4 items from 2009
Moving on to 2004. What follows is my original top ten list, based on films released in NYC in 2004. If I have anything new to say that'll be in red after the original text.
Top Ten Runners Up (in descending order): Aviator, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Mean Girls, Maria Full of Grace, The Five Obstructions, Collateral, Goodbye Lenin!, Birth and Closer Yes, I'm absolutely horrified by the rankings now. Nothing about that ranking feels right now. I am most ashamed that Birth was only at number [cough] 19 in its year. In my self-flattering memory I "almost" put it in the top ten despite the then brutal reviews. I was ahead of my time! Oh well... at least I did actually name it the #1 most underappreciated film of the year. At the time I said...
- NATHANIEL R
Let's start with a few images: A psycho jive artist dancing around as he cuts a man's ear off. A retired bullfighter slumped in front of a television set, masturbating furiously to slasher movies. Scenes like those, from Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and Pedro Almodóvar's "Matador," pretty much secured the bad-boy reputations of their creators. Tarantino came to be regarded as a hyped-up pop culture junkie spritzing bloodshed and movie references in equal measure. And Almodóvar was thought of as something like the post-Franco John Waters, mixing '50s Hollywood-style melodrama with cheerful hedonism awash in sex and drugs.
But at this year's New York Film Festival, it was Almodóvar's latest, "Broken Embraces," that was chosen for the stately closing night slot. And about a month or so before the festival, Tarantino's latest film, the epic World War II adventure "Inglourious Basterds," became the unlikeliest hit of the year. »
- Charles Taylor
Like celebrity deaths, good things come in threes — at least they do this week on DVD.
Read on for more!
The films of gay Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar go in and out of print on DVD without any apparent rhyme or reason, so if you want to include his work in your home library, it's best to snap them up whenever you can.
This week sees three of his finest films getting new DVD releases. The Oscar-winning All About My Mother (newly remastered) still ranks as my very favorite of his movies, brilliantly mixing his gifts for outrageous comedy and tear-jerking melodrama. It's a "women's picture" in the very best sense.
Almodóvar's breakthrough in this country was the hysterical farce Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown — there's been talk for some time about turning this into a stage musical, so now's the perfect time to catch up with »
While contemporary audiences might know him best as the swashbuckling Zorro, the gun-toting El Mariachi, or the voice of Shrek's furry friend, Puss in Boots (who's set to get his own spin-off film in 2012), Spanish native and Hollywood veteran Antonio Banderas got his start in the audacious films of art-house darling Pedro Almodovar (including Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Matador, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). Naturally, we were dying to see if Banderas' favorite films were as varied, and as controversial, as the movies in which he's starred -- and we weren't disappointed. Below, »
4 items from 2009
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