Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Movies of 2008

As I was stepping out the door to drive to NY a couple days back my roommate says “Hey Chris, what was the best of movie of the year.” This was problematic because I hadn’t ranked all the movies from this year. Admittedly, that’s the kind of thing I would do, but it was still odd that he assumed I’d already done it and could give him the result. To further complicate things, this roommate and I have nearly opposite taste in movies, so my suggestion wouldn’t have been very helpful. In any case, I just looked up all the movies that came out this year and have ranked them below.

1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Pretty sure the Academy is going to disagree with me on this one. But I loved the comedy, the characters, the story, and most everything about the movie and no other movie can claim that this year.
2. The Dark Knight – I don’t really have anything to add about this one. Most everyone agrees that it turned out better than anyone thought.
3. Role Models – Even though seeing it 2 days in a row was a mistake, it was still hilarious. It was also cheesy, but intentionally so. If it had Kristen Bell in it, it might’ve been #1.
4. The Fall – The only problem with The Fall is that it was uneven. The 2 halves of the movie didn’t mesh very well. But both halves were good independently.
5. Iron Man – Batman was the better movie, but this was more fun.
6. Hellboy 2 – Batman was better, Iron Man was more fun, but Hellboy was interesting and beautiful. I wish it had been better and more fun, but I’m pretty sure Hellboy 3 will be amazing.
7. Be Kind Rewind – Dunno, I liked it. It was amateurish at times, but I liked the concept and feeling of the movie so much it overcame it.
8. Let the Right One In – THE vampire romance to see this year.
9. Cloverfield – People dumped on this movie, but I thought it did everything right. I was engrossed. Few movies are actually engrossing.
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – It was good, but not engrossing. I was amazed by the visuals and touched by the story, but not remarkably so. Good but not great.
11. Get Smart - I fully expected this movie to be terrible. And then it wasn’t and I was happy. It’s fluff, but it’s funny and for the most part family appropriate.
12. In Bruges – Not family appropriate. But both funny and hefty. But also somewhat plodding, so it didn’t score higher.
13. Pineapple Express – This one was funny, but not hefty, and still fairly plodding. You’re talented comedians, but hire an editor already.
14. Incredible Hulk – I’m biased because I think The Hulk is awesome, but this was a darn good flick. It served up exactly what it promised.
15. Quantum of Solace – This one was a bit of a letdown. It was still quite entertaining, with guns, fighting, girls (2 of them!) etc etc. But I had higher expectations.
16. Wanted – I had low expectations, and it easily overshot them. A thoroughly ridiculous movie (Shoot Em Up is the only thing I can think of that was more ridiculous) but when they do it intentionally you can’t really fault them for it.
17. Speed Racer – You can’t listen to critics (me included.) This movie was fun. It was clearly aimed squarely at 8-12 year olds, but it was still a good time.
18. Burn After Reading – Meh. I laughed a couple times and was impressed by twists a couple times. But all in all, meh. It may get better with a repeat viewing.
19. The Bank Job – Jason Statham is, amongst other things, the man. This movie is a little unnecessarily complicated (due to the retelling of actual events) but still a good heist.
20. Body of Lies – This movie was very well done, I just didn’t know what the point of it was.
21. Man on Wire – I don’t get French people. I just don’t.
22. Baby Mama – I wanted this movie to be better. It was fine, just very formulaic.
23. X-Files: I Want to Believe – I’m a big enough fan of the X-Files that I enjoyed it, but most people don’t need to see it.
24. Death Race – See number 19. Jason Statham is the man. I really liked this movie but couldn’t put it any higher because I fully realize that it’s terrible. But also sweet.
25. The Ruins – Well worth the dollar fifty I paid. I’m sure this will come as a huge shock, but the book was better.
26. The Foot Fist Way – I laughed very hard a couple times. I was bored for the rest.
27. Tropic Thunder – I hate Ben Stiller. That limited this movie’s ability to score higher.
28. Doomsday – To be fair, I’ve only watched the first 1/3 of this movie. But seeing as I haven’t gotten around to watching the last 2/3, that tells you something.
29. Semi-Pro – I’m ready and willing to laugh at dumb humor, but this just didn’t do it for me.

I was pretty surprised that I’ve seen this many movies this year. But to give you a little context, I’ve included below the movies that I wanted to see, but didn’t get to. Stupid medical school.

Slumdog Millionaire
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Repo! The Genetic Opera!
Synecdoche, New York
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Hamlet 2
The Strangers
Ghost Town
The Changeling
Rachel Getting Married
Funny Games
Smart People
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Fanboys - I hate Star Wars, I just need to see the Kristen Bell scenes.
The Signal
The Promotion
The Wrestler
The Mongol

If you want see any of those, we’ve proven that I spend 2.4 nights a month watching fairly current movies. Chances are pretty good we can work something out.

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