Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ded's "Movie's That Need More Love"

I'm taking a look at my DVD collection and picking out a few gems that I believe deserve more attention.

And here's the article that inspired it.

Read part one here

Galaxy Quest

A good friend, and former boss, conincidentally named Alan (Hi Alan!), used to refer to this as the best Star Trek film ever made. I still stand by that. Tim allen does Shatner almost as good as Shatner, and I love seeing Sigourney Weaver in a comedic/sexy role like this. Alan Rickman is phenomenal as Dane, the actor who wants so badly to be taken seriously, yet is constantly sucked into the realm of nerd-fests. Tony Shaloub and Sam Rockwell tag along as well, and almost outshine the three stars. It's a great, fun flik that proves that there's more to sci-fi than the more "popular" stuff that comes down the tube. And that us geeks need not take ourselves and our "culture" so damn seriously. "I'm not even supposed to be here. I'm just 'Crewman Number Six.' I'm expendable. I'm the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is. I've gotta get outta here. "


Michelle Rodriguez has chops, serious chops. She hasn't been in enough films that challenger her, but Girlfight does. She's amazing. The movie manages to avoid most of the pitfalls that "sports" films fall into. The acting is great, the dialogue is great, the directing is great. Movies like Million Dollar Baby get national attention and acclaim, and while this doesn't tackle the bigger issues that film does, it does present a strong female character making independant choices, for good or bad. I'm a sucker for sports films, but this is one of those rare ones that really achieves something, and isn't just out to capitalize on guys like me who get overly emotional about sports. "Maybe life is just war period"

Glory Daze

Ben Afflek can rarely perform well outside a Kevin Smith flik, and even then he seems to have problems, but he's surrounded on this film by a very excellent cast, including Sam Rockwell and French Stewart before he became "the weird guy" from 3rd Rock. This is another "coming-of-age" style story, but deals with the 20-something, almost out of college crowd. It's not the greatest of movies, but it's got some good, deep moments, and is very character driven. "Let's rage at the dying of the light a little bit."

Gremlins 2

I think everyone expected to see Gremlins, instead they got this ultimate goofed up version of a movie that never deserved to be taken so damn seriously to begin with. Joe Dante's intent was to spoof the original and to go as wild as possible, and he succeeds. Other than a few scene-stealing co-stars (John Glover comes immediately to mind, doing a damn good Ted Turner, as do Gedde Wantanabe and Christopher Lee), the Gremlins are the stas of this movie, and they're at their mischievous, terrorizing best, and God help me, I still get a gick out of Gizmo doing his Rambo routine. "Tonight, on the Clamp Cable Classic Movie Channel, don't miss Casablanca, now in full color with a happier ending. "


Someday the world will know that brilliance that is Shia LaBeouf. Right now he's still stuck in that awckward Disney/Drama tug of war that a lot of kid actors go through, but I for one think he was excellent in Constantine, and his brief role in I,Robot was pretty good, but it was here and in The Battle of Shaker Heights that I really took a major liking to him. This film is yet another teen-coming-of-age flik, but the plot has so many well designed twists and turns that it works pretty good as a psuedo-mystery/drama. Bringing jon voight, Tim Blake Nelson and Sigourney Weaver in as the brains behind this youth prison camp adds a lot to the credibility of the film and the script. Louis sachar adapted it from his own novel, which ensures that it captures the spirit of the book without compromising too much. Shia's performance is damn good though, and he really drives the film, you really feel for the kid and the bad luck that he is inadvertantly thrown his way. Not an Oscar calibur film, but it's fun, entertaining and smart, something a lot of kids movies lack these days. "Once upon a time there was a magical place where it never rained, the end"

Igby Goes Down

Kierin Culkin again shows off his skills, this time as a kid with a wealthy upbringing who just can't get a handle on his place in the world, or how to interact with the people he's meeting, he's too smart for his own good, and he knows it. Add to that his bastard of a brother, his mother, who believes money is the solution to all of life's problems, a comatose father, and an godfather who believes in tipping everyone just because he can, and Igby's world is a trainwreck of emotional problems that we can't help but watch develop. It's a moving story, and even manages to make the audience connect with this group of people who are so removed from humanity that they feel almost alien. " She's a dancer who doesn't dance. He's a painter who doesn't paint. It's like the Boho version of the Island of Misfit Toys. "

The Iron Giant

Brad Bird's adaptation of Ted Hughes book is one of the most honest, touching, heart-felt animated films ever brought to life. After his success with The Incredibles everyone should now be familiar with Bird's genius filmmaking skills, as well as his fantastic writing (He also wrote a gem of a movie called *Batteries Not Included, very much a precursor to this film, if you haven't seen it, seek it out!!!), but this is a movie that still largely falls by the wayside on the animation highway. I only hope that in years to come mainstream audiences will realize what critics and animation junkies have discovered, this is one of the best films of all time. "What am I talking about? I'm talking about your goddamn security, Hogarth! While you're snoozing in your widdle jammies, up in Washington we're wide awake! Why? Because everyone wants what we have! Everyone! You think this metal man is fun, but who built it? The Russians? The Chinese? Martians? Canadians? I don't care! All I know is we didn't build it, and that's reason enough to assume the worst and blow it to kingdom come! Now, you are going to tell me where it is so we can destroy it before it destroys us!"

Lilo & Stitch

This one actually gets a lot of love, but it's hands down one of my favorite movies ever, so I think it deserves more. It's akin to The Iron Giant, a thing from outer space befriends a young child, but where Hoggarth and the Giant's story captures so much of what people don't want to think about (fear, paranoia, death, the meaning of existence), Lilo & Stitch focus' on those things we all want in our lives (such as love, family, friendship, loyalty), and very successfully I might add. A creature made for destruction learns to change his fate and actually begins to love this little girl who's caring for him. It's one of the best damn things disney has ever produced, and proof positive that cel animation isn't dead, just that there's very few people out there capable of handling it properly. "Oh good! My dog found the chainsaw!"

Little Big League

This is what's routinely known as killing two birds with one stone. It's both a sports film and a kid-learns-life-lessons flik, satisfying two of my film loves in one movie. It's a fairly goofy premise (alright, extremely goofy), a kid inherits the Minnesota Twins when his grandfather dies, and decides to be the team manager. As he's thrust into this adult world he begins to become more corrupted by the things he thinks he wants; money, fame, respect, and neglects the things adults realize they took for granted as children; friends, family, goofing off, school, general kid stuff. It's a great family film, provided you like baseball, and can get past the premise, which seems infinitely less dumb once you just acceot the film. It's heart-warming, well acted, and an all around fun movie. "Kids today are amazing. I played winter ball down in Venezuala, they had kids half his age, every one of them speaking Spanish. That's a hard language. "

The Mexican

This is tops in my underrated films list. It's the perfect love story, one of the few romantic films i can stomach, and probably Pitts best performance. Most of his roles fall in the "too crazy to be real" category or the "too pretty to be real" category, but somehow he manages to pull off the hapless romantic, Jerry, who's going through hell to get his life back and prove to his girlfriend that he loves her. While the film's circumstances are outrageously hilarious, Jerry's intent is always clear, even though he's met with nothing but resistence, his love is true, and he;s certain it will prevail. The film looks beautiful, it's well acted and written, and Hackman's cameo is just brilliant. "A lot of people are under the impression that you get to choose who you love."


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