Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen, and welcome back to the last â€œLate Editionâ€ of 2006â€¦.*Sniff*. After covering my Top 10 TV shows last week, this time itâ€™s the movies of â€™06 under the microscope, as deemed by me to be my personal best of the year â€“ so here they are for your mocking pleasure:
1). United 93
Say what you will about what elements of the film are true, and what is fiction â€“ but Paul Greengrass has put together the greatest story of courage and determination to hit the big screen this year. The emotion in knowing how this story ends prior to going in doesnâ€™t take away from the fact that â€œUnited 93â€ is compelling viewing.
2). The Departed
Scorsese finally managed to nail down those ingredients he had been missing since 95â€™s â€œCasinoâ€. Of course, when your cast looks like something that youâ€™d normally see in a Robert Altman or Irwin Allen film, thereâ€™s only so many ways that you can wrong. â€œThe Departedâ€ is a reminder to film makers everywhere that itâ€™s one thing to take an original and update it as quickly as possible â€“ but itâ€™s an entirely different outcome when you take the time to ensure that it is done right.
3). Thank You For Smoking
A very clever and very funny film about a PR machine for Big Tobacco, Jason Reitman managed to avoid taking a pro or con stance on smoking, and managed instead to create an extremely faithful adaptation of the book, and once again posed the question to us all â€“ â€œWhy the hell isnâ€™t Aaron Eckhart a go-to leading man yet, when heâ€™s just so damn good in everything he does?â€.
4). Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Nothing, and I mean nothing made me laugh more in cinemas this year than â€œBoratâ€. As I said in my original review of the film, the funny in this is not necessarily from what Cohen is doing, but from what the general public is willing to discuss with anybody. That being said, the fact that Cohen can carry on in character during even the tensest situations is a testament to how funny this guy really is.
5). Casino Royale
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. After many arguments with the boss man, Daniel Craig finally arrived on the big screen, and kicked ass. I mean â€“ how could anyone doubt that heâ€™d be able to pull it off after seeing â€œLayer Cakeâ€? 100% without a doubt, the BEST 007 film since the days of Connery, and Craig is the closest thing to Flemingâ€™s Bond than any before him.
6). Mission: Impossible 3
The first one I was so-so on, the second I outright disliked, but the third I was over the top for. But I guess that was the problem â€“ does anyone really want to go and see a second sequel to a mediocre franchise? They should have, because J.J. Abrams managed to remind us all why Tom Cruise is a bonafide A List movie star â€“ even with all of the couch-jumping.
7). The Break-Up
Seeing all the finger pointing going on between couples after this finished, I would have to agree with many others in the conclusion that this is probably one of the most accurate films about a long-term relationship breaking up. Jon Favreau steals the show from Vince in their scenes together, but the real impressive turn here was Jennifer Aniston, who manages to make me forget about â€œFriendsâ€ a little more with each new role.
8). The Devil Wears Prada
Talk about a film that I had no intention of seeing this year, and â€œDevilâ€ was probably right up the top of the list. That being said, I was wrong, and this film was excellent from start to finish. Besides the fact that itâ€™s filled with smokinâ€™ hot chicks, this is actually a very funny satire of the world of magazines such as â€œCosmopolitanâ€ & â€œVogueâ€, and I canâ€™t honestly remember Meryl Streep being better in a comedy before.
9). Superman Returns
It was probably due to the fact that I wasnâ€™t a huge â€œSupermanâ€ fan going in that I enjoyed Bryan Singerâ€™s entry into the franchise as much as I did. Knowing that it was essentially a â€œrebirthâ€ of the series, there was always going to be some â€œhavenâ€™t we already seen this?â€, but I thought it was great, and Kevin Spacey was brilliant as Lex.
10). Jackass Number Two
Just as good, if not better than the first â€œJackassâ€, the only thing more amazing than the stunts the guys were pulling off was the fact that it was Knoxville who took the worst of it. Insanely funny from start to end depending on your view of what funny is, but more than anything â€“ just insane.
On to the other categories in the world of Weeksy:
Worst Film Of The Year
â€œBasic Instinct 2â€
Sharon still has a smokinâ€™ hot body, but this film sucked out loud.
Runner Up: â€œThe Grudge 2â€
Most Overrated Film Of The Year
Ummmm, why was I supposed to be impressed by this piece of shit again?
Runner Up: â€œThe Da Vinci Codeâ€
Most Underrated Film Of The Year
How this film didnâ€™t do a shit load better at the box office is beyond me â€“ Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine â€“ all under Christopher Nolan â€“ whatâ€™s not to love?
Runner Up: â€œInvincibleâ€
â€œAn Inconvenient Truthâ€
Whether you believe Global Warming is already happening or not, this is a damn fine argument that might just sway you either way.
Runner Up: â€œWho Killed the Electric Car?â€
Best Concert Film
â€œAwesome! I Fuckinâ€™ Shot That!â€
There are few moments in music that capture the vibe of being at a live Beastie Boys show, and this is a prime example of why.
Runner Up: â€œNeil Young: Heart Of Goldâ€
Best Action Film
Whether it is the insanity of the running chase between Bond & the bomb maker, or the climax in a collapsing building, 007 had them all beat this year.
Runner Up: â€œMission: Impossible 3â€
Best Horror Film
â€œThe Hills Have Eyesâ€
If a film makes me jump in my seat a half dozen times during one screening, Iâ€™d say itâ€™s pretty frigginâ€™ effective, and â€œHillsâ€ definitely falls into that category.
Runner Up: â€œHostelâ€
I put it at my number one pick for the year with good reason â€“ â€œUnitedâ€ is a fantastic example of everyday heroes fighting for what is right.
Runner Up: â€œThe Departedâ€
Best Kids Film
A good old fashioned kidâ€™s film along the vein of something like â€œThe Monster Squadâ€, this was one of the best films of its type since â€œThe Nightmare Before Christmasâ€.
Runner Up: â€œBarnyardâ€
My Shameless Plug
Alright â€“ if any of you fine folks that live in the Melbourne area have discovered the joys of Channel 31 â€“ or as a P.S.A. you do actually have a Channel 31 â€“ you may have already discovered â€œThe Bazura Projectâ€, a new TV series hosted by Lee Zachariah & Shannon Marinko, which is all about the biz â€“ no, not that type of biz.
Now, even though Lee also has an association with the cape wearinâ€™, psychically stranglinâ€™, asthmatic soundinâ€™, Rebellion crushinâ€™ prince of evil – Darth Knowles, he (and Shannon) were kind enough to take part in a little Q&A about their new project for us over here at Moviehole:
1. How much are we getting paid for this plug?
Lee – We can’t afford to pay you Alan Jones rates, so we may have to pay you in love. If that, however, isn’t acceptable (which it almost certainly won’t be), I did a quick search on the net, and your basic acrylic butt plug is going for US$4.50. Again, it’s a price far beyond our means, but I think we can make a deal.
Shannon – We offer payment-in-kind. Happy thoughts, well wishes, positive vibes, good karma, anything that’s not gonna cost us a cent, but nonetheless makes us look selfless, generous, in touch with our emotions and all that stuff… I hope you buy into that….
2. How did the show come together? Did David and Margaret picket?
Lee – Not many people know this, but David and Margaret had a brief love affair as they were in the cinema watching The English Patient and looking for something to do. There was a pregnancy, but it thankfully remained secret, because the entire gestation period took place during English Patient’s running time (which may not have been, but certainly felt like, nine months). The resulting child was shipped off to the Alexander De Large Boarding School For Droogs, where its eyes were taped open and it was forced to watch movie after movie after movie. One night, it broke out using a Rita Hayworth poster, and spent the next few years running free in the wild before eventually landing on TV. And that’s how The Bazura Project was born.
Shannon – The show came together purely out of the utter contempt we have for all the other movie news/reviews shows that are flooding our television sets and making our eyes bleed (Hey, doesn’t anyone remember the first – and only – season of Video Underground? co-hosted by Clint Morris – Ed), with the notable exceptions of David & Margaret. So many people are getting paid so much money to say so many stupid, ill-informed things that we figured we should get in on it too. We’re just as stupid, but we’re louder.
3. You’re in week 3 now. Is the free beer and free babes flowing, yet?
Lee – They are flowing, but not in our direction. In fact, they’re flowing away from us. The babes, that is. The beer is flowing towards us, as can be witnessed in Bazura’s second episode (drinking beer during the interview with Pete! Ford, drinking beer during the reviews…), but it’s not free. We still have to pay. In fact, they charge us more. I’m not sure why.
Shannon – If by “free beer”, you mean “ulcers, stress, hair loss, weight gain and nausea”, and by “free babes”, you mean “downloading lingerie catalogues from Bras N Things”, then yes, it’s all flowing quite well thank you.
4. Rove started on Channel 31. Is it your eventual goal to take it a bigger channel?
Lee – First and foremost, integrity is the most important thing. The integrity of the paycheque we get offered would have to be mighty and impressive, and for that we would do almost anything. I’m more than willing to completely sell my soul for whatever the suits want me to do. Cover B-list celebs on the red carpet? Done. Praise some crappy teen flick because the studio that made it is owned by the same umbrella corporation that owns the network? Done. Do my hair like Richard Wilkins? Done.
Shannon – We plan to adopt the Blokesworld template for television success: Score a late-night timeslot on community TV, where we exploit the vapid interests of desperate young men with no lives, then move on to a late-night timeslot on commercial TV, where we again exploit the vapid interests of desperate young men with no lives, before finally disappearing into the ether after one fleeting appearance, Malick-like, only to return 16 years later to make a four four film about clouds.
5. Who has been the best interview yet?
Lee – There are actually a couple of interviews that had to be cut from this week’s episode that I was sorry to lose. I spoke to a woman from the Church of Scientology and asked her what films she liked. She couldn’t think of any, so I suggested Silence of the Lambs because of its accurate portrayal of flesh-eating psychiatrists. But we’ve been pretty damned lucky with our interviews. Richard Wolstencroft is always nicely controversial (I was asked afterwards by some people if the interview had been scripted, they couldn’t believe what he was saying!), Pete! Ford was great to talk to and gave a really great interview, and Dr George Miller rocks my world. We got twelve minutes with him. I think Shannon had enough material for a three hour interview, and I could hear his little charcoal heart breaking when time came to wrap it up.
Shannon – The one’s we haven’t got yet. So many good, non-Wilkins questions to ask, so many people knocking us back.
BAZURA PROJECT airs…
9pm Thursdays, Channel 31! Unfortunately, we’re only being broadcast on the Melbourne 31 at the moment, but lucky viewers from other parts of the country and the world can watch episodes in their entirety by going to the official site.
Alright boys & girls, with that lovely little bit of info to keep an eye out for, itâ€™s time to wish you all the happiest of New Yearâ€™s â€“ hopefully most of you manage to get laid, but hereâ€™s a helpful tip â€“ when you see a hot chick sitting in the bar alone at the end of the night, remember to check for the Adamâ€™s Apple before committing any hard yards.
OK, until 2007, you can always drop me a line right here about why my list sucks â€“ why wasnâ€™t â€œRocky Balboaâ€ in there, how come â€œMiscellaneous Titleâ€ didnâ€™tâ€¦.. blah blah blah. But if youâ€™re feeling extra lonely, you can always swing by Myspace and show some love / hate there as well.