Saturday, 2 January 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 109

 207 - The Misfits - 3 stars
Sometimes a film's legacy is more famous than the film itself and The Misfits is case in point.
Another film dogged by production problems and infamous for being the last film of leads Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.
Clark Gable said he was glad that filming had finished because "working with Monroe nearly gave him a heart attack", two days later he had a heart attack and died.  Monroe died of a drug overdose soon after filming, having been in rehab during filming, hence the soft focus used on some close ups during the film.
But is the film actually any good?  You would assume so with it being at number 207 on a list of the 500 best films of all time... but it is a good film, if not a great one.
After seeing Some Like It Hot, I was no expecting Monroe to be as good as she was, showcasing a wide range of emotions as the divorcee who tries to find freedom in the West but instead has her innocence destroyed.
Her character is also responsible for causing men to fall in love with her at the drop of a cowboy hat.  Those to fall under her spell include ageing cowboy Clark Gable, rodeo rider Montgomery Clift and mechanic Eli Wallach.  With Wallach in the cast I couldn't help but imagine the film as a love triangle version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
A good script provides a swansong for the ways of the old West as the cowboys start to realise that time is moving on without them.
P.S.  Funny to see Kevin McCarthy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers appear as her ex-husband.  I could see him running after the guys trying to stop them falling under her spell, "you're next. you're next, you're next!".

113 - Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - 5 stars
"San Diego, which of course is German for a whale's vagina"
A few people I know have had the audacity to try and claim that this wasn't funny but if they don't laugh at lines like that then I don't want to be friends with them.  For not only is this the funniest and most quotable film of the last decade but also the most important.  Why, I hear you ask?  I'll tell you.
Not only does it have one of the best comedy casts of all time (Ferrell, Carell, Rudd, Vaughn, Wilson, Willard, Stiller, Rogen, Parnell, Black), but it signified the beginning of the Apatow era for comedy.  While only a producer on this film (albeit with a quick cameo "smells like a turd covered in burnt hair"), it proved a breakout platform for the improvisational comedic styling that Apatow would use so well to produce smash hits like 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, etc, etc.
There is a basic plot in here somewhere about news reporters, sexism and pandas but it is really just an excuse for the highest joke per minute ratio since Airplane.
While Brick Tamland might be one of the greatest comedy creation of the noughties, I have to give a special mention to Paul Rudd, who has gone from doing generic rom-coms to proving to be the Best Supporting Actor - Comedy of the last decade, before deservedly attaining lead actor status in Role Models and I Love You Man.
This is the film that I probably quote in real life more than any other (probably to the annoyance of work colleagues and friends), so they will often hear me say;
"I'm in a glass case of emotion!", "Milk was a bad choice", "Como estan, beetches", "Son of a beesting", "By the beard of zeus", "sometimes you've just got to say 'when in Rome'"
and I'm looking forward to the day that I can say this to a lady!

Days remaining - 256 Films remaining - 342

1 comment:

  1. Great Odin's Raven! I'm sure that's not the first film you have given 5 stars, but it certainly deserves them. I think I cried when Jack Black drop kicked Baxter off the bridge!