Saturday, January 15, 2011

Best Movies I've Watched This Year

I've been trying to watch as many of my "100 in 2011" list before Sundance starts and so far, I've been doing pretty well. It's only Jan. 14th and I've already marked twelve movies off of my list. That's 12%! And so far, three of the movies really stand out among the rest.

Fritz the Cat (1972) - This one's a mindtrip. An X-rated cartoon featuring animals. It's pretty safe to say that Fritz had some sort of influence on Meet the Feebles. Based on Robert Crumb's comic strip of the same name, this sex-filled, profanity-laced adult cartoon was directed by animator Ralph Bakshi (The Lord of the Rings, American Pop) and instantly became a cult classic.
The most memorable scene is the one where Fritz takes three hippie girls back to his bathtub and tries to have a four-way with them but it's not long before the other animals in his building decide to join him, turning it into a 7-or-8-way and once they start smoking weed, everything gets crazy. Soon, two cops (animated as fat, disgusting pigs) show up and break up the party. Fritz is left with one option, to flush himself down the toilet and leave his new friends behind.

Rashomon (1950) - I have a pretty limited knowledge of Kurosawa. I've seen Throne of Blood, High and Low, and most of Seven Samurai. That's why he's the most named director on my "100 in 2011" list.
Rashomon is fantastic. The plot involves a married couple who's life is forever altered by a bandit (Toshiro Mifune). The wife is raped and the husband is murdered but due to how Kurosawa tells the story, you never hate the bandit. The story recalls events from four different perspectives: the wife's, the husband's (told through a medium), the bandit's, and a witness'. Each story they tell recalls the same general events but the differences are in the details.

I'm really glad I finally watched Rashomon. It's opened me up to watching more Kurosawa which is good condering he shows up on my "100 in 2011" so many times. I just wish I hadn't followed it up with Surf Nazis Must Die.

Very Bad Things (1998) - Where the fuck was this one hiding? If you want to know what kind of movies I love, watch Very Bad Things. Sex, gore, violence, bromance. What else do you need? It's a shame that Peter Berg didn't make more movies like this. From the look of his filmography, he's more of a studio director than an auteur. Very Bad Things is for anyone who loved Swingers or Made (and not just because it starts Jon Faverau). It's like Swingers and Made had a little brother who suffered from violent bouts of insanity. And apparently, someone locked up Very Bad Things down in a basement somewhere because somehow, I hadn't seen it until this morning.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Walter Hill

Empire Records

Empire Records is less uplifting once you realize the internet would have eliminated their business within the next twelve months.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

100 Films I Will Watch in 2011

A Boy and His Dog
A Fistful of Dollars
A Prophet
A Woman Under the Influence
Aguirre, Wrath of God
All About Eve
All the Real Girls
Angel Heart
Apocalypse Now
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Blow Up
Body Heat
Bringing Out the Dead
Cane Toads
Class of Nuke'Em High
Cool As Ice
Das Boot
Death Race 2000
Doctor Zhivago
Dr. Strangelove
Duck, You Sucker
El Topo
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Flirting with Disaster
For a Few Dollars More
Fritz the Cat
From Here to Eternity
Ghost in the Shell
Harold and Maude
Heavenly Creatures
High Noon
It's a Wonderful Life
King Kong
La Dolce Vita
Last Tango in Paris
Lawrence of Arabia
Lost Highway
Lost in America
Monty Python's The Life of Brian
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Once Upon a Time in the West
Ordinary People
Pandora's Box
Passion of Joan of Arc
Requiem for a Dream
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Scenes from a Marriage
Series 7: The Contenders
Seven Samurai
Singin' in the Rain
Slap Shot
Sling Blade
Sunset Blvd.
Surf Nazis Must Die
Swing Time
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Deer Hunter
The Elephant Man
The Endless Summer
The Godfather Part III
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Grapes of Wrath
The Holy Mountain
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Magnificent Seven
The Plague Dogs
The Proposition
The Red Shoes
The Sweet Hereafter
The Thin Red Line
The Third Man
The White Ribbon
The Wild Bunch
Umberto D.
V for Vendetta
Very Bad Things
Walking and Talking
West Side Story
White Dog
Wings of Desire
Withnail & I
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Yankee Doodle Dandy