Monday, May 25, 2009

The Best and Worst Films of 2008

May 25, 2009

The Films of 2008

It has taken me almost six months after the New Year to catch up with all the films from 2008 that I wanted to watch before making my final best and worst of the year lists. Please note that I have yet to see Che: Part Two--once I see that film, I will post a link here.

I saw 96 films from 2008--not bad for someone with a full-time job!

Here are the films that would have placed somewhere between 11 and 20 on my best of the year list. They are in alphabetical order.

The Class

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

The Edge of Heaven

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

In Bruges

Let the Right One In

Slumdog Millionaire

The Visitor

Waltz with Bashir

Wendy and Lucy

I also want to point out ten other films that I truly appreciated. Many of these films would have made my top 20 or top 10 list if they didn’t have a couple of flaws. Overall, the following are must sees, and they are in no particular order: Encounters at the End of the World, Man on Wire, Snow Angels, Burn After Reading, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Frozen River, Trouble the Water, A Christmas Tale, Doubt and WALL-E.

Now for the worst of the worst! I’ll continue my practice from last year by giving these films an “also known as” title.

10. Religulous (aka Members of a Truck Stop Pentecostal Church and a Hip-Hop Muslim Militant Are Worth Interviewing For Credible Examples Regarding the Dangers of Religion)

9. Tell No One (aka Just Cause It’s French Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Suck)

8. Mongol (aka This Movie Would Rock If No One Spoke)

7. Appaloosa (aka This Movie Would Rock If No One Spoke and It Wasn’t Lit)

6. Twilight (aka Vampires Playing Quidditch… I Mean Baseball)

5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (aka Alien 4)

4. Redbelt (aka I’d Rather Let My Pants Sag)

3. I’ve Loved You So Long (aka All the Character Development of a Bazooka Joe Comic… Also See Number 9’s aka)

2. The Wackness (aka I Love the 90’s and I’m Stoned)

1. High School Musical 3 (aka Go Upstairs Kids and Bring Down Mommy’s Checkbook)

I will admit that the bad movies I saw from 2008 were relatively not that bad. As a matter of fact, HSM 3 would only be number 6 on the worst of 2007 list. Don’t get me wrong, though--High School Musical 3 was painful to sit through! I guess it’s my own fault for choosing to watch it in the first place!

And now, out of almost 100 films, here are the 10 best! They are all available on DVD.

10. Happy-Go-Lucky

9. The Dark Knight

8. Rachel Getting Married

7. Chop Shop
(note: I only gave Chop Shop 4 ½ stars when I first reviewed it. I’ve since seen it two more times, and now I deem it a 5 star film. It deserves to be called one of the 10 best of the year!)

6. My Winnipeg

5. The Wrestler

4. Flight of the Red Balloon

3. Milk

2. Mister Lonely

1. Paranoid Park

Even though it was only the 10th film I saw from 2008, nothing I’ve seen since Paranoid Park has been better. Gus Van Sant (pictured above) certainly had a great year, directing my first and third favorite films! Paranoid Park is quite possibly the perfection of the independent arthouse film, while Milk is quite possibly the perfection of the biopic.

I do want to point out 2007's second best film of the year--4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. It was released in Los Angeles for one week in December of 2007. Because of this, it was included in many Best of 2008 lists. If I decided to include it this year, it would be either number one or number two. 4 Months is certainly a punishing film, but it's a masterpiece nonetheless!

Thanks for reading! Keep commenting! What are your favorite/least favorite films from 2008?