Monday, April 13, 2020

My Beloved Movies: Tahiti is Not in Europe

Short Circuit 2

The first one is a classic, but Michael McKean playing off Fisher Stevens is just so good. Johnny 5 taking over the electric sign is hilarious. The dial tone music trail of breadcrumbs is so clever. And Michael McKean saving a dying Johnny 5 is so damned heartbreaking.

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

If you don’t think the music number at the end of this movie is pure joy, then you may not actually have a heart. Besides, this movie gifted the world Lauryn Hill, and that’s worth the price of admission.



Snatch

Guy Ritchie burst on the scene with Lock, Stock... then took another look at his debut and realized he could do better. So he just made the exact same movie, and he did it a hell of a lot better. The writing, the visual style, the performances, every inch is funny and energetic. In an amazing cast, Brad Pitt still manages to stand out as the unintelligible bare knuckle boxer, Mickey.

Sneakers

Robert Redford, Sydney Poitier, Mary McDonell, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, David Strathairn, Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, Donal Logue, Timothy Busfield, Stephen Tobolowski, and the last great Cold War spy film. It’s twisty, it’s smart, and it’s hilarious. The writer/director has never been able to repeat this alchemy, and that’s a real shame. But as River Phoenix says after crashing through a ceiling to take out a couple goons, “It’s not easy what I just did!”

Son in Law

Pauly Shore’s best film from the much lauded Weasel Years. Okay, that’s ridiculous, but it’s definitely his best. The only way to tolerate Shore this much is to have a movie with this much heart.

The Sound of Music

This and The Parent Trap were the movies I watched the most at my grandmother’s. It was such a major part of my childhood, I have to include it. I haven’t seen it in years, but it will always stick with me.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Hands down, one of the best musical movies of all time. It’s hilarious. It’s biting. It’s epic. And it’s no surprise the guys who wrote these songs went on to win a Tony.

Speed

The perfect action film. It’s not just Die Hard on a bus. Okay, it is, but putting Die Hard on a bus is brilliant. It provides propulsion even when characters are sitting still. This role is so unlike anything else in the Keanu Reeves catalog, and he inhabits it so well. The entire cast is wonderful, and it’s just so much fun.

Team America: World Police

Is this better than the South Park movie? Maybe. They’re companion pieces and so different in so many ways. The songs are brilliant. The satire is biting. Puppet sex, people. One more my favorite all time song lyrics is “I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark when he made Pearl Harbor.”

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

An absolute masterpiece of action filmmaking. Sequels don’t usually surpass the original, but T2 makes T1 seem like a necessary prequel more than a predecessor. Giving greater depth to a killer robot, who could have predicted that’s where this series was going? The relationship between John and the Terminator grows into something surprisingly sweet. The most brilliant detail might be John’s insistence the Terminator doesn’t kill. It turns a dumb action film into something almost responsible about its dumb action. And the T-1000 is fucking bad ass.

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March 14, 2022 at 9:50 PM  

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