January 3, 2009

Best of 2008

Movies! These are the best movies I saw this year (and mostly from 2008).

1. WALL-E. On the surface, this offering from Disney Pixar might seem a child's movie, but it is pure joy for the entire family. WALL-E is the last functioning waste collecting robot on a deserted Earth, who is still busy collecting garbage and recycling it, and keeping company with his energetic pet cockroach, when Eve, a reconnaissance robot sent to find proof of life on Earth, shows up. It's love at first sight, all around.

2. The Dark Knight. Can you really go wrong with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Eric Roberts and Maggie Gyllenhaal in one movie? The sequel to Batman Begins, this one easily surpasses the first in story, acting and overall entertainment value. Heath Ledger steals the show and every scene he appears in. And the ones he doesn't appear in, you wait anxiously for his return.

3. Twilight. This could have been a cheap knockoff of the best selling book. Instead, director Catherine Hardwicke gave us a faithful and beautiful adaption of Stephenie Meyer's book and created a rabid Robert Pattinson fan club. I anxiously await New Moon.

4. No Country for Old Men. Josh Brolin is a hunter who stumbles upon some dead bodies, a lot of cash and a lot of heroin in Texas. Naturally, he decides to keep it rather than alert the police, which puts Javier Bardem as one of the creepiest killers on record after him. Brolin is fantastic.

5. Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. is wealthy Tony Stark who is forced to build an amored suit in a life or death situation and decides to continue its use to fight evil. RDJ is surprisingly perfect for this part.

6. Sense and Sensibility. This mini-series is nearly as good as the Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet version and that says a lot. Jane Austen's tale of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their eventual finding of their well suited husbands.

7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Peter takes the breakup of his relationship with tv star girlfriend Sarah very hard - - so he leaves LA on a trip to Hawaii, where he encounters Sarah, her new boyfriend - - rock star Aldous Snow - - and the fun Rachel. This movie is full of laughs and a pleasant surprise.

8. Cranford. Brilliant mini-series, chock full of stunning British actors, Cranford is about the small British village of Cranford, and the goings-on of its townfolk. Judi Dench is wonderful.

9. Sex and the City. I had doubted this former t.v. series could be brought to the screen satisfyingly. I was wrong. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte return, five years later - - and the ladies are exactly where they should be. Carrie and Big are contemplating marriage, Samantha has left New York to join Smith in L.A., Miranda and Steve are contemplating divorce and Charlotte and Harry are happy parents. Jennifer Hudson is a welcome addition as Carrie's personal assistant.

10. Flawless. This little seen gem has Michael Caine and Demi Moore planning a heist in London in the 1960s. Flawless doesn't move quickly, but it is a solid, well acted little film.

No comments: