Monday, March 9, 2009

What Are Your Favorite Soderbergh Movies?

I'm trying my hardest to not think about the fact that I haven't blogged in awhile (even though I have two Argento films to talk about and a slew of 2008 films I have recently seen) or the fact that I haven't seen Watchmen, and by the time I do go see it my thoughts will (most likely) seem antiquated.

So, in lieu of writing my Argento essay (I'm working on it) I decided to watch Traffic tonight. It was either that or Captain Ron or Booty Call, all in HD, mind you. Did I make the right choice? You decide. But damn, I forgot how good Traffic is. A rare hyper-link film (before they became popular....or pre-Haggis as I like to think of it) that isn't about preaching or grandstanding....just observing. It has great performances, and one of the best endings to any movie ("but mostly we're just here to listen...", love that line) this decade. I assure you when I construct my obligatory "best of the decade" list, Traffic is going to be looking down on quite a few titles.

Soooo with that being said, and to spark some kind of comments discussion (since I don't have any original material to post....yet) what are your favorite Steven Soderbergh movies? Or, do you even think he's a good director? Out of Sight still tops the list for me, but after tonight's viewing of Traffic it's not as easy a decision as it once was.

A top 5 would look something like this:

1. Out of Sight
2. Traffic
3. The Limey
4. King of the Hill
5. Bubble

I also have a lot of admiration for his attempt at shortening (and making tolerable) Solaris. I think in the film-buff community that's blasphemy, but I still stand by it. As good as Tarkovsky's film is, it's excruciating to get through. I don't know why, but I've never connected with Russian cinema. Anyway...

Discuss in the comments (if you feel like it) and I'll be back sometime soon with thoughts on Watchmen and some films from 2008 that I'm just getting a chance to see (Synecdoche, New York; I've Loved You So Long; Role Models; Changeling; Swing Vote; Lakeview Terrace; The Class just to name a few...).

See ya then, and sorry for the lack of updates lately.


  1. 1. The Limey
    2. Out of Sight
    3. Che Part 1
    4. Traffic
    5. Um, the first or second Ocean movie, I guess?

    I've never seen Erin Brockovich or Sex, Lies, and Videotape and the only other one I've seen, The Good German, isn't very good.

    I am excited to see his version of Moneyball and now looking at his CV, I want to go find his Yes music video!

  2. I gotta go with the Alpha and Omega: "sex lies and videotape" and "Che".

  3. Troy -

    Glad you like "The Limey", too. It's certainly one of the forgotten classics of the late 90's. And I have to go with the second "Ocean" movie being my favorite. It has the most panache, and you can really tell the actors are having a lot of fun making it.

    Andrew -

    I have yet to see "Che", but I refuse to see it unless I can watch the entire thing in one day. Also, it's been maybe six or seven years since I've seen "sex lies and videotape". I may have to re-watch that again.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. I didn't see "sex lies" until years after its release, probably 1995-96, and then only on video (appropriately enough). I wasn't much of a cinephile at the time, but even then I was pretty much sucker-punched by it. It almost makes up for Andie MacDowell's subsequent career. Not necessarily my *favorite* Soderbergh film, but certainly it remains one his best, IMHO.

    If you have any remaining chance of seeing the Roadshow of "Che" theatrically, by all means do so. It's probably Soderbergh's most audacious and utterly uncompromised film, period.

  5. Good question! My all-time Soderbergh faves would go something like:

    1. Out of Sight
    2. Traffic
    3. The Limey
    4. Che (both parts)
    5. Kafka

    with special mention going to K Street (I know, it's a TV show)

  6. The first three line up exactly with mine. I still need to see Che (the Roadshow version is playing in Portland right now, but I'm afraid I don't have time to see it!) and I too love Kafka. I thought about putting it on my list, but I went with King of the Hill and his more recent Bubble, two other underrated Soderbergh films.

    Thanks for for stopping by and commenting. I always love to hear what others are thinking.