Friday, February 15, 2008

45. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

44. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
I love Kung Fu. Sometimes, actors are passed off as martial arts experts in movies, but it just doesn't work. It takes years of training and a certain grace and flexibility most people do not possess to really pass. Then there are these people. I know that half the stuff they do is physically impossible and requires wires and effects but they do it with such precision and grace, I believe its real. Of course, amazing kung fu does not make a great movie any more than beautiful costumes and awesome sceanery. Ang Lee does a superb job of mixing action with a sad and sweet story. You don't get the super happy ending but somehow you knew at the beginning it wasn't going to work out well and that's OK. Did I mention the acting? Well, its great too. And Chow Yun-Fat is pretty foxy which doesn't hurt one little bit.

46. The 40 Year Old Virgin

46. The 40 Year Old Virgin
How can a movie be so charming and so raunchy at the same time? Its brilliant. Steve Carell makes you want to talk to the weird guy at work (until you realize he has a massive hentai addiction). I just really love how sweet the whole story was. They made the stereotypes into people. How every time you thought they were going to cop out and feed you some stupid cliche, they twisted it into something funny but not mean. Also, the dance sequence in the end was the absolute perfect metaphor for really awesome sex.

47. Sense and Sensibility

47. Sense and Sensibility
OK. I am a sucker for English accents. I'll admit that I like pretty dresses too. Those 2 things do not make a great movie. Its the story people. There's nothing more romantic than two people who should be together but just keep missing each other. Its the anticipation that gets you, the tension. Jane Austin knew this 100 years ago. I'll admit that I'm a little more keen on the story in Pride and Prejudice but this movie version is my favorite of any of her books. The actors are perfect, the settings are amazing, and the costumes are beautiful. Everything mixes together in that perfect way to make you feel transported. Emma Thompson plays Elinor as a wonderful mix of grace, strength, and pride that made me love her character. She's the kind of female character that doesn't kill aliens or zombies but I admire her anyway. The only thing I didn't get in this movie is how anyone would not want to marry Alan Rickman. Wealthy and hot. I'll take him!

48. The Breakfast Club

48. The Breakfast Club
I choose this movie for my list because of the special place it holds in my heart. I think the lines are truely quotable and the story completely original (for its time). This was indie before there was an indie. The message is a little heavy-handed but I think that is perfectly acceptable for the teen audience. This may be the first movie I ever enjoyed that was mostly people sitting around and talking. Also, this film is totally eighties. If anybody ever wants to know what it was like to be a high school kid in the eighties, watch this film. My experience was never as extreme as any of the characters but I knew kids like them. I usually shy away from stories who's plot lines could be taken from my life but I'll make an exception for this one little movie.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

49. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

49. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
This movie scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid. There was something about Gene Wilder's manic performance and the fact that kids kept disappearing that made me uneasy. Top that with the scene in the tunnel with the creepy song and disturbing imagery and you have nightmare fodder for years. That may be one of the reasons I love this movie. Scary movies are wonderfully cathartic and this is a great one to start with. I especially love the ones that have absolutely no basis in fact or reality, movies that can scare you but you can comfort yourself with the sure knowledge that it could never happen to you. Watching this movie as an adult, I realize that it has not lost any of its creepyness. The songs, the bizarre family situation and Bavarian town full of Americans add layers of weirdness before you ever meet one Umpalumpa. Although I love Tim Burton, I wonder why he bothered to remake this film. Anything he did will be a pale shadow to the pulsating lump of delight and horror that is this wonderful movie. Let me also cite the wonderful quotability of the movie. From the songs to the made up words, Roald Dahl has become a pervasive voice in the American pop consciousness. Oh, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberry!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

50. Legend

First things first. I want to post my personal top 50 movies of all time. Please note that the order is mostly arbitrary until I get close to number one.

50. Legend
Let's start this off with a blast from the distant past! 1985 baby! Do you remember 1985? Well, all I remember is that unicorns were awesome and Tom Cruise was nobody. Legend is a delightful little gem by the great director Ridley Scott. I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan but he wasn't too annoying as the forest dwelling boy Jack and Mia Sara played the lovely Lily. The real stand out here, though, was Tim Curry as Darkness. The makeup for his character was stunning and frightening but his real power was in his voice. His delivery of the one word, innocence.... mmmmm. To hell with Tom Cruise, give me some Tim Curry! The original version released in the US features a rather bizarre soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Intended to be more modern, it now seems dated. I have recently seen the version containing the Jerry Goldsmith score and it seem much more timeless. Some of the acting was a tad uneven and I get the feeling everything was filmed on a set. Although Scott never delivers a complete feeling world, it was the most beautifully realized fantasy movie until Lord of the Rings. Also, UNICORNS!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

First Post

Hello Amy!
The purpose of this blog is to entertain Amilito with humorous ruminations on pop culture specifically relating to movies and (to a smaller extent) TV.