LE CERCLE ROUGE (1969)
Best films I saw for the first time in 2012
(In no particular order)
Wake in Fright (MUST WATCH!!!)
No Rest for the Wicked
Happy Go Lucky
Taxi Zum Klo
The Kid and his Bike
Zero Dark Thirty (Favorite of 2012)
Vengeance is Mine
Dom- A Russian Family
House of Games
The Raid (Most fun at a film)
The American Friend
Wages of Fear
Then came World War II, and he enlisted in the Army. His combat experiences were harrowing. He was in the first wave of troops to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day and his unit’s lone survivor of a machine-gun ambush. In Belgium he was stabbed in hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier, whom he…
THE KID AND HIS BIKE (2012)
Hey Kids! Hitler Heads!
CLOUD ATLAS (2012)
ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012)
The enemy in this film, like terrorism, is for the most part a faceless force. Loved it.
Playboy interviewed Quentin Tarantino this month about DJANGO UNCHAINED. Particularly like what he says about villains.
Read the entire interview here.
PLAYBOY: You write terrific villains. Who set the bar highest for bad guys for you?
TARANTINO: Lee Van Cleef is one of my favorite actors. I love him in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
PLAYBOY: What makes a good bad guy?
TARANTINO: You can point at a movie like Schindler’s List and there’s Ralph Fiennes. And there’sNo Country for Old Men and Javier Bardem, and Inglourious Basterds and Christoph Waltz. The last time I watched a regular genre movie and the bad guy showed up and blew me away was Alan Rickman in Die Hard. It was the way he took over the film. It’s definitely fun to write characters like that. But what I’m always trying to do, even in the case of Reservoir Dogs, is get you to kind of like these guys, despite on-screen evidence that you shouldn’t. Despite the things they do and say and despite their agenda. I also like making people laugh at fucked-up shit.
THELMA & LOUISE (1991)
Until a couple days ago I had no idea Ridley Scott directed this. Randomly, a friend brought up that it was an interesting example of his cannon. Having never seen the film, I bumped it up to the top of my Netflix queue, and here we are. First thing I’ll say, really enjoyed this one. I had a preconceived notion going in that I knew what it was about. The ending is famous, and was sort of familiar with some of the more popular scenes. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the in your face theme of Men Vs. Woman. In order to really get this across there had to be some ugly examples of men. This is where Harlan (pictured above) comes into play. This guy is the worst kind of villain. The werewolf with perfect hair. The rapist. We don’t get to see his teeth until the last minute, but once that veil is pulled back, boy is he scary. Drool + snarling + crazy eyes = one crazy SOB. Spoiler Alert? He dies early, but we’re happy to see him go. AKA we empathize with these woman, even when their knocking over a liquor store, or blowing up gas trucks. Girl power! Any other director and I would easily call this their best film. Not Ridley Scott, though. Maybe top five for him. That’s a mean arsenal if I’ve ever seen one.
I’m going to start off by saying I’m REALLY glad I didn’t see HELLRAISER as a child. I was an extremely sensitive kid when it came to films. WILLOW gave me nightmares for a week, so you can imagine the damage HR would have done. That being said, HELLRAISER is one of those super famous horror films, like HALLOWEEN, that eluded me for whatever reason until my late 20s (very late… I turn 30 in a month!). I would finally get to answer a question that had haunted me for ages: Who the hell is Pinhead? So, you can imagine my disappointment (among other things) to find out he wasn’t the villain in the film at all, hammer wielding nutcase Julia was. Perhaps this is my own fault. I could easily go on a FilmCritHulk size rant about the dangers of expectation when it comes to films, but c’mon, Pinhead’s on the cover –with pins in his head looking scary as hell… and at best, he’s motivation for a side character. That’s just false advertising! Now on to the villain.
Julia (played AMAZINGLY by Clare Higgins) is an interesting villain because she doesn’t want to kill, but is fueled by one thing, and one thing only. Lust. More specifically, Franks boinking powers. And boy oh boy, is he good. He not only gets her to kill repeatedly, but still manages to get Julia to be attracted to his slimy, incomplete reanimated self. That’s some next level Don Juan mojo there. At first I thought this was a pretty weak motivation for a killer. Great villains should be bad to the core, it’s what makes them so damn scary. Michael Myers, Jason, Lector (even though I’m not so sure he’s a bad guy –but definitely scary), but here, Julia (as bitchy as she might be) is TURNED into one by the power of Franks abusive sexing. Lust has been a catalyst for many characters to do bad things (just about every film noir movie ever), but it’s almost always the protagonist/anit-hero, not the villain who takes this role. It’s strange, but I went with it. But by the end of the film (spoiler alert) Julia’s killed off in a rather lame fashion, only further confusing me as to who’s the villain here. To figure this out you have to look at writer/director, Clive Barker. The man puts his dirty laundry out there with this one. There’s mommy/inadequacy issues all over this thing. But it’s for this reason that the story/visuals resonated with so many people. There’s an audience who can relate to these emotional cues, and, I’m assuming, got a lot out of the film… but for us who can’t, he leaves us with very little to chew on -and certainly not a descent villain. In the end, I felt that HELLRAISER was mostly style over substance… why do you think Pinhead (who’s not even in it) is the big selling point?
TRICK ‘R TREAT (2007)
I never had an urge to watch this film until Meredith Borders (of Badassdigest.com fame) recommended it. I’m so glad she did. Enjoyed the hell out of it. First and foremost, it knows exactly what it is. Also, it doesn’t waste any time getting down to business. Want to see a pretty girl killed by a creepy kid in a costume? You get that in the first two minutes. Child killing principle (played by the always awesome Dylan Baker)? First ten minutes. And it never lets up from there. It’s pretty much “concentrated Halloween.” (Meredith’s words, not mine -and she hits the nail on the head.) Badguys? That’s all we get here. Even the cute little kids with curly red hair are killers. Not sure what to watch tonight? Consider this unequivocally endorsed.
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (1994)
THE WAY OF THE GUN (2000)