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64. TRON: Legacy

Saw this one on a plane, which maaaybe limited my enjoyment of the film’s best parts.  But I did happen to be in first class, which probably helped my mood some.  The movie’s many bells, whistles, and shiny bright lights go far to distract the viewer from the generally neglected script, so there’s maybe a fudge factor in my rating here because I didn’t see the film in its true intended glory.  It is still crazy to me that they gave us a sequel to a cult classic from nearly thirty years ago.  Other films that were released within a few weeks of Tron include: Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, E.T., Grease 2, Blade Runner, The Thing, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Night Shift, and An Officer and a Gentleman.  Not a bad little two month run, huh?

63. 44 Inch Chest

This British revenge flick starring Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, and Stephen Dillane is something Adam and I should love, just on general principle.  It ended up middle of the pack for me because…well, the reasons have been lost to time as I saw the film a year and a half ago and didn’t take any notes.

62. Repo Men

Honestly, Repo Men is a pretty terrible movie.  For me, the last five to ten minutes or so salvaged the operation, bumping the film up to three stars on Netflix and up probably thirty to forty slots in my rankings.  Not everyone is going to feel the same way, understandably, and for once that’s not a dig on Brian’s dismissal of endings.  The film’s a pretty rote tale starring Oscar-nominees Jude Law and Forest Whitaker about an enforcer turned renegade who must take down the system.  The sci-fi aspects are generally underutilized and the love interest (Alice Braga) isn’t shoehorned in very well.  Notable for the RZA cameo and an extremely short scene with Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown.

61. Legion

The trailer does a pretty accurate job showing what this movie is all about: a diner in the middle of nowhere turns into a last stand of sorts for humanity, save for a kinda weird third act.  Paul Bettany is great, naturally, as is Adrianne Palicki, though she plays a pregnant woman, so you couldn’t really call her sexy.  Unless, hey, that’s your thing.  No judgments on this blog.  I’m not saying Dennis Quaid is typecast, but casting him as the restaurant’s owner who has refused to admit that his dream has failed even though the proposed highway (or whatever) that was going to be a boon for business never materialized, and who always insists on manner and doing things the right way wasn’t necessarily the biggest stretch in casting history.

60. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Because I played the game above with Tron, let’s look at some movies that came out within a few weeks of Wall Street: Less Than Zero, The Running Man, Teen Wolf Too, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Three Men and a Baby, Throw Momma From The Train, Empire of the Sun, Eddie Murphy Raw, Overboard, Broadcast News, Moonstruck, and Good Morning, Vietnam.  Huh, another good run, if entirely different sorts of films.  Honestly, I’m kinda surprised Wall Street 2 ended up this high on my list, I think that’s an indictment of the relatively crummy year that was 2010.  Acting-wise, the highlights for me was Eli Wallach being a badass in the courtroom and the few lines Natalie “Dub Dub” Morales had.  I still don’t entirely understand Shia LaBeouf as a star or why Carey Mulligan cut her hair short.

59. Unstoppable

You might recall this film was nominated for an Oscar, so we talked about it briefly.  As I mention there, the dialogue was often painful and the characters not developed at all.  And the story was exactly as simple as it sounds like: there’s an out of control train.  Yet somehow, it kinda works.  Maybe it was the sound.  Maybe director Tony Scott had something to do with it.  Maybe it was how the supporting cast (Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee, T.J. Miller, and Kevin Corrigan) can all be really funny?  Beats me.

58. The Tourist

Saw this with Adam during our drunken Passover movie mini-marathon.  Obviously, with Depp and Jolie, not to mention director/Bond villian Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, co-screenwriters Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes, and a supporting cast that included Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton, this international spy film should have been huge.  Somewhere along the way, though, they lost the story.  It has the framework of a big spy thriller, but the moving parts of a smaller almost character study.

57. The Good Guy

Like there was any chance of me missing a flick starring Scott Porter and Alexis Bledel, not to mention fellow Maroon Anna Chlumsky.  I very rarely read reviews of films I’m recapping here for fear of inadvertently ripping anything off, so I want to make sure I cite Roger Ebert’s review, which I referenced because I remembered the film gave away a plot point through a book, but couldn’t remember which one.  And of course the good Mr. Ebert reminds me that was Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, which I happened to have read.  A decent novel, but it will minorly spoiler some elements of the film.  Ebert’s review offers some excellent advice on women, so I suggest you go read it and stop wasting your time here.

56. Passenger Side

No idea how it got in my queue and one of those films I may never think about for the rest of my life.  Then again, youneverknow.  Can we just take a minute to talk about Adam Scott’s career?  Because I have absolutely no idea how to describe it or to whom it compares?  It isn’t just the duality of his comedic and dramatic roles.  While impressive, it certainly isn’t unique.  No, it is more than no matter if he is doing creepy or nice guy or asshole, he somehow quietly commands the screen, no matter the size of the role.  I think in some sense that makes him the consummate straight man.  Because Scott is so rock solid that any sort of antics, be they wacky or melodramatic, are dramatically amplified by bouncing off of him.

55. Fish Tank

It is perhaps fitting that when I go to the critically-lauded Fish Tank‘s imdb page, the user lists that show up are all titled something along the lines of “Movies I Have Seen” or “Watched Movies”.  Because that’s about right.  The film did well for itself on the awards circuit (outside the US, that is), but I’m not entirely certain why.  Maybe I’ve just OD’ed on disaffected youths.  I’m also trying to figure out my stance on Michael Fassbender.  Because so far I’ve found him rather forgettable, in the sense that I don’t remember in which films I’ve seen him.  But I’m sort of wondering if that’s because he disappears so completely into his roles.

June 2011
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