Monday, January 19, 2009

Ruminating In My Pants #5: Doing the Whole "Best Of 08" Thing on TV, Movies

So the Nerd is most certainly not immune to sharing what his favorite shit of the year was. There is something just so fucking deep within him that cries out RANK YOUR FAVORITE SHIT IN NUMERICAL ORDER! Because we all like lists like that, don't we? When you get your local paper (assuming you don't scream PRINT IS DEAD like some people...) towards the end of the year and some critic puts up his top ten movies or books or concerts - it's fun to make fun of them, pretend like you're better than them. He liked THAT movie? What a douche!

Naturally, then you go check out THAT movie because it might be pretty good...

So yeah, make fun of my choices, call me a douche or just be confused why I'm doing this so late in the fucking game (it's because I'm in a middle market and certain movies take a few weeks to get to the Twin Cities). But do you know who I fucking am? I'm the goddamn Nerd of Noir and I know what good looks like and I have an even better fucking idea what great looks like and this fucking list coming up right below this fucking sentence looks good-goddamn-fucking-great to me:

Movies! Hoo-ray!

1. In Bruges - Martin McDonagh

No movie was more surprising, more exciting, more hilarious, more sad, more violent, more...fuck it, the list goes on. In Bruges is a cult classic, a movie I shouldn't have to explain, you should just pop it in and be awed. I can't even fathom what McDonagh will do next, I just hope he does it with Farrell. Somebody's gotta keep that dude's career on track.

2. The Wrestler - Darren Aronofsky

So The Wrestler is full of cliches and lacks the scope of Aronofsky's earlier efforts, but man does this movie hit me hard. Mickey Rourke just fucking IS Randy "Ram" Robinson and if he doesn't win an Oscar I'll shit in my hat. The final minutes of this movie just fucking haunt me.

3. Rachel Getting Married - Jonathan Demme

I've had many arguments over this movie with people as of late asking me why I thought it was so great. Well, fucking look at it! Rachel Getting Married just drew me in and made me part of the family, part of the great big emotional party in a way few movies have ever tried for. Even the structure of the movie is based on a certain "partying" logic, hence why it sort of tapers off...

4. Snow Angels - David Gordon Green

I've already talked about my love of the CCAHT in an earlier Ruminating so this one should come as no surprise. It's just a simple story of domestic strife in a small-town and how simple things can escalate to terrible extremes. This movie is for sure a bummer, but it's also agonizingly intense and sometimes even pretty funny. Sam Rockwell is a genius, too.

5. Let The Right One In - Tomas Alfredson

Last year's best horror film was from Spain (The Orphanage) and this year it was from Sweden. Right One is deliberate and strange and completely original while somehow actually following all the classic vampire rules. If you don't get creeped out by this one (or laugh your ass off during the infamous cat scene), you probably eat babies (speaking of eating babies, what happened to The Road coming out this year? I was so pumped for that and now...what?)

Television! Yippee!

1. Generation Kill - David Simon

This is the most refreshing war story ever told. It's so simple yet so complex. We hang out with a bunch of AWESOMELY foul-mouthed Marines as they do a recon mission through Iraq, ultimately ending up in Bagdad in the early days of the latest Iraq war. Through this small band of people, we see exactly how hard it is to do something really good in modern warfare. This shit is just so fucking ALIVE.

2. Mad Men - Matthew Weiner

After the show settled the whole "Will Don Draper Be Found Out?!" storyline in season one, many fans were left wondering just what the fuck we'd all care about in season two. Well, like in season two of The Sopranos, Mad Men chose to just expand our knowledge of the many great characters populating its cool-ass fucking world, and good God did it ever feel right.

3. The Wire - David Simon

Before you Johnny-Come-Lately Wire fans crawl up my ass about not putting this as number one, let me establish my impeccable Nerd cred by saying I was in the story from the beginning so don't you NPR folks who came on-board just because you heard season four was talking about "the children" (oh! What will happen to the children!?) get up my ass about this ranking. Season Five tried too hard and enlightened too little in its chosen subjects (print newspapers) and for that it ends up below these two. But still, there was plenty of greatness to be found, just not GREATNESS as with all the seasons before it.

4. Elvis Mitchell: Under The Influence - Elvis Mitchell

Though I also loved Elvis Costello's Spectacle show on the Sundance Channel, Elvis Mitchell's TCM interview program just felt more intimate, more real. Plus, he had better guests. Joan Allen, Tarantino, Sydney Pollack (right before he died!), Bill Murray - all of them talking about the movies that inspired them and shaped their career paths. Yeah, this show is for the nerdiest of nerds, but it also beefed up the Netflix queue (as if it needed any help).

5. The Paper

There was actually a reason to watch MTV in 2008! Shit, there was actually a reality-TV show that I kinda loved. That's a fucking miracle right there! The cuddly kids of Cypress Bay High in Weston Florida won this crotchety nerd's heart as they tried to put together something as earth-shattering as gasp! a school newspaper. There is really no accounting for why I loved this white-bread little show so damned much. Do I have what you humans call...feelings?

Jesus, this list-making is making me thirsty. I'm gonna hit you back later with book and music lists real soon. The Nerd's vacation is officially over!

1 comment:

jedidiah ayres said...

In Bruges - Awesome. Have you checked out the director's aprox 30 minute short, Six Shooter starring Brendan Gleeson? Very worth checking out until there's another feature.