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    Monday
    Dec222008

    Best/Worst of 2008 in Film

    I limited my Best/Worst list of movies only those pictures that were released in 2008 that I saw in theatres. DVDs or other means did not qualify. With that being the case, I only saw 18 movies that met those qualifications.

    I have to say, out of the “Worst” list, I would only qualify 1 and 2 as being outright terrible movies, beginning to end. The other three aren’t that bad, just not all that good.

    In order from least bad to worst, here are the bottom five.

    Worst of 2008:
    5. Wanted -
    Once you get beyond the pretty action sequences, this is just a pretty car with no engine in it.

    4. Harold and Kumar 2 Escape from Guantanamo Bay -
    I was expecting more from this movie. Beyond NP, there’s very little to recommend it. You can lose the last half and nothing would be missing. They emphasized emotion over comedy.

    3. Get Smart -
    Honestly, just not that funny.

    2. Mother of Tears -
    Dario Argento’s latest. Complete dreck from beginning to end. Lots of of naked flesh though, so that’s a plus.

    1. Righteous Kill -
    Deniro and Pacino team together for the first time since Heat and it is the dumbest, most predictable script with some of the worst direction from beginning to end. There’s nothing redeeming about this film.

    In order from good to best, here are the top five:

    Best of 2008:
    5. Tropic Thunder/Hellboy II: The Golden Army -
    This is really a toss-up. I felt both of these needed to be included in the top five. I found Tropic Thunder to be a blisteringly funny take on the Hollywood business (although Stiller was a bit over the top at times). Hellboy is gorgeous and well-put together. It gets a bit schmaltsy at times, but an altogether solid selection.

    4. In Bruges -
    Beautiful cinematography, quirky story and wonderful performances. It’s both charming and dark in its comedy. If you really pay attention, the script actually has more philosophical depth to it than is apparent from a surface viewing.

    3. The Dark Knight -
    While I think this is a masterful film from Nolan to Bale to Eckhart and especially Ledger, but it gets too bogged down in its own philosophy at times. As a result, some of the dialogue gets heavy and overlong resulting in some serious navel-gazing. That’s why it ranks below Iron Man.

    2. Iron Man -
    This is how you make a comic book film. I have one or two VERY minor complaints, but overall a superbly put together film.

    1. Frost/Nixon -
    I am by no means a Ron Howard fan. That being said, this is the best film I’ve seen this year. It has the single best shot I’ve seen on film this year and it’s all do to Frank Langella’s acting.

    The complete Movies I Watched List (in alphabetical order):
    Appaloosa
    The Bank Job
    The Dark Knight
    The Forbidden kingdom
    Frost/Nixon
    Get Smart
    Hancock
    Harold and Kumar 2 Escape from Guantanamo Bay
    Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    In Bruges
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Iron Man
    Mother of Tears
    Pineapple Express
    Quantum of Solace
    Righteous Kill
    Tropic Thunder
    Wanted

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