Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A Personal Message From Sombrero Grande:

Howdy, kids.

One of the things that bugs me about listening to most film critics is that you never know who you can trust. Sure, pretty much every movie that comes out nowadays has three or four sound bite “praises” from critics in their ads and that’s supposed to make you think, “gee, I guess Me, Myself and Irene must be a good movie after all.” No, it isn’t. The fact is you don’t know anything about these “critics,” what movies they generally like or dislike, who they are or why they make meaningless statements like such-and-such-movie is a “roller coaster ride.” What the Hell does that mean?! Is it good? Or does it suck and the “critic” just wants to get his or her name in the ad?

How do you know that these quoted “critics” are anyone you should be listening to at all? Do you remember David Manning, the fake critic who was quoted in ads praising The Animal and Hollow Man and later turned out to be the fictitious creation of a Sony marketing executive? I can assure you, truth-seeking reader, that I, Sombrero Grande, am a genuine, bona fide movie reviewer made of flesh and blood and orange foam (mostly the hat) who is not being wooed by any studio to have my thumb pointed in any direction whatsoever. I don’t get invited to any snazzy premieres or press junkets; I have to see my movies the way you do: by spending my hard-earned cash at some overpriced theater where $12 can buy a lot outside but you’ll be lucky to get an uncomfortable seat and a box of Junior Mints inside.

Heck, I'm even willing to forsake friendship to ensure that you don't have to waste 2 hours of your time on sub-par cinema!

These, and many more reasons I can’t think of at the moment, are solid reasons why you can trust Sombrero Grande to be ever vigilant and pulling no punches when it comes to making the most of your movie dollar!

While my mask and the nature of this web site prevent me from giving away my secret identity, I can tell you about the kinds of movies I like. If you have similar tastes, then you’ll probably find my reviews more helpful than most; if you don’t like the movies I like, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something deeply, deeply wrong with you (though it’s possible), you may want to pay more attention to someone else’s reviews. For that I recommend any one of my fellow faulty-film-fighting Masked Movie Snobs.

My interests in movies tend toward comedies and animation, though I have been known to greatly enjoy films in other genres as well. While I certainly appreciate powerful, moving, stirring dramas that seek to change your life and make you cry, I generally prefer watching something a bit more “entertaining” that still manages to offer interesting characters, engaging performances, smart writing and clever directing, along with honest laughs and/or thrills.

I have issues with excessive violence (the only movie I ever walked out on was Heat after a man was shot point-blank in the face—that’s entertainment!) and gore (the sight of blood, even fake blood, can make me more nauseous than the sight of another reality TV “star” making the jump to the big screen). I’m also rather irked by movies marketed towards children that shouldn’t be (Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a good film but shouldn’t be in the Kids’ section at the video store) and, like any good Masked Movie Snob, movies that are pure insulting shit (Superstar, Hocus Pocus, 200 Cigarettes, Spy Hard, Johnny English, Inspector Gadget, Fathers' Day, Volcano and far too many more to mention).

Oh, and, just so you know, I have a serious hard-on for Pixar Animation Studios.

I’m giving you insight here into my movie tastes, thereby putting the power in your hands whether or not you want to continue reading my blather. I present to you now two lists of my to-date favorite films for your perusal:

Sombrero Grande’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Movies List:
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
Back to the Future
Ed Wood
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Pinocchio (1940)
Moulin Rouge!
Swingers (1996)
The Incredibles
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Honorable Mention (The Almost-In-Top-10 Movies List):
Being John Malkovich
The Big Lebowski
Bottle Rocket (1996)
Casablanca (1942)
Finding Nemo
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
Napoleon Dynamite
Office Space (1999)
Strangers on a Train
The Triplets of Belleville

So feel free to snoop around my Movie Mesa here, trusting reader, knowing that you and your movie dollar are put high above my personal quest to sell-out and accept lavish gifts and walk-on roles in summer blockbusters from studio executives and filmmakers.

Your Friend in Time,
Sombrero Grande

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