Friday, February 12, 2010

543 - You Aught to Know - 17-18

Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood, 2004, 27 points

Like A Beautiful Mind, Clint Eastwood's best effort behind the camera isn't real structurally complex. But it's human, tragic, touching, and perfect in nearly every objective cinematic sense. As far as good old-fashioned storytelling goes, Million Dollar Baby was second to none this decade. Great performances by all. I cried. - Danny Baldwin

I saw it once a few years ago and yet I can recall the majority of this movie with astonishing clarity. This is the Rocky of a new generation which had the good taste to limit itself to one film. The absolute best from Hillary Swank while proving that Clint Eastwood still knows how to do it both in front and behind the camera. - Ryan Toppin

Spider-Man 2, Sam Raimi, 2004, 27 points

Undoubtedly, this was the decade of the comic book movie. While I doubt the theater-going public was apt to transition their love of these colorful characters into sales of their paper parents, for sure they’d discovered a love of big characters with fantastical origin stories and black-and-white battles between the superheroes and villains. Not that comics hadn’t been made into movies in the past, but never before were special effects, production, and story utilized to such an impressive degree. While The Dark Knight was so good that it went past and elevated itself above the parameters of what we expect to see from a movie about a superhero, Spider-Man 2 was the best of the pure comic book- based films. In it, I felt pity for Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, who takes on the familiar hero trope of being hated by those he protects, but here does it so genuinely, being alienated and doubting himself in a way that magnified the struggles of you or your friendly neighborhood, well, in this case- “neighbor.” I am not ashamed to say that it touched my heart when Dr. Otto Octavius, as his evil ego Doc Ock (played by Alfred Molina in the role I will always remember him for), tears off Spider-Man’s mask to reveal his “brilliant but lazy” student Peter Parker, and Parker convinces him to demolish his dangerous machine by telling him a line he echoed from his Aunt May, “You once spoke to me about intelligence. You said it was a gift to be used for the greater good” and “Sometimes... to do what's right... we must be steady... and give up the things we desire the most... even our dreams.” - Dustin Lilleskov

Next time on You Aught to Know - 15-16

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