Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best of 2007 - Movies

Sadly...I have delayed this entry so long that there is no way for it to live up to the hype. The good news is that I highly doubt that my 16 subscribers and other random readers really care. So let's jump into it.

As I said in my worst of post...I did not see as many movies during this past year as I would have liked to see. The good news is that I was able to see the movies that we are about to discuss. All of them were great in their own way. Here they are and why...

Breach - So any movie with Chris Cooper is going to be good. He quickly became one of my favorite actors after seeing him in American Beauty. He has a very captivating persona on screen so that even if he is playing a total asshole you still feel for him. This was incredibly evident in Breach. Even though I knew that he engaged in some pretty bad acts, there was still a part of me that really hoped that it would all be a misunderstanding or that he would get away. Breach was entertaining from start to finish. It managed to be suspenseful even though the ending was known from the beginning because it is "loosely" based on a true story. Oh yeah, Ryan Phillipe is in the film too and delivers a decent performance...but the movie belongs to Chris Cooper.

Knocked Up - Okay...so how funny was this movie??? Honestly...I haven't laughed so hard in a movie since Jackass 2. Unlike Jackass 2, this movie also had heart which took it from average comedy to funny movie of the year. Every movie that I see Seth Rogen even makes me like him more. (The fact that he reminds me of Grant has little to do with it.) Everyone in this movie was on their "A" game. While many of the scenes were pretty damn funny...I have to admit that my favorite scene was the one with Ryan Seacrest. His tirade about Hollywood crybabies was truthful and hysterical. This scene inspired me to ask anyone who was pissed off around me if they would like a cookie for about a month after seeing this movie. I don't know if they got it but it made me laugh. The point is...in spite of the fact that the movie is about a pretty miserable situation yet it still manages to be realistic and funny...which is a rare combination. God I wish that I would have watched Freaks and Geeks when it was around....oh well.

Stardust - So I think that I might have been the only person to see this movie but that doesn't make it any less of great flick. The movie was narrated by Sir Ian McKellen for God's Sake! Surely that should have been enough to get people into the seats. Sadly it was not. I think that it seemed a little fairytale like for most adults to go see it, which explains the box office flop in spite of the fact that big named actors such as Michelle Pheiffer, Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, Peter O'Toole, and Ricky Gervais were all in it. Most adults do not want to watch a movie with a unicorn...at least they won't admit to it. I am comfortable in admitting that while I no longer believe in a land with unicorns I still long for the time when I did. I miss believing in fantasy...as the reality of life is that it pretty much sucks.
A Mighty Heart - Once again...I was one of the few people to actually see this movie and all I can say is that it was everyone else's loss. There was only about five other people in the theater when I saw it which made it less embarrassing to have cried in the movie as much as I did. When Angelina let out a movie defining scream upon hearing about her character's husband's fate, I sobbed along with the five other strangers in the theater. Angelina was the perfect choice for the role of Marianne Pearl. Yet the best part of the movie was that in spite of the tragic storyline, I left the movie theater feeling hopeful. Faced covered with mascara streaks from crying but hopeful.

The Simpson Movie - So this movie makes the list for one reason...it didn't let me down as a longtime Simpsons fan. What other movie could live up to over a decade's worth of anticipation?? Not only that...but what other movie sparked such overuse and abuse of it's lines? (Other than that damn 300 movie which completely sucked no matter what the drunken frat boys who love it say!!) I am so damn sick of hearing "Spider-Pig. Spider-Pig. Does whatever a Spider-Pig does." I am sick of hearing about "Bart's Doodle". Yet I recognize that this is actually what makes the movie great. It inspired people to make Spider Pig the ring tone on their phone. It also made Marge Simpson swear. So here's to The Simpsons family (cast and creators) for not letting us series-long fans down.

Superbad - This officially proves it...Judd Apatow is a genius. He is to movies what Timbaland is to music. Okay so he didn't write this one...but there is no denying that the funniest movies of the past few years have had Judd's name attached to it in some form. Now I cannot relate to the main characters in this movie...but it kind of makes me wish that I could. If I had known back than that geeks were the way to go...I would have probably laughed more in high school. I wouldn't have been as popular but looking back I see that popularity was seriously overrated. So back to the movie...I pretty much laughed the ENTIRE time. This movie also spawned another pop culture gem..."McLovin". How awesome was McLovin???? Sure he wasn't one of the main characters but he certain broke out as the star. Seth Rogen was also pretty damn funny in the flick. I think that I will go see any movie that he is in just because I find him amusing.

30 Days of Night - This movie makes the list because it scared more than any other movie that came out this year. I kid you not...I did not sleep the entire night after I saw it. I actually ran to my car as I left the theater because I scared that something was going to get me. I did not sleep with the light off for 4 days after seeing it. I even saw it a second time because I thought that it would be funny and I would get over my fear by confronting it. Well guess what...it didn't work. So I spend another 3 days with the light one and with NO desire to ever to go to Alaska. It also made me laugh a little bit...especially when Josh Hartnett's character was running down the street trying to distract the vampires. I don't know what was so funny about it but it made me laugh. And it made me cry. The love story was pretty damn good...I believed that he loved her. This movie hit the jackpot...it made me laugh, cry, and scream. Not bad.

Hairspray - I LOVED this movie. I am a sucker for musicals to begin with but that is wasn't what made the movie good. It is a good story and had a great cast. Nikki Blonksy was a perfect Tracy! She took control of the movie in the opening scenes when she belted out Good Morning Baltimore. She had you rooting for her from note one. Every one of the singers sung the classic songs well which made me want to get up and sing with them. Queen Latifah was excellent as usual...as were fellow veteran actors Christopher Walken, John Travolta, and Michelle Pheiffer. James Marsden was pleasantly surprising as Corny Collins (oh that smile was something) and Elijah Kelly showed some serious star potential. As far as Zac Efron...he was good but I just don't see what all the fuss is about. Anyway...it is a feel good movie and I truly enjoyed. Damn it, I wish my life was a musical.

The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D - It might not be fair to have this one the list since it was first released 1993 but this year it was released in 3D! This movie is sheer magic and I love it and therefore it is on my list for the year.

Eastern Promises - So the plot for this movie is a little hard to follow...but it is worth it in the end if you can stick with it. Naomi Watts gave a stunning performance as midwife trying to find the family of the newborn in her care. Her persistence to uncover the truth is commendable as she is dealing with the Russian Mob and therefore spends the rest of the movie in danger. As wonderful as her performance is (it is wonderful, the best I have seen from her so far) the real reason to see this movie is Viggo Mortensen. My God...is there no role that this man cannot make wonderful? There is scene in which Viggo's character is fighting for his life and it was almost too much to watch because is so intense and he looks incredibly sexy. It is actually an intense but entertaining film from start to finish. Oh...and you get to see Viggo without a shirt which is always a bonus.

I am pleased to say that the movie that I was holding out for was worth it...so the final movie to make the list...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - This there no project that Tim Burton cannot turn into gold? Is there no role that Johnny Depp cannot master and makes his own? As a loyal fan of both men...I truly hope not. Neither has ever disappointed me and Sweeney Todd was no exception. Johnny Depp had never appeared so evil as he did in this role...and that made him even sexier than usual. Even covered in blood he was appealing. In true Tim Burton fashion...the film was visibly appealing in a dark way that made me want to venture into the macabre. AND IT IS A MUSICAL!!! Who knew that Johnny Depp could sing? He is no Jon Bon Jovi but he sang well. It was worth the wait. Sure the killing was a little over the top...but did anyone really want it to be life-like? The sheer foolishness of the blood spurting out of the victims and the cracking of the bones as the bodies tumbled to the floor added comical relief. It helped get me through a movie where once again...the storyline is incredibly sad. As I said...Tim and Johnny always deliver movie magic and here's hoping that they continue to put out wonderful movies together.

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Todd said...

Isn't viggo way too old for you to be crushing on?