Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 In Film

So here's the deal - I'm going to list out every movie that was released in 2008 that I saw during this calendar year, whether it was in the theater or rented at home. A brief account of my thoughts will accompany each film. This way, when I do my obligatory Top 10 of 2008 list, I don't have to tell you what I thought about each one - you'll already know from having read this post. Enjoy.

Cloverfield - Blew me away at the beginning of the year, and I definitely haven't forgotten about it. It's one of my favorites of the past few years, actually.

Cassandra's Dream
- This Woody Allen movie with Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor was really enjoyable and different from most Woody Allen films I've seen. Much more Match Point/Scoop than Annie Hall. Great acting, solid script, good movie.

Rambo - The most violent movie I've ever seen in a theater. Depending on your movie preference (and probably your sex), that will most likely determine if you enjoyed this one as much as I did. Oh yeah - the dialogue was terrible, but no one cared. Freakin' Rambo is back.

Strange Wilderness - Horrifyingly dreadful. That part with the shark laugh was the only truly funny part, and that's simply because we laughed about it from the trailer so much. If you've never seen this, keep it that way.

In Bruges - Colin Farrell's best performance. This movie was funny, violent, crude, and touching. A great film that was very purely written, if I may use that as an adjective in that context.

Definitely, Maybe - Cute chick flick. One of the few that I really enjoy from that genre; my appreciation springs from the inclusion of Ryan Reynolds, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz being in the same movie.

Be Kind Rewind - Let down. Not nearly as funny/cool/inventive as it could have been.

Charlie Bartlett
- Another solid performance from Robert Downey, Jr. Charlie Bartlett is underrated, I think. It wasn't marketed that well, but I think most people will like it if they see it.

Vantage Point - I liked it a lot while watching it, but instantly forgot it afterwards. It was the movie equivalent of a chicken sandwich at Burger King.

The Counterfeiters
- Kind of a drag due to its serious subject matter, but it does me good to see a foreign flick every once in a while.

The Bank Job - Not one of Statham's best. Entertaining, but certainly no Italian Job.

21 - Overrated. Decent, but overrated. My feelings could stem from the fact that I've heard the true story recounted so many times by family members and The History Channel, so keep that in mind.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- One of the more enjoyable comedies of the year. Russell Brand was really funny in this one.

Pathology - It tried to be "edgy" and "crazy," but ended up being another standard in line with Flatliners and other medical based suspense movies like it.

Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
- Like the first one, but more obscene. Pretty funny, although I would have appreciated a little more NPH.

Iron Man - Awesome. Surprise hit of the summer, and cemented RDJ as a comeback kid.

Redbelt - Chiwetel Ejiofor couldn't save this one on his own. The script was all right, but the ending just left you with that "what just happened?" feeling.

Speed Racer - I don't care what anyone says, I really dug this one. My experience playing Mario Kart Double Dash has a lot to do with it.

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - I liked it more than the first one. Better action, better character development.

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- I am angry just remembering this movie at all. That South Park episode hit it right on the head.

The Strangers - Not quite scary enough, but a good horror movie. I appreciate that movies like this are still being made, and I hope more of them appear soonl

The Promotion - Not as funny as reported, but still worthy of a viewing. Stifler and John C. Reilly go face to face for the same job.

The Happening - Awful. I love Night, but he's testing my patience. This was almost unwatchable.

The Incredible Hulk - Too many stupid CGI scenes. They should have utlized Ed Norton more; when you have a solid lead actor, take advantage!

Get Smart - Stupid, but amusing. Really childish humor, cheesy jokes, etc. If you're in that kind of mood, go for it.

WALL*E - One of the year's best. Heartwarming, topical, and amazing to look at.

Wanted - Shoot 'Em Up meets The Matrix. I liked it in the theaters, but I don't know if it has a lot of rewatchability.

Hancock - The little twist they have was worth it for me. The rest of the movie, not so much.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Sorry Jared, this one kind of sucked. I paid $2.50 to see this in a theater and was kind of disappointed it cost that much after I walked out.

The Dark Knight - Yep, it's as good as everyone says. This movie dominates.

Transsiberian - Good cast, decent script, mild suspense. Not quite what I was hoping for, but passable.

Step Brothers - One of the funnier flicks this year. Catalina Wine Mixer.

The Midnight Meat Train
- Surprisingly, a good horror movie. Far better than I thought it would be.

Pineapple Express - Overrated and pretty stupid. Rogen and Franco were all right. Maybe I just don't get it because I'm not a pothead, I don't know.

Tropic Thunder - Nicely done, Ben Stiller. This one was hilarious.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Definitely a kids' movie, but it didn't have the same magic as any of the original trilogy.

Death Race - Awesomely bad. This was one you could write in your sleep, but Statham made it awesome.

Burn After Reading - A "comedy" that I didn't think was that funny. Sometimes the Coen Brothers just don't do it for me.

Appaloosa - Keeping the western trend of last year alive, this was a solid addition to the genre and a great team-up of Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.

Eagle Eye - I liked it. More than I should have. Say what you will, but the kid's got talent.

Quarantine - Scarier than I thought, but full of "jump" moments instead of truly scary things.

RockNRolla - I liked Guy Ritchie's latest a great deal. I hope they go through with the sequels.

Sex Drive - Another one that flew under everyone's radar. This was the Superbad of 2008, and I think it might be better than Superbad.

Pride and Glory - You've seen this storyline 5o times before, but it's watching Norton, Farrell, and Jon Voight do their thing that makes this one worth it.

Saw V - Not as good as the predecessors. I hope they go to into space soon.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno - Like a Judd Apatow movie, but slightly funnier. I like Kevin Smith's older stuff better; hopefully he returns to that before making another one of these.

Quantum of Solace - A good Bond movie, but not as good as Casino Royale.

Transporter 3 - By far the worst of the series. I wish it was more like the second one.

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show - A documentary following some protoges of one of the funniest guys around.

August - Josh Hartnett does a great job in this, and if you're a Hartnett fan you should see this. If not, skip it.

Zombie Strippers - Literally one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Meet Bill - Aaron Eckhart, Jessica Alba, Elizabeth Banks; charming and funny, if not slightly forgettable.

Nobel Son - The mixing was disastrous and the music (by Paul Oakenfold) was unneccesarily pulsating, but aside from that it was a solid heist movie.

Anaconda 3: The Offspring
- Terrible. Hasselhoff should know better. Wait, what am I saying?

Role Models - A lot of live action fantasy role playing, but funny stuff nonetheless.

That's it so far. There are still a few that I'd like to see before the year is over, so hopefully I'll get around to them before it gets too far in January to do a Top 10 list for 2008. More reviews are coming soon, along with the rest of our Countdown From Judgment Day series, so stay tuned. Until next time...


Boze said...

I just added up the run times of these movies and they took up approximately 15.42 days of your 2008, Ben.

I just made that number up, but that is a lot of movies!

Boze said...

quick guestimation
(55 movies x ~2 hours a piece)/24 hours/day = 4.58 days

Hehrhold Appamattox said...

ben, ben, you made an error. it wasn't called meet bill, it was meet dave.

pierce brosnan said...

I know someone who's getting a 2-disc special edition copy of Mama Mia this year...

Matt said...

Good list.

I haven't seen it myself, but how can a film called 'Zombie Strippers' be bad?

Personally I'm looking to 'Lesbian Vampire Killers', which should be out in the near future.

Ashley said...

love the statement about Vantage Point- totally agree.