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Mars Attacks! (1996)
Vastly Underrated Burton Genius
I believe that this movie took way too many lumps. It was not meant to be taken as seriously as people did. It's supposed to be as kitschy and campy as a lot of the 50's sci-fi films inadvertently were.
Firstly, Tim Burton is true dark, demented, twisted, and misanthropic genius. Who else could take 3 "horses" of the '70's (Brown, Grier, and Jones) and place them in this quirk context? Not to mention have them save the world? True greatness!
Secondly, the Martian language. "Ack, Ack, Ack...". Awesome.
Lastly, the Martians can't take Slim Whitman. I ALWAYS hated those records.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
What makes Quentin a genius?
What makes Quentin the genius that he is? Well, I'll tell you. His brain has spent countless hours recording every cliche, camera angle, piece of pop culture, and character in every bad movie ever. His genius is that he is able to orchestrate this knowledge into masterpieces of cult cinema with expert precision and cleverness. Also, he manages to make it all, even the most violent material, palatable to the mainstream public. That alone is genius. After six years off, I'm glad to see that the Master is back. With all of the CRAP out there, we've missed him (and needed him)!
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
Not as good as I've come to expect from the Coens
Like many others, I'm an absolutely rabid Coens fan. Although Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney are two of the more popular and fetching actors in Hollywood, that will only get you so far. "Cruelty" was not representative of the quirkiness, odd characters, and genius that I've come to expect from Joel and Ethan. Also, when "relief" came it was kind of far into the film for them (the courtroom scene). Normally, the Coens get started with their "quirks" and "tics" right off the bat.
Until this point, I've walked away from every Coen brothers film having learned something -- something that has made me view life a little differently. I didn't learn anything from "Cruelty". However, like a few who've been to this site, I don't think the Coens are washed up. This was just a mis-step.