Big surprise: the Screen Actors Guild would give four
to a scenery chewing (and spewing) film about a safe political topic directed
by a pompously outspoken actor in an election year. Makes for good awards
ceremony drama and fine thespian self congratulation.
But back to the opinions that matter, part II in the Boston
Phoenix critics best, worst and most overrated lists:
Gary Susman's Top 10 Movies of 2007
6.Gone Baby Gone
7.No End in Sight
8.3:10 to Yuma
9.The Lives of Others
10.No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Away From Her
2. Away From Her
3. This Is England
4. 12:08 East of Bucharest
5. The Wind That Shakes the Barley
6. The Hoax
8. Rescue Dawn
9. The Bourne Ultimatum
10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
1. Knocked Up. This film seemed to establish two
things: (a) the bar in comedy is being lowered to puerile, funnyordie-type
levels and (b) suddenly there's a massive disconnect between comedy and
2. Gone Baby Gone. Let's see, another film about Irish toughs and police
corruption in Boston?
Could we please identify another subject? Please!
3. Margot at the Wedding. Main story here: the director cast his wife.
Plus: (spoiler) no wedding!
4. Hotel Chevalier. An ingratiating downloadable short film, intended as
a "prequel" to to The Darjeeling Limited. Have DVD special
features migrated to the big screen?
5. Hot Fuzz. An SNL skit movie, supposedly funnier because it's British.
I'm not buying it.
Year after year, I’m used to complaining how few good films
are released, so it was rather eye opening experience compiling this “Ten Best”
list; it was with some difficulty that I attempted to narrow the 2007 releases
to fit such an arbitrary target. This was a good year for the cinema! So, I
give you my picks for the 10 Best (and more of the rest):
2. Syndromes and a Century
3. Le scaphandre et
le papillon / The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
5. There Will Be Blood
6. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
7. The Host
8. Linda Linda Linda
9. Michael Clayton
Any of these next 10 choices could easily have fallen on the
list as well. The keen eye will notice three of these pictures come from that
newest cinematic hotbed, Romania.
Others will note that two of the films are 30 and 37 years, respectively, but
are only now finding American distribution for the first time. So, I give you
10 more, in alphabetical order:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
The Killer of Sheep
No Country for Old Men
Kamigami no fukaki
yokubo / The Profound Desire of the Gods
12:08 East of Bucharest
The Way I Spent the End of the World
Woman is the Future of Man
Why stop now? Special mention should also be made of the
Blade Runner: The Final Cut, The Boss of It All, Brand Upon
the Brain, Eden, Gone Baby Gone, Hot Fuzz, I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone, I’m Not
There, Into Great Silence, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Paprika, Red Road, Romance
& Cigarettes, Zodiac
Finally, with all the good, there must be some bad, right?
Oh my, yes. While there may have been worse films made this year, the following
films stand out because they each, in one way or another, contained the
participation of people who should have known better. (I’m talking to you,
Heather Matarazzo.) Some of the worst, in alphabetical order:
Angel-A, August Rush, Bee Movie, The Bucket List, Hostel:
Part II, I Know Who Killed Me, In the Valley of Elah, Juno, Lions for Lambs,
Perfect Stranger, Rendition, Shoot ‘Em Up, Shrek the Third, The Simpsons Movie,
Southland Tales, Spider-Man 3, Youth Without Youth.
Tom Meek’s second thoughts:
10 Honorable Mentions, that on any other day could replace
6-10 on my 10 Best List. Some were not initially considered as they were
technically not released in 2007, but got their Boston area release this year
(the excellent Asian films Linda
Linda Linda, The
Host and Woman is the Future of Man).
The Black Book
I’m Not There
King of Kong
Linda Linda Linda
Margot at the Wedding
Brooke Holgerson (showing a little bitterness perhaps
because all the movies I assigned to her were terrible. Nothing personal,
Brooke! My New Year’s resolution is to turn that around).
Here they are: the worst movies I saw this year. All thanks
1. Bratz: The Movie
Nothing could prepare me for this painful, painful display
of "girl power" - and shopping.
2. Good Luck Chuck
I don't know if I blame Dane Cook, or the thousands of
people out there who think he's funny for inflicting his movies on us. I think
I'll go ahead and blame everyone.
and the Chipmunks
Remember when Jason Lee used to be cool? Yeah, me too.
4. The Bucket List
No, it's not as bad as Bratz: The Movie, but given the level
of talent involved, and the blatant Oscar pandering they indulge in, it's just
5.Daddy Day Camp
Speaking of Oscars.... Cuba - what the hell? Eddie
Murphy's sloppy seconds? You're better than that. I want to believe you're
better than that.
Man, I don't know if I've seen enough in-theater movies this
year to compile a full top 10 list worth looking at.
How about this:
Mark Bazer, Parent of a Two-Year-Old
3.The Lives of Others
4.No Country for Old Men
5.I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids
Happy holidays, all.