Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Top 100 Albums of the Aughties: 75 - 51

Wassup Hepcats, and a happy holiday to you, whatever the holiday is that you celebrate. May Santa be good to you, may Hannukah Harry bring you all that wanted, may you be triumphant in your Feats of Strength.
Here's 100 - 76.
And here's 75 -51.

75. Liz Phair (2003)
Liz Phair
Best Jam: "Extraordinary"

74. Electric Version (2003)
The New Pornographers
Best Jam: "All For Swinging You Around"

73. Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
Best Jam: "PDA"

72. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006)
Neko Case
Best Jam: "Hold On, Hold On"

71. Show Your Bones (2006)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Best Jam: "Phenomena"

70. Lungs (2009)
Florence + The Machine
Best Jam: "Girl With One Eye"

69. Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
The White Stripes
Best Jam: "The Denial Twist"

68. Sky Blue Sky (2007)
Best Jam: "What Light"

67. Youth and Young Manhood (2003)
Kings of Leon
Best Jam: "Molly's Chambers"

66. Rated R (2000)
Queens of the Stone Age
Best Jam: "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"

65. Graduation (2007)
Kanye West
Best Jam: "Champion"

64. Hold On Now, Youngster... (2008)
Los Campesinos!
Best Jam: "You! Me! Dancing!"

63. Get Away From Me (2004)
Nellie McKay
Best Jam: "It's a Pose"

62. Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)
Jenny Lewis
Best Jam: "Rabbit Fur Coat"

61. Veni Vidi Vicious (2000)
The Hives
Best Jam: "Die, All Right!"

60. It's Blitz! (2009)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Best Jam: "Hysteric"

59. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)
Arctic Monkeys
Best Jam: "I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor"

58. The Airborne Toxic Event (2008)
The Airborne Toxic Event
Best Jam: "Sometime Around Midnight"

57. All Hands On The Bad One (2000)
Best Jam: "You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun"

56. Funeral (2005)
Arcade Fire
Best Jam: "Wake Up"

55. Tallahassee (2002)
The Mountain Goats
Best Jam: "No Children"

54. Achilles' Heel (2004)
Pedro the Lion
Best Jam: "Arizona"

53. The Life Pursuit (2006)
Belle and Sebastian
Best Jam: "For the Price of a Cup of Tea"

52. The Heat (2004)
Jesse Malin
Best Jam: "Hotel Columbia"

51. The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)
Frightened Rabbit
Best Jam: "The Modern Leper"

Next post: actual analysis! Awesome for you! Win.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Top 100 Albums of the Aughties: 100 - 76

Wassup Hepcats!
Oh of course I was gonna do it this week. This is the big one, right? Well maybe not as big in the last decade as in decades past, decades past when people used to buy "albums", and not just cherry pick songs off of iTunes (or LimeWire - not that I do that, federales).
I'm not sure how I feel about this list. I would guess about 70 -80 of these albums I've never owned in any physical form, never pored over the liner notes, never stared at the cover art, never did lines off the jewel case. (Jokes, federales!). And I know it's annoying and old-fogeyish to bitch about weird shit like that, and I wouldn't trade what we have now for what we had then, but I do kinda miss the tangible aspect of the album, especially arguing with friends over things like sequencing. August of 1992 was in large part a discussion with my friend Brian about the best order of the songs on "Achtung Baby".
And in honor of that there is a U2 album AND a Bruce Springsteen album in here. But don't worry also like 4 White Stripes records.


  Which brings me to another caveat: there are certain bands here who may be what you call "over-represented". But I don't. If one of my favorite groups released 3 or 4 albums in the last ten years, and I really liked all of them, I'm not gonna leave them off so that I can pretend I enjoyed whatever it is that Sigur Ros thinks they're doing. That said, it was a factor in the tiebreaking process, and you can thank your lucky stars for that, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
  So! 100 through 51 will be done in small little capsules, and we'll save the big guns for the top fitty. S'alright?

100. BRMC (2001)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Best Jam: "Love Burns"

99. Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
Animal Collective
Best Jam: "My Girls"

98. Earthquake Glue (2003)
Guided by Voices
Best Jam: "The Best of Jill Hives"

97. The Believer (2006)
Rhett Miller
Best Jam: "Fireflies"

96. You Are the Quarry (2004)
Best Jam: "First of the Gang to Die"

95. Wilco (the Album) (2009)
Best Jam: "You Never Know"

94. The Execution of All Things (2002)
Rilo Kiley
Best Jam: "Spectacular Views"


93. Rockin' The Suburbs (2001)
Ben Folds
Best Jam: "Gone"

92. Poses (2001)
Rufus Wainwright
Best Jam: "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"

91. Scissor Sisters (2004)
Scissor Sisters
Best Jam: "Take Your Mama"

90. Silent Alarm (2005)
Bloc Party
Best Jam: "Like Eating Glass"

89. Picaresque (2005)
The Decemberists
Best Jam: "We Both Go Down Together"


88. All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
Best Jam: "Walk On"

87. Cassadaga (2007)
Bright Eyes
Best Jam: "If The Brakeman Turns My Way"

86. Gimme Fiction (2005)
Best Jam: "Sister Jack"

85. Humanoid (2009)
Tokio Hotel
Best Jam: "World Behind My Wall"

84. Blood Money (2002)
Tom Waits
Best Jam: "God's Away On Business"

83. Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes (2004)
TV on the Radio
Best Jam: "Dreams"


82. Wolfmother (2005)
Best Jam: "Joker and the Thief"

81. Narrow Stairs (2008)
Death Cab for Cutie
Best Jam: "Grapevine Fires"

80. Icky Thump (2007)
The White Stripes
Best Jam: "Icky Thump"

79. You Are Free (2003)
Cat Power
Best Jam: "Good Woman"


78. The Resistance (2009)
Best Jam: "United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage"

77. Essence (2001)
Lucinda Williams
Best Jam: "I Envy The Wind"

76. For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
Bon Iver
Best Jam: "Blindsided"

The Golden Age of Video

OK, Hepcats, fair warning: if you watch this video, you're going to have "WE CAME, WE SAW WE KICKED ITS ASS!" in your head until New Year's.

Here are the complete lyrics, along with the movie/TV show it came from.

BBC Logos:
1, 2, 1 2 3 4.

We accept her, one of us. We accept her, one of us.
Gooble gobble, gooble gobble.
We accept her, we accept her.
We accept her, one of us. We accept her, one of us.
Gooble gobble, gooble gobble.
We accept her, we accept her.

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

School of Rock:
I was testing you – and you passed.

The Simpsons:
Dental plan! Lisa needs braces.

South Park:
Be required to fart on a regular basis.

The Godfather:
I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Channel 13, eyewitness news!
Robocop, who is he?
Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.

Sesame Street:
In a hurry to be fed, beady eyes and big blue head.

Back to the Future:
I’m telling the truth Doc, you gotta believe me.

The Simpsons:
Why does everything I whip leave me?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
My beautiful chocolate! Candy is dandy.

Silence of the Lambs:
Fava beans and a nice Chianti.

You can count on Slippery Pete.

Back to the Future 2:
Suicide will be nice and neat!

A Night at the Museum:
I didn’t build the Panama Canal.

2001: A Space Odyssey:
Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.

Star Wars:
These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.

The Prisoner:
I am not a number. I am a free man!

Citizen Kane:

To the Idiotmobile!

Knight Rider:
Right away Michael.

The Prisoner:
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

On the Waterfront:
You don’t understand, I could’a had class.

Sesame Street:
Round and tasty on a bun.

Ooh Zippy, look what you’ve done.

Pirates of the Caribbean:
Finally, cast off those lines!

No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.

The Shining:
Red Rum!
What’s the matter honey?

The Dukes of Hazzard:
Just robbed Boss Hogg all of his money!

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

Top Gun:
Writing checks your body can’t cash.

The Simpsons:
I was elected to lead, not read.

Top Gun:
I feel the need, the need for speed!

Mystery Science Theater 3000:
Watch out for snakes!

The Man Who Knew Too Little:
A good man’s loafer.

Mystery Science Theater 3000:
HQ, my hat looks like a muffin, over.

2010: The Year We Make Contact:
My God, it’s full of stars.

The Car:
There was no driver in the car.

Knight Rider:
Right away Michael.

The Dukes of Hazzard:
Well you see I’m in hot pursuit!

30 Rock:
There are only two things I love in this world, everybody and television.

The Simpsons:
The Simpsons!

Family Guy:
Ugh, you must be ’shrooming.

The Moomins:
Wait for me Moomin!

Shaun Micallef:
Cross live to meet the host of that show, Meat Boy.

30 Rock:
I want to go to there.

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

Starsky and Hutch:
An oil tycoon, like a – moustache.

The Naked Gun:
Nice beaver!
I just had it stuffed.

I don’t give a shit, close enough.

The Fast Show:
Where’s me washboard?
I’ll get me coat.

You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

What’d she say?
I think she bought it,

30 Rock:
Suck it monkeys, I’m going corporate!

C’mon let’s take a drive.
A drive?

Short Circuit:
Number 5 is alive!

It Couldn’t Happen Here:
It’s only a laugh, no harm done,

Sesame Street:
Pickles, french fries, yum yum yum.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:
Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.

Good Morning, Vietnam:
It’s 2 degrees cooler.

Blade Runner:
The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

This is Spinal Tap:
Six words in the whole song.

[Freaks chorus]

The Prisoner:
You are number 6.

Short Circuit:

Four, three, two.

The Prisoner:
I am not a number, I am a free man!

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

The Big Lebowski:
Give me my 20,000 in cash.

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

Back to the Future 3:
I think you woke up the dead with that blast!

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

Pulp Fiction:
I think fast, I talk fast.

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

Family Guy:
Lois, this is not my Batman glass.

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

[Freaks chorus]

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Wassup Hepcats!
Every year, I pray. Not to a "god" or anything like that, more to like a unifying energy force that I don't really believe in but it doesn't require any effort on my part so Hey Why Not?
I pray that winter won't happen this year. It would be like a sad kids TV special from the '80s, "The Year Without a Winter", except everyone would be happy and rejoicing and drinking margaritas. Virgin margaritas for the kiddos. And it wouldn't be because of global warming climate change or anything, it would just be because nature forgot. And when nature remembered? Too late, nature! It's spring! Which it has been all along because you forgot! Silly goose.
Yeah, well.
Maybe next year.
*use your old hairspray cans though, just in case.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: The Top Five

Wassup Hepcats!

OK, we're finishing this up tonight. Here's the previous entry: 10-6.
Any arguments about my list? Post a comment below, or email me at Include a photo so I know if I could beat you up or not.

5. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

First Impression:
I saw this at the (then) Mann Chinese Theater with a few of my friends on opening night. I loved it. Loved the whole idea, loved the look, loved the ending. And expected that my friends felt the same. As we were walking back toward my apartment, I said something like, "Wow, guys, great movie, right?" And there were a few moments of silence before my friend Christine muttered, "Well, the teddy bear was funny."
My point, Hepcats, is that sometimes we must go our own way. We must swim against the tide. We must be bold, so that mighty forces may come to our aid. And fuck you, A.I. was a great fucking movie. Especially the robots (NOT ALIENS, ASSHOLES) at the end.

Best Line:
Professor Hobby: [after stabbing the mecha's hand in a demonstration] How did that make you feel? Angry? Shocked?
Secretary: I don't understand.
Professor Hobby: What did I do to your feelings?
Secretary: You did it to my hand.

"Holy Shit!" Moment:
When we see the robots (NOT ALIENS, ASSHOLES) flying over the arctic landscape. Life has never seemed more pointless while watching a movie.

Pretty Girls:
Not a whole lot of females in this motion picture. David's mom is cute, I guess.

Best Scene:
Well, not the one with Robin Williams, I can tell you that right now. Speilberg just can't help himself sometimes. My favorite scene, though, is the end. He waited all that time, just for one day with his "mother". And now what?

Rewatchability: If I happen to be suffering through an existentail crisis, 10. Otherwise, probably an 8. But it is rarely otherwise.

4. No Country For Old Men (2007)

First Impression:
You know Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy, right? Before I had a chance to catch this picture, he wrote something like "I loved everything up until they showed the pool". So I'm watching it, can't get over how awesome it is, but dreading the shot of the pool. What the hell could that mean? I assumed it was Tommy Lee Jones kicking back in a pool with a mojito. This was 2007, mojitos were huge. And that really would have been off-putting. So the ending happens. And I think it's some kinda alright. What the hell is Simmons's problem. Through later reading we discover Simmons is anti-English major. Since I was one, I dunno, is that why I loved it? We didn't need to see Josh Brolin get dead to understand what happened, right?
Anyway minus five points for Simmons on that.

Best Line:
Nervous Accountant: Are you going to shoot me?
Anton Chigurh: That depends. Do you see me?

"Holy Shit!" Moment:
When Anton Chigurh totally strangles the fuck out of that cop dude. Or really anything he does.

Pretty Girls:
A solid no on that count.

Best Scene:
Anton Chigurh in the gas station is probably the most famous scene, and deservedly so I guess. But I love the scene with Josh Brolin in the hotel room, with the lights off, watching the light under the door to see if anyone's stopping there. Classic fucking suspense.

Incomplete, but right now a 9.5. I've watched it twice now, and it was even better the second time.

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

First Impression:
For the third time in my (then) short life, Kate Winslet had made me fall in love with her. And I say this to all the straight me and gay women out there: how do you watch this movie and NOT fall in love with Kate Winslet?

Best Line:
Clementine: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon.
Joel: I know.
Clementine: What do we do?
Joel: Enjoy it.

"Holy Shit!" Moment:
There's few, I just can't remember them.

Pretty Girls:
Well, duh. AH Girlfriend Emeritus Kate Winslet.

Best Scene:
In the bookstore, all the titles disappearing.

I'm going to be honest here. I've only seen this once. So it really shouldn't be up this high, right? But the feeling I had after I first saw this movie was so unique, so full of optimism and romance or some such baloney, that I went out and met my wife a week later. So that happened.

2. Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2 (2003/4)

First Impression:
That the first Kill Bill would end up being my Best Movie of the Aughties, hands down. (Yeah, I start thinking about this stuff early). Then I saw the second one, and I realized it would be an argument. And argument that another movie (and my awesome rule bending) later rendered moot. But still. I haven't caught Inglorious Basterds yet, and shame on me of course. But is there anyone who makes movies even half as entertaining as Tarantino? These two movies, when considered as a whole have EVERYTHING. Mmm, except boobies, I think. Again: but still.

Best Line:
Well, this is Tarantino. I could just pick a line at random. How about this:
The Bride: You and I have unfinished business.
Bill: Baby, you ain't kidding.

"Holy Shit!" Moment:
Vernita Green's daughter coming home during her fight with the Bride.

Pretty Girls:
I acknowledge Uma Thurman's beauty while confessing that she's never really done it for me. Tall, thin, pale and blonde. We're gonna go ahead and call that TTPB here from now on. Not my thing. Lucy Liu, though. Now we're cooking with gas.

Best Scene:
After you've watched all these amazing set pieces, The Sandwich Scene comes along and just fucks you in the head. How good is this scene? When David Carradine forgot to have a backup plan this summer, almost every obituary mentioned it.

10.5. Bonus half point for being able to just click over during a commercial if you're watching something else, and knowing you'll be seeing something cool.

1. What Happens In Vegas (2008)

First Impression:
Sometimes you see a movie that just speaks to the inner depths of your soul. You had all these feelings that you could never quite explain, until you saw a masterpiece of pure cinema that
Naw, I'm fucking with ya again. I've never even seen this movie. As far as you know.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

First Impression:
I posted on my fantasy league message board (I RULE) "I have just watched my favorite movie since Pulp Fiction." And I then watched it another five or six times to make sure. And now it's on HBO every night, so I have to check in once in a while to make sure it's still awesome. It is.

Best Line:
Alfred Pennyworth: Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

"Holy Shit!" Moment:
Aw man, that whole chase scene. Especially when the Batcycle or whatever does a flip against the building. Also when everyone shows up to save Harvey, instead of Rachel. Also every scene with the Joker.

Pretty Girls:
Well, this is the $65,000 question, isn't it, Hepcats? Is Maggie Gyllenhaal pretty? Some claim her as a crush. Some call say she has a face like a pig. Being supremely talented, I can see both sides. And I saw: I don't know. I really don't. Sometimes she looks hot.

Sometimes she looks awful.

Even in this one movie. So we'll go with "No one as pretty as Katie Holmes" for this, while remembering that Katie Holmes almost single-handedly ruined Batman Begins.

Best Scene:
A lot of people didn't like the scene with the two ferries. I thought it was brilliant.
But I'm gonna go with Every Scene With The Joker.

10. Damn straight.

So there's my Top 25 Movies of the Aughties, keeping in mind I haven't yet seen "Inglorious Basterds", "Up in the Air", "Avatar", "(500) Days of Summer", or "What Happens in Vegas" (or have I?)
Thanks, Hepcats, that's one more Best of the Aughties (Albums), but I might not get to that till after the new year. And maybe we'll do books. I dunno.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gran Up Torino

Mash ups are usually awful, but this one made me laugh.

Facebook Games

Wassup Hepcats.
I can't write for long today (and we'll contiune soon with the endless lists that make up this part of the year) because I have to go upgrade my Research Lab to Level Two, and Raid an Ore Mine.
Yes, Hepcats, I have been sucked in again by the scourge of our online existence: The Facebook Game.
They're all basically the same: you click on a button to begin a process, wait a designated amount of time for the process to complete, and are then rewarded with something that you can use to begin more processes. As you become a more experienced clicker, the designated time for the process to complete takes longer, but your reward is greater.
I know. I can hear you. "That isn't a game," you say. "A game involves a skill of some sort, or the option of a negative outcome. That is just, why, that's just a carrot and a stick!"

You are absolutely right. So why is this bullshit so addicitive? Why did I once wake up at four in the morning to collect my take from a massage parlor in "Mafia Wars"?

Because if you don't, the game takes your shit from you, that's why. Wait too long, and all your clicking has gone to waste. Your FarmVille corn, that you spent 20 minutes lining up in perfect rows, will have wilted. Some phantom "rival" mobster will have busted up your illegal sportsbook (and probably made off with your hoes.)

That's just one part of the mad genius of these games. The other (not counting the shady crap they want you to click on the get more loot, the free trials and surveys and what not) is that some games make you recruit friends. One perk of actually signing up is that those random updates in your news feed make sense all of sudden. The one I'm playing now, "StarFleet Commander", has certain tasks you can't even do unless you sign up new players. (So if you're Facebook friends with me, send me a note so I can sign you up.)

So basically the goal of these games is to keep playing them, and to invite others to do the same. It's a Mobius strip of 21st century marketing. The machines are self aware. The end is nigh.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: 10 - 6

Wassup Hepcats!
So I've been checking the Google Analytics on this here site (fellow bloggers: you MUST get this. It's free, and you can easily waste three hours with masturbatory stat checking), and was pleased to see we've had visits from 9 countries in the last 2 days. Including two different ones from Greece. So allow me to say, yasas, Greeks!
Previously, 15 -11.
And currently:

10. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

First Impression: Eh. I'm pretty sure I was drunk, and I put it on at like 3 in the morning. I was talking to my buddy Thomas Jay about it later, and was convinced to give it another shot. I'm pretty sure no one who sat near my cube at the time would ever forgive him.

Best Line: Well, of anything on this list (including this movie's inclusion on this list), this may inspire the most argument. I don't know why, but what always cracked me up the most was
Baxter: Leave these people alone. They mean you no harm.
Bear: We Bears are a proud race. They must pay for their intrusion.
Baxter: On my journey I met one of your kind. His name was Katow-jo. We became friends.
Bear: Katow-jo is my cousin. Go in peace.
Baxter: I will tell tales of your compassion.
Bear: Fare thee well, Baxter. You shall always be friend of the bears.

Although you can't go wrong with
Champ Kind: I will smash your face into a car windshield, and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again.

Anyway. Begin arguing with my choices. And oh shit wait till you see what made Number 5 on this list of the Top 25 Movies of the Aughties. I bet you hated it.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: The fight with Wes Mantooth and his whole crew. "Did you throw a trident?"

Pretty Girls: Christina Applegate is fine here. But, and I think I speak for all males born between 1974 and 1978 here, what would your junior high self have done just to see one of Kelly Bundy's boobies? Kill a family member? Shoot the President? And now they're all gone. Like sands through the hourglass.

Best Scene: The introductions to all the Channel 4 Newsteam.
"I'm Brick Tamland. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks. Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and am what some people call mentally retarded. "

Rewatchability: You tell me. I just did all those quotes from memory. (I totally didn't. But it's a 10.)

9. Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain (2001)

First Impression: Naw, I just call it "Amelie" too, I was just giving a shout out to our Cahiers du Cinema bruthas. My first impression was that someone (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, that crazy bastard) had made a chick flick that male hipsters could love. And did love. I see a movie like "Chocolat", and I see the emotions it was trying to evoke, and then "Amelie" took "Chocolat" by the back of its fat sweaty Weinstein brothers neck and made "Chocolat" go down on it. "This is how you move people, bitch!"

Best Line:
Narrator: Amelie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. A soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind overcomes her.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: When Amelie dissolves into water. It's pretty damn cool.

Pretty Girls: Audrey Tatou has NEVER been written about in a sentence that didn't either mention Audrey Hepburn or use the word "gamine". Until now: Audrey Tatou is gorgeous, way prettier than Audrey Hepburn and I didn't know what "gamine" meant until I looked it up. Shit, oops.

Best Scene: Not really a scene per se, but the whole thing with her dad and the garden gnome was tres charming. (Tres is French for "wicked".)

Rewatchability: 9. One of those movies where you forget how entertaining it is until it's on.

8. Juno (2007)

First Impression: After the scene with Dwight Schrute, I was ready to walk out. If I wasn't on a date with Mrs. Hepster, I might have. The first five minutes were everything I was afraid this movie was going to be. And then by the end, I was choking back sobs. But I could still kick your ass!

Best Line: There IS a lot of cutesy dialogue, and a lot of it is actually funny, but this exchange always makes me laugh:
Mac MacGuff: No, I know I mean who's the father, Juno?
Juno MacGuff: Umm... It's Paulie Bleeker.
Mac MacGuff: Paulie Bleeker?
Juno MacGuff: What?
Mac MacGuff: I didn't think he had it in him.
Leah: I know, right?

"Holy Shit!" Moment: Ah, when we finally see the note, and it's framed in the baby's room. Choking back SOBS I tell ya. And I could still kick your ass.

Pretty Girls:  Jennifer Garner is pretty easy on the eyes.

Best Scene: When Juno and her dad meet Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. Especially since it sets us up so well that Bateman is the cool guy and Garner is an uptight bitch. Well done, Diablo Cody, even if your name is Diablo Cody.

Rewatchability: 9. I had to stop watching it last month. It was on all the time. Would be a ten but certain lines ("Honest to blog") get more annoying with each view.

7. There Will Be Blood (2007)

First Impression:  I know I made fun of people who use the term "pure cinema" in an earlier post. Seriously, though, this is pure fucking cinema. If I never had a vasectomy I would impregnate Paul Thomas Anderson just to have offspring half as talented as he is. And I had never given Daniel Day Lewis any thought, other than he was a little overcooked in "Gangs of New York". Daniel Day Lewis is my fucking boy now, after this piece of cinema, which is pure.

Best Line: Everybody now!
Plainview: They should have put you in a glass jar on a mantelpiece. Where were you when Paul was suckling at your mother's teat? Where were you? Who was nursing you, poor Eli- one of Bandy's sows? That land has been had. Nothing you can do about it. It's gone. It's had. You lose.
Eli Sunday: If you would just take this lease, Daniel...
Plainview: Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I'm so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake!
[sucking sound]
Plainview: I drink it up!

"Holy Shit!" Moment: Not to give away what I haven't already, but it involves a priest and a bowling alley.

Pretty Girls: Hold on, let me check IMDb. OK, I'm back. That would be no. This is PURE CINEMA, after all. No room for playing grabass.

Best Scene: Daniel Day Lewis at the beach with his "brother". Just looking at him, as he bobs in the waves. Just looking.

Rewatchability: Incomplete. And the only reason this is out of the top 5. This pure cinema needs to start playing on HBO or Cinemax soon, or I'm gonna have to do something like buy a DVD. And we don't want that, Hepcats.

6. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

First Impression: I honestly don't remember, as I'd been jacked for this movie the moment it came down the wire that Wes Anderson's next movie was going to be about a family of geniuses. I think I almost passed out when I heard that. I do remember watching it at my little brother's apartment one night a few years ago, proud that he had such good taste in movies. He had the Criterion collection edition and everything.

Best Line:
Richie: Did you say you were on Mescaline?
Eli: I did indeed. Very much so.

Note: This is why I still, to this day, think "I did indeed" is a funny phrase, and try to fit it in where I can. Ask Mrs. Hepster. She can confirm.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: Eli crashing into the house. "Here I come!"

Pretty Girls: I'm not the biggest Gywneth Paltrow fan in the world, but sometimes she looks good. She looked really good in "Iron Man". She looks good here. Enough to be approved for our purposes.

Best Scene: The montage of Royal with his grandsons on the town is poignant and funny. Just like almost every other scene in this movie.

Rewatchablity: 10. Almost a 10.5 now that you can try to figure out which cast member Luke Wilson ate before he started doing those AT&T commercials. I bet it was Seymour Cassel.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: 15-10

Wassup Hepcats!
Ado? None.
Before: 20 - 16
And now:

15. Up (2009)

First Impression: My first impression was that I was watching a movie sitting in between two talkative little girls. Yes, Hepcats, this was the first movie I took the twinnies to. They really liked it. I liked it better.

Best Line:
Dug: Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, "I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead." Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.

"Holy Cow!" Moment: Seeing that house and all those balloons take off on the big screen was pretty darn cool, I admit.

Pretty Girls: Yeah, no.

Best Scene: The opening. I'd avoided any reviews before I took them to see it, so I was pretty unprepared for it. Sniffles may have been involved. Twice.

Rewatchability: Incomplete. Prospects are good, though.

14. Adaptation (2002)

First Impression: That I somehow liked it better than Being John Malkovich, which I'd thought to be impossible. Nicolas Cage, who I normally hate, was awesome. And I loved the ending. Now, normally I can't stand when someone's argument is, "The reason you didn't like it is because you didn't understand it". It's lazy, it's rude, and it's almost always wrong. Trust me, I've been on the other side of it a couple of times. I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND ALL THE INS AND OUTS OF DONNIE DARKO. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT IT SUCKED.
That said, most of the people who didn't like the ending to this movie didn't understand it.

Best Line:
Donald Kaufman: Anyway, listen, I meant to ask you, I need a cool way to kill people. Don't worry, for my script.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: Pretty much the entire last half hour, as you realize what's happened.

Pretty Girls:  Well, Tilda Swinton pretty much blows the rest of the world away in terms of .... aw, see I was fucking with ya. Um. I think the waitress was kinda cute, but I can't remember.

Best Scene: Any scene with Chris Cooper in it.

Rewatchability: 9. Beyond all the metaphysics and questions of reality, this movie is just really funny.

13. Almost Famous (2000)

First Impression: That I loved this movie like a little brother. There were scenes in this movie that I knew from the first that I'd remember a long time, and I was right.

Best Line:
Elaine Miller: Adolescence is a marketing tool.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: When the plane is going down, and everyone starts confessing their deepest secrets.

Pretty Girls: Hmm. Kate Hudson, AH Girlfriend Zooey Deschanel AND AH Girlfriend Anna Paquin? Well played, Mr. Crowe. Well played indeed.

Best Scene: William Miller on the phone with Lester Bangs.
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool."

Rewatchability: A solid 10.

12. Memento (2000)

Rewatchability: 8.5. Surprisingly high, considering it goes backwards.

Best Scene: When Carrie-Anne Moss starts beating the shit out of herself.

Pretty Girls: Not movie star pretty, but Carie-Anne Moss or Jorja Fox would both probably be one of the hotter women in your office. For our purposes here, though, no.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: I think this entire movie is an "oh shit!" moment. Or, at least the beginning of every scene is.

Best Line:
Leonard Shelby: My wife deserves revenge, whether I know about it or not

First Impression: About fifteen minutes in, I thought I was going to get a headache. But I kept my head down, pushed through that shit, and watched as the best mystery movie of the decade unspooled before me.

11. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

First Impression: That I was ten years old again. I know it was popular at the time to say things like "The fight scenes are more like ballets than fights!", but that obscures the fact that THESE FIGHTS ARE AWESOME. We've become inured to it now, but in 2000 watching people run up walls and fly through the air was still new (to Americans, anyway) and no one had done it this well. I'm still not sure anyone has.

Best Line:
Jen Yu: [while slicing through customers at a local restaurant] You want to know who I am? I am... I am the Invincible Sword Goddess, armed with the Green Destiny that knows no equal! Be you Li or Southern Crane, bow your head and ask for mercy! I am the dragon from the desert! Who comes from nowhere and leaves no trace! Today I fly over Eu-Mei. Tomorrow... I topple Mount Wudan!
(I bet that sounds better in Mandarin.)

"Holy Shit!" Moment: The first time we see the thief run up the wall of a building onto a roof.

Pretty Girls: Ziyi Zhang is quite fetching indeed. I guess some of you like Michelle Yeoh. To each his own.

Best Scene: I think the massacre in the restaurant. I don't know. Anything that involved swords and fighting. And ballet.

Rewatchability: 8. The action still holds up, but the other stuff can be a drag if you aren't in the right mood. But, again: the action is awesome.

So here we are Hepcats, at the threshold of another Top Ten. I'll probably keep doing them five at a time, though, because I know your time is precious. Tomorrow!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: 20-16

Wassup, Hepcats!
So a change in schedule - we're gonna bust these out five at a time for the next few days instead of in one lump sum. Or two lump sums. Can you have two lump sums?
25-19 is here.
And 20-16 is here:

20. Minority Report (2002):

First Impression: Like with any Tom Cruise movie, I had to will myself to forget he was in it. And this was before he started jumping on black ladies' couches. More than any other actor of our time, he is incapable of disappearing into a role. Even in Magnolia, you're watching him, thinking, "Wow, Tom Cruise is really good here." Or in Tropic Thunder, with a big old fat suit, you think, "Wow, Tom Cruise with a big old fat suit is being really funny!" Anyway, here, you think, "Hey, this Tom Cruise movie is really good!" Also, I remember being kinda bummed that his character wasn't named John Minority. I may have placed a wager with someone on that.

Best Line:
Director Burgess: You don't have to run, John.
John Anderton: You don't have to chase me.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: A lot of good effects shots here. I liked the robot bugs best though.

Pretty Girls: Not so much. Samantha Morton can be kinda pretty sometimes, but here she is made up like a fish embryo or something.

Best Scene: When the guy comes home to find his wife cheating, and the helicopter things arrive.

Rewatchability: 9.5. This is on a lot, so I've had ample opportunity to test this number. Futuristic movies usually have a high degree of rewatchability for me, for some reason.

19. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

First Impression: I had no interest in seeing this. I put it in my Netflix queue for reason I cannot quite articulate, and it got sent out before I could bump something else up ahead of it. Luckily for me, I watched it at almost the precise moment where I had that stage that guys hit as they get older, where history starts to become interesting. I loved the naval battles, the cat and mouse movements of the ships, and the little, endearing touches to the characters. I borrowed the first book in this series from the library, and was enjoying it, but it was during one of those phases where it takes forever to get through a book. Plus I had to keep Googling the different nautical terms in it, so I had to bring it back when I was about halfway through. I'll try it again someday, especially now that I know what a "fo's'cle" is.

Best Line: 
Able Seaman: Is them 'is brains, doctor?
Dr. Stephen Maturin: No, that's just dried blood. THOSE are his brains.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: All of the battles are impressive, but the amputation scene probably comes closest to our definition here.

Pretty Girls: I'm pretty sure there aren't ANY girls in this movie.

Best Scene: The chase with the "Phantom" ship.

Rewatchability: 8. The length makes it intimidating to put on, but I've watched watched it three times and haven't been let down yet.

18. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-3)

First Impression: OK, maybe I'm cheating by combining them (not the last time I'm gonna do this by the way. -ed), but my list, my rules. I get them all mixed up in head at this point. (See Rewatchability below). The first one was much better than I'd expected, the second just damn awesome, and the third one had its moments but really was too fucking long.

Best Line:
Gandalf: [to Pippin] Fool of a Took. Throw yourself in next time, and rid us of your stupidity.
(I just love "fool of a Took!" The way it sounds makes me laugh. Oh, and Worst Line:  "Nobody tosses a dwarf!")

"Holy Shit!" Moment: There are a lot dispersed throughout these ten hours. The first appearance of the Ringwraiths was hard to top, though.

Pretty Girls: Nothing to get too excited about. Liv Tyler has her moments. Not a Cate Blanchett fan. And I'm not making the Orlando Bloom joke you're waiting for.

Best Scene: Gollum/Smeagol arguing with himself in The Two Towers.

Rewatchability: 6. The only reason this is so low. I might turn it to catch a particular scene or two, but I haven't once said to myself, "I wanna watch one of the Lord of the Rings movies again." Alas.

17. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006):

First Impression: Urine. In my pants.

Best Line: 
Azamat: [points to two cockroaches] The Jews have shifted their shapes!

"Holy Shit!" Moment: I mean, could it be anything other than the naked wrestling?

Pretty Girls: Pamela Anderson, about fifteen years before this movie was made. Otherwise, no.

Best Scene: The dinner party. "Why you call police, the retard escape?"

Rewatchability: 10. I'd be watching it right now if not for this stupid fucking blog. (Naw, just kidding. Love you guys. Y'all are the best. Support our sponsors.)

16. Ghost World (2001)

First Impression: This had looked like something that was right up my alley, and it was. If Steve Buscemi is in a movie (and Adam Sandler is not), it's almost definitely gonna hold my attention.

Best Line: 
Enid: We need to find a place where you can go to meet women who share your interests.
Seymour: Maybe I don't want to meet someone who shares my interests. I hate my interests.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: There really isn't one. This being an art-house movie and all. Art-house movies generally frown upon "oh shit!" moments, unless they're directed by Todd Solondz.

Pretty Girls: Some find Scarlett Johansson attractive. And by "some", I mean those with Y chromosomes.

Best Scene: Seymour at the "blues" club. Man, if I had a nickel for every one of those faux "blues" bands I used to go see in Austin. Not that they aren't enjoyable, I just felt like being uppity for a bit.

Rewatchability: 7, which is kinda low for a movie up this high, I know. But it's just cool knowing this movie is out there.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: 25 - 21

Wassup Hepcats!Thanks for joining us again for a little bit of quantification of enjoyment. What we're doing here is the Top 25 movies of the last decade, which, we've all agreed, is the Aughties.
Here are the films that didn't quite make it.
I think number twenty-five would be a nice one with which to begin.

25. Sideways (2004).

First Impression: I first saw this one on video, but this was a movie that almost guaranteed me liking it. Based on a small novel, starring Paul Giamatti, directed by Alexander Payne. Indeed, I liked it so much, I've never even thought of reading the book it was based on. That's usually a bad sign, but here, it is high praise.

Best Line: (The "fucking Merlot" one is most famous, but I liked this exchange)
Maya: So is it kind of about death and mortality, or...?
Miles Raymond: Mrnmm, yeah... but not really. It shifts around a lot. Like you also start to see everything from the point of view of the father. And some other stuff happens, some parallel narrative, and then it evolves - or devolves - into a kind of a Robbe-Grillet mystery - with no real resolution.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: The waitress having sex with her husband.

Pretty Girls: Virginia Madsen did age nicely (see what I did there?). But stop it all you critics trying to tell us Sandra Oh is attractive. She just isn't. Charming, maybe, but not at all hot. This also applies to Vera Farmiga. I don't know why movie critics keep trying to sell these women to us, but I'm going to see "Up In the Air" anyway. And Vera Farmiga will still be kinda ugly.

Best Scene: Miles getting drunk at the wine tasting, and eventually doing the drunk dial. We all want to reach out into the screen and physically stop him. Cringeworthyness on a David Brent scale.

Rewatchability: 8. You can tell the actors are all having fun, and goddamn I could watch Paul Giamatti read the phone book. Which would be better than "John Adams".

24. Best in Show (2000)

First Impression: Not as funny as "Waiting for Guffman". Second impression: Nothing is as funny as "Waiting for Guffman". This is really fucking close, though.

Best Line: Buck Laughlin: Look at Scott! He is prancing along with the dog! Man, I tell you something, if you live in my neighborhood and you're dressed like that, you'd better be a hotel doorman.

"Holy Shit!' Moment: Not really applicable here, though I guess the result of the show could count.

Pretty Girls: Parker Posey is some kinda alright, always. And Catherine O'Hara would be a cougar if that weren't such a dumbass doucheface term.

Best Scene: The Swans torture a pet shop clerk looking for a dog toy.
Meg Swan: I didn't ask for your opinion. I asked for a toy that you don't have!

Rewatchability: 10. As with any Christopher Guest movie. Every single sentence in his movies is funny, after you watch them enough.

23. American Splendor (2003).

First Impression: Somehow, this movie was not overrated. And I've never been more sure of a Best Actor statuette. Or more wrong.

Best LineHarvey Pekar: You might as well know right off the bat, I had a vasectomy.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: This isn't that kind of movie. 

Pretty Girls: Hope Davis is an attractive woman, but here? Um, no.

Best Scene: Harvey's friend talking him into seeing "Revenge of the Nerds".

Harvey Pekar: What movie could be worth driving 260 miles round trip for?
Toby Radloff: It's a new film called "Revenge of the Nerds". It's about a group of nerd college students who are being picked on all the time by the jocks. So they decide to take revenge.
Harvey Pekar: So what you're saying is, you identify with those nerds.
Toby Radloff: Yes. I consider myself a nerd. And this movie has uplifted me. There's this one scene, where a nerd grabs the microphone during a pep rally and announces that he is a nerd and that he is proud of it and stands up for the rights of other nerds.
Harvey Pekar: Right on.
Toby Radloff: Then he asks all the kids at the pep rally who think they are nerds to come forward, so nearly everybody in the place does. That's the way the movie ends.
Harvey Pekar: Uhhmmm, so the nerds won, huh?
Toby Radloff: Yes.
Harvey Pekar: All right. Wow, well you know, you got this movie and I'm getting hitched. We both had a good month, huh?
Toby Radloff: Right.

 Rewatchability: 8. I think. Still haven't seen this on TV since it came out. Boo, TV!

22. A History Of Violence (2005)

First Impression: This was marketed as an arthouse movie. Which, in a way, I guess it was. Was the title telling us that this was a metaphor for man's inhumanity to man,or that this man (Viggo Mortensen) had a history of violence? It doesn't matter. Because this isn't an arthouse movie. This is a badass movie. And Viggo is a badass. 

Best Line:

Jack Stall: What am I supposed to call you now? Tom? Joey?
Tom Stall: You're supposed to call me Dad. That's what I am, your Dad.
"Holy Shit!" Moment: The sex/rape scene on the staircase.

Pretty Girl: Maria Bello. This movie was relased in the apex of her "Maria Bello gets all kind of naked" phase.

Best Scene: Every scene with William Hurt is fantastic, but the best scene is when Viggo has to drop his "nice guy" facade, and totally fucking breaks that guy's arm. And kills motherfuckers. In front of his son. And now we have a badass movie.

Rewatchability: 8. This isn't a movie that you can pick up halfway through, but if you're lucky enough to catch it from the get-go, you're good.

21. The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

First Impression: You mean, besides the poster? In case you forgot.


Best Line:  
Andy Stitzer: [Watching Beth masturbate in the tub] Wow. This is graphic.

"Holy Shit!" Moment: Andy's morning wood.

Pretty Girls: Goodness, a cornucopia of pretty girls. Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, and AH favorite Carla Gallo.

Best Scene: "Kelly Clarkson!"

Rewatchability: 10. As with most good comedies, eventually every line of dialogue become quotable.

The Top 25 Movies of the Aughties: Also Rans

Wassup Hepcats!
OK, now we've all caught our breath from the thrilling countdown of the Top 100 songs of the last decade - and I'm not gonna lie, that drained my chi like a muthafucka - we're gonna switch gears a bit and count down the top 25 movies of that same last decade. Note I wrote "movies" and not "films", because if you call them films you're a pretentious assdouche who probably keeps issues of Cahiers du Cinema on your coffee table even though you don't read them. (If you do read them, then you're a triple assdouche who uses phrases like "pure cinema". Go away. But click on an ad or two first.)
No, just kidding, "film" is okay. I just like to make fun of film school grads, cuz I didn't get accepted.

So! First.
The ones that didn't make it. These were movies I genuinely liked, and before I started ranking this thing I thought they were possibles for the final 25, but they didn't make the short list. In no order of any particulance:

Spider-Man 2
The Incredibles
Pan's Labyrinth
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

The Squid and the Whale
The Savages
Gone Baby Gone
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Observe and Report
Brokeback Mountain
Moulin Rouge! (note: movies with ! in the title automatically excluded from shortlist)
Superbad! (yes, even if it's ironic)
The Prestige
American Psycho
Talk to Her
Grizzly Man
Capturing the Friedmans
My Kid Could Paint That
Lost in Translation
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Slumdog Millionaire
Mystic River
House of Sand and Fog
Finding Nemo
Requiem for a Dream
Sin City
Sexy Beast

Little Miss Sunshine
A Beautiful Mind
X-Men 2
The Departed
Hotel Rwanda
The Bourne Ultimatum
In the Bedroom
Funny People
King Kong
Knocked Up
Ocean's 11
Erin Brockovich
Catch Me if You Can
Big Fish
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Charlie Wilson's War
Pineapple Express
Tropic Thunder
Spirited Away
O Brother Where Art Thou?
You Can Count on Me
About Schmidt
Michael Clayton
About a Boy
In America
Bridget Jones's Diary
A Mighty Wind

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
Vanilla Sky
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
King of Kong
Little Children
In Good Company

So, suck it, those movies.
And here are the ones that made the shortlist, but were cut after careful deliberation.
Cast Away - A perfect movie for commercial breaks. You've seen it a few times, and it's always on TBS or TNT, so when you're watching a game or something, you can just switch over for a few minutes. And sometimes it just gets stuck on that channel.

High Fidelity - The movie that begat Jack Black, for better or worse. Only movie to give me inside jokes with 2 different people: "Belle and Sebastian...." with Crow, and "A Caaahhh-sby sweat-ah!" with Mrs. Hepster.

Charlie's Angels - Damn right. I'm pissed this didn't make the Top 25. I was looking forward to the arguments. This here is pure cinema.

Children of Men - This was actually a last minute removal from the Top 25, because it's been on cable all month, and I've only put it on a couple of times. Not great on rewatchability, but amazing the first time I saw it.

District 9 - I have to see it again. Maybe it belongs up there.

Punch Drunk Love - Another tough cut. This one ranks high on rewatchability for me.

Wall-E - I just couldn't have two animated movies in the Top 25. This got cut because it didn't give up the sniffles.

City of God - I just couldn't remember enough about it to put it in the Top 25. All I remember is sitting on my bed, watching the DVD and continually exclaiming, "This movie is awesome!" Intoxicants may have been involved.

So - next is 25-11, and then 10-1 (aka the Top Ten). Hoping to have both of them up this weekend, but maybe only one. So you know what you'll be getting, we're gonna break this down by:
  • First impression
  • Best line
  • "Holy Shit!" moments
  • Pretty girls
  • Best scene
  • Rewatchability
See you soon, my comrades in cinema.