Today! Because none of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me!
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Jackie Earle Haley (x2), Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode (x2), Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, Matt Frewer, Stephen McHattie, Laura Mennell, Robert Wisden, John Shaw, Danny Woodburn, Rob LaBelle
This movie did not work for everybody. Hell, if it had, they wouldn’t have remade it for TV within a decade (Has that come out yet? Is it any good? It can’t be, right?). But it did have a lot of built-in problems right from the get-go. Sure, the graphic novel is an unquestioned masterpiece, but when reading it, how exactly it could play out in under three hours doesn’t present itself. So massive edits were necessary, some good some bad, plus a wholesale revision to the story’s climax. The ending remains more or less the same, but for some reason people really like that giant goddamn squid. Also – and this cannot be stressed enough – this movie had to overcome the whims and instincts of director Snyder, who at the time had only made Dawn of the Dead in 2004 (which I’m sure is great, but haven’t seen) and 300 (which should’ve probably tipped us off that this wasn’t our guy to handle this or any comic book story).
Seriously, how was this movie a hit?
Today! Because you have to learn to push guilt under the rug and move on –
Match Point (2005)
Directed by Woody Allen
Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, Emily Mortimer, Penelope Wilton, Toby Kebbell, James Nesbitt, Ewan Bremner
The best of Woody’s European/Johansson cinematic excursion of the mid-to-late ’00s, Match Point was the first good movie he’d made in some time, and the first solid straight drama since at least Husbands and Wives in ’92 (and that’s still a funny-ish movie). This Hitchcockian-Dostoevskyian suspense thriller feels reinvigorated by a change of venue from the notoriously NYC-centric filmmaker – a move almost entirely due to British funding more than any desire to leave the Big Apple. The cast is first rate, and the script clips right along – something that Woody’s later comedies have a hard time achieving.
This is the only one of Woody’s pure dramas to make the list – as much as I admire Interiors and Crimes and Misdemeanors, I don’t have great affection for them. It is also one of only two of his films made after 1995 to appear here (again, I’m going to warn there is a lot of Woody Allen coming in the next year. And again, yes, I struggle with this – see #349 Broadway Danny Rose for more details), as his later work has been very hit and miss. For every good-to-great Midnight in Paris or Blue Jasmine, there have been five Anything Elses and Cafe Societys. But hey, at least he keeps making movies. And every four or five years or so, a pretty good one.
If I never see Cafe Society again it’ll be too soon