Friday, August 27, 2010

Santa Scene in Elf

Will Ferrell is a child.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone

Val Kilmer's performance as Doc Holliday is inspiring enough to forever link him to the 19th century outlaw and peace officer. He provided a good combination of the tragic and comic nature of alcoholism.

In the movie, thugs have taken control of a small Western town bringing raucous anarchy wherever they spread. The gunmen referred to themselves as cowboys and could be identified by their red sashes.  The two leaders of the cowboy outfit are treacherous personifications of evil.

Wyatt Earp settles in Tombstone to make money as a casino operator, attempting to forget his troubled past by earning a fortune.

The ending scene is a jarring curve ball to the movie that works on so many levels. The cannonball that sunk the boat. Spoiler warning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Top 5 Angst Movies from 1990-2010

Oh the angst. We felt it more during our adolescent years but it is always a treacherous memory to revisit. A sense of anarchy and chaos that is difficult to explain but best channeled against authority, with self-destruction and loud music. But punk rock is dead, remember? Don’t forget that.

This article is a modern look at the Top 5 Angst movies between (1990-2010). All movies are different special in their own way, with each capturing a certain essence about the torments of existence. Each ranking is followed by a illustrative scene from the movie.


Thumbsucker wins because it is the perfect combination of laughter, sadness, and most importantly angst. The context of the angst is during high school and involving family, which everyone can relate to. Teenager Justin Cobb is experiencing his teenage years on Aderol, and the attention drug has made him better at it. Although he has thumb-sucking and "girlfriend" issues, Cobb manages to excel on the high school debate team.


Fight Club captures the essence of angst in the working world and consumerism. The unnamed protagonist is jaded and bored with life, and he looks for outlets in some of the most hidden, dark and possibly genius places.


Donnie Darko comes in a close third. The movie deals with high school angst, but the context is in a well-off private school for privileged families. The movie is one of the few performances of Jake Gyllenhal that is thoughtful and interesting.


While some of the other movies on the list involve adolescence, Welcome to Dollhouse deals with angst from a younger age: Youth. While some students are eager to grow up in junior high, some students don't want to or just don't know any better. The movie is a jarring performance and at times, difficult to watch.


Gilbert Grape approaches life’s angst through the context of a fatherless rural family in a small town. It uses a technique of silent angst, one that eats at you, hence the title.

There you have it. Comments? The ranking is limited from 1990 to 2010 because most of the other rankings were pre-1990 with Rebel Without a Cause and American Graffiti. Great movies, but from generations ago. Other rankings included 80s movies like Say Anything and Breakfast Club. Such rankings are out of touch with the last 20 year and were in need of an update.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Waking Life BoatCar Driver Scene

This scene from Waking Life is funny, perplexing and sets the tone for the rest of the film. In a way, the carboat driver serves as the jester of the film. 

The movie consists of a series of philosophical commentaries about living, dreaming and existence. The rotoscoped cinematography serves as a really effective device in producing the mystical qualities of the dream state.

Issues such as free will and evolution are nicely, eloquently, and sometimes emotionally discussed. While the movie is a little on the long side, Waking Life is sure to open your eyes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fight Club Chemical Burn Scene

I bring you the contemporary philosophy of Tyler Durden, an industrious manufacturer of luxury soap:

Fight Club introduced the public to the world of Chuck Palahniuk. The film brought perspective to a generation with nothing symbolic to hold onto. The 50s had World War II. The 60s had its hippie movement and civil rights. Since then, America has been faced with questionable wars, civil complacency and greed. In this movie, the public’s social coma is awakened to the jarring reminder that accepting personal sacrifice and pain can lead to an enlightened consciousness.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Gilmore Fight with Bob Barker

I know it is played out, but one cannot forget the epic showdown between Happy Gilmore and Bob Barker at the Pepsi Pro-Am. It's a shame that future generations won't have the privilege of enjoying the emotional and physical strength of the now-retired Bob Barker.

Happy Gilmore said it best: God I hate that Bob Barker.

Car Scene in Seven with Kevin Spacey

Seven is one of the most suspenseful thrillers of the 1990s. Two crime detectives have finally found the man who committed a string of brutal murders based on the seven deadly sins. He walked into the police station and confessed. Following him to the scene of his last crime, Spacey opens up about his motives: an egregious perspective that we know is in our egos, but rationally suppress. The dialogue builds up to one of the most surprising endings in cinematic history, say otherwise. The scene is an ominous reminder that something utterly terrible will happen.