Thursday, January 08, 2009

The 2008 Movie Post

Well, I've usually written this before the end of the year, but I guess I didn't have time to complete it or something. This is the post where I tell you what movies that were released in 2008 that I saw and try to rate them somehow in the order in which I liked them. I did this in 2007, 2006, and 2005, as well. Don't be offended if I have different opinions than you. It happens.

There weren't really any movies this year that stuck out to me. I didn't get an epiphany from any of these moves, but I did enjoy them. They were entertaining, but I wasn't really totally attached to any of them. I don't need to purchase any of them. And towards the end of this list, I had a really hard time knowing what to put on here because I didn't think I enjoyed the movies enough to put on my top ten list. You'll see what I mean.

1. Wall-E - I think that this one gets the number one position for me because it is just plain enjoyable. It has an excellent story line, great characters, and plenty of humor. I think some people would be surprised to see this at number one on my list because I didn't rave over it when it came out. And I still don't. It is a really good movie, though. If you haven't seen it, you may consider watching it. But remember, it's not THAT great. Disney/Pixar always sticks in some pretty good humor. I like that I can count on them for that, generally.

2. Iron Man - Oh geez. I can't believe that I put this at number two. How embarrassing. Oh well. I guess I'm a sucker for a well-produced superhero movie. Somehow I really enjoyed this movie. I think it's because I was not expecting Robert Downy Jr. to be any good at all. Well, he far exceeded my expectations. And you know, there's nothing like having low expectations and being pleasantly surprised. It's not as if I didn't have any eye-rolling moments or anything, but this movie stood up to multiple viewings, surprisingly enough.

3. Penelope - I didn't see this in the theater or anything, and I think this movie was just stuck in the DVD player while I was waiting for someone. I like Christina Ricci, in general, so this movie turned out pretty well for me. It is totally a cheesy chick flick. But, it was on the right side of chick flicks for me. Did you know that there's a right side and a wrong side of chick flicks? Well, there totally is. It also got me thinking. And it had some pretty good morals.

4. The Dark Knight - Well, I didn't think that this movie was as good as Batman Begins, but being a Batman movie, it had a pretty good chance of ending up on this list. I thought that Maggie Gyllenhaal was leaps and bounds better than Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. And I know that everyone raved over Heath Ledger, who was good, but I think I was more impressed with Aaron Eckhart. Or maybe it was the make-up/special effects on him. Or both. I just really liked the way that they portrayed his character. It was a very well-made movie.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Again, not as good as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but still, it was good. I think that I really like these movies because of Brother Clive S. Lewis, who did a really good job with the storylines in the books. And maybe it's because I'm sort of comparing these movies with the brief memory I have of the BBC one(s) from the 80s with the Aslan that reminded me of a stuffed animal. Hoorah for Prince Caspian. I hope they kept the same Spanish voices.

6. The Spiderwick Chronicles - This movie was a fun adventure for me. If I had seen this movie in the theater as a child, I probably would have pretended to have had a part in the movie in my mind. It really was an enjoyable film. Sure, it had the cheesy family values moments, but it only detracted a little bit from the main point of the movie, which was to have an enjoyable adventure.

7. Quantum of Solace - I really, really liked Casino Royale. As you may recall. And while this movie wasn't as good as the previous movie of this franchise (Wow... I sure seem to be saying that a lot), it was still enjoyable. Quantum of Solace was kind of like closure for Casino Royale. It's kind of a pity that, besides M, there weren't really any good female roles in the movie. But, I guess I can't expect much more from a Bond movie. Except, I liked Vesper Lynd so much! Sheesh! Come back, Vesper!

8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Insert the not-as-good comment here. It was kind of a textbook Indiana Jones movie. Yet, it still left something to be desired. I wonder if I am just too old to really appreciate the greatness of Indiana Jones in a new form? I wonder if I have built up so much hype over the series in my mind that I couldn't embrace it as a part of the great family of Indiana Jones? I wonder if I just missed Sallah and Marcus Brody too much? I mean, sure, they weren't in The Temple of Doom, but I totally loved that one as a tween. Who knows? Still good but not great. And it did make me laugh enough, so it does get the ultimate thumbs up from me.

9. Juno - Yeah, I know that this came out in 2007, but I actually saw it in the theaters in 2008, so I am counting it at a 2008 movie. I remember thinking that there were so many funny parts in this movie. The movie was totally like an awkward teenager. And like an awkward teenager, it totally works. I didn't completely agree with what the movie preached, unless it was actually preaching blue slushies. And in that case, preach on.

10. Australia - Alright. So... I didn't think that this was the greatest movie. It was tainted by Nicole Kidman for whom I have a strange inability to fully appreciate in film. I also think that I wasn't terribly sure of the theme of the movie throughout the movie. It was confusing to me. I wasn't sure where it was going. For the theme of the historical mistreatment of Aborigines, I prefer Rabbit-Proof Fence (it even has Kenneth Branagh!). For the driving of cattle, I prefer The Man from Snowy River. And for World War II, I prefer ... well, any number of movies. And while this was a whole lotta movies rolled into one, it wasn't bad. There was enough eye candy in the film, and it did an excellent job of making me hate the antagonist, which means that David Wenham did a great job. And actually, I liked it enough that I think I could watch it again sometime in the future. Because I was in a bad mood that night. For no good reason.

Other movies I saw that were released in 2008:

Twilight - I laughed and enjoyed it well enough. And the soundtrack has some pretty good stuff on it.
Cloverfield - Underwhelming. I just wouldn't have cared at all if all of the characters had died. In theory. :)
Fool's Gold - I saw this on an airplane probably flying over the ocean, and they totally cut out the part where they crashed the airplane into the ocean.
What Happens in Vegas - I am ashamed to have seen this, and I am ashamed that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
The Incredible Hulk - Didn't see the previous one. Was annoyed with Liv Tyler. Liked Edward Norton. It wasn't a great movie. The first nightmare I can recall having featured both the Easter Bunny (a scary one, okay?) and The Incredible Hulk.
Get Smart - Funny enough but not memorable.
Hancock - It was like a two-part miniseries. And I had to laugh hard at the part where Charlize Theron's character goes to try and beat up Will Smith's and arrives all sexy-like. Haha! Yeah, that'll show him!

Movies I wanted to see from 2007 that I saw:

Nancy Drew - Totally fun. Totally.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets - Yeah... so I liked it. Not as good as... nevermind.
I Am Legend - Freaky, freaky movie. And I watched it by myself. Late at night, I think. Eek!
The Golden Compass - Curse that Nicole Kidman and her grating acting!

Movies I wanted to see from 2006 that I saw:

Dreamgirls - It wasn't that great. In fact, it was kind of depressing.
The Pursuit of Happyness - What a feel-good movie.
Rocky Balboa - Okay. It was alright.
We Are Marshall - Well-made, and it made me want to cry.
Amazing Grace - Loved it.

Movies I still want to see from 2007:

Rescue Dawn - I think it's on hulu right now!

Movies I didn't necessarily want to see from 2007 but saw anyway:

P.S. I Love You - Contrary to what R.S. thought, it was not an afterthought. And also, meh.
Part of Alvin and the Chipmunks - Don't need to see the rest.
August Rush - Yeah, I appreciated the music. And it was nice. But, it was also Oliver!.
Part of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - I must have needed to see it from the beginning because I wasn't really interested in it. And also, I didn't like Natalie Portman's hair.
Dan in Real Life - Sure, it was good, but it wasn't THAT great. I heard people rave about it, but I just couldn't rave.
Lars and the Real Girl - I enjoyed this movie. Okay, Cassie. I was impressed with Ryan Gosling. And also, thanks for liking it enough to inspire me to watch it.
The Jane Austen Book Club - I don't know... it sort of creeped me out.
Into the Wild - I quite enjoyed this movie but was very frustrated with Christopher, the main character. And also, EW!
Part of The Nanny Diaries - I'm not finishing it.
Becoming Jane - I actually really enjoyed this movie. Sorry, dub.
No Reservations - Well, it dealt a lot with food, so I enjoyed it enough. But not enough for a second viewing.
Freedom Writers - A feel good movie. So sue me if I like Hilary Swank.
Premonition - Just your typical Sandra Bullock movie. i.e. The Lakehouse, Part II.
Part of Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-Day Tale - Whoa. How did that happen? And also, meh.
Meet the Robinsons - I really like it. It's nerdtastic!
Waitress - Yeah... I bear the scars of this movie. But it sure made me want to make and eat pie!

Movies I want to see from 2008:

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie
Nim's Island maybe?
Son of Rambow?
Kung Fu Panda
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Bedtime Stories?
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Did I miss anything? Do you have any recommendations? I feel so out of it because I didn't really see a ton that I was interested in.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far. And also, this post was brought to you by the phrase: "and also." And by all the movies that weren't as good as their predecessors.


Cash said...

I've heard more conflicting reviews of Kung Fu Panda this year than any other movie. Some people say it's the best of the year (and not just ALB). Others say it is dreck. Let me know what you think if you see it, Cardine.

warnser said...

I have more comments, but you seriously haven't seen Kung Fu Panda?
I mean, I've actually seen a movie that you haven't seen?


Cardine said...

Cash - I, too, have heard so many conflicting reviews of Kung Fu Panda. I think that's why I really want to see it. Is it good or is it bad?

warnser - I'm sure you've seen plenty of movies that I haven't seen!

Emily said...

Thanks for the reviews. Looks like we have a few to see :)

julie said...

I really enjoyed Penelope. Benjamin Button was good, but I probably won't see it again. Felt the same way about Quantum and Indiana Jones - not as good as their predecessors. I'm glad you enjoyed Lars and the Real Girl - I thought Ryan Gosling was amazing in it! The Waitress was kind of hard for me to watch, too. Haven't seen Kung Foo Panda and many, many other movies on your list. Shocker.

I always enjoy reading your movie list. :)

Jill - GlossyVeneer said...

I could really write an entire novel if I were to comment on everything that struck me in this post, but let me just say this...

I had never even heard of that Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-Day Tale until I read it on your site. So I had to go to the official site and watch the trailer. I laughed, I cried... and probably in completely inappropriate ways than what the filmmakers intended. Holy cow, the trailer was awful. I am amazed you sat through some of it! :-)

dub said...

I really liked Kung Fu Panda. But I liked Wall-E more.

No need to apologize for enjoying Becoming Jane. I would have to say it was probably better than most of the garbage that was released last year. 2008 was disappointing!

I agree with your comment about eye candy in Australia. Through the first half of the movie I was like, "How did HE get voted Sexiest Man Alive?" And then he showed up clean-shaven in a tux at that party and, yes, I gasped out loud, along with all of the other women in the theater.

Cardine said...

Emily - I like to see as many as I can for free (legitimately, of course) online on hulu or where ever. Have fun!

Julie - I'm glad The Waitress was hard for you to watch, too. It was disturbing in many ways to me.

Jill - The movie was on at a friend's apartment, and I was like, "What IS this?" And that was the first I had heard of it. It reminded me of an after school special.

dub - Totally, yeah. He looked good in a tux. Everyone looked nice in that scene. I appreciated the artistry of the film.

Booklogged said...

Fun, fun post. I love reading reviews of movies. I don't see as many as I used to, but I do enjoy a good movie. I saw Benjamin Button on my birthday and liked it a lot. Loved Amazing Grace. Wall-E was just so-so. I liked Moma Mia. Prince Caspian was even better than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That's about it for my movie viewing in 2008.

Last year or late in 2007 I discovered tv series on dvd. I have really enjoyed watching older series from the start and without commercial. I very seldom watch regular tv anymore.

tearese said...

Hey, I actually saw a bunch of those. And I mostly agreed with your initial list. We got WallE for Christmas, which was my first time seeing it, and I actually don't mind that Elora wants to watch it almost everyday.
There were many others here that I could comment on.....but its one of those things you'd rather do in a real conversation, rather than in print, you know?

Cardine said...

booklogged - I know. I hardly ever watch regular TV, either.

tearese - Yeah. If I read a post like this, I would want to comment on everything. It would be like its own blog post.

Miranda said...

I would sue you for liking Hillary Swank. But I actually saw and liked Freedom Writers as well.

I will say it again, I was more annoyed by the groundhog than the aliens in Indiana Jones. I should watch it again just to verify my feelings.

Remember that time when we saw Juno and it was really really funny. I liked that. And that time we saw Hancock, and that time we saw Twilight, and Dark Knight, and Prince Caspian, and all those other movies. Those were all good times.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your year in movies.

I feel some movie nights coming on.

Emily said...

I love that you do this movie list every year. Thats awesome. I too could comment on many of these movies as to my likes and dislikes but it would just go on and on.
I have Nims Island (which is okay) and Kung Fu Panda (pretty funny) if you want to watch them. Also I'm up to going to the movies if you want to go see one anytime. :) (PS I wanted to see 1408 also but it looked scary and no one would go with me, also I wasn't as much a fan of Rescue Dawn as I thought I would be. I was a little let down for some reason.) One more tidbit..... I really liked Penelope much more than I though I would.

Wendy said...

I saw that latter day beauty and the beast too, it was painful to watch!!!

warnser said...

Ok two more cents.

I think I have seen eight of these movies.
(from the top ten maybe one and a half, and the one was way better than the half (oh yeah and both of those were in your presence).

Ditto your comments on other movies that we saw at the same location.

And I thought the Hulk was lame.

And somehow I didn't love Meet the Robinsons as much as everyone said, maybe it was the hype. I mean it was ok for me.

There are a few of these that I may have to see.

very interesting.

Dana Cheryl said...

I love that you take the time to do this. I enjoy reading what you think much more than what some critic thinks. :) Unless of course you were to become a paid critic. Then I'd enjoy reading reviews a heck of a lot more. lol.

I've gotta say though that I loved Waitress. I even bought it which is high praise indeed. (At least for me.) Although I think that being from the South it reaches me on different levels. :)

Lost In Splendor said...

Great list!

I LOVED Penelope, The Pursuit of Happyness, Waitress, Juno and PS I Love You.