Archives for : January2014

The Best Movies Ever – Groundhog Day

groundhog-day

Maybe God’s not omnipotent. Maybe he’s just been around so long he knows everything. 

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The Best Movies Ever – Love Actually

Love actually

 There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus? 

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What it’s Like to Live Without a Body

I’d like you to take a moment to behold the writing style of Jerry Holkins – primary writer and co-founder of the web comic Penny Arcade. The post he wrote today (“today” being January 15th – apply the necessary temporal adjustment based on when I post this entry) is about a video game called Rust. An average writer might construct the entry point for the discussion thusly:

Rust is a video game that examines the brutal truths of human nature through the lens of a world in which the conceit of civilization has long been stripped away.

At least that is how I would do it. Observe how Jerry opens his missive:

“The incentives for kindness in an environment where survival is a function of resources and nobody knows each other are…  perhaps they aren’t non-existent, but we can call them “ephemeral” and retain accuracy.  Society is a story we have chosen to believe, because the alternative – while readily observable and undeniably true – is monstrous.  And if you would like to see the most ancient human narrative played out in a kind of disemvoweled hyper-efficiency, I urge you to install and play Rust.”

It reads as though he took the sentence I wrote, replaced every word with a more interesting one, and shuffled up the syntax to produce the paragraph above. 

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The Best Movies Ever – Tombstone

Doc Holliday

Why, Johnny Ringo… You look like somebody just walked over your grave. 

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The Best Movies Ever – Office Space

Office Space

Ever since I started working, every single day has been worse than the day before it. Which means, every time you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.

What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?

Yeah.

Wow, that’s messed up. 

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The Best Movies Ever

Soon, I will be starting a new blog series on this site, to run for an indeterminate length of time. It will be called The Best Movies Ever.

The concept is simple: To discuss great movies that people like. But rather than retread all the familiar ground of highly regarded cultural touchstones, I want to give some attention to the movies that don’t necessarily get their due. You won’t see The Godfather, or Lawrence of Arabia, or even Saving Private Ryan. No Pulp Fiction, no Raging Bull, and no Wizard of Oz. Those movies (rightfully) have been discussed to death on innumerable top films lists, and I don’t think there’s more that I can add to that conversation. But there are movies out there that are great, in their own way, and for various reasons aren’t often brought up in those high brow discussions.

Maybe they are too recent, or the subject matter is considered “low art”. Perhaps they are movies that spawned several low-quality sequels that tarnished the original retroactively. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a person who “agrees” with critics almost all of the time. I don’t plan to use this blog series to vindicate movies that are, by standard measures, crappy. But sometimes movies that are legitimately great fall through the cracks of film history, and those are the pieces I want to talk about.

At this point, I’m highly tempted to start giving examples, but I hesitate to set expectations for articles I may never get around to writing. If you want to keep your promises, it’s best not to make too many of them. However, I can reveal the first one – Office Space. A modern classic comedy with such a universally relate-able premise you marvel that it didn’t get made until the late 90’s. Everyone you know loves Office Space, but how often do you see it on Best Of lists? I plan to talk about not only what makes the movie itself great, but offer speculation on why it doesn’t fit into the pantheon of classic films.

Alright, fine, here are some more off the top of my head: Tombstone; Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Terminator 2; Love Actually; Beetlejuice; Dazed and Confused; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Fight Club; High Fidelity; Groundhog Day; The Matrix.

Crap.

Well, I know I have plenty of material. I look forward to looking back on all these movies. It’s a good way to keep me writing until Summer of Horror 2014 begins on I Remember Halloween.

Coming soon.