Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Best Movie of All Time is...

...or at least, one of my top ten favorites... Mystery Men! It won't surprise me if you haven't heard of it.

Hollywood has been less and less able to satisfy my appetite for quality entertainment, usually because they have to throw in at least one scene of tawdry debauchery.

Sadly, this movie has one or two such scenes, but it's of such ample quality otherwise, that the missing morality doesn't detract from it sufficiently to move it off my list.

This movie slipped under a lot of radars, despite its star power: Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, Greg Kinnear, Hank Azaria, Geoffrey Rush. Never thought you'd see a cast like that, eh?

I won't spoil it, but I'll give a basic plot overview: Greg Kinnear plays Captain Amazing, who is the Superman/Batman/Captain America type superhero of Champion City. He's getting a little too old, and is quite full of himself, and has already defeated and locked up every supervillian he has faced. So, in an attempt to return to his glory days, he secures the release of one of them, Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush), who turns out to be a little more than Captain Amazing can handle this time.

The Mystery Men - the quintessential wannabees who have some superpowers, albeit rather narrow ones - attempt to organize a rescue mission.

The great thing about this movie is that it doesn't make fun of itself; despite its absurd pretense - that people can have superpowers - it presents itself as a regular movie. There is some poking fun at the superhero mythos (in the same way Shrek pokes fun at the fairy tale mythos), but the movie doesn't try to come across as fake. The Mystery Men don't sit around in a fortress watching a crisis monitor; they have regular jobs and problems with their families.

And there's a real moral to the story too, which I also won't spoil.

And I'm not the only one who had an opinion on it...

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 61%!
Ebert & Roeper gave it one thumb up!
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (a great site for reviewing movies from a faith perspective!) said it was "Dopey... kooky... chaotic... toilet humor..."

Well, not everyone shares my taste.

Some of my other favorite movies:

Tears of the Sun
About Schmidt
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life Is Beautiful
Anything with "Star Trek" in the title
Story Of Us

As I think of/see more, I may add to this list.

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