The Fifty Day Movie Challenge – Days 6 – 10

_The other day, I bummed around Roger Ebert’s webpage reading his reviews on movies. Now, as a kid, I often found myself disagreeing with the opinions of movie critics because…I was a kid. Now, I still often find myself disagreeing with the opinions of movie critics, but I don’t quite throw out their opinions with as much candor as I once did. Reading the articles written on film by Ebert shines a ridiculously bright light into the brain that says “The reason lots of people don’t agree with movie critics is because the two groups do not watch movies the same way.” Take a movie like A.I. Artificial Intelligence. I love A.I., and I watch that movie and I’m like “OMG sad David! He needs mommy!” and “Get out of there Haley and Jude and Teddy!” and “D’awwwww he’s gonna shut down while he’s happy!” I read Ebert’s review…he’s going places while he’s watching that fucking movie. I think he put more thought while watching those two and a half hours than I did reading through my biology textbook. Seeing that people can watch movies in such a way reminds me as a lifelong video gamer that the video game format is still in its infancy. We’re only just starting to see games come out that are even able to be viewed in different ways by differing groups of people…it’s both humbling and exciting. Enough of that…let’s get to more movie challenge!

_Day 6 [Your least favorite movie by your favorite director] – Alien 3 (Directed by David Fincher)

I don’t think there is an easier category than this one right here. The movie is so bad, David Fincher doesn’t even list it in his own filmography. That’s baaaaaaadddddd. It’s not even the good “train wreck” kind of bad, it’s just…piss poor. Like, as you watch it, if someone were to ask you “What’s so bad about this movie?” you can’t even think of a good reason. The acting isn’t really poor, the directing isn’t awful, the script is shit but you can’t say it couldn’t be redeemed with a little work…it’s simply not enjoyable. Even Alien: Resurrection at least evokes a response. Alien 3 just…exists. Buh.

Even the trailer is awful. Watch the trailer for the first two films, then watch the trailer for 3. Good God, how does this even occur? What a fucking travesty.

_Day 7 [Your favorite movie soundtrack] – Run Lola Run

There are some movies where the score makes the movie what it is. Powerful scenes that become stronger with a strong piece of accompanying music, like the film was injected with musical HGH. But Run Lola Run is more than just made stronger thanks to the soundtrack. The movie and the score have a symbiotic relationship. This soundtrack makes the movie a movie. They simply couldn’t exist without the other. The movie wouldn’t work with any other music behind it. The music wouldn’t be what it is without the imagery going along with it. After one viewing, I could close my eyes while listening to the soundtrack and visualize the scenes they accompanied. That’s a great soundtrack.

_other soundtracks worth notingInterstella 5555; Purple Rain; WALL-E; Akira

_Day 8 [Your favorite opening sequence] – Hard Boiled

Boy, there are a lot of good choices for this. The massive imperial cruiser looming over the rebel ship in Star Wars. Ernie Reyes Jr. delivering a pizza in TMNT2. The food credits of Napoleon Dynamite. The entire city of LA on fire in 1996 in Demolition Man [I wasn’t there, but that sounds familiar!] Dutch and Dillon’s handshake in Predator. The pan of Doc’ Brown’s house and Marty blowing out the giant speaker in Back to the Future. Every opening scene from the Toy Story trilogy. All quality choices, had I chosen them. But all things considered…I can’t not pick the tea-house action scene from Hard Boiled for this.

Not only is the tea-house shootout an amazing action scene, but it sets the tone for the movie perfectly. High body counts, bullets that send every piece of scenery imaginable flying into the air, gun duels that feel more like fist fights, over-the-top action moves, and capped off with the lead hero killing the perp in cold blood to avenge his fallen partner. This opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie, and does it in amazing fashion.

_Day 9 [Your favorite movie ending] – Death Proof

After one of the best car chases of recent memory, this happens. Sometimes that’s all you need. I’m happy to have placed Death Proof in this list somewhere.

_Day 10 [The movie that least deserved to win Best Picture at the Oscars] – Crash

As I look through the list of films that won the Oscar for Best Picture, I realize how few of these movies I’ve seen. Limits my potential selections a bit. My first thought was Dances With Wolves, but the one time I “saw” it was as a kid and I fell asleep about 20 minutes in, so that wouldn’t really be fair to judge. The leaves pretty slim pickings, but the more I think about it, the more obvious the choice of Crash becomes. There are two real problems with Crash. 1 – the script is lousy. 2 – it has an huge air of self-importance. It’s like you’re sitting around, minding your own business, then suddenly Crash comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder.

You turn around and it says “Hey. Hey guy.”

“What?” you reply.

“Racism. It’s a thing, man.”

“…yeah. Yeah, it is.” You then go back to whatever it is you were doing before…until a couple minutes later, it taps you on the shoulder again and then whispers “Racism, man!” into your ear. And then it proceeds to do that again for the next 2 hours.

While I’m not the biggest fan of Brokeback Mountain [The sexual relationship came off as a bit forced to me, personally. I sensed zero sexual tension between them until a dong was accidentally grabbed during the night. Then again, I don’t really know how romance works], that movie was more important, more relevant and better written than Crash was. Hell, even if Brokeback didn’t come out and there wasn’t something so blatantly obviously better than Crash, it still wouldn’t change the fact that it didn’t deserve that Oscar. Crash could have been the only movie released in a calender year, that wouldn’t change the fact that it was less deserving of the Oscar than anything nominated for Best Picture in 1994, and I haven’t even seen two of them.


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