Friday, May 4, 2012

A Fistful of Teams! (Brad's Picks)

Just waking up after the miraculous screening that was The Avengers.  You'll have to wait for my Week In Dork for further fanboy rambling, but what I can tell you now is that it blew me away.  Easily my favorite film of 2012 so far and I find it hard to believe that any other movie this year could contend with the ridiculous amounts of joy birthed from Joss Whedon's epic.  So, watching my favorite comic book heroes assemble on screen last night got me to thinking, what are the other great super groups of cinema.  Here's what I came up with:

5.  44 Inch Chest:  After Ray Winstone's wife cheats on him, his gangster BFFs help him through this dark time by kidnapping the wife's lover and presenting him bound & gagged for execution.  But it's not as simple as a bullet to the head.  A terribly claustrophobic film filled with hilarious hateful back & forth banter from the entire cast.  Ian McShane as the homosexual Meredith and John Hurt as the repulsive Old Man Peanut are definitely the highlights of the film, but the interaction between the whole cast is simply wonderful.  And the plot doesn't take you to the obvious dark places promised at the start of the film.  An absolute gem of a movie.

4.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  T-U-R-T-L-E Power.  This collection of radical mutant adolescent siblings only want to scream Cowabunga, eat pizza, and possibly Ninja Rap but Shredder and his foot clan won't let them relax.  But throw in sports fanatic Casey Jones, Zen master rat Splinter, and plucky reporter April O'Neal and you've got a totally tubular team of crime fighters.  NYC is safe.

3.  The A Team:  Forget the haters, I love this movie.  Liam Neeson's Hannibal is the perfect combination of manly bravado to lead this team of cartoonish misfits and I seriously appreciate how Joe Carnahan maintained the weirdo whacky charm of the original show's hijinks.  Fools get pitied, Face charms the skirts off ladies, and Howling Mad is just that.  The A Team is a lark, and a thoroughly entertaining one at that.

2.  The Killing:  Now here's a sorry batch of losers forced to work together to score a little scratch.  Sterling Hayden is the Parker of the group, trying to ignore the incompetence of the small time hoods around him as a means to an end, but the others will always foul things up for the level headed.  Timothy Carey is a scary ass monster petting puppies as he negotiates the murder of a horse and Elisha Cook Jr is a lovable sad sack schlub.  It's all gonna go tits up, but it's sure fun to watch.

1.  Ocean's 11:  Now here's the criminal equivalent of The Avengers.  Where The Killing gang screws it all up, Danny Ocean's team gets it all right.  And you'll laugh your ass off through the entirety of their all too clever shenanigans.  Too bad the sequels never could recapture the original(remake)'s allure.


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