1. You can tell a story without dialogue – Go in to any movie catalogue and rent a silent film, and the best silent films will tell you that you don’t need dialogue to tell a good story. “Modern Times,” “The Gold Rush,” “Laugh Clown Laugh,” all amazing stories without dialogue. Human expression, body gestures, idiosyncrasies, they can do so much that dialogue can’t. And “Hush” dares to defy the stereotype that “Buffy” is not funny without the clever one-liners, and it succeeds. You do not need to club us over the head with dialogue to let us know what we should feel, and it’s flawless in its delivery.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” over the years, but whether or not you enjoy the show, you can’t deny it’s had its fair share of incredible episodes, and memorable moments. Even at its weakest, “Buffy” managed to show its teeth as a remarkable touchstone in genre television, while Joss Whedon was able to explore his ability to finish off popular and important characters. In the end, every move had an importance, and the death of Buffy’s mom Joyce had a particular impact on the life of Buffy and her entire group.
We’ve all seen it so many times that I kind of get angry when a filmmaker sends me their latest horror opus and it’s comprised of the same premise. A bunch of teenagers have commandeered a cabin in the woods for the weekend, and decide that they want to get away for a few days of beer drinking and misdeeds of the sexual nature. While there they discover that the cabin houses a bunch of secrets that could be their undoing. And it’s all being manipulated by a secret government lab hidden underneath the cabin, manipulating every single moment of their weekend like a game of chess. Ah, but that’s not the whole story.
Back in 2005 I remember going to the movie theaters to see “Land of the Dead” with my mom an equally rabid horror fanatic, and sitting down to watch the previews. I remember fondly sitting in front of the screen watching the trailer for the upcoming movie “Serenity” and marveled at how interesting it looked. It wasn’t love at first sight, it wasn’t immense curiosity, but just a mild interest that made me think about it and push it in to the back of my mind for a good while.
Months later prior to the unleashing of “Serenity” in to theaters, the Science Fiction channel in America aired a marathon of the entire “Firefly” and when I sat down to watch it from beginning to end it dawned upon me why “Firefly” was cancelled and taken off television so quickly many people didn’t even know it was on. “Firefly,” during the marathon, often began every episode with a brief prologue from Nathan Fillion explaining the basic premise of the series. And then it kind of saddened me that the producers or network simply didn’t have confidence in the show. And worse, they didn’t have confidence that the audience could play catch up.
Although folks like Quentin Tarantino and Joss Whedon have always pushed strong independent influential female characters on fans through their films and television series, they haven’t unfortunately been as widely accepted in pop culture as most of us would want. But the last few years saw a major turning of the tides with many hit shows featuring strong female characters like “Nikita.” Not to mention what with Scarlett Johannsen kicking ass as Black Widow in “Iron Man 2” and “The Avengers,” Zoe Saldana dominating in “The Losers” and “Colombiana,” or Rick Jacobson garnering a cult following with three ass kicking sexy lesbians in 2010’s “Bitch Slap.”
There’s also Noomi Rapace winning the hearts of film buffs everywhere as Goth hacker Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish critically acclaimed murder mysteries “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Disney’s “Tron Legacy” putting the gorgeous Olivia Wilde center stage as the enigmatic game heroine Quarra, and Zack Snyder giving us a super team of tough warrior women in his 2011 fantasy epic “Sucker Punch,” we thought we’d pay tribute to the bad ass chicks of pop culture that we loved and couldn’t get enough of. For those among you expecting the obvious, you will not be getting the typical list as we took about as much precaution to pick the more unusual characters we relish in reading and watching, those women who could kick your ass up and down the street and look good doing it.
After heavy consideration and much switching and deletion, here are warrior women you’d want in your corner during a when the chips are down.
One of the interesting aspects of this Star Wars and Serenity one shot is that writer Zach Whedon takes the time out not only to tell interesting stories in a little under fifteen pages, but he draws parallels between the Firefly and Star Wars universe that’s tough to ignore. Deep down Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds are cut from the same cloth. They’re both street smart pirates, they both love what they do, they both can handle themselves in combat, and they both have creaky old ships that they’d rather die in before giving up. In “The Art of the Bad Deal,” Han and Chewie land on a distant planet where they’re having trouble trading with a particular alien species.
What Joss Whedon has done is quite spectacular. He’s managed to take what could have been a complete clusterfuck of a movie and compacted every single hero and their mythos within two and a half hours, while also being able to introduce new heroes we can root for in the process. “The Avengers” is a true accomplishment of not only studio ambition but comic book cinema, a true masterpiece of the fantasy genre that piles together Marvel’s greatest heroes for a film many comic book fans have dreamed of having for decades. “The Avengers” incidentally is one of the many variations of Akira Kurosawa’s unparalleled masterpiece “Seven Samurai.” In “The Avengers” much like Kurosawa’s masterpiece, a thuggish villain rears his ugly head prepared to take down a land of innocent people for their own selfish purposes. Only when seven mismatched and unique heroes join forces and put aside their egos to defend the land does the villain meet his match. Ultimately while “The Avengers” is in fact an ambitious project that’s been planned from the get go, the film feels very meticulously crafted.
This list by no means reflect the opinions of the entire list of contributors on Cinema Crazed, it’s instead a list by yours truly, Felix Vasquez, and what constitutes as a top ten of my favorite television shows of all time. True this may not be of interest to general readers, but I’ve been meaning to write this list and post it for a long time anyway, mainly because I’m such a fan of lists. And to give readers an idea of my general flavors of pop culture.
This list will by no means change in the immediate future, nor will it be altered, it’s instead a fun list I just felt the need to write once and for all. These are ten of what I feel are the best shows I’ve ever seen. They’re shows I re-visit time and time again and constantly meet with throughout different times of my life. These are shows that mean a lot to me, and I hope readers will enjoy this article and feel compelled to send me their own top ten.