Thursday, December 24, 2009

YMD and Friends Film Bonanza part 2

Our second list comes from the homie Sam (seen here with Julianne Moore). Sam works in publishing and is the person to ask if you want to stay up-to-date on the hottest Science Fiction novels. Luckily for us, he also likes movies. Let's hear it, Cold Cuts.

10. Team America: World Police dir. Trey Parker (2004)
I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as I did when I saw the puppets having sex.  From the opening scene - with two puppets facing off to kung fu fight - only to smash into each other willy nilly - I loved it.  this is a distillation of everything that's great about the south park team's humor - minus some of their occasional missteps when they try to be tooooo topical.  And so many classic lines.  "I promise you I will never die" - truly wonderful.

9.  Lost in Translation dir. Sofia Coppola (2003)
I personally think ScarJo's hotness is at its peak here because she doesn't yet have that self-aware glamazon thing she's been working with lately.  Perfect dream babe opening scene.  Oh, and also, the performances here are awesome all around - subtle, nuanced, all that good jazz.  Bill Murray is heartbreaking and hilarious.  And the way Japan looks - ahhh I want to go there.  Plus the music is so incredibly perfect - I still love this soundtrack.

8.  Kill Bill (parts 1 and 2) dir. Quentin Tarantino (2003, 2004)
Just fun. Amazing action and, since it's a Tarantino film(s), jam packed with all sorts of referential goodies. Too many to list here, so I'll stop writing now.

7. WALL·E dir. Andrew Stanton (2008)
Boy, I loved this movie. It was so dang cute, I get all knotted up everytime I imitate his voice saying "eeeeve".  And it had a message, too.  Like, a serious one.

6.  Crank and Crank: High Voltage dir. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (2006, 2009)
Silliness and gratuitous gore and action; self-aware in such a fantastic way (yeah, I know I just mentioned self-awareness with negative connotations).  But really, this movie knows what makes action movies so retardedly awesome and turns that shit up to 11 and makes fun of them all and itself in the process.  And Jason Statham just shreds, yano?  (Honorable mention here: Shoot 'em Up succeeds in the same way, but with Paul Giamatti and Clive Owen, it's a little too high brow to make this list)

5. Wet Hot American Summer dir. David Wain (2001)
If you know me (and chances are if you're reading this blog you do), you know that my sense of humor is comprised almost entirely of silliness, non-sequitors, nonsense, and physical comedy.  This film has all of the above elements explored and exploited to their extremes.  That it took me so long to find this movie is tragic, but better late than never.

5. National Treasure dir. John Turtletaub (2004)
Since there's no organized string of words that could ever possibly describe Nic Cage, his awesomeness, and his awesomeness combined with the awesomeness this movie has on its own merit, i'm going to go ahead and just throw out some random words in an attempt to convey what makes this film truly a cinematic event for our time. Here goes: Nic Cage.  Awesome.  Babe.  Treasure.  Goofy friend. Bad guy with sweet hair.  Secrets. Babe. Nic Cage. Running.

4. No Country for Old Men dir. Joel and Ethan Coen (2007)
Well, I guess I need to put at least one serious film in here.  Beautiful scenery, an impeccable and palpable sense of dread, and can I just say I love the scene where he gets all kitted out at the cowboy store across the border?   Sweeeet.

3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy dir. Peter Jackson (2001-2003)
I mean, really.  How can you deny this?  Orcs, Sauron, Swords - this is my inner 9 year old's wet dream.  And it's just handled SO well by Peter Jackson too.  The CGI stuff is excellent, the movie is (mostly) true to the already incredible story, and the casting is flawless.  This is one movie that is so re-watchable.  Love it so so so so much.

2. Children of Men dir. Alfonso Cuarón (2006)
Working, as I do, as a book publicist, you tend to overuse certain catch-all adjectives.  The de rigeur phrase for the fantasy genre is typically "swashbuckling" but when I write press material for thrillers I often find myself describing books as "edge of your seat" stories.  How a book can put you on the edge of your seat - well, I really don't know ( I think even if you were particularly riveted, you'd probably still be in a somewhat supine position - I mean really who's going to perch up as they read pages?).  But still, it gets used all the time.  Now, in describing this movie, i can really truly use that expression, because honestly, as I was watching the scene in the refugee camp at the theater, I was LITERALLY half a cheek away from slipping out of my seat and onto the popcorn and sour patch kid-encrusted floor - where I probably would have remained glued (literally and figuratively) until that scene ended.  This is the best kind of terrifyingly believable speculative SF and the way it's shot and acted feel so natural, and yet so exciting.  One of my favorite movies of this decade, and ever.

1. Avatar dir. James Cameron (2009)
Because I feel like being a dick - Merry Christmas y'all!

Merry Christmas to you too, Sammy. Back in a few hours with more more more.

No comments: