The year is coming to a finish and instead of some big whopper of a send-off to 2006, I feel like we're just kinda petering out. Looking back, this year was, well... boring. We didn't even have some end-of-days level natural catastrophe or national event. 2006 just was. Kids are a year older and that much closer to being smarter, cooler and better looking than their pops. There was plenty to digest, particularly on the music front. I finally got an iPod back in January after much resistance. Yeah, I love the thing and it's changing the way I listen to music, but I'm not sure I'm 100% happy about it -- everything I feared about it has come true.
Other than that, I'm happy to report I lost like 30+ pounds this year, despite ingesting an enormous amount of BBQ and bacon. Three cheers to regular exercise!!
Anyhoo, this week at OTW I'll be doing a rundown of the past year, with "Ned's favorite" listings of albums & shows as well as a special 2006-roundup maxi-mix on Friday.
Today, my list of the best 2006 movies I saw this year. It's a rare thing for me to get to the theaters, but somehow I did it more than once... with two of those instances coming in the last week, thank Jesus. Of course, half the movies I saw were for kids, but that doesn't make me an old fart, does it? Thanks to the miracle of Netflix and digital technology, I don't feel too far behind.
My list follows... if you've got some 2006 movies I should have seen, particularly something that might not be on my radar, let me know.
If you're willing to discard the importance of plot to a film, this is pretty much a perfect movie.
2 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
I found every minute detail in this to be frickin' hilarious. This was the most stinging indictment of this country since the 2004 election.
3 Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
I am a sucker for postmodernist claptrap and this does it to a tee. Very, very funny and it probably helps if you've never even heard of the book.
4/5 The Prestige/The Illusionist
Somehow The Big Squeeze and I got out and saw two movies about magicians in a span of a couple weeks. Not quite the Bug's Life/Ants Dilemma of '98, but still. I can't really decide which one was better -- I'd highly recommend them both. Yes, they are very different, but at the heart they are both very creative, well-made, well-acted spins on the old fashioned con movie.
6 Pursuit of Happyness
Somehow this movie makes you feel both happy for everything you have and vaguely disappointed for what you don't in one fell swoop. Yeah, it's a predictable tearjerker, but a darn good one.
7 Akeelah & The Bee
Speaking of predictable tearjerkers, at least this one makes no claims to be inspired by a true story. One question: how did spelling get to be so film-friendly?
Not Guest's best. Plenty entertaining, but if you want to see a movie about making a movie, see Tristram Shandy.
9 Stranger than Fiction
Will Ferrell makes me laugh. This wasn't even really a comedy, either. Anyone else and this would have crept toward suckitude. Still: enjoy it on cable.
10 Curious George
Holy shit, I can't find 10 worthy adult movies that I saw this year. Not sure what that means. (Yeah, some day I'll see Borat, but I think it's too late to appreciate it the way I should.) Anyway, this is actually the movie I've seen the most this year and it's actually pretty darn good (and amazingly makes this a Ferrell-threefer, which is weird). As surely as I've grown to appreciate the kindie rock, so have I learned what makes a kid's movie special. Basically, anything not by Miyazaki is crap by default, although every once in a while there are exceptions. The little monkey fits the bill. Cars, Happy Feet, Ice Age: The Meltdown... all were decent, but lacking in some way. We are actually going to see Charlotte's Web today, despite my perpetual yearning to stick an ice pick through Dakota Fanning's skull.
Not Scottish and crap:
The DaVinci Code
The Devil Wears Prada
Keeping Up With The Steins
V For Vendetta