2008: A Cinematic Odyssey

Film Reviews and Other Pop Culture Happenings

Posts Tagged ‘top 10’

Film Update – 8 December 2008

Posted by Jesse on December 8, 2008

Since I haven’t utilized this blog since July, I will take it upon me to update my top 10 of 2008, my Oscar predictions and everything else that has happened in the film world since July. At least I will try…

Here’s a point form list of what I have done relating to film since the end of July:

  • Attended the gala premiere of the film Blindness at the Toronto International Film Festival
  • Attended a screening of the film The Wrestler at the Toronto International Film Festival
  • Saw the Coen Brothers’ new film Burn After Reading in the theaters
  • Saw the disgusting sequel High School Musical 3: Senior Year in theaters
  • Attended a special presentation at my school, York University, from cinematographer Paul Sarossy. He screened one of Atom Egoyan’s films that he worked on: Where the Truth Lies.
  • Saw the 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, in theaters
  • Saw Clint Eastwood’s film Changeling
  • Attended a special screening of David Fincher’s new film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at an AMC in downtown Toronto on December 3rd
  • Finally watched WALL-E on DVD

That’s pretty much all that has happened since the beginning of August. Sad, I know.

But I also have three exciting films that I will be seeing all in one day on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008. These films are: Milk, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire.

I will post here with an even more up-to-date top 10 of 2008 list after I see those films.

But for now, this is my current top 10 of 2008:

  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. WALL-E
  4. The Wrestler
  5. Changeling
  6. In Bruges
  7. Burn After Reading
  8. [Rec]
  9. Funny Games U.S.
  10. Blindness

I have to say I am pleased with this list so far… but I know [Rec], Funny Games and Blindness will not be on the list for much longer.

As for what has happened Awards-wise… the National Board of Review announced its winners on December 4th. They were as follows:

Best Picture of 2008 Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director – David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Actor – Clint Eastwood for Gran Torino

Best Actress – Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married

Best Supporting Actor – Josh Brolin for Milk

Best Supporting Actress – Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Original Screenplay – Nick Schenk for Gran Torino

Best Adapted Screenplay – Eric Roth for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Film Mongol

Best Documentary Man on Wire

Best Animated Feature WALL-E

Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor – Dev Patel for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress – Viola Davis for Doubt

Best Directorial Debut – Courtney Hunt for Frozen River

Spotlight Award – Melissa Leo for Frozen River & Richard Jenkins for The Visitor

Best Ensemble Cast Doubt

Top Five Foreign Films The Edge of Heaven, Let the Right One In, Roman de Gare, A Secret, Waltz with Bashir

Top Five Documentaries American Teen, The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Dear Zachary, Encounters at the End of the World, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Top Ten Independent Films Frozen River, In Bruges, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Mr. Foe, Rachel Getting Married, Snow Angels, Son of Rambow, Wendy and Lucy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Visitor

Top Ten Films Burn After Reading, Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Defiance, Frost/Nixon, Gran Torino, Milk, WALL-E, The Wrestler

Overall, I was pleased with the winners. The ones that surprised me the most were Clint Eastwood for Best Actor and Gran Torino for Original Screenplay. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I just don’t understand the constant Eastwood love. I hope the film is great and Eastwood deserves it, otherwise I will be very angry. I also don’t quite understand why Mongol, a film nominated for the Foreign Film Oscar in 2007, won the award here for this year. Either way, the awards were all great and undoubtedly well deserved.

In my next post I will discuss my Oscar Predictions as of now.

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TOP 10 #1: Favourite Movie Posters

Posted by Jesse on July 21, 2008

The is the first entry of a TOP 10 list. Once in a while I will be posting random Top 10 lists which relate to either film, music or some kind of other pop culture.

In this first edition of TOP 10, the subject is Favourite Movie Posters. The following list is my top 10 favourite movie posters of all time. There were some which I had to leave out, but I have decided that these 10 are my favourite. In reverse order, here is the list:

#10 Lord of War (2005)
Lord of War Poster

#9 Straw Dogs (1971)
Straw Dogs Poster

#8 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs Poster

#7 Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany's Poster

#6 Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary's Baby Poster

#5 All About Eve (1950)
All About Eve Poster

#4 Brick (2005)
Brick Poster

#3 The Descent (2005)
The Descent Poster

#2 Downhill Racer (1969)
Downhill Racer Poster

#1 Paris, je t’aime (2007)
Paris, je t'aime Poster

That’s it for this TOP 10.
Check back soon for the next edition of TOP 10.

-j.taylor

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Film Update – 20 July 2008

Posted by Jesse on July 20, 2008

This is my first film update on this blog. In these film updates I will be talking about the films I have seen in the past few days, what reviews are coming soon and some brief thoughts on the week film-wise and otherwise. Lists will undoubtedly be common to these posts, too.

This past weekend (18 July – 20 July), I’ve seen some very amazing films. Some new ones and some that I decided to re-watch.

On July 18, I went to the local Cineplex to try and buy tickets for The Dark Knight. I knew I was going to be unsuccessful, but I thought I’d try anyways. There was over 1,000 people in line and it was way passed the sold out point. So I just bought tickets for the Saturday night show (10:30). I came back on Saturday and waited in line for forty-five minutes. I must say it was worth the wait. The Dark Knight is not only the greatest film of 2008 thus far, but one of the best films I have seen. It had everything I was looking for and it blew my expectations right out of the water. It was brilliant and I will definitely be seeing it again very soon.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

Apparently The Dark Knight has set two box office records, also. It has the highest opening day numbers with well over $67 million and the highest three-day weekend numbers with well over $155 million. It just surpassed Spider-Man 3‘s numbers by a few million dollars to take the record. The Dark Knight was also successful on www.imdb.com. As of July 20, it has been voted by its users to be the #1 film of all time. Naturally, it will drop back down on the list, but this is quite the achievement. The Godfather has been holding that position firmly for many, many years and only one film has come close to dislodging it; The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in early 2004 (which peaked at #2). I wish the film good luck and I hope it will break more records and be successful not only in North America, but worldwide.

I also have to mention the late, great Heath Ledger. His performance in the film as The Joker was absolutely phenomenal. Talks of a posthumous Oscar are undeniably possible. He makes Jack Nicholson look like Betty Boop and brings a new meaning to “comic book villain”. I will write more on Heath in the upcoming review of the film (which I am very excited about).

So far, this year has been good. Not as impressive as 2006 or 2007 yet, but we still have Awards season to get through which I have high hopes for.

My ten most anticipated films of 2008:

  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Fincher, USA)
  2. The Dark Knight (Nolan, USA)
  3. Revolutionary Road (Mendes, USA/UK)
  4. Blindness (Meirelles, CAN/BRZ/JAP)
  5. Burn After Reading (Coen, USA)
  6. Vicky Christina Barcelona (Allen, USA/SPN)
  7. Changeling (Eastwood, USA)
  8. Australia (Luhrmann, USA/AUSL)
  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Yates, UK/USA)
  10. Iron Man (Favreau, USA)

Also, here’s a list of what I consider to be the ten best films of the year so far. Keep in mind, I haven’t seen many films. I’ve only seen a few, but these ten stood out.

Top 10 of 2008 Thus Far:

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. [Rec]
  3. Funny Games (U.S.)
  4. Kung Fu Panda
  5. Iron Man
  6. Wanted
  7. Be Kind Rewind
  8. The Life Before Her Eyes
  9. Charlie Bartlett
  10. Then She Found Me

I also re-watched the following movies this week (and updated some ratings):

  • Fight Club (1999, Fincher) [10/10] ♥30
  • The Usual Suspects (1995, Singer) [10/10] ♥50
  • Paris, je t’aime (2007, various) [9.5/10] ♥150
  • Hable con ella [Talk to Her] (2002, Almodóvar) [10/10] ♥30
  • Goodfellas (1990, Scorsese) [10/10] ♥20

* s indicate the placement of the film on my favourite films list (eg., ♥50 means the film is in my top 50 of all time)

That’s it for this update. A review of The Dark Knight will be coming soon along with reviews of Taxi Driver and The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite).

-j.taylor

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