower Depths (1957) I texted an old nurse friend a pic of the mole. He said it’s nothing to worry about. Actually, what he said was to stop texting him, we’re not friends, in fact he wishes the mole was cancerous. It was a bit much. I mean, it’s been like six years since I slept with his girlfriend. Some people can really hold a grudge. My main takeaway, though, is that the mole isn’t a big deal. B+

Day Thirteen

The Most Beautiful (1944) I was feeling like kind of a fatso because I’d eaten a bunch of poutine earlier, so I decided to start working out while I’m watching these. I spent about 45 minutes on the elliptical, and by the end I felt like a 90-year-old on his death bed. D

Day Fourteen

Rhapsody In August (1991) A Nagasaki family discovers an estranged relative and his family in Hawaii. There is a lot of talk about the atomic bomb. Richard Gere speaking Japanese was way too disconcerting. D-

Day Fifteen

Yojimbo (1961) A wandering ronin plays two rival gangs against each other to save a town from their grip. Got me pumped up to work out again. I did two sets of twenty sit-ups and spent so much of the movie on the elliptical that I could hardly breathe. So, as a reward, I ate grilled cheese sandwiches until I passed out. B+

Day Sixteen

Sanjuro (1962) The sequel to Yojimbo. So tired and sore from all the sit-ups yesterday I could hardly move. Had to pause the movie several times to poop, because of all the grilled cheese sandwiches. C

Day Seventeen

One Wonderful Sunday (1947) A melodramatic tale of a young couple trying to make the best of their Sunday date, despite only having 35 yen. Still not really feeling up to doing any exercise again. Maybe tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. And no more grilled cheese sandwiches. Well, I mean, I’ve still got some cheese, I should finish that off. Then no more grilled cheese sandwiches after that. For real. B-

Day Eighteen

Throne of Blood (1957) A re-telling of Macbeth, set in feudal Japan. I got really drunk during this one. A


Day Nineteen

The Quiet Duel (1949) So hung over. Is it me, or was this movie way too loud and bright? D-

Day Twenty

Dersu Uzala (1975) I saw a UFO! No, for real. It’s hard to describe, but it was this slowly brightening orb of light that got really intense and then slowly faded and was gone. The really weird thing, though, is that right where it had been in the sky, the clouds segmented into these perfectly symmetrical rectangles that were all geometrically sound and were equidistant from each other, like in a grid. It was weird, man. I’ve never seen anything like it before. B

Day Twenty-One

Madadayo (1993) None of the local newspapers would print anything about the UFO I saw. Like, I’m not expecting it to be front page news or anything, but you’d think they’d want to print a little something. It’s news, after all. It really happened. I did get a free tote bag and coffee mug, though, so it wasn’t a total loss. C

Day Twenty-Two

The Hidden Fortress (1958) Pretty sure Kurosawa just ripped most of this off from Star Wars? C-3PO+

Day Twenty-Three

No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) To be completely honest, I didn’t really understand most of this movie because I don’t understand Japanese. D-

Day Twenty-Four

Ikiru (1952) My cats were being so cute while I watched this, I started snapping a few pics of them and before I knew it I had over 50. It took me the whole rest of the movie to Instagram them all. Time to let the likes roll in. B+

Day Twenty-Five

I Live in Fear (1955) Got 12 likes!! B

Day Twenty-Six

Red Beard (1965) Seven more likes! A

Day Twenty-Seven

The Idiot (1951) It kind of hit me while I was watching this that I’ve been doing this every day for just about a month now, and I’m nearing the end. Can I be honest with you? For years now I’ve been adrift, my life all but meaningless, hardly having a reason to get up out of bed in the mornings, tilting listlessly from paycheque to paycheque and drink to drink. But watching these films has pulled my life into a direction. However trifling it may seem, it’s been a constant that I’ve desperately needed, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s over. No rating, what’s the point?

Day Twenty-Eight

High and Low (1963) Things got a bit real yesterday. I’m feeling better today, and I’m confident that things will turn around for me soon. You never know what tomorrow will bring. B

Day Twenty-Nine

Kagemusha (1980) I finally beat the level in Candy Crush that I’ve been stuck on for, like, two years! B+

Day Thirty

Rashomon (1950) Rashomon is considered to be not only one of Kurosawa’s greatest achievements, but one of the greatest in the history of film. Its innovative camera techniques and use of multiple perspectives of the same narrative changed filmmaking forever. It was the film which launched Japanese cinema into world consciousness, and cemented Kurosawa as one of the leading figures in the medium not just at the time, but of all time. I don’t know, though, I was distracted by this really itchy mosquito bite on my leg that I couldn’t stop scratching the whole time. C

For a while I had decided on skipping Star Trek: Into Darkness, JJ Abrams’ sequel to the 2009 reboot. I did enjoy the last one, in spite of myself, but the prevailing sentiment I was getting about Into Darkness was that it was insanely dumb and not worth ticket price.

But eventually I thought to myself “What the hell, maybe I’ll give it a shot. There was bad press for that last Spider-Man movie and I actually enjoyed that one. Maybe if I just go in with low expectations I’ll be pleasantly surprised”.


Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX posterYou heard right. I heard right. Star Trek: Into Darkness is dumb. Hella dumb. Transformers dumb, unsurprising considering it comes courtesy of the same hack screenwriters as that infernal franchise.

I’m not normally one to write detailed descriptions or plot summaries, but I think the best way to give you an introduction as to how mindbogglingly stupid this film is is to take you through the opening scene, because it really does set you up quite beautifully for the kind of experience you’re in for.

The film opens with Kirk and Bones getting chased through an alien forest by some spear-throwing, loincloth-clad natives like Jim Carrey at the end of Ace Ventura 2. The natives, incidentally, are all the color of day old cream, almost as though someone sensed they were a hair’s width away from a massive racial shitstorm and made the natives as not black as possible. Apparently, the Enterprise was doing a routine survey of the planet and found the nearby volcano was on the brink of eruption, which would destroy the entire planet somehow, and decided to swoop in and save the day by…..and I want you to pay attention here, lower Spock on a cable from a shuttle craft into the volcano, so he can drop some kind of anti-volcano device into it. Of course, why this involved Kirk stealing the natives sacred scroll thingy, or why Kirk and Bones had to go near their village in the first place, is never explained.

Likewise, why they couldn’t just teleport the anti-volcano device INTO the volcano, in spite of the fact that they later teleport Spock out, is likewise left a mystery for the ages. This is a recurring theme, you’ll find. Apparently in the last few years transporter technology has become fussier than a videogame cartridge from 1995, and only ever works when the script calls for it. But after a few close calls, they all get safely back to the Enterprise, which has been hiding…..underwater in a nearby lake. Why is it in the lake? Why not in space, it being a space ship? How did they get it there without any of the natives seeing it? How did no one in the entire film making process think “Wait, this makes no fucking sense”? The movie seems to meet all these questions, and the many others you’ll doubtlessly have after watching the film, with a resounding “because fuck you”.

I could really spend the entire review pointing out the many, MANY logical inconsistencies, terrible decisions, lazy plot devices and general stupidity of the movie, but there are plenty of people already doing that. This IS the internet, after all. So suffice to say, the movie’s dumb. Moving on.

From that little adventure, the Enterprise crew heads back to earth, where a mysterious terrorist played by Benedict Cumberbatch is causing all kinds of havoc for the Federation bigwigs, and after Cumberbatch lures the Federation’s best and brightest into the most obvious trap in recent film history, Admiral Robocop sends Kirk and the Enterprise out to kick his ass.


From a technical standpoint, Abrams’ usual signatures are on full display. Lens flares out the butt, shaky, unsteady camera work and selective focus during fight scenes, it’s all par for the course. When the camera is being held steady and isn’t awash with blue-white light, there isn’t anything particularly interesting to look at on display. The Enterprise in the new timeline still looks like the inside of an Apple Store, and the looks we get at various Earth cities are probably the most dull, generic looking futuristic cityscapes I’ve ever seen on film. Similarly, Federation dress uniform is now a gray tunic with a peaked officer’s cap. At least Next Generation gave its main characters a fashionable frock for formal occasions.

On the acting front, most of the characters have become more caricatures in the years since the last one. I actually really liked Karl Urban’s Deforest Kelley impersonation in the last one, but by this point it feels more like something you do to get laughs at parties than an actual performance. Simon Pegg’s Scottish antics as Scotty have similarly been dialed up a notch. For all its faults, the last movie at least had the plus of a fairly strong cast that gelled as a unit. This time around, the gel’s gone a tad moldy after too long in the fridge.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is, as we’ve covered here, a definitively dumb movie. But what’s worse, it’s not even the fun kind of dumb, the kind of dumb you can laugh at. This is the kind of dumb that just makes your soul ache at how little thought went into it and how little almost anyone involved seemed to give a shit about crafting an interesting narrative or inventive action scenes. Remember that scene in the first one where Kirk and another cast member suit up in space-suits and skydive towards a narrow target at breakneck speeds in a scene tailor made for the shitty tie-in videogame? They do the exact same scene in Into Darkness, but the big selling point this time: they’re going sideways instead of down. That’s literally the most innovation or originality you’re gonna get in this one. A scene you’ve already seen, but rotated 90 degrees.