There are some movies that I really just don't want to see, I have no interest, they look really lame, or they star director/writers/actors that I don't care for. The following movies are the ones I was pleasantly surprised with.
Rules of Attraction (2002)
Why I Didn't want to see it: After seeing American Psycho I immediatley wanted to take a shower, then I was afraid that Patrick Bateman would storm into my bathroom and fillet me like a hooker. I didn't take a shower for a couple of days. I put two and two together and realized the same author who wrote American Psycho wrote Rules of Attraction starring James Van Der Beek (Don't have the effort to look up the correct spelling of his name) which is another reason I didn't want to see it.
Why I Was Pleasantly Surprised: The acting of the cast including Sean Bateman (there, I'll just use his character name)was top notch. I was pretty shocked that the same lame ass that starred in Dawson's Creek where he stares across a creek for hours on end wondering if he should have pulled out did a bang up job as a self absorbed trust fund drunk/druggie a-hole. Not only that, there is something about watching rich people self destruct, it's hypnotizing. The script was also great, I was amused by the little one liners thrown about. Not only that it's one of those movies where the auxillary characters (Richard, I mean Dick) are pretty amusing and/or scary as hell.
Funny Note: Fred Savage's brother plays a junkie a little toooo well.
Oscar Worthy IMHO: Naw, but still pretty good.
Eastern Promises (2006)
Why I Didn't Want To See It: I promised myself after sitting through Return of the King that I would never see another Viggo Mortensen movie ever again. The guy is so method it's creepy, I wonder if he went home after shooting was done to hump his sword. But after he started tea bagging the U.N. and using simplistic slogans for complex world issues like: "No blood for oil" I really started getting annoyed with him.
Why I Was Pleasantly Surprised: He was the second best thing in the movie. His acting was phenominal (Oscar nod anyone? Did he get one? I didn't watch the Oscars too intently this year) and I was even able to keep down the 10 beers I consumed during the bath house knife fight scene (he was buck naked with his wee wee flopping around like a wind sock). But the movie centered around something near and dear to my heart, the mob. I know the mob sucks and they are scum but man are they interesting (See: Henry Hill, Lefty Rosenthal). But he portrays a Russian mobster, IN LONDON. So all my bases were covered, takes place in London (big british film fan), about mobsters (tight!), Russian mobsters (tighter!), great script (euphoria!), great directing (I need a cigarette).
Funny Note: John-O's review of the movie actually got me to see it. Though I don't think this country sucks, too bad.
Oscar Worthy IMHO: Absolutely.
Clerks II (2006)
Why I Didn't Want To See It: Exhibit 1) Jersey Girl, Exhibit 2) Dogma, Exhibit 3) The last half of Chasing Amy. Kevin Smith really went downhill after Chasing Amy (redeemed himself a little with Jay and Silent Bob strike back, kinda). His special little nerd gen x apathy magic seemed to run out since he now owns half of Jersey, the other half being owned by Bruce Springstein. Clerks II seemed to be his way of cashing in on his former success, like his heros George Lucas and Steven Speilburg.
Why I Was Pleasantly Surprised: Smith stuck with the formula that made Clerks successful, all Randall all the time, with only limited amounts of Jay and Silent Bob and a shitload of juvenile humor. Though it was hard for me to imagine anyone looking like Dante could ever weasel his way into bed with anyone that looked like Rosario Dawson I thought the film was hilarious.
Oscar Worthy IMHO: Right.
Funny Note: I guess Jay is clean now.
No Country For Old Men (2006)
Why I Didn't Want To See It: After Oh Brother Where Art Thou the Coens went with Intolerable Cruelty (sucked) and a remake of a classic (The Lady Killers, which was so so). The Coens also got caught in the gravitational pull that is George Clooney which means any movie with him will ultimately suck, but the money is great. So I figured they were going the way of TMZ and leaving their quirky little movies behind.
Why I Was Pleasantly Surprised: Anton Chigurn is probably the best bad guy since Darth Vader, bolt statement I know plus what really stood out for me was the directing, almost flawless. Even Woody Harrelson was tolerable and there was no George Clooney in sight.
Oscar Worthy IMHO: Yes, thankfully it won, but Crash won last year which has me wondering if this is actually an honor anymore.
Funny Note: Burn After Reading looks really shitty.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Why I DIdn't Want To See It: When people drop the smack as Robert Downey, Jr did they usually become awful or unfunny (see: Robin Williams, Miles Davis, Metallica, Chevy Chase, practically everyone). That and Val Kilmer looks pretty...odd, I mean, everyone ages but when someone from Hollywood ages it looks almost comical, like they think they can get away with drinking/drugging heavily and somehow botox and plastic surgery will make it better. In a few years I wonder if the corners of Val's lips will meet at the back of his head.
Why I was Pleasantly Surprised: Downey did a great job as did Kilmer. The script was very imaginative and the film is very self depricating, I wish more of Hollywood films were like this. I noticed that it didn't matter whether or not Downey trips balls he's still a great actor, though I thought Chaplin was a little heavy handed.
Oscar Worthy: Nah
Funny Note: Nothing really to note.
A Scanner Darkly (2005)
Why I Didn't Want To See It: I thought the rotoscoping thing would annoy the hell out of me, but it didn't. The movie also starred Woody Harrelson and Wynona Rider, both a huge pox on acting. I don't mind Keanu Reeves for some reason.
Why I Was Pleasantly Surprised: I should know that anything from a Philip K. Dick book is worth watching, with exception to Screamers.
Oscar Worthy: Maybe for Downey, Jr.
Funny Note: It took longer to animate (18 months) then it did to shoot (23 days)