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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Movies I saw?

So I can only judge the top ten movies I saw this year, I have 36 to choose from and have to put some of the Genre points aside and look at them more as a whole. So from 1-10
  1. Slumdog Millionaire
  2. Let the Right One In
  3. In Bruges
  4. Ironman
  5. The Dark Knight
  6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  7. The Visitor
  8. Blindness
  9. The Orphanage
  10. Tropic thunder

2008 movies... Horror

This is my bread and butter, the meat of my movie watching. Yes it is true that horror as a genre has some really poor formulaic disasters but there is the rear movie that is great movie first, genre redefining second and great movie to boot. In 2008 I got the privilege to see just such a movie.
Let the Right One In - I will not explain the movie here and would have a hard time doing so in a blog post but this movie hit all the right chords. It was based in character with a firm basis in the vampire genre. I counted 11 pieces of vampire characteristic that it showed and redefined in some cases. In one way it was about a relationship between a vampire who looks 12 and a boy of the same age. It was more than that though, it was about bullying and the generational nature of it. It was about manipulation while seeming Innocent. It even did a wonderful job showing the after affects of a vampires desire to feed through the eyes of community members who lose friends as victims. Executed nicely with good performances, the music was a bit over the top but the serious nature was never belittled by the genre. Great Movie.

  1. Let the Right One In (96)
  2. The Orphanage (88)
  3. Cloverfield (75)
  4. The Strangers (74)
  5. The Signal (68)
  6. The Eye (66)
  7. Shutter (66)
  8. Midnight Meat Train (55)
  9. Splinter (54)
  10. Quarantine (50)
  11. Rogue (45)
  12. The Happening (35)
  13. Pathology (33)
  14. The Ruins (27)
  15. George Romero's Diary of the Dead (25)

Comments: The Orphanage was a incredibly sad and touching chiller. Cloverfield for all its faults was based on a really touching love story that I thought carried the film. The Strangers had its predictable parts but overall was scary enough in the "So you thought the suburbs were safe" kind of way. The Signal was a bit of a love hate relationship movie, what I thought its real value was; was the very real depiction of violence, it is not clean and easy and the movie showed it in its ugly true form.

2008 movies... Comedy

In 2008 I only saw 4 comedies and I have to say 3 of the four were good . I often do not enjoy comedy as much as darker material so I tend not to see much and like less. This year though the ones I saw were well funny and good movies to boot.
  1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (90)
  2. Tropic Thunder (87)
  3. Be Kind Rewind (78)
  4. Meet the Spartans (7)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall was excellent as a movie and a comedy. I love Dracula the musical with puppets, just wonderful. I want to marry Mila Kunis, and just sleep with Kristin Bell. Tropic Thunder is the first Ben Stiller movie I have ever seen. (Stiller lovers- I don't care)Be Kind rewind had heart even with the predictable ending. Meet the Spartans, one giant gay joke that was not funny.

2008 Movies... Dramas

In 2008 I saw 6 dramas and I will add the one thriller I saw this year. I saw three very strong movies in Slumdog Millionaire, In Bruges, and The visitor and choosing ratings is difficult. I also saw a couple of very dark but interesting movies in Teeth and Blindness. These last two push the viewer to accept really dark worlds and do not necessarily fit perfectly into the drama category. This is often the case with challenging material so on with the ratings.
  1. Slumdog Millionaire (95)
  2. In Bruges (89)
  3. The Visitor (79)
  4. Blindness (75)
  5. Teeth (71)
  6. Miracle at St. Anna (59)
  7. Untraceable (44)
  8. Forever Strong (20)

Forever strong a really way over the top moralistic rugby movie could not even get the Rugby right. Untraceable fell into the thriller trap of characters just making the wrong decision while the villain is too smart.

Some ideas on Ratings

A note on the 1-100 scheme. Any time you rate a movie it is 100% subjective to the tastes of the rater. By no means am I an expert although I try to follow some basic rules to make the rating resonable.
Rating is based on personal preference but within the genre, I do not look at a 90 action movie and a 90 drama movie and consider them equal in value. In an action movie, pace, effects and creative movement are most important. In a drama character development subtext and dialog will be more important, so each has a value within the category not combined.
All movies have some value, you will never see a zero in the ratings. There are people putting there sweat into these no matter how much I disliked them.
No picture is perfect but I see value even in imperfect movies so sometimes a score will seem higher because although the movie was not great there were, scenes, music, performances that caught my eye.
Movies are not just entertainment, I here alot that "it was entertaining", but sometime the purpose of a movie is to provoke emotions other than amusement and tears or leave you feeling good at the end. I value this as much as any purpose so if you thought a score high for something that you thought as not entertaining it may be because that was not the movie's purpose.

2008 Movie list...Action Flicks

2008 was a year where I saw 9 movies I would categorize as Sci-fi/Action. It is one of those areas that there can be so much crossover between Science fiction and the action pick that I am listing them together. My listing will be from best to worst with a scale of 1-100 100 being the Awesome flick and 1 being vomit inducingly bad. So without further ado.

1. Ironman (92)
2. The Dark Knight (87)
3. City of Men (80)
4. I Legend (73)
5. Doomsday (70)
6. The Incredible Hulk (66)
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still (48)
8. The Golden Compass (35)
9. Jumper (10)