Number 2: “Dark Knight”

During the pinnacle summer of 2008 I saw Dark Knight twice in eight hours.  I then proceeded to see it six more times during that same summer.  So yeah I kind of liked it (what’s this guy’s problem?)

This film was so good and I was having so much fun that summer that I assumed time would simply stop there.  I felt I had reached the apex of my existence and life really couldn’t get any better.  I was in graduate school, partying harder than ever somehow, I was a freeman after breaking up with my long time girlfriend, and yet in spite of all these wondrous good times and memories (you never forget… being told about the next morning), time continued moving forward.  Which at the time was a major bummer.

Thankfully I had this film to lead my path into the future.

This movie rocked me to the core.  I had previously seen Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and thought it was damned decent.  There were some parts that came off a bit hokey and silly to me but this film was still head and shoulders above any other superhero movie.  But even still I can’t say I had very high hopes for this movie.  I was thinking mid level tops.

My best friend Michael Dennis saw the Thursday midnight showing which he invited me to but I declined citing an acute drinking problem.  When those two and a half magical hours were over he was positively speechless.  I remember at first being skeptical.  I was like “really? That was the best movie you’ve ever seen in your life?  Better than “Empire Strikes Back”?  Better than “Indiana Jones”? Better than every other comic book movie combined times a million? Alright fine I’ll see it.”

I believe it was Saturday morning when we finally had this conversation.  I being the productive partier had set my alarm for the crack of noon.  We set off immediately to the theater to witness this “Truly Amazing Film”.

The film starts and right out the gate I can tell this movie is different.  Instead of building up to something we are put right in the middle of this CRAZY heist scene where all the criminals are wearing clown masks.  You can tell something is not right from the get go.  After each section is cleared the proceeding guy up the ladder kills the other guy who just finished his job.  How has a movie never done that before? I thought.  “One less share!”

It continues until the glorious positively orgasmic reveal of Heath Ledger’s The Joker.  Now up to this point and a few years prior I had been highly skeptical of Heath Ledger playing the Joker.  To me The Joker was a skinny high pitched psychopath and with Ledger’s wide handsome face and deep manly voice it just didn’t seem possible for that to work out.  Boy was I happy to eat my words.   Ledger’s Joker worked impossibly well.  He took the character I knew and loved and “brought him down to our level”.  He made The Joker real.

I know this is offensive but I can’t help but think the level of depravity, insanity and psychopathy of this character had an effect on Ledger’s mental health which caused him to not be able to sleep which then caused him to mix medications and accidentally overdose.  It’s truly tragic and tears me up inside.  I feel, just like so many great artists before him, he had so much more brilliance to share.  Also after finally taking an acting class I’ve come to the conclusion that Method Acting is downright dangerous ie To play a crazy unstable character you become crazy and unstable in real life so you don’t even need to act!

Then the movie continues building and building around this perfectly captured and expressed villain.  Amazing set piece after amazing set piece not only inspired me to pursue film with renewed piss and vinegar but to literally move to Chicago and live there (because that’s where it was filmed).

This movie has had and continues to have a GIGANTIC impact on me in not only my artistic merits but my geographical position as well.  This film moved me… to a bigger city called Chicago!  And I couldn’t be happier with that inspired direction.

And if you choose where to live based on your favorite film than come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychedelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar because we’ll help you move.

Number 14: “Interstellar”

This should really be Number 14: “Interstellar/Inception/Memento/The Prestige” because all of those movies are one: AMAZING! And two: share one major thing in common.  They were all directed by Christopher Nolan who is handily my favorite director of all time.

But I have to choose one and I personally feel “Interstellar” is his best work (and it’s the newest).  It’s just freaking awesome!  The practical special effects and the crazy big space travel ideas are enough to make even my sober mind explode.  Wormholes, supermassive black holes, the event horizon, time travel, gravity, and super intelligent aliens from the future.  Sold!

And then you star it with my main man Matthew McConaughey.  Come on now.  How am I not going to love this movie?

There is something about a Christopher Nolan movie that just connects, hits all the right buttons, and all the right feels.  It feels real and you can tell every cent of that massive budget was spent on things that go directly to blowing up my serotonin receptors.

I love this damn movie and I also love Inception, Memento and The Prestige.  These are great films.  I just want to be Christopher Nolan!  He started with nothing and made a movie called “The Following” over the course of a year and a half.  It’s a film noir that he made for an extremely low budget with some friends of his.

Then he did “Memento” which was really my first exposure to Christopher Nolan.  What an amazing cinematic experience that was.  A supremely well executed film noir played in backwards order and tied together by a man with short term memory loss.  I recall seeing this film and having my damn mind blown out the back of my head.  It was so well done and the backwards order added such a unique and terrifying angle.

It was around this time that I realized my love for Film Noir.  I’m not going to say the film I watched after this because it’s higher up on the list but this film was positively instrumental in my growth as a cinema lover.  I finally realized the world is not black or white but shades of grey.  And film noir perfectly represented that concept with their anti-hero’s and bad guys who you weren’t sure were completely bad or even deserved their gruesome endings.

Then to top it off he made “The Prestige” which is an unbelievably underrated film about two men obsessed with topping each other.  It’s essentially about magic but it’s really about what people will do in order to win.  It also has Tesla played by David Bowie.  A better casting choice has never been made.

“Inception” is an incredible film noir heist flick played across several layers of our unconscious sleeping mind.  It is an absolute masterpiece.  Everytime I watch it I think “Why haven’t I watched this lately”.  It’s so good!

But back to the title film at hand.  “Interstellar” was great!  It had my boy Matt McConaughey crushing it with the emotion and the leadership.  How he came from “How to lose a guy in ten days” to this is beyond me.  I remember when “Family Guy” did a bit on him saying how everything he has been in save “Dazed and Confused” has been terrible.  That was like 2007 that that clip came out and then BAM he was an untouchable God.  He did “Mud”, “Wolf of Wall St”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “True Detective” (favorite show ever? Yes), and “Interstellar”.  That is one HELL of a run!  It’s so good I’m not sure any movie that he did before or after could tarnish him in anyway…

And if you loved “Failure To Launch” then you’ll love the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir Screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar  ‬