Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brendan's Favorites of 2008

My favorites of 2008 in no particular order...

In Bruges
First feature film by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. I don't think I've enjoyed watching a movie in a theater this much since Shaun of the Dead. Colin Farrell doesn't get enough credit as an actor.

Cassandra's Dream
This is the first Woody Allen movie I've really liked in years. what's interesting about this little thriller is that it's mostly made up of the moments your standard crime drama would leave out. You know, the "boring" bits in between the action and what not. Allen even goes so far as to pull the camera away from the big moment, what would normally be the scene in which an average thriller hinges upon, as if it were completely irrelevant to the story. And you know what? it is. This is a film about brothers. not the other stuff. and you've got two of my favorite actors - Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. why aren't they in more movies together?

Slumdog Millionaire
I knew Danny Boyle still had it in him. I'd been a little disappointed in my favorite director as of late (Sunshine). He's taken the best parts of his previous work - that gritty "beautiful filth" aesthetic of Trainspotting, mixed it with the fairytale absurdity of A Life Less Ordinary, and thrown in a dash of Millions. I'm pulling for him with the Oscar noms. He deserves it.

Quantum of Solace
I'm still not convinced it's its own film and not just an epilogue to Casino Royale, but there's something you've got to admire about its unrelenting focus. Despite Roman Polanski being the villain and some dodgy CGI, it still made my list. It gets better on repeat viewings.

Iron Man
Robert. Downey. Jr.
He's certainly on a roll (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Zodiac, his performance in Tropic Thunder... keep 'em coming...)

I cried a little bit.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe
As a fan of The X-Files, I enjoyed the hell out of this film. Partly because it's the exact opposite of what you're expecting it to be, and probably what it should have been, by which I mean if you're looking to give your long dead TV series another kick start for the big screen and make a series films, this isn't how you do it. Cold bleak landscapes, slow burning plot, and subtle character studies are not the way to go. Opening against The Dark Knight is also not a good idea. What this film is is a solid episode of the show. If you like the show, what exactly do you have to complain about? We're checking in on these characters five or so years later. Like an old friend you haven't talked to in a while, we're just giving them a ring to see what they're up to. "Hey guys - any aliens, comas, abductions, or resurrections? no? good. glad you're doing well. keep in touch!"

The Bank Job
solid, old-school British heist flick. enough said.

The Dark Knight
Yes, Heath Ledger is as amazing as you've heard he is. No one says enough about Gary Oldman though.

Son of Rambow
Adorable tale of youngsters and DIY film making. Directed by Garth Jennings of Hammer & Tongs fame. succeeds where Be Kind, Rewind failed.



sweeneyrules said...

That's funny about Polanski as the villain...
But I could of swore your first report on that James Bond flick, didn't you say that YOU HATED IT?

Yeah, Farrell and McGregor should maybe do more flicks together... But please NOT as brothers.

Speaking of your obvious crush of Colin Farrell, you should check out the brilliant THE NEW WORLD.

I haven't seen it, i probably never will, but I do have to say I think it's cool that you're maybe the only person I know who would put that X FILES flick on their best of list. Good for you. Did you ever see the CONEHEADS movie?

Cool list.
Now I wanna see SON OF RAINBOW.


brendan said...

I did HATE Quantum the first time i saw it. I think it had a lot to do with the circumstances under which i saw it - midnight at the Arclight, some jackass sitting next to me texting and playing with his phone the ENTIRE time, and already being in a lousy mood from earlier in the day - it just ended up sending me over the edge i think. I went to see it again because I thought there was no way I could actually hate a Bond flick that much. I enjoyed it a lot more the 2nd time. I still think it's flawed, but the strong parts make up for it. It's one of those movies that gets better for me every time i see it, unlike The Dark Knight, which I like a little bit less every time i see it.

The New World is on my list of things to see.

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