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


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