Phew! It's been one crazy year in the world of film. This year was undoubtedly the year of the 'Blockbuster' since so many big budget films exceeded our expectations. While the heavy hitters ranked up at the box office, they also were able to receive positive reviews from critics and fans alike. This year gave me so many surprises. A lot of my favorite films of '08 were movies I'd never
in a million
years think of adding to a Top 10 List. A lot of you may rise up in arms, light some torches, and protest outside my home for putting films like this on my list. But oh well...fuck it, my list not yours =]. Here's my Top 10 of 2008!
This was one hell of a way to start the new year. Original, raw, and frightening Cloverfield
really exceeded my expectations. Run on a hard-core viral marketing campaign, the movie really left the world in darkness before its release. When the film finally released in January, I left the theater dizzy, exhausted, but overall hyped up over what I had just seen. The monster was scary and its little minions were even more horrifying. America finally has its own monster. Move aside King Kong, 'Clover'
is here to knock you out.
9. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The last time we saw Indiana Jones was in 1989, when he rode off into the sunset in The Last Crusade
. This year, he came back for another adventure in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
. Now let me get this straight: this film is not
as good as the original three. But when it was released, I really had a good time seeing Harrison Ford pull out the hat and whip on the big screen. It was a great experience with my family, who loves the series. We all agreed it was not as good as the originals, but it was a fun experience, almost like a re-union with a good friend you hadn't seen in a while. Ford still has the moves, and this was probably one of my guilty pop-corn movies of this year. It grew on me, and eventually earned a spot on my Top 10.
8. Kung Fu Panda
This was one of the biggest shockers for me this year. I had no clue I would add an animated film about a kung fu fighting panda on my list...that is, until I saw the film. Dreamworks Animation
really went all out on this film, and delivered their best movie since the original Shrek
in 2001. The animation is beautiful, the story is hilarious, the voice acting is on point, and the action scenes are fun as hell. These film makers really did study what they needed to in order to make an animated kung fu film. The movie has lots of laughs, and its great for young and old audiences alike. Indeed, this film is pure 'awsomeness'.
Hang me, shoot me, run me over with a car repeatedly for adding this film on the list. I don't care. This film was absolute fun, and it was an amazing action film. Also, it was another huge shocker for me as well. Before the film's release, I bashed it, claiming it looked like a stupid and generic action flick. Damn, was I wrong. After getting used to its strange introduction, the film really leaves you at the edge of your seat. The exaggerated action sequences are exciting, the plot is intriguing, the acting is great, and Jolie is sexy as ever. This was another film that really proved me wrong. Another guilty pleasure on my list, which I'm happy to add by all accounts.
6. Tropic Thunder
There have been countless parodies released in the last few years, and many of them drop the ball. I admit, I kind of expected the same for Tropic Thunder
. But it turned out to be a comedy that was pure genius. It was more than just a parody of Hollywood, it was a satire of the film industry. The film is filled with laughs, and every
actor delivers the goods. We all agree, however, that the film was carried by Robert Downey Jr.'s performance, which left us all on the floor laughing. Stiller delivers a great film as a director, and it is one of the best comedies of the year.
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Romantic comedies...psh I can't stand them. So you can imagine how shocked I was when I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall
. This film had me laughing harder than any film this year, and it had unforgettable characters. You really can't even hate any of the characters in the film, so you really get engaged in the story. The crude humor is absolutely hilarious, and the film never stops delivering hard-core laughs. When its all over, you just want to see it again. Labeled by many critics as the 'romantic comedy for guys' this film is seriously a must see, and really deserves a spot on my top ten list.
4. Iron Man
This was seriously Robert Downey Jr.'s year. His performance as Tony Stark makes Iron Man
one of the best super hero movies ever created. The film exceeded expectations, and really surprised me when it was released. It focused more on an engaging story and character development rather than mindless action sequences. The film is fun, the characters are bright, the visuals are beautiful, and the story is great. This is probably the best film ever released by Marvel Comics, and hopefully there will be much more soon to come. Raising the bar on comic book movies is no easy task, but this film did it. It also had one of the best endings ever with Stark revealing his identity with the classic phrase: "I am Iron Man".
3. Quantum of Solace
Bond is back...finally! After the the amazing 2006 film Casino Royale
, the James Bond franchise was back on course. Quantum of Solace
soon was released in November, with high expectations from both fans and critics. Was it as good as the first film, no. But hell, it was amazing
on its own level. Daniel Craig's portrayal of James Bond is still there, and the action sequences are raw and fast-paced. The plot gets more complex, and you really get more development from both Bond and M alike. The film delivers on all accounts, and takes the Bond franchise into greater territory that no other Bond films have gone before. The franchise continues with another strong installment, leaving fans wanting more. Questions about Quantum aren't completely answered, so we can expect Craig to be back for Bond 23
. Don't worry: James Bond Will Return.
Ladies and gentlemen, Pixar does it again. But seriously, do they ever
mess up? Wall-E is a beautiful film and its practically a masterpiece. The film, which has very little dialogue for the first half, is an artistic endeavor that can only be accomplished by the geniuses at Pixar Studios. The film is emotional, gripping, visually stunning, but most of all it sends us a message. It tells us that we can treat planet Earth better, but also ourselves. The film gives laughs, adventure, and emotional attachment to the small but hard working robot, Wall-E. This is by far the best film put out by Pixar since Toy Story
in 1995. Probably the best animated film of the last decade, and I'm not exaggerating at all.
1. The Dark Knight
"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... do things."
says Heath Ledger's Joker as he tries to justify his actions of anarchy and madness. The Dark Knight
was the film I had been waiting for since the end of Batman Begins
in 2005. As an honest, sincere, hard-core Batman fan, I can honestly say this is what every Batman fan was waiting for. Yes, it was so amazing that I had to give it the number one spot on my Top 10 List, but it gave me something I never had before: an absolute
favorite film. I never thought an honest Batman
film would ever be developed, but director Christopher Nolan gave me my childhood dream, and put it on the big screen. Every body has their movie, and this is mine. The film has an amazing plot, a plot that understands the themes and concepts of the Batman
comics. It leaves you thinking about society's morals and values, and how far we can go before we our pushed to our limits. The film also enlightens viewers with a psychological perspective on good and evil. With its amazing plot and story comes amazing direction by the God of film Christopher Nolan. He was the man who made this masterpiece happen, and seriously exceeded my expectations on what a Batman
movie can be. The actors also did a beautiful job. Christian Bale continues to play the best Batman ever put on screen. Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker is probably one of the best performances of my generation. Eckhart also brings an amazing performance of a good man gone bad due to the cruelties of society. The film's cinematography and visuals are just breathe-taking. All of this adds up to a cinematic masterpiece, something I will always look back on when I'm older. I can go on and on about this film, but overall this was without a doubt in my mind the best
film of 2008, and one of the best films I have seen in the last few years.