Wednesday

Best of 2007...So Far...sort of

If I have any readers left, this is where I explain where the hell I've been. I could easily blame my recent workload or my upcoming marriage, but the truth is I've had a growing disconnect between my Strong Opinion and the general feeling of everyone else. I don't want to be the critic you read because he's so far off the mark it's funny. So, in a word, I stopped writing out of fear.

To prove my willingness to place my head back on the chopping block, I will now review (and Award) my Top 15 films - of the 23 I've seen - from 2007.


Best Picture:
HOT FUZZ
It's a parody, a suspense mystery, a horror film, a buddy cop comedy and an all out action blast. No other film this year succeeds at so many things, with hilarious moments both big and small and a very original approach to the art of writing, editing and sound. It's the one film this year where I can't wait for the DVD, bonuses or not.

Best Summer Film:
RATATOUILLE
Pixar does it again, entertaining audiences of all ages while pushing the envelope on what to expect from animation. I don't want to give too much away since it hasn't opened yet. While I don't think it reaches the heights of FINDING NEMO or THE INCREDIBLES, it furthers the argument of Pixar as the most reliable studio in the business.

Best Film For The Geeks (and Nobody Else):
GRINDHOUSE
Audiences didn't get it, never mind the running time. Who wants to see 2 films that are deliberately bad? The three hour "Grindhouse Experience" was more than that, from the missing reels to the fake trailers it's been this year's only true Event Picture. DEATH PROOF will stand the test of time, but I thought PLANET TERROR was a lot of fun and more true to the Grindhouse spirit. THANKSGIVING may be the best film Eli Roth will ever make.

Best Sequel:
DAY WATCH
I was mixed and slightly confused by NIGHT WATCH, the effects heavy tale of Light and dark fighting for control of the world. DAY WATCH achieved the goal that eluded the makers of the MATRIX and PIRATES trilogy. It's not only better, it elevates the quality of the first film. NIGHT WATCH is better once you know the full tale. The effects are as plentiful and well-done as the big Hollywood blockbusters, with one of the more original large-scale apocalypse sequences I've ever seen.

Best Rental:
ALPHA DOG
I had no interest in ALPHA DOG when it played in theatres, but I was surprised by how good the film is. Kudos go to the large cast, giving some great performances, including Ben Foster (who I usually hate) and Justin Timberlake (defining "surprisingly good"). There's also a scene late in the film from a fat-suited Sharon Stone that's hypnotic as it bounces from raw to campy. (I still can't decide if it's brilliant or terrible.)

Best Looking Picture:
300
SIN CITY in color. Although it seems half-filmed in slow motion, the film almost delivers what the astounding trailer promises. There's not much I need to say here. I like it, but don't love it.

Best Discovery:
ONCE
I encourage you to Click Here and read Humby's full review.

Best Frat House Comedy:
RENO 911: MIAMI
I discussed this one earlier. If you own BEERFEST...

Best Cult Film In The Making:
BEHIND THE MASK
Clever and Ingeniuos barely begins to describe this self-aware slasher film that follows a new member who prepares to join the legendary ranks of Jason, Freddy and Michael. Like HOT FUZZ, the film smashes the stereotypes of the genre (by explaining how Jason can be in two places at once or how to properly stalk a teenager). Then in the final act, the film pulls back the curtain to reveal its classic horror moustrap of a plot. The film is sometimes hampered by its small budget, but is often just as good as the original SCREAM.

Best Film That Leaves Me With No Strong Opinion Whatsoever;
ZODIAC
I love it. I hate it. 3 months later, I still don't know how I feel about it. David Fincher is my favorite director, but the film is alternately as intriguing and bewildering as the unsolved case itself.

Most Improved:
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
At this rate, the next one might actually be a good movie.

Best Bad Movie:
GHOST RIDER
So much wrong...but so much fun to watch.

Biggest Disappointment:
KNOCKED UP
I agree with Humby completely on this one, and I don't understand how anyone can put this above THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN. The co-workers in VIRGIN where a crack comedy troupe, while the friends here are an interchangable pile of unfunny. Seth Rogan, so funny as a supporting actor, is too light to carry a film. Paul Rudd steals the pic.

Best Example Of A Typical Summer Blockbuster:
SPIDER-MAN 3
A friend of mine coined the phrase I've been using week after week. Describing Spidy 3 she called it "Exactly the kind of mediocre crap I expect from a Summer movie." Some good scenes and moments, but man, they really blew it.

The True 2nd Half Of GRINDHOUSE:
SMOKIN' ACES
Like DEATH PROOF, the film is too talky and about 20min longer than it needs to be. (Oh what a "Reel Missing" would fix.) Like PLANET TERROR, the film is hyper-caffinated trash. ACES is ultimately undone by an inappropiate amount of seriousness.


Best Advertising For An Upcoming Release:
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD - Bus Ad
I laughed when I saw this clever display of John McClane's catch phrase. I wonder how the PG-13 film will deal with the same problem.
DH4 also has the worst poster tag line I've seen in years.
"No Mask. No Cape. No Problem."
Yikes! Is FOX proud of this?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're an idiot if you think Zodiac is bewildering. But I'm sure that's never stopped you before.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Wow, "anonymous" - harsh words. Read the rest of the thing... he also stated that he "loved it" and "hated it" in equal parts and that Fincher is his "favorite director"... Perhaps, YOU are the idiot for gushing too much over it... Anyway. Nice to see you back, Cutshaw. Love your Pixar breakdown, and all the other stuff you've put up. Also, wanted to tell you: I hope you REALLY like the "LFODH" bus promos, because as I guessed, what you'll be hearing in the film is exactly what's on that bus - "Yippee Ki Yay, Mo-"BOOM!! What a shame. Fox is run by assholes.

1:36 AM  

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