Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Movies 2008

My faves for 2008

Keep in mind I don't get to see many moves, compared to what I used to watch pre-kid. Not complaining, but my choices are much more limited these days.

10. Cloverfield
Perfect DVD rental. Loved it from first frame to last - strong choices top to bottom and a great faithful ethos to b-movies.

9. Prince Caspian
Love the books - greatly admire the movies. Very moving for a fan and a person of faith. Caspian is not perfect, but a great addition to the series.

8. Milk
Sean Penn is amazing (too bad he's such an idiot as a person). Film expertly captures the time and illuminates a historic event that I thought I knew very well.

7. Man On Wire
Stunning documentary, almost derailed by ridiculous sex scene reenactment. Beautiful otherwise.

6. Speed Racer
Unconventional. Not Hollywood. Plenty of heart. Phenomenal visuals. Ahead of it's time.

5. Iron Man
Great ride. Downey is amazing - set pieces are exhilarating. Even Paltrow is tolerable (actually perfectly cast for once.)

4. Kung Fu Panda
I was absolutely floored by this film. A MUST for anyone who loves Kung Fu movies. Finally Dreamworks Animation approaches Pixar quality in story and animation. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

3. Tropic Thunder
One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Instant classic.

2. Wall-E
Pixar's masterpiece. Incredibles is a better movie, Wall-E is a better film, and the best of the Pixar crop.

1. The Dark Knight.
The standard by which all comic book movies should be measured. Along with Wall-E, this is one of the most profound movies of the decade.

Honorable Mentions - movies that I enjoyed and would recommend.

The Spiderwick Chronicles
Great little fantasy film, plenty of thrills and chills plus a great heartfelt punch.

Horton Hears a Who - almost made the top ten, but how many cartoons can I have up there? I know I'm a dad, but oye! A delightfully realized romp. It will always have a fond place in my heart also because it's the first movie my little girl saw in a theater.

Jumper - Very flawed story, but still a hell of a lot better than Twilight. Great gags and effects, a fun ride. Listing it here because I know it will be overlooked.

Incredible Hulk - Damn good comic book movie. Until I saw Iron Man and Dark Knight. Still a blast and a definite purchase.

Bolt - Very good adventure, hard to compete against Pixar and Dreamworks. Some great character work and plenty of heart.

Madagascar 2 - Yes, I have a 4 year old! Honestly, I've become a great fan of these movies (even after, or maybe because of, seeing them both dozens of times). Borat is hilarious as the lemur king. Good times, great movie for kids and silly grown ups.

Honestly, I can't remember a year with more animated home runs. Any other year Horton Hears a Who is a top ten movie on my list.

Movies I REALLY want to see badly.

Frost/Nixon - Heard nothing but good things. Nixon fascinates me.
Ben Button - Love Fincher's work. Zodiac was amazing.
Gran Torino - This one more than the others I'm dying to see. Heard it's a big un-PC Dirty Harry as a geriatric flick.

Worst Movies I saw in 2008

Rachel Getting Married - What. The. Hell. I like Hathaway, but honestly, her character needs to shut up. Like, now. And what's up with the long ass scenes in real time that don't go anywhere. And the twist? Unbearably contrived and just stupid. Crap on crap. Did I mention I didn't like this movie?

Mamma Mia - I love musicals. I even like Abba. I hated this. Hated it. Meryl Streep is a big loser for bullying her way into this role. "I'm Meryl Streep. I have 2 dozen oscars. I like Mamma Mia'. I demand the lead!" Newsflash - You can't, freaking, sing.
How can you have a musical with lead characters that can't FREAKING SING? The numbers are somewhat well conceived - Dancing Queen is a visual delight. But it all falls apart, because the actors driving the show, don't have the tools to do the job. I felt sorry for all involved in this fatally flawed mess.

Twilight - meh.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - There's lots here that I actually like a lot. Love the 50's atom bomb sequence. Enjoy Shia' and the visual gags that accompany him. Love the college motorcycle chase, love the ants in the amazon. HATE HATE HATE the Crystal Skull itself. Looks like a model for the actual prop. "So Steven, this is a mockup?" "No, this is it." "This is what?" "The actual prop." "But it looks like acrylic with saran wrap inside of it. It looks like ass." "I'm Steven Spielberg, End of Discussion." And the final act is just terrible.

That's it. Overall, I really enjoyed most movies I saw this year. And I can't say enough about the Dark Knight and Wall-E, two of the best movies I can remember in a long, long time.

Friday, February 06, 2009