Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Best of the Best IV [Modern Movies]

The best romances in modern movies. Yes romances and not romantic, I loathe most romantic movies; blissfully ignorant of reality. You ever notice how most romance movies never tell anything about the happily ever after; it’s just assumed? Life is the afterwards and yet somehow they always manage to ignore it. I just finished Halo 4; the Master Chief and Cortana. One a genetically modified human who is seeing for the first time cracks in what defines him as the other an artificial intelligence is faced with an all too human mortality. Halo 4 dared to say that War had welded Cortana and The Chief into something even they couldn’t fully understand, something that they knew had meaning beyond all hope. For Cortana, the best romances in modern movies.

1. Sex and Other Drugs – Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. The story of the womanizer and the artist he loves. Standout performances from both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway, bookend this emotional love story.

2. Before Sunset – Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. An American boy and a French girl meet and fall in love in Vienna, but lose touch; nine years later they meet for one afternoon in Paris. The sequel to the fabulous Before Sunrise.

3. Grosse Pointe Blank – John Cusack and Minnie Driver have never been better. There is an instant chemistry between the hit man and the radio show host who are reconnecting over the weekend of their reunion after he disappeared on prom night. 

4. P.S. I Love You – Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. How do you deal with the death of the one you love? Is there a timeframe, a set of instructions, a path? Well if you’re Gerry there is a way. A love letter to his wife from beyond the grave; P.S. I Love You rests on entirely on the believability of their relationship even as death parts them.

5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Classic boy meets girl with a twist, as Pitt playing the boy who was born physically old and gets younger every day and the girl he meets and falls in love with. The different paths they’re walking through life binds them together and tears them apart, but they always find a back to each other.

6. Casino Royale – Daniel Craig and Eva Green. The movie that brought Bond back and it was Vesper Lynd who made it great. There was instant chemistry between Craig and Eva Green, as we finally meet the woman who made Bond.

7. Let The Right One In –  Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. When boy meets girl with a twist. Oscar, a little boy and Eli, a century’s old girl vampire are surprised by what they find in each other. This is a movie that rests entirely on how you view Eli, is she a little girl who meets a boy or is she something older and darker; and even then do you care?

8. Spanglish – Adam Sandler and Paz Vega. Adam Sandler at his best and the first movie he broke the mold that had made him so successful. Finally able to show his acting chops, Sandler was magnificent as the father/husband 4 –star chef dealing with real life difficulties while falling in love. Introducing Paz Vega to western audiences, Spanglish will not disappoint.

9. The Time Travelers’ Wife – Eric Bana and Rachael McAdams. This could have been more than a little awkward, rather it becomes something rather impressive. A story about a man who can walk through time and space but can’t change his fate; a fate that looked bleak until he met a girl.

10. Love Actually – The Entire Cast. Saddened that they don’t play It’s A Wonderful Life on television anymore? Take a gander at its successor. Certainly a more modern and British take on the Christmas movie, it still manages to be hopelessly sappy while tackling a more realistic take on love and the happily ever after.

11. The Princess Bride – Cary Elwes and Robin Wright-Penn.  Farmboy and Buttercup, is the book better than the movie? It matters not! It is an excellent and charming classic with a dashing hero and villainous villains.

12. Shakespeare in Love - Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes. It’s doomed from the start, they know it and you know it, but who cares.  Shakespeare and Viola throw caution to the wind for one short while.

Honorable Mentions:

One Day – Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway. As one character said ‘she made you decent and in return you made her so happy’. One Day chronicles the ups and down through the years of two friends who just can’t seem to get the timing right to fall in love.

Adjustment Bureau – Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. This movie lives and dies on the interplay between Damon and Blunt, when they're both on the screen its magic but it bogs down when they’re alone.

Stardust – Claire Danes and Charlie Cox. Clare Danes shines, quite literally as she plays a fallen star trying to find her way around the human world she has watched for so long. Cox plays the bumbling but good-hearted boy with a crush and a date with destiny.

Definitely, Maybe – Ryan Reynolds and Isla Fisher. Charming and  lovable tale, especially if you skip the politics (snooze fest). Ryan Reynolds finally kicked the goofy actor tag after playing the cool loser for many years. Playing against three talented female actors should have overwhelmed his role but he rose to the occasion.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, before they were. Having those two actors pulled this movie into a class of its own. The epitome of cool, audiences fell in love with the story of two assassins who have to choose between a love and marriage that fell apart while they weren’t looking or the companies they work for.

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