Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sight and Sound Movie List: La Winters

Asterix and Cleopatra (1968, Rene Goscinny, Lee Payant, Albert Uderzo dirs.)

When I was a kid, my mom painstakingly taped movies off of the Disney Channel, then cut out the relevant movie info from Disney magazine and taped that to the cassette envelope, so I could always know what I was watching. When I was in middle school, I decided to tape every episode of X-Files possible and when I ran out of blank tapes, I started using the tapes she made me. I feel terrible about this even now. However, Asterix and Cleopatra was my favorite and it escaped the fate of the other tapes. It's so odd, part musical, part bizarre fake history, plus the most awesome sound effects.

Idiocracy (2006, Mike Judge)

One of my favorite comedies (along with Super Troopers), Idiocracy has stuck itself in the back of my mind. I suspect the world it shows may actually be the future (Extra big ass fries! Costco Law School….) so why not laugh at it before it's our reality?

Perfect Blue (1997, dir. Satoshi Kon)

Can I call this a horror movie? I guess so, as it's insanely creepy. Being unable to escape someone, plus having your life stolen, is a great combination.

Spirited Away (2001, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

This is my favorite Miyazaki movie, with Ponyo as a close second. I love the way the movie treats the fantasy world as a living, breathing place with room for a human child as a servant. The crazy events seem commonplace to the characters.

The Fifth Element (1997, dir. Luc Besson)

So what if the plot makes no sense? I will be disappointed if the future does not include flying ramen stands.

The Rock/Face Off/Con Air (1996/1997/1997 dir. Michael Bay, John Woo, Simon West)

In middle school, my mom joined Columbia House for a month, got the five free movies, and then quit. The Rock was one of the ones I picked off the list, along with Con Air and Face/Off (plus Forrest Gump and that Sally Field movie where Kiefer Sutherland kills her daughter). Those three together (minus Forrest Gump and Sally Field, though I rewatched Eye for an Eye on Netflix and it's not half bad) are my personal action movie favorites, and I know them word for word. All of them also feature Nicolas Cage, who is at his grumpiest in Con Air. The Rock is the best of them, with completely overblown stunts, Sean Connery as old James Bond, and Ed Harris as the excellent, sympathetic antagonist (can't stand calling him a villain).

The Weather Man (2005, dir. Gore Verbinski)
Speaking of Nicolas Cage, this movie pairs him with Michael Caine as his father. Cage plays a disrespected, disheartened weather man trying to make it onto a big news show, while his much cooler father suffers from cancer. The movie documents Cage's mid-life crisis, which he attempts to fix with archery lessons.

The 10th Kingdom (2000, David Carson & Herbert Wise dirs.)

This TV mini-series was clearly meant to be some kind of trilogy, but I guess there isn't a market for long live-action modern day fairy tales. If you enjoy a cheesy fantasy movie, give it a shot. A girl named Virginia goes through a portal in Central Park into the 9 Kingdoms, where the evil queen commences to hunt her. Oh, and her father the plumber is there, and a cute werewolf, plus trolls and a beanstalk and Ann Margret as Cinderella.

The Omen (1976, dir. Richard Donner) 

I love a good horror movie, preferably non-torture porn. While Japanese horror creeps me out to an extent that I have trouble sleeping, supernatural horror just feels like a treat. The creepy child trope, also done well in Pet Sematary, is perfect here. Plus, the bombastic Satanic music is so overdone and excellent.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011, dir. Sean Durkin)

This last one is not a comfort movie, but is one of my recent favorites. Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of the Olsen twins, is great as a girl who leaves a commune/cult and attempts to fit in with her rich older sister and her husband. The swimming scene early in the movie shows just how hard it is for her remember social norms. When she becomes paranoid that the cult has followed her, the movie goes from awkward to creepy. Olsen is wonderful to watch, as is John Hawkes (from Winter's Bone and Deadwood) as the charismatic, unsettling cult leader.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994, dir. Frank Darabont)

Probably my actual favorite movie, and I'll watch it whenever it's on TNT. Also one of many Stephen King movies that I love, including Pet Sematary, The Shining, Storm of the Century, and Cujo.

Pan's Labyrinth (2006, dir. Guillermo del Toro)

In one of the best films I've gotten to see in theaters, Ivana Baquero as Ofelia is just haunting and great. And of course, parts are terrifying and definitely show up in my nightmares.

Good luck bugging Der Huber...

Click Here for The Manning's List
Click Here for The Treff/Liang's List
Click Here for Il Barone's List
Click here for The Hicks's Epic List of the Awesomely Bad
Click here for Der Gronowski's List
Click here for The Hicks's List
Click here for La Kozak's List
Click here for Die Grimes's List
Click here for Richard Nixon's List
Click here for The McBee's List
Click here for Der Koosh's List

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