Monday, November 20, 2006

Top 5 Career-Building Movies

"Nature's first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold.Her early leaf's a flower, but only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, so Eden sank to grief. So dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay. "

Here are the finest five of them all.

This movie's cast and director were meant to make it big for some time, and then lose their fame or credibility. Joel Schumacher will show his abilities with Lost Boys, Flatliners and Falling Down, and then he will go on and break Batman. Since then, his movies won't be treated with respect, even if they're interesting efforts like 8mm, Tigerland or Phantom Of The Opera. Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez (in a bigger role than in The Outsiders), hit it big with Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire in '85, but the 90s will ignore them almost completely. Rob Lowe's career won't be the one to be jealous of, and Andie MacDowell hasn't had a hit since Four Weddings and a Funeral. In fact, only Demi Moore survives to this day, and it doesn't look good for her either.
Sadly, it's true. American Pie had a tremendous impact on teenage audience, and as a result the entire cast was on high-demand. Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott will face stardom with not-so-wise decisions, and will be typecasted in comedic roles. It seems that 1999 was a good year for Mena Suvari and Chris Klein, with American Beauty and Election respectively being their most important roles to date. Shannon Elizabeth is kinda lost and Tara Reid is mostly known for her celebrity life, rather than her movie roles. Alysson Hannigan, Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge will become recognizable, and eventually will exploit this fact to reprise similar roles. Time will tell if the entire cast will last, but let's face it, American Pie was a huge career builder.

Possibly the greatest directorial debut ever, but certainly not from the originality aspect. How a new-comer like Tarantino convinced Harvey Keitel to be a part in this movie, I'll never know. I'll also never know why Reservoir Dogs became such a huge, huge hit, but that's another story. Tim Roth owes a lot to this movie, since it gave him his first and his last success. Steve Buscemi already was in Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing and King Of New York, but this one establishes him as the cool support actor. The late Chris Penn didn't do much afterwards and Michael Madsen's career is pretty much all downhill from then on. But the true star of this movie is Tarantino himself. The motor-mouth who blends genres easier than anybody else in Hollywood, and that's the only thing I acknowledge in him. Third place is his and his only.

2) Reality Bites (1994)
Winona Ryder has already worked with Burton, Coppola and Scorcese, Ethan Hawke's CV contains Alive and Dead Poet's Society. Reality Bites isn't responsible for the huge success of these two, but this movie was like a goldmine for everyone that was involved with it. Ben Stiller proves he can handle with ease, not only the director's duties, but also playing roles with no slapstick humour, and achieves his transition to the Big Screen. Steve Zahn will go on to become the go-to guy for comedic support roles, Janeane Garofalo won't get what she deserves in the future, although she showed so much potential in this one. Renee Zellweger, Andy Dick and David Spade appear for just a few seconds, without showing their talent but proving that this movie was meant to be a lucky charm for the entire cast.
Low-profile and post-seventies, Coppola's name is mainly responsible for the movie's status, but there's so much more than just an acclaimed director behind The Outsiders. The teen cast includes Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise and Diane Lane who needless to say will become A-listers for the next twenty years. Emilio Estevez is the 80's teen king, with St Elmo's Fire and The Breakfast Club proving talent runs in the family. Ralph Maccio's biggest role will be Karate Kid, and Thomas C. Howell, who's the main character and shows the most talent of all, will unfortunately go on to lead a TV career. Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe 'll have hits and flops, and for the record, even daddy's-little-girl Sofia and Tom Waits have screen time. So, quality plus quantity earned The Outsiders first place.

Saving Private Ryan (Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Damon, Paul Giamatti,Nathan Fillion), Godfather I & II (Coppola, Pacino, De Niro, Diane Keaton, John Cazale), Star Wars (George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher), Lord Of The Rings ( Jackson, Bloom, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Marton Csokas) are all high-profile movies. As high as it gets actually, so doors are bound to open when somebody has this kind of movies in his biography. Dazed And Confused (Adam Goldberg again, Matthew McConaughey, Cole Hauser, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck) and Flatliners (Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Hope Davis) can't keep up with the rest. Boogie Nights pretty much built only Mark Wahlberg's career and established everybody else. Cruel Intentions, The Talented Mr Ripley and Scream have a young but already experienced cast, so none of them qualifies.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Top 5 James Bond Could-Be's

"Shaken, not stirred"

Here are the finest five of them all.

5) Jason Isaacs
He's got a thing for bad guys, so some may say he would be more fitting as a villain. Nevertheless, he's got all the right qualities: a yet low profile, a respectful CV, Timothy Dalton's looks, amazing adaptability. The only obvious problem is that Jason doesn't have cash written all-over his forehead, so he wouldn't make a bankable James Bond, but still, he fits the profile.

4) Alec Baldwin
Alec is from New York, but let's just imagine that the actor's origin doesn't play a part. The nay-sayers claim he's too old, but at the age of 48 he's just two years older than Roger Moore, when he first took the part in Live and Let Die. He's the closest to Pierce Brosnan, from the clean-cut face and oddly perfect haircut to the chubby figure. At least he hasn't yet started balding like Sean Connery did.

3) Clive Owen
Macho attitude, deep voice and as British as they come, we shall soon discover if it's a shame he didn't get the part. Of course he already was famous when the casting occured, and the 007 franchise is known for bringing less-known actors to stardom. Clive is critically acclaimed, stunt-capable, plus The Croupier showed us he's made to wear a tux, so let's just hope he won't be old enough to fill in Craig's shoes.

2) Gerard Butler
If the producers wanted to cast an actor who could portray a dark James Bond, he would be the one. Although already in the franchise with a minor role (in Tomorrow Never Dies), I don't see why that's really a problem. Obviously this Scottish actor has no trouble with action sequences, and recently showed us a surprising side of his in Phantom Of The Opera. Once rumoured to land the part, he could be the next best thing after Brosnan.

1) Ralph Fiennes
Indeed, a sophisticated choice for the role of James Bond, this guy can actually act. He would add a certain status in the performance part of the franchise, and there's no doubt he could pull it off, since he's one of the most versatile actors there are. Once considered the 33th sexiest star in movie history by Empire Magazine, he wouldn't just be a fitting choice, he would be perfect for the role.

Sean Bean has already had a major role in the franchise, George Clooney's too American, let alone a superstar, Colin Firth looks like a mamma's boy, Heath Ledger is too young, Alan Rickman's too old, Colin Farrell's too punk, Ewan McGregor lacks in charm and Jude Law's too much of a wuss. Thomas Jane is too much of an action hero, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are too much of a superhero. Ioan Gruffudd's too lame and Dougray Scott is, well... too ugly. Eric Bana, Julian McMahon, Guy Pearce and Russel Crowe were strong contenders. And don't get me started on Hugh Grant...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Top 5 Alien Movies

"Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) War Of The Worlds (1953)
Let's start with the negatives. This movie hasn't aged well, the characters are forgetful, the aliens are ludicrous and the ending is disappointing. But when this movie came out half a century ago, it had balls. Pioneering effects, scenes of mass chaos, apocalyptic elements, plus the aliens are presented as monsters, not with human form like The Day The Earth Stood Still. We become the helpless animals and the Martians become the savages, up until nature finds its way to survive. Fresh after the second World War, it doesn't hesitate to use a nuclear bomb as an irony to its own government. Needless to say it set the ground for every alien-related movie to come, WOTW deserves 5th place.

4) Aliens (1986)
The first Alien created the myth, the foundation. The second one is more of an action thriller rather than a horror sci-fi, but Aliens is better in so many levels. As I have mentioned in the past, James Cameron made this one of the best action movies there are. Our heroes now have to face an army of aliens, not to mention the Bitch. Mixing monsters, starships, androids, gun fights along with emotion and a cunning script, Aliens is everything Starship Troopers would like to be, and everything Star Wars could be, if it pulled the right strings. Created seven years after the first one, it had a lot to live up to, but it succeeded all the way.

3) The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron is on his field: water and aliens. Set mostly underwater, this movie has the beauty of The Big Blue, the tension and suspense of Das Boot and the intelligence of, well... Close Encounters. Claustrophobic and mysterious, it gives a little too much emphasis on the extraterrestrial life and less on human emotion. It raises questions and has an anti-war message and of course how destruction-is-in-man's-nature, elements that could be a little less obvious. Nonetheless, the Abyss is a complete movie which has a little bit for everyone, from action junkies to star trek geeks.

2) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
The movie that initiated a whole generation of children to the magic of the Big Screen. A moving, coming-of-age story, an adorable alien and a message that talks right to your heart. An allegory so pure and true, ET brings out real emotion. Friendship can conquer all, love knows no borders and all the rest, I can't think of any reason you wouldn't adore this movie. Spielberg's passion is responsible for ET's huge success, and it's safe to say that in any other director's hands it would have been ruined. From Edward Scissorhands to Donnie Darko, this movie affected every new director to come and changed the definition of mainstream blockbuster.

1) Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
Even the title implies that it's a movie about communication. Somehow Spielberg manages to give every personal project of his a symbolical meaning. I can't quite explain it, but this movie connects with you in a deeper way than ET. It's about every man's quest for answers, a more adult work of Spielberg but at the same time as easily watchable from children. Unlike Contact, Close Encounters is everything but far-fetched, it really could happen to an everyday man, and that's maybe what makes it the most humane movie about extraterrestrial life.

Contact, Forbidden Planet, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978) and The Day The Earth Stood Still, they all came close. AI, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssee, Dark City and Rocky Horror Picture Show don't actually focus on alien life. Slither, The Sphere, The Arrival, The McPherson Tape, Signs, Plan 9 from Outer Space, My Stepmother Is An Alien, What Planet Are You From and Earth Girls Are Easy are more like failed attempts, jokes or both. Predator, Men In Black, Mars Attacks, Independence Day, Starship Troopers, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956), War Of The Worlds (2005), Stargate, The 5th Element and The Thing would fill in the top 20.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Top 5 Conspiracy Movies

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night! "
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) Enemy of the State (1998)
In the footsteps of The Conversation, this movie is as close to reality as it gets. High-tech surveillance with run-but-you-can't-hide elements, when it ends, it leaves you with a feeling of suspicion and paranoia. It shows you the value of information and how everything is documented in contemporary life. Will Smith gives this movie its coolness, but it's Hackman's role that elevates Enemy of The State to the quality realm. Tony Scott provides style, but in the end the action steals the thunder off the conspiracy concept. Even so, it's quite a genre-blender, mixing political thriller with a high-tension actioner, which means pop-corn and intellingence".

4) The Conversation (1974)
If you come to think of it, it's not about some kind of conspiracy, but about fighting your inner demons, something we find in most of Coppola's work. Slow in pace and light in dialogue, this one focuses not on the art of surveillance, but on Hackman's Caul and how he tries to deal with the immorality of his job as a surveillance expert. Insanity and paranoia soon kick in, let alone regret and guilt. Yet another masterpiece for Coppola, directing as if the viewer is the spy and Caul is our victim.

3) The Truman Show (1998)
A conspiracy movie doesn't necessarily have to be about homicides and cults. The Truman Show is as nightmarish and frightening as the other contenders, despite its comedic elements. Peter Weir's direction is poetic, the performances are surprisingly fitting and down-to-earth, the OST has started melting in my CD-player, and the script is nearly perfect, let alone prophetic. It's maybe the only conspiracy concept that suggests it could actually happen to you. It's not even been a decade since its release, and this movie has already become a classic. The Truman Show hasn't aged a bit, it becomes more and more up-to-date as the years go by. It mustn't be remembered as Carrey's first serious role, or how the Academy ignored it completely, not even for Natascha McElhone's eyes, but for its glorious meaning.

2) Rosemary's Baby (1968)
What if you're chosen by God to bring His Son into this world? Now imagine if you're chosen by Satan. Simple, nothing-is-what-it-seems concept, but executed so well that it haunts your dreams. Polanski gave us a psychological thriller that became the archetype for every movie-about-the-supernatural to come. He created such a threatening and paranoid mood that became his trademark. Maybe the most influential movie of the horror genre, it changed the rulebook about happy endings.

1) JFK (1991)
It's one of those scripts where you can't help but wonder, how could anyone have written this. It needs your complete attention and isn't quite easy to follow, but once you sit down to watch this, it sucks you in for its whole 3 hours. Makes you think too, how the perception of things may be altered and twisted, how a government hides its dark secrets. Along with Syriana, they're the absolute representatives of the political thriller genre. Oliver Stone on his finest hour, doing what he knows best, plus half of Hollywood's best. The Kennedy assasination always intrigued the masses, and JFK has its own point of view, it's not fiction based on real events. It had such an impact, this movie actually reopened the case.

The Tenant, The Ninth Gate and Nixon are movies that couldn't possibly surpass their creators' previous masterpieces, The Game's ending is such a let-down, and it had so much potential, The Arrival and Conspiracy Theory just can't compete, and Fahrenheit 911 is a documentary and therefore, it doesn't qualify. Also The Matrix, The Insider and Dr Strangelove ain't conspiracy driven. Wag The Dog finished 6th.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Top 5 Movie Breasts

"Bob had bitch tits"
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) Shannon Elizabeth in American Pie (1999)
Sweet Jesus, they are enormous. I mean these jugs are colossal. Think about it, a foreign student with hooters this gargantuan, naked in your room reading magazines about other girls with huge Bon-bons. Big and round, and at the same time charming and fascinating. Splendid udders too, surrounded by massive milkmeat, these not-so-grassy knolls make you understand Jason Biggs misfortune.

4) Denise Richards in Wild Things (1998)
Dirty, dirty girl. Her hooters are so grand and incredible, they give you the goosebumps. And when you add another female and the water element on them, these objects-of-my-desire become ravishing. Some may call them just nice. NO, you're wrong, Denise's East and West Cleavage is more than extraordinary, it's perfection. They should sell these melons in the market.

3) Halle Berry in Swordfish (2001)
What better than reading a book topless, boobies changing the pages and everything? Her breasts are astonishing and flawless. Bloomings like that shouldn't be allowed on screen, cause their exceptional shape are distacting you from the plot. Petite yet grandiose, these knockers are just beautiful. Her bazookas are probably the most alluring and enchanting chesticles of the big screen.

2) Demi Moore in Striptease (1996)
You can't but admire her tig ol' bitties. These two lactators are awe-inspiring and seductive. Her tities are so magnificent, stunning and exceptional that bring tears in your eyes. Whack-material for the whole generation of the late 90s, Demi's beguiling weasels-of-the-chest should be exhibited in museums as part of Movie Culture. So, respect not only her fabulous cleavage cans, but also Ashton Kutcher who gets to enjoy these torpedoes.

1) Salma Hayek in Frida (2002)
Monumental, stupendous, walloping, astounding, phenomenal mammaries. So marvellous, these dirty pillows should be named the 8th wonder of the world. If you ever wonder of what material dreams are made of, this is it. Orbicular and firm, noble and respectful, these eye magnets make you believe in God. Honestly, we should start a cult and worship Salma's endowment, they 're that divine.

Heather Grahams' happy sacs in Killing me Softly and Boogie Nights, Chloe Sevigny's sweater cows in Brown Bunny and Boys Don't Cry, Angelina Jolie's crease creatures in Gia and Taking Lives, Keira Knightley's infant eateries in The Hole, Belluci's scapula scones in Irreversible, Diane Lane's dodongoes in Unfaithful, Anne Hathaway's jigglies in Brokeback Mountain, Penelope Cruz's clavicle clumps in Vanilla Sky, Sharon Stones' fun bags in Basic Instinct, Asia Argento's flesh convexities in Scarlet Diva, Amy Smart's effeminite masses in Road Trip, Katie Holmes' deltoid drawers in The Gift, Rosario Dawson's conjoined humpbacks in Alexander, Jennifer Connelly's porcelain hills in too many to mention, Naomi Watts' gibbosities in 21 Grams and Mulholland Dr, Rebecca Romijn's suckling stops in Femme Fatale, Charlize Theron's lickable ladyparts in Two Days in the Valley and The Devil's Advocate, Nicole Kidman's tatas in Eyes Wide Shut, Kate Winslet's rack in most of her movies, Julianne Moore's globes in Boogie Nights, Meg Ryan's meat hills in In The Cut, Paz Vega's gazongas in Sex and Lucia, Elizabeth Berkley's headlight honkers in Showgirls, Linda Fiorentino's hillocks in The Last Seduction and Dina Meyer's monkey lumps in Starship Troopers. Also, honorable mention for Meat Loaf's gelatinous formations in Fight Club. That about covers it. Next, top 5 movie penis's. Just kiddin'...