Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best of 2008

(10) Frozen River- Excellent Indy film. Melissa Leo is remarkable in a stripped to the bone, raw performance as a mother forced to do the unthinkable to save her family.
(9) The Reader- Intense drama with unexpected twists capped by an excellent performance by Kate Winslet.
(8) The Visitor- Another excellent Indy film with terrific performances and an emotional punch.
(7) Iron Man- Robert Downey Jr. makes you believe he is Iron Man. The comic book as film, done completely right.
(6) Wall-E- The most amazing animated film ever. The first 20 minutes are sheer poetry and the cautionary tale disguised as a robot’s love story is honest and poignant.
(5) Milk- Sean Penn in a wonderful performance that honors Harvey Milk and what he stood for.
(4) The Wrestler- Mickey Rourke in the comeback of the decade. Powerful, raw and not what you’d expect.
(3) Frost/Nixon- Frank Langella and Michael Sheen dazzle in this recreation of the political equivalent of Rocky.
(2) Slumdog Millionaire- Everything you could want in a film. It transports you to another world and pulls no punches while being extremely entertaining at the same time.
(1) Tell No One- The perfect thriller and perfect film. It works on every level. Direction, acting, plot, cinematography, editing and the music all come together to leave you breathless by the credits.

Honorable mention –

In Bruges- One of the best buddy films in a long time. Dark, yet extremely funny, this tale of two hit men hiding out in a picturesque city is bloody good fun.
The Dark Knight- Heath Ledger steals the film as The Joker but Christian Bale holds his own a s a dark brooding Batman in a very adult comic book movie.

2009 Worst of-

(10) The Spirit- All style and no substance.
(9) Leatherheads- Clooney tries hard but misses in this “screwball” period piece.
(8) Baby Mama- All the good jokes are in the trailer.
(7) Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- A total rehash of every Spielberg/Lucas film ever made. Completely unoriginal and I hate to say it…boring.
(6) Hancock- All over the place. The “Sybil” of movies.
(5) The Day The Earth Stood Still- Cheesy effects including Keanu Reeves acting and boring non-action can’t even be helped by the dynamics of IMAX.
(4) You Don’t Mess With The Zohan- The rudest, crudest, stupidest film Adam Sandler has ever done. Who was the audience for this mess?
(3) Marley & Me- The dog was cute. The film was not.
(2) Righteous Kill- DeNiro and Pacino should be ashamed of themselves.
(1) Cloverfield- What the @*$%&? Gave me a headache.

Dishonorable mention-
The Happening- The word of mouth was so bad, I didn’t even have to see it to tell you it stunk.

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