The Mixed Tape

Andy’s Best Films of 2009 by Andy Motz

Here is my Best films of 2009 list – Andy

1.Munyurangabo- a film that is not manipulative with its emotions, but truly organic in every sense of the word. It is a masterpiece about Rwanda and the affects that the genocide still have on the people to this day. Made by Rwandans and Missionaries this art contributes to the healing process. A thoughtful film that is very powerful and is the years best, it needs to be seen.

2. 500 days of summer- (500) is a delight to watch. It tackles the theme of love with such insight and originality. The split screens, the dance numbers, and the perfect chemistry between the two leads help complete a joyous film that gets better with repeated viewings.

3. A Serious Man- A film about God and bad things happening to good people. Thought-provoking and very funny A Serious Man is the Coen brothers at their peak.

4. Precious- An R rated version of an after school special is elevated to greatness by powerful performances and good direction. It is a harrowing journey, one that everyone should take this year.

5. Up- What do you know Pixar has done it again. They have created an original cinematic story with great characters and themes that address the harsh realities of life with insight and hope

6. Where the Wild Things Are- Just beautiful and emotionally compelling. Not a movie for children, but about childhood. It deeply connected with me and brought back memories/ emotions of my own childhood.

7. The Girlfriend Experience- It’s a sad movie about empty people. Looking in through doors or edges of seat Soderbergh, accompanied by Oscar worthy cinematography, makes us observers in a world I’ve never seen before.

8. Summer Hours- A subtle meditation on life and art, that asks the questions why art is important and how it carries on after death.  Touching story and acting.

9. The Road- There are some striking images in this film and a strong emotional attachment as well. A really good movie and adaptation.

Up in the Air and Antichrist both fought for number ten. Both were good, but had their cons.  Since I can’t decide between the award winner and provocative art house film. Guess what? There is no number ten slot!

Tyler’s Favorite Films of the Decade by tylercoenrrea
January 1, 2010, 12:52 am
Filed under: Film, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

And what a decade it was.

10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

In all honesty the whole trilogy belongs up here as one movie. But just like Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II the second is the best. Here are the three reasons why: Gollum, Helm’s Deep, Sam’s Speech.

9. Wall-E

The best animated film of the decade. Storytelling at it’s greatest and evidence that Pixar is one of the most creative powers in the business. Truly a remarkable film that reminds us we don’t need celebrity voices, crude humor, or pop culture references to reach children.

8. Kill Bill Vol. 1

Quentin Tarantino lets his love for cinema and bloody chaos rule the screen in an orgy of artful violence and Asian culture. One of the most entertaining films this decade, it’s filmmaking at it’s greatest.

7. The Hurt Locker

The Platoon of the 2000’s, this is the first great film about the Iraq War. No political message, no cliches, just a story about the men who stare death in the face and call it their job.

6. Children of Men

A mesmerizing look at hope in the face of anarchy. Expertly crafted with long takes, Alfonso Cuaron presents to us a science fiction tale strung together with human emotion, enchanting characters, and a world on the brink of destruction.I know it’s said a lot but this is a “one-of-a-kind” film.

5. Elephant

I’m having trouble describing the emotions of how I can praise this film. It’s a haunting portrayal of a high school and its moments leading up to an unsuspected act of violence. The camera gracefully follows a random selection of students and their interactions with each other just as their lives will be shaken by the events. Gus Vant Sant’s boldest and argubly greatest film to date as he doesn’t ask questions about the tragic lives of teenagers but simply shows us the dark abyss from which they cannot escape.

4. Requiem For A Dream

Hey kids, you don’t wanna do drugs. But don’t take my word for it, just ask Mr. Aronofsky here, in fact he’s got a little film he would like to show you. It will numb your senses, and take all your fears and trials and shove them into a pit of acid. Then it will make you watch the lives of these four individuals as they deteriorate into worthless, meaningless experiences. You’ll cry. Believe me, you will cry.

3. Slumdog Millionaire

There is nothing wrong with this movie. Everything is perfect about it and it will be remembered for years to come.

2. No Country For Old Men

Upon first seeing this film I had no idea what to think of it. This was unlike any Coen brother movie they had ever made so I was confused. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. Tommy Lee Jones’ apocalyptic words stayed in my head for days, and soon I began to realize I loved this film. Dark, disturbing, and nodding its head at hopelessness, the Coen brothers have not topped themselves yet. A movie that will stay in your mind forever and that’s what makes it great.

1. Oldboy

If you have not seen this film do yourself a favor and see it as soon as possible. Asian filmmaking is strongly generated by their powerful and creative storytelling. Oldboy is proof of that. A twisted tale of revenge that would have been a disaster in the hands of an American director (we’re looking at you Spielberg). Everything about Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece is brilliant, from the brutality to the emotinally wrecking plot. Beautifully shot and perfectly acted, this is a film that is years ahead of it’s time. It will be studied for years to come and if you can stomach the dark places it descends you will experience a film like no other.

Honorable Mentions:

Gangs of New York

The Dark Knight

The Fall

The 25th Hour

There Will Be Blood

Cast Away

Best In Show


Inglorious Basterds

– Tyler Correa

100 Great Villains Part 3 by tylercoenrrea
November 30, 2009, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Film, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So after a big break the bad guys are back. For this week we bring in some enjoyable villains many from comedies. Some play with the lines of reality, some are satirical caricatures, and some are just hilarious in their own way. Either way, a good villain can make you cringe as well as make you laugh or even rethink your personal political views. Here are some slightly over-the-top performances that are nothing short of entertaining.

80. Aaron Stampler (Primal Fear) played by Edward Norton

Looks to me like They’re gonna shoot ol’ Aaron so full o’ poison it’s gonna come out of his eyes!”

79. Col. William Tavington (The Patriot) played by Jason Isaacs

You know, it’s an ugly business doing one’s duty… but just occasionally it’s a real pleasure.”

78. Orin Scrivello (Little Shop of Horrors) played by Steve Martin

” Let me ask you something. Does this scare you? Would you like it if I took this and headed right for your damn incisors!”

77. Xenia Zirgavna Onatopp (GoldenEye) played by Famke Janssen

It’s clean. I had to ventilate someone.”

76. Ernie McCracken (Kingpin) played by Bill Murray

“Believe me, as a bowler, I know that right about now, your bladder feels like an overstuffed vacuum cleaner bag and your butt is kinda like an about-to-explode bratwurst… Was I talking out loud? Sorry.

75. Mickey Knox (Natural Born Killers) played by Woddy Harrelson

“At birth, I was cast into a flaming pit of scum forgotten by God.”

74. Simon Skinner (Hot Fuzz) played by Timothy Dalton

“Lock me up. I’m a slasher! I must be stopped! A slasher… of prices!

73. Vincenzo Coccotti (True Romance) played by Christopher Walken

“I’m the Anti-Christ. You got me in a vendetta kind of mood. You tell the angels in heaven you never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you.”

72. Leonard Smalls (Raising Arizona) played by Randall “Tex” Cobb

“You want to find an outlaw, hire an outlaw. You want to find a Dunkin’ Donuts, hire a cop.”

71. Bill Lumbergh (Office Space) played by Gary Cole

“I’m also gonna need you to come in on Sunday too.”

Next week: 70-69

100 Great Villains: Part II by tylercoenrrea
November 13, 2009, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Film, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Last time we started a look at 10 great villains and will continue that study with the help from a pirate, a teenage rebel, a terrorist’s little brother, a gunslinger, a nazi, and even a grasshopper. Bad guys that you may have seen but never took the time to remember. Well here’s a reminder of how awesome they really are.

90. William Stryker (X2: X-Men United) played by Brian Cox


” I was piloting Black Op’s missions in the jungles of Northern Vietnam while you were sucking on your mama’s tit at Woodstock, Kelly. Don’t lecture me about war. This already is war.”

89. Simon Gruber (Die Hard with a Vengeance) played by Jeremy Irons


Said Simple Simon to the pieman going to the fair, ‘Give me your pies… or I’ll cave your head in.'”

88. Johnny Ringo (Tombstone) played by Michael Biehn


I want your blood. And I want your souls. And I want them both right now!”

87. Hopper (A Bug’s Life) voiced by Kevin Spacey


“Let this be a lesson to all you ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this earth to serve us!”

86. J.D. (Heathers) played by Christian Slater


“Your society nods its head at any horror the American teenager can think to bring upon itself.”

85. The Kurgan (Highlander) played by Clancy Brown


“Tonight, you sleep in hell.”

84. Hando (Romper Stomper) played by Russell Crowe


“I want people to know I’m proud of my white history and white blood. One day it might be all I have.”

83. Bucho (Desperado) played by Joaquim de Almeida


“Now you drive around town. You see someone you don’t know, you shoot them. How hard is that?”

82. Agent Smith (The Matrix) played by Hugo Weaving


“Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

81. Captain Hector Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) played by Geoffrey Rush


“Don’t dare impugn me honor boy! I agreed she go free, but it was you who failed to specify when or where. Though it does seem a shame to lose something so fine, don’t it lads?”

There you go, tune in next week for 89-71.

-Tyler Correa

100 Great Villains: Part I by tylercoenrrea
October 11, 2009, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Film, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , ,

In the upcoming weeks we will be taking a look at some of the greatest antagonists to ever grace the screen. This isn’t a breakdown of the greatest villains of all time, that would be too difficult. Instead, it shall be a variety of colorful characters that represent different kinds of evil and darkness. Every week comes 10 different villains so lets begin with a few forgotten, but memorable bad guys.

100. Ace Merrill (Stand By Me) played by Kiefer Sutherland


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“Okay… Okay… You’ve stated your position clearly. Now I’m gonna state mine: get in the f–cking car, now!”

99. Peter McCabe (Desperate Measures) played by Michael Keaton

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“You have to appreciate the irony. After all these years of being locked up, I’m given the opportunity to kill again. A cop’s kid too, and all I have to do is sit right here.”

98. Dean Trumbell (Punch Drunk Love) played by Philip Seymour Hoffman


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97. Henry West (28 Days Later…) played by Chris Eccleston


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“People killing people. Which is much what I saw in the four weeks before infection, and the four weeks before that, and before that, and as far back as I care to remember. People killing people. Which to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now.”

96. Guido (Risky Business) played by Joe Pantoliano


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“If I didn’t have any self-respect, it wouldn’t just be the furniture, it would be your arms, your legs, your head.”

95. Ivan Korshanov (Air Force One) played by Gary Oldman


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“Your national security advisor has been executed. He’s a very good negotiator. He bought you another half hour.”

94. Rip (Less Than Zero) played by James Spader


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“I don’t wanna trust you, Julian, I just want my 50 K, all right?”

93. Victor Sweet (Four Brothers) played by Chiwetel Ejiofor


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“You don’t pay a ho to f–k. You pay her to leave. what you pay out-of-town shooters to do? You pay them to et the hell back out of town. That’s what I asked for, out-of-town shooters. What’d I get? In-town shooters.”

92. Liberty Valance (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) played by Lee Marvin


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“Either you get out of town, or tonight you be out on that street alone. You be there, and don’t makes us come and get you.”

91. Walter Finch (Insomnia) played by Robin Williams


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“You and I share a secret. We know how easy it is to kill someone. That ultimate taboo. It doesn’t exist outside our own minds.”

What do you think? Got some favorite villains. Let me know and they might make it into the next 9 posts.

-Tyler Correa

Inglourious Messages by matthewgoodnght

It is undeniable that Quentin Tarantino‘s latest picture was a stellar success after what some skeptics may have claimed, Tarantino’s “dry run”. With astounding performances from some big names in Hollywood, as well as a few “no-names”, excellent direction, witty and humorous writing, Inglourious Basterds satisfied both critics and die-hard movie fans.


However, many fans of Tarantino have finally come to question the motives behind the making of his last film, and his previous films for that matter. What kind of message is Tarantino sending through his films? Some have come to call Tarantino as “wasted talent” in that he revels in glamorizing violence (and surprisingly, not sex). My first reaction is to ignore these heretical ideas given how much I enjoyed Basterds. But you have to admit: a dark comedy-themed drama about a crew of Jewish-American basterds running around the south of France brutally killing any Nazi they find sounds like a shallow plot of a film, doesn’t it? What was Tarantino’s message? Did he truely want us to laugh at the brutal murders of Nazis?

My first answer that comes to mind is the film was more or less about killing Nazis, and more about the cultural context of World War II, how back then African-Americans still were considered to be sub-human by many. Or maybe it was a potrayal of the mind of a Nazi, as seen through Colonel Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa, who compared Jews to rats, in that we tend to show unwarranted hostility towards both.

Or maybe the answer is that his films don’t have a message and were just created for the sake of an original, interesting story, and that the message is in the reaction of the audience: did they find it funny, moving, or grotesque? Specifically, why exactly did the filmmaker have the urge to show an actual Nazi head be scalped in front of the camera? Two reactions can only come about this: thrill and disgust. With either response from the audience, this grotesque shot serves purpose to emphasize why the Nazis feared the Basterds, stress the hatred towards German soldiers in World War II, and to show what a “scalping” actually is (since scalping has not been very common since cowboys and indians).


Ultimately, the safest answer would be that Tarantino doesn’t insert a message in his films because he just enjoys watching films. Why do all films have to have a message when any message he would put in it is going to be biased, outspoken and stir a division in the audiences that it reaches? Why can’t we enjoy the story of a motion picture without having to worry about political or social messages it retains? Messages in films are NOT bad, I just don’t think they have to be a requirement in filmmaking.

But there certainly is not a right or wrong answer, I am sure thousands of movie-goers took something different after watching Inglourious Basterds because there simply may not be a universal message from, but something different for all of us, and that is art.

Should a film always have a message, or can it be purely for entertainment? Does Tarantino glorify violence just for the sake of glorifying violence? Comment below.

– Matt Perdue

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The Informant! by Nolan Wilson Goff
September 25, 2009, 12:49 am
Filed under: Film, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Based on the true story of corporate whistle blower Mark Whitacre, The Informant! succeeds as one of director Stephen Soderbergh’s best. Check out the trailer below, and full review beyond that.

Most people would recognize Quentin Tarantino as being responsible for the massive growth of independent cinema in the 1990s.  What many don’t know is that Stephen Soderbergh was right alongside him. Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape took home the Audience Award at Sundance in 1989. Recently known for his Ocean’s trilogy, and the subpar The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh is finally back on top of his game, this time in a dark comedy starring Matt Damon.

Damon’s performance is without a doubt the best of his career, thanks to the witty dialogue provided by the screenplay.  The film is structured as if it were a constant train of thought straight from the mind of Whitacre, with narration constantly interrupting various facets on the storyline. Truly hilarious. Damon captures this role and never lets it go, as the character becomes a pathological liar. His performance is absolutely worthy of an Oscar nomination.

Soderbergh’s choice to use the RED One camera, fit the story perfectly, and displayed the 1990s with overexposed light and an orange hue. Peter Andrews (aka Soderbergh himself) is one of the premier digital cinematographers of today. Michael Mann, take note.

The only flaw of The Informant! is the pacing in the first act. To be honest, I could have done without the first 30 minutes of the film.  If you make it through, your in for an entertaining ride as Damon and Soderbergh create instant chemistry.

(3 out of 4 stars)


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