Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—Z is For

Zombieland


      Ah, Z day...the last day of the A-to-Z Challenge. Should I "jump, jump" like Kris Kross or "get jiggy with it" like Will Smith. Frankly, I only adopt such enthusiastic measures "when I got patron in my cup...tell the DJ play my shit, On that club music shit." Since this is entirely a virtual atmosphere, I will simply borrow the trademark phrase of the infamous, magnanimous, blasphemous Charlie Sheen, "Winning" (okay, in my blatant attempt to mimic Mike Tyson, which word doesn't belong, as a suitable descriptor for the former Two and A Half Man...it's kind of like an SAT question, huh)? 
      With all kidding aside, it has been a terrific month. I want to send my sincerest thanks to all of you who have joined my blog this past month. I've made new friends and didn't lose any old ones, so I would also like to thank those of you who have stuck with me. I hope to keep seeing you all around. I also want to send a special thanks to the co-hosts of the Challenge. It's a wonderful concept and it was executed with great class and ability. I'm proud to be a participant...and I signed up on the inaugural day. 
      I'll have to borrow a line from Seinfeld to sum up my current A-to-Z Challenge mood:
Kramer: "I'm out there Jerry [substitute with blogosphere] and I'm loving every minute of it!"

------------------------

      So, let's get back to what I do best. Talk movies. Who deserves the final slot in my Great Alphabet? It's really only a two-movie race. I have not seen the enormously praised Costa-Gavras film, Z nor have I been fortunate enough to observe the incomparable Woody Allen delve into the mockumentary genre with Zelig. I'm sure one of these films is deserving of my spot, but I can't attest to their greatness. Instead, I have seen David Fincher's Zodiac and Ruben Fleischer's Zombieland. Since Fincher already clinched a berth with Fight Club, I've decided to award my final letter to the raucously funny, shrewdly entertaining, wonderfully acted zombie-comedy, Zombieland. Go Fleischer, "it's your birthday, we gon' party like it's your birthday." Actually, to be quite honest, I highly doubt today is his birthday, but at least, subconsciously thinking it is, makes me feel even more giddy about my selection..."And you know we don't give a f**k cause it's not your birthday!"

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—Y is For

Yojimbo or Y Tu Mamá También

      I'm going to be a little playful now that the blogging challenge finish line is only inches away. All you need to know is that the italicized titles are actual films (that I didn't pick), and the following transcript is a fictional back-and-forth between two unnamed characters. Let's begin, shall we?  

"Your Highness," Mr. Nameless said.
"No, I won't address you with such cordial grace. It's The Year of Living Dangerously and I'm just a Youth in Revolt. There's no Yankee Doodle Dandy in 2011, which is to say, no one's gonna be mistaken for James Cagney. If you want Yesterday's version of raucous, vulgar entertainment, and that oh-so wonderful slice of Americana, you'll have to tune into 2004's Young, Beautiful and Screwed Up...what we know today as, Jersey Shore," Mr. Anonymous replied.
"You Must Be Joking?"
"What, You Talkin' to Me?"
"Well you're the only one here. You Don't Know Jack."
"You're Telling Me, huh? Let me say this to you, for your situation: You've Got Mail. It goes somethin' like: You'll Never Get Rich unless...well, some Ludacris rapper says it better than I."
"Act a Fool." 
 "Yep. Sadly sonny boy, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow just don't ring true with Ye Olden Days."
"Can I have some of Your Alcohol?"
"You're a Big Boy Now...sure."
 -----------------------------------
      Those hoping for Young Frankenstein, You're Out of Luck. You Know My Name, so there are no excuses for improperly addressing your hate mail. All I ask, no Yo Momma jokes because You, Me and Dupree say so. You Can Count On Me though, for picking a film that You, I love. You Came Along for the review and you got You So Crazy instead. The gimmick stops here, feel free to rejoice—Yes Man! You'll Find Out my pick after the jump. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—X is For

X2: X-Men United


      We've made it to the XYZ affair. Before you interject with some sarcastic remark, let me just state that I'm fully aware that I'm going from an incisive discussion of Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend into an enthusiastic discussion of X2 (two films cannot be more antithetical in design and purpose). But there's a reason I won the Versatile Blogger Award, and it has nothing to do with the fact that said award is merely the blogosphere's version of a chain letter. It's because I faithfully impose my diverse love for film on y'all. After all, FilmMattic is a repository of movie-centric ramblings, as vintage as Weekend and contemporary as Source Code.  
      Today's letter of the day usually implies an exodus, a removal, or some kind of exclusion of sorts. Well, this negative connotation does not apply on this spring day because I'm here to highlight one awfully exciting, well-executed comic book film. Expunge any repugnant preconceptions you may associate with the letter "X" and embrace this fine entry, for it deserves some actual deliberation. In lieu of the new X-Men film coming out this June, let's jump into a discussion of my favorite of the bunch...well, so far.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—W is For

Weekend


      There were some formidable contenders to consider for "W." We've got Sam Peckinpah's Western The Wild Bunch, but I've already honored enough classic Westerns for one alphabet (High Noon, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Unforgiven). Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an entertaining, live-action/animation, fantasy-comedy spectacle from the special effects wizard Robert Zemeckis, but he's already captured a magical spot (Back to the Future). Judy Garland's performance in Victor Fleming's The Wizard of Oz will forever astound me; it's a true marvel of its time and a movie I cherished during my youth. But its enchantment doesn't quite send a chilly tingle up my spine the way it did when I was a kid, so I have to pass. Finally, the supremely talented Billy Wilder gets another crack at my Alphabet with Witness for the Prosecution, and just like Some Like It Hot, he was oh-so-close. Movies based on plays can be rather hit-or-miss; however, Wilder's courtroom drama thoroughly captivated me. If I read the Short Story or seen the Play, I'd probably be more blown away. But alas, I can't attest to either circumstance, therefore, Wilder narrowly misses out. Instead, the legendary Jean-Luc Godard claims the covetous "W" letter, with a film that's not my favorite from his distinguished resume, but is significant nonetheless. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—V is For

Vertigo


      I'm one of Paul Newman's most ardent fans (his portrayal as Cool Hand Luke is simply jaw-dropping). His performance in The Verdict is nothing short of spellbinding. But Sidney Lumet's powerful and competent legal thriller does not earn my "V" spot (it was a close call). It's an unfortunate circumstance for the wonderful Lumet whom I greatly admire. I'd certainly place 12 Angry Men, his more riveting legal drama, in any numerical countdown, but there's just no numerals in the alphabet. Furthermore, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon feature two of my favorite actor's (Al Pacino) best performances, but Kurosawa and John McClane got in Sonny's way. I haven't seen Valkyrie, so we can at least preemptively stave off any Tom Cruise bizarrely-jumping-for-joy-on-couches sightings. And Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most important and prodigious filmmakers in the history of cinema, but I must admit a modicum of shame for not seeing Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux. It's on my ever expanding must-watch list. At some point, I might have to share my musings on the immensely talented Godard. But I digress. Without further ado, one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films (I prefer a few of his other works over this one), Vertigo earns the spot. The grandmaster of suspense already has one film in my Alphabet (North by Northwest), which is my favorite of the bunch. Consequently, Hitchcock ties Spielberg and Coppola among the repeat letter holders, though I still have four letters to go.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—U is For

Unforgiven


      I could never forgive myself if I shied away from one of my favorite genres (the Western) and its greatest revisionist, Old morality tale (Unforgiven). Clint Eastwood made my day so many times before. It's only natural that I reciprocate the classic gesture. I love gangster movies—and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables is a breathtaking incarnation of Prohibition Era crime life—but your just not going to see The Usual Suspects represented in my Alphabetic Universe. Bryan Singer's noirish yarn about "a bunch of criminals who meet in a police line-up" provides one of the great cinematic twists, but it doesn't boast an ensemble of Eastwood, Freeman, and Hackman nor does it provide the luster of the mythic Old West (though Singer's cast is damn fine too). I've been Sucker Punched by crime films before. Eastwood's Westerns, however, never disappoint. Foolhardy proclamation or not, I made sure to save a seat for The Man With No Name.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—T is For

 Honorable Mentions: The Third Man, True Romance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Terminator, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Toy Story, Trainspotting, Titanic, The Truman Show, Top Gun, The Thin Red Line, and To Kill a Mockingbird

      This letter was definitely no (T)ea party. The lot of films above (notice the obvious omission of any "The" films, unless followed by a "T") represent just a smattering of great movies that I carefully considered for this most difficult letter. The realization I've come to, quite conspicuously I must say, is that over the course of my Great Alphabetic unveiling, there are a handful of letters, which are nearly impossible to cull down...and then there are letters such as "Q." I guess the alphabet is an ardent follower of egalitarianism, for if all was not equal, I'd have a heck of lot more R's, S's, and T's in my countdown. But alas, I'm an equal opportunity employer. I must be fair to each letter. Ultimately, "T" came down to a four-way race between Taxi Driver, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, There Will Be Blood, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (outlasting, in my grueling mental critique, the other honorable mentions listed above). Hit the jump for the "T" time champion.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—S is For

Some Like It Hot, Seven Samurai, Seven, Saving Private Ryan, Scarface, Spider-Man 2, Snatch,  Superman (1978), Serpico, Solaris (1972)

      I mistakenly thought the glutton of great films ended at "R"... Big mistake. Yet again, I must cull as aggressively and shrewdly as I can. For starters, I'm purposely avoiding any titles that start with "The" because it would be virtually impossible otherwise (if you don't believe me, see the contenders above). I do realize I broke this rule a few times already, but those were three very special and extenuating cases for three absolute film classics. I've already awarded Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, so my pick's not coming from a galaxy far, far away. I love classic westerns—what can be better than the film that launched John Wayne's career—but sadly, Stagecoach doesn't earn my spot. And Some Like It Hot is a timeless comedy from the versatile mind of Billy Wilder, but it has been so long since I've seen it. It's a damn shame, I know. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis can disguise themselves as women once again, and tease me until I cry. It's the only proper justification for not granting Wilder a place in my alphabet.
      So that leaves us with...well, some of the finest films over the past 60 years: Seven Samurai, Saving Private Ryan, Snatch, Serpico, Spider-Man 2, Superman, Solaris, and Scarface. Does Spielberg win his record third Alphabetic title or will the legendary Kurosawa deny him the accolade? Will Tony Montana dive into a mound of cocaine and shoot up the scene if he doesn't get the nod or will Pacino go Serpico on us instead? Does Superman, the origin story that gave birth to the superhero film genre earn placement or will the new age superhero film Spider-Man 2 win out? How about Andrei Tarkovsky's brilliant psychological drama Solaris or one of my favorite British gangster films Snatch? Oh, and there's David Fincher's Seven. Wait, he already won a spot for Fight Club. Never mind. So many great films, and yet, only one can be named the champion of "S." Which film earns the top spot on my alphabetic podium? Hit the jump for the toilsome decision.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—R is For

Raging Bull

Or is it the fact that my head feels like a Bull just rammed it, as I tried to fastidiously figure this one out.

     This is going to be a long one. "R" ushered in one of the most spirited competitions yet. Fortunately, I could immediately eliminate one of my favorites. There will be no Raider of the Lost Ark. I already sneaked that one in (check "I"). However, there's still a dozen other great "R" films that I'm considering. My head is about ready to explode (thank you Bull). 
      There's Hitchcock's Rear Window, one of his finest masterpieces of suspense, and then there's Rebecca; not only is it one of the most thrilling psychological tales ever to be witnessed, but it's an illustrious remnant of the Golden Age. The competition does not lesson in intensity from here because I have to consider Howard Hawk's extraordinary western, Rio Bravo (Tarantino's favorite film), which is Hawk's and John Wayne's magnificent response to the allegorical message posed by Zinnemann and Foreman's High Noon (my "H" pick)A few years prior to this western clash, the incredibly influential Akira Kurosawa gave the film world the gift that keeps on giving with one of his first-rate masterpieces, Rashomon—you know, the whole "Rashomon effect." And speaking of one of Kurosawa's most gifted admirer's, I have to consider Quentin' Tarantino's directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs. It was a masterful debut, not merely because we marveled at QT's imaginative and ambitious bravura, but the film introduced us to the spectacle that is Tarantino's infectious love for cinema. However, the love fest doesn't carry over to my selection.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—Q is For

Quiz Show


       It's too bad that The African Queen isn't just called Queen because Humphrey Bogart gives one of his best performances alongside Katharine Hepburn in John Huston's beautiful film....but alas, let's move on to a good film that is a "Q" qualifier, and with reason. Since I was a little harsh to The Sundance Kid with my "O" post, I decided to make amends by selecting Robert Redford's historical drama, Quiz Show. "Q" is like the red-headed stepchild of film letters, but Redford's film is no walkover. I'll keep this review fairly short, not out of deference to Redford, who'd probably not want to read a long review. Instead, we all know "Q's" are only good when they're preceded by Susie. And, unless your playing "Words With Friends," who has any real use for "Q?" I don't know one person that has an affinity for Q-tips, and the rapper Q-Tip kind of faded into celebrity-oblivion. Disregarding my latest digression, let's move into a discussion of the more pertinent "Q," Quiz Show.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—P is For

Pulp Fiction


      I've referenced Quentin Tarantino so many times before that I feel like he's already been awarded his own Great Alphabet of films. His extraordinary breadth of influence—or more explicitly, those who have inspired him—permeates most of my broadest cinematic affections. I guess this is why, perhaps perfectly fitting, that I'm moving from a discussion of a Sergio Leone film (whom Tarantino adores for his staggering stylization) to, in my opinion, Tarantino's best film. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogging Award Part Deux

Stylish Blogger Award


      Modesty goes out the window with this newest announcement. Thanks to the lovely and talented Nicole @ Electric Daze, I am now the grandiloquent owner of the "Stylish Blogging Award." I've always considered myself a trendy fella. I mean why else do most of my friends ferret out my incomparable advice when deciding which gear to rock on a Saturday Night. My buddy James used to come to my house with four different shirts—and this was before Jersey Shore turned t-shirt time into the newest, hippest, and most superficially-based, college-aged trend since....well, starter jackets, baggy jeans, and every other Hip-Hop fashion fad of my youth. 

The Great Alphabet of Films—O is For

Once Upon a Time in the West


      As a Scorsese loyalist, much like any made man, I can never pay respect to a film that robbed a Best Director Oscar (1980 Academy Awards) from Marty for his tremendous work on Raging Bull. The criminality of the Academy's heinous decision wreaks of the sordid criminality present in Henry Hill's breach of omertá in Goodfellas. The mafia doesn't look too kindly on Ordinary People. I'm sorry Robert Redford. As much as I love your work, especially in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I can't grant you my "O" spot. Kurt Russell's performance in Overboard is priceless, but the film is far from flawless. For the record, I'm a big fan of Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's films (especially the first), but they don't garner placement either. So that leaves us with a double whammy of Once Upon a Times from Sergio Leone—Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America—the irreverent One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman), and the amazing, award-winning film that bequeathed future generations, with an eternal nugget of wisdom, about almost bein' a contenda, Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront. Oh, and Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003) is terrific, but I'm a sucker for spaghetti westerns. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—N is For

North by Northwest


      I would love to include a Coen brothers film in my Alphabet. No Country for Old Men is a tremendous contemporary film, but North by Northwest is one of the greatest films, period. Not to mention, Fargo is their best film, but Fight Club won that close contest (Sorry Coens). I also love The Natural (who doesn't love Roy Hobbs!?) and National Lampoons: Animal House (the father of the "gross-out genre") is one of the greatest comedies of all-time—my buddies and I even hosted a Toga party in honor of Blutarsky (played by the sorely missed, John Belushi). Network (the recently deceased Sidney Lumet) provides one of the most powerful scenes in the history of cinema, complements of the immortal Peter Finch, and his rousing "Mad As Hell" monologue. Lest we even forget, the 1927 film, Napoleon (Abel Gance), a landmark silent French film for its use of handheld cameras and editing. As you can clearly see, every letter presents a unique challenge. It's my job to ascertain which film deserves the highest acclaim, given my tastes and sensibilities. By simply adhering to this stipulation, my pick is North by Northwest, from legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blogging Award

I'm About as Versatile as...Johnny Depp


(Just kidding! Depp dwarfs me in that department. I mean the guy's done every conceivable role: Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Willy Wonka, Gilbert Grape, Donnie Brasco, Raoul Duke, George Jung, John Dillinger etc. etc...He's a damn good chameleon).

The Great Alphabet of Films—M is For

Memento



      Maybe it has to do with the fact that my name starts with "M," but this letter of the alphabet posed one of the grandest difficulties. So many good films, just one gets the spot. I mean who I am to say which is better among Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra), Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin), The Maltese Falcon (John Huston) or Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones). We're talking about a veritable collection of some of cinemas greatest figures. Sadly, I'll pass on these wonderful films. In a shortsighted, but deliberate turn, I'll focus on two milestone films from my generation. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—L is For

Lawrence of Arabia


      Excluding The Godfather, this film became the easiest selection for placement in my Great Alphabet. It is the film, quite simply, that defined the epic. Often considered one of the "greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema,"1 Lawrence of Arabia is a superior and beautiful examination of humanity, specifically, the humanity of one very complex man, T.E. Lawrence. It's not a chronology of the life of Lawrence. On the contrary, it is a riveting exploration of a man's struggle to understand his own identity in the face of untold violence, brought upon by the brutalities of war. David Lean's film etched an indelible mark in the hearts of aspiring filmmakers. We need not look any further than the words of Steven Spielberg to substantiate the enormity of how great this film truly is: "the mirage sequence is still the greatest miracle I've seen on film...and maybe the greatest screenplay ever written for the motion picture medium." 2

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—K is For

The Killing


      I apologize to the Tarantino loyalists, but Kill Bill (Vol. 1 or 2) is not my "K" film. I look at it from two angles. For one, I'll make it up to Tarantino when we get to "P." And secondly, if I can neglect both King Kong (1933), which doesn't hold up to modern standards despite its landmark significance, as a stunning example of stop-motion animation, and an influential monster-adventure epic, and The King of Comedy—well, because I've already extensively written about that—then I can shed no contrition for dismissing Tarantino's tremendous two-part action thriller. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Short Film Review: Damn Your Eyes

Frankly, My Dear, I Give A Damn (*Spoilers*)


      I hate to pull a Ruben Studdard with what will be a litany of "I'm Sorry For's," but I must apologize for my four-millionth GWH reference. Just as Will Hunting steals Sean Maguire's great line, "I have to go see about a girl," I too have to steal an infinitely more famous line to properly title my review. Also, I'm sincerely sorry to all the Clark Gable enthusiasts (I'm certainly one of them). And I apologize for the anachronistic usage (I mean, it's not like I'm directing Your Highness). If you drop me like a bad habit and stop reading from this point forward (please don't because this short film deserves your attention), I'd understand. I'm sorry, but the power of the banner compels me.

The Great Alphabet of Films—J is For

 Jurassic Park 


      For me, this selection was easier than "I" because there were really only two formidable contenders. However, there's still a difficult choice to be made. It's either Steven Spielberg's landmark science-fiction film Jurassic Park, or Steven Spielberg's watershed thriller Jaws. Either way, Steven Spielberg owns the "J" category of film. What the "J" category represents is a kind of battle of generations, or at the very least, a tangential appraisal of cinematic history. Does a moviegoer value the birth of the "summer blockbuster" more than the inventiveness of tangibly real, special effects driven extravagance—the latter, which reflects the modernized "blockbuster?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

100+ Followers!

*****Editor's Note*****

      In lieu of reaching 100 followers (thank you Marie for being the 100th!), I want to take a brief moment to send my sincerest thanks to all my newest followers and readers. You A-to-Zer's and the like have all played a very integral part in my achievement of this milestone. Thanks for joining, for reading, and for commenting! Each one of you is worthy of my "Person of the Week" honor!
      I also want to give a big, special thanks to all my existing followers and readers. I applaud you all for sticking with me despite being subjugated to my cinema-obsessed rants and reviews. You guys and girls are a terrific bunch. And I especially love the routine feedback, and the regularity of unique and insightful comments! 

*Me and the coolest Mexican Deliveryman giving you all a Gigantic THUMBS UP!

Some of my most Loyal Followers:


Dezmond @ TheHollywoodSpy
Dempsey @ TheMovie411
George @ CineMarvellous!
J.Son @ SON:Sation
Jaccstev @ MovieCafe 
JL @ CouchPotatoClub
M. Hufstader @ TheSmokingPen
Melissa @ Melissa's Imaginarium


On to the next one—lets get to 200!!

~~~~Be sure to check out my latest A-Z review, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark~~~~
 

The Great Alphabet of Films—I is For

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark


      Determining which movie would represent the letter "I" was extremely difficult for a number of reasons. For one, how do I decide which Indiana Jones movie is the best because The Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade are almost equally good? How can I justify the omission of It's A Wonderful Life, which is arguably the most Inspirational film of all-time, thanks to Frank Capra's wonderful spirit of goodness, and the greatest "everyman" to ever grace a screen, James Stewart? I claim to be the biggest Christopher Nolan fan, so how can I neglect the inclusion of Inception (I'll make it up to him at "M")? Independence Day marked for me, a time when I could venture to the theater free of an adult, so long as one of my older brothers accompanied me. To this day, I still remember vividly that early July day when I first watched Will Smith become a superstar; "I have got to get me one of these." The Incredibles is one of my favorite computer-animated films, and Inglourious Basterds is a Tarantino passion project that delivers all the goods. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—H is For

High Noon


       "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin" is the highly acclaimed song that beautifully harmonizes the grand themes of one of film's foremost westerns, High Noon. There is something masterfully presidential about it. Fred Zinnemann's film primarily examines themes of duty and honor; for this reason, former President's Bill Clinton and Dwight D. Eisenhower both name it their favorite of all-time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—G is For

Be A Goodfella and Go With The Godfather


      Surprised I didn't go with Good Will Hunting because my banner (above) certainly is? Well, even if you are, there's no defensible way I could construct a list, and appropriately justify the absence of one of my favorite films of all-time—and arguably, the greatest film ever made. Of course, I'm talking about the one film you can never FUHGEDDABOUD, Francis Ford Coppola's seminal film, The Godfather. And quite apropos, it gains "G" status, perfectly befitting the greatest gangster film ever made (which is also my favorite genre).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—F is For

Fight Club


      What'd you think? I was going to choose 26 films, but NOT include one from David Fincher; in my greatest Will Smith circa Fresh Prince of Bel-Air imitation, "Oh hell no!" Such an omission would be criminal. It'd be like going to your buddy's house on Super Bowl Sunday, but not watching the game. Let's get real here. We know what I'm all about; giving deserving filmmakers their due praise—or conversely, lampooning junk, though I'll save that ridicule for another day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—E is For

Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back, The


      I'm going to start off by first conjuring up a sort of George Costanza-esque rant (you know, grossly irrelevant and unnecessary) by preemptively ending any debate. This film rightfully belongs in the "E" category, not the "S" or "T." Why? The Internet makes it so. Any Google search will confirm this "fact." Ah, wasn't that simple. Easiest debate I ever won, though I don't know if my latest rambling so much qualifies as a debate, as it seems right now, I'm merely talking to myself...semantics, semantics. Anyway, lets get to the good stuff.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—D is For

Maybe I'm Dazed and Confused But My Pick Is Die Hard

       
      First off, I want to congratulate my favorite college basketball team, the Uconn Huskies (I spent one year @ Storrs prior to transferring to NYU). Their remarkable and unprecedented run through the NCAA tournament has brought me tremendous satisfaction (those chronicling my Twitter or Facebook accounts since the Big East tournament can attest, and frankly, they were probably getting sick of my variations of "Go Uconn"). Last night's win marks their third National Championship (I was on campus for the '04 title). At this point, Calhoun is a God in my state, and Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb are both Oscar greats. A quick Academy Award Analogy—Calhoun wins Best Director, Kemba wins Best Actor, Lamb takes home Best Supporting Actor, and last night's game takes home the Best Picture gold!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Movie Review: Source Code

Keeping Up With The Joneses 

"Jones' second feature is a cerebral, mind-bending spectacle that loses some legitimacy at the end, but still carries enough weighty self-awareness to tackle important questions, such as the morality of the military's use of its natural resources."
 

      From henceforth, Duncan Jones, the inventive directing force behind Moon, shall be known as Slam-Duncan Jones. His latest film Source Code solidifies the director's status, as a precocious force in the eminent world of bright, young filmmakers. Though his concept, termed "time reassignment," may be a tad bit derivative in theory (a la Groundhog Day), it's shrewdly distinctive in execution, bolstered by the cogency of some remarkably touching performances. 

The Great Alphabet of Films—C is For

Casablanca


      The most difficult challenge, thus far, in my alphabetic assemblage of films has been deciding what film will represent the academically passable letter C. I was torn between highlighting Citizen Kane, Casablanca, City of God, Clueless, Cinema Paradiso, Chinatown, Corky Romano, Cool Hand Luke or Casino. Ultimately, I chose Casablanca. But WTF! What the heck are Clueless and Corky Romano doing in that magnificent listing? Ah bloggers, it's just a cruel joke. Those two films drastically pale in comparison to any film title, for that matter, that ever donned the letter C.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—B is For

Back to the Future 


      Marty McFly is a bellwether of the American teenage sensibility that rose from the 80's. From the audacious, plutonium-powered DeLorean "time machine," invented by eccentric scientist "Doc" Brown, Marty is accidentally sent back in time to 1955. What follows, of course, is a delightful sequence of unforgettably entertaining moments. As we bear witness to Marty's superlative trip back in time, we are beset by a tense realization that haunts Marty's otherwise earnest and refreshingly calm demeanor; he must make certain his teenage parents-to-be not only meet, but fall in love. Why? Well. to ensure he gets Back to the Future

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—A is For

 Apocalypse Now


      On this dubious Spring day—where foolhardy pranks take center stage—I've set aside any shroud of reluctance, and instead, I've decided to partake in the fantastic A to Z Challenge. My initial hesitance is owed to the fact that I do not consider myself a "daily blogger," nor do I possess the shrewd discipline, to contribute a meaningful blog post every day. But alas, I'm willing to test myself. Above all else, I am hoping, however naively, that I will gain many new followers. Thus, my primary objective in this undertaking is the prospect of engaging a broader audience.