• Top 5 Movies of 2008 (Part 1)

Let’s jump right into it… My Top 5 Favorite movies of the first half of ’08…

5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I think people use the term “Apatow Film” loosely… it seems like half the comedies coming out today are branded an Apatow Film… and frankly, they aren’t all that good.  He’s only directed 2 films, but somehow his name as a producer gets more attention than the other filmmakers or stars involved.  Well, his only credit on Marshall is Producer.  I am mixed on the “Apatow” films… I loved 40 Year Old Virgin, but only mildly liked Superbad & Knocked Up.  I think the problem I have with a lot of these new brand of comedies is that a lot of times I just don’t like the main character.  But Marshall, written by Jason Segel, was funny, touching, creative, and had a likeable lead in Mr. Segel (Who I was so-so about in Freaks & Geeks, but have come to like a lot in How I Met Your Mother).

4. Iron Man

I know, everyone LOVED this movie, so it should be higher right?  Well, I too loved this movie… it was fun & entertaining, but there is just something keeping me from “having to see it again right away.”  Probably having something to do with the story falling off in the last 1/3rd.  So much has been said about this movie and I know you all have seen it and all loved it… so let’s move on.

3. In Bruges

I actually saw this at Sundance Film Festival this year. (Of course the only movie I see there happened to come out like 2 weeks later in theaters).  And changes are you probably missed this one because it didn’t exactly tear up the box office… Well, go rent it now, because it’s fantastic.  Very funny.  Great action.  And it has an emotional core that is stronger than anything I’ve seen this year.  Very well made from beginning to end.  I know what you’re thinking… and I hate Colin Ferrell too.  But he’s quite good and quite funny in this, surprisingly.  It’s a very unique film with (I think) broad appeal

2. Wall•E

I’m a fan of Pixar movies, but I don’t salivate over them.  The Incredibles is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Monsters Inc. was a fantastic concept done well.  But the rest, I could take or leave.  Well, Wall•E now unseats Monsters Inc. as my 2nd favorite Pixar movie.  It’s just BEAUTIFUL.  Such a wonderful pure story that left me thinking long after I left the theater.  And the animation work, especially in the first 3rd of the movie, is phenomenal.   Like nothing I’ve ever seen before… the way they zoom and focus… and the way dust covers everything.  Beautiful.

1. Speed Racer

I can not tell you why I liked this movie as much as I did.  But it was the most fun I’ve had at the movies in years.  Sure, it’s a little long, and the story is a little jumbled… but man did they make those races fun.  And every character is really fleshed out with a fantastic story.  And from a filmmaking perspective, the Wachowskis just nailed it.  Really a ton of creativity poured out onto the screen.  When I first saw the preview for this movie, I thought it looked horrible.  The graphics were cheesy, the actors were stiff, the dialog was lame… but about 2 minutes into the film, I “got” it and it hooked me from that point on.  It just works.  You really have to check your expectations at the door with this one and just go along for the ride.  It’s so much fun.

  1. chris said:

    Kung fu panda. Seriously. Hudson, please do yourself a favor and go see this movie. the only reason it’s not in your 5 is because you have yet to see it. My money is Iron man and Kung fu panda ties for 1st.

  2. Oh, I’ve seen it. And I liked it… it was good, but I just didn’t fall in love with it. Some scenes were spectacular (like the bad guy’s escape from prison might be the coolest scene I’ve seen this year) and I liked the story and themes and stuff, but it didn’t make me laugh much… and it’s just some movies hit me for some reasons that I can’t explain… and this one didn’t.

  3. deepdownconfessions said:

    Can you believe I’ve never watched any of them? I was going to watch Wall-E but I seem to be glued to the computer and TV. xD I’ll watch it some other time. My sisters say it’s really good.

  4. Daniel Emmons said:

    Speed Racer was defently my pick for favorite movie of the summer, it beat out Dark Knight even though Dark Knight is the better movie. Speed Racer just had some magic behind it and the Wachoski’s just know how to make a movie that targets me.

  5. Daniel – EXACTLY. Dark Knight isn’t on this list because it hit after July 1, but even if it I agree that Dark Knight is a better movie, my favorite is still Speed Racer. The Dark Knight was a very well made film, but it had no “magic.” And the thing is, you can do everything perfect, perfect script, perfect acting, perfect directing, but something has to come together to make that magic… and I’m not sure why, but it’s something I think is lacking from all of Nolan’s films, even, ironically, the Prestige, even though that was an excellent film.

    All of my favorite films have that sense of magic to them. And it’s something that you can only get at the movies. It’s why I go to the movies. And people say that Dark Knight wasn’t supposed to be magical, that it was supposed to be gritty. But I disagree. I think all movies can be magical no matter what the subject matter or tone. It’s not something I can describe or even put my finger on, you only know it if a movie has it or it doesn’t. And I watched Speed Racer again on DVD last night… it has it in spades.

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