Wednesday, 7 January 2009

MOVIES - That's 2008 out of the way...

The Best Films of 2008

I'm thinking of getting back into the world of movie journalism after taking a few months off (yep, I start to study journalism and write less articles than I have at any other time in my life). What I never got a chance to do was to print my list of best films of 2008, a kind of academic pat on the back for the dross on a stick I've had to sit through.

So I'm going to do my run down now just because I can;

1) WALL-E.
Hardly any dialogue and just a smattering of show tunes and your faith in true love is restored in the sweetest heart warming film of the year.

Monster movie meets 'Blair Witch' except that something actually happens and there is a whiff of big budget. An all new yet old fashioned thrill ride that cinemas were invented for. Plus I really fancied the girl who blows up.

Not the master piece any people have said (it's too long, the boat scenes a little unnecessary and Christian Bale needs to stop with the Honey Monster impression). But having said that Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart are as excellent as everyone says. As per usual the Bat is shadowed by co-star greatness.

Bright, breezy and chock full of Robert Downey Jnr's charm. The most easily accessible pure entertainment blockbuster of the summer. Some may regard this a little throw away but it's extremely difficult to execute a film with such ease (look at the litany of other failed box office fair).

Yes, yes, yes and with extra helpings of yes. A sweet and loving tale with extra helpings of charm, invention and love of cinema. It helps that it's got Adam Buxton in it too and the brilliant french foreign exchange student Didier. Garth Jennings was back (And I still love his version of 'Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy' and anyone who says differently is wrong).

Colin FArrell is deeply watchable, that's right Colin Farrell is deeply watchable in this film from Irish playwright turned movie maker Martin McDonagh. It's the non pc treat of the year as half the cast of Harry Potter chase each other round the picaresque Bruges, swearing and blinding like troopers. Colin Farrell has never been better. Never.

Sometimes it's hard to remember the raft of great films that came out in the wake of last years award season. January and February are always littered with so much that they often seem a distant memory come the end of the year. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp excelled (again) with their take on the Stephen Sondheim musical which had me singing 'I will have vengeance... I will have salvation' in a Bowie-esque style for many a month.

The Coen's were back in 2008 with a double whammy. They picked up award after award for 'No Country For Old Men' but it was their return to mental nihilism and great named characters in 'Burn After Reading' which I really enjoyed. It's a film that takes a while to settle as you try and work out what sort of Coen's movie it is. And just when you've got a handle on it it ends with the greatest 'what was the fucking point of that?' scenes in cinematic history.

Will Ferrell reteamed with Adam McKay but seemed to get swept away in the tide of 'Tropic Thunder' and 'Pineapple Express.' It was a very good summer for big screen comedy but I'm putting 'Step Brothers' in here because it deserved a better response and also proved once more how great a comedic talent John C Reilly is. Plus any film that has 'an 80s only Billy Joel tribute band' can't be bad.

10) JUNO.
Heart warming, breaking, funny film with great soundtrack (Belle & Sebastian, Moldy Peaches, Sonic Youth etc). All mixed in with the fear of so many guys my age that we will grow into Jason Bateman's character.

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