Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yeah, didn't see that one coming, did ya, DID YA!? I admit, watching and reading my reviews you probably figured out I don't like gory horror movies, and in general I don't. Here's the one major exception. Just when I thought Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was the best musical I'd seen in years, POW!!! Y'know, when I saw the first Spy Kids movie at the ripe old age of twelve, I developed a massive crush on Alexa Vega. Of course, as I grew older, my feelings for her began to fade, especially after Spy Kids 3D (seriously H-Wood, enough with the 3D threequel gag, it was never funny!) Besides after that she kinda faded from the spotlight. But man, oh man, has this film reignited our love!! Come away with me, Alexa! There is a world out there, and a throne! A woman's throne here in my heart!! (a special no-prize to the reader who can name the movie I was just paraphrasing)
This thing just plain kicked ass. There is not a single song in the score that I don't want on my IPod (or would if I had an IPod. "Please sir, can I have some more?") It had an eye-popping sense of style, and yes, I'll admit it, even the gore was cool. Not to mention that it was a brilliant satire of our beauty-obsessed plastic surgery culture, which is what made Paris Hilton's casting so brilliant (and no, I can't believe I'm saying that either). And what really seals the deal is the fact that this is a true anarchist's movie. Many of the professional critics hated this movie, while audiences loved it. Power to the people! They can take our lives, but they'll never take our MOVIES!!
MY FAVORITE MOVIE I KNOW I'LL TAKE CRAP FOR: The Spirit
Haha, yeah, that one you probably saw coming. I'm one of probably 4.5 movie goers on the planet who liked this movie. Which is why I'm now the target of a bloodthirsty witch hunt (like I need another one of those. But they'll never find me! Bwa ha ha ha!!) I'm pretty darn sure people went into this film cynical. They wanted to hate it, that's the only explanation. Was it a good movie? Hell, no. Not even close. Did it respect the original? Kinda, but not really. Was it fun? Frack, yeah!! A wise-cracking hero in sneakers, trench coat, fedora, domino mask, and most importantly...black? Armies of hot chicks, ridiculously over sized guns, Neo Noir setting with the coolest elements of every decade rolled into one...and Sam Jackson!? How can you not have fun with this?!
THE BEST MOVIE EVERYONE HATED: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Now I know the category looks awfully similar to the previous one, so just to clarify: The Spirit was a guilty pleasure; Indy 4 was unfairly panned. Sure it wasn't the greatest Indy film ever made, but neither was Temple of Doom. At least Crystal Skull had an original plot, Temple of Doom just ripped off Gunga Din. I mean, so what it had a few character inconsistencies and missed opportunities? Considering what we've come to expect from George Lucas lately, this is pretty awesome (though I suspect Steven Spielberg is responsible for the lack of suckage). Was the infamous "Nukin' the Fridge" scene any more ridiculous than the life raft parachuting scene from Temple of Doom? Was the "Swingin' with the Chimps" scene (I'm official campaigning for that one to replace "Jumpin' the Shark" instead, it was way worse) any worse than the miners cart roller coaster in, again, Temple of Doom? In fact, the "Nukin' the Fridge" scene was one of my favorites. Believe it or not, that was the moment it really started feeling like Indiana Jones. Any other action hero would have grabbed some nearby vehicle and outran the explosion, racing toward the screen with the mushroom cloud in the background. But not Indy, Indy improvises. Personally, I thought that Indy 4 was just as worthy as the other two sequels, although obviously nothing will ever match the original.
BEST MOVIE NOBODY SAW: Good
You wanna know how few people saw this? I didn't even see it. That's right, this pick is pure speculation. Believe me, I tried to see it. It was nowhere to be found. But it looked unbelievable. Had I been able to see this chances are it would have ended up on my top 10 list. The plot was fascinating, like Valkyrie if it was a serious drama and not an action flick. It stars Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs, two of my favorite actors, which is more than enough reason to see the film right there. Revolving around a principled german professor struggling with questions of morality due to the rise of the Third Reich, the film asks the question in it's tagline "Anything that makes people happy can't be bad, can it?" That is awesome. I hate to get political here, but that is an issue that is talked about far too little today with any seriousness. People see fascism as the stereotypical black clad stormtroopers policing the streets and herding helpless civilians like they were cattle, like we've seen in the movies. Fascism is an attractive thing. It promises us peace, and for some it delivers. That's why it's so dangerous. If it looked like Darth Vader, who would go for it? I personally believe that we live in a country inching closer and closer toward fascism, and that if this film is what I think it is, it's one we all need to see. (EDIT: I have finally seen this film and reviewed it. Check it out here.)
OTHER RUNNERS-UP (in no particular order):
Why did people hate this one so much? I know I covered all this in my review of this film, but I found Quantum of Solace to be just as good as Casino Royale. Sure it had more action than the first, but that doesn't mean it was more action-oriented. It was every bit as character driven and well-written, even if they did crank the stunts a few more notches toward ludicrous.
It took me a while to decided whether to put this on my runners up, or my most-anticipated list. The most confusing thing about the end of the movie year is that is can be really unclear which year the film officially belongs in: the year is debuted or the year it went wide. But it's too awesome a movie not to mention, so ultimately I'm calling it a 2008 movie (don't worry America, you'll see it in theatres this month). Not many people think of Liam Neeson as a supreme badass, but he is. This film is basically a Bourne movie without a convoluted plot. And a much more menacing main character at that. Seriously, don't mess with this guy.
What about you? What where your favorite movies of 2008?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
10. Black Dynamite
This looks like everything Grindhouse should have been. That Tarantino/Rodriguez project was an admirable experiment, but somehow it never clicked, at least with me. Maybe it's because i never liked zombies films or slasher flicks. I'm more of an action guy. And in the way of stupid grindhouse action movies, this looks like a dream come true.
Basically the 50-Foot Woman, the Blob, the Fly, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Mothra team up to fight aliens. Does it get much more awesome that that? Dreamworks animation has had their share of bad movies, but with Kung Fu Panda, they proved that they are capable of great things.
Thomas Jane is so underrated. He's a great actor, one of my personal favorites. And he shines his best in the action genre, at least that's my experience. Plus the fact that, with Clint Eastwood retired, this is pretty much the closest we'll get to another Dirty Harry film. Sure it looks a little under-funded, but that can often be a plus.
Can James Cameron's shoes be refilled again? Well, the PG-13 rating and a lackluster television spin off initially suggested no. But Live Free or Die Hard worked out fine, and the trailers look very promising. Besides, how can you go wrong with Christian Bale? Of course, his last post-apocalyptic film was the less-than-stellar Reign of Fire, but still.
6. Rambo V
Now I admit that this seems like a bad idea. John Rambo's last battle felt like a perfect conclusion to the series. One of the reasons the Rambo series is my favorite film franchise is because it hasn't been done too death...yet. Still, I can't deny a desire to see my favorite commando on the big screen. I trust Sly. You should too.
5. The Road
Viggo Mortensen. Oh, you need more? OK, how about: sunless post-apocalyptic setting, Lone Wolf and Cub-style father-son story, Reaver-type cannibals running around, and a source book written by the author of No Country for Old Men. Oh, and Charlize Theron. Got your attention now?
James Cameron and science fiction go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just look what happened when he tried his hand at a period piece? I mean, sure, Titanic was they highest grossing movie of all time, but that doesn't change the fact that it turned a real human tragedy into a cliche teen soap opera. So it's nice to see the man doing what he does best.
Pixar never fails. Sure they've stumbled a bit here and there, but have they ever had a genuine total failure? No, of course not. This film seems like a combination of Around the World in Eighty Days, and The 21 Balloons, and looks like the perfect timeless adventure epic that could possibly challenge even WALL-E.
Heath Ledger's REAL last film. Maybe not his last completed film, but his true last film, nonetheless. Not only is it basically a tribute to the late actor to allow audiences to say goodbye properly, but it looks to be an incredibly artistic, visually stunning film. Did you expect any less from Terry Gilliam?
The greatest graphic novel of all time is finally getting the cinematic treatment. No wonder the hype is so big. Fans have been speculating about this thing forever, with their reactions ranging from joy to rage. Obviously the choice of Zack Snyder to direct was a controversial one, but I have faith in him. This will either be an epic failure or an epic masterpiece, either way it's a can't-miss event.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Wolfman, Inglorious Basterds, Sherlock Holmes, Public Enemies, Where the Wild Things Are, The Lovely Bones, Ninja Assassin, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Incredible Love, 9, Franklyn, and Clint Eastwood's next project (as a director) that doesn't have a name yet.
What about you? What movies are you looking forward to this year (I mean other than Transformers 2)?
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
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