Thursday, July 18, 2013

As Easy as 1, 2, 3

Honestly, I'm at a loss. Things are going great. My 800 things list bumped me up to 1,000 overall views on my blog (!!!), I'm well into my next J-Horror retrospective (beginning with the truly tortuous death rattle of the Grudge series), and all is right in the Blogosphere. Unfortunately, my CinemaBeach review on V/H/S 2 is still going through the pipes (The editor has kids or something. Lame!), I have four or five more Japanese releases to get through for that article, and the next movie I'm seeing is tomorrow so - What do I write about today?

Well, since I have this newly gigantic list of movies to play with, oh so helpfully in alphabetical order, I've decided to trot out the first of a four part series detailing the best (and worst) movie I have seen that begins with each letter of the alphabet. This is the most me I can ever get, guys. We have reached critical mass.

Movie ABC's: Part 1
For letters G-M click here.
For letters N-S click here.
For letters T-Z click here.

Best: Airplane! (1980)

Only the most perfect cinematic comedy ever released. One of the only truly top notch parody films (Scary Movie, we're looking at you) and an all around brilliant absurdist gem. Sure, movies like Some Like it Hot and Dr. Strangelove are classier, but no film has ever had me laughing harder than this one.

Worst: After Sex (2009)

An indie schlock nightmare consisting of 8 vignettes. Each short is a conversation between two people... immediately After Sex. Geddit? It's actually a cool concept but it's kind of too boring and meandering to be truly interesting. Although it's worth checking out the Kat & Nikki vignette. Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana getting it on? Who allowed this to happen? Also featuring Marc Blucas, who played Riley - Buffy's blandest boyfriend by far.

Best: Breathless (1960)

Possibly the most film major-y movie on this list, but it really struck a chord with me. Jean Luc Godard helms a French New Wave masterpiece with stylish editing, philosophy paired with fun, and a truly modern romantic duo.

Worst: Brüno (2009)

Sleazy gay comedy? Mocking the German language? What's not to like? Well, everything, really. Sacha Baron Cohen really misses the mark on this one and makes a tedious and tawdry film instead of the incisive satire of homophobic America that he was going for.

Best: Cold Prey (2006)

I feel like I've already said all I need to about this film in my review, but this is one of the hottest films of the burgeoning Norwegian horror movement. Starring the singularly lovely Ingrid Bolsø Berdal.

Worst: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Cassidy, Asia, and I risked it all to see this movie. It was the day before graduation and we had to go all the way to this gross Edwards art theater in the Long Beach area and Cassidy almost missed her dentist's appointment. It was a fun experience but the movie was definitely not worth it.

Produced by Paranormal Activity's Oren Peli, Chernobyl Diaries had all the down and dirty low budget squalor of a found footage film without the actual found footage aspect. What I call a "blue ball movie," it featured moments that easily could have been turned into great scares but were ultimately a letdown. But Jesse McCartney was in it!

Featuring the singularly lovely Ingrid Bolsø Berdal.

Best: The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo) (2001)

This is the "little brother" film to Guillermo del Toro's 2006 fantasy masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth. It's often forgotten about, but this film is almost equally effective at painting a dark fantasy/horror experience on the backdrop of a child's perspective of the Spanish Civil War. This is essentially a ghost story, but the most terrifying element is always how human beings treat each other. 

Worst: Don't Go in the Woods (2010)

A slasher musical has every chance of being great or brain-shatteringly awful. This film opted for the latter. Due to scheduling issues, Asia and I had to watch this in two separate parts (man, I see a lot of bad movies with her), and it was supremely hard to get up the nerve to continue watching it the second time. There are actually some pretty good indie rock songs in here, but the film is more of a showcase of the band than an actual narrative of any kind. And it shouldn't be hard to make a film at least marginally not boring, right? Tell that to Vincent D'Onofrio.

Best: Evil Dead II (1987)

Not only one of the single most influential horror comedies of all time, it also has a wicked poster. Evil Dead II is the culmination of every 80's child's zombie fever dreams combined with dreadful puns, Three Stooges slapstick routines, and fountains of gore. It put director Sam Raimi and his frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell on the map, and it's influence extends far beyond its budget.

Worst: Epic Movie (2007)

It's a little cheap to take potshots at this putrid parody series because it's just way too easy. BAD.

Best: Frozen (2010)

I'm so glad this is still the first hit when you Google "Frozen." What with all the hype about this new Disney movie with the same name, it'll be buried and forgotten soon enough. 

This is an Adam Green production, the mastermind of the gooey Hatchet franchise. It answers the question of what would happen if you and two friends were stuck on a ski lift high above an abandoned mountain resort. The answer: Not much good, I can tell you that.

Starring Emma Bell and my man love, Shawn Ashmore, this film is actually pretty harrowing (it was actually filmed while suspended fifty feet in the air - that fear in their eyes is real, ladies and gentleman). Also featuring cameos by Kane Hodder and Ed Ackerman, two of my most favorite giant actors.

Worst: Flesh Eating Mothers (1988)

OK, this one's actually pretty great, in the "so bad it's good" way. But to cross that threshold it becomes so supremely bad as to defy all reason. I can't even explain with words how entertaining this movie is. But come on. Look at that title. Look at the poster. Case closed.
Word Count: 1035

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