Tag Archives: Movies

Too Many Words About That Thing You Do!

“What is your favorite movie?” is a difficult question for me to answer. I watch so many that it’s hard to pick just one–it feels like a disservice to all the other great movies I’ve seen. Recently, this question came up and I provided my standard answer: Pulp Fiction. 

Admittedly, it’s a very safe pick, as it’s critically acclaimed but arty/violent enough that it’s not every person’s cup of tea. I really do love it, though. I love the non-linear story. I love the dialogue. I love the characters. I love the soundtrack. I even love the violence.

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.

But I started to think about that question and subsequently found myself in a sort of existential dilemma (if one can have an existential dilemma about pop culture). What if Pulp Fiction isn’t my favorite movie?

I started to think about the movies I could watch any time, the movies I have to finish if they’re on TV, the movies I physically and emotionally respond to. When I narrowed down the list, I confirmed my suspicion: Pulp Fiction is not my favorite movie. After much thought, because I’m the type of sociopath that will put “much thought” into which movie he likes the best, I think my favorite movie is That Thing You Do! 

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5 Indie Movies to Watch

I watch a lot of movies. I’m pretty much indiscriminate in my consumption of film because I think it’s important to take in stories in whatever form they may come. Even bad movies can teach me what not to do when I finally write my brilliant screenplay (Ha!).

Inevitably, if you see a lot of movies and live in a town with a decent arts scene (or a university), someone will want to discuss independent films.

Generally, I think of people who go on and on about foreign or indie films as Kramer put it, “art house goons.” They seem unreasonably excited about reading subtitles and will offhandedly mention a film festival half as prestigious as Sundance, but much cooler because one-tenth of the people attended.

I’m not totally above discussing independent films, though. These are a few of my favorites.

5. Box Elder

Box Elder was written and directed by Todd Sklar and follows four friends as they attempt to graduate from the University of Missouri.

Everything about it is reminiscent of my college experience at Mizzou: the local references, the set pieces, the lifestyle and the uncertainty. One of the main characters, Rennie (Alex Rennie), is basically a facsimile of my former roommate Elliot.

It would be easy to chalk up its appeal to nostalgia, but it would also be a mistake. Sure, nostalgia plays a role, but its charm comes from realism and surprising wit.

Often studios market movies about the extended adolescence of high school and college toward guys like me, but every time I watch them I find myself wondering “What the hell was that? That’s not what college was like.”

But not Box Elder. Of course it has elements of those movies—wild parties and shenanigans—but it deals with the awful and messy parts of college such as stress, uncertainty and interpersonal relationships in an extremely earnest manner.

That’s what makes it great.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I wrote reviews for the last two Harry Potter films for my paper; however, I have yet to post the reviews for some reason. So here they are!

The seventh film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, is bittersweet for Potter fans. It’s been nearly a decade since the first Potter film was released, and while fans finally get to see Harry start to live up to his destiny, it also means the adventure is almost over.

Hallows is the darkest film in the series, but one of the best. Its setting and plot are larger in scope than any other film in the series, too. From the opening minutes, it’s apparent to the audience that there is something at stake for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), as well as the actors who play them. All are operating without safety nets this time. The magical trio don’t have the Hogwarts staff to save their skins, and Radcliffe, Grint and Watson must carry the bulk of the film; they can’t rely on a supporting cast that reads like a who’s who of British actors as they have in previous movies.

Pictured: Carrying the bulk of the film.

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Back To The Future Is Messed Up

Back To The Future is unequivocally awesome. Virtually everyone likes it, and any person that doesn’t is probably a jerk. But  have you actually sat down and thought about the events depicted in the movie? You probably haven’t because you’re not a pop culture fiend with too much time on his hands like me.

If you do, though, you come to some disturbing realizations.

Great Scot!

Apparently, Cracked has been monitoring my brainwaves because they posted a video about the insanity of Back To The Future last Monday. There’s a good chance you’ve already seen it, but, if not, here’s the link: http://www.cracked.com/video_18203_why-back-to-future-secretly-horrifying.html

They bring up some points I’ve discussed with other dorks, but I have a few thoughts that they didn’t mention. I’ll discuss both starting with Cracked’s observations.

The Ending

Marty wakes up in a bizarro world where his parents and siblings are hip, successful yuppies. However, George and Lorraine both had substantial relationships with Marty in the past. His mom even tried to seduce him. Twice. But she and George get married and have kids. One of which is an exact clone of some kid they went to high school with.

Once Marty got to high school and started looking like the Marty they both knew, wouldn’t that set off any alarms? Especially after they gave him the same name? I know, I Know, he said his name was Calvin Klein. But, he told people to call him Marty. Seriously, that wouldn’t weird you out? Wouldn’t that challenge your whole perception of reality?

But on to another weird part of the ending…

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Mystery Science Theater 3000

Tonight I watched Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie for the first time in a long time. I forgot how good it was. In honor of this classic, hilarious franchise, I made an MS Paint portrait of Tom Servo.

My take on Tom Servo.


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