Monday, January 5, 2009

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.

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