Fan of the Month: November
November 12, 2012
To thank Mark for being such a loyal supporter of Movie Writing, I made him November's Fan of the Month! See what his favourite and least favourite films are here!
I’ll also be reviewing a film of Mark’s choice when I finally catch up with all of my overdue reviews, so keep your eyes peeled!
In recent years I give The Fifth Element (1997) as my answer to this question. Nothing embodies the phrase “cinematically dazzling” more than this picture. The comic book-style story is basically good vs. evil sci-fi, but it’s the way all of the components come together to create this stunning picture. Production design, fashion, music and an international cast combine to create a movie that is a joy for the senses. The entire cast is perfection. I love everyone’s contribution, but even a brief synopsis must mention Chris Tucker’s ridiculously loopy performance as DJ Ruby Rhod. Without question, one the most memorable entrances I’ve ever seen in a film. He should have been nominated for an Academy Award. Yeah, I said it.
The Cat in the Hat (2003). Mike Myers’ perverted take on a beloved children’s book. When it isn’t being offensive, it’s tiresome. The whole picture seems like one long extended sequence for comedian Mike Myers to act like a drunken buffoon. Even at a scant 82 minutes it is absolute torture to sit through. What he does to Dr. Seuss’ classic is something akin to blasphemy. All existing copies should be accumulated, thrown into a pit, lit on fire and buried.
Robert DeNiro has given us some of the greatest performance ever committed to celluloid. Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, the list goes on. A film that rarely gets mentioned in his filmography is The King of Comedy: a dramatic comedy that is as funny as it is awkward. His character ranks among his most memorable. It’s a masterful performance combining bold confidence with pathetic desperation.
Alfred Hitchcock, no question. I’ve been saying this for years so when British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound magazine recently listed Vertigo as the greatest film of all time (a place Citizen Kane held for 50 years), I was like, what took you so long? No other director has such a high percentage of great works that I can watch over and over and never grow tired of. He revolutionized the mystery and has endlessly inspired generations of directors who have followed in his wake.
My parents took me to see Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. No, I was not alive in 1937. It was one of the many re-releases. I can remember being surprised that the lights went out and I was in total darkness. All of a sudden a huge picture as big as anything I had ever seen took over the entire room. It’s still the only way to truly enjoy a film.
What a coincidence that the last film I saw was also a Disney film, Wreck-It Ralph. It’s enjoyable fun, especially for kids.
I feel like nobody ever answers this question truthfully. A true guilty pleasure is one that you truly love but are actually embarrassed to admit you like it because people might think less of you. Picking a popular film that millions of saw is not a guilty pleasure. There are few movies that exemplify this more than Xanadu. The musical numbers, combining animation, 1940s big band, disco, country, rock and of course roller skating, must be seen to be believed. The production design is an unapologetic celebration of the glamour and excess of the late 1970s. The climatic roller skating scene in Xanadu is so ridiculously good/bad it’s euphoric.