Thursday, June 26, 2008

EW's 100 new classic films

Entertainment Weekly has a new feature: the 1000 best pop-cultural products of the last 25 years. The 100 new classic films list is particularly depressing. I'm not sure if Hollywood has made 100 films I'd want to even watch again, much less recommend to anyone else.

Some of these films would have never made a top 100 list in a sane world:

1. Pulp Fiction (1994): Everyone knows, deep down, that this film was a critical and popular success only because it was marketing perversion and kink to mainstream America.

25. Shrek (2001): The voting process used to compile these lists will typically let a few bad apples through. That "Shrek" made the list tells us that the voting process obviously failed quite badly. Look everyone, Shrek made another poopie joke! Ha ha!

If you ever want film proof that our culture is becomming progressively more decadent, these two films are it. It's unthinkably depressing that a non-trivial fraction of our film culture is devoted to perfecting the fart/excrement/anal sex joke.

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005): Is it possible that "Brokeback Mountain" made the list to prevent Entertainment Weekly from being sued by one of its key demographic groups?

46. Children of Men (2006): The basic premise of this film is that, in the near future, men are no longer able to impregnate women. Since men can no longer oppress women by saddling them with unwanted children, men decide to set up Orwellian police states instead. Then men decide that Orwellian police tactics are so much fun that, given a choice between (a) having children again and saving humanity from extinction; or (b) beating up dissidents with truncheons while dooming humanity to slow death; the men mostly decide to choose (b).

In other words, you can practically see the Marxism oozing out of the screen when you watch this film.

53. The Truman Show (1998): "The Truman Show" makes it painfully obvious that it is a film about a man who has lived his entire life surrounded by actors inside of a giant, life sized television set. "The Truman Show" literally drops a klieg light out of the sky into the title character's face to definitively establish that, yes, this guy has lived his entire life inside of a television show. Then, since the film still isn't sure that you get the point, it stops the narrative and switches into documentary mode so it can literally tell you that this guy has lived his life inside of a television show!

57. There’s Something About Mary (1998): The Greatest Generation has the singing of "La Marseillaise" in "Casablanca" as one of its greatest film moments. Gen Y has Ben Stiller getting his penis stuck in his zipper.

63. Big (1988): This was the exemplar of a brief burst of Baby Boomer nostalgia films that starred infantilizing body-swap films. The only reason that I can think of to put this film on the list to knock one of the even worse Robin Williams films off of the list.

85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005): Think of this as the anti-"Big". Here the premise is that, if you're not having sex all of the time, then you must be bad, demented, crazy, stupid, or evil.

100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999): Yay, more fart jokes and curse words!


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