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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Video Game Movies Suck

It’s a bad sign when the #1 movie on your top 100 list of video game adaptations isn’t even a good movie. Just take the top 10 and rename it “least bad video game adaptations” or something…

Now I understand why Roger Ebert hates video games so much–if my only exposure to video games was these movies I’d be dissing them too.

1999: A Great Year For American Movies

Today I was once again reminded of what a great year 1999 was for American movies; apparently they’re releasing a 10th anniversary DVD of “Fight Club” soon. It’s funny considering that the original 2 disc “collectors edition” released way back in 2000 was one of the original groundbreaking DVD releases with fantastic extras and packaging, but movie studios never seem to get tired of bilking the DVD buying public.

In any case, let’s revisit some of the movies of 1999, shall we?

Fight Club

I actually ended seeing Fight Club by myself in a second-run theater soon after I moved out to California. I had heard a lot about it and I wanted to see it on the big screen before it was gone. At the time I didn’t quite know what to make of it–my first reaction was that it was so damn funny in a pitch black kind of way. I didn’t get around to even recommending it though until some time afterwards. Now I think of it as a modern classic, and I’m so glad it got made when it did. Definitely a product of its time too–the heyday of the go-go 90s. Not too sure about that ending, but it’s a damn sight better than the ending from the book(this is one of the few movies I’d say that was better than the book).

Being John Malkovich

And they say there are no more original script ideas! Funny and unpredictable.

Three Kings

This could have been really pedestrian(I went into it thinking it would be “Kelly’s Heroes” revisited), but there’s a lot going on here. Entertaining and thoughtful.

Magnolia

Some kind of crazy masterpiece. The stories being told are somewhat melodramatic, but everyone’s swinging for the fences. No bad scenes and tons of good scenes.

The Matrix

Certainly a modern classic; it started out as kind of a sleeper but turned into the kind of event film that Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace wanted to be. I avoided it at first thinking it was some Johnny Mnemonic crap, but as word got out I caught it eventually.

American Beauty

Indie film made good.

Blair Witch Project

Speaking of indie film, this one really put low budget filmmaking and viral marketing back on the map.

Election

Smart and funny(I guess I like funny movies, eh?); may be Alexander Payne’s best.

Eyes Wide Shut

Kubrick’s last movie, criminally underrated.

Office Space

Not a perfect film by any means, but certainly a modern classic–required viewing for every modern office worker!

Sixth Sense

The movie that made M. Night Shyamalan. Some would say it’s also his last good movie(I wouldn’t go quite that far).

I have to mention Pleasantville even though that technically came out in late 98 because it’s so damn awesome. So there.

Greatest Hits of Siskel & Ebert

I was a big fan of Siskel & Ebert’s television reviews, all the way from Sneak Previews to Siskel & Ebert At The Movies.  After Siskel passed away, I still enjoyed watching Ebert & Roeper too(even without Ebert).  However I gave up on the show after they changed the format;  Ben Lyons is such a media whore that he’s unwatchable.

Apparently I’m not the only one who’s tuned out–the ratings have tanked.  As a result, starting on Labor Day they’re reverting the format and bringing in two of the best guest critics they ever had:  A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips:

In celebration of what I hope is the return of Siskel & Ebert’s classic brand of television film criticism, please to enjoy some of their most entertaining reviews(to me anyway), in semi-random order:

TWO THUMBS DOWN

TWO THUMBS UP

SPLIT DECISION