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
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.