Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 10 Movies of 2008

It's time to cut the crap. This is the latest that I've posted my year-end top 10. I guess I was hoping to catch just a few more of the flicks that were released right at the end of '08. So here goes ... in order:

10. Definitely, Maybe - This one surprised me a bit. Taking it for just being another chick flick, I underestimated it. It's funny and heartfelt with nice performances by Ryan Reynolds and Litte Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin. Plus, it has three of the most attractive and talented young actresses in Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks and Isla Fisher. Hubba hubba.

9. Bank Job - British crime caper by the director of In Bruges. It's based on a true story and has the best performance of Jason Statham's career. I know that's not necessarily saying a lot, but it's something.

8. Religulous - It might be a stretching it a bit to call this a documentary. It's more like a live-action, on-location comedy skit by Bill Maher on the ridiculousness of organized religion. But it's very funny. Even people of faith will get a kick out of this one.

7. Milk - Of all the movies that I was this year, probably the best ensemble cast with Sean Penn, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber. It captures 70's California great and illuminates a period in our history that many have forgotten.

6. Curious Case of Benjamin Button - A nice change of pace by Mr. Gloomy, David Fincher. Nice performances by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett (like she's ever had a bad one) and cool special F/X.

5. Wall-E - A great synthesis of art and message. The least talky major studio animated movie that I can remember.

4. Iron Man - A great kick-off to the summer blockbuster season. Robert Downey Jr. is really what makes this movie. He was born to play this role. They say you know when an actor has done a good job when you can't imagine anybody else playing the role. That's what we have here. Gwyneth Paltrow is funny and gorgeous.

3. There Will Be Blood - This was released in January and I saw it then but is generally considered to be a 2007 movie. Brilliant Oscar-winning performance by Daniel Day Lewis about the early days of the oil boom in our country. It's epic in scope with great cinematography and a great feel for the period. Also darkly funny.

2. The Dark Knight - This is the comic book movie that might finally get people to think of it as just a movie instead of one based on a comic. Tragic, violent, morally ambiguous ... it can fit right beside a Scorcese gangster movie. You've heard the kudos for Heath Ledger's Joker performance. I had too before seeing it. With those expectations, plus his death, I was bound to be disappointed. Guess what? I wasn't. Ledger was brilliant.

1. Frost/Nixon - My pick for best picture Oscar, though I don't think it will get it. Nixon taught us that it's not necessarily intent or maliciousness that gets our leaders (and our country) in trouble ... it's hubris and lack of self-awareness. This movie is timely because it shows that we probably haven't learned anything in the 30 years hence. "A nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it." - Winston Churchill

5 More I really liked:

Speed Racer
Burn After Reading
Journey to the Center of the Earth

10 More I really wish I had a chance to see and that would have had a good chance of making my top 10:

In Bruges
Gran Torino
The Wrestler
Revolutionary Road
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Visitor


Scott said...

I've only seen 2, 3, & 4 and TWBB was probably the least effective PT Anderson film to date. I'm saying that as a rather devoted PT Anderson fan.

dbackdad said...

TWBB was definitely a different type of PT Anderson film ... I grant you that. I've always been partial to Magnolia.

Scott said...

Magnolia is pretty much the best thing ever.

Jeff said...

Both Gran Torino and The Wrestler were amazing. I don't know which one I liked more, but I definitely recomend both of them!

CyberKitten said...

I've only seen 2, 4 & 5 and I'm afraid none of them floated my boat - though they where pretty OK. I find that, as I get older, I'm getting almost impossible to please [grin]

I do have a growing stack of DVD's that need watching..... Maybe that will have my filmophobia [laughs]

dbackdad said...

Jeff - I've heard nothing but good things about those two movies. I'll definitely have to check them out.

CK - " ... they were pretty OK" - Now, there's a ringing endorsement! Is that what you call "damning with faint praise"? He-he.

greatwhitebear said...

As much as I love Bill Maher, Religulous would not have made my top 10. Can't comment on on Frost/Nixon, because it just opens this coming weekend here.

I think that Gran Torino would be my #1, and Seven Pounds would certainly be in my top 10.

By far my biggest disappointment was "W"!

dbackdad said...

I have to go see Gran Torino soon. Everyone that I know that has went has loved it.

Didn't get a chance to see W, mostly because of the so-so reviews. And that's a big thing for me because I'm a big Oliver Stone fan.

greatwhitebear said...

The thing about "W" was how sympathetic to Bush it was. You left the theatre feeling sorry fur him.

It sucked.

greatwhitebear said...

Funny, none of myfavorite movies this year got any Oscar mention!

1. Charlie Bartlet (Robert Downey Jr. had a very good year)

2. Gran Torino (still think it was the best movie of the year)

3. Seven Pounds (Smith, Dawson, and Harrelson all great performances)

4. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (Kat Denning also had a ver good year!)

5. Madagascar 2

6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

7. Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2

8. Vantage Point

9. Kite Runner (Technically 2007, but didn't make it to BF Indiana till 2008)

10. Pineapple Express

a lot of movies really disappointed me this year, especially W and Religulous

Sadie Lou said...

Gran Torino was flat out amazing. I just saw it last night and I was floored, FLOORED. Clint Eastwood is hands down one of THE best story tellers we have ever known. He drew me in, he captivated me he took my guts and wrenched them. It's a must see.
email me after you see it!