Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year In Movies

I have a shelf full of journals. I don't write in any of them. Hey, how can I possibly spoil that lovely blank page? Okay, so I do write in one, a pretty hardcover journal that I've had for years. It's my movie journal, and I write down every movie or TV series I see during the year, including rented and DVD sets. Thought I'd go through some of my favs and not-so-favs for you all. Chime in with your own favs!

JUNO - Erm, I wasn't loving this one. I don't care what the arguers say, it did glamourize teen pregnancy. The acting was awesome though.

THE WATER HORSE - starring that cute kid from Millions. A delightful fantasy tale for the family, not overly cutesy either.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD - Does Daniel Day Lewis ever not act his heart out? Amazing, though the ending still bothers me.

FOOL'S GOLD - For light romance this one rocked. I do love Matthew M. in the breezy, sexy hero roles.  All-time fav Matthew movie is Sahara.

JUMPER - One of my fav sci/fi shows. A little simple with the plotting, but the idea of being able to jump from one place to the other at will? Cool.

THE BANK JOB - Jason Statham. Need I say more? Okay, this was a nice tightly-plotted heist flick that appealed to my love for the genre.

MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY - Not a bad actress on the screen. A sweet, fun flick!

DEATH AT A FUNERAL - saw this on rental. Hilarious. Love the Brit sense of humor.

IRON MAN - How many ways to love this damaged hero? Many! Robert Downey Junior was the perfect choice to play Tony Stark.

TO KILL A KING - Rental. DO NOT rent this. It is bad. I waited four years for this to be put out on video. Stars Dougray Scott. I see why it took so long to get it out there. Bad, so bad.

IN THE NAME OF THE THE KING - another warning not to rent. Jason Statham, how can you go wrong? Oh, so many ways. Only got through the first ten minutes before I had to turn it off.

THE JANE AUSTIN BOOK CLUB - This one was neat; I liked it.

MUSIC WITHIN - rental. Set in the 70s after the war, follows a man (Ron Livingston) who fights for veteran's rights. Michael Sheen plays a man with (can't remember his dysfunction) he's in wheelchair and has speech difficulties. So good. So, so good.

SEX AND THE CITY - Perfection.

SAAWARIA - a Bollywood movie I anticipated eagerly. Not bad, but the plot lost itself halfway through. But the vivid colors and scenery! Bollywood always does make gorgeous films.

THE HAPPENING - M. Night has lost me with this one. Just can't get into his movies anymore.

WANTED - Best action flick of the year. Curving bullets? Oh yeah. The Loom of Fate? Erm, not so much.

IN BRUGES - After all the hype I was looking forward to this one. What the heck? This was just a disaster. Not funny, no, not by any means.

THE DARK KNIGHT - Perfection. Heath Ledger, I will really miss you.

MAMMA MIA - Fun! Fun! Fun!

TORCHWOOD: SEASON ONE - This BBC series features a paranormal crime team that also chases aliens. Goofy, odd, strange, but Captain Jack Harkness (Mr. Omnisexual at his finest) I do love him!  (Pic on left)

DEATH RACE - Jason Statham. Need I say more? Okay, this was awesome. I was a little worried it would go over the edge into major corniness, but it held it's own. Joan Allen surprised me with her movie choice, but it worked.

BURN NOTICE: SEASON ONE - My latest favorite TV series. Love this show. Love it. Sexy cool spies and a little touch of McGyver. New shows start in January!

TROPIC THUNDER - I don't normally pay money to see stupid comedy shows in the theater, but something compelled me to see this one. I was glad I did. Not rocket science, by any means, in fact, really stupid, and yet, kinda smart stupid. I liked it.

BURN AFTER READING - Brad owned that role.

IGOR - Not talked about all that much, but a very cute little show. Jon Cusack voicing Igor. Loved it.

THE DUCHESS - Costume orgasm!

MAX PAYNE - Very disappointed after the trailers led me to believe this would be a paranormal flick. It was not.

EASTERN PROMISES - rental. Finally saw this after getting over my fear it would be too violent (it wasn't), and after many friends recommended it. Viggo is a master. Very good.

ROCKNROLLA - Gerard and Thandy. 'Nuf said.

DIRTY FILTHY LOVE - rental. Another Brit release starring Michael Sheen (he's my fav Brit actor). Love story about a man with Tourrettes and OCD (seriously). Sheen plays it well, but it was a little slow.

DEATH DEFYING ACTS - rental. This one slipped under the radar. Guy Pearce as Houdini and Catherine Zeta Jones as a gypsy charlatan. Very slow and dull. Sigh... I do love Guy Pearce.

THE TRANSPORTER III - Yes! Usually Part 3s suck. This one did not.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON - This was something to see. Literally. Just to watch Brad Pitt age backward was fascinating. It was a little long, but the story was awesome. Lots to think about after the show about life and death.

Whew! That was most of my movies, but I left out a handful. Hey, I like movies! So what about you? What were your hits and misses for the year?



Kylie said...

I saw many of them, Michelle. I'm a huge movie buff and if I like the movie I'll buy it and watch it over and over again.

Sex in the city: loved the closure for the story lines and they felt true to character, especially Samantha. But I wanted to slap Big. Really. Thought the whole failure to communicate thing not very plausible.

Burn after Reading: the only good thing about the movie is Brad Pitt. Why does he not do more funny films? This guy is hilarious!

Eastern Promises: couldn't finish

Iron Man: surprised myself by liking this one.

Wanted: hated it. How low can Angelina Jolie sink?

The Bank Job: awesome!

Juno: over rated but I did think that girl did a fantastic job acting.

There will be blood: Fantastic.

Fool's Gold: I will watch Matthew M in anything!

Others: Rendition--worth watching and makes you feel horrible about the CIA torture spiel recently.

American Gangster: saw the DVD and immediately bought it. Very good.

Eagle Eye: ehhhh...must be willing to suspend disbelief.

Vantage Point: bought the DVD. Good movie and liked seeing it from all the different POVs.

Good idea on a journal, Michelle! I usually forget which ones I've watched recently unless I'm in the rental store.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Thanks for the movie ideas. You too, Kylie. I haven't been watching many movies this past year or so, so I was at Circuit City and a bunch caught my eye so now I have a list too! Of those I want to see.

Watched a few this week:

Jane Austen Book Club: Like you, Michele, enjoyed it very much.

Bella: Weird movie that felt foreign but was not (or was it? It was set in NYC though). Lovely Latin hero who spent too much of the movie wearing a bushy icky beard.

The Life of David Gale: Cool movie, we thought, though I figured it out right away.

Catch and Release: Son 2 gave this to me for Christmas and I had seen it on cable but wanted to own it. I just love this movie.

Becoming Jane: Also a Christmas present. I rewatched it and cried.

Michele Hauf said...

Eagle Eye was good, Kylie, and I am able to suspend disbelief. :-) I'll have to argue with you about Angelina. She kicks butts and looks gorgeous. Loved that movie.

I was wondering about BELLA, Christie. Hmm...not too much in love with beards either.

Did like Becoming Jane. Hmm, must have been 2007?
For all the Jane Austin stuff I've seen lately, I've never read her books! I did download Persuasion to my Kindle, though. That is my fav of the Austin movies.

Kylie said...

Oh and despite critics' panning the movie, I surprised myself again by liking Hancock. I'm so not into superheroes but he brought a human side to the role and really, I'll watch Will Smith in just about anything!

GunDiva said...

Love the idea of the movie list! Some of my faves:
Mama Mia - caught me by surprise, I didn't expect it to be as FUN as it is.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith - I know it's a few years old, but Jolie and Pitt and guns? It's a no brainer (lukewarm on Wanted, though).
The Dark Knight - I, too, am really going to miss Heath Ledger.

The one movie that sticks out in my mind that I really, really wanted the two hours of my life back - History of Violence. How could Viggo go so wrong? Ugh.

GunDiva said...

Kylie, I'd forgotten about Hancock. How could I forget Will Smith? Like you, I'll watch pretty much anything he's in. Oh, and The Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg, is also on my faves list.

Kylie said...

GunDiva, I had a minor quibble with the Shooter regarding to the plot device used to get the girl ambushed, BUT I liked the movie and thought Wahlberg did a great job. My SWAT guy tells me that's one of the best movies out there as far as factual depiction of a sniper :)

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - I'm a big Burn Notice fan. Love the interaction between the main characters.

Also loved IRON MAN - and that surprised me.

Helen Brenna said...

I can see I'll be putting some on and taking some off my netflix queue.

Interesting, though, I liked In Bruges and hated Burn after Reading.

Michele Hauf said...

Yeah, for Burn Notice, Cindy! You know Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westin did not initially appeal to me, but now. Man, that guy is sexy. If you love the show, you should check out the tie-in book, The Fixer. The author has the character's voices nailed.

You liked In Bruges, Helen? Tell me why? I just couldn't figure that one out. It kept getting darker and darker and I didn't find the humor at all funny. And it ended so horribly. Hmm... Sometimes I just don't get the darker stuff.

Dina said...

I loved some of these movies lited!! Will watch them again many tomes.

Happy New Year!

Cindy Gerard said...

michele - I will definately get The Fixer. And I agree with you on Jeffrey Donovan. I didn't like him at first but he's really grown on me.
He also played the bad LA cop in Changling with Angelina Jolie. He was a really good bad guy

Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, now I'm thinking the title was The FIx. Either way, it's good for the character voices.

I never saw Changling. The bad reviews scared me away, but I do need to rent it. Just for Donovan. :-)

Playground Monitor said...

I need to get out more. I only saw a few of these -- Dark Knight (brilliant and if Ledger doesn't get an Oscar for this role, then something's really wrong), Mamma Mia (I agree it was FUN), Sex and the City (great girlfriend movie), Quantum of Solace (Daniel Craig -- yum). I should keep a journal like this and then maybe I could remember more than 4 movies.

I received Casino Royale and Romancing the Stone for Christmas. I always liked Romancing the Stone, but now that I'm writing, I have a special affinity for Joan Wilder.

On TV, I discovered The Closer just as the season was ending. I love Brenda Lee. She seems like a sweet southern girl but has a mind like a steel trap. It's scheduled on my DVR now. I also discovered Law & Order SVU and have been watching all the old episodes on various cable channels and the new ones on the network channel. I'm not sure how CSI is going to go without Gil Grissom. And I can't believe they killed the husband on Ghost Whisperer. Unfortunately, the couple or three episodes after he died got erased off our DVR so I'll have to wait until re-run season to get the whole story arc filled in.


Vicky said...

Love love love Juno. I think Ellen Page is a genius.

Jumper was pretty cool.

Iron Man. Ok, can Robert Downey Jr. get any sexier?

The Jane Austen Book Club has become one of my favorites. My mother and I started our own JA book club that's about to be over. Our last meeting is this month.

Wanted was just too cool.

Dark Knight cause a part of my soul to die. Really hard to watch because of Heath.

I was actually disappointed by Mamma Mia! Didn't like it that much.

Betina Krahn said...

some great ideas here. . . some I haven't seen.

I'm with Helen. I really liked In Bruges. I think it was marketed wrong: as a comedy, when it clearly wasn't. I LOVED Brian Gleeson, and Colin Ferrell finally earned acting chops in this one. I thought the final bit of justice ended the movie "just right." (Though "everybody dies" is not usualy satisfying for me.) And the dialogue was really good.

I saw at least one movie a week this year. Which probably makes me a little skewed on what Hollywood produces. I really LOVED Iron Man, Live Free or Die Hard, The Duchess, Appaloosa, Seven Pounds, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, The Waterhorse, Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia, The Bank Job, Yes Man, Eastern Promises, Madagascar 2, 27 Dresses, Australia, Transporter 3,and a few others I can't seem to remember at the moment.

I was surprised by a number of movies that I expected to really like, but only found mildly interesting or amusing, like Burn After Reading, Wanted, Hancock, Jumper, The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones,and WALL-E, The Other Boelyn Girl, Twilight, X-Files, and 21.

I was also surprised by a number of movies I didn't expect too much from but kinda liked: Tropic Thunder, Swing Vote, House Bunny, Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, Spiderwick Chronicles, and Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia, and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D, and The Mummy 3, and Transsiberian, Bottle Shock, Bolt, What Happens in Vegas, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Hey, I had to see that last one-- it was a #1 movie for one week, and I had to see what the hype was all about. Guess what-- I liked it!)

Then there were the ones I wished I'd saved my money on: Righteous Kill, Hellboy 2, 88 Minutes, Cloverfield, The Day the Earth Stood Still(though it kills me to say it), and Drillbit Taylor.

So. . . I missed a few this year and caught a few I wish I'd missed. But overall I thought it was a fairly good year for movies.

Betina Krahn said...

Michele, your movie journal is a great idea! I'm implementing it this year!!

Oh, and I forgot Sex in the City. . . which I didn't expect to love, but really, really liked!

Michele Hauf said...

Betina, I was eyeing House Bunny but never saw it. I think I'm going to pick it up as a rental on your recommendation.

Spiderwick Chronicles! Yes, that was cute. I had to see it because I've read all the books. If anyone has a middle grade reader, those books are awesome. Holly Black writes and Tony DiTerlizzi illustrates. Very cool.

You liked Bottle Shock? That was another that I intended to see, but then the bad reviews kept me at home. Another to add to my rental queue.