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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The 'Best' of 2006: Part 3

Holy crap, this was funny. I was coughing at a few moments and the Pamela Anderson wedding sack sequence was hilarious (though probably staged). This movie has some of the best awkward comedy moments since the BBC's The Office, only this stuff is totally real. And the fact that people tried to sue for being portrayed as the idiots they are just makes it all the more worthwhile. Plus the junket pieces that were staged with Cohen in character were hilarious. WARNING: The naked wrestling and chase through the hotel will make you laugh, cry AND hurl.


Hot DAMN. My man crush with Daniel Craig happened when I saw Layer Cake, which I only saw because I heard that Matthew Vaughn was going to be directing X-Men 3 (later screwed by Brett Ratner). Layer Cake is an AWESOME Brit crime-drama and has one of the best endings in a film ever. So when Clive Owen decided that he didn't want to be Bond (which I can't blame him, he's an amazing actor as well and picks really interesting roles) and they chose Craig, I was ecstatic. This movie is BRUTAL. It shows Bond's beginning as a thug and the only reason he was chosen to be a 00 was because he could play cards. The torture scene in the film was nothing bu a rope with a knot in the end and was the most gruelling torture scene since's Hard Candy's table-top surgery and Hostel's blowtorch scene. My stomach still gets queasy thinking about it. Plus the opening segment featuring Parkour co-inventor Sebastien Foucan and a race through a construction site is mind-boggling good.


I loved this movie. It was INTENSE, but man, it was GOOD. What amazed me was how this epic story featured first-time actors who were flawless. I never fell out of the story. Well, once, but that birth sequence was pretty lame. All in all, the action sequences were great, the jokes were pretty funny, the villains were E-Vil and the violence was in abundance. By abundance I mean somebody was being clubbed, stabbed, beheaded, gutted or speared about every 30 seconds. Well, that's an exaggeration, but a lot of the movie had you clenched up like the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. It was a damn good time.

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Yeah, yeah, go ahead and rant on at how lame another Rocky movie is. Blah, blah, blah. But you know what? it was really good. Let's look at the history, too. See, most people were mad that there was another Rocky movie because 5 was so bad. But be FAIR. 1 out of 5 flops and we're angry about this why? Rocky 1-4 were staples of everyone's childhood. Seeing Rocky overcome his opponents and NOT ALWAYS win was also a huge deal. What made 'Rocky Balboa' was that it took itself seriously in a very self-deprecating manner. Rocky is old. He's a has-been. A small-time local celebrity who runs a tiny restaurant and tells patrons his boxing stories. His romantic interest is in her late 30's, early 40's, not late 20's. He's a bit punch-drunk. He's OLD. And they use that as the basis of the story. I tell ya, it was a damn fine film to watch. What really made it cool was that the end credits featured clips from a documentary that filmed everyone who ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a year and asked them why they did it. So during the credits, there was a long montage featuring everyone: kids, grandparents, sororities, office workers, joggers, business men and anyone else you can think of running up and dancing at the top. It's a pretty cool statement that people still do that 30 years after ROCKY came out.


Lookee-lookee, how did DREAM GIRLS make it into Mac's list? This is insane. Must be a typo. Oddly enough? No. I really dug it. The music was great, the 3-decade story was compelling, the acting was damn good, the songs were consistent, so you didn't fall in and out of the story and the costumes were awesome. The closing credits of this one was total Oscar-pandering, since it featured each actor in all the different costumes they wore and had all the set sketches next to the final set pieces running through the background. It was good to see Eddie do something that didn't cater to kids or fart jokes.

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DAMN. It's already come up several times that I love Clive Owen. He's turning into a great every-man/bad-ass like Harrison Ford/Bruce Willis/Mel Gibson were in their hey-day. In 'Children', he plays an everyman thrust into smuggling the world's only pregnant woman out of the country before the government and various religious/political groups discover her. Michael Caine plays a hysterical pot-growing hippie and friend to Clive. There are some brutal action sequences in this one as well as an amazing 8-minute single-shot battle scene near the end. The other bonus is that it also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is pretty high on my favorite actor list at the moment. Heeey, how is it the Brits are making a comeback? Hm.


Ah, Guillermo. You had me at "attached to direct". Guillermo Del Toro has a great eye for things bug-like in nature. If he could have a man-sized monster in all of his films, he probably would. The first time I ever looked him up was when I saw a little film called Cronos while I was in college. Then came Mimic, which was a pretty creepy flick. Not a great movie, mind you, but it got him into Hollywood, where we would later get Blade 2 and the almighty Hellboy, so that's a GOOD thing. Pan's Labyrinth is a part war/part fantasy flick set during the Spanish Revolution, much like his ghost story The Devil's Backbone. The violence in Labyrinth takes place entirely in the real world and it's some pretty brutal stuff. The fantasy element is amazing, to which I wanted more of it every time she had to come back to the real world. This is one of those movies I don't want to spoil, so I'll leave it at the last great film of 2006.


One more added!!! I didn't get to see this one until a few weeks into January, but it still counts. This makes the 'Best' list because it made me squeal like a giddy schoolboy for pretty much the entire time. I've always loved going to the Natural History Museums of pretty much any city. They usually rank just below Zoos and bars, so I miss a lot of them, but they are always a good time. This movie has a hilarious "what if" concept that never really disappoints and anyone who ever enjoyed a trip to the museum will relate to pretty much every joke in the movie. So 'nuff said on that.

To be fair, there are some things I didn't see that may or may not have made it on the fave list, primarily being Harsh Times, which looked like a 'Training Day' (which I LOVED) with Christian Bale and Jackass 2, which I am pissed that I missed, but have a copy being sent to me shortly, so that problem will be corrected.

And that's that! I patiently await the next 3 movies of 2007 that should be entertaining! Ghost Rider (2/16), Reno 911: Miami (2/23) and Black Snake Moan (2/23).

Didn't see: Jackass 2, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Harsh Times

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Blogger Alf said...

Dude, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM blew so hard it destroyed trailer parks in Florida.

9:37 AM


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