Sometimes people ask my opinion about stuff. I like that. Saves me the trouble of trying to get their attention through shouting and stick-pokery. Anyway, since some people (many imagined) asked, here’s my top ten movies of 2007 that I actually saw.
1. Gone Baby Gone
Though I think the title should’ve been You Think Ya Fackin’ Betta Den Me?, a movie that keeps you talking about it after it’s over is rare. This movie did that, and was pretty damned exciting too. 2007: The Year of Affleck(s). There, I said it.*
2. There Will Be Blood
This was basically the Daniel Day Lewis show. And I’m more than okay with that because dude was harsh (even if he looked like Borat and talked like Agent Smith in The Matrix). Extra points for not welching on the promise inherent in the title.
Early on I was worried that this was going to be Indie-flick-by-numbers spiced up with cleverer than average dialogue. It turned out to be a lot more than that. It managed to be hilarious and touching at the same time, and I’m pretty sure I’m really gay for saying that. Could’ve done without the indie folk rock soundtrack in every scene though.
4. No Country for Old Men
Yeah, you could make a case for this being higher on the list and wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, but the ending pissed me off enough to drop it a few spots. You don’t end a movie like that with SPOILER ALERT KIND OF Tommy Lee Jones talking about a dream he had, you just don’t. Swap the last two scenes around and you’re fine.
5. The Lives of Others
Yes, I know it won an Oscar in 2006, but it wasn’t released in the US until 2007. Anyway, great flick. The entire time I couldn’t stop thinking about that quote about how German toilets are the key to the horrors of the Third Reich.
6. Knocked Up
"It’s doggy style – it’s just a style, we don’t have to go outside." So many classic lines. The argument that it’s somehow sexist is retarded – for one thing, Paul Rudd’s daughter is the funniest person in the movie. It would make the list for the security guard monologue alone.
Maybe not as straight up funny as Knocked Up, but there was just something endearing about it that made you forgive a joke if it wasn’t up to par. It was sort of a throwback to 80s comedies or Tommy Boy – a movie doesn’t have to be perfect to be a classic. "You know how many foods are shaped like cocks? ALL THE GOOD ONES!"
I’m not sure how I feel about Patton doing anything but stand-up (of which he is undisputed king, in my mind), but for what it was, Ratatouille was impressive on every level. Pixar has somehow uncovered the secret to making kids movies you don’t have to be super high to enjoy (though it always helps). They keep pumping these out and Tim Allen can go back to obscurity where he belongs.
9. American Gangster
Solid story, solid ensemble – plus it was nice to see that Ridley Scott has grown out of shakey cam/cut to closeups of random objects-style action sequences. Take a lesson, Peter Berg, annoying camera work is the only reason The Kingdom isn’t on the list.
10. Hot Fuzz
I loved this, and I hated Shaun of the Dead. So much to like in this one – ripping on cheesy action flicks, a South Park-esque plot, a guy getting a model skyscraper impaled through the mouth – how could it not be on the list?
Movies that looked good that I haven’t seen yet:
Sweeney Todd – I can’t imagine a musical making the list, but I thought I’d mention not having seen it in case it changes my life. Assassination of Jesse James etc. etc. – supposed to be good, I guess. Into the Wild – I’ve heard this is good, but, as they say, I’m missing a little information here.
Movies You’re Smoking Rock if You Put on Your Top Ten List List
A top ten shittiest movies list would be sort of pointless, what with so many shitty movies out this (and every) year, I thought a most overrated list would be far more relevant.
It didn’t look like something I’d like, but I went because of all the buzz, the awards nominations, its inclusion on so many people’s best of ’07 list, etc. Let me be the first to tell you, this movie sucked harder than a Dyson vacuum cleaner made of Nic Cage. After they got done setting up the premise that you already assume from the trailer, the plot went absolutely nowhere. It was a love story about two people who were on screen together for maybe five minutes total, and the rest was faux-profound, tangential fluff. She’s scrubbing her hands, but they won’t come clean – OH THE SYMBOLISM! An old woman pushing a cart – so meaningful! Barf barf barf. And then a wannabe "twist" ending that managed to be both completely predictable and totally unsatisfying. It was only out of morbid curiosity that I stayed until the end.
A film school movie that looked pretty but had nothing to say. And no, "I like India!" doesn’t count. I used to be a Wes Anderson defender, now I’m not so sure. Your pretentious friend with the scarf probably loved it. Should’ve made Hotel Chevalier and left it at that.
Not bad, persay, but extremely overrated. Dude, it’s 2007, we choreograph fight scenes now. The beauty of David Cronenberg is usually the hyperrealistic violence – a high-school-video-productions-quality fight scene takes away from that. Plus it just wasn’t that interesting.
*Note to Boston people: I bust your balls because I envy the fact that your city has an identity and inhabits such a cool place in pop culture, not because I dislike you. Plus, your accents make everything funny. Also, I think Dennis Lehane has child rape issues.
Everyone ready to discuss? Knives out!