Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Movies

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 12, 2007

“You know when girls are like “Oh, I was so gone last night, I shouldn’t have seen that movie”? We can be that mistake!”

So, the music day is complete of our 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Voting, and I’m fairly pleased with the voter turnout so far, but I’m hoping that it’s only a fraction of what’s to come–as I said yesterday, IF YOU READ THIS BLOG SEMI-REGULARLY AND PAID SLIGHT ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THIS YEAR, YOU SHOULD BE VOTING IN THIS. Vote for up to five choices (and one write-in if you feel there’s something I missed) either in the comments box below, or by e-mailing me at Remember, if you don’t feel like voting every day, you can also wait until the end and cast one complete ballot once the nominees for all categories have been announced. So let’s continue on with this year’s movie nominees, and don’t forget to vote for yesterday’s batch if you haven’t already:

John McClane Gets Creative in Live Free or Die Hard

“I was out of bullets,” explains McClane. I think most of us were pretty skeptical when we heard about Live Free or Die Hard–I know I was, especially when the PG-13 rating was announced. But that one single image from the previews–A car. Getting shot. Into a helicopter.–was more than enough to ensure my ass in the theaters. The rest of the movie had some ups and downs, but the car-helicopter collision alone ensures the movie’s worthiness as part of the Die Hard dynasty, and will surely go down as one of the canonical Cool Moments in Action Movie History.

The House in Knocked Up

If this is what post-grad life is actually supposed to be like, maybe I don’t have to be so terrified of graduating college after all. Featuring a cast that essentially amounts to the Apatow Dream Team–Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr and Jason Segel–The House pictures a twenty-something utopia in which no one seems to have anything to do except drink, get high, dance to Ol’ Dirty Bastard and officiate Ping Pong games. Forget all that bizness with Katherine Heigl, kids and emotional maturity–this is your movie right here. Frankly, I cared less about whether Ben and Allison were gonna end up together as I did about whether Martin was gonna end up winning the beard bet or not.

Martin Scorsese: 1 for 8

Did anyone actually believe that Marty was gonna get his this year? Even after all the signs–the unanimous critical and commercial success, the Golden Globe, the slew of other Oscars The Departed had already picked up–it still didn’t seem possible, having been burned so many times before. Ultimately, I don’t know what’s more shocking, that Scorsese finally won an Oscar after 40 years and about a half-dozen Oscar-worthy films, or that he won one for a movie that didn’t suck, like, at all. Now the Academy look like fucking geniuses for passing Gangs of New York over.

Rose McGowan’s Machine Gun Leg in Planet Terror

Grindhouse–it didn’t quite turn out the way people thought it would. And maybe there was no way to market Death Proof and Planet Terror in a way that would’ve worked out better–maybe reviving a genre that only two people in the world still remembered and cared about just wasn’t a commercially viable proposition in the first place. It’s undeniable, though, that there was still some cool-ass shit to be found in both movies, including the most lasting image from either movie–Rose McGowan as the hottest one-legged character in all Pop Culture since Captain Ahab. I do wonder what people in the prosthetics business thought about the likelihood and practicality of having a machine gun leg, though–or did they just go, “why didn’t we think of that?

Hey, Isn’t There a War Going On?

What the 9/11 was to film in 2006 (World Trade Center, United 93, and the best-titled movie of all-time, Sorry, Haters), the War in the Middle East was to film in 2007. And, being the patriotic country that we are, everyone decided to watch Transformers instead. Consequently, war-themed movies like Rendition, Paul “I won two Oscars last year, goddamn it!!” Haggis’s In the Valley of Elah, Peter Berg’s The Kingdom and Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs all fell by the wayside comemrcially, and most critically as well, proving once more that America still prefers stories about precocious wizards and motorcycle gangs than ones about what’s actually going on in the world. Not that I actually saw any of these movies either, of course–they looked depressing.

“My Skull’s on Fire, But I’m Good”

No, I haven’t actually seen Ghost Rider–yet–but I have seen the previews. Over. And over. And over. For the first two months of 2007, I couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing that annoying goth girl talking to Eva Mendes about Ghostie–“He had this rad chopper…it was all flames and stuff…his face a skull…and it was on fire…like, hhhchchhhchchch…it was an edge look, but he totally pulled it off.” And then, that immortal Cage sound byte. Wasn’t quite enough to get me to see the movie, but apparently it was for the great majority of America, as the movie ended up grossing over $100 mil. Can you blame them, really?

David O. Russell Gives Lily Tomlin a Piece of His Mind

Whoops. No one knows for sure who leaked the clips to the internet–George Clooney swears it wasn’t him, which confuses me somewhat as to why he should’ve been considered the primary suspect in the first place–but apparently Lily Tomlin is a real troublemaker, and David O. Russell is one nutso son of a bitch. Choosing the funniest part between Russell insisting “I’M JUST TRYING TO BE A FUCKING COLLABORATOR!!,” Russell appearing to be done with his rant but storming in from a different direction offset to continue to chew Tomlin out, or Russell shouting “I’M YELLING?!?? DO I FUCKING YELL AT YOU?!?!…before right now?” is indeed a tough one, but the whole clip is fairly golden, and became a deserved YouTube sensation earlier this year. Coming up in 2008: clips leaking of Tomlin getting verbally shellacked by 9 to 5 auteur Colin Higgins.

Young Seth’s Illustrations in Superbad

“When I was a little kid, I kinda had this…problem. And it’s not even that big of a deal, something like eight percent of kids do it, but whatever. For some reason, I don’t know why, I’d just kinda…sit around all day…and draw pictures of dicks.” And off it goes. I don’t even know what I was expecting Jonah Hill to say as his reasoning for hating Becca, the girl Michael Cera’s character crushes on for most of Superbad, but I was totally unprepared for the barrage of dick drawings–dicks as bars on a bar graph, dicks riding a bomb a la Dr. Strangelove, dicks standing up to tanks at Tiananmen Square, banana dicks, water-color dicks…a truly mind-blowing assembling of phallic art, all hand-crafted by Ben Goldberg, brother of writer/producer Evan. Special props to the Superbad producers for making this one of, like, the three hilarious scenes in the movie to not be spoiled by the previews, and super-special props to Casey Margolis as Young Seth, easily the most underrated performance in the movie.

Three is a Magic Number

If nothing succeeds like success, then 2007 set out to prove that even less succeeds like success’s successes (or something like that). The three pictured above–Spiderman 3, Pirate’s of the Carribean: At World’s End and Shrek the Third–were three of the four highest grossing movies of 2007, but they weren’t close to the only threequels to hit it big this year. Elsewhere on the list of top 25 grossers could be found The Bourne Ultimatum (#6), Rush Hour 3 (#12) and Ocean’s Thirteen (#21). Were any of them any good? Who knows–the Bourne one was the only I actually bothered to see (some pretty good chase scenes in that one). But next year, which with the upcoming Rambo and Indiana Jones movies looks to be the year of the IV, we’ll all be reminiscing about the good ol’ days, when movie plots were only recycled twice.

The Simpsons Movie Actually Gets Released

I remember browsing or some other Simpsons bible site in Middle School and getting excited that it looked like they were finally getting working on the Simpsons movie, which was surely going to be the best thing ever. Flash forward TEN YEARS later and I’m…slightly less enthralled at the idea of a 90-minute Simpsons episode. And though some people seemed to actually be pleasantly surprised by it, my opinion of it was pretty mcuh what I expected–a couple laugh-worthy moments, ultimately a pale imitation of past glories with a distinctly hollow aftertaste. But I have to admit that the few weeks leading up to it were a whole lot of fun–the Kwik-E-Mart that opened near Times Square, the national Springfield competition, the Simpsons trivia contest my local pub quiz unit held (which, incidentally, me and three friends won, winning free passes to the movie). And ultimately it’s just crazy that they finally finished it and put it out–to a certain generation, it’s kind of like Brian Wilson putting out Smile or the Red Sox winning the World Series.

Honorable Mention:

The fake intro to Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
RZA, Common and T.I. in American Gangster
The Southland Tales trailer
Pop! Goes My Heart” from Music & Lyrics
Lindsay Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me



34 Responses to “The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Movies”

  1. Al1 said

    1. “Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and his cattle prod”

    I’ll rank the rest later, but No Country for Old Men is just starting to build momentum going into awards season, and has one of those WTF endings that, I predict, will make it and Bardem an enduring pop culture reference and make (and has made) 75% of its audience angry.

    And Bardem steals the movie no matter what anyone says about its existential themes or whatever nonsense internet critics write too many words about.

    In any event, I think voting on movies may be a little early. I still have to see “There Will Be Blood,” “Sweeney Todd,” “I am Legend.” Of the ones above, I’d probably go with the Die Hard Car into a Helicopter.

  2. Sonja said

    1. Young Seth and his penis drawings
    2. Young Seth and his penis drawings
    3. Young Seth and his penis drawings
    4. The Simpsons Movie
    5. Young Seth and his penis drawings

  3. Jason L said

    1. Judd Apatow and his troupe becoming the new kings of comedy with “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” (yeah, that kid who played young Seth WAS awesome)

    2. Simpsons movie finally getting released

    3. All those shitty war movies (“Rendition” was the only one I saw, and it suuuuucked)

    4. Yeah, definite write-in for “No Country For Old Men” being completely awesome and easy Best Picture front-runner

    5. Another write-in for all the Spanish auteurs (Inarritu, Cuaron, del Toro) storming the Oscars, which really was quite impressive and deserved

  4. kyle said

    rose mcgowan’s machine gun leg??? if anything from grindhouse makes my ballot here it has to be the fake movie trailers…Machete? Don’t!? Thanksgiving? Werewolf Women of the SS?

  5. jonathan said

    1. The Simpsons Movie (More specific write-in: Spiderpig)
    2. Knocked Up house
    3. Superbad dicks.
    4. Scorcese
    5. RZA, Common & T.I. in AG

    Write-in: 300 million people see 300 Spartans for (what seemed like) 300 minutes of the year’s worst movie.

  6. Al said

    To expand on No. 1 above:

    1. WRITE-IN: Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and his cattle prod

    2. Die Hard Car into a Helicopter

    3. WRITE-IN: Neither Superbad dicks nor the Knocked Up house, but the fact that I could not escape Judd Apatow in 2007: “Blades of Glory,” “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” “Freaks anf Geeks” revival, “Walk Hard,” etc., not to mention that every site I frequent is plastered with ads for his movies; I am absolutely sick of him.

    4. 3 is the Magic Number (though I saw only “Pirates” and it was horrible)

    5. Simpsons Movie (though the movie was just OK)

  7. David said

    1. Young Seth
    2. House in Knocked Up
    3. Scorcese
    4. Die Hard
    5. Simpsons Movie

  8. Haley said

    1. Must agree with Al on the Apatow, but I happen to love all of his stuff and look forward to more from him
    2. simpsons movie
    3. Scorcese finally getting his
    4. Die Hard
    5. Write-in: Am I mistaken, or was it a big year for screen adaptations, it seems like every movie ( good or bad ) originated as something else, stage musicals, novels, short stories, war memoirs, news headlines etc.

  9. ryke said

    !. Dicks
    @. The Knocked Up house
    #. WI: Hot Fuzz. Don’t care that the movie wasn’t a force in the public conscious, it is so good, I am pretending it was and will continue to until it is.
    $. The helicopter taken down by the car was quite awesome.
    %. Ehhh, wasn’t the best movie year, so Hot Fuzz again.

    As for the adaption thing, movies have been like that for years and people have been saying so for years, I don’t think 2007 was better or worse in any way.

  10. ryke said

    Shoot. Pop Goes My Heart was a randomly really funny thing to come from a Hugh Grant romcom, so that is my %.

  11. Dan said

    Andrew, you should probably stick to Music and TV, considering you’ve seen like four movies this year.

    Simpsons Movie
    Knocked Up

  12. Anton said

    1 – Threequels. Maybe we’ve had threequels before, but a year with such solid threequels will solidify the reputation of the threequel as a legitimate vehicle of artistic merit. threequel.

    2 – Simpsons movie. I liked it about as much as described in the blog, but it was a long time coming, and apparently there will always be a new generation of Simpsons fans. There is a surprisingly large amount of people today, younger than us, who do not remember what we consider the heyday if the show, but who nonetheless call it their favorite show. I guess that makes it important.

    3 – Superbad. Definitely going to be canonized as one of the great comic classics. The dick scene is definitely one of the reasons.

    4 – Live Free or Die Hard. It seems like this should somehow become a common phrase sort of like “jumping the shark”. When you talk about a truly lavish display of mechanical destruction, you would say “wow, they really shot a car into THAT helicoptor”.

    5 – Pop goes my Heart. That song ruled and was funny as hell partly because it rules and partly because it was just funny as hell. A movie about good music with good music made in the movie. It’s meta. I’m just saying I hope it starts a trend.

  13. Kelsey said

    Decisions, decisions, decisions

    1. Knocked Up house
    2. Scorcese
    3. Superbad
    4. Threeqles
    5. Die Hard

  14. Ken said

    Knocked up

    and a negative vote for ghost rider. that movie suuuuucked.

  15. paul said

    1- Rose McGown’s Leg

    2- WI-Cloverfield buzz

    3- Cherry Darling

    4- Keep Lohan’s I Know Who Killed Me


  16. Dave-O said

    Awesome list, but polarized in my opinion- most of these entries I either love or hate. Scorsese, Planet Terror, David O Russell: absolutley love. And I definitely agree with the write-ins for Bardem in No Country.

    But my absolute favorite: the house in Knocked Up. Not just becasue it was awesome and it’s a slackers dream, but because I used to live there. Working as a waiter in Mongolian Barbeque, I lived with 3 co-workers in a house so similar it was scary. Hence, nostalgia definitely factors into my vote.

    As for the negatives- 3quels disappointed; Ghost Rider stunk (and made me realize how over-rated Cage is); Die Hard jumped the shark, then shot the shark while in mid-air, used a chain to lash it’s tail to a helicopter rotor, stuffed some C4 into it’s mouth as the rotor subsequently hurled the shark into the sky, only to shoot the C4 (while jumping to safety) so that the shark explodes, and (finally) delivering- in a sly, too-cool, ironic statement tailor-made for the preview reel- the line “I guess we jumped the shark”

  17. Jorge said

    1.Rose McGowan’s Machine Gun Leg in Planet Terror
    2.The Simpsons Movie Actually Gets Released
    3.Three is a Magic Number
    4.Martin Scorsese: 1 for 8
    5.David O. Russell Gives Lily Tomlin a Piece of His Mind

  18. Fernando said

    1. Martin Scorsese: 1 for 8
    2. Rose McGowan’s Machine Gun Leg in Planet Terror
    3. Threequels
    4. WRITE-IN – Celebrities coming out of the closet
    5. WRITE-IN – Judd Apatow’s movies

    just to correct Jason L. (#3), Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro are MEXICAN.

  19. Griezz said

    1) LFoDH – Car kills Helicopter
    2) Year of the Threquels
    3) Rose McGowan’s iconic machine-gun/leg
    4) Scorcese finally wins
    5) (write-in) All the great lines from “300”
    (e.g. “Tonight we dine in Hell!”, “Madness? This is
    Sparta!”, etc.)

  20. kipsy said

    doesn’t Cage say, “My skull FEELS like it’s on fire, etc.”? I too haven’t seen the movie.

  21. There is only one legend and one man that is the epidemy of pop culture because without pop culture, his career would be non-existent: “Weird Al” Yankovic

    I think the fact that his career of pop parody has lasted over 25 years now not to mention having all kinds of grammys as well as gold and platinum albums under his belt is more than enough to qualify.

    Al is a brilliant talent and his work should definitely be recognized.

  22. Katie said

    1 Parade of dicks
    2 Southland Tales trailer
    3 Scorsese
    4 Simpsons movie
    5 David O Russell

  23. Zach said

    1. Rose McGowan
    2. Marty Scorsese
    3. Superbad
    4. Simpsons movie
    5. Knocked Up House

  24. TJ said

    1. Superbad. As far as you’re list goes, that has it.
    2. Knocked Up. Always good to see Martin Starr on the big screen. For more, see above.
    3. The Simpson’s Movie. About damn time.
    The rest aren’t from your list:
    4. Hot Fuzz. Easily the best movie of the year. Went in thinking it could never surpass Shaun of the Dead and was in no way let down. Not saying it surpassed it, but a tie is definitely in order.
    5. The Cloverfield Trailer. I did enjoy Transformers (for what it was worth) but God knows what I was talking about the rest of the night and for about the next month after that was this trailer. THE most exciting trailer I’ve ever seen.

  25. Le Wombat Bleu said

    1. Young Seth and his Penis Drawings
    2. Anton Chigurh and his Air Gun
    3. David O. Russell vs. Lily Tomlin
    4. Knocked Up House
    5. Rose McGowan’s Machine Gun Leg in Planet Terror

  26. Dan said

    1. No Country and the best movie + character of the year.
    2. Hot Fuzz. Amazing. Surpassed my high expectations. Go Brits.
    3. For me, it’s the Southland Tales trailer. ‘Cause it got me to see the movie, thinking it would blow my mind. (It did, but unfortunately with a shotgun, not an epiphany).
    4. Die Hard 4, naturally.
    5. All the hype for Golden Compass. Wait till the next two moves (if they get made), THEN you can start screaming heresy. And hope they’re better.

  27. Dan said

    O my gosh we forgot 300. Switch that in as #2, knocking out GC. And I know Apatow’s movies were great, so don’t worry, their snubs aren’t mean-spirited.

  28. Bob said

    1. Simpsons Movie getting released.

    2. Cloverfield Trailer-I hated the trailer itself, but it was a brilliant marketing strategy (although one thing JJ Abrams might have missed was that Snakes on a Plane had a brilliant marketing strategy too and BOMBED) and I’m sure it will be used by every studio in the future.

    3. Anti-war movies (although they owe their even getting made to Michael Moore). I know everyone’s entitled to free speech and all that stuff, but use common sense. The only thing releasing a barrage of movies painting America as the bad guy is gonna do is make America hated, even by its own people and that creates anarchy. As much fun as anarchy is…btw, how is that WGA strike going?

    4. Live Free or Die Hard-best action movie of the year.

    5. Reign Over Me-Best movie of the year, although insanely underrated because Adam Sandler was in it, but he proved again that he actually can act outside of comedy.

  29. Jon said


  30. mf2hd said

    1. Live free or die gard, wich was definitly a cool sequel and the helicopter scene was awesome
    2. The penis drawings. I didn’t like Superbad that much, but this scene was damm funny
    3. The Simpsons movie. Better than I thought before.,

    It was also at the time that Scorscese got his Oscar, but first of all it wasn’t surprising and secondly there was only one bad movie he was nominated for: “The Aviotor”. And “Gangs of New York” is a masterpiece.

  31. Millie said

    1. Simpsons Movie
    2. Superbad
    3. Rose McGowan
    4. Marty 1-8
    5. Three-quels

  32. Julio said

    Somebody on this thread made a reference to Cuaron, Gonzalez Iñarritu and Del Toro as “Spanish” directors. They are not Spanish; they are Mexican. Last time I checked, Spain was several thousand miles away from Mexico. That would be like referring to a guy from Quebec as a Californian, only further off the mark.

  33. Julio said

    Somebody on this thread made a reference to Cuaron, Gonzalez Iñarritu and Del Toro as “Spanish” directors. They are not Spanish; they are Mexican. Last time I checked, Spain was several thousand miles away from Mexico. That would be like referring to a guy from Quebec as a Californian, only further off the mark.

  34. Bobby Bouche said

    Next year will be the year of The Joker.

    I’m a man of my word.

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