Sunday, 31 January 2010
7) Penny Widmore
Sonya Walger did a very good job with this character, whose job it often was to appear in the last five minutes of a given episode and earn our emotional investment. Lost asked a lot of Penny, selling an epic romance while appearing so briefly is no small thing yet her relationship with Desmond has become the most genuine on the show. Fair Play
6) Tom A.K.A Mr Friendly
MC Gainey's job on this show was so often to stand in the background, maybe crack a one liner or two but otherwise do what he was told. Yet through the charm Gainey brought to the role, he ended up perhaps the most useful of the 'soldier' others. AKA the ones that got demolished once the show was done with them. But I remember this scene, and I remember that this character had my attention.
5) Danielle Rousseau
Before being unceremoniously capped in season 4, Rousseau did have her moments on Lost. And again, this is largely down to Mira Furlan's relatively subtle take on what is a fairly simple riff on the archetype of crazy bitch in the woods. Particularly in season two's Maternity Leave, where the character was given some real humanity, she set herself apart.
4) Charles Widmore
Alan Dale does play the same role in everything. Almost without exception. An old, bitter millionaire douche. Every time. First in the OC, then in Ugly Betty then in Lost. So the character's presence is more to do with what the writers have done with him more then what Dale brings to it, which isn't bad but is pretty stock really. But the cleverness with which the show tied Widmore into the island happenings, particularly in seasons 4 and 5, made him a major player, and that is set to continue in season 6.
A character whose continued presence in this show I think is solely down to the soul that L Scott Caldwell brought the character. Without her consistently turning in stellar performances, she no doubt would have been left in the dust. But she earned herself regular airtime and even some real story. She's never going to be anyone's favorite character, but she has survived Lost from the beginning whilst being entirely irrelevent to narrative happenings. Now that takes some chops right there.
2) Martin Keamy
Love this guy. On a show where everybody is always, always manipulating each other, something that can grow old very quickly, I can't tell you what a breath of fresh air it was to have a villain you could just love to hate, who would go around killing everyone in sight with minimal monologing like some 80's action movie villain (And it be a good thing). Like a stalling chess game was revitalized by a a strong, terrifically acted (Kevin Durand is pure awesome) warrior piece who has had it with the chicken shit games. Its a mixed metaphor, but what the hell, Keamy was exactly what this show needed when it needed it.
1) Richard Alpert
The rise of Richard Alpert from relatively minor other to fan favorite who became this mythical island figure whose very presence seems to lead to hysterical excitement that important shit is coming. Nestor Carbonell knocked this one out of the park form the beginning, lending a welcome calm and intelligence to the Lost universe. Which given the amount of stupidity our main characters often display, he is always, always welcome. He has even become a worthy third player in the Ben and Locke show, with his scenes with these characters having a bit more weight then certain other cast members.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
7) The 23rd Psalm Remember Mr Eko? Man was that a long time ago. But unless my memories deceive me he was a relentlessly awesome giant guy with a giant stick which he whacked people with, which was pretty much the extent of his character until we got to this episode where his backstory was laid out in a suprisingly affecting and impressively acted manor. Powerful stuff. Even heavy Charlie screentime was tolerable here.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
So one minute there's a recently introduced condescending douche telling everyone what's what about nitro-glycerin. Then there's not, because he just blew himself up by retardly waving around highly unstable dynamite and you just spilled your coffee all over yourself. This one is truly a cosmic irony snap.
The word useless was floated around a lot with Shannon, who's character was basically a one-note cheap joke about how ridiculous Paris Hilton is. But I'll admit by her brutal end she had grown on me. The brutal end in question saw her take an accidental bullet from the paranoid and over-acting Michelle Rodriguez, because she and her gang were being chased by a bunch of invisible voices. Ownage.
Locke again, this dude took some pain on this show didn't he. So anyway we are chilling in a seemingly superfluous flashback scene, as they nearly all were in season three, with our man confronting evil daddy and then BOOM. Fool just got pushed out of a window. But he was miraculously saved. To be a tool in an evil scheme.
When Lost clears the books, it does so with some style. Sure, Karl and Rousseau were pretty superfluous to the show at this point. But still I was watching A Michael episode a minute ago and we just cut to these no marks. What the fuck? Oh right they are all gonna die horribly. Well except for Alex, which brings me to number one.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Edge Of Darkness: Its been too long since we had the great example to children everywhere Mel Gibson in front of camera. I look forward to him killing people like in the good old days, but this does look suspiciously like turd. Expectancy Level: 5/10
Astro-Boy - Japanese influenced kids movie, looks a bit weird. But maybe that's a good thing. Expectancy Level: 6/10
When a film calls itself Ninja Assassin, it pretty much lays its cards down on the table. There's gonna be swords, literal oceans of blood and actors who clearly speak English as a fifth language struggle through what is already bad dialogue. But the people who see this movie know this already, and they don't care. They came to see dudes get sliced up in every imaginable way by a near silent Bad Ass, and in this respect Ninja Assassin delivers I guess. But as a movie it still sucks, and sucks no question; though talking about narrative faults would be pointless by definition. As for a legitimate action complaint, I have to say I would have liked to see maybe a little less slow-mo and CGI and more allowing for the ninja skills to speak for themselves. Personally I enjoy these organic action scenes a little more then what was cosmetically on display here.
The plot, although using that word in regards to this movie is one of the most hilarious jokes I've done on here in a while, sees Raizo (played by an actor known only as Rain. Which is pretty badass in itself) is out to take revenge on his evil Ninja academy and all its produce, whilst protecting researcher Naomie Harris ( Of 28 Days Later fame) and proceeds to lay waste to all ninja. The ten year old boy in me got a kick out of the sugar-rush carnage director James McTeigue offers here, and Rain is an intimidating physical specimen to say the least, looking almost ridiculously like a sculpture. For a two-dimension hero, you could do worse. Can't act for shit, but were you expecting him to be able to? Harris is the shrieky action movie girl at its most stereotypically grating. I think she is better then this, but I guess for a director as unconcerned with performance with Mcteigue - which mattered a lot more in V for Vendetta - that's going to happen I guess. I kind of enjoyed Coupling's Ben Miles as a British special agent, and in particular the running gag (I choose to interpret it that way) of him disappearing for the violence and appearing again from nowhere once the carnage be through. The fact that he wasn't treated as British canon fodder was pretty cool.
But yeah, if saying the title Ninja Assassin sends you into an ironic fever pitch then you might enjot this movie. But then you probably also loved Punisher: War Zone, Transporter 2 and Resident Evil: Apocalypse for the same reason. And thus are responsible for all the evil in the world, plus the existence of Snakes On A Plane. Bitter much.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Well that was fucking awesome. But an entirely familiar way, which I've not decided to be a good or bad thing quite yet. Does doing something seen before well add to the awesomeness, or does it slightly detract from it? Who knows, but before I get to it there is something of terrifying importance that needs addressing. Some of the praises I've seen floating around for this film often include the word original, or a synonym to the same effect. But I don't think that's the case here. For a prison movie, I think a lot of what is here has been seen before, its just never had a french accent. And that is something that gets a certain few foreign movies better reviews here then perhaps they deserve. Having said that, this movie is to paraphrase myself ten lines ago, fucking awesome. It's such an accomplished, stylish and electrifying movie, that does great character work as well as containing enough brutally uncompromising violence to put Scorsese to shame.
Director Jacques Audiard, who gave us the similarly impressive The Beat That My Heart Skipped, tells what is almost a classic rags to riches gangster tale, which feels less overblown and cliched then the usual because of the fierce realism he infuses the film with, thus the gangster element, and the occasional but often beautiful stylistic touches, feels so much more vital. And while I've seen prison hierarchy films before, where its the connected gangsters that really run the show and the young upstart having to worm his way in to survive the brutality of the joint. The plot sometimes felt like a Grand Theft Auto mission, but in prison, going from one shady dealing to the next, whilst climbing the ladder. But in a good way. The naturalism of Audiard is nicely complimented by the simple relatibility of leading man Tahar Rahim, who gives a great performance that isn't showy or false. His performance mirrors the movie in a way, where the constant and deliberate frankness he gives the character allow the more soulful moments, when they come, to be so much more effective. Kudos too to Niels Arestrup, an Audiard regular, who gives his aged Corsican criminal a wiseness, but also an impulsive brutality that all the best gangster villains seem to have. Its great to see the script make his character more then a stepping stone villain, and Arestrup certainly adds to the success of the character a great deal. The rest of the cast is pretty much without a weak link, with further special mention going to Adel Bencherif who takes what could have been a throwaway best friend role and gives it as much wait as it could hold. But for the great work of the actors, this is the director's achievement most of all, and he has yet again made something that would no doubt seem like trash on the page into such a work of art. Yet also be exciting. You'd never expect it from a French film-maker.
We are only in January, but I can't imagine seeing many better films then this in 2010. Its almost a template as to how movies should be made. Like I said, fucking awesome.
Right. As I think I've mentioned before on this site, mediocre films are truly the hardest thing to review, because they don't fill you with the bile that say, a Transformers movie would, but obviously you don't like them either, and thus your apathy towards it bleeds onto the page and every word you type is just to fill that much more space. Because I think I have truly nothing of value to say about The Boys Are Back. I'm sure the further we go down I'll throw in a couple of devil's advocate compliments, and I can point out how average it is of course. Its middle of the road to its core. From its passable, occasionally literate but always slightly awkward dialogue to its meandering script, that doesn't really go anywhere after its initial, plot driving tragedy.
Which could have been handled with more nuance to be honest. Clive Owen has a sick-ass Australian farmhouse with a beautiful wife and genetically deigned cute kid. Then his wife goes and dies, and he's left to be a single father. And while this journey is cliched on screen, it might have been better to see then what the movie actually did, which was to turn Owen into a saint too near the beginning and half-hearted family tension drove the rest of the movie. Owen is quite good I guess, but he's always better in British, as his American accent is something that leaves a lot to be desired. He plays it as stiff-lipped as is possible with the material. The kids are OK, but their performances feel a little manufactured. The film does make use of some breathtaking Australian scenery, and director Scott Hicks handles the whole thing with a visual smoothness. But I always knew where it was going, and I was always underwhelmed. Soft, under-cooked and other words that describe something that isn't done to the point that it should be. To use a word I use far too often, meh.
Avoid, unless you really do enjoy being made to feel passive and uninvolved.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Since my flippant first predictions, certain things have come to pass. Avatar has gone from a possible winner to the film to beat, The Lovely Bones has faded, and The Hurt Locker has gained quite a bit of momentum, going from possible nomination to the film everyone wants to win (but probably won't), so lets see how things are figuring about now.
The Hurt Locker
Up In The Air
A Serious Man
Ten nominations makes predicting less skillful, and more listing the obvious. I'm taking a chance on District 9 and that the bad word Nine has got of late will put it out of competition. It may get in there anyway.
James Cameron, Avatar
Jason Retiman, Up In The Air
Katherine Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Lee Daniels, Precious
Neill Blomkamp, District 9
Blomkamp is a gamble, but I'm thinking the BAFTA nomination brings him a bit more into the game. Otherwise the usual suspects.
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Colin Firth, A Single Man
George Clooney, Up In The Air
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Bridges' Oscar to lose really, and Renner still isn't a certainty although he really should be. Could get edged out by Day-Lewis, on name more then what he actually did this year.
Meryl Streep, Julie and Julia
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabby Sidibe, Precious
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
I hope Streep doesn't win, but then again I hope Bullock doesn't win either. I guess I'm rooting for Mulligan. But of these she is least likely Mirren aside.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Matt Damon, Invictus
Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker
Waltz. All the way here. He stands out noticeably, and is a slightly larger then life villain, a requisite for this category of late. Mackie perhaps is a Statement of hope maybe, but I refuse to be cynical.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air
Vera Farmiga, Up In The Air
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Penelope Cruz, Nine
M'onique has the buzz, but Up in the air owns 40% of the category. So Farmiga or Kendrick could pull a shock.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
500 Days of Summer
A Serious Man
The Hurt Locker
I'm Thinking Tarantino, but this could be the way Oscar rewards The Hurt Locker, given that it clearly wants to give Avatar all the serious shit.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Up In The Air
Up In The Air. End of. Way to give Reitman an Oscar without giving him an Oscar.
There's been years where every Oscar nomination is awesome and years where they are all cack. This is a year toward the back-end of the spectrum, or maybe Avatar is blinding my objectivity. Could be.
Perhaps through no fault of its own, Brothers has been turned on this awards season. Maybe because its familiar to this part of the year, not in content maybe but n everything else. The complex, dark family drama is a mainstay of the Oscar season; as is the semi-topical tone, funneled through Human drama so as to not be openly political. Because God forbid right? I think Brothers is a perfectly competent example of what it is, well-acted with only occasionally obnoxious direction by Jim Sheridan. But it plays safe with its darkness, and that stops it from being what is the standard film of Oscar season, good but not great in too many places, relying on show reel moments of intensity instead of actual earned emotion.
This all sounds a little cruel, and to be honest I did like this movie. It had a potentially interesting dynamic, and like I said I enjoyed most of the acting. The plot follows upstanding, good guy US soldier Tobey Maguire with his hot wife Natalie Portman and two cutesy kids. His washout brother Jake Gyllenhaal has just been released from prison and is a layabout drunk. Maguire though, is about to go to Afghanistan and once there, his supposed death messes up the family dynamic real good. First things first, Maguire is very good. The best he's been in a very long time, perhaps all the way to before his career was devoured by Spider-Man. He's a much more interesting actor then he appears though, beneath the fronted awkwardness is a real talent for this, and he does the slow burn meltdown fantastically. Gyllenhaal too, sets himself apart in a potentially difficult role, but he is falling into a decidedly self-defacing pattern, where he gives a very good performance overshadowed by a slightly better one. See Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, Peter Sarsgaard in Jarhead, Mark Ruffalo in Zodiac and now Tobey Maguire in Brothers. Its a very honorable career path, but perhaps not the most personally profitable one. But when has that ever been a criticism of an actor right? Anyway he is very good here, giving a pleasingly mature performance. Portman is good too, in a role that certainly could have gone by the wayside. I think her stunningly beautiful looks has set her career back in an entirely unnecessary way. She's done great work, but the world continues to solely objectify her. Why we can't appreciate both simultaneously is beyond me.
The film itself I think is prevented from being really good because it dwells in the set-up too long, particularly with the Maguire in Afghanistan plot, the real dramatic meat of the thing is in his re-integration into family-life, yet that segment feels rushed, when the movie took its sweet time in building it up. That being said, there are a couple of sweetly tense dinner table scenes, playing out like a social time bomb. I think Maguire is best in the latter one of these scenes, even more so then in his climactic freak out. there he underplayed the lack of belonging and it was for me a little more effective. But Brothers is a passable, occasionally more then that drama, and while some of the emotional beats may be a little familiar, it still mostly worked for me.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
After what could be called a senseless Golden Globes, these Bafta Nominations restore some normality, but not oodles of it. Let's see how they went shall we? Predicted winners in bold and gold. Because that's how I play.
AVATAR James Cameron, Jon Landau - Looks like the film to beat at this point. I've ran out of exasperation to communicate.
AN EDUCATION Amanda Posey, Finola Dwyer - Interesting.
THE HURT LOCKER Nominees TBC - From this selection I hope it wins and hope hard.
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary Magness - The only film with a shot at displacing Avatar ot the Oscars, based on Oprah power alone.
UP IN THE AIR Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki - A screenplay award beckons.
AVATAR James Cameron - I used to like Cameron. He's made several films that birthed film-lovers everywhere. But how I hope he doesn't win.
DISTRICT 9 Neill Blomkamp - Awesome. Deserved nomination I didn't expect. Fair play Bafta.
AN EDUCATION Lone Scherfig - They've gone for this film hard
THE HURT LOCKER Kathryn Bigelow - Bigelow deserves it, but won't get it I think.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Quentin Tarantino - That marks two for Tarantino. An Oscar nom is a certainty now.
THE HANGOVER Jon Lucas, Scott Moore - Again Bafta shoots for acceptance and lands. I love that this can happen.
THE HURT LOCKER Mark Boal - Its good to see the Hurt Locker get such recognition.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Quentin Tarantino - I think this is Tarantino's tbh. Its usually his award anyway.
A SERIOUS MAN Joel Coen, Ethan Coen - Deserved, but the Coen's have won a little too much of late. So don't expect a win here.
UP Bob Peterson, Pete Docter - Pixar scoops so many writing nominations its hilarious. It goes to show why they're so good though doesn't it.
DISTRICT 9 Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell - Good for Bafta again.
AN EDUCATION Nick Hornby - He's a famous british writer, so obviously.
IN THE LOOP Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche - This film should be up for more then this. It was fucking rad.
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious is going to take exactly jack shit at the Bafta's, but its a force stateside.
UP IN THE AIR Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner - The winner I think, as Reitman continues to make his name.
JEFF BRIDGES Crazy Heart - I think the Oscar is his, but not this one. Bridges is a legend though so, I wouldn't be in any way annoyed.
GEORGE CLOONEY Up in the Air - Clooney is a regular fixture at these things for a reason.
COLIN FIRTH A Single Man - The winner here, for both legacy and for being British. Watch it happen.
JEREMY RENNER The Hurt Locker - Probably my favorite, but a nomination is a win for Renner.
ANDY SERKIS Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - British throwaway. Not much to be said.
CAREY MULLIGAN An Education - Deserved, continuing acareer making award season for Mulligan.
SAOIRSE RONAN The Lovely Bones - A bit out of the blue, but fair enough. Ronan's second Bafta nom by the way. Before she's even twenty.
GABOUREY SIDIBE Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire - Again, a genuine possibility for the Oscars, but not enough Brits have seen this film.
MERYL STREEP Julie & Julia - Because she's Meryl Streep. I found her shrill and annoying.
AUDREY TAUTOU Coco Before Chanel - Good. I liked this performance and its good to see t turn up somewhere.
ALEC BALDWIN It’s Complicated - The only representation for this film. The way it should be.
CHRISTIAN McKAY Me and Orson Welles - A slight random but OK I guess.
ALFRED MOLINA An Education - Again, they really went nuts for this film, hence Molina's presence here.
STANLEY TUCCI The Lovely Bones - The only mainstay representation for The lovely Bones really. Tucci deserves it over time.
CHRISTOPH WALTZ Inglourious Basterds - The real standout here. A weak category otherwise.
ANNE-MARIE DUFF Nowhere Boy - I think BAFTA went a little insane in this category. That can be the only explanation for two acting nominations for Nowhere Boy.
VERA FARMIGA Up in the Air - The stronger of the two Up In The Air performances here I think.
ANNA KENDRICK Up in the Air - Now Twilight has some Bafta nominated credibility. sweet.
MO’NIQUE Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire - The only real contender in what is usually a weak category anyway. Damn you sexist industry.
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS Nowhere Boy - I like Scott Thomas, but if this is warranted then I am God, and from that sentence I'm either right or the almighty.
A Prophet - It's got nothing but good word, but that title does irritate me like you wouldn't believe so we'll even it out. Expectancy Level: 7/10
Armored - Directed by the same Nimrod who will soon bring you Predators, I'm predicting pure unadulterated meh. Expectancy Level: 6/10
Ninja Assassin - Slow motion ninja ownage. I'd be lying if I wasn't slightly looking forward to this, in full knowledge that its going to be balls. Expectancy Level: 5/10
The Boys are Back - Slightly forgotten Clive Owen fatherhood movie, but it does look like a cheaply manipulative pity extractor to me. Expectancy Level: 6/10
Sheesh thats a lot of films.
Monday, 18 January 2010
Best Actresses: Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep - what are you doing to me. More disagreement here.
Best Actors: Jeff Bridges and Robert Downey Jr - deserved for the first one and a giant LOL to the second. It doesn't make me angry though, which is a precedent at this particular night of awards.
General thoughts: A lot of Dexter love, which I can live with, Christophe Waltz takes it home for IB and Monique wins for Precious. Mad Men wins again. Sure. Glee wins, which is hilarious but better that then 30 Rock. All in all pretty sucky tbh. Particular for the Avatar stuff. Did anybody else look past the shining lights to see they were actually watching a weakass movie? Anyone. No-one, because Avatar just crossed 500 million. Some Bullshit.
I have to say that going into this, I had a little apprehension. Yet another mid-life white male dealing with an existential crisis set to an indie soundtrack. I've seen this bit before. And while the movie never entirely escapes that sense of mainstream indie familiarity, it's a very good example of it if that makes any sense. Its sharply written, well acted and covers all the bases it needed to cover. And if it were a film released in 2003 it would be spellbinding. Released in 2009 however, its simply an excellent example of a movie we've already seen.
The plot sees corporate hatchet man Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a dude who travels the country firing employees for bosses too gutless to do it themselves. Its a life of the kind of loneliness, constant movement and corporate culture that's ready for a good existential slap in the face, which he receives from a younger, fresh-faced corporate rival (Anna Kendrick) and a romantic trist with a fellow yuppie of the skies (Vera Farmiga). Director Jason Reitman's follow up to monster cult hit Juno, is definately pitched as being Reitman's maturing picture. The movie where he goes from talented young upstart to genuine independent bigshot. And for the most part I think he's pulled that off. This is large part thanks to his leading man Clooney, who delivers a terrifcly thoughtful, and moving performance. Clooney as a screen presence works for me because of how restrained he is in dramatic roles. Its always in the eyes, and there's anincreasing sadness to his aging matinee idol look that is very intruiging. He's becoming an actor I really have time for. Its him that really makes this movie I think, and Reitman should be very appreciative. Having said that, there's some great work here from the ensemble, particular Vera Farmiga who has been in quite a few great movies with some great performances without really making a name for herself. I wasn't quite as sold on Anna Kendrick as the rest of the film blogging world, but I'll admit she has one or two fantastic scenes, but her character can be a bit broadly sketched at times. Jason Bateman, in a large perfunctory role, is again fantastic having put together a respectable set of work since the demise of Arrested Development. Kudos too to J.K Simmons, who in a very brief cameo shows again what a great and underrated actor he is.
The film too is intelligently, if not astoundingly written, and Reitman seems to have quite a good ear for subtle corporate satire. I liked this movie a lot, and give particular credit for sticking with its downer instincts, but I can only tiptoe around the indie familiarity thing for so long, and at times it does feel like they've got a checklist. You've seen this film before, but I doubt if you've seen it done better too many times, such is Reitman's increasing proficiency at this kind of thing.
Friday, 15 January 2010
When you first get into film its like being a Kid in a sweet shop, to use a tired metaphor. There's so much to discover, so many great things to see and so little time. You go from classic to classic and movies the idea becomes an increasingly flawless proposition. But then almost without realizing, you kind of run out. Not out of films per say, but all the ones you were burning to see, the out and out masterpieces, you see and that's that. Its depressingly empowering. On one hand you're geekery can now be defined as intimidating, and I don't know any serious film fan who wouldn't take that thought as a severe compliment, but on the other you've burned through the archive, you've sampled all the best sweets and all that's left are the weird french ones or ones yet to be made. But in a harsh twist of tone in this post, I've decided I've not quite earned that coveted status of intimidating geekery that makes one's life complete, and made a frighteningly recognizable list of great film's I've yet to see.
My challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to see all of these bitches before the year is out, thus reducing my embarrassing omissions to virtually nothing, or the ones I couldn't think of at this point in time, and report back to the blogging faithful. Let the credit-reducing confessions commence. And for the record I have seen Black Narcissus, I just think that Evil nun Ruth doesn't get the airtime she deserves.
10) Sunset Boulevard
I truly don't understand this one. I love every Billy Wilder film I've ever seen, from Double Indemnity to Sabrina and Some Like It Hot, which is up there amongst my favorite films ever. I love his style, I love the impeccably written scripts, so what the fuck is my problem here? Am I too lazy? I don't think so, I travel forty minutes every time I go to the cinema and I don't have a car. Am I worried its going to be shit? not in the slightest. I'm sad to say this is just a case of unexplainable decade-long oversight. For which there is no excuse. I'm all over this mother.
9) The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
Everything I hear about this film just makes it look that much more awesome. It's a grizzled, cynical adventure story. Full with loftier metaphors for greed and supposedly a near career best performance by Humphrey Bogart, who just might be my favorite actor of Hollywood's golden age. I love Huston's African Queen, and The Big Sleep (and Bogart's performance in it) is up there for the coolest film in existence. Add in a third factor that this is supposedly THE major influence for Modern masterpiece There Will Be Blood, I can't believe I've not seen this already. I appall myself.
8) The Sweet Smell Of Success
Another Scathing diss aimed at the heart of Hollywood, This movie is perhaps not the most notorious on the list, but for me having not seen it is humiliation to the core of my soul. I love satires so much, particularly dark, cynical ones, and so having not seen this is equivalent to fans of action movies having not seen Point Break. Only I'm certain this will be so much better then Point Break, and given that every Burt Lancaster performance I have seen I've been pretty much blown away by, its quite poor show to not have seen his tour de force.
I'll go on record and say The Seven Samurai didn't do it for me. I'm sorry. A couple of awesome fight scenes aside it didn't sell me. Maybe because I saw the infinitely more exciting The Magnificent Seven tell the same story first I don't know, but shit didn't work for me. I loved Ran, however, so am not done wit Kurosawa yet. And this, widely considered to be his best, is the daddy of multiple perspective movies and for that deserves my long overdue attention. I'm not sure if I'll like it mind, but its worthy enough to hunt down.
6) The Exorcist
This is the film on the list I have the lowest expectation for - I have a quiet hunch its going to be balls - but given its legendary status, social impact and how much Mark Kermode loves it, any self-respecting movie fan needs to have seen this film, and as I crave to be a self-respecting movie fan more then anything else in this universe and subsequent dimensional multi-verses. Bring the 360 head-twisting.
5) The Deer Hunter
I have seen a portion of this movie, I think I either fell asleep or had to turn it off to watch the football, neither of which is an excuse, but its such a bona fide classic having not seen it is a punchline. Plus its a pretty senior entry into the unquestionably awesome sub-genre of the Vietnam war movie which I love close to every entry, though it is long dead. Digressing, what the fuck is up with that? They still make world war 2 movies don't they? Anyway, yeah Deer Hunter. Emotionally ravaging classic containing a cast of legends. My bad.
4) Eight and a Half
My excuse at 13 was it has subtitles. My excuse at 15 was it has subtitles. My excuse these days is that I don't particularly care for 60's Italian Cinema, I've seen Le Dolca Vita and it didn't blow my mind. I think maybe because I'm too stereotypically English and thus terrified of any expression of fictional sexuality, and these films have sex in the air to the point of ridiculousness. Either way, I shall face my inhibition head on be seeing this film, which has kind of emerged as the masterpiece of this particular cinematic movement. Shall I agree? Who the fuck knows. Although I wouldn't bank on it.
3) The Grapes Of Wrath
One of two John Ford oversights, of which this is the least embarrassing. Which bodes well for what else is on this list. I studied Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men in school, in great, excruciating detail. And I while I like it, and the movie of it, I considered myself Steinbecked out for at least a decade. But that might not be a serviceable excuse to not see what might be one of the greatest films of early Hollywood. Not admissible in movie-fan court, really.
2) Bride Of Frankenstein
30's horrors are something I have seen little of, but they seem to get ecstatic, caffeinated reviews from anyone who's seen them. So what might be the Sean Paul of them all, The Bride Of Frankenstein, is something I need to see. I'm an unabashed horror fan. I dig the shit our of modern horror, but the classics are something I think I need a slight schooling in, beginning with this James Whale directed monolith.
1) The Searchers
Here it is. Yes I haven't seen this. Please put your jaws back in the full upright and locked position. Having not seen this, to continue my comparative metaphor theme, is equivalent to a fan of music having never listened to Sam Cooke or Bob Dylan. Its more unforgivable then shooting a family member in the face for 75 p (or cents, if you are an American) or thinking that Star Wars Episode One is an undiscovered masterpiece, and that Jar Jar Binks is the comic creation of 1999. There's nothing to say for it. I've carried the guilt of this movie with me for too long. No more.