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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

9 Movies

9 Movies I Greatly Enjoyed in 2008:

1. Homicide: Life on the Streets, Seasons 1-7 + made-for-tv movie: Technically not a movie but probably the best cop show ever - a lot of the people involved went on to make The Wire which I hear is even better.

2. Adaptation: Charlie Kaufman is just so brilliant for the layers of dramatic irony, the stories within the stories, and the pathetic insecure writer as character. One of my favourite movies.

3. On the Waterfront: Classic Hollywood Brando union story. "I coulda been somebody...Instead of a bum, which is what I am."

4. Instinct: In which white man learns from silverback gorillas, goes to the loony bin, teaches young black man what he learned. When I put it that way, it sounds terrible doesn't it? But it's a surprisingly good adaptation of Ishmael, considering that book (as much as I loved it) had almost no plot to work with. They did a great job getting the basic idea across and creating their own plot.

5. The Dark Knight: Some have called it over-rated, over-hyped. I disagree. Ledger was freaky and engrossing; the high-flying Chinese cityscapes gave me vertigo, I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing.

6. Whale Rider: Beautiful magic-realist tale of a Maori girl-chief.

7. Inner Strength: All it is, is shots of six different couples giving birth at different times, but all in a Dutch birth centre. Almost no dialogue other than moaning and screaming and crying. It is absolutely beautiful.

8. The Man Without a Past: Stoic Finnish skid row bums playing funk music for the salvation army. It doesn't get much better.

9. The Battle of Algiers: Incredible realism, unblinking look at both the French and Algerian atrocities of war. Has a documentary feel but isn't a documentary. Gripping stuff.


Charles Gramlich said...

I only saw the Dark Knight. I liked that one, and Iron Man pretty good. Wall-E was good and 88 minutes was pretty decent.

I didn't care at all for the new Hulk, STrangers, or Mongol.

benjibopper said...

I'd like to see Wall-E and also Iron Man.

Carrie Ellis said...

Adaptation is one of my favs too. The book upon which it is based is also fun. Not 'high' literature, but fun.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind seemed to strike the same chord with me movie wise. If you haven't seen it already you might enjoy it.

benjibopper said...

Hey Carrie, yeah, loved Eternal Sunshine - was that Charlie Kaufman too? It seemed his kind of thing.

Carrie Ellis said...

Now that's the kind of question that my husband could answer off the cuff, but for myself, a quick trip over to and I can confidently say 'why yes they are both written by Kaufman.' Guess that's why I like them both!