Friday, December 26, 2014

Amendment to 2010 Favorite Films

Like the Founding Fathers, I appreciate the need to revise documents after time has passed and opinions changed.  I discovered more films that I liked more in the ensuing years and now I'm finally relating these.  

Kat Dennings

Daydream Nation: This is my favorite Kat Dennings film (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is a close second) and the lesser known entry on the list.  There's predatory behavior, there's heartache, and fatherly over-protectiveness and intimidation here.  This film captures the bizarreness of the everyday.  Andie MacDowell is particularly touching as a loving mother (mother roles are nothing to be ashamed of in this case) with strong agency.

Shia LaBeouf and Michael Douglas

Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps:  This is a gorgeous presentation of contemporary New York City.  Sure, it's soft edged.  Sure it's Shia, one letter away from shit.  Sure, it's another sequel in the age of apparently unwelcome sequels.  Well, like the title says, money never sleeps, that means: profitable franchises, stars, producers, and all interested industry players.  The franchise won't sleep because it doesn't fit your artistic ideals and visions.  Congratulations, Oliver Stone, making an artistic statement while appearing to sell out as well.  This film made me feel rich.

Chris Pine and Denzel Washington

Unstoppable: You want to stop it but you can't. Denzel and Chris can. Mark Bomback can. Tony Scott could. But you can't stop it so just enjoy the ride. Dance around the tracks, play chicken, find rail-kill.  Appreciate the resuscitation of relationships via high-stress emergencies.  Appreciate the quips old makes to young and young makes back.  Appreciate satisfaction of having Denzel break down the barriers of an over-stylized, high contrast celluloid environment.  Give thanks.

Evan Peters, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Clark Duke

Chloƫ Grace Moretz

Kick-Ass: I would not have given this film a chance were it not for a Quentin Tarantino list of his favorites of the year in question.  I'm so glad I did.  It punches you in the gut near the end but I was most pleased with all the trope diverting laughs and occasional cringing.  The film kicked many asses with its heart, violence, and humor.  Also wonderfully shot and color-graded.    

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