Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 top ten list - prelude part 2

It helps to have some context when reading top 10 lists, I think. With most critics, you can assume that they saw most movies that year. I saw 27. While that's probably at least three times more than the average person, it still leaves lots of holes. Revealing these movies that didn't make the list allow me to answer, "What about _____?" So here we go.

These are the movies that I saw this year that didn't make the list. I already wrote a bit about these movies at the halfway point: (blogger readers, it's on the myspace blog)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Iron Man
Indiana Jones
Kung Fu Panda
Incredible Hulk
You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

So a quick word about each of these. I try to remain as spoiler free as I can, but something might slip here and there.

Hellboy II
Fittingly enough, I felt the same way about the first one. I enjoyed it while watching it, but didn’t even think about it until now, and I don’t remember a lot about it.

Really tough movie to review. To be honest, it was worth watching just to analyze it. It's two different movies in one. I don't even mean that metaphorically. There is a point in the movie where it takes a complete 180. Well, maybe a 135. It's possible that each part could have made an interesting movie on its own. Does it work? Does each movie work on its own? It's a conversation I would like to have with someone who saw it. I feel like I can be swayed toward the "like it" or "hate it" side, but I would like to defend the opposite side as well.

Some funny bits, some revealing bits. I guess when investingating religion, I want more of an attack, and I want it to go for the jugular. However, certainly worth watching.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Disappointing, and not very funny. I guess I like some Jay and Silent Bob with my Kevin Smith, since his movies without them weren't so great.

Quantum of Solace
I am NOT a Bond authority. I'm not a huge fan. Not that I dislike Bond movies, I just wasn't even too interested in them. So understand that's where I'm coming from. If you are a Bond fan, my review means nothing. Did he say, "Bond. James Bond." at all in this movie? Does Bond even say that in every movie, or have they skipped it in the past. I always pictured Bond as a hero who uses his charisma instead of his fists. So early in the movie when M was making a big deal about "No killing!" I thought this movie would end up being about that shift in this character from the action here to the guy who doesn't need to be one. It wasn't. Maybe the third movie? But my biggest complaint, and I'm not alone on this, was with the action scenes themselves. I feel like someone's great grandpa when I say that they were too hard to follow. I remember a scene in which I couldn't even tell which guy was Bond unless they showed his face, which they rarely did. The guys' physiques were too similar, and the same with their clothes. And enough with the fucking hand-held shaky camera crap. Are we really supposed to feel like we're "in the action?" If I wanted to be in the action, I wouldn't be at the movies - I would be out fighting someone. And I can hold my head on my neck steadier than that. Have closeups. Have quick edits. But buy a damn tripod, for christs sake. Other than that, good movie. Instead of watching again, though, I'll watching this 500 times. You should at least once.

I really liked this. I like that animated movies are getting away from simple formulas. It was funny, and looked nice. Cool idea. I saw it in 3D. I still don't see a real reason for having 3D other than that they can.

Role Models
Pretty funny movie. I don't think it has much replay value, but worth throwing on the Netflix list and checking it out when it finally reaches the top of your queue.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Dammit, this movie pissed me off. First of all, WAY TOO LONG! At 2 hours 50 minutes, I can probably suggest about an hour and twenty minutes that could be cut. But I'm continually flabbergasted at every review I read where the person LOVED it and name it the best movie of the year. I seriously want to stand up and say that the Emperor has no clothes. It looks really pretty - it has that movie glow that I think have covered people's eyes. It has a love story that's doomed from the start, and I think people are getting emotional about that. But it isn't natural - totally manipulated. Most importantly, NOTHING HAPPENS in this movie that's worth putting on film. Yes, there's some cool special effects and makeup to turn Brad Pitt old. And the first part of the movie, which is him as a kid who looks like an old man, has something worth pursuing. But then it moves on, and he's just him. And then he gets young, but no one cares. Here are some better titles for this movie. "Brad Pitt Wears Old Man Makeup and Slightly Reacts to Boring Events For Almost Three Hours." or "A Guy is Born Old And Gets Young But Almost Nobody Notices and Those Who Do Don't Seem to Care." There are lots of comparisons to Forrest Gump. Gump worked, Button didn't. I really want to go into more detail, but I know many people haven't seen it yet. So what I really want to do is talk to someone who saw it and liked it for some good healthy debate. I want to deconstruct this movie. Did you see it an like it? I challenge you to a duel. Confabulation at ten paces.

Tomorrow: Number 10.

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