Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Inviolable Sanctity of Originality (And How I Poop On It)

I've said it before. I've said it right to their faces, those drones. I've said it, and I stand by it:

"I do not believe in the sanctity of originality."

It's true, shocking as it sounds, but don't get me wrong; there is nothing I appreciate more than a truly original film. Nothing. Not even free drinks or great sex.

Why, then ("they" often ask), do I have not the slightest issue when a remake of a classic (or a "classic") is announced? Well, take a little journey with me from key to key, and I'll tell you...

...later, that is. ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Best Films of the 2000s

1. Mulholland Drive (2001) - David Lynch's masterful Hollywood nightmare of a noir seduces me more and more with each viewing (it is the film I have seen more times than any other), never once losing its fire, intensity, intrigue or beauty. This is ingenious filmmaking: elegant, seductive, serpentine and beautiful.

2. The Fountain (2006) - Darren Aronofsky's wildly ambitious and positively gorgeous science fiction masterpiece stands alone in the sci-fi canon, as there has never been a film quite like it. Breathtaking visual brilliance, magnificent strength of performance and some heavy, heady material work together to create one of the most profound experiences I've ever had with a film. It's an absolutely spectacular feast for the eyes, but what's more is that it's a surprisingly cathartic journey for the heart and mind. Brilliant.

3. Inglourious Basterds (2009) - This is Quentin Tarantino's best film, and certainly one of the best screenplays ever written. This wildly audacious picture plays with our knowledge of history, showers us with intelligently mounted scenes of funny and horrifying violence and offers us some of the best dialogue-driven sequences yet written for the screen. This is Tarantino's masterpiece, as it is the best example of the genius filmmaker's ability, and unflinching willingness, to transport us into a fictional plane unlike anything we've ever seen or heard before, and yet so close to reality as to demand our direct involvement. It's an amazing piece of work.


Friday, November 13, 2009

O Mother, How Very.

The following list - as useless as any other, I assure you - denotes my favorite films. They do change from time to time. Enjoy. Comment. Whatever.

1. Eraserhead (1976) d: David Lynch
2. Magnolia (1999) d: Paul Thomas Anderson
3. Rosemary's Baby (1968) d: Roman Polanski
4. Mulholland Drive (2001) d: David Lynch
5. The Fountain (2006) d: Darren Aronofsky
6. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) d: Stanley Kubrick
7. Inglourious Basterds (2009) d: Quentin Tarantino
8. Terms of Endearment (1983) d: James L. Brooks
9. The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) (2001) d: Michael Haneke
10. A Clockwork Orange (1971) d: Stanley Kubrick
11. Dawn of the Dead (1978) d: George A. Romero
12. Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Salo, o le 120 giornate di Sodoma) (1975) d: Pier Paolo Pasolini
13. The Devils (1971) d: Ken Russell
14. Last Year at Marienbad (L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad) (1961) d: Alain Resnais
15. Inception (2010) d: Christopher Nolan
16. The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (2001-2003) d: Peter Jackson
17. The Elephant Man (1980) d: David Lynch
18. Kill Bill (2003-2004) d: Quentin Tarantino
19. Network (1976) d: Sidney Lumet
20. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) d: Stanley Kubrick
21. Harold and Maude (1971) d: Hal Ashby
22. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) d: Mike Nichols
23. Sunset Boulevard (1950) d: Billy Wilder
24. House of Sand and Fog (2003) d: Vadim Perelman
25. Boogie Nights (1997) d: Paul Thomas Anderson
26. Pulp Fiction (1994) d: Quentin Tarantino
27. Cries and Whispers (1972) d: Ingmar Bergman
28. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1990) d: Peter Greenaway
29. INLAND EMPIRE (2006) d: David Lynch
30. The Shining (1980) d: Stanley Kubrick
31. Angels in America (2003) d: Mike Nichols
32. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) d: Sydney Pollack
33. Diabolique (Les Diaboliques) (1954) d: Henri-Georges Clouzot

In turn, the following list denotes my least favorite films. Ever.

1. Caligula (1979) d: Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione
2. I Spit on Your Grave (a.k.a. Day of the Woman) (1978) d: Meir Zarchi
3. Night Train Murders (1975) d: Aldo Lado
4. The Last House on the Left (1972) d: Wes Craven
5. The Pest (1997) d: Paul Miller
6. Freddy Got Fingered (2001) d: Tom Green
7. Mother's Day (1980) d: Charles Kaufman
8. Leonard Part 6 (1987) d: Paul Weiland
9. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) d: John Boorman
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) d: Tobe Hooper
11. The House on the Edge of the Park (1980) d: Ruggero Deodato
12. Death Race 2000 (1975) d: Paul Bartel
13. Jaws the Revenge (1987) d: Joseph Sargent
14. Date Movie (2006), Epic Movie (2007), Meet the Spartans (2008) and Disaster Movie (2008) d (all): Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
15. Guyana: Cult of the Damned (1980) d: Rene Cardona, Jr.
16. Last Rites (1988) d: Donald P. Bellisario
17. B.A.P.S. (1997) d: Robert Townsend
18. Envy (2004) d: Barry Levinson
19. Nothing but Trouble (1991) d: Dan Aykroyd
20. Southland Tales (2006) d: Richard Kelly
21. North (1994) d: Rob Reiner
22. AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem (2007) d: Colin and Greg Strause
23. The Mangler (1995) d: Tobe Hooper
24. Alone in the Dark (2005) d: Uwe Boll
25. Breaking the Rules (1992) d: Neal Israel

And, just for shits and giggles (not that either of those are given their proper respect as enjoyable activities), the following are my favorite films of 2009 thus far:

1. Inglourious Basterds (A+)
2. Where the Wild Things Are (A+)
3. Avatar (A+)
4. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (A+)
5. Up in the Air (A+)
6. Capitalism: A Love Story (A+)
7. Antichrist (A+)
8. Up (A+)
9. (500) Days of Summer (A+)
10. Funny People (A+)
11. World's Greatest Dad (A+)
12. Drag Me to Hell (A+)
13. Bruno (A+)
14. Adventureland (A+)
15. Mary and Max (A+)
16. Trick 'r Treat (A+)
17. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (A)
18. Humpday (A)
19. Watchmen (A)
20. Disney's A Christmas Carol (A)
21. Lymelife (A)

What should follow? The worst of 2009 thus far, of course:

1. Saw VI (F)
2. Old Dogs (F)
3. The Final Destination (D-)
4. Observe and Report (D-)
5. The Grudge 3 (D)
6. Whiteout (D)
7. Year One (D)
8. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (D)
9. The Unborn (D+)
10. Friday the 13th (D+)
11. The Fourth Kind (D+)
12. The Horsemen (C-)
13. The Stepfather (C-)
14. Gigantic (C-)
15. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (C)
16. Bride Wars (C)
17. Blood: The Last Vampire (C)
18. Halloween II (C)
19. Star Trek (C)

That concludes this segment of I Neglect My Blog.

Until next time, brush your teeth and bite your nails. It's always better in the end.