Thursday, 29 October 2009

2008: The Pictures

So here’s the category that you’ve probably been waiting for – I’ll assume anxiously. I really don’t think that I saw enough films of 2008. I think I’ve heard more than a few persons say that 2008 was a horrible year for film. And although I don’t know how anything can combat 2005, it was pretty bleak. There were good films [in my opinion] but there weren’t many of them. So here’s a look at the forty five films I saw. Yeah, it wasn’t much at all. But here they are in ascending order.
                
F
Marley & Me [#45]
I don’t know what prompted me to watch this. Jennifer Aniston has not impressed me since she was surrounded by those five talented friends and Owen Wilson has impressed me since – ever. So it was not in good hands. And I didn’t like it. Hence the F.
             
Swing Vote [#44]
Does this film even deserve to be talked about? Just bad, bad, bad.
                
D-
Mad Money [#43]
When you can’t find anything to like about Diane Keaton, you know that there’s a problem. And yeah, there were problems. Many.
                
D
Seven Pounds [#42]
This movie just annoyed me. After all those persons I met gushing that they cried their eyes out I just wanted to slap them. Hard.
          
D+
The Secret Life of Bees [#41]
This movie just didn’t hit it for me. Enough said.
           
Mamma Mia! [#40]
It’s the first time I’ve been embarassed that I like ABBA music.
          
Twilight [#39]
Yeah, Univarn [among others] have all taken a metaphorical piss on this. It’ not good but oh well. Whatever the tweens want.
                  
Definitely, Maybe [#38]
I may be alone on this, but I just despised this movie. And I have nothing against Ryan Reynolds or Derek Luke, I think Elizabeth Banks and Abigal Breslin have potential. And I love Rachel Weisz.
                     
The Women [#37]
There were slight moments, but overall it just was abysmal and Meg Ryan didn’t help it any. If Julia Roberts and Kerry Washington had replaced her and Mendes respectively, even with the horrible script it could at least have been a C.
                       
C-
The Other Boleyn Girl [#36]
The atrocious novel never deserved to be adapted. Scarlett tried, and Natalie tried. Kristin tried but it was not good. Not good.
         
Indiana Jones [#35]
It was passable, but still bad.
         

Sex & the City [#34]
It didn’t do the series justice. It was a trifle and it hardly had any redeeming qualities.
         
Meet the Browns [#33]
I do want to see Angela back on screen, but not like this. Not like this at all.
           
C
Hancock [#32]
Why did this make so much money?
            
Frozen River [#31]
I can see why it appealed to so many but I was never drawn in. Other than the valiant effort of Leo [who I hope gets more work] it was just okay.
           
C+
The Family that Preys [#30]
It was the better of the two films he released that year and Alfre Woodard tried hard but the characters were generally so one note. And that dialogue!
                 
Body of Lies [#29]
Ridley. Leo. Russell. And this is what they make? THIS?
             
Happy-Go-Lucky [#28]
Believe it or not, it was only on a second viewing it moved up to C+. I really didn’t respond well to this film. I expected so much more from Leigh.
          
Wanted [#27]
It’s a jolly good romp even as ridiculous as it is. But it’s not really that good a movie if you look closer. Hopefully the sequel tightens the loose ends.
           
Cadillac Records [#26]
It was a valiant first attempt, but there was too much going on.
         
Be Kind, Rewind [#25]
It’s worth a watch, and for the most part they do sell the ridiculous premise.
              
Tropic Thunder [#24]
Just okay for me.
           
Pineapple Express [#23]
I enjoyed the short film at the Oscars more than the movie.
    
B-
Defiance [#22]
It’s not a perfect film, and we’ve seen war done better. But I at least appreciated Craig and really the movie deserved better. But that release date. Tsk. Tsk.
               
Kung Fu Panda [#21]
It’s such a silly movie, but yet there’s something appealing about it. The voice work is fine and in a silly way it’s quite endearing.
               
The Duchess [#20]
Sometime it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Keira tried as did the cast but it just seemed a bit too tame at the end of the day.
          
Rachel Getting Married [#19]
Like Rachel Getting Married it was only until multiple viewings that this reached its current grade. If this was not done by Jonathan Demme I don’t think that there would have been such a love for it.
            
Australia [#18]
The movie was definitely a bit schizophrenic and it seemed to be going on forever. But at the end of it all I found it oddly – charming.
           
The Wrestler [#17]
The sum of parts are better than the whole. The script is fine, the directing is good, the acting is goof but when you add it all up something is missing. What is it? A beating heart, perhaps?
            
Last Chance Harvey [#16]
This should have been released in the summer – it could have done fairly well at the boxoffice. It’s cliched, but it’s also quite enjoyable. And though Emma and Dustin are phoning it in, it’s still better work than many of the actors today.
                
B
WALL-E [#15]
I don’t worship at Pixar’s feet. I thought it was fine. Even good, but I thought the deafening praise was a bit unnerving. But it’s all subjective.
                
Milk [#14]
This ended up feeling a bit too sunny for me.

The Dark Knight [#13]
Well this shouldn’t come as a surprise or anything. You probably know that I didn’t love this. It was a good movie, and at the end of the day, that’s all it was for me. Good. Ish.
                                   
Slumdog Millionaire [#12]
It was fine. That's all I'll say.
   
Iron Man [#11]
Come on. This was good!
       
Frost/Nixon [#10]
I reckon most thought that it was the worst of the Best Picture nominees, but I actually don’t hold any malice towards it.
           
Doubt [#9]
Looking at Doubt it’s a bit faulty, and imagine only a B and it’s my number nine. It’s not a bad movie though. It’s tight, most of the time and the cast was top notch.
                   
B+
I’ve Loved You So Long [#8]
I have my own love affair with the French, and then Kristin Scott Thomas. I won’t even pretend to understand the politics of the Oscars’ foreign language submissions, but it’s sad so few have seen or know of this.
              
In Bruges [#7]
Certainly the first part of this subtle comedy, but it’s the fact that the first part is so good that we can let any idiosyncrasies of the second part go. Gleason and Farrell are two actors who’ve never taken off as they should have, and they weren’t regarded enough because no one really saw this. But it’s a good film nevertheless.
              
Burn After Reading [#6]
As someone who has never been a big fan of the Coen Brothers, this is my favourite comedy of theirs. Not Fargo, not O Brother Where Art Thou; this. It’s outlandish, but still subtly true but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s just fun and funny all at the same time.
                       
Vicky Cristina Barcelona [#5]
Woody’s best of the decade has been Matchpoint. I don’t think any of his recent films has reached that level of sensibility for me. But Vicky Cristina Barcelona was a good film. The cast does a good job, and certainly the machinations of Marie Elena and Juan Antonio is a bit more interesting than our tourists, but it’s still a good film.
              
A-
Changeling [#4]
Well, click on the link to the right and you’ll see my review. I know not many liked this. But that’s how it goes.
       
The Reader [#3]
Yes I liked this. Another film that’s been somewhat maligned. Although I had predicted a nod for it I was still shocked when it got nominated. Well deserved in my humble opinion. I think this is quite a good film. Hence the A-.
             
A
Revolutionary Road [#2]
I was very impressed with this divisive film. For a film with such a striking theme and premise the ending is so irreverent and shows that it's almost as if doesn't take itself as gospel. It's a smart move.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [#1]
Maybe I’ll post my initial review of this film someday. But yeah...ummm...I LOVED IT!
                       
So there you have it. Are you surprised? What's your list look like? Did you see many 2008 films? Was it the worst year of the decade?

6 comments:

Alex in Movieland said...

Changeling hurts, but Benjamin Button is a great choice even will all the hate going around.

Just as I said for your Best Director post, my no. 1 is easily Let the Right One In. Brilliant. And absolutely no remake needed. Don't remember in recent history seeing a movie that good.

So here's my top 5 according to the archive:

1. Let the Right One In
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
3. Doubt
4. WALL E
5. Happy-Go-Lucky

with The Dark Knight as runner-up and In Bruges close behind.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Yes! Of Oscar's five, it SHOULD have been Benjamin Button! Fantastic choice. Also, are ye just a wee bit of a Winslet fan? ;)

I notice no mention of Synecdoche or Speed Racer? Have you not seen either? They are BALLER.

My Five:

1. Synecdoche, NY
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
3. Speed Racer
4. The Wrestler
5. The Dark Knight

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Alex: I really need to see Let the Right One In. Don't I?

Walter: And nope, didn't see Synecdoche or Speed Racer.

Jude said...

Revolutionary Road love! Yay! Curious Case of Benjamin Button love? Oh no. That was a mess of a film that just felt completely phony and awkwardly put together. The plot was miserable and the whole movie suffered from poor direction/ The only good thing was Taraji P. Henson.

joe burns said...

Good to see love for The Reader. I really don't understand the hate for it. But I agree with Jude on Benjamin Button. I thought it was a very flawed movie.

lucky said...

it hurts to like the films that "disappoint" everyone. Rev. Road is my #1 film of 2008, and it sucks to have to hear how everyone was unimpressed with it, and then you lose credibility for liking it. Uh, whatever...