It's that time of year to reflect on what Hollywood had to offer us in the past 12 months and give a little bit of feedback. Who am I to say what was good and what wasn't? What qualifications do I have? Well, none, actually. I'm just some guy in Pennsylvania with a blog.
But that hasn't stopped me yet. Nor has it stopped me from asking my esteemed panel of friends to give their feedback as well. This year, though, instead of including everyone's top ten in one long blog, I will be breaking them up into easier-to-digest episodes. This year I've asked a number of different people from across the nation and in a variety of industries to rank their tops (and their flops).
Feel free to leave your comments and let us know where we went right...or wrong.
I suppose I'll get this party started.
ED'S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2008
10. Get Smart
I know, I know. I didn't expect it to make my top 10, either. But when I looked back on the year I realized there weren't a ton of movies that jumped out at me. And as I began listing the movies that I responded to, it was a surprisingly short list. Granted, I tend to lean toward comedies more than any other genre (as you'll see), and if you get me to laugh out loud then I'm hooked. The #10 slot was a toss-up between Get Smart and Indiana Jones IV but at the end of the day, this one had less weird aliens and monkeys on vines.
9. Tropic Thunder
Seriously, how did these guys get away with everything they did? My buddy and co-reviewer John Allen disagrees with me on this one (see the next entry in this series) but I guess you'll have that. I thought this movie was a brilliant snipe at the Hollywood Machine and those involved. Ben Stiller always manages to capture the essence of naive know-it-all-ness and the rest of the cast brought their A-game. I thought Tom Cruise's performance was hyped up a little too much. I'm not quite sure why everyone thought it was the Second Coming of the Scientology God. So he put on a wig and jumped around like an idiot. Big deal, good for Tom. He did the same thing on Oprah.
8. The Dark Knight
What can I say about this you don't already know and/or hasn't already been said? Not much probably. Heath Ledger rocked. Christian Bale's raspy voice was hilarious. Two-Face came and went really quickly.
7. Vantage Point
I didn't hear much about this film after it came out but I thought it was pretty darn nifty. I loved how they centered around one event and, as they showed each person's point-of-view, it revealed a different piece of a much larger puzzle. When I added it to my Top 10 Chase Scenes of all time and hailed the return of Dennis Quaid, it garnered a profane response from a genius named Chris who informed me Dennis Quaid wasn't in Vantage Point. Even though he was the star. So that was funny.
6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Seriously. How do I get in with Judd Apatow? Someone give me an email or a phone number or something. He's got one of the tightest, funniest circle of go-to friends working today and they never fail to disappoint. So hook me up, OK?
Wow. This movie is just beautiful to watch. Those guys are artists in every sense of the word.
4. Ghost Town
Maybe I'm prejudiced because I'm a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, but this movie should have done much better than it did. It may have come across as just another dead-guy-needs-help romantic comedy, but this movie proved that romantic comedies are allowed to be more comedy than romantic. Put this one in your Netflix queue and shame on you for not seeing it the first time around.
3. Kung Fu Panda
And this is how you make an animated film about a bear doing martial arts. Of course it helps that you've got the likes of Jack Black and David Cross making smarmy remarks the whole time, not to mention a team of animators that accentuates the action with cool slo-mo shots. Nicely done indeed.
2. Step Brothers
Part of me feels a little guilty and juvenile for putting this movie at #2, but I'm sorry. I laughed like an idiot the entire time. Director Adam McKay said his favorite part of working with Will Ferrell and John C Reilly on Talladega Nights were the moments where they just talked (i.e. the dinner table scene) and he wanted to make a movie that was just that: No car racing, just Will and John acting like morons, riffing and improvising at their hilarious best. The result is Step Brothers, and mission accomplished.
Because this one came out at the beginning of the year, I almost forgot it came out in '08. But good night, this is how you make a thrill ride of a movie. If you saw it, you probably know what I'm talking about. I love movies that bring me in, shake me up, and don't let go. I'm still shaking from the subway scene.
Regretfully, 2008 also came with its share of stinkers. Like these 5 WORST FILMS OF 2008
Will someone please dig a hole that Matthew McConaughey can fall into?
Sorry, Eddie. You're done being funny. Step aside.
Journey to the Center of the Earth
I don't care what you and your co-7th graders think. This was a train wreck. And now bring on the hate mail.
If you enjoy seeing good actors acting badly, then this is for you. And if you enjoy seeing good actors singing even worse, then this is definitely for you.