Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What I've Seen past and present

10. Community College  - Nobody has seen or heard of this movie because it was made by my friends in New Jersey. It's an original and funny movie that works almost like a live-action Calvin & Hobbes constantly dancing between fantasy and reality. I think in time it can become a real cult classic.

9. Watchmen - Not everyone loved Watchmen but I for one felt this was the best movie adaptation of the comic you could ever possibly get. I think we also got a better ending out of this movie than we did in the comic not to mention pitch-perfect performances of characters we've loved for years.

8. Funny People - While the movie is admittedly very long and feels like two different movies combined into one it's the heart of the film that really makes it memorable. The best part of this movie is the way it uses real footage of it's actors to blur the lines of reality in a touching film.

7. Zombieland - Someone once told me this was the best zombie movie of all time. I don't agree with that particular statement but it is one of the more well written ones in recent time. I think that the 2nd half of the movie is much more entertaining than the first half specifically when the film picks up stem with a very unexpected but hilarious cameo

6. The Hangover - It was advertised as a really offensive in your face comedy from the same people who gave us Road Trip and Old School. While it had offensive humor it wasn't like the typical college humor gross out. It was a smart, well-written and compelling mystery full with unexpected twists and turns and hilarious one liners.

5. Crank 2 - I'll admit that Crank and Crank 2 are not the most brilliant movies ever written but I will say that I will NEVER have as much fun watching a movie as I did the first time I watched Crank 2 in the theaters. The entire film plays like a giant fuck you to the typical action genre. It's unrealistic, fast-paced, violent and crude and it doesn't give a shit about it. That's the true charm.

4. District 9 - I managed to avoid almost everything about this movie so when I finally saw it I was legitimately surprised as to what it was about. What I thought was going to just be an alien war film actually turned out to be an interesting and touching picture about immigration and human rights. The documentary style ads such an interesting level of realism and the interviews early on pull you in wondering what happened to the main character.

3. Up - Pixar seems to almost never be able to do wrong. Everyone told me multiple times that it's impossible to cry during Up. They were absolutely write. Every emotion moment hits each chord so well that it's hard to not get teary-eyed every 15 minutes or so. Pixar created a children's adventure film that's also a more touching love story than anything Nicholas Sparks ever wrote.

2. Adventureland - Poor Advertising practically murdered this film before it had a chance. Adventureland is a relatable story of post college life. It's greatest appeal is that there is no villain in this film, even the characters we're supposed to dislike are likeable. If only this wasn't advertised as "Superbad and Waiting in an amusement park"

1. (500) Days of Summer - One of the best stories ever written about a break-up is so perfectly constructed around the motions of loss. It jumps around and tells the story in an almost pitch-perfect way with great songs, great performances and wonderful fantasy elements. In the same company as Eternal Sunshine, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Annie Hall

In retrospect... ten years ago, these are the best movies from 1999
10. Being John Malkovich - Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman give us one of the most bizarre mind-fuck films ever
9. Office Space - Working in a cubic never looked so awful but Mike Judge's directoral debut is the ultimate work-rebellion story
8. Man on the Moon - Jim Carey brings the best performance of his life in this telling of Andy Kaufman's life. Extremely touching and well written.
7. Run Lola Run - The brilliant foreign film teaching us in 3 different version of the same story about how the smallest little thing could change the course of an event.
6. Titus - Shakespeare has never seemed so violent and outrageous. Where Shakespeare's original lacks in story the adapation makes up in appearance
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut - The South Park boys hit the big screen in a musical comedy that is better written than any of the mainstream musicals in the last few years (I'm looking at you Hairspray)
4. American Pie - The most honest high school film not written by John Hughes. The characters are relatable and their personal growth is touching
3. The Iron Giant - Brad Bird proved his brilliance in this 2-D film that mixes comedy, sci-fi and mixes lots of heart to create a wonderful fantasy that leaves you wanting more each viewing
2. Election - One of the darkest high school films ever made. While American Pie and John Hughes films are touching Election shows the darkness in high school hiarchy.
1. Fight Club - This very well might be one of the best movies of the 90's. It will be a film that is watched and re-watched and studied over and over again for years to come.

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