Sunday, January 6, 2008

Best Movies of the Year

A few surprises maybe, but this list is close to 10 movies. How about that?

And, just so everyone knows yet again, this is a list based on personal preferences and movies that I've seen.

10. 28 Weeks Later

A zombie movie that works as just that, a zombie movie that doesn't even really have zombies in it but rather rage-infested humans. 28 Weeks Later is creepy, gory, and fun, all the things a good zombie movie need. And it has the same gritty British feel that 28 Days Later had, which makes it a worthy successor to the first film.

9. I Am Legend

It surpassed my expectations. I've loved Will Smith since the Fresh Prince days, but for every good movie he makes or appears in, he does a Bad Boys movie. And I was expecting Bad Boys again here, only just with him. It works as a remake of the Omega Man, and it works because he is believable as the last man on Earth. It doesn't hurt that it featured a fantastic preview for The Dark Knight in front of it, either.

8. 30 Days of Night

The best comic book movies of 2007. There were some surprises such as Ghost Rider, but 300 was epic storytelling. It was exciting. It was violent. And it was true to the source material. 30 Days of Night played like a vampire version of the Thing, and the Thing is one of my favorite horror movies of all time. Both played along with the source material and made changes that were necessary, but both used very vibrant storytelling and made me excited for comic book movies.

7. Sunshine

It's strange that most of the movies on this list can be categorized as horror or thrillers, but I suppose that's the way this year broke down. Sunshine was like the first Alien in that a crew went into space, something crazy happens, and they have to save the world. Happened before and it will happen again. Danny Boyle is a madman and knows how to make you feel the claustrophobia of the crew as you ride along with them into the sun. And it had Chris Evans playing a hardass, which is always a welcome addition.

6. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton can have my money, any time he makes a movie. A musical that is gory and violent and fun and exciting, I will never stop being amazed at the level of work he churns out every single time. It's an amazing piece of film and worth seeing just to hear Johnny Depp sing or see scores of people get their throats' slit. Just an all-around fun movie.

5. Grindhouse

The two movie event of the year. Worth watching back-to-back. Had amazing fake trailers for films like Don't, Thanksgiving, and Machete (and a stupid trailer for Werewolf Women of the SS by Rob Zombie, who had the worst thing about this event with his name on it). Planet Terror, another zombie movie (that's like 3 zombie movies on this list if you count I am Legend as zombies) was ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. People dying every second of the film. Heads exploding, explosions galore, and strange amounts of gore and blood, it was fun. Death Proof was talksploitation. It was Tarantino gold. Most people come back and say they didn't like Death Proof as much as Planet Terror, and I think that was the point. Death Proof still had one of the best car chase scenes in film history and the awesome work of Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike. People missed out on these movies because of their short attention spans, and it was a sad day in film. This could have been an ongoing summer treat.

4. Gone Baby Gone

I've never hidden my love for Ben Affleck, and thankfully, this year it's easy not to have to try. He put together an awesome cast including his brother Casey and Ed Harris among others, this movie just completely takes you into Boston and makes you a part of the surroundings and almost a part of the kidnapping that occurs. Yes there is a "twist" ending which isn't hard to grasp, but it doesn't detract from the film. Gone Baby Gone had more shocks than it should have, but they were never cheap. I hope to see Ben direct more in the future, but I also hope this doesn't mean he's given up acting, either.

3. Zodiac

Another person who I never hide my love for is David Fincher. Since Alien3, I have been an avid fan and follower of his work. Putting Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal, and a load of other actors together and making this exciting movie about the Zodiac killer who was never actually found, he did it again. He made a movie that had me wanting more. It had me looking into the cracks of the story and trying to piece the mystery together by myself alongside the movie. It was fun. It was well-shot as all of his movies are (though there was less camera tricks this time around as he was rooting this film in reality), and you could feel the grittiness of the 70s San Francisco that he was creating. Go see it if you haven't already.

2. Shoot Em Up

The most fun to be had by anyone while watching a film. I love Clive Owen, and this list is made up of man-crushes, but seriously, this movie is pure, unadulterated violence at its best. It's the 80s cheesy action movie starring Don The Dragon Wilson only with guns instead of jumpkicks. It's gritty and determined and down-to-Earth only completely bizarre and out of this world in some of the stunts. The skydiving scene, and the baby on the road scene, as well as the sex-shooting scene are my favorites. Poison is playing in the background and in your head all while watching this film, and I cannot be happier about that (and I hate 80s hair metal). You want to laugh while someone is getting shot and not be tied down to the weight of the world or the problems around you? Then watch this movie and just enjoy.

1. The Mist

It made me scream "YES!" when someone died. It made me feel like I could walk out of the theater and get taken away by something in the mist. It made me happy not to live in Stephen King's Maine because I would be afraid to go to bed, ever. It had one of the most ballsy endings of any film I have ever seen in my life. And I've seen a lot. Thomas Jane was great as the dad and he's not always the best actor in everything, but he was great. The choices for each actor were odd but worked. The monster effects weren't perfect, but I dare Cloverfield to be a better all-around movie. It's more about the human drama and the tragedy that has befallen these people than it is the monsters. That's what makes it so damn perfect. The movie is depressing, maddening, and angers you to the point where you may want to shoot one of the characters on the screen, and then it looks you right in the eye and takes you to the darkest place a character could be taken by the end of the film. Stephen King wished he could have written the ending. I can't think of a better compliment to Frank Darabont than that.

The next post will be my biggest failures, disappointments, and the things that pissed me off the most about 2007 in pop culture, movies, music, and comics. So for my diligent reader, read on.


Obsessedwithlife said...

I am Legend was interesting, somewhat depressing...saw it over the weekend. Can't say I've seen any of the others but that's not saying much...I rarely see movies but I'll see yours one day :).

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