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>> Monday, August 31, 2009

It’s been a slow month for me as far as getting to see new movies go. There are a few on my list to see – Inglorious Bastards, District 9, GI Joe, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, 500 Days of Summer, and Halloween 2 (I expect it to be awful, I wasn’t a fan of the first one but I’m a fan if the series, so we’ll see). I hope to get to those eventually (probably in the cheap theatre due to budgetary restraints as of late). But most of them look promising. In the mean time, I look forward to having some summer bad movie fun tomorrow as I head to The Final Destination in 3-D. I expect this flick to be bad, but hopefully it’s fun. I have nothing against movies that can almost make fun of themselves. The director of Snakes on a Plane helms this project, so I hope he doesn’t let us down.

In the meantime however, in an effort to update my blog, and provide some substance, I’ve decided to do a very, very late review of some movies from 2008.
*These are in no particular order within each category

TOP 3:

Tropic Thunder

Robert Downey Jr. got a Best Supporting Actor nod from the Academy for his role as an Australian who plays a black man who is a soldier; Tom Cruise has sausage fingers, and Tobey McGuire pretends to be a gay Monk in a trailer preceding the film. This is one of those films, much like the Ocean series, that has a lot of great stars, who are there for no other reason than to have fun, make a movie within a movie, and do all with style and pizazz. It reminds me of a movie much like Shaun of the Dead, or Hot Fuzz - basically, a spoof movie (in this case a Vietnam flick) done right. None of this Disaster Movie crap.


It’s Pixar, Disney/Pixar. It’s like jumping into a Porsche, or walking into a Beverly Hills home. You don’t go in expecting crap, because you never get crap. This film played back to the days before talkies came along, and did it with heart, and a non-overly environmental message. Attention Evan Almighty. Wall-E was beautiful, and absolutely perfect.

The Dark Knight

I don’t think there is one Top 10 or Favourite Movie list from last year that didn’t include this film on its list. Why? Because this movie kicked ass. That’s as simple as it gets. It was funny, scary, action-packed and the acting was pristine. Do I have a hard-on for Knight? Yes! And I am proud to say it and display it. This all is taken into account before thinking about the even darker idea that Heath Ledger put so much life into the character of the Joker that it literally killed him. His performance was brilliant, and he deserved the Oscar for it. Speaking of the Oscars and Heath Ledger, I know his family had a nice 25 minute long speech prepared for him, but does that mean that they Academy couldn’t have included him in the In Memoriam thing they do every year. Like give me a break.

Honourable Mentions: Slumdog Millionaire, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, The Incredible Hulk


Disaster Movie

This film is almost so bad it barely deserves to be even mentioned here, not once, but twice (*see above). The most memorable part of this movie? The fact that it inspired my friend Dave Gassner to be Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. It was a great costume as you can see by below. Well done, Dave!
The Love Guru

No doubt Mike Myers made this film in an attempt to create another Austin Powers franchise. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Austin Powers, which might explain why a fourth one is in development. Best thing about this film, it’s nod to Canada (maybe it’s more of an insult than anything). The worst thing about this film, it’s embarrassingly bad use of Ben Kingsley, maybe the one person that could have saved this film. Actually, no, I take that back. There were a lot of people that could have made this film better – the writers, the director, the creator, the studio . . .

Hamlet 2

This film disappointed me mainly because I expected a clever and witty take on censorship. Not to mention it came to us from the producers of South Park. No, not Matt and Trey, their producers. Either way, unfortunately this movie had more heart than I would have liked or it needed, and it pretty much came off as a rip off of School of Rock, which was alright, but this just really took it lower, and made it almost . . . dare I say – boring?

Honourable Mention: Speed Racer (just because it was all crazy and Matrix-like and an okay take on the cartoon, doesn’t mean I have to like it).


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I watched it, had a good time, but it missed the magic and adventure of the first three films, and ultimately let me down. I still like it, but expected more. Perhaps over time it will grow on me more, as it has in the past year, but it still didn’t do what it could have. For a more detailed review, watch South Park: Season 12: Episode 8: The China Problem.


Iron Man

Going into this film I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just maybe some cool effects and nice story line. Simply put, it went above and beyond. This film blew – me – away. Sure, the acting is what you’d expect from Downey Jr. and Paltrow, but the CG is flawless (I could never differentiate real from not), and Downey as Stark is just, just wonderful. Sure he’s a douche, but he changes his ways, and he was always smooth and funny. Do I have a bit of a man crush on RDJ? Hells yes! Why not? He’s always been a good actor, and I look forward to seeing Iron Man 2 next year. Haven’t seen The Soloist yet, but I can’t imagine it being that bad. But this film was good enough that it’s one of a few films I can re-watch without it getting tiring. Ask my friend Luke, re-watchability is huge. You want a traditional popcorn movie? This fits the bill. It’s fun, amusing and enjoyable.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed a look back at films past! (from 2008)


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