Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aught-Four: A Test of Memory

I have to go to work soon, so I won't be able to spend as much time on this as I'd like to. But I really wanted to throw my hat into the ring before it got to be too late. More to follow later...

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I believe that Charlie Kaufman is the best screenwriter currently working. The pairing of Kaufman and Gondry is a match made in creative man's heaven. I'm not a Jim Carrey fan by any means, but you really have to take your hat off to him for this one - very raw performance. The rest of the cast is great - Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, David Cross - a big fan of all three. Elijah Wood plays creepy a little too well. I think we all just love how original the concept is - being able to erase memories. I seem to be able to do this when it comes to movies (see Hotel Rwanda, The Aviator, and The Motorcyle Diaries from this list). I'm also a sucker for the love story between Joel and Clementine. All-around, a great film.

2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

This is my favorite Wes Anderson film as well. I love Team Zissou - the unifoms, the red caps (bought one on-line after seeing it and really wanted to track down the shoes). Also, as with every Wes Anderson film, it has a great soundtrack - David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Zombies, and some great covers by Seu Jorge. The look and feel of this one is very striking and is instantly lovable. This world has so much depth to it. Another thing I love about this one is the performance by Bill Murray. I think those of us who have seen both movies can agree - Murray's character in this is easily comparable to Gene Hackman's character in The Royal Tenenbaums. Anderson seemed to be going with a shitty father motif. While I've learned to really love Gene Hackman as Royal over the years, I think that Bill Murray does a much better job. This is a very quotable one for me. Owen Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe as Klaus are all hilarious.

3. Kill Bill Vol. 2

The better volume due to the great dialogue ability of Tarantino. Some really great scenes between Uma and David Carradine. I also love the way Bill dies at the end (spoiler alert). Maybe I should see it again, though, I am forgetting many of the specifics.

4. Hotel Rwanda

Speaking of forgetting things - I don't really remember anything about this movie. I just know that when I watched it back in '04 I really liked it and thought that Don Cheadle gave one hell of a performance. Needs to revisited.

5. The Aviator

Same here. How do I not remember anything about this?? I think I remember two scenes - when Hughes plays golf with Katherin Hepburn at her family's estate and when Howard locks himself away and begins to piss in jars. Leo and Scorsese is another fantastic combo. I plan on re-watching this very soon, especially since I am now so much more familiar with Hepburn. I remember really liking Cate Blanchett's performance at the time, but now I'll really know how to judge.

6. A Very Long Engagement

I really like Jean-Pierre Jeunet as a director (I'm one of those Amelie fans). Somehow I feel like this movie is underrated?? Probably wrong, but I really enjoy this one.  A great war film that deals with the other side of it - the ones waiting for their loved ones to return. There's also some mystery to it as well...and a young Marion Cotillard. Also a big Tautou fan - beautiful and talented. I like the visuals from the war scenes and the lighting in general is enjoyable for some reason.

7. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

It feels weird to include this on my list, but whatever. It's hilarious - we all know that...I don't need to go on and on about Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and Paul Rudd. I don't know if anyone has seen this in a while, but it features a Seth Rogen cameo - he's the cameraman at the end, if anyone cares? No, no one does? Okay.

8. The Motorcycle Diaries

Don't remember this one. I liked it at the time.

9. Primer

Maybe watched this a year ago, or so. A very interesting film that's difficult to follow at times - but that'll never get me to shy away from a film. I love movies that make you think and this one does a lot of that. Still kind of confused by it, but it was well-done, especially for the budget they had to work with, as Ben points out.

10. Garden State

Some days I like Zach Braff, some days I hate him. He caught me on a good day when I saw this. I don't know, the movie just feels very down to earth and authentic. And apparently it impressed Cameron Crowe as well.

Honorable Mention: Shaun of the Dead, Club Dread

I just want to take a moment to do as Jeff and Brandon have done - praise Club Dread. Maybe some of you saw it and felt it was shite. But let me tell you, shite for Broken Lizard is Slammin' Salmon (I know from experience, dude). Club Dread is incredibly underrated. Every joke works in this one and it's a great parody of slasher films. The first time I saw it, I wanted to watch it again and quickly it became very quotable at the Howard household. I think people are adverse to it because they feel that it wasn't Super Troopers: Part II.

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