25 December 2008

2008 in Review: Movies

It's Christmas -- movie time! It's rare that I get to the movies (in reality I'm probably better off doing the 2007 releases I saw on DVD this year), but what the hey! Here are my top 10 films from this year... if it's not on this list, I probably didn't even see it, so I welcome your recommendations and they'll go straight to my Netflix queue.

  1. Happy Go Lucky -- Even more than the whole Obamanon, this movie presents the perfect antidote to the spiral of despair this world seems to be in these days. Cause when shit gets a bit hairy, you can always go trampolining. I loved everything about this movie. Sally Hawkins = performance of the year.
  2. Wall-E -- Seems like there's a Pixar movie near the top of my favorites every year with good reason. Not quite the masterpiece that Ratatouille is, but still a pretty complete package. Some hauntingly beautiful imagery and a simplistic point of view. The best movie about holding hands I've ever seen.
  3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona -- This movie single-handedly moves Barcelona to the top of my "places to visit" list. It's good to know Woody Allen still has it in him when he puts his heart to it... this one has none of the things you might find annoying about a Allen film and all the things that make you keep giving him another shot. Plus, Penelope Cruz kissing Scarlett Johanssen!
  4. The Dark Knight -- It was a comic book movie year (again). This had to be the best of them, even if it's a little too self-important at times. It's been said plenty already, but Heath Ledger as The Joker elevates this to that next level. I only wish I could take my kids to see a Batman movie.
  5. Pineapple Express -- Funniest shit I've seen in a while. Much more brilliant than your average Rogen/Apatow nonsense... although still quite nonsensical, wonderfully so. The ending was one of the better things I've seen in a while.
  6. Encounters at the End of the World -- Documentary by Werner Herzog as he visits Antarctica and the mix of weirdos living and working down there. In typical Herzon fashion, his viewpoint is a bit bleak, but his insights and the amazing imagery make this a pretty fascinating film.
  7. Burn After Reading -- Ever since "Blood Simple" the Coens have been the A-1 masters of the plot where one stupid decision begets an even stupider one which is horribly misinterpreted repeating the cycle until the whole thing collapses in a bloodbath. This isn't necessarily the best example of it, but it's the most neatly (and messily) packaged. Like all their other movies, I expect this one to age very well. I thought this was severely underappreciated.
  8. Chop Shop -- Depressingly realistic tale of a kid hustling his way through life in the rough-and-tumble in the shadows of (the old) Shea Stadium. The kid who plays the lead does one hell of an acting job taboot.
  9. Kung Fu Panda -- I see a lot more kiddie flix than I'd care to admit, but it gets me into the theater and sometimes they're pretty good. This one had me laughing both times I saw it. Great animation, good voices, decent plot. Fun for the whole family.
  10. Iron Man -- That's one freakin' awesome suit! Not looking forward to the tarring of this one with an endless array of sequels, so let's enjoy it while it's still fresh and new.
Decent fun but, in the end, not worth wasting a valuable night out at the movies: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Indiana Jones; Harold & Kumar; Madagascar 2

1 comment:

C-Dawg said...

Still don't understand why you like Ratatouille so much...masterpiece?? I agree with Mitty and think The Bee Movie is better.

Anyway, The Counterfeiters and Man on Wire are my top two of the year. And thought Horton Hears a Who was really good...the animation is incredible in HD.