Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Sickness Cinema Summer in Review Part II

The Bataan death march of summer listing (this was a horrible HORRIBLE idea and I regret doing it) continues again. I'm envious of Peter (and to a lesser extent Rob) and his free form listing. Oh well, here I go.

Favorite scene that made me laugh
Phillip Petit explains the benefits of having crutches in America in Man on Wire. Have you seen this yet? You really, REALLY should.

Wall-E finds a spork and doesn't know where to put it. Pefect.

Danny McBride makes mother nature wet her pantsuit.

Favorite scenes that got me tingly
Juan Antonio propositions Cristina (and to a lesser extent Vicky). I don't often give it up for ScarJo but she looks sooooo into it. The much ballyhooed about three-way can't possibly measure up to her anticipation.

The dance-off in Get Smart. Yeah. That's right. I gotta be me. You all know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Favorite older actors I appreciate again from the summer
Tom Cruise goes for broke in what critics are calling "Jew-face." Sickness laughs.

Ben Kingsely turned in two very solid performances in both the Wackness (where he plays a boho Harvey Kietel) and Elegy where he goes back to being good mid 80's Ben Kingsley.

Ummmm, I think that's it for that category, unless you count the 40 minute block of Indiana Jones where the movie is actually decent (hint: it's in the middle).

Favorite performance in an awful movie
Shia LaBeouff rocks it mightily in a terrible, terrible movie filled with ridiculous robot characters and loaded with sloppy CG. I'm shocked that I'm talking about a movie from this summer too.

Pierce Brosnan in Momma Mia when---nope, he's awful, AWFUL in this movie.

Alright I'm exhausted, tomorrow will mark the end of the work week. Join me as I burn off steam by talking about the worst of summer.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sickness Cinema Summer in Review Part I

First off I'd like to acknowledge the passing of the voice of movie trailers Don LaFontaine (aka "In a world..." guy). There have been many solid tributes all over the internet and I'm not going to endorse any one in particular, but if you check out MOST of the sites to the right you should find something. Oh what the heck, here's a quick one.

On to happier things. Now I don't want to out and out rank all the summer movies because for one, I didn't see ALL of them, and furthermore that's what the year in review is for. But here is a number of things I feel are worth mentioning before we head into the likely headier, more outre work of the fall and winter. So without further ado some Sickness Cinema approved favorites.

Favorite lovers of summer
Wall-E and EVE from Wall-E
At the end of the day it's all about kindness and what that kindness can inspire. Wall-E is for all intents and purposes a dork. He invites the girl back to his aprtment and shows her his dorky collecibles and makes her watch a "terrible" movie. He lays his soul bare for here nd she couldn't be less interested. But Wall-E is loyal, steadfast and caring and eventually it gets to her (I respectfully disagree with Devin's interpretation of Wall-E's inserting his hand into her arm slit as date-rape). She sees the world through considerate, awe-inspired eyes and from this spark (both literal and figurative) the foundation is laid for the redemption of all things both robo and human.

Saul and Dale from Pineapple Express
Poor Saul, he wants Dale so bad, though who can blame him. Dale appears confident, comfortable and cool in his entirely lackadaisical skin. Fine, I'll cop to my Rogen man-crush, but most stories about male-bonding just love stories writ macho. David Gordon Green captures the budding friendship with the same lazy afternoon elegance of past films like George Washington and All the Real Girls. It gets to the point where you can simply enjoy these two shooting the breeze in a diner for hours on end.

Favorite Super-Hero Characters that a ten year old Sickness would want to be
Hellboy from Hellboy II-The coolest hero with the best looking adventures and the coolest fight scenes of the summer. Plus Jeffrey Tambor would be my boss and I'd be crazy horny all the time (get it?).

Racer X from Speed Racer-Cool car, punches people upside down, fights ninjas (more like non-jas) and Rain... RAAAAAIIIIIIINNNNN! (shakes fist) Also good friends with the perfectly named Inspector Detector. May or may not be Speed's brother (who was once Jason Street).

Favorite Super-Hero Characters that the Sickness wants to be now
Tony Stark in Iron Man-Wry billionaire, socially acceptable drinker, notorious ladies man with a robot butler and a hot redheaded Gwenyth Paltrow. Also, I'd be Iron Man.

Comissioner Jim Gordon-I'd get to be the moral center of Gotham City and generate audience applause when I fake my own death only to triumphantly capture the Joker. Also I'd get to deliver the final kick-ass monologue that ties the whole movie together.

Favorite Movie Music of the Summer
"Put On your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes a Moment" in Wall-E
Remember "Singin' in the Rain" in Clockwork Orange or "Blue Velvet" in Blue Velvet? One of my favorite tricks a movie can pull-off is re-contextualizing a pop-song. Wall-E pulls it off twice with two rinky-dink book numbers from Hello Dolly! The numbers are entirely forgettable in the original film (or at least they were) but now director Andrew Stanton has underlined the unbridled enthusiasm of "Sunday" and the naive, pure love found in "Moment" and makes each song a gateway to deep, primal feelings. I mean, little (sniffle) Wall-E just (sniff) hold her-- Oh God I have something in my eye.

"Paper Planes" from the Pineapple Express trailer
Rarely does a song so perfectly capture the tone of a film that it makes it a shame that it doesn't show up in the actual film. The song has gone on to become so popular that recording artist M.I.A. is considering coming out of retirement to create more popular international style trip-hop.

Favorite Actor to watch from the summer
Josh Peck from The Wackness
Most young actors rest entirely on the script or their looks to get them through a part. Not Peck, who brings authenticity to every moment and brings the emotional weight where Ben Kingsley's more childish character cannot.

Danny McBride from Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder
Ok guys I give, I "get" Danny McBride now. He's more of a delusional alpha male type. The frat boy who is cannier than you'd think but not anywhere near as skilled as you'd hope. McBride's biggest laughs aren't generated from big moments but rather through seemingly tossed off tiny moments.

All right it's late and I need the sleep, but I'll be back with part two where you'll learn my:
Favorite scene that made me laugh

Favorite scenes that got me tingly

Favorite older actors I appreciate again from the summer

Favorite performance in an awful movie


Monday, September 1, 2008

Sickness Cinema Summer in Review Intro

Tomorrow school begins once again which will most certainly put a crimp in my daily blogging (it already has) and while this time I'll be in front of the class it's still a nerve wracking. I'm saddened by the end of summer but a bit mixed on the end of the summer season. Quieter, more thoughtful movies will slowly be marching into cinemas and I can't wait. So how about a little perspective on the summer? I'll be coming at you for the next several days with my favorites (and least favorites) of the summer. Enjoy as I work through super-heroes, Apatow-ian man-children, high-wire documentaries, animated lovers and all sorts of assorted brick-a-brack. In the meantime you should always be checking out the wonderful Peter and Rob make lists of things blog (easily my favorite blog on the entire inter-web) for topics as diverse as hobos, juice, closing tracks, fictional haircuts and micro-nations.