Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Best of 2008 - Movie Edition


Time for HLS to jump into the fray and add to the ever growing population of "Bests of the Year" lists.  The catch here, for my Movies edition, is a refreshing bout of honesty: I've only seen a handful of the films released this calendar year.  The list, alphabetically, is below.  Bear in mind that I am married, and have kids, which will explain several of the items on the list:

The Dark Knight
Kung Fu Panda
Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
Step Brothers
Wanted
Tropic Thunder
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Get Smart
Pineapple Express
Mamma Mia!
Zack and Miri Make A Porno
The Love Guru
Baby Mama
Meet Dave


Best Actor:
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Seth Rogen, Zack & Miri
James Franco, Pineapple Express
Jason Segel, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Tough call, but Legder (whom I'm considering as a lead actor, since his presence and role was paramount to the success of the film) gets the nod here as the pathological Joker.  It's a shame we'll never see a follow-up, but that will undoubtedly only add to the legend.

Best Actress:
Mila Kunis, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Angelina Jolie, Wanted
Tina Fey, Baby Mama
Elizabeth Banks, Zack & Miri
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!

Jolie was the type of mysterious woman who can kick your ass that she's been in several other films, and though she was great, I can't give her the choice.  Streep did all her own singing, which gets my vote in a pretty weak field.

Best Supporting Actor:
Neal Patrick Harris, Harold & Kumar
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder

Craig Robinson, Zack & Miri
Russell Brand, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Man, what a tough choice here - all awesome.  Robinson nearly steals the film in Zack & Miri, while Brand never fails to get laughs.  I'm going to cop out and call it a tie between Cruise's nearly unrecognizable turn in Tropic Thunder and NPH's tour-de-force in Harold & Kumar.  Remember, the P stands for "Poon Hound".

Best Supporting Actress
:
Anne Hathaway, Get Smart
Amy Poehler, Baby Mama

Poeler gets the nod for playing funny, at which she is a pro, but also being able to dial it down when needed.  Hathaway did a nice job as the ass-kicking Agent 99, and always lights up whatever film in which she appears.

Best Cameo:
Justin Long, Zack & Miri

No contest, Long's extended High School Reuinion scene as the gay porn star who ultimately provides the inspiration to the main character was absolutely brilliant.  After seeing this guy as the unassuming "Mac" for the past few years, it was easy to forget what he could do.

Best Kids Movie:
Kung Fu Panda
Well paced, no pop culture references, just a really good story, well told, with good characters.  Oh, and it's funny.  Maybe Hollywood will learn a lesson here, but I doubt it.

Best Movie:
Tropic Thunder
The Dark Knight
Forgetting Sarah Marshall

All were stellar, but for an overall great movie, start to finish, I'm giving the edge to Tropic Thunder.  I was thoroughy surprised at how much I enjoyed this film, which was pushed to the top thanks to the great turns put in by Tom Cruise and Robert Downey, Jr.  The Dark Knight is a very close second.

Most Questionable Decision:
Pierce Brosnan sings (Mamma Mia!)
Male full frontal (Zack & Miri)
Male Full Frontal(Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Putting "Porno" in the Title (Zack & Miri)

Brosnan gave it his best shot, and wasn't terrible, which is saying something.  I questioned why Kevin Smith saw the need to show Jason Mewes' junk in what seemed to be a gratoitous manner.  Segel being naked while being dumped by Sarah Marshall had a poignancy to it which fit into the story, but Mewes doing the full monty didn't seem to make sense, story wise.


Best Guy Who Shows Up In Every Movie:
Bill Hader - Turned up in Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and better yet, was funny in each.  In 2009, may he see bigger roles.

That's it for 2008, as far as I was concerned.  See this space for Music picks soon...

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