Cinema 2008 de Waters

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LAmag.com, January 2009

CINEMA 2008 DE WATERS (not to be confused with empirical reality) 

10  (once in a blue moon masterpiece)

1.  Synecdoche, New York (if you didn’t respond to it as much as I did…you’re lucky)

 

9 (truly excellent)

  • 2. Hunger
  • 3. A Christmas Tale
  • 4. Tell No One
  • 5. The Dark Knight
  • 6. In Bruges
  • 7. Waltz with Bashir
  • 8. My Winnipeg
  • 9. Reprise

 

8 (pretty great)

MOSTLY UNAMERCIAN, MOSTLY UNNOTICED, COMPLETELY AWESOME

  • 10. Water Lilies
  • 11. Let the Right One In
  • 12. Boy A
  • 13. Summer Palace
  • 14. Roman de Gare
  • 15. Man on Wire
  • 16. Jellyfish
  • 17. The Edge of Heaven
  • 18. Still Life
  • 19. Heartbeat Detector
  • 20. Silent Light

 

THE DAZZLING PIECE OF PERFECTION THAT IS RIGHTFULLY WORSHIPPED BY ONE AND ALL…BUT I’M A DISTURBED IMPERFECTIONIST WARY OF TRADITIONAL JOY

21.  Wall-E

 

SPECIAL CATEGORY FOR FILMS THAT BOLDY DEFIED CATEGORIZATION AND WERE BRUTALLY PUNISHED BY THE MUGGLES (AND YES, THE SPECIAL FONT GIVES AWAY THAT MY FILM IS ONE OF THEM)

  • 22. Speed Racer
  • 23. Sex and Death 101
  • 24. Be Kind Rewind
  • 25. Cloverfield (actually got pretty decent reviews, but the boos of the boors were loud)
  • 26. Pathology

 

OSCAR I-LOVE-YA CINEMA—THE ONLY-A-LITTLE-OVERRATED

  • 27. Doubt
  • 28. Milk
  • 29. The Class
  • 30. Frost/Nixon
  • 31. Slumdog Millionaire

 

BACK TO THE NORMALLY PRETTY GREAT…

  • 32. Iron Man
  • 33. Encounters at the End of the World
  • 34. Tropic Thunder
  • 35. Trouble the Water
  • 36. Up the Yangtze
  • 37. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (could have been a masterpiece if Woody wrote second drafts)
  • 38. Ballast
  • 39. Four Minutes
  • 40. Love Songs
  • 41. The Counterfeiters
  • 42. Role Models
  • 43. Save Me

7  (really good)

  • 44.  The Bank Job
  • 45.  Australia
  • 46.  Pineapple Express
  • 47.  The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • 48.  The Wrestler
  • 49.  Ghost Town
  • 50.  RocknRolla
  • 51.  Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  • 52.  Paranoid Park
  • 53.  U2 3D
  • 54.  Baghead
  • 55.  The Visitor
  • 56.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • 57.  Standard Operating Procedure
  • 58.  Bolt
  • 59.  The Duchess of Langeais
  • 60.  The Duchess
  • 61.  Mamma Mia!
  • 62.  Dark Matter
  • 63.  Religulous
  • 64.  Happy-Go-Lucky
  • 65.  Son of Rambow
  • 66.  XXY
  • 67.  The Last Mistress
  • 68.  The Signal
  • 69.  The Witnesses
  • 70.  Mongol
  • 71.  The Unforeseen
  • 72.  Step Brothers
  • 73.  Snow Angels
  • 74.  Mad Detective
  • 75.  A Girl Cut in Two
  • 76.  Momma’s Man
  • 77.  OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
  • 78.  Choke

 

IF YOU THOUGHT MY AFFECTION FOR SPEED RACER WAS INSANE, MEET MY TRUE GUILTY PLEASURES…

  • 79.  You Don’t Mess With the Zohan
  • 80.  Viva
  • 81.  Twilight
  • 82.  JVCD
  • 83.  Horton Hears a Who!
  • 84.  Punisher: War Zone
  • 85.  Kung Fu Panda
  • 86.  Sex Drive
  • 87.  Young People Fucking
  • 88.  Quid Pro Quo
  • 89.  Seven Pounds (sorry…but I was sitting next to a proud and glowing Rosario Dawson)
  • 90.  Teeth
  • 91.  Doomsday
  • 92.  Postal (and yes, I just rated Uwe Boll higher than my beloved David Fincher)

 

OSCAR-I-LOVE-YA CINEMA—THE TRULY OVERRATED

  • 93.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 
  • 94.  Rachel Getting Married
  • 95.  Che
  • 96.  The Reader
  • 97.  I’ve Loved You So Long
  • 98.  Frozen River
  • 99.  Changeling
  • 100.  Gomorrah
  • 101.  Revolutionary Road (not worth five minutes of the weakest episode of Mad Men, but sure is pretty)

 

BLAH FILMS REDEEMED BY KILLER ENDINGS

  • 102.  Ben X
  • 103.  Nothing But the Truth

 

A RETURN TO THE NORMALLY REALLY GOOD…

  • 104.  Baby Mama
  • 105.  Shotgun Stories
  • 106.  Appaloosa
  • 107.  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • 108.  Lou Reed’s Berlin
  • 109.  Flight of the Red Balloon
  • 110.  The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • 111.  Transsiberian
  • 112.  Redbelt
  • 113.  Surfwise
  • 114.  [email protected]
  • 115.  Henry Poole is Here
  • 116.  Brideshead Revisited
  • 117.  Patti Smith: Dream of Life
  • 118.  Yella
  • 119.  The Wackness
  • 120.  Hellboy II: The Golden Army

6  (just good)

  • 121.  Defiance (would be higher, but Zwick Q&A anecdote about whipping Denzel in Glory freaked me out)
  • 122.  Wanted (image 9, words 2)
  • 123.  Cadillac Records
  • 124.  Lakeview Terrace
  • 125.  W.
  • 126.  Boarding Gate
  • 127.  Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
  • 128.  Traitor
  • 129.  Quantum of Solace
  • 130.  Flash of Genius
  • 131.  Transporter 3
  • 132.  The Grand
  • 133.  Body of Lies
  • 134.  What We Do is Secret
  • 135.  Timecrimes
  • 136.  Mister Lonely
  • 137.  High School Musical 3: Senior Year
  • 138.  City of Ember
  • 139.  Death Defying Acts
  • 140.  Mother of Tears
  • 141.  In Search of a Midnight Kiss
  • 142.  The Fall
  • 143.  Priceless
  • 144.  Splinter
  • 145.  Frontier(s)
  • 146.  Towelhead
  • 147.  Definitely, Maybe
  • 148.  Penelope
  • 149.  The Lucky Ones
  • 150.  Rambo
  • 151.  Death Race
  • 152.  Babylon A.D.

 

ART-HOUSE CINEMA: BIG LIE EDITION

  • 153.  Funny Games (Mr. Haneke, I thought your “chilling indictment of our obsession with violence” was a good movie, just not as good as “Rambo,” “Death Race,” or “Babylon A.D.”
  • 154.  Wendy and Lucy (I’ve seen “Umberto D.,” “Umberto D.” is a friend of mine, you know the rest…)
  • 155.  Burn After Reading (will probably go up a hundred places after second viewing though)
  • 156.  Last Chance Harvey

 

GUILTY COMIC PLEASURES: I MUST BE RETARDED EDITION

  • 157.  Sex and the City
  • 158.  My Best Friend’s Girl
  • 159.  The Foot Fist Way
  • 160.  Semi-Pro
  • 161.  Harold & Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay
  • 162.  The House Bunny (if Anna Faris ever does a movie as good as she is, there will be World Peace)
  • 163.  27 Dresses
  • 164.  Hamlet 2
  • 165.  The Rocker
  • 166.  Get Smart
  • 167.  And yes, I even liked The Love Guru

 

BACK TO THE NORMALLY JUST GOOD…

  • 168.  Chicago 10
  • 169.  The Black Balloon
  • 170.  Good Dick
  • 171.  Leatherheads
  • 172.  Take Out
  • 173.  Billy the Kid
  • 174.  Never Back Down
  • 175.  Nights in Rodanthe
  • 176.  The Forbidden Kingdom
  • 177.  The Tracey Fragments
  • 178.  The Incredible Hulk
  • 179.  The Babysitters
  • 180.  Pride and Glory
  • 181.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  • 182.  George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead
  • 183.  Cassandra’s Dream
  • 184.  Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
  • 185.  American Teen
  • 186.  Eagle Eye

 

 

5 (almost something)

  • 187.  The Midnight Meat Train
  • 188.  Savage Grace
  • 189.  The Life Before Her Eyes
  • 190.  Married Life
  • 191.  Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys
  • 192.  Finding Amanda
  • 193.  Stop-loss
  • 194.  Mister Foe
  • 195.  The Alphabet Killer
  • 196.  Chaos Theory
  • 197.  Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
  • 198.  Elegy
  • 199.  Zombie Strippers
  • 200.  Four Christmases
  • 201.  Sisterhood of theTraveling Pants 2
  • 202.  My Blueberry Nights
  • 203.  What Happens in Vegas
  • 204.  Stuck
  • 205.  Special
  • 206.  Then She Found Me
  • 207.  Zack and Miri Make a Porno
  • 208.  Gardens of the Night
  • 209.  The Strangers
  • 210.  CJ7
  • 211.  Military Intelligence and You
  • 212.  Ping Pong Playa
  • 213.  Noise
  • 214.  Eden
  • 215.  Fear(s)of the Dark
  • 216.  Saw V
  • 217.  The Tale of Despereaux
  • 218.  The Women
  • 219.  Street Kings
  • 220.  Hank and Mike
  • 221.  21
  • 222.  Expired
  • 223.  Over her Dead Body

 

4 (painlessly mediocre)

  • 224.  City of Men
  • 225.  Sukiyaki Western Django
  • 226.  Fugitive Pieces
  • 227.  The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • 228.  Red
  • 229.  Blindness
  • 230.  Marley & Me
  • 231.  War, Inc.
  • 232.  Bottle Shock
  • 233.  The Secret Life of Bees
  • 234.  Vantage Point
  • 235.  Hancock
  • 236.  The Happening 
  • 237.  Deception
  • 238.  Swing Vote
  • 239.  Nim’s Island
  • 240.  The Other Boleyn Girl
  • 241.  How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • 242.  Jumper
  • 243.  Bedtime Stories
  • 244.  Meet Dave
  • 245.  Shine a Light

 

OSCAR-I-LOVE-YA-CINEMA—THE YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING

  • 246.  Miracle at St. Anna
  • 247.  Valkyrie
  • 248.  Gran Torino
  • 249.  What Doesn’t Kill You

 

3 (painfully mediocre)

  • 250.  Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
  • 251.  The Spirit
  • 252.  What just happened
  • 253.  Righteous Kill
  • 254.  Yes Man
  • 255.  10,000 B.C.
  • 256.  Max Payne
  • 257.  The X files: I Want to Believe
  • 258.  Untraceable
  • 259.  Fool’s Gold
  • 260.  In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
  • 261.  Journey to the Center of the Earth (3-D Version)
  • 262.  Charlie Bartlett
  • 263.  The Longshots
  • 264.  Hounddog
  • 265.  Garden Party
  • 266.  Kabluey
  • 267.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • 268.  Drillbit Taylor
  • 269.  Bangkok Dangerous
  • 270.  Smart People
  • 271.  Witless Protection
  • 272.  Mad Money
  • 273. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • 274.  Fun, Fat Boy, Run
  • 275.  The Eye

 

2 (pretty bad)

  • 276.  Hell Ride
  • 277.  Sleepwalking
  • 278.  An American Carol
  • 279.  Disaster Movie
  • 280.  Strange Wilderness
  • 281.  One Missed Call

 

1 (truly painful)

  • 282.  88 Minutes
  • 283.  Meet the Spartans
  • 284.  The Lost
  • 285.  College

 

0 (once-in-a-blue-moon shitstorm)

Nothing that foul this year (College was saved by me liking the way Haley Bennett slouches…) 

 

THE SHAMEFULLY MISSED

  • Quarantine (saw Rec, the original Spanish film that this is a shot-for-shot remake of)
  • The Secret of the Grain
  • Anamorph
  • Adam Resurrected
  • Alexandra
  • Beaufort
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua
  • College Road Trip
  • Flashpoint
  • American Zombie
  • The Battle in Seattle
  • Beauty in Trouble
  • Bigger, Stronger, Faster
  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
  • The Doorman
  • Eight Miles High
  • Falling
  • Filth and Wisdom
  • Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Hammer
  • Igor
  • Irina Palm
  • Made of Honor
  • Meet Bill
  • Mirrors
  • Passengers
  • Prom Night
  • The Promotion
  • Remember the Daze
  • Superhero Movie
  • A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
  • The Unknown Woman