I must apologize to both of my loyal readers, but I don't have anything for you this week. I just couldn't find the time to write anything decent. I promise I'll be back next week to entertain you with a new half-baked theory about some movie.
However, I did find something I wrote a year or so ago that I'll post today. It's a list of movies that aren't too well known that I think you (yes, you) should see. I don't know who I wrote this for originally, so just pretend that I wrote it for you. These are not very well written mini-reviews, but they get the point across.
Accepted – A teen movie that somehow is completely formulaic but still hilarious and kind of touching, probably mostly due to the cast. Justin Long is Ferris Bueller-esque.
Beautiful Girls – A “chick flick for guys” in that it deals with guys trying to figure out what they want in life and how they deal with the women in their lives. It is hard to make it sound appealing, but it is a great movie with a couple hilarious monologues.
Before Sunset – If you saw Before Sunrise and thought it was decent and missed the sequel, see it. It makes the first one way better and it’s a great examination of how people can change and stay the same in 10 or so years.
Cop Land – Sylvester Stallone playing a role that is different from the norm for him in a great cop movie. It is clearly strongly influenced by classic westerns, notably 3:10 to Yuma.
Confidence – Cool little con-man movie. Dustin Hoffman is annoying as hell in it, but outside of that it is certainly worth watching. And since it’s DuHo you can let it go this one time.
Control – Biopic about Ian Curtis’ (lead singer of Joy Division) struggles with epilepsy, depression and relationships. A biopic that isn’t painfully formulaic!!! Who knew?
Death at a Funeral – If you like British comedy, see this immediately. If you don’t, stay away.
Gattaca – Is genetic modification of humans okay? What is going too far? How brooding can Ethan Hawke look? All three of these questions are examined masterfully in this movie.
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – Great acting (oddly enough the exception being Robert Downey Jr.) from a huge cast, and a great “coming of age tale.” Fuck I hate that term, but that’s what it is. Shia LaBeouf is the main character growing up in New York in the 80s, and he actually has to do something other than just being himself, which is cool. Channing Tatum is also incredible… if you haven’t seen this movie, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – A documentary about professional Donkey Kong players. It is structured so well to make you hate the one guy so much, and cheer so loudly for the other, and some of the supporting people are just completely hilarious. A highly entertaining documentary.
The Lookout – Great concept, and very well executed. Easily one of the best crime movies I have seen in the last few years.
Love Liza – Phillip Seymour Hoffman is the best, and this is more or less a one man show. Crazy depressing, but very good.
Manic – Indie wunderkid* Joseph Gordon Levitt stars as a teenager who gets put in a mental health facility. Don Cheadle (!!!) is the kids’ teacher, and it’s a good, non-cliched examination of troubled youth. Zooey Deschanel is also in it, for those that appreciate beautiful ladies with acting skills.
P.S. – Kind of up and down, it’s a far from perfect movie, especially since one of the main plot points is kind of absurd. BUT, it has Laura Linney and Topher Grace each turning in great performances. Fuck Marcia Gay Harden though, I don’t like her.
The Proposition – In my opinion, the best modern western with maybe the exception being the Assassination of Jesse James. It is dirty and grimy as hell, and is exhausting to watch.
Saved! – Hilarious satirical look at Christian high schools, and Mandy Moore is funny as shit in it. So long as you are not particularly religious, this movie is highly recommended.
The Savages – Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are my favourite actress and actor, respectively, and in this movie they both prove me right. They play a brother and sister who have to find their father a home to live in as his health is declining. It is a very balanced mix of drama and comedy, and is handled in a way that the drama adds to the comedy, and vice versa. The jokes are really funny because you care about the characters, much like the best episodes of Six Feet Under. 2007 had some truly great movies (No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, etc.), but this is the one that will sadly probably be forgotten.
Six Degrees of Separation – The acting and dialogue is all great, and it keeps you guessing the whole way through.
Spellbound – This one is about the national spelling bee, and holy shit it is good. My favourite documentary of all time by a mile, because the kids are so entertaining and the contest is quite suspenseful.
Sunshine (2007) – Another one of the great movies from 2007 that will be quickly forgotten about. A team of astronauts has to reignite the sun to save Earth from dying, and this film deals exclusively with their mission. It takes place entirely within the spaceship, and deals only with these 8 people. It is directed by Danny Boyle, and bears many similarities to 28 Days Later in that it deals with how people in a small group handle their mortality in a possibly apocalyptic situation. It takes a bit of a sketchy turn late, but it is so good up until that point that you can easily get past it.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada – Tommy Lee Jones should have been playing sheriffs exclusively for his entire life, because he is great at it. Another good modern western.
The Woodsman – This movie is unbelievably creepy and at times unbearable because of that, but if you can handle the subject matter it is definitely worth a watch. Also, one of Kevin Bacon and Mos Def’s scenes together is among my favourite scenes ever.
*If you read my 500 Days of Summer post, you will notice that I used this ‘joke’ then, too. I am nothing if not repetitive.