Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best Christmas Movies Of All Time

It's that time of year where no matter where you are, especially if you are out shopping, you are surrounded by Christmas music, decorations, lights, and just about everything imaginable. On television, cable stations flood their outgoing feed with Christmas movies that they can only show at this time of the year. Many of these movies are crap, but some are almost requirements to have seen if you call yourself American. In no particular order, I present to you the top ten Christmas movies you should have seen.

1. Miracle On 34th Street: I start with this one because actor Edmund Gwenn, who played Kris Kringle himself, played the part of Santa flawlessly; possibly the best Santa in a movie ever. Recently it also has popped up on some people's Google searches because Susan, the little girl that Santa befriends, is played by Natalie Wood, the focus of the reopened accidental death case involving Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken. In a post World War II (1947) era, this movie solidified the image of a glorified 1940's and 1950's era that many reminesce about.

2. Bad Santa: The opposite of Edmund Gwenn's Santa, Billy Bob Thornton plays a dark and twisted robber who poses as a mall Santa to rob mall anchor stores. It's everything that is wrong with Christmas, but somehow still comes off as humorous. Also this movie features that last filmwork by actor John Ritter. At the end of the movie, the darkened heart of Billy Bob opens up as he risks everything to get the little boy a Christmas present. On a side note, this movie also features one of the best movie lines of all time, "Fuck me Santa! Fuck me Santa! Fuck me Santa," as said by actress Lauren Graham.

3. The Grinch: Speaking of dark hearts cracking open at the end, the Grinch is possibly the best character that Dr. Seuss ever created. Now the Jim Carey version lacked what the animated one did...heart. The animated one is about best Christmas movie to watch with your young ones, but not be bored by some message that will make you want to down a shot of Jack Daniels after they go to bed. The Grinch also has a twentieth century classic Christmas song, You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch.

4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold is the everyday dad trying to create the perfect Christmas for his family. From a house massively decorated in lights and annoying his neighbors to a family dinner ruined by the police busting in after Clark kidnaps his boss over a laughable Christmas bonus, Clark feels the pain of a Christmas not going to plan.

5. It's A Wonderful Life: This one speaks well to the current climate of American society...the banker is the evil guy. Featuring an almost suicide by Jimmy Stewart's character until an angel intervenes, this movie actually flopped while it was shown at the theaters. Through television, it survived and became a staple of television stations for over a half a century. This movie also coined the phrase, "Everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

6. A Christmas Story: The best Christmas movie of the 1980's, this movie features a boy focused on trying to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. He deals with a Santa that pushes him down a slide, licking a frozen pole, and a father that brings home the sexiest lamp ever. Peter Billingsley's glasses also became an iconic look for the nerdy boy.

7. Scrooged: Bill Murray plays a television exec who has lost his Christmas spirit. A spectacularly funny performance by Carol Kane as the Ghost Of Christmas Present is the perfect match to Billy Murray's Frank Cross. In their pairing, unexpectedly bust Bill's balls...literally.

8. Gremlins: Not very well known as a Christmas movie, Gizmo was possibly the cutest Christmas present a parent could present their son. Unfortunately the three important rules were broken and a small town's Christmas is overun by small, green looking monsters. Despite the troubles, eighties children grew up wanting to own their very own mogwai.

9. Home Alone: Mac's best performance of his career, he was chased by Goodfellas star Joe Pesci and Wonder Years voice Daniel Stern. Forgotten by his departing family on their Christmas vacation, Mac survives on his own and staves off the would be burgulars from robbing his home.

10. A Charlie Brown Christmas: More like a Christmas short movie, I still count this classic because of genuine warm feeling you get when you watch it,. Charlie Brown picks the worst Christmas tree in the lot, which at first couldn't even support one Christmas decoration, but with the help of his friends, has the classic tree any family should have. A b-story of Snoopy decorating his doghouse is also classic.

Honorable Mentions:
The Nightmare Before Christmas (I know many of you are reading this and saying what the hell?! Only honorable mention? Yes, I dislike Disney. Plus unlike some of the other Christmas specials/movies Disney has done in the past, this one is massively commercialized.)

Elf (James Caan is one of the best actors of all time and Will Ferrell is so new to the life experiences he comes across. Zooey Deschanel would also make a big step in this to mainstream her career.)

Die Hard ( Yes, you read that write. Almost making my list, this is probably the most action packed Christmas movie ever. It features a performance by Alan Rickman that is outstanding. He is one of the best villains in movie history.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things I Learned From Clerks

10 things I learned from the Kevin Smith classic, Clerks.

1. I can leave money on the counter and trust customers to take the correct change. (Actually Dante had a decent theory, but I would be scared about the one douche of a customer that has to steal)

2. There must be a magical jug of milk that last weeks longer than the others. (The milk maid, played by Kevin Smith's own mom shows us how to find it)

3. There is no perfect dozen eggs, even if you mix and match. (Poor school counselor)

4. If you come in to work on your day off, it is okay to close the store down for a couple of hours to play hockey on the roof of the business. (I wonder if you got hurt doing this that you could claim worker's comp?)

5. Don't touch that casket! (Should actually be self explanatory)

6. Don't let the old guy take a porn magazine into the bathroom. (He will die when he sees a pic of someone like Katie Morgan)

7. Gum sales people are vigilant. (They will start a revolt if need be)

8. If you work on the Death Star, you take your own life into your own hands. (Refer a friend to the job if need be, but don't take it)

9. If you work at a mom and pop owned video store, your video store is shitty compared to a corporate owned one. (Just ask Randall)

10. Your girlfriend has possibily sucked 37 ***ks without you knowing. (Wow)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Whole Different Movie

Some movie storylines are so epic, that even if you have never seen the movie, you know what the movie is generally about through some weird form of entertainment osmosis through friends and family. Because of a clever idea and/or a carefully thought out process of writing, legendary movies take the best route to make them extremely memorable to their fans. In some cases, fans become so entrenched in this world of fiction, it's as if nothing else matters to them.

But as with many movies, you can ask, "What if," questions that would dramatically alter the storyline. Something that would suggest that if the movie went another route, it might not as be epic.

1. Star Wars IV: A New Hope: There are several routes that can be taken here. What if Luke Skywalker follows through with his with to join the Imperial Academy with his friend Biggs Darklighter to become a pilot? Instead of flying an X-Wing and taking out the Death Star, he could have been defending it. Maybe he would become closer to his father Darth Vader. It could have been a, "boy meets long lost father," movie instead. Or even what if Luke picks another android instead of R2D2? Would he still remain a moisture farmer for his aunt and uncle?

2. Back To The Future: At the end of Back To The Future when Marty goes back to the eighties, his mom all of a sudden remembers kissing Calvin Klein (i.e. Marty McFly) at the night of her big dance? How disturbing would that be? Would the whole family need counseling? If so, how would you tell the therapist what happened without sounding like you need some time in the looney bin? Would George McFly be angered at his future son? Who knows?

3. Matrix: Well, actually for this one, I'll jump to Matrix: Revolutions which was the third in the trilogy. After leaving the matrix, Neo seemingly has many of his computer world created powers still. What Neo, Morpheus and the other humans never left the matrix? What if it is revealed that the computers pulled an Inception like move and really created a second matrix within the matrix. Meaning Zion would be a computer created city, rather than the last hold out for the humans against the computers. Also, I guess the obvious "what if" scenario that could be, what if Neo picked the wrong pill when choosing between the red or blue pills?

4. The Crow: What if after avenging the death of his fiancee and himself, Eric Draven doesn't return to Heaven? What if he were to become an undead being? A zombie perhaps. No spiritual being actually gave him a rule book of what would happen when the crow brought Draven's soul back to Earth. Draven technically chose the revenge route, but nothing said that the revenge route would be the end of his journey.

5. The Godfather: What if Sonny was never killed? Would he take over the Corleone empire still? Probably since he was next in line and was the son that Vito was grooming to take over. Michael would have never had to kill The Turk and the cop, which means he would have never had to go to Sicily to hide out, which means he would have never have developed an appreciation for his father's lifework, which means he would never taken it upon himself to learn the family business. He would have been a college professor in a small New England town. This was what he was studying to do in the book.

6. Sin City: What if instead of being hot for Dwight still, Gail is angry at Dwight for going away and hooking up with Shellie? She initially is and after Dwight slaps her across the face, they make out so hard that it looks like their in a battle. What's missed is that the movie is based on the graphic novels of the same name and are almost scene for scene the same as the graphic novel. The movie was based on several of the books and even though there are hints of a past relationship with Dwight and Gail, it's not said in the movie how exactly their relationship formed. In one of the other graphic novels, Gail nursed a nearly dead Dwight back to health, despite the fact that old town is supposed to be only resided by hookers. The other hookers were angry at Dwight's presence, but Gail fell hard for him. After healing up, he leaves and hooks up with waitress Shellie, which is where the movie picks up.

7. Field Of Dreams: What if Ray Kinsella is scared of ghosts? After seeing the appearance of Joe Jackson, he is so freaked out, that he bulldozes the precious land that he really needs for his corn crop. Or on another "what if" scenario, what if he loses his farm to the bank? Would he still have run into his father's ghost somewhere?

Nicki Minaj Cosmo Cover

Even though most of these blogs are more based media in the form of movies, television, and music, this one is based on something I came across a couple of days ago at a grocery store. Just like all grocery do, Albertson's displays magazines by their registers. Most of these are aimed at females for impulse purchases. Everything from People to Star. One of the mainstays at grocery store registers is Cosmopolitan magazine as well.

On this occasion, while waiting in line for the register, I noticed that the magazine slot slated for Cosmopolitan magazine had a black magazine divider, often used by places that sell adult magazines to keep the young ones from seeing the cover. On this divider there was a note that read, "If you would like to purchase Cosmo magazine, please ask your cashier."

Intrigued, I asked the cashier what the deal was. The cashier told me it was because of what Alberston's felt was a racier cover of Cosmo. I joked if it was one of the headlines that usually tells the reader how to have more fun in the bedroom or something to that extent. The cashier said it was of the outfit Nicki Minaj was wearing on the cover. They went on to say that they felt the outfit was too racy.

On my returning home later that night. I noticed my wife had an issue of Cosmo sitting on the kitchen table (as per her monthly magazine addiction). Looking at the cover, it was sort of a let down. I believe I have seen racier magazine covers before and not just on magazines like Maxim. Even other issues such as Cosmo have been racier in my opinion.

For a magazine to be banned from the lines at the register of a grocery store, I would have expected worse. As a teenager, I remember Madonna on a cover of a magazine, in a black leather bikini and pulling on a leash that was attached to a collar she was wearing. If this could be shown in line for a register, why would Minaj's cover be banned at Alberston's. Her outfit covers more than have the covers out there. So for your troubles in reading this post, here's a picture of the cover.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10 Things I Learned From I Love Lucy

One of the most watched television shows of all time is I Love Lucy. Debuting on air in the fifties, I Love Lucy set standards in how sitcoms would be made, how comedy is done on television, and even how people can live in real life. The show was based on the crazy, redhead trying to get into her hubby's show and involving their landlords/best friends in the process. So I present to you...

10 Things I Learned From I Love Lucy

1. Keep your house thoroughly cleaned because you never know when an agent or celebrity might drop by. (Apparently in the fifties celebrities had nothing better to do than to hang out in people's apartments)

2. It is okay to mock a Cuban man's accent. (Credit to Ricky for never actually getting furious with the others for mocking him)

3. Never stop your wife from being in the show. (She will always find a way to get in, whether it's tying up another actress and throwing her in a closet, pretending to be someone other than your wife, or just plain showing up behind you on stage while you sing)

4. Make sure there is a door handle on the inside of your walk in freezer. (Lucy nearly froze to death, trying to freeze a ton of meat)

5. It is okay to spank your wife when she has been bad, not just naughty. (Ricky must have enjoyed spankings because he spanked Lucy nearly every other episode)

6. Country singers were dumb in the fifties. (Tennessee Ernie Ford visited the Ricardos for several episodes, but had not one ounce of common sense in him)

7. Putting on a costume, whig, or different clothes than you normally wear, will make you virtually unrecognizeable to even those you know. (Hell, Lucy dressed as a man, only putting on a suit and a fake mustache, and nearly fooled Ricky and Fred at the man's baby shower)

8. Women didn't have contractions when they went into labor in the fifties. (Lucy simply announced it was time, but never had contractions or pain of any sort)

9. There are towns in New England that are only run by two people. (Remember the mom and pa that played every role from motel owner to mayor?)

10. Clones were running rampant in the fifties. (One minute a guy is your blind waiter, the next he's Freddy Filmore, gameshow host)

A New James Bond?

With Daniel Craig vacating the role of the coolest super agent in the world, someone will have to step in the shoes of James Bond. On the very short list over five years ago, was Hugh Jackman. In fact Hugh Jackman was the leading candidate.

Problem was Hugh Jackman was already in the middle of playing another iconic role, Wolverine in X-Men 2. Jackman had said he greatly wanted to play the role of James Bond, but only wanted to play one great character at a time. Now that he is no longer playing Wolverine, the door has opened up again half a decade later. Hugh Jackman is once again considered to be playing James Bond and he has let it slip in several interviews that he would accept.

The only wrench could be that he has several other contenders for the job too. Mentioned as candidates are Ewan McGregor, Joshua Jackson, Jon Hamm, and my favorite candidate, Clive Owen.

Ewan has the Scottish ancestry like the greatest James Bond had, Sean Connery. The accent would go well with James Bond. He is more closer to a Daniel Craig James Bond, rather than a Connery Bond.

Joshua Jackson has a couple of stigmas playing against him. First, Dawson's Creek and The Mighty Ducks. Second, he's American and has no accent. He has the intensity for the role and is actually an accomplished actor, but still, he is an American and doesn't even give off the hint that he can play a Brit.

Jon Hamm can play suave like James Bond, but has no credibility as an action star. Also roles in other movies such as Bridesmaids make it harder to see him as a guy you want to root for in a action scene. Plus, he's an American that can't do a Brittish accent.

Finally, my first choice, Clive Owen. Looking into his career filmography, it's not hard to see that his resume plays as training for a role as 007. He has action credibility, the accent, the look, and has already played a role that basically was James Bond (in The Pink Panther). With his intensity and action star traits from Sin City and his great monologues in scenes from movies like Closer, he is the perfect fit.

While Hugh Jackman might be the front runner in real life, Clive Owen would be my choice if I were the casting director.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movie Review: Ides Of March

George Clooney's latest movie has hit the theaters this past weekend during a slow weekend in the box office. Going against Real Steal, a movie loosely based on the Rock'em Sock'em Robots toys from the eighties, The Ides Of March opened in the box office in second. Now despite the special effects and a performance by Hugh Jackman, The Ides Of March was the movie that should have opened to a bigger box office opening weekend.

Several actors including Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, and actress Evan Rachel Wood are all being submitted for Oscar nominations. Even though they would be bids for supporting roles, the stand out performances were by Giammati and Wood. Giammati played the perfect political villain and Wood's performance garnered a lot of sympathy and even anger amongst viewers. Gosling played his part well, but not above the level of other possible Oscar nominees.

This movie is worth watching. It's not at the level of some other political thrillers-I place Thirteen Days as the best one ever-but it's still good.

The movie is about the presidential campaign of a politician (Clooney) whom seems to be bullet proof and has two of the best people running his campaign (Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman). Coveted by another politician's team whom is running against Clooney for party nomination, Gosling is subjected to the pitfalls and treachery that can be played out in politics. With elements of tragedy, love, and anger in this movie, it will keep it's viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.

Monday, October 3, 2011

10 Things I Learned From 90's Music

1. I can wear a cardigan and still be considered one of the biggest rock stars of all time. (Kurt Cobain)

2. If I can get four to five attractive friends to band together to form a singing group that ends in "girls"/"boys", it doesn't matter if we can all sing, as long as one of us can. (Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls)

3. The key to success in pop music and sexual rebellion, lie within the Mickey Mouse Club. (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Rhona Bennett of En Vogue, JC Chasez, and Justin Timberlake)

4. Auto-Tune released in 1997. Kanye West's career launches in 1997. Enough said.

5. Orange County was the place to be if you're punk/ska/reggae. (No Doubt, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, Offspring, Sublime (Long Beach close enough), Lit, and Sugar Ray)

6. I can make a music video where I do drugs, drink, fight, beat up a woman, and pick up a prostitute, as long as the video is in the point of view of another woman (Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up")

7. I can wear all my clothes backwards and be cool (Kriss Kross)

8. To become the next big, country music star, I have to be an attractive blonde. (Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, LeAnn Rhimes, Shania Twain-well really dark blonde)

9. I can still be the scariest, most gothic singer of my decade, even if people believe my real identity is an actor from an 1980's sitcom. (Marilyn Manson)

10. If I want to release my best selling, most critically acclaimed group of CD's, I must A) drop my sexy, pop image, B) appear on SNL in a skit with Michael Myers and/or Dana Carvey, C) have sex with a couple of celebrities and release the pictures in an X-rated book, D) tie up and chain women and sing about it, E) star in a movie about a sex craved woman. (Madonna)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Movie Mistakes And Observations

To the careful eye, a movie watcher has probably caught a few mistakes that directors, actors, or other crew members did not catch until after the release of the movie. Sometimes it's something as simple as the hand that a character is holding a cup in. One second it's in the character's left hand and cut back a few seconds later and the cup mysteriously appears in the other hand. Sometimes it's some a lot less subtle such as the visible gas engine on the bottom of the chariot Russell Crowe is riding in Gladiator. So on this note, here are some I bring to your attention.

1. Die Another Day: In a final fight scene between Jinx (Halle Berry) and Agent Frost, she is slashed across the stomach and bleeds. Later, James Bond (Pierce Bronson) pours diamonds over her stomach that is blemish free.

2. Anaconda: In a shot used twice apparently, a boat pulls away from a waterfall. Rather than just shoot the scene twice, they reuse the same footage and the water can be seen going backwards.

3. Goonies: At the end of the movie, when asked what was the scariest part of the adventure, Data says the octopus. Problem is that the scene with the octopus was cut from the theatrical release and can only be seen in the deleted scenes on the DVD.

4. Back To The Future: After Doc (Christopher Lloyd) sends his dog Einstein back in time to demonstrate the time machine, flames are on the pavement where the wheels once were on the DeLorean. Thing is, Marty (Michael J. Fox) is standing in the flames and appears to not feel any pain at all.

5. Forest Gump: Jenny gives Forest (Tom Hanks) a clipping of himself in the U.S.A. Today magazine. This magazine was first published in September of 1982. Later on when Jenny passes away, her tombstone reads that she has died in March of 1982.

6. Shrek: Lord Farquuad wants to marry a princess so he can become a prince and he has three choices to choose from. Cinderella, Snow White, and Fiona. The factual error is that Cinderella was not born a princess. For her to become a princess, she has to marry someone whom is already a prince.

7. Spiderman: When Harry is talking to Mary Jane on his cell phone, Mary Jane hangs up on him. Problem is that a dial tone was produced on his cell phone. Cell phones do not have dial tones.

8. Austin Powers-Goldmember: In the 1970's bar that Austin meets Foxy at, there is a bottle of Tanqueray 10 behind the bar. Tanqueray 10 was not released until the last few years, unless this bottle was sent thirty years back in time, it should not be there either.

9. Austin Powers: When Mini-Me is seen drawing a picture of Scott Evil being hanged, Mini-Me only uses one crayon to draw the picture. When we see the picture, there are at least two colors of crayon in the picture.

10. Ghostbusters: Not really a blooper, but more of a piece of interest. When the containment unit explodes and releases all the captured ghosts, ordinary citizens watch the action coming out of the Ghostbusters headquarters. If you look closer, one of the onlookers is famous porn star, Ron Jeremy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Top Comic Book Movies Of All Time

In the last twenty years, comic book properties have been bought up by major motion picture studios everywhere. Nerds from every corner have flocked with their less nerdier friends to catch the special effects, the A-list celebrities playing their favorite heroes, and to catch whether or not the movie is true to their favorite comic book. Some movies have followed the comic book nearly scene for scene, where as some merely seem to rewrite the world of the superhero. I submit my choices for the top comic book far.

1. Batman Begins: Christopher Nolan rebooted the franchise to a higher degree than anyone could have expected. The first in a series of Batman movies started by Tim Burton did not follow storyline/timelines of the Batman comics and also came off as cartoon like by the time actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger played Mr. Freeze. Christopher Nolan started off by casting the most obvious choice for Batman/Bruce Wayne...British actor, Christian Bale. Bale ended up being a great choice, along with fellow great choice Michael Caine as Alfred. Other great choices such as Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Gary Oldman followed as well. Not only was casting great, but Nolan made sure to give Batman a darker tone. He kept the movie plausible, even with it's comic book technology. Also Nolan thought ahead and viewed the movie as a trilogy and didn't introduce The Joker as the first villain Batman faces, but instead the one that had something to do with his training, Ra's al Ghul. Throwing in Scarecrow as a more local to Gotham villain was also a good idea on the Nolan crew. Overall, this movie ressurected Batman in cinema and produced an even better sequel and another highly anticipated one.

2. The Dark Knight: Speaking of Batman, the Christopher Nolan sequel was even better. With a lead in from Batman Begins when Gordon hands Batman a joker playing card. Casting for The Joker was widely speculated and at one point a rumor floated around that it was Crispin Glover. Then a more grittier version was leaked when a picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker appeared on the internet. Heath Ledger threw himself into this role and played it better than anyone could have imagined. The unfortunate result was drug overdose that Heath Ledger died from. Though I don't like when movies and television shows change the actor/actress playing a role in the middle of a run, Maggie Gyllenhaal played a better Rachel Dawes than Katie Holmes did. Throw in the build up and fall of Harvey Dent and the gruesome special effects they used to give him his Two Face half and the movie definitely revealed itself as argubaly the best comic book ever produced. Ending with Batman on the run and even nods to Batman comic fans with appearances by the original OMAC computer and the third in the series, The Dark Knight Rises will have a lot of heavy expectations.

3. The Crow: Based on the graphic novel of the same name written by James O'Barr, this movie also had fatal consequences for it's star Brandon Lee. Some speculated that the Lee family curse was involved, but whatever the case, it was a gunshot wound sustained during an action scene. The movie has a dark tone and is based on the day, Devil's Night. After being killed along with his girl, Eric Draven's soul is brought back to avenge their deaths. Excellent performances by Brandon Lee and the CG team who planted his face on a stuntman's body to complete the movie, as well as one of the best soundtracks in movie history (Stone Temple Pilots, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes, Rage Against The Machine, Pantera, Henry Rollins, etc) set a tone that gives the viewer the feeling that anyone in the movie can die any moment.

4. Sin City: Perhaps the best graphic novel turned movie based on how true to the novel the storyline is. Based on four of the seven graphic novels written by Frank Miller, Sin City even used the graphic novel as the scene by scene storyboard that Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, and Frank Miller used to make this movie. Cinematography was excellent with a near black and white movie that mirrored the look of the graphic novel. Casting could hardly be better with perfect casting done on Dwight (Clive Owen), Gail (Rosario Dawson), Nancy (Jessica Alba), and Marv (Mickey Rourke). The only thing that this movie left in the air is the knowledge of whether or not Robert Rodriguez will ever get Sin City 2 made, based on the final three graphic novels.
5. Tank Girl: Campy in nature, this movie dates itself to the nineties decade with it's style, music, and even fashion. The movie was well casted, as Lori Petty looked the part better than most can and legendary Malcom McDowell playing the villain. Little known Naomi Watts also played sidekick, Jet Girl that helps Tank Girl bring down Water & Power. The only downfall is The Rippers. In the comic book, they were a race of mutated kangaroos, but in the movie, they are a genetically modified race of super soldiers. Still, without a lot of public knowledge of the exact storyline of Tank Girl, this fact about The Rippers falls lost of most of those that watched the movie. The movie is upbeat, energetic, and fun, which can be a trait lost on many other comic book movies. It also seemed to represent a decade (the nineties) better than other movies. The movie was released shortly before celebrities such as Gwen Stefani became nationally known (if cast later in the decade, Tank Girl could have been played by Stefani), the rebirth of Ice Tea's career (new to acting), and the foreshadowing of Jaime Hewlett's music project, The Gorillaz. A rumor of a reboot of Tank Girl has floated around, as another script has been floated around the movie studios.

6. Iron Man: The best of the movies based on a Marvel property. This movie is the perfect example of a lead actor perfectly casted. Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Tony Stark. Also Terrence Howard was a great James Rhodes. The script was well done, showing Tony Stark's original Iron Man costume to save himself from those whom kidnapped him. Later on after returning to America, Tony develops the Iron Man costume that we all know. In his process of developing the updated suit, a bit of comedy is portrayed when Tony Stark tries to refine the flight systems on his suit and he has trouble controlling it. The only downfall was Gwyneth Paltrow playing Pepper Potts. Her performance did not match the energy, humor, or the charm that Robert Downey Jr. brought to the screen.

Many other comic book movies were entertaining as well, but had flaws keeping them from this list. Casting such as Jessica Alba as Sue Storm didn't make sense, while she was a great match for Nancy in Sin City. On the other end of the spectrum, Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine were perfect jobs of casting, but flaws in storyline hurt the movie.

Anticipated movies such as Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers could very easily move themselves onto this list of great comic book movies by next year. Other movies were also borderline on this list such as The Watchmen and Road To Perdition. With major motion picture studios buying up properties, I'm sure this list of movies will be ever changing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Underrated Film: Four Rooms

In a topic I will call, "Underrated Film," I will introduce you to movies that are well written/acted/directed, but are fairly unknown for various reasons. In this post I will review...

Four Rooms:

Four Rooms is a movie based on a bell boy's first day on the job, on New Year's Eve night, at a hotel that used to be a hangout for Hollywood celebrities during the Golden Age. It's broken into four separate anthologies, which are directed by four different directors (Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino), but have the common element of Tim Roth in each piece as the bell boy. This movie showcases the talent of these four new directors and meshes their styles together to make a chaotic, but fun movie.

In the first room, a coven of witches gather to resurrect their Bettie Page-esque goddess. Starring Lily Taylor, Alicia Witt, Ione Skye, Valerina Golino, and Madonna fashioning a black rubber dress during her Bedtime Stories time period. This piece is titled The Missing Ingredient, set in the Honeymoon suite, and directed by Allison Anders.

Out of the four rooms in this movie, the first one is the one that least fits in with the other three. Funny on it's on, it's a little out of place, but still enjoyable to watch. Tim Roth stands out the most in this piece, even with the little dialogue he has.

In the second room, Tim Roth's Ted character is mistaken for a man looking to rendezvous with a married woman played by Jennifer Beals. Walking into the room with a bucket of ice that was ordered, David Proval plays an angry husband of Beals who is waiting for Ted with a gun. Ted walks in to find Jennifer Beals gagged and tied to a chair. Most of the dialogue is between Proval and Roth, but even gagged, Beals is very expressive with her eyes, grunts, and facial mannerisms. She steals this portion of the movie called The Wrong Man set in room 404 and directed by Alexandre Rockwell. Out of the four rooms, this is the one with the best dialogue and even at that, Beals steals the scene in this room.

In the third room, directed by Robert Rodriguez, Rodriguez favorites act in this piece including Antonio Banderas and a brief cameo by Salma Hayek as a burlesque dancer seen on the television. Antonio Banderas plays a rich man who is going out for the night with his wife played by Tamlyn Tomita. With no baby sitter service available, Banderas enlists Ted to watch his two children. Reluctant, Ted agrees after an extremely large tip is given to him. The majority of the dialogue is between Ted and the two children, with Banderas and Tomita bookending the anthology. This anthology titled The Misbehavers set in room 309, provides the best laughs and the children are the scene stealers in this skit.

In between the third and forth rooms, Ted calls his boss at home only to reach a stoner played by Marisa Tomei. After a brief dialogue, Tomei hands the phone off to Ted's boss played by Kathy Griffin, whom convinces Ted not to quit. This part of the movie basically acts as a transition to the forth and final room.

The forth room, called The Man from Hollywood set in the penthouse of the movie, is directed and also stars Quentin Tarantino. Also making appearances is Bruce Willis, Jennifer Beals untied, and Paul Calderon. Quentin plays a famous director who makes a bet with a friend of his, on whether they can recreate a scene they saw in a movie. Ted, bringing the key components they ordered to attempt to recreate this scene, is also given a large amount of money to also act as a referee to judge whether this movie scene can be recreated. This anthology is the most clever of the four and and wraps up the four rooms nicely.

Four Rooms was released as an indie movie by Miramax, to showcase their four new directors. Definitely worth a watch, despite the lack of public awareness of this piece of cinema.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pieces of Entertainment

Well, as if I don't have enough blogs, I am starting a third one now that I believe I would be more apt to update more often. This one will be on anything pertaining the the entertainment industry, that should gain more attention. Anything from cinema, television, games, and music. So I start this first blog with something I believe I will do often on here called....

Things I Learned From...

80's entertainment

1. The rhythm is going to get you (Gloria Estefan)

2. I can drive a car in reverse to make the mileage disappear (Ferris Bueller)

3. Driving 88 MPH is a key factor in traveling in time (Back To The Future)

4. You can eliminate ground dwelling monsters by inflating them until they pop (Dig Dug)

5. Greek family members will crash at your home forever (Full House, Perfect Strangers)

6. Giant sand worms are all over deserts (Dune, Beetlejuice)

7. Aliens love junk food (ALF, E.T.)

8. Michael Jackson started the decade as a black man and ended the decade a white girl

9. Alien robots will use Earth for their wars (Transformers, Go-Bots)

10. Ducks will eventually take over the world (Howard The Duck, Duck Tales)

11. You will die from diarrhea (Oregon Trail)

12. Communism works (The Smurfs)

13. Still wondering where is the beef (Wendy's Commercials)

14. Ninjas are mortal enemies to talking turtles and rats that know karate (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

15. It was hip to be square (Q-bert, Rubbick's Cube, Huey Lewis And The News)