Monday, December 31, 2007
The Good, The Bad, and The Meh '07
It's that time of year again, when I look back upon the achievements of my year, which usually turns into diappointment when realizing I haven't achieved much. Although, I did make Simon Pegg laugh. And I got Alba's fries, even though she's forgotten all about me and gotten herself all knocked up.
I was going somewhere with this, but it doesn't really matter. What matters is the list of movies I've seen this year, that came out this year. The total comes up to 90 movies released this year that I saw, with a ever expanding count of flicks I still want to see (They're on the Netflix Queue, or I'm just waiting for them to show up on cable. Two of them, Dan - he of DanSpeak - actually has on DVD, and I'm just being lazy. In fact, I even own one of the movies myself on DVD and haven't watched it, but my laziness knows no bounds).
Being that I try to eschew as many cliches as I can, I don't have a top ten list, as there are far too many movies I liked this year. (57, to be exact, much like the titular passenger portrayed by Wesley Snipes). So what presents are the Good, the Bad, and The Meh.
THE GOOD (57)
Hands down, my favorite movie of the year. It was perfect. I heart it so damn much, it's almost pathetic. If you don't love this movie, then you have no heart at all. For shame.
Again, another movie that you just fall in love with. I guess I'm just a big softie, after all. Well, last year's top picks were bleak and depressing.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Just a solid movie, full of great things with nary a wrong step.
What I said about No Country applies here too
HOT FUZZ / SHOOT 'EM UP
For over-the-top violence, these were the most entertaining. Hot Fuzz is brilliant in it's writing (every joke pays off!), and Shoot Em Up is genius in it's execution.
I love meta sci-fi flicks. This ranks up there with them.
THE DARJEELING LIMITED
I also love Wes Anderson movies. Sue me.
Goddamn this movie was funny. Even if Jonah Hill gets annoying on repeat viewings, you can't deny the comedic brilliance of Michael Cera, Bill Hader, and McLovin. (And sometime doppelganger Seth Rogen. Although, lately, I keep getting people asking me if I was on Ugly Betty, and I don't know what to make of that, because I preferred the Rogen comparisons.)
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
I saw this movie yesterday, and it's haunting me. It's just a solid piece of cinematic storytelling, anchored by a terrific Daniel Day Lewis performance, confident direction from Paul Thomas Anderson, and a freakish score courtesy of Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. This is the best movie Kubrick never made.
It's tough to replicate the theatrical experience in your own home, and attempting to do so only showcases the flaws of each film. But together, they provided a wonderful moviegoing experience, one of the best of the year.
This movie kicked your ass, admit it. Even if it did make you ashamed of your abs.
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
Whatever was left of your ass after 300 was done, this movie will finish the job. Damn solid entertainment.
ALSO GOOD, AND WORTHY OF YOUR TIME
Smokin Aces, Bridge To Teribithia, Music and Lyrics, Reno 911 Miami, Zodiac, The Host, Shooter, Blades of Glory, The Lookout, The TV Set, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, Away From Her, Waitress, 28 Weeks Later, Pirates 3, Knocked Up, Day Watch, Ocean's 13, DOA: Dead or Alive, Eagle Vs, Shark, I'm Reed Fish (warm, fuzzy indie on DVD now, check it out), Fido, Ratatouille, Black Sheep, Sicko, Rescue Dawn, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sunshine (first 2/3 anyway), The Simpsons Movie, , Hot Rod, Stardust, Death at a Funeral, 3:10 to Yuma, Jane Austen Book Club, Into The Wild, Eastern Promises, Gone Baby Gone, American Gangster, Smileyface, The Mist, Atonement, I Am Legend, Walk Hard, The Orphanage,
THE BAD (16)
This movie had the gall to present an argument about how sick the spectators of violence are, then go and glorify it. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. Not in this case. The Condemned offended my general sensibilities. And what's worse is that it could have been kind of kick ass.
This one was pretty awful. So awful, I walked out 20 minutes into it, opting to walk into a theater showing 300 instead. 300 was out of focus, but it was better than Ghost Rider. Later on, I had to review the DVD of Ghost Rider. I now own it, which makes me cry at night. So I turned off the DVD and popped in 300 instead. And did crunches.
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
I wanted to punch everyone involved in the making of this movie. Except Bruce Willis, because he's still pretty badass. But to anyone who claims this movie as awesome, I present to you this foolproof argument as to this movie's stupidity: McClane beats up a jet.
I wanted to like it. It had everything going for it. But then James Franco gets amnesia, and does the twist. And the movie takes a sharp turn down retarded lane. And never recovers. How could this come after Spiderman 2 is a mystery for the ages.
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR - REQUIEM
I had a lot of fun at this movie. But it's pretty damn terrible. Hard to believe I can't decide which Alien Vs. Predator I dislike more.
Karl Urban as a viking child raised by Native Americans, whom he then defends from the returning viking parties. Pure dumb fun that's not too fun. I remember there being a toboggan ride of death. That was pretty cool. I'm also pretty sure I got Reese's Pieces when I watched the movie, and those rocked.
I wanted to avoid this movie altogether, but my DVD reviewing duties deemed otherwise. This movie was painful. But if you turn the sound down, and just look at Thandie Newton, it's somewhat tolerable. And Cuba Gooding Jr. is kind of funny in it.
Just a giant mess of a movie. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Good idea on paper, terrible execution.
30 DAYS OF NIGHT
Mainly on here out of disappointment more than anything, as it did have two truly kick ass scenes, and a great performance from Danny Huston. It was just all the nonsense in between that made me angry.
How do you screw up a movie about a giant man eating crocodile? Watch Primeval and find out.
RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION / HITMAN
The "prestige" titles of video game adaptations (Uwe Boll is off the hook this year) proved to be disappointing and lame. Resident Evil suffered from not living up to it's killer premise/teaser trailer. But it looked pretty. And Hitman had a few moments, but any time Timothy Olyphant spoke, it became dumb. Fast. Further proof that video games can't translate to the big screen without some semblance of plot.
ALSO PRETTY BAD
The Hitcher, Epic Movie, Captivity, Boogeyman 2,
THE MEH (16)
If you have to see this movie, see it in Digital 3-D. Or IMAX. It's the best way to see it, although it still gave me a headache. There were good things in the movie (mostly Crispin Glover), and one AMAZING sequence (the dragon fight at the end), but overall this movie was boring and awkward. Beowulf fights Grendel naked, and his wang is hidden in a series of Austin Powers-type gags. that should tell you enough.
This movie felt like one of those old Cannon movies from the 1980s, the kind that would air on WPIX-11 on Saturday afternoons. It had Jet Li and Jason Statham, and should have been awesome. Instead it was convoluted and, once again, boring. not even a climactic awesome battle, either.
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS
The first one was mildly entertaining to me. I thought it to be a smarter version of The DaVinci Code. The new one is just okay, sadly missing the first's sense of fun, but it does contain one of the dumbest lines in recent memory: "Hey, didn't your great grandfather kill Lincoln?", as spoken by a ten year old boy.
Another Nic Cage movie. Odd how they stopped being on the good list since Adaptation. This movie was going along alright, if a little weird, but then it has a godawful ending that swiftly washed away all good will I had towards it.
BALLS OF FURY
The funniest gag is the title. Followed by the silly things in the preview. And Walken doing a Walken imitation. But that's about it. You'd expect more from a movie with this title, but alas, this is what we get.
By no means good, but not that bad either. Still, the best Uwe Boll movie ever.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
Despite my dating history with Ms. Alba, I can't really say much about her in this except that her eyes freak me out. Seriously. Check it out, if you want to, but there's something going on with her eyes that's just plain wrong. Still, it's the best Marvel movie of the year, and that's rather sad.
I laughed a lot. But it's not that great a movie. And given the amount of comedic talent involved (including Bill Hader once again) it should have been a lot better.
SEVERANCE/ MR. BROOKS
Both movies were just okay, while their premises promised so much more. Some amusement, though.
Freedom Writers, Slow Burn, Evan Almighty, Becoming Jane, Heartbreak Kid
CATEGORY ALL IT'S OWN (1)
It's pretty damn bad. With about fifty plot points too many. And it's pretty stupid. Almost insultingly so. And yet, when I saw it for the first time, I had a blast. Subsequent viewings elicit feelings of self loathing for actually enjoying it. But hey, the robots look cool fighting. When you can see them. And that LeBouf kid is going places. Until next year when everyone's burned out on him. Man, this movie sucks. But I kinda liked it when I watched it on the plane. Mainly because it's long.
And that's what my mind is like since Transformers.
HAVEN'T SEEN YET, WANT TO, BUT FEEL THEY WILL NOT AFFECT MY OPINIONS (37)
Seraphim Falls, Breach, Wild Hogs, Black Snake Moan, The Namesake, Reign Over Me, Black Book, Disturbia, 1408, You Kill Me, Talk To Me, No End In Sight, Who's Your Caddy?, I Know Who Killed Me (For the awful factor alone), King of Kong, The Ten, Hatchet, Hunting Party, In The Valley of Elah, I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, Dragon Wars, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Across The Universe, We Own The Night, Lars and The Real Girl, Wristcutters A Love Story, Dan In Real Life, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Enchanted, I'm Not There, Control, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Golden Compass, Charlie WIlson's War, Sweeney Todd, The Savages, Persepolis,
Did I miss anything?
Regardless, next year seems kind of promising. Although, it also feels like the 1980s, because we're getting a new Rambo movie, a new James Bond movie, a Batman movie, AND a new Indiana Jones movie.
Happy New Year, everyone. I'm The Dude. Go Fuck yourself, San Diego!