Monday, January 05, 2009

Top films of 2008 (#8 of 2008)

Personal picks, of those I have seen. I certainly can't claim to have seen the best: these days, I tend to make it only as far as the mainstream cinema up the road. Because of this, I saw plenty of very unedifying, average films. Roger Ebert offers a list of films I have largely missed, partly because of the above and partly because Australian release is behind the US, and some of his are still in the up-and-coming here. Ebert also favours Canadian director Guy Maddin - and I simply cannot stand his maddening work (the last I saw of his was largely incoherent, and I have no intention of testing the waters again).

I wanted to see Rock n Rolla, but it escaped me. I hope to see The Day The Earth Stood Still, despite quite poor reviews.

Those I can recall:

1. Michael Clayton. Marvellous thriller. And George Clooney.

2. Burn After Reading. Marvellous, George Clooney, and funny.

3. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Ham-fisted attempt to a) incorporate science fiction, and b) hand over to a new generation. But it is Indiana Jones.

4. Quantum Of Solace. The reboot works, despite remaining over the top.

5. The Dark Knight. Surprisingly good acting from Heath Ledger. (some media stupidly characterises him as an Oscar "hopeful".)

6. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Wide in scope and technically impressive, however its philosophising is at best minor, and at worst pseudo-.

7. Prince Caspian. Very pleasant to see these books brought to life with competence. Dawn Treader is next, and despite it being one of my least favourites in the series, it should be a spectacle.

8. Australia. The flaws are minor quibbles (mine, unlike others, pertains to the artifice that remains characteristic of Luhrmann), but this is a very enjoyable epic.

9. The X-Files: I Want To Believe. Good to see them again.

10. I Am Legend. Will Smith is a credit.

Special mention to U2 3D (on a large screen) - I'm not sure I'd call a concert pic a film. Best of the older films seen for the first time: No Direction Home, Scorsese's Dylan biopic.

No comments: