Author Topic: Best Movies of the Year  (Read 3627 times)

Offline AxlReznor

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2008 has been the year of the blockbuster.  And the quality of these has been consistently (and surprisingly) high.  These are my favourite movies of the year.

The Dark Knight
(Director: Christopher Nolan; Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman)
This movie was always going to be hyped.  It is after all a big budget movie based on one of the most successful comic book characters of all time, featuring arguably the most iconic villain in his rogue's gallery.  The hype stepped up a gear when Heath Ledger was found dead in March.  It was looking extremely unlikely that The Dark Knight would completely fail to live up to the expectations placed on it.
What a shock then that what could have been a dismal failure, turned out to be a triumph in every sense of the word.  Not so much a comic book movie, as a conventional crime epic that just happens to have costumed people running around - meaning that unlike most comic book movies, this will appeal to a non comic book fan audience too.  The cast are all fantastic - so much emphasis is put on Heath Ledger's psychotic performance of The Joker, that people forget that Christian Bale once again plays both the tortured Bruce Wayne who puts on a spoilt brat public persona and Batman perfectly, and that Aaron Eckhart's transition from Harvey Dent into Two-Face is so subtly played up until he completely loses his mind, and that Gary Oldman plays James Gordon exactly as he is wrote in the comics.
And as for great moments... there are too many to mention them all, but two highlights are the highway chase, and Batman's intense and quite scary interrogation of The Joker.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
(Director: Tim Burton; Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall)
This movie was released at the end of 2007 in the US, but didn't come out in the UK until early January.  Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is a partnership made in heaven, with the pair of them working together never disappointing.  But with this masterpiece, we have the best thing they've done together to date.  Catchy songs, ludicrously over-the-top gore, visually stunning, and some of the best acting performances of any of the casts career.  It doesn't even matter that none of the cast are actually singers (with Alan Rickman in particular struggling to hit a note), the feeling they sang with more than made up for it.  And is it wrong that I think Helena Bonham Carter has never looked as sexy as she does in this movie?

Quantum of Solace
(Director: Marc Forster; Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench)
Daniel Craig's second outing as James Bond sees a return to the classic formula all but abandoned in Casino Royale.  If you are one of the ten people disappointed by the lack of action in that movie, then breathe a sigh of relief, as this movie more than makes up for it.
By now, everyone knows about Daniel Craig's portrayal of Bond... a cold-hearted killer.  You'll all have your opinion of that, but I believe that not only is this more accurate to Ian Fleming's portrayal of the character than any other Bond before him, but it also is the only way the character could be played in these movies and make it work.  This is only his second mission as a double-0 agent.  To get that status you need to make at least two kills.  When he does this, to be able to cope, he withdrew on himself and didn't allow him to care.  Same goes for the death of Vesper Lynd - after her death, to avoid breaking down he convinces himself that he never cared about her, and that she betrayed him.  But at the same time, in this movie, his mind is still set on avenging her death - though he's convinced himself that he's doing his duty.
Onto the rest of the cast, Judi Dench is always fantastic as M.  Her mixture of protective mother figure and ice queen will forever be a joy to watch.  Mathieu Amalric, as Dominic Greene - the "eco-warrior" who plays the part of the lead villain in the movie - does his best.  He's not entirely convincing, but at least he seems to pose more of a real threat than Le Chiffre.  And what can be said about Olga Kurylenko as Camille?  This woman is absolutely gorgeous.  She's also out for revenge, which puts her and Bond on the same team.  And - other than M - she's probably the only female character in these movies to keep her clothes on throughout.
Great fun... just don't watch if you expect it to be as thoughtful as The Dark Knight was.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
(Director: Steven Spielberg; Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBoeuf, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, John Hurt)
The return of Indiana Jones was always going to divide opinion.  Some of the criticism of this movie was hilarious, though... "the plot is ridiculous!", they cried, seemingly forgetting that the original movies featured a death cult that could remove human hearts with their bare hands, a box that kills anyone who looks inside it, and a cup that can grant you eternal life (very realistic there).  "There are too many special effects!" was another one - what were they expecting?  "Cate Blanchett's accent is crap!"... well, ok, I'll give you that one.
Just like Star Wars, I believe the people who grew up with the original character simply forgot that they have always been aimed at children and young teenagers, and thus none of that really matters.  What matters is, is it fun?  And the answer is yes!  Plot has always been a mere excuse to lead the characters from one absurd action sequence to another in the world of Indiana Jones, and this film does not disappoint on that front.  There are a couple of times where even I thought they'd gone a bit too far (the fridge... Shia LaBoeuf and the monkeys), but what's really going to stick in my mind is the Shia LaBoeuf and Cate Blanchett swordfight aboard moving vehicles.  Or the motorcycle chase through the streets.  Pure, unadulterated, non-stop fun.

Wanted
(Director: Timur Bekmambetov; Starring: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman)
Take an obscure, blood-soaked comic book.  Than take an obscure Russian director who was shot to fame by his movies Night Watch and Day Watch (based on the best-selling novel The Night Watch).  Then add up-and-coming star James McAvoy, unbelievably hot Angelina Jolie, and wise-old-man-for-hire Morgan Freeman.  Mix it all up, and you get a movie that rivals even Indiana Jones for sheer thrills.  This movie is about gun-fights, car chases, more gun-fights, Angelina Jolie's perfect ass, and some more gun-fights.  Yes, there's a plot about some secret group of assassins who are given their targets by a fortune-telling loom (seriously), and there's a bit of a nod to The Matrix in the whole "bored office worker becomes kick-ass action hero" thing, but who cares about that?  The whole thing is style-over-substance, but when the style is this good it doesn't matter.  In the hands of a lesser visual director, this movie would probably suck.  But with these ingredients, it is the perfect movie for when you really don't want to think about anything at all.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year...

The X-Files: I Want To Believe
(Director: Chris Carter; Starring: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Xzibit)
The X-Files is my favourite TV show of all time.  Gillian Anderson (who was my first ever crush) and David Duchovny's performances of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder have yet to be equalled on television.  In fact, it's these same performances that probably allow me to find something to like about this movie.  Because no matter how dull it gets, you still feel for the characters.
That's right... I used a word I thought I'd never use in regards to The X-Files.  Dull.  Billy Connolly's acting is incredible, and the story is interesting, and if it was an episode of the TV show, it could very well have been very good.  But there lies its problem - it's as if Chris Carter wrote an episode of the TV show, and then added a lot of unnecessary and confusing stuff in order to make it long enough to be a movie.  It's frustrating, because this movie was going to decide the future of the franchise.  The TV show has been off the air since 2002, so they needed to come back with a bang in order to win over fans who have never seen the TV show before.  But instead, it came back with a whimper that only interested those who have still remained fans of the show since it ended, and left most of those disappointed.
That said, I'm still getting the DVD.  Not only because it had potential, but because I have every episode and the first movie on DVD, so I've got to complete the set.

Offline VR_Rock

  • Sniper Assassin
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What about IRON MAN and ROCKNROLLA !!!

Offline AxlReznor

  • Sniper Assassin
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I liked Iron Man... just not more than any of those ones.  And I didn't bother watching Rocknrolla.

Offline Born 2 b Wild

  • Gunslinger
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my 3 fave films of the year in order (that i saw anyway)

quantum of solace
cloverfield
hellboy 2: the golden army

i do regret not seeing batman tho

then of course comes the obligatory sequal to alien vs predator, aliens vs predator: requiem. no idea where they got that title from, but hey

i liked it a bit, wasnt as good as AVP but it had some cool moments

oh and the reason why its called alienS vs predator: the alien models in this film are the ridged variants first seen in aliens lol

Offline SnakeEyes

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Mine were Dark Knight, Quantum Of Solace and Shine A Light.

I was not impressed by Indiana Jones.

The Day The Earth Stood Still was cringingly bad.

Offline aerosmith513

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I got Shine a Light for Christmas.  I wouldn't call it a movie myself but it is very good.

Ironman
Hulk
Wanted

only 08 movies I saw last year i think.