Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#22 - Grindhouse Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino (2007)

Sorry for the delay, I got caught up this past weekend doing nothing and loving it so I missed a couple of days and apparently there are people that have been waiting for this, so that makes me happy and I'll try my hardest to keep up with this now more than I have in the past. With that out of the way let's start.

This movie was the best, the best!, movie going experience I have ever had. As a young person I had missed the good old days of going to the movies and seeing multiple movies in one day and experiencing the real type of grind house movies. There was no place like that around me and going to the movies as a child as a once every couple of months sort of thing. So when I heard that this project was coming together I couldn't wait to see the end result.

So after months of this movie being hyped by the studio, the directors, the actors, and mostly by myself I couldn't fucking wait to see it, the more I heard about it the more I wanted and couldn't wait. Opening day comes and I go see it in a packed theater with a couple of friends and to say I fucking loved it was an understatement. I was in love with the concept, it was so kick ass and it was the best time I had seeing a movie. EVER.

I saw this movie three, THREE!, weekends in a row. Each time with a different set of friends. I enjoyed it that much. I loved Rodriguez's take on zombies, it was unconventional but still awesome. The cast was great and the gritty, dirty, layer of it was just awesome. The action was great and for a movie with a chick that had a machine gun for a leg it had a lot of heart and a bunch of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Planet Terror was a great opener, and there was so much more left to see.

The trailers were so great and so funny. Machete was a blast (I can't wait to see the full length movie coming out later this year), Werewolf Women of the S.S. was weird, but cool, the Nic Cage cameo was fantastic. The Edgar Wright trailer was hysterical. And what can I say about Thanksgiving that hasn't been said by everyone who saw the movie.

Death Proof was everything I loved about Tarantino and more. This is where a lot of people are split on the film but I just fucking loved it. Tarantino shone brightly during his half. All the scenes with the girls talking were classic Tarantino and as of huge fan of writing, and writing in general, I just ate it up. The scene where Stuntman Mike kills the first set of girls was my favorite scene of any movie I saw that year. The repeating of it and watching how each girl died was fucking brutal and dirty. The second half had one of, if not the best car chase scene in the history of film. It was so exciting and terrifying and adrenaline filled. I was on the edge of my seat the entire fucking time. Nerve wracking is putting it lightly. And the ending was surprising but still satisfying.

The music in this movie was just great. I loved the main theme of Grindhouse and I loved how you heard it all throughout Rodriguez's half of the film. He can make a great score, Sin City being another great example. Tarantino's half was filled with great music and like all his others there was a bunch of stuff I never heard but liked immediately and fit the movie so well.

I loved the whole presentation of film as a whole though I have to say that being the Tarantino fanboy that I am I loved Death Proof a whole lot more. Mostly because it was like watching 2 different movies within the one.

It was because of this film that I got to meet my favorite director. I was coming home from college for spring break and I had read online that Tarantino and Rodriguez were doing a signing at Jim Hanley's Universe in NYC. I had to fucking go, I had to, if I didn't I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. The signing was the next day at noon. I got home the day before around 9 at night, I couldn't sleep, nothing new, and ended up falling asleep after 3am, I woke up at 430am to get ready to catch a 5am train to get to the city by 6am. I was the first one online and I got to meet and shake hands with not only Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez but also Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowen. I missed out on Rosario Dawson because she got in late. But I didn't care. I got the Grindhouse book signed by all four of them and it was amazing. There's even a youtube video of it here.

So that's that. Thanks for reading, comment if you like. Shout out to my friend Max for posting comments I appreciate it, and I'll try to be back tomorrow with #21.

Friday, June 11, 2010

#23 - Clerks Directed by Kevin Smith (1994)

I think that I'll forever be a Kevin Smith fan. He's directed some of my favorite movies, some of the funniest, and he's written really great comics as well. I have to thank him for actually getting me into comics, but that's a story (blog post) for another time.

Kevin Smith was a big part of my life in high school. One of my friends introduced me to his films and I fucking fell in love. They were dirty and disgusting and hysterical and heartwarming. They examined relationships and friendships to see what they truly were. And they were and still are funny. I probably reference this movie a lot more than I realize, hell, probably all of Smith's movies.

But I'll be honest with you, Clerks wasn't always my favorite of his films. It's great but for the longest time Mallrats was my favorite. And Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was the one I watched the most on a repeated basis. It wasn't until I saw Clerks 2 did I realize how much I actually loved the original Clerks.

Seeing Clerks after graduating college and working a job that most of the time I didn't like really hit home. I was directionless and all I did was work, sleep, and hang out with my friends. So going through that time period after college and not knowing what the fuck I was doing and trying to figure that out I identified with the characters in Clerks more. Especially 10 years later and seeing Clerks 2 and knowing that sometimes good things happen and they happen for a reason.

Also the story that comes along with the making of this movie is truly great. Huge film fan sells his comics to make money to make a movie. If that's not dedication to the art form than I don't know what is. Because it's really inspiring to see someone dedicate themselves to something so much that they're willing to do anything to see it through. It's amazing. And one of the many reasons I love this movie.

Tune in tomorrow for #22 which I'm real excited to write about.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

#24 - Adaptation. Directed by Spike Jonze (2002)

Here is number 24 on the list. Adaptation. Brilliantly directed by Spike Jonze from a beautiful and amazing screenplay from Charlie Kaufman. This film was my introduction to the world of Charlie Kaufman and boy was it just great.

I first saw this film in college in one of my English courses. We watched it and then we talked about. We talked about it to death. This was one of the first times in life where talking about a film went past that scene was awesome, that scene sucked, I liked when they did that, I didn't like when they did that. We broke this movie down to it's core. We broke down everything, from Donald's screenplay "The 3" to when they talk about the ouroboros. I've never done that in my life with a movie. And it was a blast and an eye opening experience because I now saw film with a different eye. Now I'm not saying that all films need to be analyzed and broken down but if you've ever seen a Kaufman movie you know those need too be.

I love talking about this movie. This is probably one movie that I've talked about more than any other. And besides breaking it down and doing all that I found it to be a sweet film about 2 brothers. The acting was all around top notch, all the main actors got nominated for Oscars and Chris Cooper was the only one to win it. I loved Nic Cage in this movie. I know in recent years he's become a parody of himself but I just really enjoyed his 2 performances, it was great to see him play off himself and argue with himself in a scene. (I haven't seen much of Nic Cage recently but I loved him in Kick-Ass.)

What else can I say but thank you to my professor who decided to show this film in class and thank you for introducing me to Charlie Kaufman. He's become one of my favorite writers in film and I've seen all his movies except one, his directorial debut is a fucked up masterpiece of film that doesn't get enough credit.(Synecdoche, New York.) But I'm looking forward to seeing more of his films. Spike Jonze also deserves a lot of credit for making this movie just fantastic. I just wish he would direct more movies because I loved Where the Wild Things Are.

Thanks for reading, comment if you like and I'll be back tomorrow with #23.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#25 - The Thing Directed by John Carpenter (1982)

Deciding on my last favorite movie was a struggle because I needed a 25th director. Originally I ended up picking American Beauty by Sam Mendes as my 25th favorite film, but to be honest with myself and you fellow reader, I was kinda pulling that out of my ass. Don't get me wrong I loved American Beauty, but I haven't seen it in a few years, and I feel that I should be picking movies I watch multiple times since they've come out. So I was struggling with this choice and then out of nowhere it hit me and made perfect sense. John Carpenter's The Thing.

I fucking love this movie. From the first time I've seen it to the many times I've seen it since. I don't know why, but I love movies that take place in the cold, in the snow, because to have it constantly snowing and cold this place has to be pretty remote and isolated and that so much more tension to a horror film because just like space horror films, there is no one that is going to come to your rescue.

There are many things to like about this film and I'll mention as many as I can. The atmosphere of the film. The opening credits that pay homage to the first film version of the story of The Thing, filmed in the 1950s, which was actually a pretty good movie. Kurt Russell is fucking badass as MacReady. Hell, I enjoy everyone that was cast in this film. It's a great ensemble of "I've seen that guy before" and they all work well with each other, feeding off their paranoia and the increasing tension of knowing that something is going and and if we don't figure it out soon, some bad shit is going to happen.

One of my favorite things about this film is that you never seen the monster in it's true form. It's always some half way there mutation combined with the replication of someone in the group or a dog. And boy is it fucking nasty. The special effects still hold up to this day and and honestly, as a fan of makeup and masks it warms my heart that someone can make me sick and disgusted like that with something real that was physically on set with the actors, than relying on something made on a computer.

This movie is awesome and if I remembered it sooner it probably would have been up higher, but honestly, with the exception of the #1 position the movies are in no specific order.

The poster I used up top was made Tyler Stout check out his website and he has a lot of awesome drawings. Tomorrow I'll post #24.

Top 25 Favorite Movies

One of the things I do and have always done whenever I was in a classroom and trying to stay awake was to make a lists. Lists of anything from trying to come up with a least one band for every letter of the alphabet or what the current line up for all the Avengers books were at that time. I guess I bore easy but entertain myself even easier. I remember being obsessed with Guitar Hero II and trying to make a list of not only all the songs in the game and what band played them, but what order they were in the game. That was always a challenge but it was fun for some weird reason.

So, a month or so ago I was still in school and I was extremely bored. So I decided to make a list. No surprise here on what kind of list I made. I made a list of my favorite movies. I think that it's a decent list and very representative of myself and my tastes. The only reason that I didn't make this my top 25 movies of all time is because it's not. The first thing I said to myself before making the list was that I was going to limit myself to one (1!) film per director. So it was more challenging of a list to make, in deciding what one film by a director I would pick and hoping that I had enough of a diverse taste in film that I could make a list of my favorite films that were directed by 25 different directors. I succeeded. (I kinda cheated on one, you'll see.) I made this rule for myself because the top ten would have been all Kubrick and Tarantino.

If you know me and we've talked film it will come to no surprise as to what my favorite movie is. I think it's cliched, but I don't give a fuck. I'll explain why I love that certain movie so much. If you want to cheat you can take a look at the list because I posted it on Facebook and I started a thread about it on the Bendis Board. Also, I was featured in a guest spot on a friend's podcast called The Sarcastic Voyage as part of a segment called ClusterFlonk. There's a long explanation to all that, suffice it enough to say that I was asked what my favorite movie was and we talk about that. Click here if you want to listen to the podcast. It's a great show and very funny, if you like it check out other episodes.

So after all that, later today I'll post the first, or twenty-fifth favorite of my favorite films. And go backwards from there. Hope you like it and feel free to leave comments.