Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Five favourite movies x2

It's that time of year again, girls and boys. We're doing another list thingy, but because finding a consensus in rather person things can be quite difficult, we decided to cut a big top 10 into two smaller of five. This has the added benefit of putting on Hard Mode in our co-op lists: Picking your own entries, but not being able to defend your choices yourself. If your picks are being misrepresented, then tough luck. This time we'll be doing one where we'll pick 5 of our all-time favourite movies in no particular order. Let's get things started.

Mr Tobi’s List, described by Ms Allie


'OLOLOLOLOLOL' - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1775

I watched Amadeus with Tobi a while ago, and I pretty quickly could see why its in anyones faves. It’s a long and exhausting film, you know the kind that’s both dramatic and subtle and thoroughly high brow, but it’s particularly thought provoking to anyone who’s any kind of artist. This film has special significance to Tobi in a way that many films strike certain people at just the right times in your life. It’s something that we both totally get: the envy and agony of being an artist in a world where other artists exist. In this fake-historical-biography-type-thing, Salieri meets his musical hero, Mozart, to discover that he’s an obnoxious fucked up kid. There’s the horrible raging resentment over someone you perceive as far more talented than you who is nothing like you and just an awful human being and a waste of all this talent they somehow have, and then the growing pity overcomes the rage as you watch them drown in the waters of life because they’re still just a fucked up kid (and also you sabotaged their life a bit) . It has the spirit of a revenge flick dragged out over a lifetime and ending in utter regret. But it’s also a pretty fruity and thrilling flick with plenty of melodrama resulting in (unintentional?) lols.

The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Character possibly inspired by shifty-eyes-dog.gif.

I’m not sure why people like this film LOADS. I think it’s very atmospheric and immersive in a kinda seven samurai or lord of the rings way, so it’s probably that. There’s a lot of classic western stuff; dramatic closeups, catchy barebones sound track, mexican standoffs, mexicans sitting down, etc. I think what stood out most for Tobi though was the political commentary angle, when the characters get involved in the civil war that’s been going on the whole time and you get this officer who explains what it’s like from the perspective of the people fighting the war. They’re wasting time and lives for some kind of theoretical victory - in his case simply the destruction of one crappy bridge.

Back To The Future

Look out, Marty! It's another geek referencing hoverboards!

Everyone loves back to the future. It’s a whimsical 80’s film with action and high school boyfantasies. It’s got memorable characters, satisfying endings, a fluffy dog, etc. There’s something great about playing with the concept of time travel and exploring what kinda hilarious dilemmas and easter eggs could happen (see also: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure). So many shows and films have borrowed from BTTF that it seems pretty vanilla nowadays, but it’ll always be one of the most universally watchable films.


If a rat can cook, why can't my flatmates?

Ratatouille is one of the slightly less popular Pixar gems, probably because the story is a little weird and the main characters aren’t particularly charismatic or even likeable. But where this film really shines is that kinda ‘Brad Bird magic’, the inspirational philosophies constantly spouted by Remy’s role model (that dead chef guy) and all these really beautiful sentimental moments that happen throughout the film. There’s this amazing bit where the ‘antagonistic’ food critic has a sudden moment of nostalgia, and for some reason it just makes me and Tobi tear up a little (or so I believe). It also has a really sweet colour scheme of blue and copper throughout the film, though I don’t know if Tobi considers that a major factor.

John Carpenter's The Thing

I've got a the thing for these guys.

I’m still kinda surprised that this is one of Tobi’s absolute favourites. It’s a terrifying gorey bodyshock horror film using some brilliantly raw looking stop motion effects to achieve what is still one of the nastiest looking ‘monsters’ in horror films. But I mean this all in a good way, which is why im not THAT surprised by Tobis choice. The reason The Thing is so terrifying is because it’s a horror film done right - it’s all about the tension between the survivors, but there’s a looming threat that doesn’t disappoint, and the tone of the film is bleak and unrelenting. I didn’t like the miserable ending, but when I have to think about it, I wouldn’t want to change the ending, so yeah.

So in summary, Tobi’s selections are a pretty broad range of stuff, he’s prettymuch just gone and picked a film from every major genre. He chose films that are generally accepted by the mainstream to be of high quality, but only because he agrees with that. I think all his choices had some very memorable bit in them that really stood out to him and affected him personally, whether it’s something that warmed his heart or chilled him to the core.

Ms Allie’s List, described by Mr Tobi


You might not have heard of this, it's pretty underground.

If I know my Allienese, and I do, I’m going to say that she primarily likes this movie because if the monstars. Tremors is a pretty corny, yet dope monster/adventure movie with pretty awesome characters. There’s some poop and pee jokes in there, but I don’t think she particularly cares about that very much. The monsters are creative and, in a weird way, kind of plausible. I think the designs of the Graboids, the worm-like creatures in the film, kind of resonated with her because I see some of its design philosophy back into her own monster designs. The characters themselves are kind of silly, but unlike most monster-movies, they don’t really do a whole lot of things wrong. The thing it does differently from most monster movies is that it takes place during the day and it actually seems pretty “child-friendly”. It’s kind of hokey, but I really enjoyed this movie too... aside from Melvin. Fuck that guy and I pray to every available God that Allie doesn’t find his bullshit amusing. If there was ever a guy that deserved to get gored in a monster movie, it would be this asshole. Sadly enough the series has no sense of justice on that front.

Terminator 2

I give this a thumbs up while slowly descending into molten steel.

Terminator 2 is a lot of things. It’s pretty much the bar to reach in terms of action movies, an interesting sci-fi story, as well as -the- example of a great sequel. It’s hard to nail down why this movie works so well, especially when it comes to guessing what parts of it particularly appealed to her. If you ignore the action parts of most films in the genre, you usually don’t have a whole lot of material to discuss. The Terminator series actually has a lot going on to flesh out the world and the events, both in the present and inevitable future. First of all you have the lead character, T-800, who returned from the first movie, but as a ‘good guy’ this time around. He doesn’t really know a whole lot aside from combat, so throughout the movie he gets taught what it is like to be more human. Then we have the Connors; an ass-kicking lady and her a pretty capable son. It’s pretty rare when both women and children are represented fairly well in action movies, but Terminator 2 nails both. Sarah sort of lost her mind and has severe trust issues due to knowing about the impending doom of humanity and John has a serious case of the early 90s. All in all, it’s a pretty exciting, but also kind of smart movie, so I totally understand why it’s on her list.


Blogging makes me FEEL GOOD

I was pretty damn close to putting Ghostbusters on my own list. It was a cultural phenomenon and just pretty close to a perfect, endlessly quotable movie. The core concept was original, the writing is brilliant, the cast has great chemistry and it’s just a fantastic ride from start to finish. Ghostbusters had this great blend of paranormal stuff that just really spoke to you when you were younger. It was like cartoony, but still felt spooky enough to give it some impact when it needed to. Throw in a layer of dorky sciencey stuff you have a recipe for success. I know Allie has a big fondness of pretty much every cast member in this movie, and I don’t think it’s a big stretch to think it’s exactly -because- of this film.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky

That's a nice flower sir but we're looking for the WMDs.

Weeeeeeeeeaaaaaabboooooooo aaaleeert... :x Oh OK, I must admit, Studio Ghibli is pretty amazing and Castle in the Sky is probably one of their best. The movie has a great sense of adventure and looks fantastic. The only downsides are that the two lead characters are kind of dull and that the last quarter of the movie is kind of weak. You have all this build-up to how amazing Laputa is and when they actually get there, I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed each time. In spite of that, you have a great cast of side characters that just always make you smile. The skypirates in particular are strangely endearing and the villain seems to have his shit all figured out. It’s just a fun movie for the most part and looks amazing. It’s no surprise to me that someone that got into art would be all over it.

Mr Vampire

Hey chillax it's just my Taoist zombie army.

I didn’t see this one until fairly recently and probably wouldn’t have watched it if missy here didn’t make me watch it. I’m super glad she did though. It’s this odd mixture of martial arts with comedy and the supernatural. It’s the sort of thing you would associate with Jackie Chan’s oeuvre. The flow of the movie’s action and comedy is so smooth that you might even consider it a work of art. So the basic premise is that "Chinese vampires" (Google it) are sealed and turned into furniture or pets or slaves or I really don’t know what. When a vampire gets unsealed, it starts running (read: hopping) amok. One of the main characters gets infected by the vampire’s bite and has to spend the remainder of the movie to fend off his transformation. It’s just an absolutely crazy and memorable film.

Now to close this off, I couldn’t help but notice the big pattern of sci-fi adventures and monsters in all of these. The only odd one out is Laputa, though it still has a technologically advanced city and ro-bros. I think it all these things stress the creative angle of the stories and visuals.

And that's a wrap, folks. I don't think we've taught the world a whole lot about ourselves, but at least now we have some insight in how people will judge you when you mention you like certain flicks.

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