Hello and welcome to lil Rachel’s blog, no this is not a hostile takeover, but a guest to shed some light upon the celluloid (or in certain cases digital chip) world. You may call me El Presidente Pip, or El Matador for short. I have been called upon to create a top ten list of 2006 for my favorite films. I would like to keep with the vibe of this place and stay truly independent, but alas I cannot. Firstly, I do enjoy a good big-budget pure Hollywood film from time to time. In the right hands (as you’ll see in my list) I get suckered in like the best of the popcorn chugging cell phone answering sumbitches that surround me each time I go to worship my all-points digital THX surround heaven. I love film, movies and straight to video, I don’t discriminate, much like my obsessive love of The Three Stooges – I love all the Curly’s.

(please note, I really don’t have an obsessive love of The Three Stooges, but we have dated once or twice.)

I must, unfortunately, start my list with some sad news. I didn’t get to see every film that came out this year. I saw a good 83.4% of the films I had a yearning to see, but as you know that leaves 19.3% that I didn’t. Of those, I must say that “Children of Men”, “The Queen”, “Letters from Iwo Jima”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “Little Children”, “Volver”, “Tsotsi” (2005, I know, but late here), “Half Nelson”, among others that I just can’t remember off the top of my head were casualties of living in the middle of nowhere. My little town, a cozy 300,000+ people, either did not see these in theater, or in all likelihood I couldn’t get someone to come with me in that one week the film was playing, and…

What? Oh, right, the list… (each of the posters will link to the trailer)

10. Edmond

I didn’t see this in theaters, in fact I didn’t even hear about this until I was walking around Target one fateful afternoon and saw Bill’s (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis) face staring out at me. I remember thinking “wtf? How exactly did Bill get into a film without my knowledge??” Blasphemy! My repentance jumped up 10-fold when I saw that it was a Mamet screenplay. I picked it up for a whopping 7.99 (which scared me, Mamet has been known to miss, but Bill?) and I just didn’t understand how this one was swept under a rug. And upon viewing, I really don’t understand. Fans of Mamet and Bill Macy need to check into this one, especially if you’ve not heard of it. I’ve not seen Macy be as tight as he is in this film, and this thing goes to some dark places… of course if I would have written it, all the women would be more nakeder.

9. The Descent

Jesus… Christo… I think I might have screamed out for my mother on numerous occasions while viewing this flick. Luckily, I was pretty much alone in the theater… or unluckily. I don’t think I’m ever going to step foot even near another cave again, let alone go inside one. I’ll take a picture of it with a telephoto lens perhaps. Maybe look at it from afar with a… ok so yeah, I’ll shut up about that. I’m not a huge horror fan, unless they break genre or revolutionize, and this one basically does both. The gore in it is horrendous, not because it’s over-the-top, but because it’s freaking realistic. I think I yelled at the screen for it to stop, but deep down, I didn’t want it to. Well done.

8. Superman Returns

Yeah, I know, I know, two thrillers then we do a superhero movie? Yeah well I really loved this one, I don’t give a damn what anyone says from the ‘tru’ fanboys, to the snobby nose-in-the-air “flickaphobe” (I really need to patent that word). I love the character of Superman, and although I’ve never thought about it as deeply as Bill (the one that died in that one movie), he’s always been special to me. From the time that I ran around the house as a child with a towel strapped to my back wearing only my whities, up until the time I ran around the house as a man with a towel strapped to my back wearing my whities – I’ve always wanted to be him among all the superheroes to choose from. Like, no contest. And in this film, he’s exactly the Superman I’ve always envisioned… I can’t wait for the sequel.

7. Running Scared

Wow, what a night this film rides you through. I literally just finished watching this one, I missed it in the theater and if it weren’t for Ebert’s review I would have never seen it. Speaking of Ebert, he was absolutely right about how over-the-top this damn film is. I know what you’re thinking, this guy is a moron. All he likes are mindless or gory action films and thrillers where Macy goes insane. Just you go and watch this thing. “Paul Walker is a dumbass”, you’ll think walking into it… then when you’re done you’ll be all like “Damn, I’m the dumbass for doubting El Presidente Pip and his cat-like powers.” Don’t get comfortable watching this thing, just when things are going along a groove the entire universe implodes and starts over. Although it is totally unrealistic, I still love it… the poor kids though, they’re going to need some serious therapy.

6. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I never watch TV, but several of my friends recommended “Da Ali G Show” to me knowing that it would be right up my alley. I still haven’t gotten around to it, but I sure as hell did watch the Borat movie. Yes, it’s everything that everyone has said it was, and I laughed really fucking hard. I simply love that it offends everyone and is being sued by everyone it is offending. My kind of movie.

5. Casino Royale

Yeah, there he goes again with his stupid ass action movies – and a Bond movie, no less!! The nerve! I personally like about maybe half of the Bonds that were made, but this one is my personal favorite. I have no real attachment to any of the guys that have played the Bonds of the past, but I will say I do now. Daniel Craig is an excellent actor, and he does this with a scary sort of insanity right around the edges, yet maintains the sexiness of Bond on the whole. Smart, sexy, fun and sprawling. Everything you need in a Bond flick.

4. Marie Antoinette

I really, really dig Ms. Coppola’s style. All of them have been a sort of hypnotic meditation on the story rather than an a-b arc. I always get swept up and this was definitely no exception. I was a bit curious as to what all the bitching about historical accuracy was going on about. It’s been said by much more eloquent hands than these about what it really is about, and really all of her films are about the same thing. I guess it’s really lonely being a girl? Or is it all the girls look at us guys like: “Fuck, that’s all we got?” Thus the lesbian is born. What was I talking about? Oh yeah! If you missed this one for some reason, or liked Ms. Coppola’s other work I highly recommend this one, I loved it to pieces.

3. The Departed

Simply a powerhouse. A lot of whiners were bowing down to this as the best Scorcese in a long time… pssh I say to these folks. He’s been making great films all along the way, this just happens to have so much muscle behind it you can’t not pay attention. This was one of the rare times I saw the original version before it was remade here in The America, and to be honest there were just a few minor things that I missed about the original. Namely little details in the ending… but all in all, everything was perfect. Bravo.

2. Little Miss Sunshine

No other film this year (and since Amelie probably) left me with such a feeling of happiness. This film gives the entire gamut of emotions which I love so much, while still at its core just being an amazing, sweet tale woven together masterfully and acted out with such love that I literally have to gush this out like a Care Bear Stare right into your eyes. Go see it now if you haven’t.

1b. United 93

I went into this film with a lot of trust, and I’m glad I did. I’m sure you’ve heard it to the gills about this movie by now as to how it plays… it’s like you’re there. There is no post-9/11, there is no nothing… there is just that terrible day and you live it. I was punched in the gut really hard by this one, probably sat in my seat trying to compose myself until the ushers were in there picking up popcorn. Doesn’t matter what you think about anything, just see it… prepare yourself, then see it.

1a. The Fountain (yeah I know, couldn’t decide between them)

I will start by saying Aronofsky is probably in my top three of working filmmakers. He connects with me and just makes such beautiful heart-wrenching films. Literally everyone in the theater walked out going “huh?”, I know I was the only one from the people I went with that liked it – let alone liked it enough to make it my fav of the year. I guess it reminded me a bit of 2001 (maybe my favorite film) while bringing a love story into it – and a love story of such power that I was basically in awe of everything about the actors. I will cherish this story always.So here it was… not perfect unfortunately, but until everyone starts sending me copies of screeners of everything, this is just going to have to do.Love,
El Presidente Pip


7 Responses to “The Pip’s Top 10”

  1. Reel Fanatic on January 1st, 2007 5:15 am

    I’m normally pretty resistant to schmaltz, but Little Miss Sunshine was just so perfect that it just made me smile too .. easily the best ending for a movie in many years! (and I just love Amelie too)

  2. mjrc on January 1st, 2007 7:54 am

    your comments about marie antoinette had me rolling–they may even inspire me to see the film!

    have to say this is definitely skewed toward “guy” movies, but that’s OK. ;-)

    where’s rachel?

  3. drainpip on January 1st, 2007 10:13 am

    It was kinda a guy movie year… There were no good chick flicks, poor things. And strangely enough I normally don’t get into the ‘guy’ movie vibe, which is why this is a pretty odd list for me. I like the heavy dramas because those are the ones with the most soul, but this year… I dunno, they put in some testosterone with that soul baby! More power to ’em!

  4. Rachel on January 1st, 2007 4:36 pm

    Ha! Guy movies aplenty! Thanks to drainpip for compiling this great list, he will have to do a follow up after he takes in Little Children, Good Shepard etc.
    Can’t say that I agree with all of these (Flight 93) but he already heard my objections. ;-)

    Marcy, have you seen Little Miss Sunshine yet?

  5. Mentok the Mindtaker on January 2nd, 2007 8:29 am

    Solid pics, pip. The only notable absences are World Trade Center and Babel. Otherwise, of the ones I’ve seen, this lines up with my picks for the year.

  6. tad on January 2nd, 2007 12:35 pm

    this is a nice list, drainpip. i hope you’re able to see “pan’s labyrinth”–it is spectacular

  7. mjrc on January 3rd, 2007 5:13 am

    rachel–first let me say i see about 6 movies a year, half of them kid flicks! but yes, i did see little miss sunshine. i loved it. i thought the whole thing was brilliantly acted. i remember thinking at the time what a perfect metaphor for family life that old vw van was–you can’t choose your family, you’ve got to make it work with who you have somehow. : )

Leave a Reply

  • Disclaimer

    Music found on this blog is for sampling only. If you like what you hear then support the artist. Buy their music, attend a show and spread the word. If you own the rights to any of the music featured here and you would like me to remove it contact me and I will remove the link immediately.

    Click the tag to listen, right click the song title to save. If you find that an mp3 is not playing chances are it has expired.

  • Contact

    Rachel - Music, Film
  • The Breakdown

  • Comment Love

  • Aggregator Love

    The Hype Machine

  • Last.fm

  • Archive

  • Meta