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[center]10 of my favorite films
(of what I have seen so far?)
I think the best way to sum up someone?s personality is asking them what they enjoy the most, whether that be season of the year, musical group, or even cave dwelling troglobite (mine is the Texas Blind Salamander). I think movies are the best on how to find one?s personality. There are millions of films out there that range in several emotions and human moods, which anyone can easily relate themselves to. Whether that is the crazed film enthusiast who watches thousands of films a year or just the casual movie goer that catches 2-3 huge blockbusters a year. I really don?t think there are any bad answers with someone making a list like this, it just shows what we do or do not have in common with others. What one person may call an absolute awful movie, another person may call it the greatest film they have seen.
Even though I was not personally tagged to create a list like this, I thought it would be interesting to make it anyway. My fellow MS film critic friends have created their own list. If you have a chance you look over their top ten. The following friends:
Jeremy The Critic?
The Rub: Movie Reviews
Dr. Royce Clemens
I love reading these guys? reviews and creative rants on cinema; I would recommend any of my close friends (who enjoy film) to read some of their stuff, it?s pretty damn good.
Also I want to include:
The World`s Sexiest Film Critic (Jeff)
Paul Hood (Film critic)
So here it is, my top ten films that I favor highly. This was difficult for me as I would think it would be for anyone else. I?ve been watching movies as long as humanly possible but it has only been in the last 5-8 years that I have gotten pretty serious about them. Unfortunately, I have not watched nearly as many movies as I wish I could say that I have. This list could be (and most likely will be) completely different in about a year from now. I?m always re-discovering and learning new things about films I have and have not seen.
10) Herald and Maude (1971) - I don?t care what you may say about this film, it is one of the most humanly romantic films and makes more sense than a great majority of the fucking ridiculous American romantic comedies. I also love the soundtrack on this film, which is all done by Cat Stevens.
9) Brazil (1985) - Terry Gilliam is very a unique filmmaker; I really enjoy his style in most of his films. I don?t think people realize that this film is quoted/parodied more often than they really know, though to be true the film itself is pretty much ripped directly from Orwell?s 1984? to an extent. There is still all of the Terry Gilliam/Monty Python humor that makes it more of a satire than a futuristic drama. An absolute hilarious film that pokes fun at the over worked bureaucratic system. I would only recommend that if you ever watch this film don?t get scammed into watching the ?Love Conquers All? version, it is a worthless piece of cinematic crap!
8) The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - I think this is like a given for most people. You love Star Wars or you have never seen it; you think the original three are the best or you have no idea what you are talking about and you think episode 1-3 are the best. ?Empire?? is like that one film you will not be able to forget, it?s simply iconic to film enthusiasts. Don?t get me wrong I really enjoy both ?A New Hope? and ?Return??, it seems just to me that ?Empire?? is the king of the original three. This has an amazing script by Lawrence Kasdan and even a better job at direction from NOT Lucas but Irvin Kershner. Not only that but the film incorporates so much great detail in a story that it still doesn?t come off as a muddled mess in the end.
7) The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) - I get one Coen brother?s film. I could seriously put any other Coen bro film on this list (exclude Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty). I?m going with the first one I had ever seen back in 1995 and it also happens to be one of my most favorite films by Joel and Ethan. I can watch this film any day and realize something completely new every time.
6) A Clockwork Orange (1971) - It sounds strange but I remember watching this film at a young age (13) and not knowing exactly what it was about but yet still being creeped out by what I saw. A few years ago I watched it again, now completely understanding everything, though I was actually creeped out more. The sight of any one dressed up like Alex, Malcolm McDowell?s character from this film brings a good shiver to my spine along with the occasional nausea feeling from hearing Beethoven. It will be twenty years from now and I?ll still be saying this, ?Kubrick is a complete genius in the world of cinema.?
5) High Fidelity (2000) - One of John Cusack?s very best films. This kind of quip and enjoyably wry humor is seen less and less these days. High Fidelity is a great film that is an over copied photocopy rock band flyer of my life (and most likely a lot of others too). I can?t think of any other film that nails that same kind of apathetic adulthood lifestyle while referencing the best rock ?n roll of the past thirty years.
4) Punch-Drunk Love (1997) - I love everything P.T does, so don?t get me wrong with not putting the likely choice of Magnolia or Boogie Nights on this list. I find Punch-Drunk Love to be delightfully ingenious. In the same fashion Anderson writes his characters in the ever so fragile use of divine fate he provides a beautiful pallet of detail in this film. When I first saw this I was very hesitant for the main fact that you have Billy Madison as your protagonist. After viewing, my mind set quickly changed about Sandler; he actually may be a pretty decent actor after all. In addition, this film wouldn?t be as delightful if it weren?t for the fantastic musical score by Jon Brion.
3) Blue Velvet (1986) - It may be the way Dean Stockwell lip-syncs Roy Orbison's ?In Dreams? or Dennis Hopper?s sexually dysfunctional character, Frank or it may be Lynch?s intellectually creative use of symbolism that I love this film so much to put it on this list. I think this this film is more iconic of the 1980?s than we really let it on to be.
2) Waking Life (2001) - I deeply enjoy films about lucid dreams (i.e. Vanilla Sky, The Matrix, Mirror Mask). This film by Richard Linklater is just as much bizarre as it is mind boggling. I remember the first time I watched this one late night and afterwards going on a three hour walk around my town and just kind of being in a trance of deep thoughts about life and dreams (and no, I wasn?t drunk or on any kind of drugs). I think any film that does that to oneself should be on this list. This is also one of my overall favorites by Linklater.
1) ?Round Midnight (1986) - The complexities of explaining jazz is easier to understand by using your ear than trying to write books about. A close second is this film. Written and directed by French film maker, Bertrand Tavernier, who creates an absolute stunning masterpiece dedication to the life of great jazz musician, Lester Young. Of all the films I have seen I can?t think of anything much better than this intricacy of life, friendship, and jazz that can explain things so intellectually. ?Round Midnight is by far not a renown film, but its style of mood, character development, and art direction is one of my favorites.
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It may still say spring on your calender but the official Summer movie season starts May 2, 2008. It is also time for another official Summer movie season preview rant about the up coming Summer blockbusters that maybe possibly good or VERY BAD. During the Summer it seems that the film industry supa' soak the movie theaters with an expenditure of over used, extremely unneeded special effects, CGI gang raped films like last summer's blockbusters Spider-man 3 and Transformers. Give me the films that have a decent plot, a cast of characters that are not made of paper, and overall an intelligently enjoyable film like last summer's, Once and Rescue Dawn.
Here is my list of the first half of the Summer movie season, between the dates of May 2 through June 27. I will be going through my last half as it gets closer to July. The list ahead will be split up into films that are worth your $10 at the box office, films that are (most likely) not, and films that I am on the fence with.
Also since Rotten Tomatoes will not allow me in incorporate youtube videos on journal entries I would recommend watching the trailers to these films (if you haven't seen them already).
-copy the title of the film
-go to youtube
-put the title in the search space
(most likely) Worth Your $10 at the box office:
1) Son of Rambow: directed by Garth Jennings. By the same man that directed 2005's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The film is set in England during the 1980's when the hight of blockbuster cinema was starting to set in with films like Jaws, Rambo, and Rocky. Son of Rambow follows two boys which Director Jennings states that it is based off of his childhood experiences of film. The film goes through the armature film remake of these two boy's vision of Rambo. Son of Rambow is a comedy about friendship, faith, and the hard luck childhood angst.
Release date: May 2
2) Mister Lonely: directed by Harmony Korine. Harmony is the writer/directer that has given us the absolutely stunning and conversational films like Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Kids. With that stated you can expect this film to be just as creatively bizarre, and interesting. Mister Lonely is no exception to that, it tells the story a young American you works as a Michael Jackson lookalike he meets Marilyn Monroe, where she invites him back to her secluded home in Scotland where her husband, Charlie Chaplin and daughter, Shirley Temple live with her.
Release date: May 2
3) The Foot Fist Way: directed by Jody Hill. I'm gonna take a chance and put this in this section even though the writer and directer for this film are pretty much unknowns to the filmmaker industry. The premise of the film seems pretty simple but a good majority of the time the simplest of concepts for a film can make them a huge sleeper success (ie. napoleon dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine). The story follows the small town Tae Kwon Do instructor who lives in a delusion of being a great and successful Tae Kwon Do master like his martial arts film star hero, Chuck "The Truck" Wallace. Although I could be absolutely wrong about this but if you enjoyed films like 'superbad' and/or 'napoleon dynamite' I have feeling you may like this film.
release date: May 30
4) The Promotion: directed by Steve Conrad. written and directed by the same man that gave The Weather Man, and The Pursuit of Happyness. Though I have not seen a trailer for this film I have read all the synopses and current film festivals reviews and it sounds to be promising. Starring Fred Armisen, John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer ("Yipee"), and Seann William Scott ("meph..."). Before I begin a short premise of the film, The Promotion follows closely to another film that came out a few years ago (see if you can guess it). Two mid-level Chicago supermarket employees, compete vigorously for a managerial position at a new store location. Did you guess "batteries are not included"? Well you're wrong it's "Employee of the Month" and apparently it is much more hilarious than that wretched Dane Cook film.
Release Date: June 6
*No Trailer available yet*
5) Encounters at the End of the World: directed by Werner Herzog. A beautiful looking Documentary from Herzog that takes us to the frozen kingdom of Antarctica. Release date: June 13, 2008
*No Trailer available yet*
6) Wall-E directed by Andrew Stanton: Yes, yes, yes... I did put a children's cartoon on my "to see list" but let me explain. Pixar has been doing a much better job at hiring good people to write great scripts (just look at Ratatouille). Even though Stanton is no Brad Bird, I believe (with the trailers I have seen of this film) he will do an excellent job. You really can't go wrong with a film like this that seems to have a pretty strong hidden message, like 'fix our global environment'. And yes, the right-wing wackos my find it offensive that we are putting preachy hidden messages into their children's films, but I don't think it's any more subversive than vegetables telling me about Jesus.
Release date: June 27
(Most likely) Not worth your $10 at the box office:
1) Made of Honor: directed by Paul Weiland, same man that gave us Leonard Part 6 and City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold. If that is not enough reason why not to see this film, just watch the trailer... if you don't see the EVER so predictable out come of this film I will eat my hat. Though this is coming out the same weekend as Iron Man so I don't think too many people will care one way or the other if this film is good or bad.
Release date: May 2
2) Speed Racer: directed by The Wachowski Brothers. Yeah, yeah we all know the Wachowskis... every summer there seems to be one film that is the poster child for lots of action and no plot (2007-Transformers, 2006-X Men: The Last Stand) and I think Speed Racer will take the 1st place trophy for this year. In an interview for Entertainment Weekly the Wachowski Brothers stated that this film will be like combining Kung fu fighting with race cars, creating what they called "Car Fu". Now doesn't that just sound like something you would possibly overhear in a conversation by a bunch of 4th grade boys? Am I to believe that the Wachowski Brothers are made up of 5-6 4th grade boys that are dressed up in adult clothing and form a Little Rascals-esq facade, maybe?
Release date: May 9
3) What Happens in Vegas: directed by Tom Vaughan. More like, What other-stupid-cliches happen in Vegas... more stupid cliche films about Vegas is what happens in Vegas. I thought the Rat pack, Elvis, and Martin Scorsese had done every possible story from the Vegas stand point. Well I guess I was wrong, creator of The Wedding Date, Dana Fox was able to make a completely new and fresh story starring Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awarded actors Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. Even though I speak pretty ill of this film I'm not nearly as disgusted for the fact that Zach Galifianakis is in it. Et tu, Zach?
Release Date: May 9
4) Postal: directed by Uwe Boll. HEED MY WARNING, do not go see this film! Boll is one of the Worst filmmakers to come from Germany... ok maybe the second (Leni Riefenstahl). Anyway if you really feel the need to watch this film, watch something by a different awful director (like Mc G or Brett Ratner) it will be just as awful but twice as rewarding because you are not funding Boll's work.
release date: May 23
5) Kung Fu Panda: Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson. It may seem a little brash putting a children's cartoon on this list but if you read my good selection you will see I put Wall-E on there. It's not so much that these cartoons are geared toward one kind of audience as much as Dreamworks and Disney are out to try and make these films enjoyable for adults also. With themed jokes that go over the heads of most children but they still find it funny. You know what may be enjoyable for a children's cartoon, a concept that doesn't have to be ridiculously stupid to be entertaining.
release date: June 6
6) You Don't Mess with the Zohan: Directed by Dennis Dugan. From the same douchebags that gave us last summer's huge gay bashing comedy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry comes this summer's huge xenophobic comedy. I guess if they stopped making Adam Sandler comedies Rob Schneider would be out of a job.
Relese date: June 6
7) The Happening: Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. M. Night "The one trick pony" Shyamalan is doing it yet again. Lady in the Water didn't end with his signature twist, it just didn't end well. The Happening seems to be going back to his old crappy roots. The trailer for this film is so off-putting that it almost comes off as a satire of other sci-fi disasters films.
release date: June 13.
8) Get Smart: Directed by Peter Segal. I have a feeling that people today think that anything that Steve Carell is starring in will be absolutely fucking hilarious. I think that is complete bull shit, what really makes Steve Carell so fucking hilarious is an intelligent script and a strong dynamically diverse cast. With the writers that gave us Failure to Launch, the director that gave us 50 First Dates, and the acting talent of Anne Hathaway and Dwayne "the rock" Johnson I really don't think this film will be as fucking hilarious as so many intend it will be.
Release Date: June 20
9) The Love Guru: Directed by Marco Schnabel. It's been awhile since we last saw Mike Myers in a live action film, and look it has nothing to do with a big green ogre. It's just too bad Myers is returning to a cliche comedy form. Also yet again we will see the no acting styling of Ms. Jessica Alba, we are in for a real treat with this film!
Release date: June 20
10) Wanted: directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Now I know this is based off the graphic novel by Mark Millar, but just because you are doing a film adaptation of a comic book series doesn't mean it's going to be good (ie. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Judging by the trailer for this film looks like it will play more to the Speed Racer film fan base and less to the comic nerd fan base (like myself).
Release date: June 27
Films that I am on the fence with (I could go either way with these).
1) Iron Man: Directed by Jon Favreau. Now there is a part of me that really wants to catch this film ASAP (and most likely will) but there is a very good part of me that is being lured by a familiar siren as like the last Fantastic Four movie. It may be that I really love seeing Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark or it may be I really can't stand seeing a film by the same person that gave us Zathura. One way or the other you (and I) are most likely going to see this film this summer.
Release Date: May 2
2) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Directed by Steven Spielberg. This is a film that I feel so apathetic to see. Don't get me wrong I love the whole Indiana Jones series it's just I can't stand when the original creator comes back to their memorable franchise and tries to reinvent the wheel. I really don't think adding unnecessary CGI (Thank you Mr. Lucas) or the star or Even Stevens to a film sequel that already has a huge cult following will make your film any better. But don't be surprise to see this Indiana Jones fan at the first showing though, because he most likely will.
Release Date: May 22
3) The Incredible Hulk: directed by Louis Leterrier. Now you may be thinking why in the world are they releasing another God awful movie about the Hulk (and I may be say that same thing after I watch it), but this film may have a chance. Written by Edward Norton, who was originally supposed to do the first one. One thing to keep in mind is that this film has nothing to do or related to the first movie about the Hulk (except for character names). It's main goal is to put new life into the franchise or it may deliver another stake into the coffin. Overall I not a huge fan of the Hulk comic books but I am a fan of good cinema, and this may or may not work in the long run.
Release date: June 13
You may notice I did not put The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian on this list anywhere, and it's mainly because I didn't really want to offend people on other matters not pertaining to cinema, I have no real intention or desire to watch it.
Well there it is, my first half of this Summer season's blockbusters. I spent a lot of time researching these up coming films. I plan on seeing all of them (good and bad) this Summer so this rant doesn't seem as bias (or pretentious), and I will give my final word on whether they really were good or bad films.
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OK, ladies and Germs this is my list of what I though was amazing this last year and what giant huge blockbusters made me want to be sick!
Mojoe's top five for BEST films (he saw) for this last year:
5) 3: 10 to Yuma- This 1957 remake was an outstanding and impressive film. The acting alone in this film was fantastic, putting both Christian bale and Russel Crowe as your leading roles have proven to be an outstanding force. The tale of a small-time rancher (bale) agreeing to hold a captured convict (Crowe) who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. There is an amazing conflict of interest between the two sides also supporting acting roles from Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, and Logan Lerman definitely make this one of the best film from 2007.
4) Once- This is my top favorite for the ton of musicals that came out this last year... no, this is not in the tradition sense a musical with the dancing and the singing of the plot. The music is amazing (a little on the emo side) and the such real life feel acting and story makes this such a top notch film. I think what ultimently sold me on this film was the amazing performances from Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová also the phenomenal cinematography and editing.
3) The Savages- A sister and brother face the realities of familial responsibility as they begin to care for their ailing father. This was a fantastic, bitter-sweet family drama by director Tamara Jenkins. I was swept away by the outstanding performances from Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Philip Bosco. There were quite a few moments in this film that draged you in because of the heart wrenching feeling you got all the time between the brother and sister and their father. I really enjoyed this film quite a bit, and I would love to see Jenkins make more great films like this one.
2) There will be Blood- Paul Thomas Anderson's 5th film creation loosely based off of the Upton Sinclair 1927 novel, "Oil". I was really pleased with the acting in this film; Daniele Day-Louis never ceases to impress also new young face, Dillon Freasier was quit impressive as H.W. Plainview. the cinematography, the writing, the amazing score from Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood; I could rattle off much, much more. This was just a phenomenal film!
1) No Country for Old Men- This mind blowing adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel was just as gruesome as the movie depicted it. The intensity of scenes with the crazed homicidal killer, Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) was reason enough to enjoy this film. I am also really glad the Coen brothers put a little time between this film and their last (in my opinion) duds from 2003 and 2004 (Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers), I believe this gave them time to reflect and rearrange their directorial/screen writing image as like what we are use to with films like The Big Lebowski, and Barton Fink. This is a absolutely fascinating story of good, deranged and damned, this is frighteningly intelligent and imaginative film!
Mojo's WORST three films (he unfortunately saw) for this last year
3) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Sliver- What was the deal with this film being a lower rating then it's predecessor, I mean it had the same God awful story, amazingly horrible acting from Chiklis, Evans, Gruffudd, and Alba... and that's another thing, when are producers, directors, and casting directors going to learn "JESSICA ALBA CAN NOT ACT!!!!"
2) Spider Man 3- Here are 3 reason's why this movie blew...
3- way too much f**king CG
2- way too many non essential villains (no one cares about sand man, Green Goblin has had too much air time, and they killed off venom)
1- Emo Peter Parker (too much dancing down the side walk and what's the deal with him playing piano in the jazz club).
1) I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry- This was by far the most racist and homophobic film I have seen. this very lackluster gay-bashing comedy trying to promote a pro-gay marriage stance on life falls very short of trying to accomplish that. Also what is the deal with Rob Schneider playing a very bad racial stereotype of a male Asian minister.
Gone Baby Gone
The Darjeeling Limited
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Eagle vs. Shark
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