Poo Puff Push

Home » Posts tagged 'Favorites 2007'

Tag Archives: Favorites 2007

best movie of the year?

That’s tough. I have three favorites, two I’ve already written about and the third one isn’t quite a comedy so I couldn’t toss it in that category.

My top three movies of this year, in a tie for first place are:

The Darjeeling Limited
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

These three movies together show why I love some movies more than others. They all have themes and visual metaphors and some beautiful cinematography. The way that India was filmed and talked about in Darjeeling was beautiful. The way that the brothers never changed clothes yet had all of their fathers’ luggage was beautiful. Some critics said that it was Wes Anderson doing a parody of Wes Anderson. But I say they can go fuck themselves. This was probably his best film, edging out the Royal Tenenbaums. He’s definitely one of my favorite film makers and this, so far, was his pinnacle. He was able to capture everything about being a family so perfectly. And the way that they were able to finally let go their grief about their father’s death was awesome. They realized that they couldn’t get on the train, continue on their journey, with all the (literal) baggage of their father. So they just threw it off them and watched it fade from view.

And I liked that the three of them had their things that they could hide behind. Francis had his bandages and the most visible damage, Jack had his moustache and his words and Peter had his Father’s sunglasses that, even though they were the wrong prescription, he never took them off.

2007 was a great year in cinema. I hope 2008 is just as good, though I’ll be able to see less movies in the theater since I’ll be up at school most of the time. I’ll see what I can with what money I can, but I know that the Netflix cue will have plenty coming its way when some of these movies come out on DVD.

comedy 2008

Let’s talk comedy tonight, which seems to be enough of an enigmatic genre to constantly be overlooked. There is a lot of art in making people laugh, but there is also a lot of non-art. I tend to think that people (and Oscar voters alike) would be able to discern what is comedy and what is bullshit, but not often people do. That’s why Meet the Spartans was tops at the box office this weekend. Why Meet the Spartans was even made. So let’s get to the comedies that I think fall into the opposite category of actually funny movies–movies that made me laugh.

This is not to say that I don’t exclusively enjoy good comedic films. One of my favorite comedies is Dodgeball, for instance, which probably falls into the same category as Meet the Spartans: kind of funny, sophomoric and not much substance. Not much art in the film making itself. But there were some damn good funny movies that came out this year, so let’s get down to bidniss.

4) Aquateen Hungerforce Colon Movie Film For Theaters — Here’s a prime example of that shit-humor film-making. I’m such a big fan of the show, though, that this movie couldn’t help but make me laugh. It’s surprising that the non-sequitur style that their humor has was able to play out for a full 90 minutes or so. It somehow didn’t get stale, and it kept me entertained for far longer than I expected from a fifteen minute TV show.

3) Juno — this movie was just downright cute. I liked that it didn’t play to some of the Hollywood stereotypes of dickish parents who Juno has to hide her pregnancy from or that the guy who got her pregnant skips town and stops talking to her. She openly acknowledges the mistake and is willing to go through with it and to give this child the best life she can. There are definitely some interesting subplots and the whole movie is rife with awesomeness.

2) Knocked Up — Judd Apatow knows what he’s doing. This movie is one that was made by someone who knows how to make me laugh. Knows how to make a comedy with realistic and well done characters. I liked that this movie was sappy and funny and mean and honest all at the same time. Seth Rogen really showed that he can be a leading man, and one that I’d never want to get impregnated by.

1) Superbad — I have such a connection to this movie that it would have been hard to not give it #1. In High School, I was Seth a lot of the time, it seemed like. Aside from the drive to get laid, I was the loud mouth, vulgar kid in high school, constantly trying to find a girlfriend. And my best friend was Evan. The names in the movie should be changed for clarity, but it’s the truth. He talls and skinny and awkward–not so much anymore, but, still, at the time the movie came out, the characters spoke to us because we’ve been in that same situation before. We’ve never gone on a booze hunt or anything, but the whole having to cope with a separation that is looming after spending two years sitting around and talking about nothing. I enjoyed this movie, and it helped that it was funny as hell.

westerns, horror, animated 2008

So last year, I did a straight top ten list of my favorite movies… But this year, I’m going to give out “awards” and then choose my favorite of the year.

In 2007, I saw 41 new films. That’s nothing compared to what some reviewers see in a single month, but it’s still a solid amount of movies to make an opinion out of. But I know I’ve missed some really good ones and a lot of the movies I saw this year were ones I finally got around to seeing (like Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, the Prestige, Factotum, The Saddest Music in the World, etc).

2007 also had a solid amount of Westerns released–all of which I dragged my friends to. There were three typical westerns (There Will Be Blood, 3:10 to Yuma, and the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and one atypical neo-western (No Country for Old Men). So, the first category will be “BEST NEW WESTERN,” and it will be a shoot-out between these four films.

4) 3:10 TO YUMA — A great, badass, slick movie. Christian Bale has really come into his own as an actor and I really enjoyed all the various elements of this film involving his son and Russell Crowe’s character and how everything ended. There was nothing overly magical about this movie: it was rough and quintessentially western.

3) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford — You choose the show-time you wish to see the movie knowing its ending, you buy the tickets knowing the ending, you sit through the movies 2 and a half hours knowing the ending. So why did people subject themselves to this movie? Because it’s a commentary on today’s culture of Thirsty Scavengers looking for any and everything they can read about their favorite stars. All the gossip, all the trash, is contained in this film and is embodied by Casey Affleck’s character who in the kills Jesse James and then subsequently lets it eat him alive. What we let consume us will eventually finish us off. We always let the beast in, but it’s our choice whether it escapes with everything we have. And this movie tried to get at people in the same way, as if to say, “Do you see what you’re doing to the actors? They’re just people, goddammit!” And having Brad Pitt play Jesse James was a priceless meta tool through this whole movie-game of “Look at yourselves.”

2) There will be blood — Daniel Plainview is a sick, sick, asshole of a man. I don’t even know if he is a man, but instead an embodiment of greed. That can’t be true though, because there are moments in this film where that hard shell of meanness and money crack and you see that he really does love his adopted son. Eli Sunday is his synthetic opposite–he wants all the same things: money power and fame and control over the people, but he’s chosen the religious route instead of the Black Gold Route. This movie is long and slow and it tears at your patience, but if you’re able to sit through it without getting up and going out for a smoke or leaving altogether, you’ll come to realize that this is a great multi-character study set against a beautiful backdrop of the old west.

1) No Country for Old Men — The neo-western wins out. Why? Because I love how scary Anton Chigurh (as played by Javier Bardem) is in this movie. He made me shit my pants every time he spoke. He made me cry everytime he killed someone with his compressed airgun thing that they used to use to kill cows (see that creepy scene in the van in Texas Chainsaw Massacre). And Llewellyn Moss(as played by Josh Brolin) isn’t his antithesis, but instead, his equal. One who will kill and exploit to get out of his situation and do whatever it takes to bring vigilante justice. And one step behind is Tommy Lee Jones’ character as the elder sheriff, slowly realizing that this world is going darker and darker and darker by the moment and there’s nothing he can do about it. He hates it, but he knows that if he continues to work, it will just eat him. So he retires. And that’s how the movie ends. In anti-climax and letdowns galore. It was a big slap in the face to the viewers who wanted the final shootout and to have some sort of justice prevail. But that’s just more blood for the sake of it.

So those were the Westerns released this year, and the one that wasn’t even really a Western was my favorite. But it grew on me after I read a National Geographic article about how crazy West Texas is. This lady there lives at the end of a 40 mile dead-end road. No shit. People there are weird, and the murders are even worse.

Next up are the Horror awards. If I didn’t have to choose movies that were released in 2007 but instead the ones I saw in 2007, the award would go to Dawn of the Dead, the original from 1978. That’s one hell of a horror movie. Or it would go to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a beautifully atmospheric horror movie where not everything is killed by a chainsaw.

But I have to go with movies that were released this year, and so the list is as follows:

5) Planet Terror — Funnier and more fun that it was scary, but it exuded all the right horror elements: sex and gore and violence. It was great as a setup into Death Proof and as the first half of Grindhouse. But I don’t know about it away from the overall experience. However, there were some really good performances and some really great scares throughout the film.

4) 30 Days of Night — Scared the crap out of me. Maybe it was because all day I was psyching myself out for it by saying, “I’m going to get scared, I’m going to get scared” but it was actually really creepy. The methodology of the vampires didn’t seem to make any sense. Why would they want to kill everyone on the first night and then starve? Is a 29-day Disco Dance Party that much fun with out sustenance? Maybe it is, but I’m just hypothesizing. The scares were there but not much else was…

3) 1408 — Overall, not the best movie. However, I have to admit that I do have a soft spot of John Cusack after he was in High Fidelity. His character has a lot of skepticism and doubt going through this project, and all of it is torn apart by this single room of horror. Stephen King knows what we hate, and he does a great job of writing them. And then people do an even better job translating it onto the screen. Unless it’s DreamCatcher. That movie sucked.

2) El Orfanato — A horror movie in the vein of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Everything is scary but you don’t know why. The atmosphere just simply exudes fear. And the last third of the movie is when everything kicks into high gear and it just straight up kicks your ass.

1) 28 Weeks Later — I have to admit something else: I also have a soft spot for zombies. The zombies in the original “Dead” trilogy where this movie and its predecessor draw a lot from are scary in their ominous way, loafing around and gaining in numbers. The zombies in these movies RUN. They RUN. And that’s probably the scariest thing is that these zombies will sprint after you and chase you and keep at you until you fall and they have at you. One reviewer was right in saying that this movie makes you want to get into shape. Y’know, just in case something like that happened. But it wasn’t even the zombies that brought this movie to the top of the horror list. It was the US Government and the whole idea that they were running less from the zombies and more from the people who have a total moral and ethical code within them. But they’re trained opposite, trained in rage, and thusly become zombies to “The Man.” That idea fascinated me, for sure.

And let’s run out the one animated feature of the year that deserves any sort of mentioning….

Talking Rats! Talking Rats! I love Ratatouille. It was a great kids film about striving to be your best no matter the obstacles, no matter whose hair you have to pull (har de har). This film was so broad-base emotional that you couldn’t help but let Remy and his struggles wiggle their way under the door sill into your heart.

Okay. Comedy tomorrow or tonight. In a different post.