Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best of 2007 - Movies

I have gotten to the point where I see less than a dozen movies in the theater, and they're usually the big, dumb Hollywood flicks, while I wind up finding the smarter movies I really love on DVD about a year later. 2007 was no exception, and since my movie viewing was so sparse, rather than a top 10, I'm just giving the whole list:

On Netflix:
Children of Men - Intense, amazing performances, great in every way. My favorite film of 2007.
Pan's Labyrinth - Gorgeous, imaginative, the best Del Toro film I've ever seen and my other favorite movie of the year.
Casino Royale - When I watched this again on DVD, I gained a larger appreciation for it. It's still way too long and inconsistent in tone, but it's got a ton of excellent moments and Daniel Craig is great as Bond.
Fail Safe - Surprisingly engaging take on a classic play with a fantastic cast.
Deja Vu - Enjoyable action movie from Tony Scott, for those who dig his quick-cut, frenetic style. I happen to be one of those people.
Night Watch - Not entirely great, but imaginative, fresh and fun.
The Last King of Scotland - Great performance by Forest Whitaker in a somewhat bland movie.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Good, nowhere near as good as the book nor as good as the reviewers made it out to be.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Good, nowhere near as good as the book.
The Illusionist - Interesting, and a great performance (as always) by Ed Norton, but I didn't love it.
The Lookout - Boring. Didn't finish it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Boring. Didn't finish it.
Shortbus - How do you make what is essentially porn this boring?
Crank - Too over the top and dumb, couldn't quite enjoy this, and I say that as a fan of The Transporter and somebody who watched and enjoyed parts of Transporter 2.
Stranger than Fiction - Weird, likable, more or less forgettable.
Little Miss Sunshine - Overrated, occasionally funny but overwrought and melodramatic.
Out of the Past - Couldn't get into it. Came highly recommended by Ed Brubaker, but I'm just not an old movie guy.

In Theatres:
Knocked Up - Funny and sweet, the heart at the center of this one puts it just above...
Superbad - Which is funnier than Knocked Up, and has an equally great cast, but it's focus is on comedy over character.
Hot Fuzz - Hilarious, and as good or perhaps better than Shaun of the Dead. Although still not as great as Spaced.
Ocean's 13 - Fun, although I didn't think it was noticeably better or different from Ocean's 12, unlike most of the critics who lambasted 12 and loved 13. I liked both about equally, and neither one as well as Ocean's 11.
Ratatouille - Pixar delivers the goods as always, although it's weaker than their last few. Great short at the start, though, and still an excellent movie.
Bee Movie - Surprisingly fun, took my daughter to this one and we both had a good time.
Pirates 3 - Loud, pointless, occasionally fun.
Transformers - See above, but with transforming robots, too many pointless human characters and way too much Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf
Bourne Ultimatum - Well crafted, but the first person shaky cam stuff actually made me ill and I had to leave the theatre before it finished, which downgrades it in my mind
28 Weeks Later - I hated this, found it laughably bad, and don't understand how so many people gave it good marks.


Dylan said...

I echo your thoughts on Ocean's 13.

I think I would have enjoyed The Illusionist a lot more had it not come out so close to The Prestige.

Transformers = Craptastic.

I didn't bother with Pirates 3 because I was too pissed off at having had to sit through Pirates 2. Worst. Movie. Ever.

I just saw No Country For Old Men yesterday. It is kinds of amazing. Go see it. Now.

Dylan said...

Sorry, should read: "10 kinds of amazing."

Dexter Morgan said...

Shortbus: I watched about 30 minutes of this shit before I turned it off. The only bad porn is boring, pretentious porn. Ugh.

The Bourne Ultimatum: I liked it fine, but my favorite movie of the trilogy is Supremacy.

Out of the Past: Philistine! Just kidding, but for a lover of 40s film noir this movie is a masterpiece with some great actors and performances.

Children of Men: This is a great sci-fi action film with some actual substance.


Randy, you've got to check out Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men, Gone Baby Gone, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, and PERSEPOLIS. These are the best movies I've seen this year.

Randy said...

I liked Supremacy more on second viewing, but the original is still my favorite. I'm a Doug Liman fan in general, though.

Eastern Promises, No Country For Old Men and Persepolis are all on the Netflix queue already. I'll need to add Gone Baby Gone and Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.

Randy said...

Although I should say that Gone Baby Gone, despite a cast I really like and a lot of critical buzz, may fall into the Mystic River camp of "I'm sure it's great, but I'm not up to watching a story about a daughter's disappearance and/or murder." Especially since in Gone Baby Gone, the girl is 4, exactly the age of Katy.

One of the reasons I stopped watching CSI, Law & Order, etc. is their reliance on the "kids are kidnapped/killed" plots. I can't take that in my entertainment, in general. It hits too close to my fears.

Dexter Morgan said...

re: Gone Baby Gone and kids in peril

I have a 10-month-old girl, so I can relate; it does make the movie more emotionally impactful, though.

I skipped Pirates 3, too, after the mediocre second one. A little Jack Sparrow goes a very long way.