the past five weeks we have brought you the 50 Essential CHUD movies,
films that we think help to define just what a Chewer is. But those 50
movies don’t tell the whole story, so we’ve decided to bring you this
appendix. Those films were ones that made a difference for us, the guys
who write for the site; for the appendix we’re going to spotlight some
films for which we’ve tried to make a difference (with varying degrees
One of the great things about writing for a site
like CHUD is that you suddenly find yourself with the opportunity to
speak to lots of people who share your love of movies and who probably
have a similar mindset. And that means you have the chance to pimp out
a movie that you think is great, and that you suspect a lot of people
reading the site will think is pretty great, too. We’ve never been shy
about doing this – hell, it’s almost part of our basic mission
For the rest of the week we’re going to bring you
ten films that CHUD has championed. These are the films that we pimped,
and we pimped hard, and we’re proud to have put our name and our
reputation on the line for them.
Brick (Buy the DVD)
Why it’s Essential:The first time I really became aware of Brick was when CHUD participated in a poster premiere program with some other sites. At the time I was a little dismissive, calling it akin to TV show Veronica Mars. But when I saw it, I changed my tune completely. Writer/director Rian Johnson had taken something that seemed so gimmicky in concept and made it breathe and live on film.
A huge part of that is Rian’s script, which is just exhilarating in the way it uses language. Cinema is primarily visual, but that doesn’t mean that filmmakers should ignore the literary aspects, and Rian didn’t – in fact, he began writing Brick as a novella. Another big part is the casting; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so completely different from his Third Rock From the Sun character that you may not even recognize him. A too-infrequently employed Lukas Haas turns The Pin into one of my favorite “villains” of the last ten years, and Noah Fleiss gives tough guy Tugger a wounded interior that allows the character to be completely real.
Johnson takes all of these elements and makes them work together in a surprising way. The first time you watch Brick it’s with the thrill of enjoying a high-wire act – will this guy fall to his death? But once you’ve seen Johnson soar all the way through, unscathed, you can really get to enjoying the movie as a damn well made film on its own merits, a movie to be enjoyed and savored again and again as a reminder that well-written, smart movies can be a lot of fun too.
The Movie: Something is making life not only Les Miserables for the French in the mid-1700’s, but Les OVER. Is it a natural beast or is it something supernatural? This fictionalized idea of true events that could have been a steaming blast of merde but ends up an odd and wonderful hybrid of period piece, horror film, action film, and showcase for Monica Bellucci as a mountain range. Mark Dacascos has never been good better.
Why it’s Essential: We oozed so much man-juice for this movie, from Smilin’ Jack Ruby’s amazing early reports to our first (and only) countrywide screening to the fact it graces many a CHUD.com top ten list when it arrived on our shores. There was no shortage of pimping.
And it’s still great.