I felt this was a weak year for films. There was certainly a lot that I liked, but I’m not sure if they will stand the test of time (with the exception of my top 5). I see a lot, but always want to see more. There are a few films that I haven’t seen this past year that I feel may sneak on to the list, but them’s the breaks. So here we go…
Worst movie of the year:
SPEED RACER – Its difficult to pick a worst movie of the year, because there have been a lot of terrible films this year (and I’ve seen many). My worst movie is usually one that I just hate. Speed Racer was terrible, but more than that, I just hated it. It was so over indulgent, over done, and over blown. What a waste of money and time, it was almost two and half hours (!) of nonsense.
Best worst movie of the year:
JUMPER – This is probably one of the worst movies ever made. I’ve seen the majority of it on HBO. I expected it to be one of the worst movies ever made. It met my expectations, but to my surprise, it’s so bad that I loved every moment of it. Samuel L. Jackson’s final moment is a classic moment of trash cinema.
10) CLOVERFIELD – This was just a cool movie. It’s a concept (the monster movie) that has been done a million times over, but they totally revamped it. Terrifically shot with great looking effects, a badass monster. It was a really fun ride, and actually had a good story; I was genuinely interested every time the camera cut back to the day at Coney Island.
9) TROPIC THUNDER – Great cast, I even loved Jack Black (normally I don’t). Makes fun of actors, directors, writers and producers, and is very smart about it, how could I not love that. Tom Cruise dancing. That’s all I need to say.
8) THE DARK KNIGHT – Steve thinks this is a flawless film, so I always get him worked up poking holes in it. But ultimately, it winds up on my list. There is just no denying that it is a great film. Probably the best comic book movie ever. I love Michael Caine and Gary Oldman in these films so much. Ledger’s performance will win an Oscar and deserves to be remembered.
7) PINEAPPLE EXPRESS – I always like to get as many comedies on my list as possible, but it’s hard, because it’s so hard to do comedy well. There was some pretty good comedy this year. Pineapple was hilarious. Take out the opening scene and it’s just about a perfect movie. I love Rogen, but Franco really steals the show and owns this movie, and then Danny McBride shows up and just owns everybody. “Thug life.”
6) BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER – It might be the year of the comic book movie for Steve, for me I guess it’s the year of the documentary. This is the first of two to make my list (note: Taxi to the Darkside was also brilliant, I saw it this year, but it was the Oscar for last year, so I’m not gonna let it qualify for this list). Bigger, Stronger, Faster is about steroids. Find it on DVD, rent it, buy it, and watch it. It raises great talking points and shows so many perspectives on the issue. But it’s told from a first person point of view, which makes it emotional and powerful.
5) SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE – It’s the likely best picture winner this year, and it’s an excellent film. It’s a real crowd pleaser and I definitely got swept up in it. It’s a fun watch and interesting to see actors, locations, and visuals we don’t see every day. I’ve always been a big Danny Boyle fan, so I’m glad he’s getting all this acclaim.
4) MAN ON WIRE – Another amazing documentary. This one, however, plays like a narrative film. The story is almost too good to be true. You won’t believe that a man could tightrope between the Twin Towers until you see it. Philippe Petit is such a compelling character, and the last image is somehow so powerful that I feel like it will be ingrained in my brain forever.
3) RACHEL GETTING MARRIED – I did expect to like this film. My girlfriend wanted
to see it, I like Demme, so I went in with an open mind. I LOVED this film. I loved everything about it. I’ve never really seemed anything like it. It just seemed so real, so honest. It was the best I’ve ever seen Anne Hathaway. The supporting cast is outstanding; Bill Irwin is hilarious and heartbreaking. And in my opinion, Rosemary Dewitt outshines Anne Hathaway and gives a great performance.
2) WALL-E – My favorite Pixar film ever, probably my favorite animated film ever. The first 40 or so minutes of the film when WALL-E and EVE are alone on earth is so beautiful and breathtaking, I could watch it every day. The sound was great, Ben Burtt is a genius. WALL-E was such a great character, I fell in love with him and I believed everything he did, they gave that little robot so much personality.
1) THE WRESTLER – A pitch perfect performance from Rourke, but this movie so much more than just a performance piece. Darren Aronofsky is not getting enough credit, this is masterfully directed. Every moment works so well, the pace is perfect. There is so much subtly to the film, especially from a director that is typically flashy, you can just tell that he was in total control of this picture. Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood give equally great performances. I loved every moment; it just sucked the life out of me. And I listen to Springsteen’s title song nonstop.