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music

2008

Eric's Best of 2007

Romance and Cigarettes

Romance and Cigarettes.. The most delightful and original movie of 2007 was made in 2005. It breaks the rules, and your heart. Silly, but never ridiculous.

There Will Be Blood. P.T. Anderson's epic oil drama explores human darkness as black as, well, oil. Daniel Day-Lewis, man.

Black Snake Moan. Perfectly dirty, sexy, and shocking. Possibly the best Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci have ever been.

Atonement. Forget the ads calling it "the most romantic movie of the year." Atonement is about the power of storytelling, and its tragic limitations.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. LOVED IT.

Southland Tales. Unfairly shelved and ignored when it was finally released. Its closest relative is Romance and Cigarettes, if that means anything to you.

Zodiac. A puzzle with no solution—but the obsessive journey to get there (or, you know, not there) is riveting.

No Country for Old Men. Unbearable suspense and a sense of dread to make you shiver every time you remember Chigurh's deranged face.

The Orphanage. This haunted house flick from Spain delivers thrills upon chills—and not a cheap one in the bunch.

Paprika. A Japanese animated gem containing a psychedelic parade of mind-bending imagery that somehow makes sense. No really, there's an actual parade.

Worst of 2007

Love in the Time of CholeraLove in the Time of Cholera. If you'd like to believe that Javier Bardem is a good actor, see No Country For Old Men. Otherwise, check out this colossally embarrassing adaptation of the classic novel about love, cholera, and gratuitous nudity. Everyone in this movie thought they were getting Oscar nominations. Meanwhile, John Leguizamo is clearly high.

Redline. I'm sure you've never heard of this one. I don't even know how to explain it. There's a bunch of dudes racing fancy cars? And some bikini babe gets kidnapped or something? Anyway, the best part of this movie is when the "hot" girl soulfully sings a song called "I Wanna Be Your Car Tonight."

Transformers. Maybe it's because I don't think robots are cool. Or because I like to be able to tell what the fuck I'm looking at when millions of dollars have been spent on special effects.

Next. During a chase scene, Nicolas Cage hides (successfully) by DUCKING OUT OF FRAME. Enough said.

Premonition. It's soooooooo funny, y'all.

11th place candidates (Best of 2007)

In the Valley of Elah
The Hoax
The Kite Runner
Ratatouille
Starting Out in the Evening

6th place candidates (Worst of 2007)

The Bucket List
Because I Said So
Norbit
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Number 23

Movies it killed me to miss

A Mighty Heart
I'm Not There
Once
La Vie En Rose
Gone Baby Gone
Enchanted (shut up)

Movies it did not kill me at all to miss

The Darjeeling Limited... oh wait, I didn't miss it, I just forgot about it 10 seconds after leaving the theater

Ratatouille 5 best performances by non-humans

  1. Rémy the rat in Ratatouille, of course
  2. Specter of the Zodiac killer in i>Zodiac
  3. The number 23 appearing absolutely everywhere in The Number 23—so versatile!
  4. Jessica Biel's rubber hand portraying how hard it is to carry soccer balls in Home of the Brave
  5. John Travolta in drag in Hairspray, which my eyes refuse to identify as part of my species

Best performance in a bad movie

Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me

Worst performance in a good movie

Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma

The "Interesting Failure" Mention

Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor and starring talented young actors singing Beatles songs... so how did it get so awful?

The "Uninteresting Failure" Mention

Love in the Time of Cholera, directed by Mike Newell and starring Javier Bardem, and I still don't care to meditate on what went wrong.

Tagline that should have been

The Golden Compass: "Putting the 'ass' in 'compass'"

Tagline that, unfortunately, actually was

The Number 23: "A number is just a number. Or is it?"

There Will Be Blood Most awesomely awesome line

"I... drink... your... milkshake! [sucking sound] I DRINK IT UP!" —Daniel Plainview on milkshakes in There Will Be Blood

Most awesomely terrible line

"Sorry! All out of mercy!"—Ghost Rider explaining that he is all out of mercy in Ghost Rider

Most terribly terrible line

"He destroyed our family! Why can't you see that? WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID STILL?!"—Carlos to his brother on their Uncle Michael in Redline

Best line to think about when you're high

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted."—Krysta Now in Southland Tales

Most hilariously non-sexy line

"I'm gonna give you the best blow J. With my mouth."—Becca in Superbad (Runner-up: "I've got a boner!"—Fogell "McLovin" in Superbad) (Second runner-up: "Great! That will give me time to get my jugs waxed."
—Katie Van Waldenberg on personal grooming in Blades of Glory)

The 180° Award

Beowulf, which I saw in 2-D and declared a waste of time, but after seeing in 3-D declared the coolest thing EVAR

The Sideways Award for the movie everyone loved and I hated

The Savages

The Marie-Antoinette Award for the movie everyone hated and I loved

Mr. Brooks

2007: the year of outstanding performances by children

- Saoirse Ronan, as a lying pre-teen in Atonement
- Roger Príncep, as an HIV-positive orphan in The Orphanage
- Dillon Freasier, as Daniel Day-Lewis's deaf son in There Will Be Blood
- Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, as best friends torn apart in The Kite Runner

Guilty pleasure

Music and Lyrics

All guilt, no pleasure

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

All pleasure, no guilt

I Am Legend

Best double play

Michael Cera in Superbad and Juno

Mandy Moore in Southland Best triple play

Mandy Moore in Romance and Cigarettes, Southland Tales, and Dedication

Worst double play

Jessica Biel in Home of the Brave and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Worst triple play

Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider, Next, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Brilliant, underappreciated performances

- Charlize Theron in In the Valley of Elah
- Michael Douglas in King of California
- Molly Shannon in Year of the Dog
- Richard Gere in The Hoax

Best title of the year

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

Worst title of the year

Who's Your Caddy

Most accurate title of the year

Next, which made me want to call, "Next!"

Least accurate title of the year

Superbad, which was supergood

Most memorable use of nudity in a film

Eastern Promises, in which Viggo Mortensen engages in gory combat with a bunch of thugs... completely naked

Most revolting use of nudity in a film

Love in the Time of Cholera, in which Giovanna Mezzogiorno wears a really unconvincing "naked old lady" body suit

Most confusing use of nudity in a film

Beowulf, in which every possible opportunity is taken to display gratuitous computer-generated ass, which is just... I don't get it

Best use of makeup in a film

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Worst use of makeup in a film

The Bucket List, in which Morgan Freeman's bald cap appears to sit on top of his unflattened hair

Least necessary use of makeup in a film

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in which Helena Bonham Carter is made up to look like, you know, Helena Bonham Carter

Hottest male star

It's a 300-way tie

Dan in Real Life Hottest female star

Juliette Binoche in Dan in Real Life

Most irredeemably loathsome "comic" character

Robin Williams as a sociopathic priest in License to Wed
(Runner-up: Diane Keaton as a shrieking self-caricature in Because I Said So)

Box office proof that the world is ending

- Norbit worldwide gross: $159 million
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry worldwide gross: $186 million
- Ghost Rider worldwide gross: $228 million
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer worldwide gross: $288 million
- National Treasure: Book of Secrets worldwide gross: $429 million and finally...
- Transformers worldwide gross: $707 million

Movies to look forward to in 2008

Cloverfield
Teeth
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Paranoid Park
Funny Games
Run, Fat Boy, Run
Stop-Loss
My Blueberry Nights
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Baby Mama
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo
Son of Rambow
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City
The Happening
Get Smart
Religulous (which I saw bits and pieces of at TIFF '07)
Wall-E
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Mamma Mia!
Step Brothers
The Pineapple Express
Quantum of Solace
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Movies to not look forward to in 2008

In the Name of the King
Meet the Spartans
Fool's Gold
The Hottie and the Nottie
College Road Trip
Horton Hears A Who
Drillbit Taylor
Shutter
Superhero Movie
Speed Racer
What Happens In Vegas
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
Hancock
Towelhead (known as "Nothing is Private" when it defiled my eyes at TIFF)
Saw V
Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape

 

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