Saturday, December 22, 2007

Movie year 2007

Just covering what we saw in 2007 that was widely-released this year, some on DVD, some in the theatre. I'm no critic, I'm no intellectual or film geek, and I've got no credentials. None at all. So this is just a list of a few of my worthless and shallow opinions. Movie links go to IMDB unless otherwise noted.

Animated favorites

Ratatouille!!! Cute overload plus a good story. Now I want a pet rat. I don't think Jax would understand.
The Simpsons is a movie length TV episode so if you like the Simpsons, you'll like it. I want more Spider-Pig in the future.
Shrek the Third is... well... Shrek. You know what to expect. It's all good.

Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror

Sweeney Todd. Two Johnny Depp movies in the same year! What's not to love about that? I have to confess that I was completely ignorant about Sweeney Todd except for the most obvious things, like the premise. My ignorance was bliss in that I got to be surprised by the plot twists and the ending. Wonderful. Great cast! Newcomers Jamie Campbell Bower (looks like a new heartbreaker) and Ed Sanders (the kid), what a wonderful voice... and speaking of singing, here's a clip of Johnny Depp singing in the studio and in the movie. Video from
Grindhouse. Link goes to my previous posting about it. I was really disappointed that you can't rent "Grindhouse", it's "Planet Terror" and "Death Proof". Same goes for the soundtracks on CD.
Bridge to Terabithia. I thought this would be something just for kids, but it wasn’t, AND it made me cry, which is hard to do.

Also recommended:
I Am Legend. Will Smith is not funny in it, but he is still good. Yes, the bad guys are pretty CG-looking, but still scary. We rented The Omega Man and watched it later the same night. I was ignorant and didn’t realize that they were both based on the same novel "I Am Legend", so this one is not a remake of The Omega Man (1971). The Omega Man is an absolute HOOT, and has unbelievably cheesy 60s/70s music throughout, plus a gun-totin’ Charlton Heston and plenty of afro hairstyles. Actually, the novel (novelette? short story?), I Am Legend, also inspired The Last Man on Earth from 1964 starring Vincent Price, another one to look for if you enjoy those post-apocalyptic themes, and I do. They remind me of my dreams. I don't always sleep well. Blame it on the cold war.
Children of Men. Let me just say that there's no way I would want to bring a child into that world.

And some sequels, all pretty good:
Spiderman 3. The tarantulas in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse were a nice touch.
Harry Potter 5. (seen on IMAX 3-D) (and needed more Tonks)
28 Weeks Later
Pirates of the Caribbean 3

On the disappointing side:
Golden Compass. First, I thought the casting was perfect! I almost never totally approve of casting when a book is turned into a movie. The look of things is great too. I thought it needed to be longer, and to spend more time letting you get familiar with people and things. Also I am not meaning to spoil anything, but I like the book ending better -- much better.
Transformers. Mainly disappointing because the machines were not that convincing as being anything but CG. To be really frightening, they need to look "real". Where it was done better was War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise in 2005. Scary (the movie, not Tom Cruise).
300. Most people seem to love this one, but even though I thought every frame of it was a work of art – just beautiful visually, the characters (even the story) did not move me at all. And this is a fantastic story – one of the best ever. It's not because of the graphic novel aspect. Sin City from a couple of years ago (Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez) has great, memorable characters which 300 didn't have for me.

Drama and/or Action, human interest, more or less reality-based

Recommended, listed in order of how much action or violence there is, ascending:
****Little or no violence, not gory****

SiCKO: This one is in a class by itself. Definitely one of the most worthwhile viewings of the year.
Once. Very non-Hollywood movie about a couple of musicians.
Away From Her. Excellent and very moving. Julie Christie plays an Alzheimer’s patient. I just love Julie Christie and always have.
Waitress. Kind of in the light romantic category. Good story, has Nathan Fillion in it, and I was really shocked and saddened afterward to learn about the murder of the director (who also had an acting role). It happened (apparently) right after the movie was wrapped so it’s not fresh news but it was for me.

****Some violence, guns, explosions, etc.****

Rescue Dawn
Michael Clayton

Wow! These all have really incredible performances in them and great stories. All of them award-worthy.

****Intense violence****

No Country For Old Men
3:10 to Yuma
Eastern Promises

Some of the best movies seen all year. Great acting, great stories. Eastern Promises would win Best Fight Scene (that will have to wait for the MTV Movie Awards). I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Also recommended:
Bourne Ultimatum

****Just pure action, go for the ride****
Live Free or Die Hard. Bruce Willis and the Mac Guy savin ur ass
Shoot ‘Em Up. Bang Bang Bang

A bit disappointing:
A Mighty Heart.

These were a couple that I liked less than the critics seemed to. In both cases, not that bad but I would not bestow any awards on either of them. Just my opinion, folks. No poo flinging allowed. Your opinion may differ.


Hot Fuzz. Loved it! Bought it! View teaser on right.

Best Cheesy Horror Comedy:
Black Sheep!!! (link goes to my post) Mutated sheep turn into deadly zombie killers in New Zealand, the absolute WORST place you want the sheep to go bad, since New Zealand has about 10-20 sheep per person or something like that.

All recommended:
Superbad. McLovin. Future cat name.
Blades of Glory. Will Farrell and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)
Music and Lyrics. OK, I like some Hugh Grant movies, this one included, even though it falls squarely in my least favorite category of light romantic comedy it gets a thumbs up.
Knocked Up

1 comment:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Wow, thanks for the heads up on some of those films. I've got to see The Omega Man again soon, I love all those cheesy Chuck Heston dystopian movies fromthe early 70's.