Hey there – I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Tim, and I’m one of the writers here at Movie Fail. Since the site is brand spankin’ new, we thought that for our first posts we’d create a list of our favorite movies so that you could get to know us a little bit better. Listed below are a few of my favorites:
10. Sin Nombre
Usually when a western director goes into a 3rd world country to make a film about their plight, we end up with a critically acclaimed crap-pile of a movie that somehow manages to win an Oscar for best picture. Yes, I’m talking about you Danny Boyle! Yeah, the Brits withdrew from India ages ago, yet somehow they’re still exploiting the region. But while Slumdog plays out as a feel-good glorification of life in poverty, Swedish director Cary Fukunaga’s does the opposite in his directorial debut, Sin Nombre, a story about two Honduran teenagers making the perilous journey to the U.S. This film will undoubtedly move you, and is powerful enough to cause one to challenge their own beliefs about immigration. I could not recommend this movie more.
9. The Departed
I’ve probably watched this foul-mouthed gangster drama a dozen times over the past few years, but you know what? It never gets old… ever. Each time I watch it I discover something new. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but I appreciate the little things like how there’s an X in each frame where someone dies. Oh, and of course it’s also a frigging awesome movie. Great performances from the all-star cast, and Mark Wahlberg is hilarious.
8. American Beauty
Who knew that a movie about suburban malaise could be so amazing. By the time I finished my first viewing of American Beauty, I had so many emotions running through my body that I thought I’d lost my virginity. Actually, I did lose my virginity that night because Sam Mendes totally f***ed my mind. Of all the films in this list, this is my personal favorite. Not because it’s the best movie that I’ve ever seen (although it might be), but because it was the first truly great film that I’d watched. Also, Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning’s performances are incredible.
7. The Incredibles
Did I mention that I love Brad Bird? Everything the man touches turns to awesome. From his work at The Simpsons and Pixar, all the way up to his live action debut with Mission Impossible 4. He’s definitely one of the most talented persons in Hollywood, and the crown jewel of his brilliance is The Incredibles. A hilarious animated film about aging superheroes adjusting to family life. Despite the fact that it’s a ‘family’ movie, The Incredibles is packed to the brim with death, violence, and plenty of subtle adult humor. And you know what, Brad Bird got away with it because he’s the man.
6. Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb
Stanley Kubrick provides us with a fine example of satire done right. But what amazes me most about Dr. Strangelove is how relevant it remains nearly a half century later. Peter Sellers’ performance is also quite spectacular, playing three separate characters in this film so deftly that the viewer doesn’t even think twice about it – Adam Sandler, please take note.
5. Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
I have a huge soft spot for movies where I have to read the subtitles. Maybe if the Slumdog characters spoke their native language instead of English, I wouldn’t gripe about it so much… but I digress. For me, watching a film in a language that I don’t understand allows me to connect directly with the emotions that the characters are feeling, in addition to making the movie seem more authentic. Subtly suspenseful, Das Leben is all about complex emotions in the DDR.
4. Superman Returns
Bryan Singer’s Superman is the most recent and most surprising addition to my favorites. When I first watched this movie, I left the theater feeling empty and cheated. It wasn’t until I re-watched it 6 years later that I realized how incredibly brilliant/beautiful Superman Returns really is. Singer’s Superman was a victim of awful timing in my opinion. Had it been released a year earlier, prior to Batman Begins, I suspect audience response would be different. Nolan’s brilliant take on Gotham’s anti-hero has re-defined our expectations of what a great superhero should be: dark, brooding and aggressive. These are three traits that Superman does not embody, and for this reason audiences did not respond well. Now that some time has passed since the original release, I challenge you to re-watch Superman Returns – except this time, pretend that you’re not watching a superhero movie, but a movie about a guy named Clark Kent. Tell me what you think.
3. The Lion King
It’s a generational thing, you young’uns probably wouldn’t understand. By the way, did you know that just about every Disney movie has something to do with princes or princesses or kings, and that all the main characters are bastard children? Well, now you do. Fun fact of the day.
2. Casino Royale
I don’t care that Bond purists think Daniel Craig isn’t ‘Bond-like’. All I know is that Casino Royale was one of the best action movies that I’ve ever seen. It’s a shame that Quantum of Solace killed the good momentum. But all is not lost, as my boy Sam Mendes is directing the next installment, due out later this year.
There are a few things that I love in this world: Kylie Minogue, small dimples just above a woman’s buttocks, and the fear in a man’s eye who knows that I’m about to hurt him. And oh, Sam Mendes and James Bond… almost forgot about those two. I know I’m going out on a limb here since Skyfall isn’t even done filming yet, but I’m confident that it will be some kind of epic.
Speaking of, EON has released the first promo photo for Skyfall (above) which gives us no insight whatsoever, other than some vague ideas about what production design may or may not be like for the film.
Shout outs to The Lord of the Rings, Little Miss Sunshine, American Psycho, and The Boondock Saints. You all just narrowly missed the cut.