Monthly Archives: February 2008

Genre Movies X: The Epic Conclusion

An epic, as defined by the AFI, is a large-scale film “set in a cinematic interpretation of the past” whose “scope defies and demands–either in the mode in which they are presented or their range across time.”  Like some of the AFI’s other definitions, this one doesn’t really narrow things down much–there are historic epics, epic westerns, war epics, “sword and sandal” flicks.

It’s been a long and perilous journey, kids, but I now present to you my final Genre Movie Top 10…Top 10 Epics:

1. Braveheart

2. Once Upon a Time in the West

3. Excalibur

4. Gladiator

5. Tora! Tora! Tora!

6. Apocalypse Now

7. Seven Samurai

8. Bridge Over the River Kwai

9. Saving Private Ryan

10. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Genre Movies IX: Curse of the Romantic Comedy

The AFI defines a romantic comedy as a film “in which the development of a romance leads to comical situations.”

Here are my picks for the Top 10 Romantic Comedies (and, to be honest, before putting this list together, I had no idea how many romantic comedies I’d actually seen):

1. The Lady Eve

2. Love, Actually

3. 10 Things I Hate About You

4. Sabrina (1954)

5. Romancing the Stone

6. Tootsie

7. Beautiful Girls

8. There’s Something About Mary

9. The Philadelphia Story

10. Keeping the Faith

Four on the Floor #6: Best Teams of Savvy, Crackerjack Experts

The Situation: Let’s face it, sometimes you have a problem that’s just too big for one person–whether that person’s a swashbuckler, an ass-kicking chick, a P.I., or a Hollywood tough guy. In times like this, you need to turn to a group of experts. They could be ex-military, disgruntled conspiracy theorists, talented amateurs, or something else entirely.

The Criteria: I’ve always been partial to stories about a group of people with varying skills who come together to do something they believe in (I assume this is one of the reasons I love Michael Crichton novels and the works of Joss Whedon). So, while it might be just as effective to hire brainless muscle in certain situations, I would still prefer to give my money to a team that had the muscle, the tech guy, a mechanical genius, etc.

1. The A-Team (John “Hannibal” Smith, Templeton “Faceman” Peck, H.M. Murdock, & B.A. Baracus)

The show’s opening said it all: “If you have a problem. If no one else can help. Then, if you can find them, maybe you could hire the A-Team.” From expending a ridiculous amount of ammo to take down crooked businessmen to building an armored assault vehicle out of spare parts and a bicycle, these guys could do anything, all in the name of the helpless and the downtrodden.

2. The Lone Gunmen (John Fitzgerald Byers, Melvin Frohike & Richard Langly)

Sure, they’re paranoid conspiracy theorists more interested in debunking the Moon Landing than fighting regular crime, but when you get down to it, The Lone Gunmen can usually pull their shit together long enough to help out in a fight. If you need a computer hacked, a video analyzed, or sleazy photos to use as blackmail (and you can put up with an endless ramble about the “Magic Bullet” or Dungeons & Dragons), then the Lone Gunmen might be your guys.

3. The Team from Sneakers (Martin Bishop, Donald Crease, Erwin “Whistler” Emory, Carl Arbogast, & Darryl “Mother” Roskow)

What do you get when you combine a former 60s radical on the run from the Feds, a former C.I.A. agent, a blind sound specialist, a teenage hacker, and a daffy technical genius? You get the team from Sneakers. Whether you want to check your company’s security system or retrieve a top-secret, hi-tech dingus, these are the guys.

4. Angel Investigations (Angel, Spike, Charles Gunn, Winifred “Fred” Burkle, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, & Lorne)

There are things out there that normal folks (even the A-Team) can’t handle. If your little brother is possessed or your teenage daughter is dating a hell-beast from an unearthly slime-pit, your best bet is to go to the folks at Angel Investigations. They’ve had a lot of staff changes over the years, but given the choice, I’d have to go with the line-up from the first half of Season 5.

Genre Movies VIII: Season of the Courtroom Drama

A “courtroom drama”, according to the AFI, is a film in which “a system of justice plays a critical role in the film’s narrative.”  Now, let’s be honest, this is a damned specific genre (as opposed to the ridiculously nebulous “fantasy” genre).  I actually had to do a little research to remind myself of the movies that I’ve seen that involve “a system of justice.”

So–believe it or not–these are my Top 10 Courtroom Dramas:

1. A Few Good Men

2. Primal Fear

3. To Kill a Mockingbird

4. Runaway Jury

5. 12 Angry Men

6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

7. A Man for All Seasons

8. The Client

9. Inherit the Wind

10. JFK

Genre Movies VII: Fantasy Goes to Hell

The AFI defines a fantasy film as one “where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world.”

This is a pretty open-ended definition, in my opinion.  To me, it means that the movies on this list are not just those technically defined as “fantasy”, but those considered “horror” movies also seem to fit (and, to be honest, “comic book” movies like Superman, Spider-Man, and X-Men).

Anyway…here are my picks for the Top 10 Fantasy Films:

1. Evil Dead

2. Big Trouble in Little China

3. Hellboy

4. Willow

5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

6. Labyrinth

7. Ghostbusters

8. The Mummy (1999)

9. An American Werewolf in London

10. Clash of the Titans

The Guild: Episode #7 Posted

The newest episode of The Guild has been posted. I really can’t express in words just how hy-larious this series is.

You can watch it on YouTube or The Guild‘s site.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Genre Movies VI: Sports Take Manhattan

According to the AFI, a sports movie has “protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.”

Here are my picks for the Top 10 Sports Films:

1. Slap Shot

2. Rocky

3. The Bad News Bears (1976)

4. Victory

5. Caddyshack

6. Horse Feathers

7. Major League

8. Kingpin

9. Happy Gilmore

10. The Sandlot