Monday, January 24, 2011

I Love You, Man (Film Review)

I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man is a generally clever and sometimes very funny inversion of the romantic comedy genre. There have been movies about bromances before (Superbad is a well-known recent example), but I’m not aware of one that so gleefully embraces bromantic comedy-hood. The writers have a lot of fun taking very familiar tropes and clichés from more standard romcoms and plugging them into a bromantic context. There’s the “meet-cute”, the friend jealous of the relationship (in this case, of course, it’s Paul Rudd’s fiancée, not a male friend), the awkward meeting with the parents, and dozens more.

Election (Film Review)


When I learned that Bravo Network had named Election as #61 on its list of the 100 funniest movies of all time, I figured they must have been being facetious. That, or presenting a subtle but devastating commentary on the failure of many in the Hollywood machine to come up with something that’s actually clever and humorous. For, you see, this movie is not funny.

Monday, January 17, 2011

To Pixar

In 1995 an unknown animation studio, with a name playing on the word ‘pixel’, released a little movie called Toy Story and changed the way that movie viewers regarded animation. No longer was computer generation reserved for blockbusters' special effects. Instead, within a decade it had almost entirely supplanted the traditional 2D animation, the hand-drawn sort that had dominated the industry since a man named Walter Disney brought Mickey Mouse into the world seventy years earlier.

Which is not, of course, to say that this revolution has been necessarily a good thing. Putting aside the issue of computer versus traditional animation artistically, CG (like any other tool in the industry) has been used to turn out a lot of crap. I saw Barnyard. But the granddaddy of the trend, the seemingly venerable Pixar, has been remarkably successful. In the 16 or so years subsequent to Toy Story they’ve released ten more movies, all of which have been more than profitable. It’s a remarkable streak by industry standards, but perhaps even more astonishing is the sustained quality. Sixteen years and ten movies later, Pixar has yet to release a movie that’s even mediocre, let alone bad. And so, in honor of the American movie studio with the highest batting average, here’s a ranking of all eleven Pixar films, from least good to best.