Mystery Men (ExpDl Top 100)

“Right before I started the movie, I had this brilliant idea that I should be working on the write up throughout the whole thing. That way I wouldnt inevitably blank by the time I got to it. However, putting away laundry and dinnering got in the way so by the time I really sat down to watch it, the film was halfway over.

As promised, here’s another entry that’s likely to meet with some skepticism, though probably not as much as some of the others. Ive adored this movie since watching it in the theater one junior high summer. That year me and a couple so-called friends were in the habit of catching movies every Thursday night. This was one of ’em. I remember wanting to bad to be The Bowler for Halloween that year, except my uber Christian parents never let me do the whole Halloween thing.

As someone who loves superheroes (Superman’s my hero, for the record) I find this film brilliant. Add in the fact that I think of myself as an outsider, and it makes the characters all the more relatable. And they’re all so \m/ funny too. I still quite dialogue from this one.

The cast is \m/ phenomenal: William H Macy, Janeane Garofalo, Hank Azaria, Ben Stiller, Greg Kinnear, Paul Reubens, Kel Mitchell, Geoffrey Rush, Eddie Izzard. That list alone should sell you on watching this if you never have before!

Was debating whether or not I can squish in another. I tried to set a 2 movie limit on myself this time around since I know how my attention span gets. But I’d also intended to watch Pick of Destiny last night, so Im a bit behind. And I got NYC plans this week (Zachary Quinto in Angels in America on Wed!!) which means I wont get to another til the weekend. But the next film is 2 hours and change, and Id wanna start getting read for sleepy-bye in two hours. Therefore, Glee Karaoke Revolution it is!”

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (ExpDl Top 100)

“Before I get to discussing this questionable entry on my list, let me first say that I cannot tell you have \m/ happy I am that Chris Colfer won at the Golden Globes last night. My BFF and I were a bit late in turning the show on since we were playing Glee Karaoke Revolution, and managed to find the channel right as the presenters for the award took the stage. When Colfer was announced as the winner, we were screaming and jumping up and down like crazy people. Now, I often get excited about award shows, but I dont think anything has ever gotten a bigger reaction out of me than just a “”Woo hoo!”” and a fist pump. I just absolutely adore that kid and I couldnt possibly be any more thrilled for him.

But now for the task at hand. I realize that a lot of my entries in the very bottom of list of faves are likely to draw some criticism. This is yet another of those, and it wont be the last.

So why include Pick of Destiny? Because I think its \m/ brilliant, that’s why! Just like you had to be an old school Nickelodeon fan to get Good Burger, you hafta be a Tenacious D fan to get Pick of Destiny. My favorite thing about this film…its a \m/ rock musical! I think what’s so genius about the D is that they are really good musicians, they just choose a more comedic path and it works fantastically well. Jack Black can sing. (For years I’ve been scouring the internet for clips of him as King Herod in this one night only charity performance of JCS to no avail.) If you dont believe me, just try playing Master Exploder on Rock Band. Sidebar: I think its \m/ awesome that song is included in the game.

Another thing that makes this movie so much fun is the cameos in the cast: Dave Grohl, Meat Loaf, John C Reilly, Tim Robbins, Amy Adams, Amy Poehler, Ben Stiller, Dio.

Right, so enjoy your MLK holiday. I can promise there’ll be another objectionable entry coming at ya later today!”

Good Burger (ExpDl Top 100)

“I know this spot on my faves list is likely to cost me A LOT of street cred. Hear me out before you judge me (then judge away). This is here strictly for the nostalgia factor. I loved it as a kid. Had a group of friends in high school who loved it and would quote it to. Had another group of friends in college, same deal. I can quote this film forwards and backwards, and lines of dialogue often pop into my head, even if its been months or years since I’ve seen it.

One good thing about this list and knowing hte films so well is that I dont feel I missed out on anything if I fall asleep.

Now, there’s a few rules to follow if you’re going to see this movie (especially if you’ve never seen it before).
-You have to be part of the early 90’s Nickelodeon generation. If you’ve never seen a Good Burger sketch on All That, the whole thing will be lost on you and it will be a most painful experience.
-Watching this film under some sorta influence is usually a good thing.
-Most importantly, DO NOT EVER watch this movie before 2 AM. The later it is, the funnier you’ll find it.

I must admit that I broke those last two rules last night. That third one in particular is a killer. I swear this is a very tested theory. I’ve had 2 AM viewings in between 10 PM or midnight ones, and always found it hilarious after 2. Last night, as much as I love the film, it was kinda difficult to get thru.

I did consider removing the film from my list, but Im too attached to it to do so. Although I cant guarantee it will survive the next revision. Also, I feel that if I hadnt included it, then Dude Where’s My Car might’ve taken its spot. Personally, I much prefer Good Burger.

Now while I prolly should go into more specifics about why I love it, I dont think this is the type of situation where I can change your mind on any preconfigured opinions you may have. And frankly, I dont care to. You’re either part of the Nickelodeon club or you’re not.”

That Thing You Do (ExpDl Top 100)

“Why the \m/ does Angry Birds hafta be so goddam addicting? I haven’t even played today and my arms are still tense from holding up my cell for hours over the past week (or few weeks actually). Makes blogging painful.

Well here we are at the second film on the project. My 99th favorite–That Thing You Do. Im trying to remember the chronology of events that got me hooked on this movie. I think a friend got me hooked on the song. If Im not confusing things, in fifth grade we listened to the song on loop on the schoolbus en route to a field trip. (I distinctly remember listening to “”Dont Speak”” on loop with that friend too, but Im fairly sure we did the same with “”That Thing You Do””). Next, I think I bought the soundtrack. Then I rented the movie the next time I had a sleepover at my grandma’s house. I purchased it shortly thereafter.

I remember the trailer never really impressed me. I specifically remember that the suit joke was what stuck with me from it, and I didnt find it funny. Therefore, I just assumed I wouldnt find the movie funny. Yet another classic example of why I should not entirely judge a movie from its trailer.

I actually have the whole soundtrack on my ipod. I keep the majority of the tracks on the playlist Im typically shuffling. Dance With Me Tonight is very much a favorite. Besides the title track of course.

Im really not sure what I love most about this film: the music, the cast, or the script. We’ve discussed music. Lets move onto the cast.
Tom Everett Scott – He carries the film so brilliantly. Its a shame that he never quite worked his way up the Hollywood ladder from here. *Cue cheesey obvious comment* Just like they refer to Guy as being the backbone of the Wonders (being the drummer and all) Scott is certainly the backbone of the film. It wouldnt be half of what it is without him. And to think (acc to IMDB trivia) he almost wasnt cast because they thought he looked too much like Tom Hanks.
Tom Hanks – Speeeeaking of Hanks, such a subtle but strong performance. I knew he’d produced the film, but it somehow had slipped past me that he also wrote and directed it. My respect for him (which was quite bountiful to begin with) just increased by like a million. We’ll be seeing much more of him on this project.
Steve Zahn – Because of this movie, I am a big fan of Zahn. I tend to find that a lot of his other comedic work is too over the top, but he’s absolutely perfect here. Actually, what I’d recommend if you want to see some killer dramatic acting from him, check out Rescue Dawn. He was this close to an Academy Award nod, which I wanted so badly for him, but it was stiff competition that year. We really needed 10 nominees for supporting actor.
Ethan Embry – I dont know how long it took me to realize that it was him. Def a couple years. Years which included a hundred viewings of Cant Hardly Wait. You just sorta dont notice him at first, which was the joke with his character–a joke, like many in this film, that I didnt catch on to for a good while. C’mon I was ten when I first saw this.
Besides them, you’ve got Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Rita Wilson, and Collin Hanks (okay he’s there for 5 seconds in a non-speaking role). Such absolute gold.

Even without being able to realize the Beatles parallels without the help of IMDB, I think the script is genius. The characters are cleverly and carefully crafted. The dialogue is snappy. The premise is made so believable, that it really does make me wanna grab my guitar and go start a band. I hadn’t seen this in a few years, and as previously mentioned I was quite the young’un when I first discovered it, so there were so many new gags and such that I noticed (or understood) for the first time tonight. That’s an impressive feat for a film I’ve practically got memorized.

Actually, another note on the believability thing. Back in the day, I was actually convinced it was real. I think it was in the way that the “”where are they now”” epilogue thing before the credits was included, combined with the straightfoward report type of way that their history is given in the liner notes of the soundtrack. I was so sure, I even remember taking the soundtrack to my Daddy and showing him the tracklist asking which songs he recognized. Obviously, he only recognized the title track.

One last word of love. The 60’s have to be my favorite era, especially when the time period is depicted in such a bright and colorful way (think Hairspray). I feel this movie might be partly responsible for that. I mostly give the credit to the NBC mini-series The 60’s (which had Julia Stiles and Jerry O’Connell), but That Thing You Do might have had an early subconscious affect on me there.”

Revolutionary Road (ExpDl Top 100)

“I have been so stoked to get this project started all week. I came close to getting a jump on it earlier, but figured it’d be best to try and work thru my unwatched queue while I still had the chance. Then I realized that this is mystery hunt weekend at MIT, but figured I wasnt quite in the mood for it this year. I’d rather watch some of my all time favorite movies.

I’ve reworked my top 100 several times over the past few years. What I’ve noticed about the 100 spot is that I kinda approach it as a last chance slot on the list. I generally look at what has been pushed down past that point and decide which one most deserves to be included, even if it means I’m technically ranking it higher than another favorite. Although I dont think that was so much the case this time around. Well I suppose it was to some extent. I’d see Revolutionary Road at number 100 and decide “”Yes, I really do want this included””.

This is one I’ve written up before, back on my old LJ . You can go there if you want the general recap and thoughts. Entries on this project are gonna be more on the personal and antecdotal (sp?) side than critical reviews.

So now, why do I feel that this is one of my all time favorites? I just find it brilliant on so many fronts. I love a good, dark story and Revolutionary Road is so \m/ fulfilling in that aspect. The IMDB summary (“”A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates””) doesnt even begin to do it justice. Although I suppose there isnt really a way to quickly summarize and emphasize the intensity. I usually say that it follows a marriage that goes from bad to worse. I’ve seen it a few times and was still holding my breath thru the last fifteen minutes. The music throughout the whole thing is so hauntingly gorgeous. It only adds to the emotional whirlwind.

And of course, there’s the amazing amazing amazing cast. Let’s work our way up the list, shall we?
-Kathy Bates. I’ve adored her since Angus, and she adds such a classy charm to this film. She often reminds me of my mom, and here in particular its in her character’s need to keep up a socially acceptable appearance.
-Michael Shannon. Back when the Academy Award nominations for its year were announced, there was a lot of “”jigga wha?!”” when Shannon got the one acting nod for the film. But his character is so genius. I love that while he’s the certifiably crazy character, he truly is the voice of reason and the only one that is actually capable of thinking clearly. I just cant get past that irony. I would say that his two scenes are my favorites, but I think that the big April/Frank argument right after might win.
-Kate Winslet. Adore this woman. Although Im still somewhat miffed with how the Oscars played out. I really wanted her to get a Best Actress nomination for this film, and then Supporting for The Reader. Im thrilled she got her Oscar, but I’ll save the rest of that rant for another day. Her character, April, is incredibly complex, and the performance is so nuanced. It seems that the times when she’s got the most going on are the ones where she has to play more cool than ever. When she finally does get to let everything out, she’s just so commanding. I dont wanna spoil anything from the end, but she is the reason why I dropped everything and gave the film my total undivided for that last fifteen min.
-Leonardo Dicaprio. Love this boy so much. We’re actually gonna be seeing A LOT of him on this list. If my quick count just now was correct, he ties with Edward Norton for the most films on this list. Leo wins if you count The Departed which just missed the cut off on the list. I felt like he didnt get quite the love he deserved for this one. Granted, it was a tough year. Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke were the ones with all the glory at the big ceremonies. But this is one of his most firey and emotionally charged performances. I think if I keep going, Im just gonna rehash a lot of the same adjectives I’ve been using throughout the write up. And there’ll be plenty more opportunities to discuss Mr Amazing over the next few weeks/months.

I guess this recap isnt as antecdotal as Im expecting a lot of the write ups on this project are gonna be. While the majority of my picks are chosen because they have a big nostalgia factor, this is one that I selected almost solely on merit alone. I just think its that \m/ awesome of a film. My personal connection to it is simply that it floors me whenever I watch it”

ExpDl Top 100

“I’ve actually known for a while what project I wanted to tackle after finishing the AFI one a few months back. I’ve just been trying to get my unwatched movie queue down to a manageable amount, since I know a project will back it up like whoa. Starting this weekend, Im gonna go thru my personal top 100. Couple things to note about my list
-I need to have seen something at least 2 times for it to qualify for the list
-Its always in flux. While Ive been thinking about it, I keep rearranging movies on the list
-The rankings are all kinda arbitrary to some extent
-Franchises are only represented once. Sometimes I’ll group them all together as one (ie, Harry Potter or Kill Bill). Other times, I’ll just consider one as being on the list (The Matrix, The Dark Knight).
-Most importantly, Im not saying that these are the 100 best movies according to me. They’re my 100 favorites. Some may be bad, but entertainingly so. Others may be there for the nostalgia factor. A couple might be legit highly recognized masterpiece films.

Im not going to post the list in advance. Instead, I’ll reveal them as I watch in countdown order (100 first, then 99, etc). Im also gonna take this as my chance to upgrade a lot of the VHS’s to DVD or BluRay, not that it matters much to anyone but me.

Anyhoo, as a preview, here’s some films that just missed the cut. They’re not in any order since once they fell out of the top 100 there wasnt much point in ranking them:
Shoot Em Up, The Departed, The Faculty, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Igor, Inglorious Basterds, Tom & Huck, Team America: World Police, The Good Son, Sky High, Scream, The Lost Boys, Sunshine, Mean Creek, Criminal

Im excited…cause Im lame like that”