This Is a Blog: Movies You Should See, Part 4

Friday, July 2, 2010

Movies You Should See, Part 4

(Part 4 of 5, in alphabetical order)

Newsies - You know that guy from “American Psycho" and “The Machinist" and “The Dark Knight"? That guy starred in a musical, and let me tell you, even though he was clearly the guy on set with the least singing and dancing experience, he was fucking amazing. Kenny Ortega, the guy who did “Dirty Dancing," tells us the story of a newsboys strike, and infuses it with musical numbers in a way only the Disney Corporation can get away with. This may be the last totally original movie musical that doesn't look or feel like a music video, and the songs will stay with you forever. Carry the banner!

Noises Off - This is a movie based on a play about a bunch of quibbling narcissists putting on a play. Even without the meta-aspects, the play within a play in the movie would just be a hilarious farce. Michael Frayn's brilliant script layers the fast paced farce of the actors on top of the fast paced farce of the play. The entire middle section of the film plays out back stage during a performance, so it runs almost entirely without dialogue, minute after minute of beautiful sight gags and slapstick. If you're looking for as much comedy as you can fit into an evening, I'd suggest the triple feature of this, “Clue," and believe it or not, the overlooked Stallone vehicle “Oscar."

The Princess Bride - When I was five-years-old, I would wake up every morning and watch this movie while my sisters got ready for school. If you set aside how annoying the people who love this film are, you're in for a treat. It simply defies description, so just go watch it.

Run Lola, Run - A third of the way into this film, you're as out of breath as Lola is after all that running. You find yourself wondering how they're going to fill the rest of the 80 minutes. Then they throw at you a plot device that would be unendingly contrived if you didn't immediately realize THIS is how we're going to get more of this exciting ride. Man, I think I'm going to have to go home and watch this tonight.

Shaolin Soccer - After “The Matrix" we got dozens of Matrix clones. Bullet time became cliché and even slick wire-work got tiresome. The brilliant Stephen Chow came up with the first original new use for it, comedy gold. He turns this little sports movie into pure fantasy, and it even made me interested in soccer.

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