Worth Watching December 2010

Worth Watching:

  • Zoolander (2001), Ben Stiller – Takes the scattershot approach to comedic filmmaking, throw as many jokes as possible in and hope enough come off. They do, this film is both clever and hilarious. Probably the best thing Stiller has ever done, definitely the best thing Billy Zane has ever done.
  • Anchorman (2004), Adam McKay – Maybe the most quotable film ever. Still makes me piss myself even though I have watched it countless times. Ferrell and Rudd in particular deliver comedic caricatures that will remain amongst the most memorable of my generation.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990), Steven Barron – This is the live action classic that is still worth a look. Even on my battered Konka 51cm tube telly, on my old VHS copy. Has a really excellent and nuanced plot to build the ‘hero in a half shell’ action on. And a fantastic Casey Jones played by Elias Koteas who would end up impressing much later on in the great Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998).
  • Police Squad! (1982), Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker & David Zucker – My my this is a silly show. The precursor to the Naked Gun films rocks a hilariously stupid formula with some great wordplay. The running jokes throughout the series get funnier and funnier. And of course it has the late great Leslie Nielson who is in fantastic form. Also worth watching for Johnny the shoe-shine guy who makes a hilarious appearance in each episode including this one featuring Dick Clark:

  • Monsters (2010), Gareth Edwards – Despite the title, this is actually more of a character study. Driven by a fine script, and two really good performances especially from Whitney Able in the female lead. And there are a couple of cool monster set pieces as well if you’re into that kind of thing (isn’t everyone?) with the special effects enhancing, not detracting from a film for once. I loved pretty much everything about this film.
  • Megamind (2010), Tom McGrath – The family animated film market is so saturated these days that I rarely bother unless there’s a big fat Pixar stamp on it. Glad I did on this one. Stellar voice work by Ferrell & Pitt, fantastic soundtrack featuring AC/DC & the gunners compliment a witty, somewhat original superhero storyline.
  • The King’s Speech (2010), Tom Hooper – Grand tale exceedingly well told through a script bursting with humour and pathos. Firth, Rush & Bonham Carter (freed from her husband’s shtick) all deliver exceptional performances amongst the year’s best.
  • Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), Bernard Kowalski – Sometimes it’s not the film, but the circumstances you watch it in. This is a pretty cool, passable 50s creature flick. But I watched it, talking crap with my Mum and Dad over the remnants of Christmas wine which was a pretty fantastic way to spend an evening.

Not Worth Watching:

  • The Tempest (1979), John Gorrie – Bashing these BBC productions is seen as a prerequisite for many a wanky undergrad. However, unless you are going to innovate (well) performances are the key to any Shakespeare film. But here they range from the so-so, Michael Horden’s Prospero, to the laughable – David Dixon’s distracting, Bowie inspired Ariel. I really had to force myself to sit through all of this.
  • 2010-11 Ashes Series (2010) – Utter junk.

If you only have time to watch one Monsters

Avoid at all costs 2010-11 Ashes Series

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