Saturday, January 10, 2009

Top TV Comedies Ever

Same thing as my Top TV Shows, these are my top comedies of all-time. Let's do this.

16. Weeds (Showtime)
15. Chuck (NBC)
14. Wonderfalls (ABC)
13. Undeclared (Fox)
12. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
11. Extras (HBO)
10. Stella (Comedy Central)
9. Pushing Daisies (ABC)
8. South Park (Comedy Central)
7. Freaks and Geeks (Fox)
6. Spaced (BBC)
5. Entourage (HBO)
4. 30 Rock (NBC)
3. Seinfeld (NBC)
2. Arrested Development (Fox)
1. The Office (NBC)

Tally: NBC - 4, Fox - 3, ABC - 2, Comedy Central - 2, HBO - 2, BBC - 1, FX - 1, Showtime - 1

Thoughts: Arrested leapfrogs Seinfeld. 30 Rock comes in strong at number 4 after a great season two and season 3. Spaced slams in at number 6. Freaks/Geeks, Chuck & Pushing Daisies could be considered Dramas or Dramedys, but I'll throw them in the Comedy list. It's Always Sunny knocked out of top 10. Extras barely edged out by Stella.


Top TV Shows Ever

So I'm in the blogging mood again. It's snowing out, and I'm pretty much stuck here. So, TV. Let's do it. These do NOT include comedies. I'll do my own comedy list. In order from 20-1.

20. The Sopranos (HBO)
19. Generation Kill (HBO)
18. Fringe (Fox)
17. Angel (CW)
16. 24 (Fox)
15. Smallville (CW)
14. Rome (HBO)
13. Heroes (NBC)
12. Firefly (Fox)
11. Dexter (Showtime)
10. Band of Brothers (HBO)
9. Carnivale (HBO)
8. Deadwood (HBO)
7. Veronica Mars (CW)
6. Mad Men (AMC)
5. Friday Night Lights (NBC)
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (CW)
3. Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi)
2. Lost (ABC)
1. The Wire (HBO)

The Tally: HBO - 7, CW - 4, Fox - 3, NBC - 2, ABC - 1, AMC - 1, Sci-Fi - 1, Showtime - 1

Thoughts: My top 6 have all come from different channels. HBO lands 4 of the top 10. Angel, Buffy, Battlestar, Firefly & Generation Kill are my most recent additions. Buffy and Battlestar took away top spots from Mad Men and Veronica Mars. The Wire and Lost flipflop at the top. Heroes slides out of top 10 after poor seasons 2 & 3. 24 drops because of a poor season 6.

Let me know what you think!

Top Movies of 2008 (5-1)

5. Iron Man
-Where The Dark Knight showed the evil of humanity, Iron Man shows the lighter side; everyone can be a winner. Both movies great, both using completely different tones and showing two completely different universes. RDJ begins his comeback with this movie. The characater of Tony Stark is the perfect fit for RDJ and his persona, and he pulls it off with great ease. The rest of the supporting cast was perfect, they all did their job and made this movie deeper. As opposed to making this a family film with cheap stunts and bad acting, they got a fantastic team and wanted to really make a good film, not just a good movie. I honestly didn't think the superhero Iron Man would be a great movie character, but John Favreau did a great job bringing him to life. And with Marvel now slated to make Iron Man 2, The Avengers Movie, Thor and Captain America, and these actors actually playing their characters in the other movies, I'm very excited to see how these crossover movies do (ie. RDJ is signed on to play Tony Stark/Iron Man in both Iron Man 2 and The Avengers Movie -- amazing).

4. Slumdog Millionaire
-The most uplifting movie I've seen all year and in the past few years, Danny Boyle pulled a rabbit out of his hat with this movie. This movie quietly snuck past everyone until it started screening, and then boom, rave reviews. Danny Boyle directed one of my favorite movies last year, Sunshine, and this year he doesn't disappoint. It seems absurd that a story that centers around Who Wants to be a Millionaire? can be so good, but this is what that movie proves. This is a love story. The movie takes place in India and centers around Jamal and his brother who grew up in the slums of Mumbai. They meet Latika, the love of Jamal's life, early on and from there the story takes off. Jamal is one question away from winning $1 million dollars. The police believe he is cheating somehow, so for every question answered so far, he tells the police how he knows that answer. Whether it's knowing about a colt .45 or about Benjamin Franklin, Jamal has lived every answer. And the only reason why he's on this show: Latika. Great, great movie.

3. Wall-E
-Two things really stood out for me. One, how much could be said without saying a single word. Two, how a kid's movie can be so much better than almost every other movie. Throughout the first 35+ minutes of Wall-E, there are no words. And yet, we immediately identify with the character. We love him. We watch his every movement and emotion. And yes, this robot has emotion. And that's why he's so great, and arguably the greatest character of 2008. When he meets Eva, we can see what he was missing all those years on Earth alone. We can see how much he grows in the short amount of time he knows Eva, and when she leaves, he has to follow her. His survival is now dependent on her. He loves her. Yes you can argue that when the humans start taking more of a central role in the movie, it lacks that certain something that was so present in the first part of the movie, but ultimately the movie never suffers. You root for Wall-E and Eva, you love them, you want them to be in love, you want their survival. This was my second favorite movie of the year, until my new number two came out, and that movie is...

2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
-I heard nothing about this movie until I saw the trailer for it attached to the new Indiana Jones. Hands down, the greatest trailer I have ever watched. And my interest to it hasn't dropped since then. And wow did this movie not disappoint. Clocking in at just under three hours, this movie could've gone another hour and I would've loved every minute of it. I just did not want it to end. CCBB is not about instant gratification, it's about unveiling a story, character after charater, moment after moment, year after year. Brad Pitt brings his A game, Cate Blanchett is amazing as always, and is in the same category as Kate Winslet for being the greatest actresses of their generation. I could go down the list of each supporting character and say a wonderful thing about all of them. But I'll move onto three other people: David Fincher, Claudio Miranda and Alexandre Desplat. David Fincher, known for his dark side (see: Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac), really brings out this storyline. I can see why he was attracted to this story. It's not necessarily dark, but as much as its uplifting it's such a sad story. In then end, there is nothing. Claudio Miranda, thank you for creating the most beautiful looking movie I've seen in years. And Alexandre Desplat, wow, you rocked my world. My favorite score of 2008, easily. The music is just as gorgeous as the movie. The movie can be summed up in one scene: after years and years of back and forth between Benjamin and Daisy, finally, they decide to be together. As opposed to rushing into the sex, they savor every single moment they have. They slowly move on to the bed and just as their about to touch Daisy moves back her head and lies down, needing Benjamin to follow. It's just, it's beautiful, and sums the movie up. Life isn't a race, enjoy anything and everything along the way, and savor all the important moments as best you can. I desperately wanted to place this movie number 1, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't. Read on.

1. The Dark Knight
-My favorite film of 2008. The greatest comic book movie of all-time. The second highest domestic grossing film of all-time only behind the unsinkable Titanic. What can I say about this movie. Christopher Nolan has created probably my favorite Universe ever. Gotham City and its darkness is unparalleled. It was already dark, and then they decided to add The Joker to the mix. That's throwing gasoline on a forest fire. Utter chaos, and wow, was it something to see. Heath Ledger truly did an outstanding job, and if he doesn't win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, there's something wrong with this world. He was, he was perfect. Yes Batman's growling voice was a little overdone, and yes the plot at times seemed a bit ridiculous, but this was a great film, not just a great movie. I just loved this film. The score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard was outstanding, probably my second favorite score of the year. I just can't say enough great things about this film.

So there you have it, my top twenty. Let me know what you think!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Top Movies of 2008 (10-6)

Continuing my last post, read on....

10. Pineapple Express
-Second best comedy of 2008. James Franco owns this role as a stoner. A throwback to the days of "Freaks and Geeks." He didn't quite play a stoner then, but a similar character. And Danny McBride, again, amazing. He really is turning into a gem. David Gordon Green really brings this movie to another level though. He provides a different insight to the comedy genre, and really shoots the action scenes with great poise, letting each scene develop.

9. Eagle Eye
-Just flat out fun. The plot, not great. Acting, eh. But a great action movie that just keeps you on the edge of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed myself in this movie, as should you. Great popcorn flick.

8. The Reader
-Kate Winslet's best performance of 2008. Easily. David Kross, a new comer, is outstanding, matching Winslet pound for pound each scene. He's only 18 but he shows here that he has a very promising career ahead of him. This movie just kept hanging around in my head for days after I watched it. Very controversial, but very, very good. The topic and plot of the film might turn people off but I believe it is a movie definitely worth seeing. I really can't stress how great Kate Winslet is in this movie. She's nominated for a Golden Globe in this role for Best Supporting Actress. She should definitely win. As well as earn a nomination and win at the Oscars.

7. Gran Torino
-Clint Eastwood is a man. A man's man. Plain and simple. If you want to see a man on screen, go see this movie. Great story of redemption, that almost went the route of "Unforgiven." I'm very glad it didn't. Also, this movie turned out to be the surprise comedy of the year. I use the word comedy lightly because it's not a comedy at all. But this movie had me consistenly laughing at all the racial slurs that were thrown back and forth. I don't know if they made up most of those slurs, but I didn't know over half of them. The Hmong people in this movie were mostly newcomers to the screen, and I really think that added to the realism of the movie.

6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
-The best comedy of the year. Another cog in the Judd Apatow wheel. This movie, although not written or directed by Apatow, is up there with the likes of Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Jason Segal proves he has what it takes to be a leading man in a comedy. I've had a soft spot for Kristen Bell since her two episode stint in Deadwood and the great, underwatched show Veronica Mars (one of my all-time favorite shows), and she doesn't disappoint. The scene that really gave this movie life was when she was crying to Jason Segal's character after he found out she was cheating on him for a year. That scene really gave the movie a backbone. Mila Kunis didn't annoy me in this movie, which was good because she annoys me in everything else.

For the rest of my list, check back in a bit!

Top Movies of 2008 (20-11)

Wow. I haven't had a single post in over 8 months. Two reasons. One, I basically burned out. I blogged so much in such a little time I literally burned out. Two, no one was reading my blogs, and I was pretty bummed about that. But I've since made a resolution to blog more often. Not as often as I can, but when I want to. Starting with this post. My Top Movies of 2008. Read on.

20. Quantum of Solace
-Not as good as "Casino Royale." Let's get that out of the way. This sequel was driven more by the action rather than the plot. That was a strong point of CR, it balanced effectively the action against the plot. Where CR lacked in action, QS soared. Staring off with that great car chase. QUANTUM is now a legitimate enemy of MI6 for future installments, which should still star Daniel Craig, who has seriously reenergized this role. Also, Olga Kurylenko is gorgeous. Reason enough.

19. Hellboy 2
-Better than "Hellboy." Not only were the set design and effects amazing, this movie had a soul. You could connect with every major character in the movie, and it didn't matter what world they were a part of. But what really got me was Prince Nauda, who was only trying to save his people from literally being forgotten. His world was being erased, and all he was trying to do was save it. Does this really make him a bad guy? Guillermo Del Toro knocked this one out of the park, and I hope they make the final part of the trilogy, because the story could be very interesting.

18. Step Brothers
-Another great teaming of Will Ferrel and Adam McKay. John C. Reilly has really come into his own as a comedic actor. The improv by Will and John really knock off of each other and they shine. Great comedy, but not the best of the year.

17. Revolutionary Road
-Haunting. Extremely haunting movie. Not a horror film, but this movie really shows the horrors of 'ordinary life.' Sam Mendes really digs into the 1950s and what it was all about. All of these families believed they were special, and wouldn't fall into the trap that the suburbs provided. Yet, they all failed. No matter how hard they tried, or what scheme they came up with (abandoning the suburbs and moving to Paris), they could not win. Everyone falls victim to that mundane life. Leo continues his superb acting, and will most likely garner a Best Actor nod. Kate Winslet is a lock for a Best Actress nod, as she continues to prove she is the best actress of her generation. But this movie doesn't even have her best performance, that comes later in my list.

16. The Wackness
-Amazing soundtrack. 1994 rap. So great. Great performances by Sir Ben and Josh Peck. Jonathan Levine really captured 1994 in a great way. The relationship formed by Sir Ben and Josh is on really to behold. They're both looking for something in very distinct points of their lives, and they can help each other out.

15. Valkyrie
-Best thriller of 2008? Easily. All of you who complain how they don't have accents, thats not the part of the movie you're supposed to concentrate on. This is a story of incredible, brave men, who literally risked their lives to assassinate Hitler. We know it didn't work, but that doesn't mask the fact that they tried. Great all-around cast, with Tom Cruise back in top form.

14. Tropic Thunder
-I just rewatched this, and appreciated it much more. First, it's a great look at the film industry and how movies are made. When I say great, I mean hilarious. Second, Robert Downey Jr. really is amazing to watch in this. His resurrection started in "Iron Man" and continued with this film. Amazing, amazing stuff. And third, Danny McBride. Wow. He is so great in this flick. And yes, Tom Cruise was great as a huge movie mogel.

13. Doubt
-Far and away the best acted movie of 2008. Superior performances by Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy Adams. The first three are sure to get Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress nods, respectively. Amy Adams might get the bump from the Best Supporting Actress category, however she goes toe to toe with both Meryl Streep and PSH, and is definitely deserving of a nod. Very interesting storyline as well.

12. Australia
-A bust according to many people. I really enjoyed this picture. Yes, it was a bit long and you could've cut 25 minutes off the film, but I really don't think that hurt the film. Baz Luhrman is a very unique director, and his style from film to film has drastically changed. And in that, his style has changed the same. He is willing to look at a movie in a different perspective and shoot it like that. In this, he really, really, wanted to emphasize how beautiful and huge Australia really is. And he succeeds. Australia itself could be a Best Supporting Actress. He captures the magic of Australia, and that's what he was aiming to do. Nicole Kidman does a great job in the last 2/3 of the movie, and Hugh Jackman really surprised me with his acting ability in this epic.

11. The Incredible Hulk
-The third best comic book movie of the year. Which is a shame, because it really was a great film. Edward Norton gives the Hulk/Bruce Banner life, something that Ang Lee missed the first time around. It's tough to show the Hulk as a human being, with all the CGI we forget. But they really do succeed in that. Liv Tyler does a great job as Betty Ross, bringing a sense of urgency to the character. She loves Bruce, and wants to be with him. You really feel for their relationship and the strain on it. Props for bringing in Tony Stark, a tie-in to the Avengers. Marvel is really bringing their A-Game.