Kelgray and Beyond

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Movie Time

So I was reading Kevin Smith’s blog, and I saw that he’d done a list of his top ten movies that have come out over the past year.  Since I have absolutely no originality of my own I thought I’d steal this idea and do my own list.  Now the problem was that I’ve seen a total of 15 movies that came out over the past year, which isn’t much compared to Kevin Smith’s 85.  I gathered two things from this information.  The first is that as an avid movie watcher I should really try to make a point of seeing more new movies.  The second is that doing a top ten list would only serve to show my bottom five, and since I enjoy describing what exactly I did not like about a movie, I figured hell, why not just do a top fifteen list.  So here are my top fifteen movies out of the fifteen movies that I’ve seen that have come out over the past year starting with the best:

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
What can be said about Pirates?  It has everything a movie needs.  First and foremost, pirates!  Add plenty of beautiful water, some Johnny Depp with a hint of Keira Knightly, some laughter, some tears, a wonderful soundtrack, and a big ass monster that destroys ships and you got a damned good movie.

Pan’s Labyrinth
I count myself among the privileged to have been able to see this movie in the theatres.  My roommate and I went to go see it at the Uptown and played ‘Count the Meterosexuals before the show started.  Out of a crowd of about 150 we counted a total of 10 before the show was over (which was a number that I expected to be higher but c’est la vie), but I digress.  It’s not often that I’ll forgive a movie for springing subtitles on me, but this one was definitely worth it.  An original storyline, a bunch of pretty effects, a cameo from Richard Gere, and one of the most bad-ass villains I’ve seen on the screen in a very long time.  If you don’t see this movie, I will fight you.

V For Vendetta
The brothers Wachowski did not let me down.  A great story that serves well as a warning (though not so much as a depiction of reality that a lot of leftists took it as).  Elrond gives a wonderful performance as the man behind the mask and Queen Amidala allows me to finally forgive her for Garden State (which she wasn’t bad in but which I personally disliked very much, but I do chalk that dislike up to personal taste as the movie was well put together, just lacking in the whole plot area).  I came into this movie expecting at lot more useless action sequences and pretty effects, but the brothers pulled through with a compelling story and though-invoking dialogue instead.  I did feel the ending was a bit weak (just a touch too fantastical for my liking, but that’s just me), but overall it was great.

Running With Scissors
It was good.  It was really good.  But it didn’t live up to my expectations.  Unfortunately for all the fancy acting and the visual beauty that was well displayed in the commercials, I had a bloated expectation of this movie being the next American Beauty.  I think they would have made a lot more money if they advertised it more accurately.  That being said, again, it was a really good movie.  I love crazy people (who doesn’t).  I had the pleasure of seeing this movie with two of my friends that really dislike artsy movies (for some reason they thought it was going to be some hilarious comedy) and while they may not have liked the movie nearly as much as I did, I still think that the world is a better place for them having seen it.

Clerks II
Kevin Smithcan do no wrong and anyone that says otherwise simply does not get it.  I’ll admit that I was slightly disappointed when I saw Clerks II in the theatres.  I was expecting something… different (though I can’t really say what).  The movie just didn’t seem to flow the way it should have.  Then I downloaded myself a bootleg theatre copy of the movie to hold myself over until the DVD came out, and I discovered that the movie’s best feature is it’s rewatchability (and yes that’s a word because I say it is dammit!).  Then, at long last, when the DVD came out I realized what was wrong about the movie in the theatres.  This movie was made to be seen at home.  For a lot of people laughing about a guy blowing a donkey doesn’t seem like something that you should do in public, but when you’re sitting on your couch with a sheet hung up over the sliding glass door of your living room, it’s the perfect type of comedy.  Kevin Smith knew exactly where his audience was and he shot the movie directly at them.  Kudos.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend
My friends will probably hate me for putting this above Nacho Libre, but what can I say?  I love cheese.  I love cheese in soup, I love cheese in sandwiches, I love cheese in pasta, and I love cheese in movies.  This movie had a perfect amount of cheese.  More of a marble rather than a day old cheddar (like Date Movie).  Of course the problem with cheese is that you don’t want to have it on something with real flavour, like a steak, but if you got something that needs cheese, and you put a good amount of cheese in it, you can’t go wrong.  Luke Wilson is a great actor and I enjoy supporting his stuff, and he does his role as the straight-man well.  It’s not a must see, but it is worth the money that you’ll pay for the rental (or the purchase of a used copy). 

Nacho Libre
Hooray for Jack Black.  Even though I ranked the above movie higher, this is a movie that I would recommend that you purchase even if it means getting a new copy.  Napoleon Dynamite style comedy is not my favorite, but it’s a good style, and Jack Black is a good actor.  Personally I think that Jack didn’t fit this role as well as an unnamed actor might have (though it’s doubtful that anyone would have seen the movie if it was someone else), he took the part and made it his own.=

Superman Returns
In my humble opinion this movie should have been left for at least a few more years.  The original Superman movies still haven’t lost their thunder and people still haven’t forgotten about Christopher Reeve.  That being said, the movie wasn’t bad overall.  It wasn’t ground breakingly spectacular as a Superman movie should be, but it wasn’t bad.  Kevin Spacey rules and surpasses all the Lex Luthors before him, but even given his incredible performance, I still have to rate the movie as not bad.

The Benchwarmers
This movie surprised me.  Now I’m not going to say that the movie was good (keep in mind that I’m talking about personal opinion and I’m way out of the demographic for this movie) but it had enough good parts to make it worthwhile.  It made me sad to see Jon Heder reprise his role as Napoleon, but he did do it well.  The casting was great, the script was great, the plot was great.  But it was all great in the context of the audience it was meant for.  I’d have loved the movie if I was seven years younger. 

Saw 3
It could have been better.  It could have been a lot better.  It forgot where the appeal of Saw came from.  That was the psychological aspect.  It shouldn’t have been as much of a horror movie.  It should have cut down the senseless gore scenes and made the music more subtle.  Added a bit more psycho-analyzation from Jigsaw of his little puppets and made less of a change in character for Jigsaw’s little bitch (which is coincidentally also a problem I had with Saw 2).  Overall the movie wasn’t horrible.  I didn’t regret watching it or anything, I just wish it could’ve lived up to the expectations that Saw had set.

I actually really enjoyed this movie.  Christopher Walkin was great, as always, and Adam Sandler played his part well.  When it comes down to it, there’s nothin like seeing David Hasselhoff get slapped around or Sam Gamgee get kicked in the balls.  However, it was much more of a family movie than I’d have like for it to be.  There was a lot of clever things happening all over the place, but there just wasn’t enough to keep my brain occupied.  In my opinion I’d have liked to see more playing with time and less consequences.  The third act seemed a bit dragged out and the second act not long enough.

Date Movie
It was exactly what I expected it to be.  Slightly more even.  Alyson Hannigan was great.   They got her out of the fat suit just early enough in the movie to keep things comfortable.  The dance scene at the beginning was stupendous.  Other than that, Mel Brooks style punch lines and physical comedy made the movie worth watching.  Don’t yet know if I’m going to regret paying money to have a copy on my shelf, but so far I think it was a better purchase than some that I’ve made.

Nanny McPhee
Now we finally start getting to the movies that I didn’t like.  nanny McPhee wasn’t horrible.  There was a good amount of the fantastical mixed with reality.  The children were cast very well and pulled their parts off without a hitch.  My main problem with the movie is that it gives the message that physical beauty and inner beauty are inseparable.  The nanny’s a bitch, but as she starts becoming more likable (and she does, regardless of how it was meant to be seen as the kids simply accepting her more), she gets less ugly until at the end she’s a wonderful woman.  This message could have been averted if they simply had her act like a bitch once or twice in the end in order to keep the kids in line.  But no, they have her change from a harsh dictator who provides the consequences to someone who lets the kids do whatever they want and accept their own consequences (which are generally a lot less harsh).

The Pink Panther
Booooooo.  Peter Sellers is rolling over in his grave and Edward Blake is laughing maniacally about it.  This movie took everything that was bad about the Pink Panther movies and magnified it while leaving out everything that was good about those movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Steve Martin.  I just think that he was entirely wrong for the part.  I understand the need to move away from Peter Sellers’ version of Clouseau and start from scratch because no one would be able to recreate the original Clouseau (though I think Geoffrey Rush could have come close), but at least there could have been more Inspector Gadget style accidental detective work and more subtle humour rather than the smash it in your face style that they went with.  They killed the spirit of the Pink Panther series with this movie in my opinion.

World Trade Center
And finally we come to my least favorite.  Propaganda… I mean World Trade Center.   It made me sad to see Maggie Gyllenhaal in this move after she did such a wonderful job in Strip Search.  It was a leap to the other end of the spectrum for her.  It made me sad to see Nicholas Cage in this movie when I’m going to have to watch him again in Ghost Rider.  It made me sad that I had to sit through 129 minutes of propaganda simply so that I could have my arm around a pretty girl.  It made me sad that I never got anywhere with that pretty girl (though she turned out to be kinda crazy so that might have been a good thing in the end).  I don’t want to go into my entire views of 9/11 and the war on terror in this post, but suffice to say that I don’t think that people’s deaths should be used as a tool to justify a war that had nothing to do with them.  Booooooooooo.

Well that’s my movie list.  Leave a comment, let me know if you agree or if you think that I’m a gibbering idiot.


February 1, 2007 - Posted by | Movies, Popular People

1 Comment »

  1. I think your commentary is truly inspiring. If only I could wax eloquent regarding feature films, but alas, I have been recently blinded by an ill-aimed skullfucking. Argh. Whatever shall I do? No longer may I revel in your loquatiosness. Woe is me!

    Comment by Wolfgar the Red | February 6, 2007

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