|Volume 1 Issue 7.5 - Goodnight To The Rock-n-Roll Era||
Your Monthly Dose Of Cynicism
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RTC Kicks Back And Soaks In The New Year
Why buck tradition? We asked our writers to each come up with an end-of-the-year (millenium) list and they willingly pulled out their microscopes and analyzed the cinematic progeny of the past year.
MNKE Top 16 Of The Year
Fight Club - The only movie that raised even a touch of controversy this year turned out to be nothing more than a catharsis of nihilism with cool guys saying cool things shot from cool angles. This almost makes up for the Mortal Combat movies.
Being John Malkovich - It starts off weird and just KEEPS... GETTING.... WEIRDER. Thank you Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman for the puppetry, the monkey flashback and the Catherine Keener.
The Insider - Like Apollo 13, Man on the Moon and other real-life docu-pics that you know the ending going into the movie, The Insider's surprises come from the characters' portrayal of the familiar and what they add to it. Russell Crowe more than holds his own with Coach Hoo-Wah!, and even if Christopher Plummer doesn't look a thing like Mike Wallace, he's the only person in the movie that gets Pacino to yell.
American Movie - We laughed out loud. And then we wanted to go make movies.
American Beauty - Could be subtitled "I LIKE IT WHEN YOU CALL ME BIG POPPA". Once you get past the creepy Lolita-redux, you're left with a well-documented American male mid-life crisis. Whether the world needs another paean to male empathy is a reasonable question, but it's Spacey that turns this into a masculinized Sunset Boulevard (check out the beginning of both movies...William Holden face down in the pool, Kevin Spacey face down in the bed, both with voiceover. Hello?)
Magnolia - Some say its' too long, some say it's been done, but I say they are going to be picking this movie apart in film school long after Philip Seymour Hoffman receives his first actor Oscar.
Rushmore - Sure, it came out in '98 in L.A. and New York to qualify for Oscar nominations (and a lot of good that did Bill Murray! For shame, Academy!) Still, it's all the good Hal Ashby movies rolled into one, and a soundtrack that actually IMPROVED your record collection.
The Matrix - Witty in a way that the best comic books are, The Matrix's left-field success is usually attributed to its' story, or the never-before seen effects (which aren't as impressive now that they are used in K-mart commercials), but I think in our pop culture-craving / nostalgia-fueled ltimes, The Matrix stood out because it had genuinely cool catchphrases.. THERE IS NO SPOON may be the non-sequitur of the year.
Go! - Because of its fiddling with non-linear story-telling, no critic could resist comparing Go! to Pulp Fiction. When Go! hit theaters, nobody went because we're all very full of Mr. Tarantino, thank you. Thankfully, a lot of people are checking out Go! and it's ELEVEN deleted scenes (more Sarah Polley, s'il-vous plait) on DVD. We would encourage you to as well. Fichtner-enough said.
Election - Ferris Bueller's Rainy Day. Alexander Payne makes a high school movie for adults that makes you want to find out who at MTV films green-lighted this movie and give them a Head of Production job at MGM.
The Blair Witch Project - The best ending to a movie this year.
Limbo - The best non-ending to a movie this year.
Run Lola Run - Caffeinated crack. It's dazzling and you almost don't even need subtitles.
Twin Falls Idaho - What I thought was going to be dark and Lynch-ian turned out to be as warm and fuzzy as Lynch's own film, The Straight Story. Double your weirdness with the best siamese twin love triangle of the year.
The Iron Giant - For a long time, this was one of my favorite movies of the year. Now I know it is my favorite movie of the year. The Iron Giant is one of those Jumanji-style movies that years from now, children walking on a beach in Africa will find and discover the wonder of it for the first time. Enjoy it, kids.
Three Kings - Another movie that took a left turn as soon as you sat down and kept going in the most unexpected places. Clooney and Wahlberg can have their homo-erotic chemistry. It's Spike Jonze again who steals all the love with his backwoods Walter Huston who doesn't have a day job.
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