Friday, December 29, 2006


My favorites released this year. In order.

1. The Descent
Most horror movies that major Hollywood studios churn out suck balls, period. So thank God for Lion's Gate who continually release great horror films. The Descent went largely unnoticed, and was marketed a little strange. The actual meat of the movie is in the characters, not so much the bizarre albinos chasing them through a cave in the Smoky Mountains. Shauna McDonald and Natalie Mendoza's showdown at the end kept you just as on edge as the blood bath sequence and the watching-monsters-feast-through-a-videocamera sequence. Lighting and sound play a big part in this film, which made it required viewing in a theatre, so you could hear which direction the bone-gnawing was coming from. Being a horror movie fan, it is hard to make me jump and squirm these days. This one got me quite a few times.

2. The Proposition
Finally a Western (okay, an Austrailian Outback-ern) that is as violent as it probably was. Those times were gnarly, so to believe that there wasn't a high level of ultra-violence is ridiculous. And The Proposition does it with a measure of taste and horror that fills the film up with an atmosphere that anything could happen to anyone. Guy Pearce is fantastic in this, but completely outshined by the one-two punch of Danny Huston as his villanous psychotic brother and the kick-fucking-ass Ray Winstone (who was Mr.French in The Departed) as the haggard lawman after them both. Written by Nick Cave and also featuring Emily Watson, how can this not kick ass. Try and watch Richard Wilson nearly get whipped to death without cringing. I dare you.

3. The Departed
This movie slayed hard. I don't see many movies in the theatre, so the fact that I saw this one twice in one week says something. And to think walking in I was so not stoked on it....I'm a DiCraprio hater. Sure, he has done some good stuff...but Titanic and his fucking shitty accent in Gangs of New York throughly irritated me. But man! He fucking kicks ass in this movie. Whether he's pistol-whipping some dude screaming "SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT! THE! FUCK! UP!" or busting up a dude who suggests he's on his period, Leo just goes for it. And he's not alone. Nicholsen chews the fuck out of the scenery, and Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg also deserve some consideration. This movie is really kind of a throw-back to an old `70s gritty gangster movie (the kind Scorcese made his name directing.) It's not flashy with jump-cuts and a nu-metal soundtrack. Instead it somehow manages to focus right in on the flawed/fucked characters and invest you in them, while keeping you on the edge of your seat. Top actors firing on all cylinders for a director who is definetely one of the premier filmmakers of all time. Should sweep the Oscars, and give two awards to Mark Wahlberg for having the best quotes in a movie this year ("Who am I? I'm the guy that does his fuckin' job! You must be the other guy!" and "Do you have anyone in with Costello presently?" "Maybe, maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself.").

4. The Devil and Daniel Johnston
In high school I had a girlfriend whose sister DJed on the UM radio station. She played a song for me over the air one day by this dude named Daniel Johnston. It was a weird children's song that comprised of overdubbed vocals and a cello. The song was about nothing really, it was called "Happy Time" from the Fun album. I was hooked from day one. When I finally got around to seeing this movie, my eyes were completely opened to someone I had revered for years. This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, right up there with In the Realms of the Unreal. It paints the tragic figure so beautifully and elegantly it is impossible not to be moved. There is a scene in which Daniel gets to meet Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons. They chat nonchalantly and very business-y almost. But when Groening leaves the room Daniel's elated reaction that will snap your heart in two. The only movie I've seen this year that had me wiping my eyes at the

Ed.note: I would've put Hostel in there but it was released at the tail end of last year, so technically doesn't count, but I did see it in consider it in an unofficial tie with #2


Blogger flyingcobrashark said...

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6:31 PM  
Blogger flyingcobrashark said...

I watched The Proposition the other night, then I watched it again the very next night with my roomate. Sooooooo good. The Descent was merely decent (hah!) and to tell you the truth I thought Little Miss Sunshine was crap. Oh well, it's only fitting that you have lousy taste in music AND film. Ouch! You're going to want to put some salve on that.

6:34 PM  

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