Cinematic Listology

Hunger is the reason mankind first decided to kill – one imagines. Surely, the first time someone domed a boar with a stick they didn’t do it just to be a dick about it. This is why when a movie does food right the result is extremely powerful; you can close your eyes and try to forget a sad or scary scene in a film, but if a scene makes you hungry there’s no going back from that. Here are some scenes that you’ll no doubt wish you didn’t watch – scenes that make you hungry, no matter your preference, because sometimes food just looks good.

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While you’ll see that I’m giving myself a lot of leeway in the following list (one of the ten isn’t even technically a film), the general idea is that the list that follows singles out films that go beyond simple narration, but rather identify themselves as stories being told either in the universe or even at times outside of the universe. Narration to a film is like a frame to a painting, and while all frames hold their painting in place, there are some that do it with a little more style than others. These are some of my favorites.

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You heard me – I’m dumping practically everything I can think of at you, and no doubt I’ll still miss a few. In fact, there’s one I am intentionally leaving out just so I can watch the angry comments and laugh like a Disney villain. Honestly, though – after having my memory jarred by all the comments on my first installment of 14 of the Most Impressive Monologues in Movie History, I couldn’t not make another one of these. So here are, once more, some movie monologues out there that really stick out from the rest.

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As movie-goers, we are all familiar with that excruciating moment when you are watching a movie and the action is so horribly uncomfortable that you actually feel the need to cover your own face. It’s this nonsensically powerful moment when you actually feel embarrassed for a fictional character because of some terribly awkward scenario that you’d rather watch a murder than bare witness to. It’s like a horror movie almost – it’s that same turtle reaction where you just want to shrink away. And like horror, it’s either done really well or it’s abused, which is why I want to share with you the films I think did it the very best. Oh, and if you are wondering why I only picked 9 – it’s the most awkward number I could think of.

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If it were up to me, every movie would be required at least one musical number. Seriously, every movie. Children Of Men would have a song in it, Sophie’s Choice as well. Why? I don’t know – it would be funny I guess. Fine, so it’s probably not a great idea. I take it back. I just get excited when a song becomes the center of a scene – especially in comedies. People rarely have the nibs to stick a good musical sequence or two in their non-musical genre films, so let’s take a moment to pay our respects to those who did it so well by arbitrarily judging them in list form.

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Movie Rollercoasters

Despite being the least efficient mode of transportation available today, people can’t get enough to these damned amusement park rides. I myself enjoy being flung around by steel monsters quite a bit, but truth be told I much prefer rides as they are depicted in films. The reason for this is simple: since they aren’t going to build a whole amusement park ride just for the film they go find one that already exists, then they proceed to make it look 10 times more awesome than it really is by adding cool elements or characters to it. The result is a ride that is just too fun to exist. The following are those rides that set the bar up high, as well as their less-awesome real world equivalents.

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Earth Day: the red-headed stepchild of world holidays. Founded in 1970, the celebration of our planet has been mounted (and basically ignored) every April 22nd. When was the last time you paid respects by going outside and planting a seedling? Or left a plate of cookies out for Mother Earth? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Earth Day may not have the allure of its cheerful , laid back holiday counterparts, but it’s certainly no less important. Recognizing environmental concerns is more relevant than ever, and Hollywood has been trying its darndest to prod you in to taking action. Think of it as a  “scared straight” course of action: if you’re afraid of impending environmental doom, maybe you’ll do something. Here are seven movies that a sure to reinvigorate your ecological awareness and get you back on the green track this Earth Day:

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James Cameron is always on the brink of revolution. Really, the dude needs to take a breather. At this year’s CinemaCon, the tech-centric director couldn’t shut up about 3D, faster frame rates and improved camera systems while everyone around him was salivating for a detail or two on his plans for the Avatar sequels. Forget that — there are shutter speeds to be discussed! We’re all about Peter Jackson hyping The Hobbit shooting 48 fps on RED digital 3D and legendary effects guru Douglas Trumbull heading back to directing with a tech-first approach, but at some point, isn’t the equipment standing in the way of great storytelling? We’ll give the benefit of the doubt to these three men, but whether any of their advancements are really “the future of movies,” won’t be known for a few years. Unfortunately, just because you’re brilliant and you say something is awesome…doesn’t mean it’s awesome. Here’s a look back at some of the other “game-changing” inventions that were supposed to change the way we watch movies, but never really picked up steam.

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Griffith. Ford. Welles. Kubrick. Scorsese. Allen. Spielberg. No one would argue that these men are a few of the great visionaries who worked their magic on the U.S. cinematic landscape. But after 1998, all of their previous work just seemed…petty. That’s because 1998 was the year Armageddon showed up on our radar screens, giving us little time to prepare our viewing strategies before unleashing a force of hyperkentic visuals that splattered our brains on the back of theater seats. This wasn’t just a movie about a meteor coming to destroy Earth, it was the meteor, and in the wake of its war path, movies were never the same again. What exactly did Michael Bay do that changed cinema forever? The list is endless, but here are nine bold moves the renegade auteur took to ensure his place in Hollywood history:

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My guess is Zack Snyder is a pretty kinky dude. 300 and Watchmen were dripping with over-the-top sexuality and you know somewhere on the cutting room floor of Legend of the Guardians is a steamy owl mating scene, but it wasn’t until the trailer for Sucker Punch collectively melted our brains with sensory overload that we realized Snyder was into some crazy, whacked out stuff. School girls, burlesque dancing, samurai Swords, copious amounts of leather — was this a Hollywood blockbuster or a feature-length Suicide Girls video? Few people have seen the finished film, but if anything is to be assumed, it’s that Snyder made the movie he wanted to make — and that’s cool. That abashed commitment to personal taste makes Sucker Punch unique…and, perhaps, borderline fetishistic. Here are seven other films that we imagine were crafted with that same burning, unconventional passion:

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You’d think my walk home from Rango, a movie that consistently kept me laughing like a madman for two hours, would be one of elation and knee-slapping fun memories. Not so. As my laughter subsided, I realized — man, I just saw an animated movie that centered on a sociopathic lizard who takes a contemplative, hallucinatory look inward to discover his true calling in the world. Whoa – suddenly that fart joke had a lot more resonance. There are universal questions everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Ideas, complications, internal debates that spring out of existence and challenge us as individuals. Some turn to spirituality. Others take back packing trips through difficult-to-pronounce regions of the world. But after watching Rango and looking back through a lengthy history of Hollywood’s animated films, I wondered: why not turn to cartoons?

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At what point does Nic Cage crossover from actor to Internet meme? Cage’s distinct brand of emotional overdosing, that would send Lee Strasberg himself into a coma, has been fueling the web for the past few years like gasoline on a steadily burning wildfire. Every film that sees release (barely) continues to showcase what the man does best: send reality into the stratosphere. He’s a walking, talking grindhouse film. That doesn’t mean it’s not serious art. Far from it. For every Wicker Man, Vampire’s Kiss or Season of the Witch, movies easier digested in two minute YouTube clips than in their full theatrical glory, Cage spins his explosive techniques into watchable films, like Kick-Ass, Bad Lieutenant and Adaptation. Whether his latest, Drive Angry 3D, fits into the first or second categories, there’s no doubt the man has had successful run thus far. This success puts Cage in the spotlight, but frankly, he’s not the only one (or the craziest) to make a career out of acting nuts. That’s right: I believe there are people more outlandish than Nic Cage in the world and, dagnabbit, the Internet needs to start acknowledging them for the loony performances they deliver:

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Unhappy with the team taking a crack at Stephen King’s beloved epic, Rob Hunter tosses out a dozen names that would be better at bringing the gunslinger to life.

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It’s a taboo topic, but we brave the films that brave the unclear world of this sexual pathology and emerge unscathed with the best portrayals of pedophiles in film.

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Our resident horror guru dismisses your anti-remake rhetoric and finds 10 titles that should be remade – and we guarantee you haven’t heard of all of them.

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Summer Movies 2010

It’s that time again. Every year, Film School Rejects is looked to by readers the world over to be the guiding light for summer movie-going. What can we say? We just have a knack for it. And this summer, we’re excited…

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With Furry Vengeance hitting theaters, Jeremy Kirk explores the possibility that there are two Brendan Fraser’s working in Hollywood while highlighting some of his (or their) finer work.

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We dig into the horror icon’s seedy past to find some of the best moments from even some of the worst movies.

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The kid (and knife) gloves come off as we take a look back at the less than shining examples of Freddy Krueger in film and TV.

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In an effort to do our cinematic part for the science of Boobquake Day, here are a few films you can watch to help aid in what will most likely win the next Nobel Prize.

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