Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Late 2008 Movie List

I watch a fair number of movies so I thought I'd put together a list. Better late than never.

Fave Movies of 2008 -- in no particular order.

  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Can't say enough good about this movie.)

  • Doubt (Not ideally directed but has so much else good about it.)

  • Wall-E

  • Man on Wire (A documentary that does a bit more than tell a story.)

  • Encounters at the End of the World (A documentary that again gives Herzog some room to ruminate. Includes Henry Kaiser.)

  • Frost/Nixon (Much better than I anticipated. In all likelihood it'll be another fifteen years before Ron Howard makes another movie I like.)

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Especially the first half or so.)

  • Tropic Thunder (A decent Hollywood comedy!)

  • In Bruges (Small movie about low-life criminals. Moves quickly, great dialogue: uproariously funny at times, very dark at others, and skillfully done.)

  • The Visitor (Off-kilter slice-of-lifer. Another good small movie of an entirely different sort.)

  • Hancock (An attempted blockbuster with a few feints that move it out of standard-issue territory.)
Haven't seen but really should:
Synecdoche, New York (Generally love Charlie Kaufman.)
I served the King of England (Czech cinema returns!)

Overrated by others in my estimation:
The Wrestler (A melding of two weak po-faced melodramas with a smattering of a few good behind-the-scenes wrestling bits. Rourke doesn't pull it off IMO except in the physicality of the wrestling.)
Slumdog Millionaire (Liked it ok but the raves seem overdone.)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (By-the-numbers. Saddens me to say it because I've liked Woody Allen films that nearly no one else can stomach, and I consider him my kind of genius.)
Be Kind Rewind (A wretched mess, and not in a good way.)
Changeling (Yuck. Amateurish in script, direction, and much of the acting. Also made the true story it was based on less compelling due to hyper-sentimentality, clunky writing, and staid direction.)

Good things I saw late.
[Though these are pre-2008, they were among the most memorable flicks I saw last year.]

Young Children (2006. A first-rate drama.)
Michael Clayton (2007. Not quite what one expects, pulled off with grace.)

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