Saturday, August 27, 2011
A Fistful of Summer Movies! (Brad's Picks)
This has been a really strange Summer. I enjoyed almost every movie I saw (yeah, Conan, I hated your dumb ass), but with the exception of the top three flicks on my list I didn't really love any of them. And that's including Captain America which I thought was gonna be a done deal for me, but that last 2/3rds (like with Matt) just didn't click. So, yeah, I'm a little stunned that only one of the films on my Fistful of Summer Anticipation made it here. I feel like I need to revisit a lot of these flicks. Stuff like Cap, Super 8, X-Men First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes--movies that the world seemed to go ga-ga over and just left me feeling a little shrugged. Maybe on repeat watching I'll find the love.
5. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: Just saw this the other night. It doesn't reinvent the wheel or anything, but Producer Guillermo Del Toro and Director Troy Nixey have cranked out one creepy little jumper of a haunted house/monster story. Absolutely fantastic creature effects with an incredibly interesting (if not surprising for those that know GDT) backstory, I would absolutely love to see another film exploring their little underground world of gnashers. Plus, I was rather taken by Katie Holmes' sad, struggling stepmother performance.
4. Cowboys & Aliens: There seems to be a lot of unnecessary hate for this film out there in Internetland. I don't get it. As far as Weird Westerns are concerned, this easily has to be one of the best if not the best. Again, like Dark, it doesn't elevate the genre or anything, but it hits all the appropriate tropes of the Western and mixes it with some fun Alien abduction business. Danial Craig and Harrison Ford are fantastic together and I loved the various character actors that come and go. It's definitely my favorite of the Blockbuster-type flicks, a perfect popcorn movie.
3. Hobo With A Shotgun: For us here at ITMOD, this was probably the most anticipated movie of the year and I am so glad that both of us were able to catch it on the big screen. It's violent, gross, offensive. And great gobs of fun. I really can't think of another modern movie that perfectly captures the Test-Your-Might exploitation grindhouse experience of my youth as well as this. Rodriguez & Tarantino tried, but Jason Eisner succeeded. Rutger Hauer proves that he's still got it. Order me up some sequels.
2. Midnight in Paris: This is probably the most surprising movie to make my list. I don't think I've ever really enjoyed a Woody Allen movie. I've chuckled my way through Annie Hall and Sleeper, but they're just not the kind of movies that really speak to me (remember, Hobo With A Shotgun). But dammit, with Midnight in Paris Woody Allen has made a great little geek movie. I am Owen Wilson. I might not obsess over 20s Paris but I do some serious obsessing. I get this flick. And it's charming and funny as all get out. Adrien Brody's Dali nearly had me on the floor with laughter. Great, great flick. Expect to see it on my Top Ten for the whole Year.
1. Attack The Block: "Allow it." I don't think I've loved a movie this hard since I rediscovered The Monster Squad on DVD a few years back. And they're the same kinda Kids Against The World movie. It just gets everything so right. From the Hoodie Kids to the indiscernible wolf gorilla monsters. It's serious and bloody. It's gut-bustingly funny. And it's cool. The John Carpenter-like score has been playing on loop in my car since I saw the first screening. John Boyega is definitely this year's breakout Star and I want to see whatever he does next.