Wednesday, July 9, 2008

So it's July which means, I'm taking the bar in 3 weeks, and that the year is half way through, so in honor of that I'm swiping the idea from and giving you my top 5 films of 2008 (That I've seen and maybe a few of the worst I've seen this year.)

#1 Iron Man
Hands down the best film of the first half of 2008. It took a comic character I could care less about and turned out a movie that was a must see. Jon Favreau chose wisely in his casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and then filled the movie with a brilliant cast all the way around. This is one of the best roles of RDJ's career and he was flawless.
In my book it's tied with Batman Begins & Spider-Man 2 as the best comic book movies of all-time, although I'm fairly confident that title will have a new, sole holder come July 18th.

#2 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Did it live up to the Hype? No (How could it) Did it live up to the nostalgia? No (How could it?) Was it still a fun, action filled thrill ride? Heck Yes!
Sure it's MacGuffin was kind of hokey, sure the movie was a little too sci-fi, and sure there was some George Lucas Scenes that were too over the top (Mutt-Tarzan and Gophers to name two), but that stuff just doesn't override all the good.
Kingdom still had the great action sequences in moving vehicles, the great Indy humor, it brought back Marion, gave us Harrison Ford as Indy again, and of course had Shia Labeouf. There was no way the movie could ever have lived up to the expectations that were set up for it. If you were disappointed I recommend seeing it again. After seeing it once, I was able to set aside all my expectations, all the things that I hoped for that weren't there, and just enjoy the movie for what it was, and really well done addition to a hugely successful franchise.

#3 Cloverfield
In this day in age it's very rare that a movie can come along that catches everyone off guard and can hit theaters with hardly anything being known about the film. And yet, in January Cloverfield was able to do just that.
By appearing with a trailer that gave away nothing, including no title, and cleverly using the internet to entice audiences into trying to unravel a mystery that went no where, JJ Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Drew Goddard created a phenomenon that paid off in a huge way.
Sure it's just a Monster movie in the end, but it's concept, having the movie told completely from the POV of a camera being carried around during the events, made it something much more. It was a perfect mix of ingenuity, comedy, suspense, and cleverly hidden monsters.

#4 Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Another Home Run from the Apatow Crew. Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Jonah Hill and Mila Kunis all do an amazing job, but it's England's Russell Brand who steals the show as the crass rocker, Aldous Snow. Snow could have been just another new boyfriend that you hate, but instead he becomes a really nice guy who you can't help but love. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Paul Rudd as the stoned surf instructor, simply brilliant.
Thinking about this movie makes me long for August's Pineapple Express.

#5 Son of Rambow
A small indie film from England, it tells the story of two boys, one a bully, the other a dreamer, who set out to film their own sequel to Rambo. But really it's about the boys friendship, their home lives, and how much they really need each other.
Probably the most touching film of the year, one to seek out and find either in theaters (it's still in limited release) or on DVD.

#6 Charlie Bartlett
Yes I said top 5 and this is #6, get over it. Probably the most overlooked film of the year so far. Another brilliant performance from RDJ and the uber-talented Anton Yelchin is brilliant in the film. It's a film about high schoolers and popularity, and how much one person can change a school with that popularity.

The Worst of the Year so far:
The Happening
Simply the most awful film I've seen in a long time. Bad Acting, Bad Writing, and Bad Suspense.

Speed Racer
The more I've thought about it the less I've liked the movie. It's really just some really pretty lights and a few cool effects. Too long to be a kids movie, too childish to be for teens or adults. Matthew Fox is the best part of the film.

And Finally What I'm looking forward to in the last half of 2008 (In release order).
The Dark Knight
The X-Files
Pineapple Express
Tropic Thunder
Hamlet 2
Burn After Reading
Eagle Eye
Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist
Quantum of Solace
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Bedtime Stories
The Spirit


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