y goober of a girlfriend has lampooned me! Not only did she completely mock my entry about my new truck, but she did a parody of the video.
My only two "creative" video endeavors have been the subject of parody, now; ed_aims having apparently set a precedent last summer.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
A deft blend of court-room drama with horror. Even if you're not typically a fan of the horror genre, you can appreciate this film. It isn't gory, nor does it utilize mind-boggling CG effects. The scariness lies in the story and in the performance by Jennifer Carpenter. It is beautifully shot, well-directed, and full of strong performances.
Saw (2004) & Saw II (2005)
I watched these two movies back to back this week. The first film is awesome for a variety of reasons, the two principal ones being the relative talent and what I call the "wtf? factor". The first film features the acting talents of Cary Elwes and Danny Glover, while the second film relies on a brooding and boring Donnie Whalberg. But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that in the first film, you have no idea what is going-on from the opening sequence, and you're immediately drawn in and kept constantly guessing as the story unfolds, even until the very end. In the second movie, the magic is gone because you know the trick. While there are still some surprises in the second movie, it doesn't have that edge-of-your-seat quality like the first. That said, these are very much genre films. Whereas The Exorcism of Emily Rose has the capacity to appeal to a broader audience, these movies will only be of interest to you if you're a fan of the genre, especially the highly-stylized horror films of the last decade.
Benny and Joon (1993)
This has been a movie I've wanted to see for a long time but never had the opportunity until now. Seeing it now is probably more interesting because it is chock-full of people whose stars were just starting to rise but were virtual unknowns at the time, like William H. Macy and Julianne Moore. It also features good lead and character work from the likes of Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masternson, Aidan Quinn, CCH Pounder, Dan Hedaya, and Oliver Platt. It's a multi-faceted love story, all centered around Joon (Masterson), a mentally-ill woman who is the sister of Benny (Quinn). Depp is Sam, a quirky and loveable outsider who falls in love with Joon much to dismay of her brother. The various plot-lines resolve themselves neatly and predictably as you would expect in any date-movie, which is all this is. It's better than most, but not great.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Julianne Moore and William H. Macy would team-up with the other Whalberg kid, Mark, for Paul Thomas Anderson's astonishing film about the golden era of the porn industry. From the first sequence of this movie, you know you're in for a treat, with its amazing, continuous opening shot. With an ensemble cast which also features strong performances from Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Burt Reynolds, Boogie Nights is simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
This movie tries too hard to be a Tim Burton knock-off at times, but is entertaining and fun none-the-less. The voice-over narration is often clever but, while the larger-than-life character of self-important actor Count Olaf deserves a certain amount of over-the-top acting, Jim Carrey's scenery chewing antics become a bit tedious after a while.
Corpse Bride (2005)
Burton's latest stop-animation endeavor is commendable on many artistic levels. The set and models are gorgeous and the dark humor is great, but ultimately it's lacking in character development. You just don't care or become attached to anyone because you're not given enough to sympathize or relate to them in any way.