We’re a few days away from a full six months having passed in the year 2008, and so it’s time to briefly assess the best, worst and in-betweens. It’s understood I’ll be leaving a few off that I should (and will) be adding to this or that category once the outraged responses come in, but these are the films that popped out when I sorted them all through. I’ve only mentioned 63 films here. There have been at least nine, I believe, that deserve to be called creme de la creme, but maybe I’m forgetting one or two.
Best So Far (in order of excellence): A tie between WALL*E and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (the latter technically being an ’07 film even though it opened on January 23), The Bank Job, The Visitor, Shine a Light, Iron Man, Young @ Heart, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Son of Rambow. (9)
Decent, Solid, Respectable: In Bruges, Stop-Loss, The Band’s Visit, Cassandra’s Dream, Cloverfield, War, Inc., The Incredible Hulk, Taxi to the Dark Side, Chicago 10, The Counterfeiters, Then She Found Me, Standard Operating Procedure, Battle for Haditha, Speed Racer (more for its ambitious and mostly unique visual design than for what it actually was), Surfwise, Encounters at the End of the World, OSS117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, The Edge of Heaven, Mongol, Irina Palm. (20)
Best Ridiculous-Machismo Action Movie of the year: Rambo. (1)
Flawed Film, Genuinely Creepy Vibe, Righteous Theme: The Happening (1)
Best Stupid-Ass Adam Sandler Attitude Comedy In Years: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. (1)
Loathsome but Respectable: Funny Games. (1)
Not Bad but Also Bothersome, Irritating: The Tracey Fragments, The Babysitters. (I need to add to this list.) (2)
Passable but Mostly Negligible (in order of preference): Be Kind Rewind, Semi-Pro, The Other Boleyn Girl, Leatherheads, Nim’s Island, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (galumph aesthetic, penis shots), 21, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (fastest fading movie of the year, death-button upon second viewing), Kung Fu Panda, Get Smart, Street Kings. (11)
Worst So Far (in order of awfulness): Wanted, Sex and the City, 10,000 B.C., Vantage Point, Mad Money, 88 Minutes, My Blueberry Nights, The Hottie and the Nottie, Chapter 27, The Love Guru, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Deception, Drilllbit Taylor, College Road Trip, Smart People, What Happens in Vegas, Reprise. (17)
Didn’t See ‘Em: City of Men, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, Married Life, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Redbelt, The Fall, The Foot Fist Way.