Friday, February 27, 2009

Film '08

Most of my buddies that blog already put out their "best of '08" lists. I realize that I am quite behind with my film list. The reason behind this is simple. I wanted to see as many films as possible before making the final list. I've finally come to a realization that there are many films that I won't see for a while for a few reasons. The first is that I live in Colorado Springs, so specific art house films won't be coming to my town. I'll have to await their arrival on blu-ray. Another is that film is something I enjoy, but not a high priority. I'll rarely make a sacrifice to see a film, but I will sacrifice watching a film for a variety of reasons.

That said, I've decided to do this year's list a bit differently. I was inspired by Roger Ebert's decision to organize his list alphabetically because he could not decide which films were best. He simply enjoyed all of his favorites. I've taken a cue from Netflix and decided to arrange my list based on the way I rated each film on my Netflix account. On this wonderful site, the viewer gives each film a star rating, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. Netflix defines the star system this way; 5-loved it, 4-really liked it, 3-liked it, 2-didn't like it, 1-hated it. This year, I'll group my list together based on my Netflix Ratings.

First, a few observations. I am slowly getting better at selecting the films to which I give my time. I saw 39 films released in 2008 and only 5 fell below the 3 star rating. Only 1 received a 1 star rating. Each of these 5 films I really looked forward to as well. I wasn't forced to watch a piece of shit like Sex and the City. Each film on this list, I had a desire to see. Another observation is that of these 39 films, only 3 received a 5 star rating. Most received 3 or 4. The line between a 4 and 5 star film is sometimes thin. I may respect a 4 star film as much as a 5 star film, but the 5 star has to bring me to an emotional level that the 4 does not reach. Often, it does so by surprise. So here they are, from 1 to 5.

1 Star

Appaloosa - Had potential, which is why its suckiness was so disappointing. I hated this film.

2 Star

Be Kind Rewind
Smart People
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

3 Star

Body of Lies
Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian
Frozen River
Hellboy II - The Golden Army
Indiana Jones and the Kingdome of Crystal Skull
Kung Fu Panda
Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist
Paranoid Park
Quantum of Solace
Tropic Thunder
Zack and Miri Make a Porno

4 Star

Burn After Reading
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Encounters at the End of the World
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Gran Torino
In Bruges
Iron Man
Pineapple Express
Revolutionary Road
The Wrestler

5 Star

The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
The Visitor

Films I haven't seen that will impact the list:

Man on Wire
Synechdoche, New York
Rachel Getting Married
Let the Right One In
Miracle at St. Anna
The Class
Tell No One
The Hurt Locker
The Reader
Wendy and Lucy

I anxiously await your comments and criticism. My next blog will address my favorite scenes of the year. Thank you for reading