The first chapter (after the prologue) of Pulp Fiction (1994) “Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace’s Wife” features Jack Rabbit Slim’s, a 1950s-themed restaurant. Vincent Vega (John Travolta) orders a Douglas Sirk Steak (bloody as hell) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) goes for a Durward Kirby Burgar (also bloody as hell). So why am I talking about Pulp Fiction, steaks and burgers? I like many people have made the distinction before. Steaks and burgers are like motion pictures. Steaks are films that make their money at the cinema and get Oscar nominations, Burgers are Movies, genre pictures that if they are lucky enough to make a profit do so on video, they are more likely to be described as cult classics than blockbusters. Quentin Tarantino has made a career of out of making films that look and sound like movies. So what are the best burgers of the decade so far? To be a genre film helps and any film that is nominated for an Oscar in the main categories will be excluded, so no Inception. Here are ten juicy cheeseburgers of movies, some of them are even bloody as hell!
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Depending on your point of view Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is either the coolest movie of the year or a flashy over edited mess that is trying too hard. Well it made it to my top ten movies of the year but only the lower reaches so I guess that says it all, I’m leaning towards the very cool argument but can see the imperfections of the movie. The casting is spot on and the action brilliantly choreographed, the script is cutting and funny but above all it is great fun, yes if you haven’t guessed this is the other contender for the most fun movie of the year.
Haywire: Possibly the controversial choice on the list certainly the “Marmite” choice on the list. Steven Soderbergh has crafted a B movie with an A list cast held together by Gina Carano, a former cage fighter with no acting experience. The antidote to modern action movies with frenetic editing an too much CGI.
Killer Joe: William Friedkin’s tale of murder set around a dysfunctional Texas family is often violent and repugnant, but it is also brilliant mainly because of a star turn from a resurgent Matthew McConaughey.
Edge of Tomorrow: For all the films that are interesting, clever or thought provoking sometimes a movie needs to be fun, and Doug Liman’s time loop, action adventure, alien invasion, war movie is the most fun movie of last year. It didn’t make much of an impact at the box-office but is gaining a great reputation on DVD.
Lucy: A young woman develops super powers when the packet of drugs in her stomach splits. The trailer makes it look like Limitless (2011) but its more ambitious and vastly different. Far from perfect but interesting and fun.
Snowpiercer: Not actually released in the UK but available from a well know online retailer. Visually spectacular. It is equal parts satirical and bonkers. As you would expect, Tilda Swinton steals the show with an over the top supporting role.
What We Do In The Shadows: Vampires get the mockumentary treatment thanks to the Flight of the Conchords team. The deadpan Spinal Tap style delivery takes a little time to get into but when you adjust to it, it is very funny.
Stoker: It’s no secret that Oldboy is one of my all-time favourite movies, it therefore comes as no surprise that I have been eagerly anticipating the English language debut of its director, Chan-wook Park. It isn’t Oldboy but I was far from disappointed. Sumptuous and beautiful to look at and suitably weird and unnerving.
Stake Land: A grim and often violent road movie from the team who gave us the direct to DVD zombie/rat/mutant classic Mulberry Street. Benefiting from its gritty realism and the constraints of a low budget it is intelligent and thoughtful whilst still being entertaining, and the vampires don’t sparkle in sunlight they burn! The best vampire movie since Let The Right One In.
John Wick: Bonkers over stylised ultraviolent revenge thriller. Breaking from the current trend of fast cutting the film has some of the best fight scenes in recent memory. Keanu Reeves is perfect taking on elements of many of his previous characters.