Monday, November 10, 2008

BEST OF 2008

Tarsem’s THE FALL (****)
Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT (****)
Jonathan Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED (****)
David Gordon Green’s SNOW ANGELS (****)
Clint Eastwood’s CHANGELING (****)
Martin McDonagh’s IN BRUGES (****)
Joel & Ethan Coen’s BURN AFTER READING (****)
Andrew Stanton’s WALL*E (****)
David Gordon Green’s PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (****)
Ben Stiller’s TROPIC THUNDER (****)

Matt Reeves’ CLOVERFIELD (****)
Martin Scorsese’s SHINE A LIGHT (****)
Roger Donaldson’s THE BANK JOB (****)
Stephen Walker’s YOUNG @ HEART (****)
Kimberly Peirce’s STOP-LOSS (****)
Jay Roach’s RECOUNT (****)
Tom McCarthy’s THE VISITOR (****)
Chris Bell’s BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER (****)
Ridley Scott’s BODY OF LIES (***1/2)
Peter Berg’s HANCOCK (***1/2)

Kevin Smith’s ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO (***1/2)
Timur Bekmembatov’s WANTED (***1/2)
Jon Favreau’s IRON MAN (***1/2)
Adam Brooks’ DEFINITELY, MAYBE (***1/2)
Woody Allen’s CASSANDRA’S DREAM (***1/2)
Brad Andersen’s TRANSSIBERIAN (***1/2)
Jose Padhilla’s ELITE SQUAD (***1/2)
Oliver Stone’s W (***)

D.J. Caruso’s EAGLE EYE (***)
Bharart Nalluri’s MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY (***)
David Mamet’s REDBELT (***)
Louis Letterier’s THE INCREDIBLE HULK (***)
Michael Patrick King’s SEX AND THE CITY (***)
Olivier Assayas’ BOARDING GATE (***)
Hammer & Tongs’ SON OF RAMBOW (***)
Anne Fletcher’s 27 DRESSES (***)
Zak Penn’s THE GRAND (***)

Sly Stallone’s RAMBO (**1/2)
Mark Osbourne’s KUNG FU PANDA (**1/2)
Mitchell Lichenstein’s TEETH (**1/2)
Noam Murro’s SMART PEOPLE (**1/2)
Doug Liman’s JUMPER (**)
Kent Alterman’s SEMI-PRO (**)
Pete Travis’ VANTAGE POINT (**)
Michael McCullers’ BABY MAMA (**)
Peter Segal’s GET SMART (*1/2)
M. Night Shymalan’s THE HAPPENING (ZERO)


Wayne said...

Doesn't look like "The Fall" is going anywhere anytime soon.

Forgot to mention to you that I finally saw "In Bruges." That's my #1 for the year so far, but I'll admit that this has been a very unproductive movie-going year for me, overall.

Actionman said...

No. It will take something fierce to knock The Fall from the top of the charts.

Yes, it hasn't been a particularly amazing year but there have been some good ones. Glad you loved In Bruges...I watched it again recently...terrific.

Re-watched Snow Angels last night...powerfull stuff. Check it out if you missed it.

Joel said...

Comments on the movies I've seen:

The Dark Knight (****): Absolutely brilliant in its every facet. Best of the year, one of the best of the decade.

Changeling (****): The same thing. What a brilliant film.

WALL-E (****): Masterpiece. Pixar's finest achievement. Literally perfect.

Tropic Thunder (****): Third funniest movie I've ever seen. Ever. Behind only "Dr. Strangelove" or "The Princess Bride." It's this generation's great comedy.

Cloverfield (****): Nothing short of terrifying. In fact, it remained on the top of my 2008 list until "WALL-E" came out.

Young@Heart (****): Heartbreaking, funny, quirky, loving, brilliant-for-every-second-of-it's-being documentary. Expect this one on my top ten list, Nick.

Hancock (**): Very disappointing. The tone was all wrong, the direction was rather strange for a superhero film, and the last thirty minutes were a chore. Lucky Will Smith was so good.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (****): Vintage Indy. Nuff said. Loved this movie.

Wanted (****): Perhaps the greatest "blow-stuff-up" movie ever. Loved every lurid, shocking inch of it to death.

Iron Man (****): Robert. Downey. Junior. Was. Amazing. It's really been his year. This and "Tropic Thunder" in ONE summer? Who'da thunkit?

W. (**1/2): Too early, pure and simple. No ending. More like a very advanced SNL skit. Josh Brolin definitely enhances the experience.

Eagle Eye (***): Very fun movie. Shia LaBeouf adds gravitas to every project he's a part of.

The Incredible Hulk (***): Heck of a lot better than Ang Lee's disaster. Still flawed, but a lot of fun, and Edward Norton brings a certain humanity to the film that I was affected by.

Son of Rambow (****): Magical for it's whole length. Like a movie that you'd wear out on the VCR or something. Great stuff.

Kung Fu Panda (***1/2): Must say that I really, really enjoyed this movie. The visuals are amazing and Jack Black as a Panda is inspired. Not perfect, but a lot of fun.

Jumper (**): Wow. Talk about scant. Little bitty movie, this is. Nowhere near the scope it seemed to present.

Vantage Point (***): Far from perfect (very far), but I was intrigued for the most part.

Baby Mama (***): Very uneven, but I enjoyed myself. Rests on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's perfect chemistry.

Get Smart (***): Found this to be really funny. The action and plot is absurd, but there's something about Steve Carell that I just get. But then, I liked "Evan Almighty," too, so what do I know?

And now, we get to it...

The Happening (****): I don't know what people's beef with M. Night Shyamalan is. Critics HATED this film and "Lady in the Water," while I found both to be poetic and reasonably creepy works with much deeper things working beneath the surface. Sorry, Nick, but I think this movie is one of the best of the year, horrifically underrated, and--above all--brilliant. But that's me.

Actionman said...

I loved Hancock, and can't wait to see the unrated director's cut. To me, that film was the swift kick in the ass that the superhero genre needed. I am also a big fan of Peter Berg and I loved the realistic sensibility that he brought to the film. SOme of the visual effects were stunning, and unlike so many critics, I loved the final act. It did things so differently than all of the rest of the superhero movies out there. The film was about the heros, rather than the villains, and as a result, I was intrigued with Hancock's origin. There was just something unique about that film. I hope they make a sequel.

The Happening was an outright disaster. I mean...the writing was horrendous, the plotting was slack, the directing was painfully obvious, and worst of all...there was NO ending. I enjoyed The Sixth Sense, I thought Unbreakable was Shymalan's masterpiece, I really enjoyed Signs, and I think The Village is underrated. But Lady in the Water fucking sucked and The Happening was even worse. I normally find Marky Mark enjoyable to watch but here he was just awful; same with Zooey. And Night didn't even do anything with his first R-rating, which Fox hyped up to no end. It was a crushing failure.

And yes, I too love Steve Carrell, but Get Smart was terrible. The obvious blue screen work was insulting to the audience and the writing was so predictable and cliched that I lost interest almost immediately. I saw the film for $6 on a matinee so it wasn't the worst way to kill some time during the summer but I expected a much better film. But in the end, I have nobody to blame but myself for expecting anything less than garbage from ultra-hack director Peter Segal -- the guy has zero talent.