What
makes one a Chewer? It isn’t just reading CHUD.com regularly, although
that’s a great start. It definitely isn’t being an expert at
mastication. Being a Chewer requires a certain sensibility that’s
outside of the mainstream. Sure, a Chewer can hold his or her own in a Star Wars
OT vs PT argument with a standard movie geek, and sure, a Chewer can go
with the rest of the film snobs to an Ozu revival, but a Chewer also
gets really, really excited about the DVD release of The Manitou.

Over
the next few weeks we’re going to be bringing you The CHUD.com
Essential Films Collection – the films that would be in our dream
Chewer DVD Box Set. These are 50 movies that we think every Chewer
should see and love. This is by no means the definitive list of movies
that make one a Chewer, but it’s a good start. It’s also in no order –
the first films that we list are just as essential as the last ones.
And it’s a list that will leave off the obvious as much as possible –
you don’t need us to tell you to see Lawrence of Arabia or Seven
Samurai
.

So fire up your Netflix or your Amazon accounts –
every day we’ll be bringing you two movies that are worth seeing, and
probably worth owning as well. Chew on, Chewers.



http://chud.com/nextraimages/rounders_ver1.jpgThe Movie: Before poker became the ‘get rich quick’ scheme of the oughts for aimless males, it was the subject of John Dahl’s fantastic dick flick, one which has become a seminal part of the card culture as well as one of the sneakier classics in recent memory. Mike McDermott (an understated and fantastic Matt Damon) is a heck of a card player who let himself fall into a trap set by Teddy KGB (John Malkovich, chewing scenery and Oreos), resulting in a fall from grace of sorts. His road back into the world of high stakes poker, fueled by the batshit Worm (Edward Norton, having a blast) is something to behold in a movie loaded with great dialogue and rich supporting characters.

Why it’s Essential: The reasons are many. The acting is top notch and Brian Koppelman and David Levien know their poker like Traci Lords knows her way around a cockknob, their script is tight and incredibly entertaining and the fact this film wasn’t a little better received initially is more a result of people expecting Good Will Hunting Again than any fault of the filmmakers. There are so many great aspects; Malkovich’s splendid hamming, the fact Damon’s character chooses his game over his lady, the terrific narration, Martin Landau’s warming performance, the acute balance of working class and risk-taking personas and the middle ground they share, the way the leads deconstruct the game of poker. There’s so many great things about this flick that it’s just vital. The Cincinatti Kid is a classic as well, but for my dollar this is the definitive card playing film for CHUD.com.



They Live (Buy it from CHUD!)


http://chud.com/nextraimages/theyliveCHUD.jpgThe Movie: Nada (Rowdy Roddy Piper), a struggling construction worker in a small burg, happens one day on a stash of sunglasses. Donning a pair, he find his perspective irrevocably altered as the glasses allow him to see that we are actually surrounded by elitist space aliens masquerading as human creating subliminal ads and billboards that guide the common man to complacency and conformity.

Why it’s Essential: There’s a temptation to think of this merely as a fun 80s trifle, but the underlying themes of Reagan-era classism and working men rising up to fulfill their potential resonate far beyond a single era. Arguably, they’re more pertinent than ever given our current erosion of the middle class. But enough socio-political talk….the film kicks ass on the surface level as well, featuring lean, tight direction from John Carpenter, a genuinely great lead performance from Piper, and the rather infamous (and incessant) fist fight between Piper and Keith David. Best of all, this is where Piper achieved celluloid (and geek) immortality by improvising the line “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass …and I’m all out of bubblegum.” So, watch it as your intro to Marx or watch it for a solid piece of genre filmmaking that gets better with time. You win either way.