Posts Tagged ‘John Hughes’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt? more like Joseph Gordon Love-It.


On Sunday the 30th of September 2012 a theft took place. A crime so heinous it has taken me until now (5 days later) to speak of it. It started, as it always does, with a dame…

Dame Judy Dench was informing James Bond that his 00 status was to be revoked, he had been tortured by Madonna’s theme tune in North Korea and they believe he had gone rogue. It was around this time that I thought, “no, no sir. A man can only be pushed so far” and so I resolutely switched off “Die Another Day” and turned over to “10 things I hate about you”. I’m quite sure you will agree that it was a damned good choice, what’s not to love? Heath Ledger is both funny and charming and Julia Styles looks like a ghost. This has long been a favourite of mine, chiefly because there is an impromptu musical number, but also because it is one of the best high school comedies emerging from the 1990’s.

This film is often overlooked, for example on this very website’s “Back to School: movies” article [full disclosure I wrote and take full responsibility for this viscous oversight]. In what was becoming a frankly cruel streak in my character, I had also completely disregarded Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance in the past. In fact I was surprised he was even in the film, whilst I

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watched him take on the Shakespearean task of trying to bone Julia Styles sister I decided to make a list.

Fans of lists will no doubt be excited by this decision; the list in question is Joseph Gordon Levitt’s finest films. The problem I had however is this; JGL’s films have also been some of the highest grossing of the last 5 years. This means that any list is pretty irrelevant as the majority of people have seen them or heard about them and chosen not to see them. There are very few Gordon-Levitt pictures that I can recommend which would make this article even vaguely practical.

I spent this mild September afternoon dealing with the quandary of digging a relevant piece out of a) a thoroughly overused article structure and b) an actor whose filmography is pretty widely known. As I dealt with these issues and began composing my list, the thieves struck.

Horrifying I”m sure you agree, to see such a graphic scene of crimes against my own brand of mediocre pseudo-journalism. I struggled to come to terms with it myself, somehow the Huffington Post had managed to steal my article before I had even written it. How they did it? I may never know. How it made me feel? I know only too well. Not that its any real consolation after the grievous violation of my mental privacy that occurred but here is my list of Joseph Gordon-Levitts best films;

1) Beethoven (1990)

What? Beethoven? I know, I know we were all thinking it. Obviously he’s one of the kids or something. Nope a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt began his career as “Student 1”. Many will try to argue he really started his career with the excellent 1990’s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. Those people are liars and you shouldn”t listen to them, Beethoven is a great family film which I fondly remember and so am frankly reluctant to rewatch in case it’s a total stinker. If a cuddlier John Hughes film exists, ill eat my hat. The only possible flaw in it is the minimal Gordon Levitt time.

2) 10 Things I hate about you (1999)

I have already talked about this film, and it really is excellent. Of the two late 90’s modern
day adaptations of Shakespeare (the other being Baz Lurman’s Romeo and Juliet) 10 Things is the sillier but this doesn”t diminish the film in any way. Heath Ledger’s rendition of “Cant take my eyes off of you” had the opportunity Preparativi ad un mondo di continue sorprese grazie alle promozioni che star Casino mette a disposizione di tutti giocatori che amano passare il tempo sulla sua piattaforma di gioco. to be a horrifyingly awkward experience instead it was handled with charisma and wit something that high school monstrosities like “Grease

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2” and “She’s the Man” could learn from

3) [500] Days of Summer (2009)

Looking back now at this totes-indie flick we might find it somewhat cringe worthy. However in those heady days of 2009 it really was a stand out film. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt react so well off each other and frankly the non-linear structure blew our small ‘09 minds (a simpler time). It’s easy to make fun of the maniacal love of the Smiths and Deschanel”s many totes-indie quirks but at its heart this is a very strong and surprisingly funny film. To be fair the Smiths are also a pretty OK band.

[Levitt probably listening to “The Smiths” in [500] Days of Summer, in case you didn”t know what he looks like]

4) Inception (2010)

Like a circle within a circle, or a wheel within a wheel. Inception is one of the major blockbusters of our generation. This is heartening because it is also one of a new Nolan inspired bread of blockbusters that assumes you aren”t a total imbecile. While the usual idiot fodder like “Avatar” is still churned out, Inception proved to studio bosses that a film with substance can really make some money. Stand out moments in Inception for me (and probably everyone else) is Gordon Levitt’s gravity defying fight scene in the hotel room corridor and when Tom Hardy said and did things.

5) The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Hooray more Nolan/JGL/Tom Hardy, only this time its longer, fatter and you cant hear Tom Hardy. I appreciate there are a lot of Dark Knight Rises fans out there and frankly I am with you. In a vacuum it’s a sickeningly good blockbuster, held up against Begins and the Dark Knight? Its flabby, long winded and frankly a bit crap. The fight scenes are nowhere near as good as I had hoped, the plot was somewhat see through and the weird fascist overtones were just too evident. I know I am being a nit picking twat when I moan about the disappearing stab wounds and magically reappearing batmen. It is a strong blockbuster and that is why it is on this list, I liked it but it was long and not as good as the other two. More importantly to this article Gordon-Levitt wasn’t in the preceding films and he was brilliant in Dark Knight Rises.

[NB “Joseph Gordon-Loved It”was (to my knowledge) originally used by Rob Delaney. An American comic who you should already be following on twitter @Robdelaney.

Also if fans out there arent already using JGL as shorthand, you are welcome]

Back to School Part 2: Film

Back to School Film

As if yesterday’s comic selection wasn’t enough to brighten up the start of term, here is a selection of films. This list is stuffed with films you’ve probably already seen but you should see again because the likelihood is they are a damn sight better than homework or “playing outside”.

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club sets out to be the ultimate bottle episode and capture High School in one Saturday. For those who don’t know, a “Bottle Episode” is where a cast is brought together in one place where they are forced to deal with underlying tensions. For example the mall episode in every single 90s/00s high school show. Breakfast Club is taking on the underlying divisions common in every High School, it sets out to break down the superficial barriers by humanising each character in the others eyes. It is a touching and funny film and should be top of every high-school movie list on the back of the script

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alone. In my opinion the breakfast club is the ensemble to end all ensembles, it deals with the group dynamic brilliantly while maintaining strong identity for each character. The performances are universally strong whether this is the actors fault or John Hughe’s I don’t know. Everyone has their favourites, Emilio Esteves and Judd Nelson are the standouts for me mainly because of Andrew’s dancing and Benders ankle bandana. John Hughes spent the greater part of his post Lampoon career trying to capture High School, I’m glad he did.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller is outstanding, if you haven’t seen it go watch it now. Then come back and read the rest of this article, actually same goes for Breakfast Club.

Welcome back now that we have all enjoyed these films lets talk Bueller. Ferris is who everyone wants to be, everyone, he drives awesome (semi-stolen) cars, he sings on floats, he does a dynamite “sausage king” impression. I can’t write enough praise about this film, I love it, I’m entirely biased and have no criticism. Hilarious script, excellent performances, singing, dancing and a truly unbelievable car. You’ve seen it you know why I love this film, it’s a ludicrous feature-length fantasy about grabbing life by the bollocks and singing twist and shout, whats not to love?

Watch the film again, school will still be there in 90 odd minutes and you will be in a much better mood.

Mean Girls

The Lindsay Lohan starring Mean Girls is one of the funniest films Tina Fey has ever written about High School. The ability to turn one of Hollywood’s biggest disasters into an essentially likeable character is a miracle of modern cinema. Examining High School through an outsiders perspective is hardly ground breaking but it does allow for some really funny moments and great performances (mostly by the adult cast but also a few stand out kids). It approaches the issue of compartmentalising kids in school on a much grander scale than other films with ludicrous results. It’s a bit of a dumb film but worth a watch if just to enjoy the comedy of Lindsay Lohan trying to act like a human being.

Adventures in Babysitting

To say this is the most ridiculous film in this list is an incorrect use of the word “ridiculous”. Adventures in baby sitting follows Elisabeth Shue, an entirely irresponsible baby sitter, and her wards. This unlikely ensemble of minors genuinely stumble upon multiple gun fights, car thief’s, the mob, abusive frat guys and a mechanic who looks like Thor. It’s a silly film but you will enjoy it, the cast are surprisingly capable actors who stumble through a series of Goonie like escapades. The only reason this made it on the list instead of the Goonies is I watched this more recently and am still reeling from the experience. Genuinely they almost foil the

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mob, I still can’t get over it.


Lets talk about Juno Home skillet, lickety split and whatever other phrases we were supposed to believe an actual human being used. In 2008 Juno provided us with a surprisingly humorous and touching look at teenage pregnancy and adoption. With regressing adults highlighting Juno’s growth and ludicrous turns of phrase highlighting the benefit of watching tv and listening to that MTV. Through Juno (described in my favourite line in the film as a “cautionary whale”) we get an intelligent and funny look at teenage life in the noughties.

NB. I was trying to write a “baby bump/ bumps along the way” pun for like half an hour, if you think of one fire it in the comments. High five for my favourite