Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Movies. Of. The. Year. 

A rather drab year, if we're speaking purely in general terms. That being said, I haven't seen either of the Golden Globe best picture winners (Babel or Dreamgirls). They never looked all that interesting to me and I've only heard anywhere from middling to terrible reviews from people whose opinion I normally trust. I do like Innaritu (spelling be damned), though, so maybe I'll check out Babel. I don't know.

I'd very much still like to see The Last King of Scotland, For Your Consideration and Pan's Labrynth.

While 2006 was lame, based on what I saw, these were some gems:

1. United 93 - Movie of the year without question. Probably the best docu-drama ever. I haven't seen a movie so tense and affecting in ages. I'll see anything that Paul Greengrass does from here on out. A landmark film that everyone should see when they're ready.

That's my clear #1. The rest of the best, in no particular order:

The Departed - It rocks. That's all there is to it, it fucking rocks.

Thank You For Smoking - Aaron Eckhart's devilish charm carries this hilarious movie. A lot of people were turned off by it's amorality, but I loved it.

Casino Royale - I don't care if the third act is a shambles, the first two acts are some of the best I've seen, not only from Bond films, but from any action movies. Period. Love this reinvention of the character. Best Bond around.

Little Miss Sunshine - Truly funny, poignant, and the best ensemble cast this year. I know that telling someone "it's all worth it for the ending" can raise expectations and even spoil a film for most, but I'm telling you, the grand finale not only saves this movie, it makes it great.

Brick - Once you embrace the dialogue and just accept that it's happening in a high school, it's all gravy. Great noir film.

Borat - Funniest movie in years. Yeah, fine, I prefer Ali G, too. But the Ali G movie was a failure, wasn't it? And we're not talking about Ali G, are we?

The Heart of the Game - The best movie that no one has heard of. Excellent documentary about a high school girls basketball team. Netflix it.

Special mentions:

The Queen - Helen Mirren, as has been documented ad nauseum, gives the performance of the year, but this movie is so well-directed. Frears elevates this film from being pretty good to rock solid. I guess if I was forced to make a top ten list, this would creep in somewhere on the back end.

Crank - Is it stupid? Yes. Unquestionably. Is it the best time I've had at the movies this year? In a mind-blowing, I-can't-believe-this-is-actually-a-movie sort of way, yeah. I'd say it's up there behind Borat and Bond.

Wordplay - Totally enjoyable. Light and fluffy.

Worst movies of the year:
The Black Dahlia - I'll have no more of anyone trying to convince me that Brian DePalma is worth a damn. His last four movies are amongst the worst ever.

Art School Confidential - Awful in a way that truly offends.

X3 - Not actually that bad when held up to the above two, but special points for destroying an otherwise solid franchise in the bat of an eye. It's an impressive feat when I've gone from loving the hell out of X2 to not actually caring when Professor X is get murdered in the next film. Oh, did I spoil it for you?

Special Movie of the 21st Century Award:
Silent Hill - Wow. Just... wow. And after such a good trailer, too. I can't believe my hopes were up for this one. This isn't an award that I hand out every year, either. In fact, it's only the second (Dreamcatcher '03) movie of the 21st Century. It defies qualitative logic in the face of being overwhelmingly awful.

But where's Lady In The Water on this list? Well, the thing with that movie is that while it's bad and arrogant to the extreme and terrible storytelling and... you know what? Yeah, it should be on the worst of. I remember watching it, though, and thinking that it was more silly and amateurish than flat out terrible. Madame Narf.

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