Saturday, January 31, 2009

Secret Diary '08: Confession Part VI

It's the penultimate day of my Secret Diary, a review of 2008 films. Today I present two named awards. The Que Ridiculo! Award, named in honor of The Big Lebowski, is given to those moments that are just too preposterous to believe. While I understand some films are a plethora of insane moments, even those can cross the line into WTF! territory.

Award #9: 2008 Que Ridiculo! Award

The Sloppy Seconds:

john_rambo Rambo
John Rambo is a serious bad-ass, no question. What I do question is how in the fuck does a man larger than a baby elephant and wide as all outside somehow sneak amidst an entire Burmese army in broad daylight?!

27 Dresses
I've been to many a wedding so all the hideous bridesmaid dresses and Jane's obsessions are all completely acceptable. What's impossible to swallow is watching a bride, on her wedding day, relinquish her spotlight so some stranger can make amends.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan
There is little that Zohan does that is not incredibly hysterical and insane, especially with his many uses of hummus. However, when the neighborhood is burning around him, why not crack open a hydrant?

RichardJenkins Step Brothers
I never saw Jenkins in The Visitor in 2008 so I can't speak to his Academy-recognized performance. However, I think he should get knocked a point or two for having to divulge a ludicrous childhood dream to Dale and Brennan.

Hancock isn't really a favorite in the public eye with his wanton destruction and nasty attitude. When he tries to reform by doing hard time, it's audiences who lose all respect for the movie when Hancock makes good on a vulgar promise.

Having not seen the original film, I can only say that this remake had me pumped from beginning to end. As our survivors scurry to find a safe haven, my heart was racing...until the baby made the film skip a beat of believability.

And the winner of the 2008 Que Ridiculo! Award is:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I'm not a big Shia LaBeouf fan even if Spielberg thinks he's a gift to modern cinema. I lost my last inkling of respect as I watched him get crotch-smacked while straddling two trucks racing through the jungle. If that wasn't bad enough, he escapes his predicament a la Tarzan and turns all Mowgli as he gathers the monkeys to aid him in defeating the Ruskies. What-the-fuck-ever.


Award #10: 2008 Paula Jai Parker Award for Most Memorable Line

The Paula Jai Parker Award recognizes the most memorable line delivered in a movie. It honors the combined wittiness of well-written dialogue with unforgettable delivery by an actor. But many of you may be saying who is Paula Jai Parker? She's an under-appreciated actress who's been on the big screen for over a decade. In the context of this award, she nabbed it not once, but twice in a row. In honor of her efforts, I renamed it in 2006 in her honor. Yes, the past happened but it’s over, isn't it? Let's get to the award.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Charlie Bartlett

Principal Gardner (Robert Downey, Jr.)

"And so help me God, if you get out of line I will take a massive steaming dump on your life."


Bill Maher (as Himself)

"You smell like pussy, but you come out of that tuna feeling fantastic!"

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Seth (Paul Rudd)

"When life gives you lemons,
I say fuck lemons!"

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Brandon St. Randy (Justin Long)

"I will be your sherpa up the mountain of gayness."

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

(Michael Cera)

"I never wash my pants,
I like to keep the night on them."



Fred Knittle (as Himself)

"I went from continent to continent until I became incontinent."

And the winner of the 2008 Paula Jai Parker Award is:

Tropic Thunder

Kirk Lazarus
(Robert Downey, Jr.)

"Man, just 'cause it's a theme song don't make it not true."

Wow! Robert Downey, Jr. really made the impact this year. No pun intended, but I decided to forego commenting on these lines because I think they speak for themselves. When you see them in their original context, they only get better!

The bell is tolling. My Secret Diary concludes tomorrow when I will reveal the best (and worst) of the 92 films I watched in 2008. That's not all, though. Be sure you don't miss out on the big finale.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, January 30, 2009

Secret Diary 08: Confessions Part V

I hope you've been able to keep up. You've got to have a good deal of stamina to stay on pace when the Reel Whore gets in the groove.

Yesterday I awarded 2008's Most Memorable Scene and Most Memorable Music or Dance Performance. The Dark Knight brought home the prize in one category, though had director Christopher Nolan included a Bat-usi number, it may have been a clean sweep!

Moving on. One of the most important contributions to the cinematic experience are those always in the supporting shadow. I am, of course, referring to the animals. To rectify this gross exclusion from the award community, I'd like to present the next award:

Award #7: Most Memorable Animals: Solo or Ensemble Performance of 2008

The Sloppy Seconds:

Tropic_Thunder_9 Ox (Tropic Thunder) - Goaded into hauling Jack Black's ass around had to prove no easy task. At least, he got to enjoy the company of Robert Downey, Jr.

Wallace the Monkey (The Fall) - Charged to play Darwin's companion, Wallace is called upon to help out our brave band of adventurers time and again. The real treat is the irony in his role.

Elephant (The Fall) - The Fall's creature cast comes through again. This time, an elephant is employed to carry the Masked Bandit from his island prison. The sheer beauty of watching the beast swim to shore is spectacular.

Daisy the Lab (Gran Torino) - Long before Walt Kowalski is confronted by his neighbors and the insistent priest, the aging Daisy is the only creature understanding of our sour protagonist's ways.

Seven_Pounds_1 Duke the Great Dane (Seven Pounds) - Before Ben enters the picture, the 'vegetarian' Duke is Emily's closest friend. Oh to be that lucky, lucky dog.

Rats (Wanted) - Rats, rats and more rats! Wanted's climax would have been a total wash had it not been for The Exterminator and his fascination with these instrumental rodents.

And the award for Most Memorable Animal: Solo or Ensemble Performance of 2008 goes to:

Dewie the Bear


Jackie Moon decides to wrestle Dewie the Bear in an attempt to put asses in seats at his Tropics games. Rocky, playing Dewie gives Moon a run for his money no matter how many times he yells "Spumoni." FYI, Rocky did not receive this award due to a threat of violence, despite having killed his trainer shortly after Semi-Pro.


After recognizing the best animal performances of the year, I'd be remiss not to mention the greatest creation of a quality film. The efforts of the actor, the writer, and the director combine to create a character that makes a lasting impression on the viewer and takes the film to a whole new level. What follows are the 7 best characters this past year.

Award #8: Most Memorable Characters of 2008

The Sloppy Seconds:

Ezekiel (Sex Drive): Ian's best friend Lance is hilarious and his brother Rex is wild and crazy. Neither hold a comedic candle to the dry wit and sarcasm of the roadtrippers savior, Ezekiel.

Kirk Lazarus (Tropic Thunder): Having been nominated for an Academy Award should give you some inkling of how great a character Kirk is. Without him, Tropic Thunder would have been just another bad, bad Ben Stiller flick.

Kym (Rachel Getting Married): 'Spirited' is just one of the many words you can describe Kym by. Her presence is polarizing to say the least and why you are drawn into every moment of Rachel Getting Married.

Alexandria (The Fall): Alexandria's imagination fuels the spectacular visuals of the tale told in The Fall. More importantly, she is just about the most adorable child you will see onscreen!

the fall
Les Grossman (Tropic Thunder): This is not my first mention of this gut-busting character and I am not the only person to appreciate his inclusion in Tropic Thunder. If you are one of the three people to have not seen it; rent it, buy it, steal it. I don't care but somehow, someway go watch it now.

Maria Elena (Vicky Cristina Barcelona): Maria Elena is admittedly all kinds of crazy, yet her charisma sucks the man of her past and even his lover, into her orbit. Their attentions don't make her any less neurotic which makes her so damn fun! penelope-cruz

And the award for Most Memorable Character of 2008 goes to:

The Joker

(The Dark Knight)

With all the hype surrounding The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger's performance and his untimely demise, was there any doubt that the Joker would not top the list? This onscreen updated of the sick, sadistic character perfectly captured the essence of Batman's greatest foe.


Is it just me, or are your fingers tired, too? It's probably just me. Luckily I have but two more days of Confessions. Part VI promises the only two named prizes, the Que Ridiculo! Award and Paula Jai Parker Award. See you back here tomorrow for more.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Secret Diary '08: Confessions Part IV

Wow, it's already Thursday. The week is flying by and so are my Confessions. I hope you haven't fallen behind, but if you have you can always catch up:

Part I; Part II; Part III

Awards #5 and 6 focus on the most memorable moments in 2008 cinema. These are those moments that makes some movies great and the others at least tolerable.

Award #5: Most Memorable Movie Moments of 2008

If you're like me, watching so many films year after year can sometimes dilute my memory, especially with the plethora of mediocre films watched. However, every once in a blue moon even the lamest of films do make a lasting impression. The following award recognizes the bestus 2008 movie moments left etched onto my brainpan.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Marilyn Monroe Ain't Got Nothing on Anna.
(The House Bunny)

Between all the trailers and multiple movie viewings, I've probably seen this moment about a hundred and sixty-seven times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it!


Is the Panasonic Gonna have to Smack a Bitch!?

Quarantine excelled on many levels but none more so than effectively capturing people's instinctual reactions to the situation at hand...especially Scott.

Just Desserts Served up at the Lunch Counter.
(The Family That Preys)

I love me some Sanaa Lathan, but her ice cold portrayal of Andrea even started to affect me. It was good that someone was finally able to break the ice.

Remembering Life's Little Shitfalls.
(Slumdog Millionaire)

Slumdog_Millionaire Of all the tribulations Jamal had to endure during his life, none are quite as memorable as his first brush with celebrity.

Harry's Secretive Tinkering is Exposed.
Burn After Reading)

The Coens' return time and again to Harry working diligently in the basement on a top secret project. The ominous sequences cannot prepare you for the deviant device's debut.

Roadtrippers Ignore the Elephants in the Room.
(Sex Drive)

While their best bud Lance fraternizes with the local, Ian and Felicia enjoy a grape soda and conversation. Sometimes its the unspoken jokes that make the most impact.

And the Most Memorable Movie Moment of 2008 goes to:

The Pencil Proves Mightier than the Sword.

(The Dark Knight)

"How about a magic trick?" Those fateful words will be etched in my wife's mind for decades to come. It was after this moment in The Dark Knight when I turned to her and whispered, This movie is going to be phenomenal!


Award #6: Most Memorable Music or Dance Performance of 2008

While I do enjoy films with memorable scenes, I've always had an attachment to films that mix those memorable moments to music. I'm starting to wonder if I should rename this category in honor of Will Ferrell, since he somehow manages to make the list nearly every year.

The Sloppy Seconds:

The Irony (and the Soldier) are Palatable.

When Sol, leader of the Road Warrior-styled gang enters the arena to FYC's Good Thing the crowds, both onscreen and in theaters, can't help but be whipped into an excited frenzy.

"Let's Get Sweaty...I'm Talking Rainforest Sweaty."

Fact of the matter is Will Ferrell is funny more often than not. Semi-Pro proved to be funnier than expected, largely due to Jackie Moon's one-hit wonder Love Me Sexy.

Kermit and Fozzy Haven't Spoken Since the Auditions.
(Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Russell Brand may have played the international rock star but it's Jason Segel's vampire puppet musical that has inspired movie-bloggers worldwide to demand a feature length adaptation!

"The Dude's Got Lats that Make me Feel Gay."
(Hamlet 2)

From the onset, Hamlet 2 is building to a crescendo. The long awaited number, Rock Me Sexy Jesus explodes onscreen. Watch it, and you too, shall be converted.


The Fuckin' Catalina Wine-Mixer!
(Step Brothers)

"I'm going up on that stage, and I'm gonna make beautiful music for a sad world!" Dale goes, Brendan follows and boy, do they!

"No More Frequent Flyer Bitch Miles for My Boy!"
(Tropic Thunder)

The casting of Les Grossman is comedic genius all by itself. Watching Grossman tempt the 'Peck'er to the Dark side with a G5 and some Flo Rida tunes is indescribably hilarious!

And the Most Memorable Music or Dance Performance of 2008 goes to:

Fix You

(Young @ Heart)

I decided it best not to link to the video of this particular performance. Young @ Heart is full of so many great numbers, amusing and touching, that you should rent it to see Fix You in the proper context of them all.


Thus ends another confessional in my not-so Secret Diary. Only three days remain to hand out more awards for 2008's offerings. While I'm finalizing tomorrow's choices, why not head over to the LAMB and check out the Second Annual LION Awards. Tell them Reel Whore sent you.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Secret Diary '08: Confessions Part III

Welcome to Day 3 of my 2008 year in review. I've announced two awards these past two days, but now it's time to kick it in gear. If you're behind, don't forget to catch up:

Part I

Part II

Award #3: Best Cameos of 2008

Obviously, this award recognizes actors or famous personalities who pop in for a brief grin-and-wink as themselves or some minor character. When done properly, a great cameo might be the best (or only) moment you remember about a movie.

The Sloppy Seconds:
stephen king Stephen King- It may come as a shock, but there were a number of cameos in Diary of the Dead, including director George A. Romero. Of all these people, it was Stephen's hysterical hillbilly rantings that carried over the airwaves and made an impression more lasting than the zombies overrunning the countryside.
Jennifer Coolidge- There are two words you won't soon forget after watching Soul Men: 'Velveteen Rub.' Whenever a film calls for a cougar or just a damn funny lady, Jennifer Coolidge delivers on all fronts. Jennifer-Coolidge
isaac hayes Isaac Hayes- Another Soul Men cameo comes from the late Isaac Hayes. I think what made his last onscreen appearance so great was that he played himself, the cool cat that he always was.
Justin Long- For all the sex and vulgarity in Zack and Miri Make a Porno it was the appearance of Justin Long as Brandon St. Randy that still has me cracking up. His exchanges with Zack and Bobby are the best material from Kevin Smith's latest project. justinlong
tedraimi Ted Raimi - One might argue that a quality horror flick isn't worth its salt unless Ted Raimi makes an appearance. In Midnight Meat Train, he's no more than a subway passenger but those few moments really do elevate the film to another level.
Tobey Maguire - All the kudos are going to Robert Downey, Jr. for his performance, but Tropic Thunder's trailer for Satan's Alley wouldn't have been such a smash without the inclusion of MTV Movie Awards' Best Kiss Winner Tobey Maguire. Satan's Alley; now that's a movie the public is ready to see! tobeymaguire

And the award for Best Cameo of 2008 goes to:

pattilabelle Patti LaBelle - For those of you who have seen Semi-Pro, you understand exactly why Patti is the uncontested winner. If you haven't seen Semi-Pro, you shouldn't put it off any longer. Sure, it's far from Ferrell's best film but the highlights, Ms. LaBelle included, make it worth the rental.

Award #4: Most Wasted Actors of 2008

On the flipside of cameos, sometimes an actor or actress is advertised in a film that essentially wastes the talents that audiences have come to know and love. As an audience member, I feel gypped when someone I was excited to see turns out to be barely a footnote in a film. Shame on these 2008 movies for wasting these brilliant folks.

The Sloppy Seconds:
nick swaardson kristindavis
Nick Swardson- If I have one fault with The House Bunny it's that Nick Swardson was woefully underused. I'm happy that he's working but I'd be happier if he's given meaty roles like that pictured above from Grandma's Boy.
Kristen Davis- You may be thinking, Sex and the City was a big film and Kristen's one of the four major characters. True, but the writer decided to take a massive dump on Charlotte's storyline. Hell, Jennifer Hudson was given more to do with her contrived role than poor Davis.
zoe saldana woody harrelson
Zoe Saldana- I understand this up-and-coming actress needs to work whenever she can, but Vantage Point really screwed the pooch. They flaunted her in the trailers only to have her take a backseat to the plot and the lameness of Matthew Fox.
Woody Harrelson- Though I'm a slave to any film with Rosario Dawson, the prospect of seeing some quality Harrelson also lured me into Seven Pounds. The biggest fault of the film is that a monkey could have played the part Harrelson was given.
Mila Kunis
William Fichtner- You may recognize him as 'That Guy' who is always playing the cop or doctor, who may come off as a prick but is really not that bad a dude. If you saw The Dark Knight, you wouldn't know that because he's little more than a blur in the action. For that alone, Dark Knight lost a smidgen of its infinite cool points.
Mila Kunis- Kunis is the perfect example of the power of film. Forgetting Sarah Marshall utilized every ounce and inch of this petite performer and made a great film in the process. Max Payne did the exact opposite...and, well, we all know what happened there.

And the award for Most Wasted Actor of 2008 goes to:

stephen root-milton

Stephen Root- Where oh where do I begin with the shameful misuse of Mr. Root in Over Her Dead Body? He's essentially given the role of the driver who backs over Eva Longoria. I'm thinking there's a fairly long line of people willing to do that for free. He does appear later in the film but the zip, the pizzazz, the Root we all know and love is nowhere to be found. I hope he at least got paid well.

That's a wrap for Day 3! Tomorrow we reach the climax of my weeklong Confessions. Be sure not to miss it! If you want more movie-blogger insights while you wait for my next installment, I highly recommend checking out the Second Annual LION Awards over at the LAMB.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secret Diary '08: Confessions Part II

The first installment is behind us; only six more to go! If you're just tuning in, you've got to start from the beginning.

Today I announce the Sexiest Actress of 2008 and recognize the six oh-so-close runner-ups. I'd also like to recognize films that I never intended to miss, but somehow in this crazy little world they managed to escape my viewing. In 2009, be it by second-run theater, Netflix or Redbox, they will be seen. My Top 7 Must See Films are:

The Sloppy Seconds:

Choke- When I heard they were making another film based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, I was ready to purchase my ticket. Granted, I don't see how the movie can possibly convey the level of deviancy in the book, but with Sam Rockwell in the starring role a solid attempt should be made.

Flash of Genius
- Pretty much the
Tucker: The Man and His Dream for the new millennium, but hey, I loved that flick. Also, I always enjoy a good turn by Greg Kinnear. Besides, it'll be a nice reminder of the Big 3 automakers' true colors as our government gives them money to burn.

Speed Racer - I didn't have an ounce of interest in seeing this when it released. Since then, blogger consensus is that it was a treat to watch. Their opinions, coupled with my desire to push my new HDTV to its color saturation limits, has Speed Racer resting high on my NFQ.

- My love of movies was born and
bred on Jean-Claude Van Damme's splits and triple-take, crotch-exposing roundhouse kicks. I was ready to be first in line to see JCVD's return to fame and legitimacy, but if this blew through my town I never heard about it!

Repo! The Genetic Opera- Another film that got no love in Po'Dunk, NC. It did open at one theater one week before releasing on DVD, but by then I could wait for home delivery. The story sounds insane and I could do without Paris Hilton, but I promised Bill Moseley I'd check it out and he's too scary to cross!

The Wrestler- I wasn't too excited about this Mickey Rourke comeback...then I saw the trailer and was instantly mesmerized. If the film is even half as powerful as the promos I'll be happy. I'd have been happier if NC had gotten this in December, especially because native Evan Rachel Wood also stars.

And the Winner is:

Changeling- I honestly have no excuse for why I missed this film. Granted, I was in recovery, but still I'm a huge fan of Eastwood's projects. I am a big fan of Angelina Jolie (whether she's wearing clothes or not) and I was excited to see Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice fame get some serious big-screen exposure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a second-run showing but if I have to settle for home viewing, it shall be done forthwith.

Quite a nice selection of films, if I do say so myself. Now let's move on to more stimulating awards. Of course, I am referring to:

Award #2:
Sexiest Actress of 2008

With the Sexiest Actor award already posted, it's time to give equal treatment to the fairer sex. This is my most difficult category because as we all know, I do love the ladies. At least I get the pleasure of sifting through all the mental images left behind by the contenders. Like the gentlemen, this year's women are from a broad range of films. Let's begin.

The Sloppy Seconds:

Amy Adams
- I know what
you're thinking: does the Reel Whore have some sort of nun fetish?! No, I am reaching back to early 2008 for Adams's portrayal of Delysia in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. She was stunning in every outfit and flaunted her flirtatious side. There's also the little matter of a demure bathtub scene you won't soon forget.

Kat Dennings - After 40 Year Old Virgin, I expected big things from this young lady and 2008 was her year. Charlie Bartlett, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and The House Bunny all prove she's got star power and sex appeal. If you've missed any or all of these flicks, you've done yourself, and Ms. Dennings, a disservice.

Anna Faris
- The star of The House Bunny has always gotten love from the Reel Whore. In 2008, she deserves special recognition for all the gym hours she logged to achieve Playmate firmness. Combining the physique with her comedic physicality, Anna Faris proved to be a reckoning force for the big screen.

Rachel Weisz- This may come as a shock to those who know I have little love for Ms. Weisz. That said, her come-hither look employed in both Definitely, Maybe and My Blueberry Nights put the voodoo on me. With little more than a swish of her hip and toss of her hair, she will leave you floored.

Patricia Clarkson
- Another three-peat from last year,
Clarkson seduced us in Married Life, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and especially Elegy. Playing strong, sexually assertive characters in all three, she was a shoe-in. You know a woman oozes sexuality when the way she casually sits in a chair is a turn-on!

Mila Kunis- I was more a Laura Prepon junkie during her stint on That 70's Show but Forgetting Sarah Marshall hath converted me to a Mila fan! There wasn't a single scene when she wasn't stunning. Watching a hottie like her fall for the likes of Jason Segel made her a serious contender for the #1 spot.

And the award for Sexiest Actress of 2008 goes to:

Penélope Cruz
- Though her conservative Cuban character in Elegy was quite the contrast to the unfettered but unstable ex-lover in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, her sultry nature shone through in both roles. When comparing her to the others, she burned the category with her Spanish heat!

Thus concludes Part II of Secret Diary '08. I'm off to take a cold shower! Join me tomorrow for Part III of Confessions of a Reel Whore.

Large Association of Movie Blogs