Monday, December 28, 2009

The Ten Best Films of the Geek Decade

I'm calling it right now: In terms of film, the aughts (or 00's) were most definitely the Geek Decade of cinema.

Inspired by the 1999 release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, a truly boring movie that managed to pull significant dollars due to its geek demographic potential, studios began to consider other ways to harness the box-office pull of fanboys. The logic was sound. Online film sources like Aint-It-Cool-News, Dark Horizons, and JoBlo did an excellent job of whipping audiences into a frenzy while more and more print critics found themselves out of a job. And when a studio played a film like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you suddenly had people hanging out in the parking lots dressed as characters from the movie, transforming it from a movie into an event, free of charge.

More importantly, filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan, and Sam Raimi fought to test the Geeks' loyalty if the films being made for them were actually good.

This meant that while 90's geek films like Batman and Robin and Mystery Men were total abortions, their 00's counterparts like Spider-Man 2 The Dark Knight made for some of the most memorable moments inside a movie theater. Meanwhile, "legitimate" dramas and indie films like 90's best of decade contenders American Beauty, Boogie Nights, and The English Patient languished over the last ten years. Partially because the print critics that would have supported them in local papers had been laid off, and also because of the studios' misguided notion that people over 35 have no interest in seeing movies.

So without further adieu, here are my top ten (or 14) movies of the decade. Not all of the movies here are "geek" films by any means, but they are the best films I've seen in the last ten years.

1) City of God


The true story of a photographer as a young man woven seamlessly into the history of the violent town where he grew up, City of God is fantastic storytelling on both an intimate and grand scale. Fernando Meirelles and his under-credited co-director Kátia Lund commanded amazing performances from a cast of child actors, many of whom were members of gangs like the ones presented in the movie. And while all of the films on this list are great, memorable cinematic experiences, none were quite as influential. The editing, handheld photography and color palette used in many of this film’s scenes have later reappeared in other movies trying to borrow part of the movie’s intensity, including The Bourne Supremacy and Quantum of Solace for starters.

When Danny Boyle won the Oscar last year for delivering a tidy, Walt Disney riff on City of God via the inferior Slumdog Millionare, the only part of me that wasn’t indignant knew it was merely latent praise for what was truly one of the best movies ever made.

2) The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)


To this day, I am still baffled as to how Kiwi director Peter Jackson - who was infamous for making z-grade schlock horror flicks - was able to convince a studio to risk its entire bottom line on a three-part epic fantasy trilogy. But the gamble paid off in spades – not only at the box-office, but with the overall quality of the films as well. What Jackson and his devoted team of writers, actors, crewmembers and technicians did was essentially craft a nine-hour ode to the importance of friendship that was punctuated by epic battles. Speaking of which, between Gladiator and Avatar, there were many filmed epic battles this decade, but none were more thrilling or operatic than the Battle of Helm’s Deep from The Two Towers, my favorite movie in the trilogy.

3) Lady Vengeance (aka Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)


Park Chan-Wook was my auteur discovery of the decade, and while many of my friends and colleagues favored Oldboy above the rest of the director’s films, this one gets my vote. The beautiful Yeong-ae Lee plays Geum-ja Lee, a woman wronged in worse ways than even Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill. Of course, Lee seeks revenge – albeit in one of the most cold and calculated ways portrayed on-screen - but in a twist that echoes the other two parts of Park’s revenge trilogy (including Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), comeuppance does not lead to the satisfaction or resolution frequently portrayed in movies. Beautifully filmed, this is a twisted story that shows heart in rather strange and unique ways.

4) The Royal Tenenbaums


The final installment of Wes Anderson’s youth cycle of live-action cartoons, this movie marks the one and only time in the filmmaker’s career when a movie he made was a box-office smash. And while it’s a shame his other films couldn’t net the same love, this broken family dramedy scores heaps of laughs via the most subtle of punchlines. Before “Tenenbaums” I never saw a movie make an audience chuckle at the mere sight of a bizarre painting (i.e., masked marauders on three-wheelers). Nor did I ever see one of Anderson’s characters achieve more redemption than Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman), a displaced patriarch who must finally atone for the selfish and philandering ways of his past.

5) The Dark Knight


It took both of Bryan Singer’s X-Men films, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 as well as director Chris Nolan’s first stab at Batman in Batman Begins to get us here, but The Dark Knight is the first comic book film to transcend its source material and become a great piece of cinema. Lifting the compressed narrative style of comic book panels, this intricate, fiercely-edited thriller finds Batman as a hero that can’t win for losing. Vicious dogs – a motif throughout the film – chase him relentlessly; the love of his life dies horribly; and the methods he uses to fight crime appear worthless in the face of the Joker (Heath Ledger), a new villain that doesn’t believe in rules. There’s irony in the fact that one of the film’s Joker-inspired taglines was “Why so serious?” since the movie was nothing if not serious itself.

6) Kill Bill (vol. 1 & 2)


Quentin Tarantino is the great rap artist of cinema. Like all rappers, he finds discarded sources of media that most people find irrelevant – in this case, samurai and kung-fu movies from Asia – spins them together into a new beat and adds great lyrics (or dialogue) to create a song that everybody loves. So it only makes sense that Tarantino would collaborate with actual rapper and Wu-Tang member the RZA to craft this feminist manifesto of violent, bloody revenge starring Uma Thurman, who is by far the action hero of the decade. Let’s just hope that unlike other action heroes like John McClaine and John Rambo, she manages to dodge crappy sequels.

7) Amélie


Starring in a movie that’s genuinely sweet and warm as a fresh-baked cookie, cinema has given few protagonists more adorable than Audrey Tautou’s Amélie Poulain, a young woman who seeks to change the loneliness in her life by being kind to strangers. Some critics have regarded Amelie as a maladjusted sociopath, and to an extent, they could be right. But when the norm in life is to isolate people via boundaries and circumstance, can anyone really blame her?

8) Brokeback Mountain


In 2005, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the greatest film released in the previous year a nomination for Best Picture. They then took that award and gave it to the grossly undeserving Crash. More than just ‘that gay cowboy movie’ scores of hack comedians mocked it for being years after its release, Brokeback Mountain is a film about the perils of living a lie, and the many casualties incurred from making that choice. My colleague Mike Compton was spot on when he criticized that while Heath Ledger got the most accolades of his career for playing the Joker, his best role was in this film as the repressed Ennis Del Mar. When society praises murdering psychopaths over gay men, it’s no wonder Ennis kept his true feelings secret.

9) Children of Men and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (tie)



I placed both of these films in a slot together because they accomplish the same goal perfectly: they take what are essentially science fiction stories and ground them in a realistic, contemporary setting. So many sci-fi movies strive to imagine a future more advanced and different than our own. But now that we’re living nine years after the date in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, it was refreshing to see directors Alfonso Cuarón (Children) and Michel Gondry (Eternal) realize that while we don’t have flying cars or cyborg cops patrolling the streets, the time we’re living in now is the future most people dreamed of decades ago. The tones and overall plots from both of these movies could not be more different, but if you ever watch these films back to back, I promise you’ll agree that these are the finest examples of the type of sci-fi movies the geek decade created for movie audiences.

10) Me You and Everyone We Know


With her quirky masterpiece of low-fi cinema, first-time filmmaker Miranda July bested an entire wave of digital filmmakers like Lars von Trier by proving that just because you shot your movie with digital cameras doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. This film is about personal connections, and how difficult it is to achieve them at a time when people are constantly separated by formalities, technology, divorce, business and dying. ))<>(( forever, indeed.

Honorable Mentions:

Roman Polanski's The Pianist is yet another reason why we must consider the merits of art and the artist separately; The Orphanage scared me senseless while warming my heart, all at the same time; Friday Night Lights is the best sports movie ever made, this coming from a guy who typically hates sports movies; Spider-Man 2 was the best comic book movie ever until The Dark Knight came out; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is by far the best of the series; Up in the Air was my favorite of 2009, but has yet to stand the test of time; Donnie Darko is an immortal mind-bender of a flick, though stay away from that awful director's cut; "Superbad" was great; so was everything by those brilliant folks at Pixar (sans the still decent Cars); and May is one of the most hilarious and disturbing American movies ever made.

Worst Movies of the Decade:

1) Running with Scissors was the worst of the Wes Anderson knock-offs; 2) Star Wars: Attack of the Clones was officially where I abandoned all hope for the franchise; 3) Spider-Man 3 proves one can make a great movie followed by a very, very bad one; 4) Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen was long, dumb and racist; 5) Those '[BLANK] Movie' parodies might have cost nothing to make, but they were worth even less.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: "Sherlock Holmes" (2009)


Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” is that rare piece of forgettable mediocrity not content with leaving the audience to guess how it could've been a better film. Instead, the movie chooses to one-up us by showing how it could be better in the first half.

As played by Robert Downey, Jr., the Holmes in this film is an uncouth and scruffier detective than the ones we’ve seen in previous adaptations. Some might complain he no longer wears that ridiculous deerstalker hat or the fact that he never says, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” That said, opening scenes are quite steeped in what really made Sherlock Holmes such a fascinating character – his uncanny sense of deductive reasoning.

Hot on the trail of a murderous cult leader named Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), he spots some hired muscle guarding a corridor. Then in an inventive sequence, we hear Holmes’ inner monologue as he sizes up the goon’s various weaknesses based on the way he walks. Meanwhile, Ritchie’s ever-anxious camera gives a slowmo, telegraphed demonstration of how the fight will actually go down, followed by a sped-up version wherein Sherlock bests his foe with almost phantom speed and accuracy. A similar moment takes place later on during a hilarious boxing match, but then this approach is abandoned for the rest of the film. This is a real shame, as it was a lot more fun to watch than the mindless fisticuffs that punctuate the latter two-thirds like exclamation marks in used car lot ads.

We get another great moment after Lord Blackwood is apprehended wherein Dr. Watson – played by Jude Law who walks away with the entire show – coaxes Holmes to leave his cluttered office for a change and meet him at a restaurant. Holmes obliges, arriving at the restaurant early only to lose his mind paying attention to the tiny physical details and tics he could use to identify every single person in the room. Again, this moment was a solid inclusion for a movie attempting to reinvent Sherlock Holmes for the Mountain Dew generation. If the good detective must become a scruffy action hero, at least let him be a thinking man’s scruffy action hero.

But then the movie ditches the point of view that powered the first act in favor of slap-happy double and triple crosses that make little sense in terms of both the characters and story, and worst of all, the film loses sight of Holmes. Oh, we still see him all right, but we’re no longer inside his head as he investigates a mystery that points to Blackwood returning from the grave after being executed for his crimes and attempting to put his pagan cult in control over London. And when it comes to movie villains, Blackwood is more of the dumb James Bond variety. He might be brilliant enough to invent the first remote control biological weapon, but he bungles important details like loading his bombs with enough explosives to kill his enemies when they detonate them.

According to the opening credits, “Sherlock Holmes” was scripted by three screenwriters – Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg – and while this is not unusual for a studio blockbuster, my hope is that the producers will realize which ones were responsible for the movie’s best parts (i.e. the beginning) and rehire them alone to pen the inevitable sequel.

The only praise I could give the trio of writers collectively for their Frankenscript is that they had the smarts not to make Sherlock’s foes capable of actual magic. I spent much of the film dreading that this is what they were going to do. And while you can deprive the detective his hat and oft-quoted line, if you remove the logic as well, you might as well call it something else.

(** & 1/2 out of 4)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 9 of 10)


2) The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
The very definition of a close second, The Hurt Locker might be the first movie about our current wars in the Middle East to present an American soldier as a genuine hero. Ducking the politics behind the conflict altogether, screenwriter Mark Boal gives us U.S. Army Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), a soldier who must serve his country by disarming IED’s. James might suffer from a severe case of risk addiction, but regardless of what you might think about the war, his courage and nobility under fire are above reproach. On DVD and Blu Ray on January 12.

'Up in the Air': The film both of and about 2009


Whenever I think of America circa 1969, I will remember the film Easy Rider, which was made in the same year.

This might seem absurd since I wasn’t born until 11 years after the fact, but the film demands a knowledge about the year it was made in order to be appreciated and understood. Strip away the historical context of an America that was undergoing a cultural revolution at the time - one which the two main characters were clearly fighting for by cycling across the country with their long hair waving in the wind like organic flags of rebellion - then Easy Rider becomes the movie a lot of uninformed young people see today: A couple of dudes riding motorcycles and taking drugs. And because it’s no longer a big deal for men to have long hair and dodge gainful employment by engaging in various recreational activities and pharmaceuticals, a lot of people my age think the film is no big deal as well.

Forty years later, I now believe that if I ever think about our country during 2009, the one film I will remember is Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air.

2009 was a year in which millions of Americans were laid off from their jobs. And they were most likely laid off by people like Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a professional hatchet man that companies hire to lay off their employees because they are too cowardly – or culpable – to do it themselves. And while his job certainly puts him at odds with the freedom loving hippies in “Easy Rider,” these characters share one thing in common: They find their home in a perpetual state of transience. For the “Easy Rider” characters Captain America and Billy (Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), their home is the road, a place where they find kinship, hope, love and ultimately death; Bingham, on the other hand, makes his home in the skies, where one could argue he finds all four of these things as well.

Where Bingham and the two Easy Riders differ is that Bingham’s life is far more complex. The drama witnessed by a professional hatchet man is considerable. In the span of the film, Bingham is accused of being various types of evil; he’s blamed for the possibility that an axed employee might no longer be able to afford his daughter's asthma medicine; and in one instance, a recently laid off worker threatens to commit suicide. To give viewers a real sense of what Bingham would have to endure each day, Rietman makes ingenious use of interviews with real Americans who were recently fired from their jobs.

Coping with this stress would be a challenge for anyone, but Bingham deals with it as best he can. First, by actually being great at what he does. After firing employees, Bingham recites a series of pre-prepared lines to help ease what will be a very difficult transition in these people’s lives. What’s more, it seems like he actually believes them. For example, the exchange between Bingham and a father of two played by J.K. Simmons actually ends with Simmons’ character potentially inspired and on the verge of a new direction in his life. Second, Bingham has made a philosophy out of avoiding personal entanglements. This includes relationships with his immediate family, a fact which renders him as merely a guest at his own sister’s wedding. Not missing anyone in his life allows him to travel more freely because of his job, and while his sister accuses him of being a lonely man via cellphone call, he looks around a crowded airport and says “I’m not alone, I’m surrounded!”

Bingham even created a self-help lecture out of his no-baggage philosophy, which he preaches during seminars around the country, a fact which only adds to the certainty he carries about this worldview. This certainty will later be challenged, however, by two women: Alex (Vera Farmiga), a fellow traveler who strikes up a casual sexual relationship with Bingham; and Natalie (Anna Kendrick), a young protégé at his company who has developed a way for Bingham and his co-workers to fire people from around the country via the internet. In a way, one might view both Alex and Natalie as essentially the same woman – just at two different points in her life. Alex is extremely worldly, and perhaps more like Bingham than even he is. Meanwhile the somewhat naive Natalie views life as a series of checkpoints, and will likely see the world just as Natalie does if her life stays in its current direction.

As Bingham falls for Natalie and both teaches and learns from Alex, the certainty he used to navigate his sometimes-volatile existence starts to crack. And after an episode where he helps his sisters solve a family crisis, this stone cold cynic realizes he has a softer side at a time when it might be too late. There is also a surprise in the third act that I refuse to spoil. But I will say it reinforces Rietman’s knack for changing the way we view his characters in the span of a brief scene.

The death Bingham finds at the end of the film is not physical like Captain America and Billy’s at the end of Easy Rider so much as it is a spiritual one. He keeps and achieves everything he wants in the movie’s first act, but the suave certainty he used to pursue these ends is shattered. The sole remaining comfort is travel, but like Bingham’s former life philosophy, this is impersonal as well. When the bikers sawed up and down the country in Easy Rider, it looked vast, wild and untamable. From Bingham’s perspective forty years later, the same terrain is much smaller and chopped up into geometric grids.

So if new audiences today have a problem understanding Easy Rider, will the same happen to Up in the Air? If this means that like men with long hair, mass unemployment won't be an issue in 40 years, I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

[PODCAST] Critical Mass 2009


Which films, scores, and soundtracks were the best of 2009? On this week’s episode of The Movie Show, Joe and Mike invite Yes!Weekly’s Glen Baity for his final ride as a professional film critic as they count down the many high and low points of the year.

Stream it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 8 of 10)


3) Goodbye Solo (Roadside Attractions, dir. Ramin Bahrani)

Set in Winston-Salem, filmmaker Ramin Bahrani shares a part of his home region with the world that outsiders probably never knew existed – namely our burgeoning population of immigrants and refugees. Depressed and suicidal, the American-born William (Red West) is a man alone. Meanwhile, his West African cab driver Solo (Souleymane Sy Savane) radiates with the connections he shares with a community of expatriates who chase modest dreams while doing menial labor. Complications arise between William and Solo, but it was refreshing to see in a movie set in the South that race or nationality weren’t one of them. Available on DVD.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 7 of 10)


4) “Observe and Report” (Warner Bros., dir. Jody Hill)
Because it was a movie about a mall security guard, this film got lost in the Paul Blart shuffle. A shame since writer-director - and UNCSA filmmaking grad – Jody Hill has transformed himself into the reining master dark comedies. I dare anyone to watch the hilariously bent finale of this film and not erupt with laughter. It’s impossible, I say. On DVD and Blu Ray.

Best of 2009 (Part 6 of 10)


5) “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” (VH1 Classic, dir. Sacha Gervasi)
Mocking a duo of has-been heavy metal rockers from the 80’s would have been easy game for any documentarian, but it’s clear that director Sacha Gervasi holds the sometimes goofy members of Anvil in high esteem. More than just a real life Spinal Tap, Anvil is a hilarious love letter to anyone who’s made sacrifices to pursue their dreams long after they probably should have given up. On DVD and Blu Ray.

'Avatar' review


With Avatar, James Cameron does for 3-D filmmaking what Vincent Van Gogh did for painting.

Like Van Gogh’s canvases, which were layered with thick strokes of paint, Cameron uses technology to enhance the texture of his film as well as contribute both perspective and depth to his fantastic, colorful universe. The result is that instead of numbing audiences to 3-D’s potential with poke-you-in-the-eye amusement park thrills like Robert Zemeckis, Cameron brings viewers closer inside the alien world explored by the characters in his film.

And what a world it is. It might take the human characters in the film six years to get there via spacecraft, but Pandora definitely seems worth the trip. It’s a lush planet with reduced gravity, glowing plants and a cluster of mountains and waterfalls that float in the air. Below the surface, there is also a highly coveted fossil fuel called unobtainium, which the humans are there to retrieve for their home world. Problem is the largest deposit of this precious mineral is located underneath the gigantic tree home of the Na’vi, a powerful humanoid race with blue skin.

To help harvest this cache of fuel, the humans employ Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic former marine who must wire his consciousness inside the body of a biologically engineered Na’vi decoy and learn what he can about the natives so they can be overthrown.

Of course there’s no way for this scenario to play out except for Sully to pal up with the Na’vi, who are noble savages just as Native Americans were in Dances With Wolves or the feudal Japanese in The Last Samurai, before engaging his own people in an epic final battle. But again, these broad, very simplistic strokes are yet another reason that Cameron is like Van Gogh, who seldom delved into intricate details when painting the cityscapes and countryside of France. To expect so much detail is to miss the point. And one need only look at the needless complexities of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequels to realize Cameron made a wise choice to keep things simple while juggling the considerable nuts and bolts of this bold technological experiment.

There is also the matter of the film’s alien characters and creatures that were created with the most photo-real CGI I have ever seen. Unlike the supposedly photo-real characters in “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” that looked like lazy-eyed patients from a burn ward, the Na’vi are wholly sympathetic and able to convey the most subtle of emotions. I’m not so sure I will want to see Avatar again on home video (at least in 2-D), but I will probably buy the Blu-Ray just to learn how these characters were made.

Perhaps the only question I am still grappling with today is whether Avatar is primarily an accomplishment of art or science. My opinion currently veers towards the latter, but I’ll need to see the film at least one more time to be sure. That said, there are moments when Cameron does such a good job of using his technology to evoke emotional responses that both the art and science of his film could be intertwined.

Avatar might be more of a first step for digital filmmaking than one of its great destinations, but based on everything Cameron shows us with this film, I cannot wait to see where we’re going next.

*** & 1/2 (out of four)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 5 of 10)


6) “Treeless Mountain” (Oscilloscope Pictures, dir. So Yong Kim)
There was not a more touching story this year than “Treeless Mountain,” which follows two young sisters from South Korea (Hee-yeon Kim and Song-hee Kim) as they navigate the scattered shards of their broken family. After a harrowing stint with their drunken auntie, they eventually find solace at their grandparents’ house in the country. But as industrialization creeps along the borders, director So Yong Kim shows that even this joy might be temporary. On DVD.

Best of 2009 (Part 4 of 10)


7) “Star Trek” (Paramount, dir. J.J. Abrams)
A remake and a sequel rolled into one, this time-twisting space opera was the king of the summer’s popcorn munchers. The characters pop off the screen, especially Spock who is played by Zachary Quinto. My one and only regret is that we'll have to wait at least a couple of years for the next film in the series. On DVD and Blu Ray.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 3 of 10)


8) “The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Pictures, dir. Oren Moverman)

One could view this as a cross between The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air as Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson play two U.S. soldiers who must inform the families of slain troops that their sons, husbands or fathers died while fighting in the Middle East. Hopefully, this film will turn into a breakthrough for Foster, who has been one of the most underappreciated – and thus underutilized – talented actors in Hollywood for quite some time.

Here's the trailer:

Awesome 'Iron Man 2' trailer is live!


While I thought the official Iron Man 2 poster reminded me of the one Sony made for Spider-Man 3, the new trailer, which hit the net today is awesome:

You can actually see a better version of the trailer here.

The concept of a villain who thinks Tony Stark/Iron Man must still pay for the atrocities which took place before he became a hero is a good one. And Rourke's Russian accent isn't half-bad either.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 2 of 10)


9) Bronson (Magnolia Pictures, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

Just as the gritty, foreign crime dramas Romper Stomper and Chopper introduced us to future leading actors Russell Crowe and Eric Bana, Bronson does the same for UK native Tom Hardy. A 90-minute character study based on England’s most famous and incorrigible inmate Michael Gordon Peterson (a.k.a. Charles Bronson), Hardy’s riveting and frequently unclothed performance transforms what could have been an exercise in soulless filmed violence into genuine art.

[PODCAST] "Up in the Air"


On this week’s episode of The Movie Show, Joe and Mike review two of the year’s best films, share a couple of stories about Mel Gibson, and engage in a late but lengthy debate on Roman Polanski. There’s also a discussion of this year’s Golden Globe nominees.

Note that this is the last regular episode of The Movie Show in 2009.

Soundtrack Selections:

“R2D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by Brian Dewan (Cover) from The Star Wars Christmas Album;
“Goin’ Home” by Dan Auerback from Up in the Air;
“Today” by Jefferson Airplane from A Serious Man.

Stream it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best of 2009 (Part 1 of 10)

Counting down to our Critical Mass End of the Year special wherein five movie critics from North Carolina share their top five movie choices of the year, I thought it would be nice to reveal one of my ten favorite movies of 2009 one day at a time.

The crazy part about my list this year is that more than half the films on my list this year are already available on DVD. So rather than wait for them to come out in theaters, you can hit up Netflix, Blockbuster, or a RedBox inside a local grocery store and see most of these films whenever you like.


10) World’s Greatest Dad (Magnolia Pictures, dir. Bobcat Goldthwait) – In the same year that Robin Williams’ career sunk to new lows with “Old Dogs,” the same actor rises to the occasion of his first good movie since “One Hour Photo.” This dark comedy is loaded with surprises, so without giving too much away, I’ll just say it’s the a suitable response to the ghoulish cash grab that was Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Here's the trailer:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009



As the Movie Show guys prepare to celebrate the holidays with a screening of Gremlins at the Carousel, Joe dispatches reviews of the films Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Blind Side.

Then Mike delivers some major stories on the news front including a significant casting announcement for “The Avengers,” the planned remake of a remake from four years ago, and why Bourne 4 might not make it to theaters as planned.

Soundtrack selections include:

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" by Darlene Love from Gremlins;
"Let Her Dance" by Bobby Fuller Four from Fantastic Mr. Fox;
"Hearing Damage" by Thom Yorke from The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Stream it!