Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Movies -

My favorite of 2008 - Wall-E and Gran Torino

Worst: The Women

The winners:
Eagle Eye
Secret Life of Bees
Mamma Mia!
Kung Fu Panda
Nim's Island
Iron Man
Yes Man (I saw this one in 2009, but had a great time! a bit long but fun, and funny ending!)
Gran Torino (I saw it in 2009, thought it was a very good movie.)

Honorable Mention:
Horton Hears a Who
Dark Knight
Henry Poole is Here
Bedtime Stories

The mediocrity pool:
Drillbit Taylor
Be Kind Rewind
Madagascar 2

The Big time losers:
Four Christmases
My Best Friend's Girl
The Women
Don't Mess with the Zohan
every romantic comedy made in 2008 as far as I could tell

The favorites are in bold!

Marley and Me - good, but I don't like crying at movies. About a family and their difficult dog.

Jumper - forgettable, weak, but okay. About a young man who can instantly transport to any location and people trying to kill anyone with his ability.

Ghost Town - nice, a bit slow now and then, and a bit understated, but kind of refreshing even though it is predictable. About a man who has a near-death experience and sees ghosts who needs his help afterward.

Seven Pounds - good, although we had the whole plot worked out before we sat down. About a man who goes to extremes to try to atone for his role in an accident.

Drillbit Taylor - so-so. About kids who hire a bum as a bodyguard at their school.

Be Kind Rewind - I didn't like it. About guys who film their own short versions of movies after they accidentally erase the entire store stock of VHS videos.

Bedtime Stories - Adam Sandler stars in a movie in which he plays an uncle who tells bedtime stories to his niece and nephew while their mom is away and the stories start coming true. Very nice.

Australia - not bad, a bit too long. About a woman who goes to Australia and takes over her husband's cattle business and falls in love.

Tropic Thunder - okay. About difficult movie stars who are filming a Vietnam war movie and are tricked by being put in real situations to make a better film.

Four Christmases - I thought it was too adult and mean-spirited. About a couple visiting their families for the holidays and deciding to change their relationship.

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? - okay. Morgan Spurlock goes to the Middle East and asks a bunch of people if they know where Osama is.

Bolt - Good - see it in 3D Sweet story about a dog who plays a superhero on TV but thinks it is real.

Quantum of Solace - good, not as much as Daniel Craig's first, but still good. About Bond dealing with the aftermath of his love's death and the organization behind it all.

Madagascar 2 - take it or leave it. About the animals trying to go back home but finding love instead.

High School Musical 3 - okay for what it is. A musical about their senior year.

Secret Life of Bees - wonderful movie
About a girl who runs away to learn about her mother and finds a new home.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - not as good as I hoped. About two teenagers who fall for each other while pretending to be a couple.

Eagle Eye - good, unrealistic but done well enough you can buy-in. Alien is too much like Hal from 2001. About a man and women who are forced into service in a "Big Brother" type scenario, but they discover what is going on and try to set things right.

My Best Friend's Girl - Having trouble remembering it, I think it was very nasty, mean, bad. About a guy who earns money by dating girls after they dump a guy and behaves horribly with them so they will want to go back to the other guy.

The Women - Just a horrible movie, stay away. About a woman who discovers her husband is cheating on her with a beautiful make-up counter girl at a department store.

The Longshots - Nice sweet story about a girl's relationship with her father and uncle and how she becomes a football quarterback.

The House Bunny - Lame. About a playboy bunny ditzo who becomes a house mother at the most cliche nerdy sorority ever.

Henry Poole Is Here - Very different, good.
About a depressed man who moves into a home where people think they see a stain on the side of the house in the image of Jesus Christ and keep coming to his house for miracles, much to his consternation.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D - Fun. A take on the Jules Verne novel.

Mamma Mia! - Most fun and ridiculousless I had at a movie in years - a guilty pleasure - and no, it doesn't make much sense About a young woman of unknown paternity who is planning to get married and invites all potential fathers to her wedding to try to find out who her father is.

The X Files: I Want to Believe - I hoped for so much more being an X-Files fan. Nothing really paranormal here, really about serial killers and a person surviving by "extreme" organ transplantation.

The Dark Knight - good, of course. About the joker and Two-Face.

Hancock - good movie, but the "plot twist" kind of ruined it for me. About a superhero who doesn't want to be one.

Wall-E - Must see this. About a robot alone on an abandoned Earth until he meets a probe sent to look for life on Earth, falls in love with her, and then follows her back to the mother ship where all remaining humans reside in naive, unhealthy lifestyles.

Get Smart - Enjoyable, nothing Oscar worthy but who cares. A Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 caper.

You Don't Mess with the Zohan - Ugh, stay away from the vulgarity. About an Israeli super soldier/agent who runs away to the U.S. to become a hair-stylist and something much more vulgar.

Kung Fu Panda - Very nice!
About a panda who wants to be an elite martial arts expert that is needed to save his village.

What Happens in Vegas - okay, mean-spirited, not as funny as I think the writers hoped, no real chemistry. About two people who get drunk in Vegas, get married on their first meeting, and upon splitting up the next day with plans to divorce win a large jackpot. The judge forces them to live together as man and wife as part of the settlement over the money.

The Andromeda Strain - good TV movie. About a very dangerous pathogen and efforts to save humanity from it.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - okay, a bit disappointing but is similar to previous Indys, just not as fresh. About aliens and Nazis.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Fine. Based on the novel.

Speed Racer - A bit slow at times, but I loved this movie - you have to watch it understanding it is live-action anime. Based on the old cartoon.

Iron Man - best superhero movie I've seen in a long time Based on the comic book.

The Forbidden Kingdom - nice movie for the family to see About a young man brought to an alternate reality to be a martial arts hero and fix his own life, too.

Leatherheads - I do not like the girl! About the beginnings of a football league in the 1920's or so, when it is a dirty sport with few rules that are adhered to.

Nim's Island - Delightful!
Based on the children's book, about a girl left alone on an island when her father goes missing and the neurotic author who tries to save her but is not up to the role.

Horton Hears a Who! - I loved this, too! Based on the Dr. Seuss story.

Penelope - Nice. About a girl with a piggish nose from a curse that only true love can break, in modern fairy-tale style.

Definitely, Maybe - Very nice. About a man trying to explain to his daughter the story of how he and her mother met at a time when they are divorcing.

27 Dresses - so-so. About a woman who has been the maid of honor for 27 weddings but remains single.

Fool's Gold - so-so. About a couple whose relationship and lives are endangered by the pursuit for lost treasure at sea.

Over Her Dead Body - pretty bad. About a ghost-woman who tries to interfere with her fiance's fledgling relationship after she dies.

Late additions:

Babylon A.D. - the story itself is not much of a story - disappointing plot or lack thereof. But there is still Vin Diesel.

Wanted - Lame - they try to make it really cool but the story/writing/plot can't support it. The idea could be cool, but the movie is a waste. The main character is alright, but no one else is - they aren't even characters - not developed enough.

War Inc. - This got some bad reviews but I liked it. I really enjoy John Cusack in just about everything I've seen him in. The satirical message was not lost in the entertainment.

21 - Forgettable film about an MIT genius who is recruited by a slimy professor to count cards in Vegas. I wouldn't give him the Harvard scholarship.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Great Debaters

I just wanted to encourage people to get out and see this film. Yes, its overall is predictable and the debates are a bit canned, but this is a truly important, well-made story. This movie puts you in the shoes of racism and in the cradle of the civil rights movement with very real, human, interesting characters. You'll see some real courage and real horror in this film.

Here's a link to the review.