Friday, January 4, 2008

10 best* films of 2007: Introduction

Thinking back on the year, there were many great films, some aesthetically classic (Atonement, Michael Clayton), others incredibly avante garde (I’m Not There, Inland Empire) but it was the grotesque (Eastern Promises, Bug) and the nihilistic (No Country For Old Men, Zodiac) that left the biggest impression on me. And then through it all was this cute little hipster beam of light called Juno, which seemed to be (for the first 15 minutes, anyway) an annoying little kitch-tastic piece of self aware “coolness” ala Napoleon Dynamite. But it permeated the dark films of the year to emerge as one of the more insightful, sweet, and hilarious films of 2007. There were other great comedies, all-timers, in the vein of Caddyshack and Stripes. I am speaking of Judd Apatow’s trilogy (Superbad, Knocked Up, and Walk Hard) of films of course, the best being Knocked Up, although somewhat of a pop culture fairy tale it is surprisingly sweet and hilariously grotesque in its own right. Superbad may have been a little more insightful, but it also seems more along the lines of Enchanted, because well, there’s a reason why fat pop culture nerds like myself like Apatow’s films: guys like us get the really hot girls. And not to be outdone (or forgotten) is Brad Bird’s Ratatouille, reminding me that animated films can still be held up against almost anything. The documentary was back this year with No End in Sight and Into Great Silence, being two of the best film experiences of the year (especially the latter).

It was also a disappointing year for Wes Anderson. It’s a bad sign when the short film you’ve made is better than the feature film you have made. I was really looking forward to The Darjeeling Limited, but I felt empty after leaving the theater. Also, hello Steven Soderbergh, can you please get back to making real movies. Last year’s Bubble was your best since Out of Sight; please stop with the Ocean movies. Thank you.

It was a great year for films though, so let’s get on with it.

*One caveat: I reserve the right to add in There Will Be Blood at a later time if I find it should have a place on this list. Living in Salem the film has not yet reached my tiny home city (it's not even playing in Portland), so I will have to retroactively place it within the top 10 if I think it deserves a spot (and based on my prior feelings towards PTA's films, I have big hopes for TWBB). There are also a slew of foreign films and other smaller films making the limited city run right now that I haven't gotten a chance to see. I am not a film critic, but merely a film I can only see what I have time for. You will note (perhaps) some obvious omissions to the list because I just haven't gotten out to see everything I would like to.


  1. Could you please do a review on Kangaroo Jack?