Sunday, June 26, 2005

Squish's Six Month Recap (June 2005)

So I've been at this for six months so far, and I thought that for those infrequent travelers who just want to know what the best movies I've seen since I've put up this thing, for you, I'll give a list of the top five.
At the same time, the five worst ones will also be presented, as a warning to never see these, ever! Sadly, I have seen too many bad movies. Maybe in another six months I'll be able to say, "Nothing was as bad as last time."
Here's hoping...

Best Movie Ever of the Last Six Months: The Celebration (1998) - 96% (Nigh Perfection)

There's a tie here numbers wise but without a doubt The Celebration deserves to be on the top of the list. Granted this is a dangerous choice for recommendation, as you may not even find this one as good as the next four on this list, but this is my second favorite movie, begrudgingly bumped down by Requiem For a Dream. The thing that makes this so good, besides the fact that Lars Von Trier, one of the world's filmmaking geniuses who came up with the Dogma Project concept (of which this is the first film), is the purely human element. There's no guns, no grand external crisis going on, no war or epic scenarios. It's just the story of a family reunion whose members need to heal from some devastating events. Brilliant and complex while still making the audience understand what's going every step of the way, I find this the deepest and most immersive family drama I've ever seen in my life. Be weary though, it's not Hollywood.

Number Two: Apocalypse Now: Redux (2001) - 96% (A True Masterpiece, a Testament to Excellence)

A safe bet right? Everyone knows that Apocalypse Now is an amazing movie. Those of you who don't want to see this movie because of all the hype are missing out on one of the top five American Classics (I will include Rocky, Taxi Driver and Deliverance in this realm of 'most watched Americana', just for point of reference). When you watch this film, you're watching a dark time of the soul, not only for the director and the actors, but for the historical relevance of Joseph Conrad's tale in this modern era. The documentary of the making of this film, Hearts Of Darkness, is as telling as the film itself. This is one of those movies that you will most likely watch several times in your lifetime. Yes, it's a safe bet for being at the top of this list, because it's one of the best movies ever made.

Third Best Film: Sin City (2005) - 94% (A True Masterpiece...)

In all fairness this also sits in a tie with the one below, but as good stories go, this one is tops. The thing that does it for me is the immersion into the mood that we experience. From the black and white to the gravel-crunching script we go deep into this world of filth, crime and trenchcoats. The cinematography, the acting and the direction were outstanding, but after all is said and done, this will appeal to your dark side, while still allowing you to enjoy the fact that this is Film-Noir Crime Drama. It's the kind of film that you can watch, be disgusted by, then shake off, because it's so fantastical. Seedy, sinister and so entertaining.

Numero Quatro: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) - 94% (Holy Jumpin' Shit, See This...)

Squish recommending a kid's movie? It happens. Squish recommending a kids movie as top five in a list over 100 long? Amazing, I know, but as I said in the review, this will shake the foundation of Children's movies. I do like dark themes, we should all know this by now, but honestly, the acting, the sets, the mood, the plot and especially the script are all mindblowingly good. Seriously, take my word for it, you will be impressed. A must see. MUST. Go Now!

Bottom of the Best: Goodfellas (1990) - 92% (If You Haven't Seen This, Wassa Madda Witchoo?)

Ah Goodfellas. Yes, I think this is better than Casino or Donnie Brasco, comparable in quality to Scarface and The Godfather, and better than most crime movies ever written. This has been around for 15 years now and I can't think of any Mob Crime movies made since this one that are better (Reservoir Dogs?). The characters are extremely well written, they're funny and driven and we get a truly epic feel from the way this movie spans 30 years of a man's rise into Mobsterdom.
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning.", "You talkin' to me?", and "You think I'm funny how?" are three of the most quoted lines I know. If you don't know which one of those comes from Goodfellas, go get yourself a refresher, and Salud!

That's that. Now for the keep-aways:

The Best of the Worst: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (1996) - 36% (Piss Poor)

"36 isn't so bad", you may think to yourself... I need you to remember that there are no zeros in this scale, therefore the lowest possible score is 10%. Think of it that way and then think of the suffering I went through. Compound this with the fact that this is a MINI-SERIES on top of it all and weep for me! The story was one big suspension of disbelief, and it's too bad because the premise was good. If only Neil Gaiman knew how to write human logic, this would have gone well. The tragedy here is that in the end, when everything is on the line, I realized that the job of the Keepers of the Key was to make sure that the situation that is unfolding never be allowed to happen yet, they willingly gave away the key to the bad guys! Why? I'm sure it's because Gaiman didn't know how else to finish his crappy book.

Sinking Deeper to Number Four: The Ghouls (2003) - 34% (Get This Bad Memory Out of My Head!)

So terrible and low-budge that I couldn't find an image, even on their own website, this is tied for third, yes, but no doubt lies in my mind as to the fact that this movie is better than the next one. The thing about horror is that it's often low budget and uses shody cameras and amateur actors. The filmmaking and acting in this is atrocious, not to mention that the entire cast is trying to exist through posturing. The cover looked great and on it someone reviewed that this was the best movie he's seen all year. I literally said, "It can't possibly be that bad if someone liked it that much." Quite obviously this was the same person as played the mongoloid from the scenes in the end. I mean exploiting this poor fellow's Downs Syndrome is bad enough, but putting him in a shitty movie too? You should be ashamed of yourself.

Up to your neck for the third worst: Skinned Deep (2004) - 34% (Skinned or Fleeced?)

Lord Almightly. I'm tempted to make this number two, because it has no lasting value, no pleasure whatsoever, no redeeming quality of "at least this is a well known director of it's genre" like the next one has, but the numbers are what they are. The worst thing about this movie, besides the fact that the characters are poorly thought out, is the entire premise of this woman who is kidnapped and forced to live with this family of freaks is destroyed in the scene in the park, when she can flee to a busload of tourists for safety. And no it's not one of those, "But the bad guy would have killed all the tourists" kind of things either. The dude she was with was a pussy. SO STUPID, SOOOOOOO STUPID NEVER SEE THIS.

Over Your Head with the Second Worst Movie: Creepers (1985) - 32% (What on Earth possessed you!?)

As the title shows this is also known as Phenomena. This requires an amendment: Yes the score I gave is terrible and yes the movie is nasty, but the ending is quite... Interesting. This is the kind of movie that you hate, then when you think about it later, you remember how good a time you had talking shit about it with your friends as you watched it. The other thing about this is at least it's somewhat of a classic. It's Dario Argento, and that guy is a horror God. Maybe not a God but a Mohammed or a Buddah for sure. This is actually one of those movies that's so bad you'll want to watch with friends, as part of a marathon or a double feature or something like that. Just remember, watch this one FIRST, then watch the good one, like The Ring, or Saw.

Which leads us to:

Drowning in the worst movie ever: Ghost Lake (2004) - 22% (This Floating Turd Should Be Thrown Back In!)

See? Yeah. I had a theme there with the water. Before we begin I want to remind you that this is 12 points over the minimum score, which basically means that it's 12%. This, contrary to Creepers, is NOT fun to watch with your friends, because your friends LEAVE while you're watching this. Read the review and you'll find I almost turned it off. I have not turned off a movie since I started this website, and I feel that I at least have to suffer through it to review it. Let this be a lesson that you need not learn! Let me be your Christ just this once; let me take the sins of this film upon myself and do yourself the favour of never seeing this. It's not scary, it's not well done, it's low budget, it's technically "Horror" but it's really just a terrible soap opera with a ghost story in it. This is so completely terrible it passes the 'So-Bad-It's-Good" category straight to, "Get your money back".

There you go.

I hope you enjoyed this little thing I made. It'll keep running for a while yet, I can guarantee. All I ask is that you please leave more comments, it's the least you could do, that includes adding any great movie recommendations. I read all the comments, cause Blog has this great way of emailing them to me.