Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Underrated Hollywood Hits: A look at the Best Movies of 2009 and 2010

Readers, I apologize.  It's been too long since I've last shared the events of my life, thus barring you all from obtaining a glimpse into the glitzy, fast-lane, absolutely godless, cocaine-smeared-on-the-floor debauchery in which I've been indulging over the past two weeks.  Honestly, the past few days have tasted like a giant LSD flavored blur and I'm only now washing it's sticky sweet flavor from my mouth.  That being said, I noticed that four out of the five gatherings which I have attended have had two things in common: 1) great movies with great performances by great actors, and 2) a certain soreness in my anal areas when I poop the day after.  In light of seeing a great deal of cinema recently, I decided to share with you some of the more nuanced, reserved and underrated films and performances of our generation.  Enjoy...

George Lopez, Marmaduke (2010). 
1.)  In Marmaduke, Lopez gives voice to a (wait for it) street-smart latino  Balinese "Carlos" who befriends Owen Wilson's small-town Great Dane from Kansas.  Lopez's performance evokes a pathos and intelligence unexpected from a failed comedian desperately hanging on to a late-night viewership on TBS.  Who knew pretending to be a dog with a hispanic accent could be so haunting?  Moreover, the heart-felt friendship between Marmaduke and Carlos paints a beautiful metaphor reminding us that we can have friends of any ethnicity as long as they are willing and able to provide acceptable verification papers when we choose to pull them over.

Pissed off General, Avatar (2009).  
2.)  Avatar is quite possibly the most understated, nuanced, below-the-radar, subtle film I've ever seen.  A number of pundits and movie goers said that Avatar is a film about imperialism, or at least an ironic take on capitalism achieved by making the highest grossing film ever with the largest budget in film history, but I disagree, Cameron deserves more credit.  Instead, I realized that he had created a film addressing white america's continued struggle for freedom in the face oncoming oppression by the tyranny of illegal aliens from Mexico.  "Finally," I thought, "a movie tackling the real fears of everyday white people." Personifying the threat of invading, angry latins is "Pissed off General", played by some dude I've never seen before.  Nearly every word coming out of his mouth is some version of "pissed," "goddamn," "threesome," and "where's my Preparation H".  Kudos to you, old-guy actor, for being a courageous white man pretending to be a white man representing the reality of aggressive Mexicans with bad scalp problems waiting to pillage the United States.  

Greg Kinnear, The Last Song (2010).
3.) Thank God for Greg Kinnear, seriously. This man continues to provide us with breathtaking performance after performance (see Feast of Love, and the fourth Jason Bourne Movie).  In "The Last Song", Kinnear shows us how hard it is to love your daughter when she is Miley Cyrus. Kinnear's abilities are given an opportunity to shine as he transforms from a father with no connection to his bitchy teenage daughter to a totally awesome man-pal who does all types of heart-warming father-daughter stuff within 180 minutes.

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