It is time for my finale of this episode of King Sized Blogs. From what I have seen, it has been popular - so maybe Greg and I will try this before next January. If you want to read the past editions of my blog, feel free to browse. If you want to read Greg's go ahead and click here. So this is my favorite item to review - movies. Well, that and restaurants. This year, I am getting back into the swing of movie viewing. And they weren't all animated! Between the theater and DVD, I saw 20 new movies this year, so I feel better than last year when I saw 7. Of course, 2007 I may pass that 20 before the summer is out. If you want to read my full review of any of these films, just click on the title. It will take you to my Rotten Tomatoes Movie Review Journal. So, here is my list of Most Enjoyable, Most Disappointing, and Other Movie News.
MOST ENJOYABLE MOVIES
The Good Shepherd: I have not seen all of the main contenders for the Oscars, and I may see some more of them as they come out on video. But, to me, this was the film of the year. Matt Damon led an amazing cast of actors in a gripping story of the birth of CIA. Instead of it being just a criticism of the government and the secrets it holds, it was more an examination of how far one man will go to uphold what he believes to be right. Matt Damon's portrayal of Edward Wilson was haunting in its simplicity. He was a man who sacrificed everything for the "greater good" - only to discover that perhaps the cost was too much. I think this movie is getting wronged in how it is overlooked for awards. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Cars: Pixar has made a habit of creating amazing stories and films. There isn't a rotten one in the bunch. While Cars may not be the most exciting or the most funny, it was the most beautiful. The entire film was a work of art. There were so many points that I just shook my head and couldn't believe that the film was animated. Sure, the story at some points sounded like it was ripped off from Doc Hollywood. But the characters were rich, the landscape was richer, and the movie just made you feel good. My son would have voted this film number one by a landslide.
Casino Royale: Bond returns, or should I say Bond Begins. This reboot of the series was just about as successful as the new Batman film, and just about as good. Daniel Craig was absolutely riveting as the new Bond. The story still had breath-taking action sequences, but it was not one extended special effect or explosion. The stripped down approach let us see Bond the way most people fell in love with him - as a master SPY first, and a action hero second. I couldn't get over how good Craig was - and the final scene was just about the coolest thing I've seen all year.
The Holiday: Sure, let the sissy jokes started in the music issue continue. Yes, this is classified as a "chick flick." But it was good - and funny. And Kate Winslet was in it. Winslet and Eli Wallach put out their standard awesome performances. And hit and miss actors Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Rufus Sewell all nailed their roles - toning down what makes them so annoying. This movie was far from the best movie, but it was certainly enjoyable.
MOST DISAPPOINTING MOVIES
Miami Vice: The show was a televsion benchmark. The movie was absolutely forgettable. It was too dark to see, too muddled to understand (accent-wise), and too stupid to enjoy. I could say that it wasn't disappointing because I didn't expect much. But I was disappointed that I wasted three hours of my life. Absolute trash.
The Break Up: This movie was a true disappointment. First of all, it wasn't funny ... at ... all. Vince Vaughn's character wasn't endearing in his obnoxiousness or funloving. He was just a big doofus. I couldn't stand watching him - or this film. Every person in this movie gets a permanent black mark on their record.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Hold your fire, mateys. Yes, this movie took in more money than Luxembourg. But I expected so much more. It tried to trump the last film by making everything bigger and crazier and uglier and wilder and more explosive. Instead, it was such a drain. There was no time to ever let anything sit and rest. Even a roller coaster has flat parts. Each scene tried to be more over the top than the last. At the end, I just sat there and stared at the screen, wondering what the heck happened. Most disappointing highly-anticipated sequel since Matrix Reloaded.
Little Miss Sunshine: They could have called this Little Miss Depression. It is hillarious, everyone said. It is uproarious, everyone said. It is Oscar worthy, everyone said. It was stupid and depressing, I said. Ridiculous.
OTHER MOVIE NOTES
RV: This movie was so stupid that I can't believe that these actors used to be good. When singer Jo Jo is the one who appears to be working the hardest, you have problems. What happened to Robin Williams' Oscar bait roles? You can't call this disappointing because I knew it would suck.
Superman Returns, XMen: The Last Stand: Each of these movies was enjoyable and disappointing in their own rights. Superman was better than people made it out to be, and could have been great if Kate Bosworth had not wandered into the casting office. XMen was nowhere near as bad as people made it out to be. But it could have been better if Bryan Singer had not bolted to Superman. In the end, there was just much potential in both, with too little realization of it. Neither were bad. Neither were great. Typical comic book movies.
If you want to see what else I though about the 2006 movies, just go to the Rotten Tomatoes Journal. I can't wait to see what gets nominated, so I can see which "great" movies I didn't get around to seeing - and have no desire to see. I will post my response to that when it happens. So Greg, what do you think?