Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Movies You May Have Missed, part 2

Again, not necessarily arranged by theme, quality, or FPM (fps being "fucks per minute," a standard by which one can rank Martin Scorsesse films).

Sneakers (1992)
Those who work in IT will quickly scoff at the notion of a circuit board one can attach to a modem and hack into any computer system in the world.  It's an over-used plot device with no credibility.

But that doesn't mean every movie that uses it sucks.  Sneakers is charming.  It's got engaging characters with great chemestry, it's entertaining, has a few twists, and is well paced.  It's also a nice combination of "classic" and "new" (at the time) actors:  Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, David Strathairn, Dan Ankroyd, River Pheonix, and President Laura Roslin.   It also includes Sir Ben Kingsley plaing a character named "Cosmo."  You can't beat that.

 Super (2010)
This bombed at the box office.  People who heard about it said, "it sounds like a ripoff of Kick-ass."   Super is about as different a movie from Kick-Ass as a movie can get.
Super is the entirely believable story of what happens when a middle-aged loser and psychotic nerd girl try to be superheroes.  Nobody becomes a supervillan.  There's no foul-mouthed, sexed-up preteen  fanservice for pedos. (I've enjoyed Chloe Moretz's acting thus far, but Jesus Christ.).  Nobody is particuarly adept at fighting.   Nobody gets blown up in a giant microwave. No. Nicolas. Cage.   The guy uses a goddam pipe wrench as his weapon.  Ellen Paige crushes a guys legs with her car while she's half out of her costume, laughing maniacally.    It's at times sympathetic, heroic, brutally hilarious, a bit philosophical, even tragic.  Also, there's a really hot rape scene with Ellen Paige.  ...she's the rapist by the way.

God Bless America (2011)

This is less of a movie and more of a rant.  It's a black comedy about a suicidal guy who finds purpose after seeing an episode of "My Super Sweet Sixteen," a show that so celebrates the most disgusting degrees of human selfishness that media commentator Charlie Brooker wondered if it might be an Al-Queida recruitment program.  He teams up with an insane teenage girl (I think I see a trend here) and begins waging war on everything he hates about contemporary American culture.  This film will offend a lot of people, but it's mature enough to argue with itself.  It doesn't ask you to condone what these people are doing, and if you're at all like me you'll sympathize with them quite a bit. I found it indulgently cathartic.  Joel Murray (the guy) and Tyra Lynn Barr (the girl) give surprisingly good performances to boot.


  1. I still have to see Super. That's by James Gunn. He's got a bunch of other great credits, well two anyway: Slither and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. He's also directing Movie 43, a possible cinematic disaster, but it has Kate Winslet and Steve Merchant. Hard to miss.

    And I have God Bless America, I just need to watch it. Perhaps something to do... NOW!

    1. Now that I've seen God Bless America I have to agree with you. It's a great recommendation.

      I couldn't help wondering the entire time what the film would be like if that same material was handled by another filmmaker, or even by another culture. How about Oliver Stone? Falling Down meets Natural Born Killers.

      What about if it was French? The characters would be more clearly defined as insane individuals, and there would be a disturbing sexual relationship between the protagonists.

      Imagine the Spanish giving this a whirl? Ten times the blood, twenty times less reason behind their actions.

  2. I'm glad you liked God Bless America. That material in a lot of hands could have been crap.