Wow, is it the end of the year already? Time sure does fly by, doesn’t it? It feels like I just started writing for Filmonic a few days ago. Granted, the site itself hasn’t been around that long, but I still can’t believe how quickly time has gone.
Much like every other movie news site on the Internet, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon, and give you my best and worst movies of 2007. A lot of good movies came out this year, along with a lot of bad ones. I’m not going to waste any more of your time, so I’m just going to jump write in.
5. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End – I really, really, really wanted to like this movie. I really did. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see it in the theatres, but did manage to catch it the second it came out on DVD. Disney really struck gold (no pun intended) with the first Pirates. What started as a promotional vehicle for a Disney ride turned into a fantastic film. It had the perfect blend of action, comedy, and theme park nostalgia to it. Even Dead Man’s Chest managed to come out better than the original film. It looked as if Disney had a great trilogy on their hands. Unfortunately for them, though, they tried way to hard with this final installment. It suffered from many of the same problems the other ‘threequels’ had this summer, each of which was convoluted beyond recognition. Too many plot points, not enough action (minus the final half hour), and an even more surreal Captain Jack Sparrow (what the hell happened with him?) made this film drag its feet. Though it worked out well for the second film, not having a completed draft of the script before production started definitely hurt this film in the end. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this movie; it had a lot of things to it that I liked. But with the past two efforts being so top notch, this film could have been so much better.
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres – I’m a fan of the television series. Watching this show in 15 minute segments, like intended, does wonders for it. However, stretch those 15 minutes into nearly an hour and a half, and you get a mess. Granted, Aqua Teen never makes sense to begin with. Each episode is a random mess of plot points that come and go as they please. But god damn is it funny. However, carrying this method over to the film made it way too hard to watch and understand. I probably wouldn’t have minded so much if they jokes were fresh and funny, but even most of them were rehashed versions of things we have heard before. Even a Bruce Campbell cameo couldn’t save this movie.
3. 30 Days Of Night – This has got to be one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. The source material should have made one hell of a script. However, that was not the case. For a vampire movie, it was just…boring. I was honestly bored for at least half of the movie’s running time. And when you’re bored, you lose interest. Sure, it was bloody as hell, but even that couldn’t salvage the fact that the film itself was terrible. Sorry, Steve Niles, but your graphic novel masterpiece is nothing but a piece of crap.
2. The Number 23 – Jim Carrey should probably rethink his choices at the moment. I get that he was trying to do something different with his career, but this was a terrible choice. There was way too much going on, I didn’t care about the characters at all, and the end just smacks you in the face with its logic. It also couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a comedy, a horror film, or a psychological thriller. And those goddamn numbers haunted my dreams for a week after I saw it.
1. The Golden Compass – Let me just say right off the bat that I absolutely LOVE the His Dark Materials trilogy. The books are fantastic, and I couldn’t wait for this film to come out. It looked fantastic in the trailers, and I couldn’t wait to see one of my favorite books adapted for the screen. And then I saw it. And it was a complete mess. Everything I loved about the books was taken out. The actors were annoying (especially the lead), the characters were two dimensional, and the polar bear fight lasted all of 2 minutes. Granted, the fight DID kick ass, but everything else about the film was terrible. New Line wanted another Lord of the Rings success with this movie, but unfortunately, they failed. The next two books are never going to be made into movies now…unless, of course, someone else comes along and adapts them properly.
10. Hot Fuzz – I think the team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost is equal to absolute comic gold. Shaun of the Dead, definitely one of the best horror comedies of all time. Though not as funny as their first effort, Hot Fuzz still managed to bring the laughs and spoof every action film ever made. It was definitely crafted well, and followed the boundaries of the ‘buddy cop, action movie’ to a T. They even managed to up the ante of the violence quota, and have one of the best gun shootouts in the history of film. That alone puts it in the Top 10 for me.
9. Spider-Man 3 – I’ll probably get some flack for this one, but I don’t care. Yet again, this is one of this summer’s blockbusters that suffered from the ‘threequel’ disease. Granted, not nearly as good as the first two films, I still think Spider-Man 3 pulled it off better than the others. Aside from some of its ridiculous sequences, and way too much happening, I definitely think this provided some good closure on some of the arcs started in the first two films. It also had some pretty neat action sequences as well. Plus, I love me some Spidey, so of course it gets on here.
8. Grindhouse – What started as a great experiment for two talented filmmakers turned horribly wrong at the box office. However, Tarantino and Rodriquez did accomplish what they set out to do. And they did it quite well. These movies definitely paid homage to the grindhouse films of old, and was a great throw back. This is probably one of the few movies where I didn’t mind the rest of the audience screaming at the screen. That’s how it was meant to be seen. It may have been a bit on the long side, but it was definitely worth it. I can’t wait for the triple disc DVD that should be coming out soon.
7. 300 – Definitely a ‘guy movie’ on every level. On top of the fact that the movie was badass in general, it also pioneered us to a new level of filmmaking. What Rodriquez started in Sin City, Snyder perfected in 300. The things he accomplished with the green screen are beyond amazing. And it wasn’t just all bells and whistles, too. The man crafted a fine film underneath it all, and for that, he should be respected. Plus, because of this, we are now getting a Watchmen movie. Sweet.
6. Beowulf – Digital animation like this has come a long way since The Polar Express. This movie looked gorgeous. Everyone thought the best thing about this movie was going to be the way it looked. But they were wrong. There was an honest to god movie underneath it all. And not only was there a movie, but it was damn good, too. Fantastic script and mind-blowing visuals made this movie work on every level. Not to mention the fact that seeing it in 3D made it kick all sorts of more ass.
5. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix – Before I saw this movie, I absolutely hated the Harry Potter films. To me, they were kid’s movies, and nothing more. Boring pieces of fluff. I never even read any of the books. But then Phoenix changed everything. It not only brought on a darker tone to the series, but it was no longer for children. It was utterly fantastic, and well crafted. This film inspired me to actually read the books, and see what all the fuss was about. I am very glad that director David Yates is doing the next film as well, because he did a most excellent job.
4. Superbad & Knocked Up – It was a toss up here to put either Superbad or Knocked Up. But since this is my Top 10 list, I decided I had to put both. You see, both movies are on the same level for me. They’re both raunchy comedies that come the same pack that the American Pie films started. But there is so much more to these films that just that. They take it a step further, and not only make it sweet, but accessible to all ages. I love both of these films dearly, and couldn’t choose between just one. So, therefore, they both get the spot.
3. The Mist – There are two classifications of Stephen King adoptions: those that work, and those that don’t. When Frank Darabont is in charge, though, you can be damn sure that they work. Darabont managed to take King’s excellent short story and make it even better. He took the characters to a level that King didn’t even dream of when he wrote the original piece. Everything in this film, to me, was perfect. I even thought the ending was a work of pure genius. I absolutely loved it.
2. Air Guitar Nation – Some of you may not have even heard of this film, which is a shame. It’s an independent documentary about two men, C-Diddy and Bjorn Turoque, competing for air guitar supremacy. Yes, you read that correct. Air Guitar. Every year, there are regional Air Guitar competitions all over the World. Here in the US, we have over ten. These ultimately lead to the US Finals, where the winner goes on to the WORLD Air Guitar Championships in Finland. How do I know so much about this? Well, I competed in said regionals. Twice. And they are a LOT of fun. So, sure, I may be a bit biased about this movie (especially because I went to the premiere), but it really is quite excellent. Not only is it absolutely hilarious, but it’s charming and sweet. I definitely suggest picking it up on DVD!
1. Zodiac – There is a weird obsession I have with serial killers. Now, I’m not crazy. I’m not going to go out and do it myself, but something about these people have always fascinated me. The Zodiac Killer was one of the very few true crime stories that I never really did any research into (ask me about Jack The Ripper, though, and I can sprout off information like it’s nothing). I knew the basics of the story, but went into this film blind otherwise. Though the story itself is very large and filled with information, David Fincher managed to make it all, well, manageable. He recreated the world of San Francisco in the 1960s and 70s so painstakingly. He made us feel for every single one characters (even though there are a ton). He made us think about what was happening, gather all the evidence, and come to our own conclusions. Everything about this movie, I thought was fantastic. Of special note is Robert Downey Jr. He’s great in this movie. Though it may be a little on the long side, I still suggest sitting down with it, and getting lost in its story. It’s definitely worth it.
That’s all from me for now. Have a great new year everybody!