We’ve now reached the two-thirds mark in the 2008 calendar — eight months down, four to go. Which means it’s time for another update of the best, worst and in-betweens. I’ve mentioned 87 films here (not counting no-sees). There have been fifteen, I believe, that deserve to be called creme de la creme.
Best So Far (in order of excellence): Man on Wire, WALL*E, The Dark Knight, Tell No One, The Bank Job, The Visitor, Shine a Light, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, Young @ Heart, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, Son of Rambow, In Search of a Midnight Kiss. (15) If you add 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (the latter technically being an ’07 film even though it opened on January 23), the total is 16.
Decent, Solid, Respectable: In Bruges, Stop-Loss, The Band’s Visit, Cassandra’s Dream, Frozen River, Cloverfield, War, Inc., Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Incredible Hulk, Taxi to the Dark Side, Chicago 10, The Counterfeiters, Then She Found Me, Standard Operating Procedure, Red, Battle for Haditha, Speed Racer (more for its ambitious and mostly unique visual design than for what it actually was altogether), Surfwise, Encounters at the End of the World, Elegy, OSS117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, The Edge of Heaven, Mongol, Irina Palm. (24)
Only Saw Half Of It, Liked It Somewhat, Intend to Try Again: Trans-Siberian. (1)
Contains Some of the Worst (i.e., Most Infuriating) Whip-Pan Amateur Video Photography in the History of Motion Pictures: Trouble The Water (1).
Best Ridiculous-Machismo Action Movie of the year: Rambo. (1)
One of the Worst Third Acts in Motion Picture History: Hancock (1)
Fairly Good Doc with Awful ’60s and Early ’70s Rock Music Soundtrack (due to being oppressively “classic rock”-ish): Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (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 (2)
Passable but Mostly Negligible (in order of preference): Be Kind Rewind, Bottle Shock, Semi-Pro, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Wackness, 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), Henry Poole Is Here, Kung Fu Panda, Get Smart, Street Kings, Garden Party. (15)
Worst So Far (in order of awfulness): Mamma Mia!, Wanted, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Sex and the City, Meet Dave, Star Wars: The Clone Wars,10,000 B.C., Vantage Point, Mad Money, 88 Minutes, Hamlet 2, My Blueberry Nights, The Hottie and the Nottie, Chapter 27, Step Brothers, The Love Guru, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Deception, Drilllbit Taylor, College Road Trip, Smart People, What Happens in Vegas, Reprise. (23)
Didn’t See ‘Em: Lou Reed’s Berlin, Death Defying Acts, Eight Miles High, The House Bunny, Beautiful Losers, Beer For My Horses, City of Men, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, Married Life, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Redbelt, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2, The Fall, The Foot Fist Way, Babylon A.D., College, Disaster Movie, I Served the King of England, My Mexican Shivah, Sukiyaki Western Django (21)