Friday, January 09, 2009

Favorite Movies Seen in 2008

With 2008 over and 2009 starting, I've been putting together a few lists of favorites from the year. Putting this list together made me realize I've been remiss in my movie reviews and missed a few/bunch. I'll remedy that in '09.

Without further ado, here's a few of my favorite movies seen in 2008.

The Dark Knight
I've always loved Batman...I was a big fan of the Batman films of the 90s and I've continued to love the new series. Christian Bale is doing an amazing job and the storylines and acting are wonderful. Heath Ledger was stunning and utterly creepy as the Joker. I'm bummed that we won't see more of him, but hopefully whoever picks up the trail will still do well.
The Dark Knight was definitely Dark. The Scarecrow from Batman Begins explored the darkness a bit, but not as much as we saw here. I loved the contrast between the Joker, Two-Face and Batman. The writing and directing really created a very cool tension between them and left you thinking.

My Review

I took my kids to see Wall-E over the summer and I enjoyed it more than I thought I might. The character of Wall-E was so adorable and endearing, I was smiling about him again and again. The 'adult' message of the film felt a little much at times, but that was from an adult didn't bother the kids (or rather, it didn't interfere with their entertainment). Wall-E is another of the many home runs from the Pixar crew. Wonderful film.

My Review

Prince Caspian
While I didn't enjoy Caspian as much as Lion/Witch/Wardrobe, I still had a ton of fun with this movie. I'm spending time this year re-reading through the Narnia series to keep it fresh...we're reading Caspian right now. I love the Narnia world and the good ideals it lays out. Great film. I look forward to seeing these continue.

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
I love the humor from the folks at Big Idea who make these Veggie Tales films. This movie was very fun to watch. It was filled with tons of creative storytelling and wonderful fable-like-morals. I loved the writing and the acting. We rented this on DVD and I watched the commentary which was also hilarious as it was done not by the directors/animators/voice-artists, but rather by the characters I had a lot of fun watching this and recommend it as a fun family cartoon film.

Quantum of Solace
I've loved Bond for as long as I can remember. I was a little nervous when Daniel Craig took the role since he felt a little (lot) stiff and harsh as compared with the smirky Bonds of the past. With the new writing and direction, he's filled Bond's shoes admirably. In fact, for the stories we're exploring, only a harsh/driven/stoic Bond would do.
I really enjoyed Quantum but felt like it wasn't as tight a story as it should have been. The mission was a little loose in terms of direction. I missed having a harsh central villain character. While they had a villainous head for Bond to chase, the real villain was never exposed...or rather, the villainous group. At the beginning of the movie, Mr. White alludes to the organization and escapes. That seems to be Bond's initial focus and it's referenced a few times through the movie, but it wasn't ever given anything meaty enough to placate me appropriately.
It's as though the writers thought up a great conspiracy group (did they forget about SPECTRE?) and then had to finish the movie before they really figured out the ins and outs of the they dangled meaningless clues about it and then pushed out a mediocre plot to dangle us along and give themselves another years to figure out the conspiracy.
Despite that criticism, I really enjoyed the movie and I'm really enjoying seeing this new Bond develop. Like Narnia, I'm working my way through Flemming's books (although the current Bond has departed from the novels) and having fun there too.

And there you have a couple of my favorite movies from the past year.


The Munkies said...

i LOVE all the batman movies. i was deeply moved by heath ledger's performance and even laughed out loud at his brilliance. i could watch the Dark Knight over and over again!

Okie said...

Definitely amazing. We picked up Dark Knight for Christmas...I need to watch it again. It was fabulous.