Posts Tagged ‘Cinema’

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The Fancy Plans Guide to AFI’s Top 100 Films – Volume 5

July 22, 2010

Remember this old thing? 

If you don’t, get un-rusty here:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4 

Diane Keaton was informed that this would be her "career" wardrobe and was to be worn in every film thereafter.

31. Annie Hall (1977)
Local hero Woody Allen makes good, abandoning his earlier wackiness in favor of subtle comedy, a style more likely to pair him with women out of his league. In this case, his comedic foil and unbelievable girlfriend is played by Diane Keaton, who continues to acquit herself well in lightweight comedies, all the while looking like she hasn’t aged a day since Annie Hall, in which she looked to be about 50. 

One of many Oscar-winning films directed by Allen, who has yet to actually pick up a single statuette as he is otherwise occupied every single Tuesday (in perpetuity) playing his clarinet (in a not pretentious at all sort of way) in some boho New York club. This shows that he is a real artist who creates out of love for the medium, rather than for the acclaim and access to women he wouldn’t otherwise be dating. 

(Note: in his latter years, Allen leapt from women he “wouldn’t” be dating to women he “shouldn’t” be dating. Although there was some fallout from this unfortunate turn of events, he still continues to faithfully blow his own horn every Tuesday night for the rest of whatever.) 

Trey Stone and Matt Parker often cite Coppola's use of "angry marionettes" as an influence.

32. The Godfather Part II (1974) 
Easily twice the film the first one was, but somehow well more than twice as far down the list. The only explanation for the 29-spot difference is the notable lack of noted AFI pre-req Marlon Brando.

Followed by a prequel (1972) and a sequel (1990). The standard against which all other gangster flicks are judged, including The Godfather Part III, which by comparison is Uwe Boll’s cutting room floor. 

Just another "stoner" classic.

33. High Noon (1952) 
Laconic and square-jawed Gary Cooper plays a put-upon marshal faced with the task of taking on a gang of local baddies. To make matters worse, he is forced to drum up support for a this suicide mission in real-time, without the aid of useful montages or fades. 

Finding the townspeople reluctant to serve as bullet-catchers, Cooper laconically decides to face them on his own, aided only by his square jaw and some guns. The tension becomes nearly unbearable as the projectionist has problems switching reels, delaying the solid black and white action for nearly two “real-time” minutes, giving Cooper’s character 120 seconds of darkness with which to escape town and star in a livelier picture. 

Take it from someone who's lived around them: mockingbirds kick in around 10 pm at night and never shut the fuck up. So, I view this title as a suggestion or a list of imaginary instructions.

34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 
Based on Harper Lee’s bestselling book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a treatise on racism thinly disguised as a courtroom drama. Gregory Peck plays attorney Atticus Finch, who uncovers the town’s unsightly attitude and generally plays himself, only nobler. 

A young Robert Duvall plays local introvert Boo Radley, who finally blossoms into a 4-piece Britpop group thanks to the ceaseless intrusion of Finch’s children. Has done more to improve race relations in this country than any film since Roger Corman’s groundbreaking action flick, Malcom X-Men: Last Stand

Gable's moustache secretly envied Colbert's amazing eyebrow length.

35. It Happened One Night (1934) 
As the Great Depression wore on, filmmakers (in conjunction with “New Deal” legislation) sought to distract viewers from the epic grimness of their lives, utilizing a series of “screwball” comedies. This film, along with other classics of the genre (Bringing Up Baby [#97], Meatballs Pt. 2 [#51]) delighted moviegoers nationwide while relieving them of their last few nickels. 

Remade several times, the most recent being Abel Ferrara’s nun-killing reimagination, Bad Night and David Mamet’s tense but stagey drama, It Happened One Fucking Night.

Thanks to a contractual dispute, Hoffman and Voight were forced to appear under each other's names.

36. Midnight Cowboy (1969) 
Much has been made of Midnight Cowboy’s status as the only X-rated film to win an Oscar. Tame by today’s standards, the most offensive element of this film is its crass portrayal of New York City as a cruel, heartless metropolis populated by rude, self-centered citizens. 

Much has also been made of Dustin Hoffman’s “method” portrayal of Ratso Rizzo, in particular his ad-libbed “Hey! I’m walking here!” Widely considered to be one of several small touches that “made” the role, the larger-than-life legend overshadows the fact that this heavily quoted line is actually a studio overdub, done in post-production. Hoffman’s original ad lib was, in fact, “Hey! I’m acting here!” 

Of course, Jon Voight’s baby face and intensely blonde looks aided Hoffman in their own way, as the contrast between the two leads gave credence to the idea that Rizzo/Hoffman was as ugly on the inside as he was on the outside. 

Thanks to the advent of upskirt photography, the ensuing years were pretty great indeed.

37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 
Nostalgia-thon in the mold of The Big Chill and Dazed and Confused, The Best Years of Our Lives follows the wistful reminiscing of its protagonists as they wax semi-poetic about their younger days, when they were big fish in an easily impressed small pond. 

Powerful performances aid the viewer in living vicariously through these human time capsules. Thrill along as they still listen to the same music, sport the same hairdos and drag out the same bitchin’ Camaro periodically. Superbly cautionary and infinitely sad. 

Yeah, bro. We’ll keep using “rad” if you want us to. 

[Ed. – Wow. Just wow. Not only have you clearly never seen the flick, but this is like a the review of Smells Like Teen Spirit that no one was asking for.] 

Because nothing says "brutally spare noir" like a pink-as-fuck poster.

38. Double Indemnity (1946) 
The harrowing tale of actuarial tables and the damage done, Double Indemnity is a spare noir masterpiece filled with hard-boiled women and easily duped men. Shot in black and white for maximum impact and film availability, Billy Wilder’s film takes viewers on a twist-filled ride through the greed damaged psyches of a claims adjuster and the two protagonists who wish to “game” the “system” through a reckless combination of murder and quotation marks. 

Hailed as “not even the best film of 1946.” 

The Russians are fond of their bristly makeout sessions. They also dig tiny horsemen emerging from somewhere around their shoulders...

39. Dr. Zhivago (1965) 
As is the case with most long-winded epics, this classic film is dense, Russian and exceedingly long. Packed wall-to-wall with pathos, snow and moustaches, Dr. Zhivago is easily the 39th best film on this list. Exceedingly long. 

Unfortunately, Grant is no match for the spray attachment and soon finds himself hurtling through a series of rectangles.

40. North by Northwest (1959) 
The second of over 50 Hitchcock films on this list, North by Northwest is an unparalleled thriller dealing with a case of mistaken identity. Everyman stand-in (as if) Cary Grant plays Richard Thornhill, an ad executive mistaken for another devastatingly attractive clotheshorse who has apparently found time in his busy schedule of being adored and aging immaculately to attempt to smuggle some state secrets out of the country. 

The film follows Grant’s handsome escape from his comparatively unattractive pursuers, which takes him everywhere from the Heart of America (an airplane-ravaged cornfield) to the Nose and Upper Lip of America (Mt. Rushmore). Contains approximately one (1) thrill per minute (TPM). 

-CLT

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Upcoming Sequels

November 6, 2009

If there’s anything Hollywood loves more than counting money and pandering to demographic groups, it’s pandering to a known demographic by cranking out a sequel. Here’s what the major studios are reheating for us in the upcoming months.

val kilmer

For the sequel, Kilmer has asked for "better hair;" "more expressive mask."

Heat 2: The Robbening
With most of the principal characters dead, the sequel focuses on Val Kilmer’s character, who was last seen ditching his wife and daughter for a life of not going to prison for several years. Al Pacino is back, obsessed with hunting down the “one that got away.”

Directing duties have been passed on to Lars Van Trier, whose unconventional filmmaking and confrontational style saw Val Kilmer participate in some improvised (and often, completely nude) bank robberies, for which he is currently serving 20 years at Lompoc Correctional Facility.

Lars Von Triers hails it as “provocative, dangerous cinema.”

Costner considers "better hair;" laying groundwork for "Expression C."

Kevin Costner briefly considers "better hair;" first attempts at planned "Expression C."

They Still Call Me “Dances with Wolves”
After a nearly 20-year stretch of failed vanity projects and forgettable roles, Kevin Costner returns to the welcoming arms of his most successful vanity project. He reprises his role as Dances With Wolves, the sole enlightened white man in existence.

The story follows his purchase of a failing business in South Dakota and his unflinching battle with decades old anti-gambling laws. Costner grants himself ample screen time to explore his character, including several topical monologues which recall Steven Segal’s triumphant work in On Deadly Ground. Written and directed by Kevin Costner. Additional screenplay work by Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas.

Time Magazine calls it “a triumphant retread, full of Costnerian hubris.”

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Carrie Fisher's requests for "better hair;" "non-related love interest" vetoed by George Lucas. He did, however, turn her character lesbian.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Twilight of the Revolution
Picking up where episode six left off (and skipping two more episodes, presumably to be retconned in later), with the Death Star destroyed (again) and the Empire defeated, Episode 9 rejoins the characters as they live out their remaining years.

  • Watch Han Solo makes an embarrassment of himself in an Aldreraan retirement community, as his randy exploits never manage to make the ladies forget that he shoots first.
  • Chewbacca returns to his home planet, only to be set upon and dismembered by his own species, who react violently to the alien smell of “human” on him.
  • Luke Skywalker is faced with the realization that the rebellion never had a solid severance package in place and is forced to perform Jedi “magic” at birthday parties and bar mitzvahs to make ends meet.
  • Leia never gets over being unable to conceive and spends her remaining years banging random helmet-wearing freaks in an effort to confront her “Daddy” issues.
  • Lando finds himself profiled into a 10-year sentence for a liquor store holdup.
  • R2-D2 and C-3PO are finally married after leaving Tatooine’s restrictive political climate for the relatively more relaxed Endor. Things end badly for the married couple when C-3PO catches R2-D2 fellating (?) a power washer.
  • On a brighter note, Jar Jar Binks is also dismembered due to his “human” smell shortly after the opening credits.

FOX-TV says “full of Lucas’ patented heart and razor-sharp dialog.” CBS-TV says “Big Chill meets On Golden Pond in a fanboy’s basement.”

james_cameron

Cameron offers to trade three Oscars for "better hair;" "artistic merit."

Titanic 2: The King of the World
James Cameron returns to the icy, money-choked waters of his greatest success, Titanic. Borrowing liberally from Clive Cussler’s Raise the Titanic (and being sued in the process) and his own dementia, Cameron presents the story of an eccentric billionaire who wishes to prove that the Titanic, with the proper level of sobriety and nude paintings, could have made that voyage successfully.

Cameron freely admits that the main character (Jim Camber) is loosely based on himself. Camber’s abrasive ego and Scrooge McDuck-esque piles of money soon find him several thousand feet below the surface, raising the Titanic for another maiden voyage.

Camber raises the Titanic and follows the fateful route. Tragedy strikes when the drunken Irish stowaways manage to rip through the hulls during an out-of-control party/car bombing. Ironically (or not), the Titanic returns to the depths at nearly the same spot as the original catastrophe.

James Cameron tops his last outing by using a combination of green screen and depression sufferers to simulate the sinking ship’s last moments. Viewers will be unable to escape the haunting images of the many extras clinging to the nearly vertical deck for life, which suddenly seems bright and livable when cold, icy death is staring you in the face. Listen closely for screams of “Fuck you, James!” and “For the love of God, where are the stuntmen?”

Entertainment Weekly calls it “a tour de force of cinéma vérité, proving just how many lives Cameron is willing to sacrifice for artless commerce (883, at last count).”

-CLT