Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012 King of the Hill: September End

A Big Long... Showdown
50/50 has taken down three movies so far, but can it take down another six movies?  September has been a busy month.  I've been through a major life change and a lot more movies than usual.  These movies include all three Austin Power movies, rewatching a movie with one of my favorite actresses, and rewatching a classic sci-fi flick.  Each of these movies has to be reviewed as I am about to enter the last quarter of the year.

For those who do not know, the 2012 King of the Hill Movie Challenge is my system for determining the best movie of year that I saw. One movie from each month will be selected and, at the end of the year, I will do a tournament style showdown where they will take each other on until the final movie has been selected. Bracket placement will be determined by the number of movies the monthly movie faced and won.

Crazy, Stupid, Love
Cal (Steve Carell) is a middle aged man at dinner with his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), declares that she wants a divorce.  Cal mopes around in a bar until a player, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), takes him under his wing to teach him how to pick up women.  The story is a comedy about love and the many forms it takes and the things people will do to find love, keep, and prove their love.  The movie is hilarious with several twists that was able to keep my surprised and entertained until the very end.  Crazy, Stupid, Love explores the different aspects of love just as 50/50 explores different aspects of cancer.  Though I loved 50/50, the enjoyment for Crazy, Stupid, Love was greater and I have to award this movie the winner.

Winner:  Crazy, Stupid, Love

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Mike Myers plays both the protagonist and antagonist in this film that makes fun of the classic James Bond franchise.  The movie is ripe full of comedy, foul humor, slapstick anecdotes and low budget/horrible filming. I remember seeing this movie before and finding the film hilarious.  Unfortunately, the first Austin Powers film has not aged very well.  In the end, I found that most of the shine that made the first film of the trilogy great had lost its original appeal.  The movie was a refreshing walking down nostalgia road, but little more.

Winner:  Crazy, Stupid, Love

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Mike Myers is back in this movie playing three different characters.  The differences from the first to the second movie is immediately obvious as it contains better effects, better filming, and a better story.  Most of the classic Austin Power jokes I recalled actually come from the second film in the trilogy.  Scott Evil (Seth Green) has a better role.  Mini-Me and Fat Bastard make their appearance, and the funniest sketch of all makes it's appearance.  Unlike the first movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me has aged well and was delightfully entertaining.  It doesn't have the same style of humor of Crazy, Stupid, Love, but it's the only genre parody film to date that I can watch and be genuinely entertained.  Plus, some of the gags of this movie are still used in new movies today, making it well worth the praise.

Winner:  Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me

Austin Powers:  Goldmember
Mike Myers is back once again.  This time, he is playing not one, not two, not even three, but four different parts in this film.  Just like the absurdity of the Mike Myers playing four characters in the movie, the movie plot is back to being completely absurd.  The movie recycles a lot of the same jokes from the previous movie and, while done well, compared to the second movie it isn't as entertaining.  Additionally, while I appreciate the humor and skill of Mike Myers, having him play nearly half of the cast is really annoying and detracts seriously from the quality of the film.  In the end, I find myself unable to rate Austin Powers: Goldmember higher than its predecessor.

Winner:  Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me

Super is a dark comedy about Frank Darrbo (Rainn Wilson) and his quest to get back his wife, Sarah (Liv Taylor).  After his wife is taken in and under the influence of a local drug lord (Kevin Bacon), Frank takes on the person The Crimson Bolt as he fights crime and stop the evil in the local city.  He is soon joined by a new sidekick, Boltie (Ellen Page).  The movie is very dark and extremely violent.  It raises some very interesting points regarding justice and one's contribution to society.  The movie is one of my favorites and has Ellen Page, a personal favorite.

Winner:  Super

Logan's Run
Logan's Run stars Logan 5 (Michael York), a sandman, whose job is to track down runners and terminate them for not going to Carrousel for a chance at renewal.  Logan is given a special assignment that cuts short three years of his life, forcing him to run in order to find out how runners are escaping.  Along the way he meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter).  The movie is classic sci-fi film released in 1976.  For a movie 36 years old, it has aged well.  Despite aging well, the movie's outdated special effects have left Logan's Run with a campy feel to it.  Though I very much love the movie Logan's Run, I find Super is a better film overall.

September's Winner:  Super