Okay, kids. Here are your answers.
1. You’re Next
“Would you just die already? This is hard enough for me.”
One of those rare movies that perfectly balances comedy with horror, You’re Next is a decent enough pick for Halloween but really ought to be watched just before Thanksgiving, or any other family reunion that you desperately don’t want to go to. Also recommended for those seeking out a Final Girl who’s actually useful, or anyone who ever wanted to see Home Alone as a slasher. This is your movie.
“All right. You want a plan? Everybody want a plan? Here’s the plan, okay? No one’s gonna move. We’re gonna stay here, like this, in this room until dawn. No one leaves, no one moves. And if he tries anything, I’m gonna shoot him! And if there’s something out there and it comes in here, I’m gonna shoot it! And if anyone of us tries anything, I’m gonna shoot ’em!”
This is a hot mess of a movie, but I have something of a fondness for it . . . and for Ray Liotta’s semi-hysterical yet totally pragmatic strategy for not dying.
I approve, Mr. Liotta. I approve.
3. The Golden Child
“Only a man whose heart is pure can wield the knife, and only a man whose ass is narrow can get down these steps.”
I haven’t seen this in some time, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s probably more problematic than I’d care to remember, but I was a big fan of this movie when I was a kid, you know, back when I enjoyed Eddie Murphy films. It’s actually where I first saw Charles Dance, long, long before he became Tywin Lannister. Love you, Charles Dance!
“It’s a Carbondale. It’s from 1910, made from the same steel as the Titanic.”
“Wow. Can you crack it?”
“Well here’s the thing. It doesn’t do so well with cold. You remember what that iceberg did, right?”
“Yeah, it killed DiCaprio.”
I finally watched Ant-Man, like, a week before I went to see Civil War; I’d planned to do a review of it, but honestly, I just ran out of time. Maybe someday I’ll go back and do one, but I kind of doubt it: parts of this movie were really funny (the above dialogue, for instance; also, Thomas the Tank Engine), but mostly what I remember is being annoyed on Hope van Dyne’s behalf. And I’ve got to tell you, after several seasons of wanting to strangle Kate Austen on Lost, I was not anticipating this reaction at all.
5. Lone Star
“You can’t be desperately in love when you’re fourteen years old.”
Watched this movie during my 2014 Noir Challenge. In fact, it ended up being my favorite of the bunch; it’s a really good, underrated mystery and it kills me that I never hear people talking about it. Great cast. Great dialogue. Incredibly well-crafted.
If nothing else, this movie deserved an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Damn you, Fargo. Damn you to Hell.
6. Murder, My Sweet
“How would you like a swift punch on the nose?”
“I tremble at the thought of such violence.”
Another movie from my 2014 Noir Challenge, only an actual classic noir this time, not a 90’s Texan neo-noir. I’m a Humphrey Bogart fan, so I don’t know that I wasn’t expecting much from this, but Dick Powell really worked for me as Philip Marlowe. And Helen may be one of my very favorite femme fatales of all time. Also the dialogue: so many snappy comebacks and one-liners. This is just a very enjoyable little movie.
7. Dog Soldiers
“If we do happen to make contact, I expect nothing less than gratuitous violence from the lot of you.”
One of my very favorite werewolf movies. (Others: Ginger Snaps, An American Werewolf in London.) Kevin McKidd is great. Also, Sean Pertwee is a hell of a lot more likable than he is as Alfred on Gotham, while Liam Cunningham is considerably less likable than he is as Davos on Game of Thrones. (It’s okay. He’s supposed to be an evil dick.) This movie has got humor, action, and plenty of that good old gratuitous violence, and except for the fact that it’s one of those 10 men/1 woman movies (roughly, I didn’t actually count the men), it’s pretty awesome.
8. Singin’ in the Rain
“She’s so refined. I think I’ll kill myself.”
One of my favorite musicals ever. Which I guess isn’t saying much from a girl who hasn’t even seen West Side Story (or listened to Hamilton, for that matter), but this is definitely a comfort movie for me, something I’ll put on when I’m not feeling well and just want to watch some singing, dancing, and glorious technicolor to cheer me up. (Though, for me, it’s always been more about Donald O’Connor than Gene Kelly, and definitely more about Jean Hagen than Debbie Reynolds.)
9. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
“Don’t just stand there, do something!”
“Help. Police. Murder.”
Overall, I definitely prefer the original film to the remake, but there are aspects about the 2005 film that I do genuinely enjoy. (Freddie Highmore, for instance, who I definitely prefer over Peter Ostrum.) Sadly, Johnny Depp’s performance generally isn’t one of them. He certainly has moments, but on the whole it’s all about Gene Wilder for me . . . although I still have no idea WTF is up with the creepy ass tunnel scene. I mean, as an adult, it makes me laugh my ass off, but . . . like . . . WHAT?
10. Kingsman: The Secret Service
“I’m a Catholic whore, currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. Hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, madam.”
This might have been the most obvious quote in the challenge, but . . . like . . . just look at it. It had to be used. I laughed so hard in theater.
11. The Matrix
“You’re cuter than I thought. I can see why she likes you.”
“Not too bright, though.”
Oh, The Matrix. Didn’t really care for the second one, never bothered to watch the third one, but the first movie was a BIG deal for me when I first saw it at, oh, 13? Came out of the theater and was like, Oooh, maybe the world isn’t REAL. (When you’re a teenager living in a very small town, this prospect probably has more appeal. I’d be considerably less excited about finding that out now.)
12. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
“Jim, if you ask me, and you haven’t, I think this is a terrible idea.”
Finally, this is my least favorite Trek movie I’ve watched thus far, but I will admit that it’s got a handful of lines I really enjoy and one or two nice ideas. They’re just lost in a sea of plot conveniences and serious WTF. On the other hand, look at that picture. That picture is everything.
Okay, that’s a wrap for this challenge. Thanks, everyone, for playing!