Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meme-ish content for while I'm gone

Damn, I never got to that post I was going to do before I left. Now I'll have to go crazy trying to catch up when I get back, especially since I'm sure I'll read several more books that I'll want to talk about. Anyway, here's something to fill space while I'm gone, but first, a couple of links.

I've got a review of Universal War One #1 over at Comics Bulletin. It's a pretty interesting comic, so be sure to take a look at it at the shop this Wednesday.

I also wanted to link to a fun little story about superpowered kids by Mike Dawson, creator of Freddie & Me. He should turn it into an ongoing series.

Okay, on to the real (filler) post:

Recently the Onion AV Club's blog did one of those meme posts in which the author listed one favorite album for each year he had been alive. I'm not enough of a music person to be able to do something like that, but another writer followed it up with a movie version. That's more up my alley, so let's see if I can put together a good list, starting in 1979, the year I was born:

Movies of Matt's life:

1979: Alien, I guess. I thought I would say Drunken Master, but that was in 1978. Other contenders: Apocalypse Now, Life of Brian, The Jerk.

1980: Raging Bull. Also good: The Shining, The Blues Brothers.

1981: Pennies From Heaven. I love that movie. That year also had Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Road Warrior, and Time Bandits.

1982: I guess I'll go with Eating Raoul, since all the other choices seem crappy, except maybe The Thing. I really didn't want to say E.T., since that's far from my favorite Spielberg movie. Maybe if I had ever seen Gandhi or Sophie's Choice or An Officer and a Gentleman, I might have a more highbrow choice. And fuck Tootsie, that movie sucks.

1983: Zelig, I suppose. Man, I'm not very schooled in 80s stuff at all. This year also has Scarface, The King of Comedy, The Dead Zone, and Videodrome, which are all pretty good, if not my favorites by any of the directors. And Terms of Fucking Endearment, which I hope I never have to watch. On the "need to see" list: Koyaanisqatsi.

1984: Amadeus. Wow, I agree with the Best Picture Oscar! Also notable: Blood Simple, Broadway Danny Rose, Nausicaa of the Vally of the Wind, This is Spinal Tap. Need to see: Once Upon a Time in America, Paris, Texas.

1985: Brazil, possibly my favorite movie of all time. Otherwise I would have gone with Ran. Also good: Better Off Dead, After Hours, The Purple Rose of Cairo. Need to see: Come and See.

1986: Down By Law. I also like Hannah and Her Sisters a lot, and Aliens is pretty cool. I'm not too big a fan of Blue Velvet, but I should probably watch that again sometime. And I think Platoon is way overrated.

1987: I was trying to decide between Full Metal Jacket and Empire of the Sun, until I saw that Raising Arizona came out that year, so I had to go with that, since it's another contender for my all-time favorite movie. Also good: Radio Days (seems like I'm going to mention just about every Woody Allen movie), Evil Dead II. Probably should see: The Last Emperor.

1988: My Neighbor Totoro. This seems like a fairly weak year, with several decent movies but few that I would say are great (maybe A Fish Called Wanda? Oh, and Grave of the Fireflies is damn good). That said, here are some that I like: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Beetlejuice, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Last Temptation of Christ, They Live, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Need to see: Alice (Jan Svankmeyer!), Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou!).

1989: Do the Right Thing. Also good: Kiki's Delivery Service, sex, lies, and videotape, The Killer. Need to see: Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, Meet the Feebles. Probably should see: Glory, Casualties of War.

1990: Goodfellas. Rock. I also really dig Miller's Crossing, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Edward Scissorhands. Need to see: Boiling Point (Takeshi Kitano!), Vincent & Theo (Robert Altman!). Maybe need to see: King of New York, Jacob's Ladder, Miami Blues.

1991: Looks like it's Barton Fink. Kind of a crappy year overall. I also like Slacker, Delicatessen, JFK, and Once Upon a Time in China. About 3/4 of Night on Earth is good, but the Winona Ryder part sucks. Need to see: Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-Wai!), Kafka (Steven Soderbergh!).

1992: Reservoir Dogs, but Hard Boiled and Glengarry Glen Ross come close. You've also got Unforgiven, El Mariachi, and Braindead/Dead Alive. Need to see: Husbands and Wives, Malcolm X.

1993: Schindler's List, in another surprise agreement with the Academy. I also dug Sonatine, Groundhog Day, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Iron Monkey, and Last Hero in China. Need to see: Farewell My Concubine.

1994: Pulp Fiction, fuck yeah. Also: Bullets Over Broadway, Ed Wood, Fist of Legend, Crumb, Pom Poko. I guess Natural Born Killers has its moments. Need to see: Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy (Blue came out in 1993, but White and Red were in 94), Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.

1995: I love Toy Story, and The City of Lost Children is awesome, but I think I'll go with Ghost in the Shell. Lots of other good stuff this year, like Dead Man, The Usual Suspects, 12 Monkeys, Mighty Aphrodite, Babe, Before Sunrise, Canadian Bacon, Se7en, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Memories, and Whisper of the Heart. Need to see: My Father Is a Hero.

1996: Jeez, not much to choose from this year. I guess I'll say Bottle Rocket, but I also like Swingers and Everyone Says I Love You. There's Fargo, but while that's pretty good, it's one of my least favorite Coen Brothers movies. I really like the first half of From Dusk Till Dawn, and the second half is kind of fun, but they're not great together. Maybe Shine? Schizopolis? Need to see: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.

1997: L.A. Confidential. Not a bad year, it seems: Boogie Nights, Face/Off, The Game, Donnie Brasco, Jackie Brown, Princess Mononoke, Fireworks (which I just watched the other night). Need to see: Taste of Cherry, The Butcher Boy, Kundun.

1998: I'll go with The Big Lebowski, although I also love Rushmore. Life is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryan are both very good, although they don't seem as great as when I first saw them. We're getting into the years in which I started to watch a lot of movies, so there's plenty that I like here, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Truman Show, Buffalo 66, Out of Sight, Run, Lola, Run, Perfect Blue, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Need to see: maybe Central Station?

1999: This one's a tough decision. A few years ago, I would have said Fight Club, or maybe The Matrix, but I think nowadays I would go with The Limey. Tons of other great stuff that year though, including Being John Malkovich, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, The Iron Giant, Three Kings, The Virgin Suicides, Dogma (which has lost favor with me along with Kevin Smith, but I still think it's a pretty good movie), The Straight Story, Kikujiro, The Insider, Audition, Attack the Gas Station!, Dead or Alive, Magnolia, and The Winslow Boy. Also worth noting: The Sixth Sense, Election, Office Space, The Blair Witch Project, South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (all of which have their moments but aren't among my favorite movies). Need to see: Boys Don't Cry, Not One Less, Shower.

2000: I think I gotta say Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, although Traffic is also excellent, and so are Amores Perros and Happy Times. A few years ago, I would have said Requiem for a Dream, but that one has kind of faded in the years since it came out. Battle Royale is also up there, if it counts for this year. Plus: Almost Famous, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, You Can Count on Me, American Psycho, Brother, High Fidelity, Joint Security Area, In the Mood for Love, Pitch Black, The Tao of Steve, Unbreakable. I should try to cull these lists a little to cut down on length. Hated: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Scary Movie. Need to see: The Isle, Yi Yi, The City of Lost Souls.

2001: Memento, although I remember having a wealth of good choices that year. So I'll add The Royal Tenenbaums, Amelie, Spirited Away, Waking Life, Millenium Actress, Monsters, Inc., Mullholland Drive, No Man's Land, CQ, The Devil's Backbone, Gosford Park, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Human Nature, Metropolis, Shaolin Soccer (which I thought came out a couple years later. Huh), Visitor Q. Hated: A Beautiful Mind, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Majestic, Zoolander. Need to see: The American Astronaut, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.

2002: City of God. Wow, that's an amazing movie. I'll also highlight Minority Report, Punch-Drunk Love, Talk to Her, 24 Hour Party People, The 25th Hour, Hero, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, The Laramie Project, The Ring, and The Rules of Attraction. Need to see: The Pianist, maybe?

2003: Oldboy. Plenty of other good stuff though, like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, The Station Agent, Lost in Translation, American Splendor, Ong Bak, Elephant, 21 Grams, Kill Bill volume 1, The Triplets of Belleville, Save the Green Planet!, Zatoichi, Intolerable Cruelty, Masked and Anonymous, A Mighty Wind, and The Matrix Reloaded (but not Revolutions). Hated: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Need to See: The Brown Bunny (out of curiosity), The Return.

2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, although I almost went with Kill Bill volume 2. And I tried to cut down on the list of other good movies, but I still have to mention The Incredibles, Sideways, Garden State, Howl's Moving Castle, I Heart Huckabees, Before Sunset, 3-Iron, Closer, Downfall, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, The Motorcycle Diaries, Three...Extremes, Primer, Spartan. Hated: The Polar Express, The Girl Next Door, Finding Neverland. Need to see: Clean, Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War.

2005: I liked a lot of movies this year, but I have a hard time picking a favorite. I guess I'll say Broken Flowers. And there's also Munich, The New World, King Kong, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, War of the Worlds, Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence, Grizzly Man, Land of the Dead, Syriana, The Constant Gardener, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Descent, The Squid and the Whale, The Matador, Match Point, The Corpse Bride, Me and You and Everyone We Know, and Good Night, and Good Luck. Need to see: The Devil's Rejects.

2006: I did a top ten list for this year, and I think my pick for number one, The Science of Sleep, is still in place, but I still think Children of Men is amazingly good. Also: Babel, Shortbus, The Departed, Pan's Labyrinth, Marie Antoinette, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Fountain, A Prairie Home Companion, Sherrybaby, Brick, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, Down in the Valley, Edmond, Half Nelson, Water, The Proposition, Wassup Rockers, The Prestige, Friends With Money, Idiocracy, The Notorious Bettie Page. Hated: Clerks II. Need to see: The Wicker Man (it's supposed to be hilariously awful), Letters from Iwo Jima, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.

2007: I went with The Darjeeling Limited in my best-of-the-year list, but it was close with No Country for Old Men, Paprika, and Sunshine, among many others. Those would include: Atonement, Charlie Wilson's War, Gone Baby Gone, Michael Clayton, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Black Snake Moan, Rescue Dawn, Away From Her, Grindhouse, There Will Be Blood, Once, Ratatouille, Superbad, The Lookout, Brand Upon the Brain!, 3:10 to Yuma, Eastern Promises, Sweeny Todd, and Black Book. Need to see: La Vie en Rose, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, The Orphanage.

2008: So far, my favorite of the year is WALL-E, but that could definitely change in the next six months. I've also dug Cloverfield, Be Kind Rewind, Funny Games, and In Bruges. Need to see: The Band's Visit, Redbelt, Stop-Loss.

And that's the list. Holy crap, that took longer than I thought it would, mostly because I couldn't limit myself to one movie each year. Please comment or offer your own blog posts letting me know what you think or making your own choices. This means you, Tucker, Jason, and Caleb!


  1. Just skimming over your list I saw "A Beautiful Mind" and was going to give you crap, then my vision resolved and I saw it was in the "Hated" part of the paragraph. Then I remembered we already had a huge conversation about how we both hate "A Beautiful Mind"! That was fun.

    More to come ...

  2. All right, I've given this some thought ...

    I was born in 1978, but I got nothin' for that year.

    1979 -- The Muppet Movie

    1980 -- Robert Altman's Popeye

    1981 -- Time Bandits (probably on my top-ten favorite-film list)

    1982/83 -- I got nothin'.

    1984 -- I'll agree with you (and the Academy) and go with Amadeus. Fabulous movie.

    1985 -- Oh, not contest: BACK TO THE FUTURE!!!

    1986/87 -- Got nothin' again, although I do love your 1987 choice.

    1988 -- Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    1989 -- Back to the Future II

    1990 -- Back to the Future III (88-90 are a Zemeckis trifecta!)

    1991 -- jeez, you're right. Slim pickings. Once again, I like your choice. (Go Coens!)

    1992 --Gonna give it to Altman again: The Player! Awesome meta-film.

    1993 -- The Nightmare Before Christmas, just narrowly edging out Groundhog Day

    1994 -- Helluva year! I like your choice, but I'm going to give it to the Coens again, for Hudsucker Proxy, my favorite by them.

    1995 -- possibly cheating, but I'm going to give it to a short: Nick Park's Wallace and Grommit: A Close Shave

    1996 -- Mission: Impossible.

    1997 -- nothing leaps out at me ...

    1998 -- Rushmore is pretty much my all-time fave, so gotta give it to that. But that year also saw great entries from Pixar (A Bug's Life) and the Coens (Big Lebowski). Tough to choose. And Dark City is great as well. Go 1998!

    1999 -- Mystery Men. Seriously.

    (looking over the rest of the list, I'm finding that the new millennium apparently became all about indulging my inner child ...)

    2000 -- Chicken Run

    2001 -- Amelie

    2002 -- apparently I did not visit a movie theatre in 2002 ... nothing.

    2003 -- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    2004 -- The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

    2005 -- Sky High

    2006 -- Mission: Impossible III (J.J. Abrams is my new god.)

    2007 -- Going with you again: Darjeeling Limited all the way.

    2008 -- Cloverfield (see note for 2006)