Archive for January, 2010

My Picks for the Decade

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Buzz, Movie Discussion, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by Brandon
Why 25? Because I can. A decade only comes along like what, once every eight years or so? So much goes into a movie, and so much more goes into our experience of viewing it. As such, this list may seem puzzling to a lot of readers (you forgot THAT movie? How could you possible include THIS movie??), but what I chose to do is pick the movies that impacted me the most, affirmed and rewarded my love for film, while also showcasing exceptional filmmaking quality and memorable characters and storylines that I believe will transcend this decade and last for many more down the road. The further you go down the list, the more the distinction between the numbers gets fuzzy – the final five are all so close to each other there’s debatably no point to numbering them at all, but hey, that’s part of the fun of list-making.

Good art is a tricky subject, perhaps especially in film, but I think what it does is leave with you with a sense of something beyond just what you see on screen, that penetrates deep into your heart and leaves you hungering for something truly new and wonderful. All of these films, in one way or another, took me places I never quite expected and unleashed the true creative power of film, so I hope you enjoy them.

25. Napoleon Dynamite

The success of this movie can be seen in how much money it grossed: 44 million dollars; about 100 times its budget, but a paltry sum compared to most releases. So why was it so popular? Because few movies have dared to show the utter and slightly unpleasant normality that every day life on the fringes of popularity can bring. If you were one of the popular kids, you probably didn’t really get this movie. But if, like Napoleon, you never really found yourself fitting in, had a hard time making friends, and spent your time learning super sweet dance move skills and drawing fantasy creatures in the margins of your notebook, then he speaks to you, like few other movie “heroes” ever have.
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My Picks for 2009

Posted in Entertainment, Movie Discussion, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by Brandon
Once again the time has come for me to pen down my favorites and not-so-favorites of this past year. Hard to believe a year has already passed. Seems like just yesterday I was heading to see Notorious with a friend back in January. Now that 2009 has come to a close, I’m sad that I wasn’t able to see as many as I would have liked to, and as such my list this year will be lacking some major contenders (The Hurt Locker and A Serious Man spring to mind, and I know I am forgetting others), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t see some truly awesome stuff this year as well as some pure all-out trash. (Although this year was blissfully lacking in another “Meet the Spartans.”) So, without further ado, I give you My Picks for 2009. Enjoy, and please comment! Let me know if there’s anything I desperately need to see. K, bye.

The Moments

3. The Morning After, 500 Days of Summer

In one of the most memorable and hilarious dance sequences of recent years, Joseph Gordon-Levitt struts his stuff through the streets of LA, dancin’ to the tune in his head as he imagines other people around him joining in and celebrating that he’s finally gotten the girl. It’s a pitch-perfect scene that wonderfully illustrates the reverie that love, our or perception of it, can cast us into.