Movies - ahhhh, I love them so. This year was a great one for me. Thanks to several factors, I saw more movies than I had in years. First of all, my kids were older, so it was easier to get babysitters (well, until the newest kid showed up). Second, I traveled for conferences and such several times. And, as anyone can attest who travels for work, there ain't a whole lot to do in between meetings. But, just about every city has a movie theater. Third, a bunch of guys at our new church go to movies during the week after the kids are in bed - and then swap off so the wives can go another day. Fourth, we moved and our new cable operator has On Demand, so I can see movies through that. As a result, I actually saw twenty movies so far, with hopefully some more soon.
Anyway, instead of the traditional BEST and WORST splits, I am going to do my Movie Review for 2007 my way. That will serve as the Best and Worst. Trust me, you'll see.
WHAT MAKES ME THINK DISNEY ANIMATION MAY BE BACK ON TRACK
ENCHANTED - This sweet, funny, modern twist on the classic fairy tale was genius and amazing. Here's hope that his can carry over in Disney's other offerings under the new Pixar management.
WHAT MAKES ME THINK DISNEY ANIMATION STILL HAS A WAY TO GO
MEET THE ROBINSONS - Moronic, predictable, and it didn't even follow the basic rules of sci-fi and time travel. How can you screw that up? Go watch Star Trek or Back to the Future. It isn't that hard. I gave it a much better review than it deserved because I was desperate to watch movies. Now, I realize how dumb it was.
AT WHAT POINT DO WE STOP WAITING FOR PIXAR TO SCREW UP AND JUST REALIZE THEY ARE BEYOND BRILLIANT?
RATATOUILLE - It is a movie about rats . . . in restaurants . . . with French people. It couldn't be cross-promoted with restaurants. There were very few toys and merchandise. But it could, possibly, be the best Pixar movie ever made. It couldn't rely on those other things, like toy cars I still am buying for my son. It just had a great story, real humor and emotion, and a beautiful look. Rats never looked so good. Neither did French people.
IF MORE DOCUMENTARIES WERE THIS INTERESTING, MAYBE I WOULD CARE MORE ABOUT WATCHING THEM.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON - This truly fascinating look at the men who made up the moon missions. Great footage. Insightful interviews. I was hooked from the very beginning and stayed that way until the very end. I would rank it in the Top Five for the year, you know, if I was doing this that way.
THE FIRST MOVIE I WALKED OUT OF IN NEARLY TEN YEARS
GHOST RIDER - It made a ton of money and continued the madness that has people convinced Nic Cage is a movie star. But I walked out about 20 minutes in. I knew the concept, and knew that there would be some disturbing elements. But, geez, what a horrible start. Bad acting, worse effects, and just an overwhelming sense of evil. And that was just Cage. The rest of it was just as bad.
CAN WE FINALLY STOP MAKING THESE DISGUSTING MOVIES? HAVE ALL THE WEIRDOS WHO LIKE THEM GOTTEN THER FILL OF VIOLENCE AND TORTURE?
SAW IV, CAPTIVITY, HOSTEL II - I don't watch these films. I never will. I find them revolting, and am disgusted that they even exist.
BEST MOVIE OF 2007
BOURNE ULTIMATUM - Call me common or easily impressed, but since I (along with most people in America) won't see any of the movies that are nominated for Oscars, what's wrong with naming this film the best? It was unbelievable. Between this film and last year's The Good Shepherd, Matt Damon is showing that he can do more with no words than most actors can with entire monologues. And that will get him nothing from the awards, because they want scenery chewing and over the top parts. Everything about this movie was great - from the premise to the screenplay to the acting to the action to the look.
BEST COMEBACK IN A SERIES
OCEANS THIRTEEN - I loved the first one, learned to like the second one, and thought the third one was brilliant. It took a chance by going back to visit its greatest success. That could have just served to highlight its failure, if it had missed the mark. Instead, it kept the fun and excitement of the first movie, lost the preening of the second one, and added in some more nifty elements. Good job by all.
SECOND BEST COMEBACK IN A SERIES
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD - Everything about this was flashing big bright "STAY AWAY - BIG FAILURE AHEAD" signs. It had been years since the last film. No one was asking for this one. They edited to a PG-13. And Bruce Willis is as hit and miss as you can get. Instead, by adding in Justin Long, wild stunts, and a frightening realistic premise, the film was crazy fun.
THIRD BEST COMEBACK IN A SERIES
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - This is really just an indictment of the second film. There was no reason that any of these movies should have sucked. I'm just glad they didn't pull a Matrix by blowing both sequels.
HOPING TO WIN THE COMEBACK AWARD NEXT YEAR
SPIDERMAN 3 and SHREK THE THIRD - These movies were disappointing for different reasons. Spiderman wasn't bad, it just was not want people wanted. Shrek seemed to lose the mojo it had in the first two. Either way, neither series is in too much danger.
MOVIES WORTH EVERY PENNY
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
MOVIES WORTH RENTAL PENNIES
DIE HARD 4
BLADES OF GLORY
MOVIES BARELY WORTH A PENNY
MEET THE ROBINSONS
SHREK THE THIRD
MOVIES NOT WORTH A PENNY
MOVIES WAITING ON MY PENNIES
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF SILVER SURFER
NATIONAL TREASURE 2
I AM LEGEND