Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: The almost 10 Best list so far (subject to change)

Well, movie year 2009 is more than half over. Normally, at this time of year I find myself thinking that there’s no way in hell I’ll end up with a Ten Best list by year’s end. The January “white sale” of lousy movies—that often extends till March or April—that the studios dump on viewers who are burnt out after the frenzy of awards season rarely provide much in the way of “best of” material. The summer blockbusters are not known for adding to the choices in any meaningful way.

I looked over last year’s Ten Best list and discovered that only three titles—Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, Bharati Nalluri’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges—appeared on the moviegoing scene before fall. That’s not terribly surprising since studios work on the assumption—not entirely without reason—that critics and Academy voters have limited attention spans. The result is that they want to bring out everything of note—or what they think is of note—as near the end of the year as possible. This usually pays off, though there are exceptions—witness the dashed hopes last year of Defiance, Revolutionary Road, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Changeling and Gran Torino.

Now, 2009 looks a little different from my perspective. As things stand at the moment, I could easily come up with eight of a Ten Best list—and I could be persuaded to add Cheri, Moon, The Hurt Locker and even Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to the mix in a pinch. With those and my eight titles, I could come up with a Ten Best list that didn’t feel terribly compromised. So unless the whole year is just screwy, it ought to prove to be a pretty crowded field by the end of December.

With this in mind, it occurred to me that it might be kind of interesting to see what my Eight Best list looks like now—and by comparison how it stacks up at the end of the year. The inherent flaw—or possible flaw—in a list like this is that it consists largely of movies that I’ve only seen once. Of the eight titles I’ve only seen four—Tokyo!, Sunshine Cleaning, Up, Easy Virtue—more than once. Whenever possible, I try to see every contender for that final list at least twice. There are, after all, some perfectly enjoyable movies that don’t lend themselves to repeat viewings. Truly fine films, on the other hand, improve with familiarity as elements of structure and other nuances reveal themselves over time.

In any case, the eight films that seem likely to be heavy contenders for the final list are listed below.

1. The Brothers Bloom. At this point Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom is locked in a slugfest with my number two title for the top slot. It’s the sort of quirky, original work that appeals on so many levels that it’s not going to be easy to beat. On my single viewing, I couldn’t spot a false move, a forced moment or a less-than-terrific performance for its entire length. The film is beautifully structured, very funny and yet very human all at once. Charges that the film is too grounded in the realm of Wes Anderson seem to me to be off-base. The humor isn’t dissimilar, but the style and approach are actually very different.

2. Tetro. As far as a pure cinematic high, nothing has gotten me higher than Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro this year. As I noted in my review for the film, I was quite surprised because I’m not a big fan of Coppola’s work in general—something that has less to do with its quality than with his tendency to tackle subject matter that doesn’t resonate with me. Tetro is different in that regard, but even if it wasn’t I would still be blown away by the look of the film and Coppola’s creative audacity from first to last. If I have any single reservation on this title, it stems from a lack of complete emotional involvement with the two main characters—at least on a single viewing. That’s what I felt while I was watching the film, but here I am a little over a week after seeing the film and I’m still thinking about them, which suggests there was considerably more involvement than I sensed at the time.

3. Easy Virtue. I’ll be very surprised if Stephan Elliott’s wickedly funny and very perceptive Easy Virtue doesn’t end up on the top half of my final list. I was entranced and entertained by this decidedly “free” interpretation of the Noel Coward play from start to finish. Not every film can blend the gloriously romantic (and few things are romantic than the opening of this movie) with bitter satire, over-the-top comic set-pieces and a down-to-earth romantic conclusion. Easy Virtue is a film that not only can, but does—and tops it all off with one of the most playful uses of music I’ve seen in ages.

4. Whatever Works Woody Allen’s new/old film is a marvel. Since it’s taken from a script he wrote in 1977, it has something of the flavor of what might be called his richest period. Yet it’s a film that feels fresher—and bolder—now than it would have in 1977 when its themes would have been more in keeping with the mood of the day, especially where movies were concerned. Owing to its unusual pedigree, it’s a work that offers a number of different perspectives. It says something about 1977 and it says something about 2009—more than might be casually appreciated. (Everything else to one side, in 1977 Whatever Works would have come out through a major releasing company and played in regular theaters, while now it arrives from a specialty branch of a major company and plays in art houses.) In addition to this, it’s probably the funniest movie you can expect to see all year—assuming, of course, that you find Allen’s sense of humor to your liking.

5. Up I went to see Up with fairly grave misgivings. I am not one who thinks Pixar can do no wrong, and I hadn’t liked the trailer at all. I have rarely been more agreeably surprised. The film had me hooked within ten minutes and never lost me. It wouldn’t matter whether or not Up was an animated film, it would—based on content and style—be a great movie in any form. The multiple levels on which Up works are astonishing, and yet it’s a film that feels all of a piece—unlike, say, last year’s WALL-E, which couldn’t keep from feeling like two separate movies. And it’s a movie that loses none of its punch on repeat viewings.

6. Sunshine Cleaning There is perhaps a hint of indie hipness clinging to Christine Jeff’s Sunshine Cleaning, and there’s not denying that Jeff’s direction is rarely more than craftsmanlike (the scene under the railroad trestle being a notable exception). But Jeff also created an atmosphere that allowed her actors to breathe true life into their characters. That is also directing, though it’s harder to peg and discuss—even if you know it when you see it. And you see a lot of it here. Everyone shines in this funny and surprisingly moving film. It probably won’t happen, but if anyone deserves a Best Supporting Actress Oscar this year, it’s Emily Blunt. If you missed it theaters, it comes out on DVD on August 25.

7. Tokyo! This three part film—three short films from Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, Bong Joon-ho—is perhaps the most problematic title on this list. I was absolutely and completely taken with all three movies—on both occasions that I saw it—but I recognize the fact that it’s far and away the least liked of all the films cited here. This surprised me, because it has a lot of the elements that tend to play well in Asheville. When I started hearing stories of people walking out during its stay at the Fine Arts, I couldn’t account for it. Then someone asked me if I was sticking by my five star rating on the movie. I said I was, whereupon he pointed out that while he’d admired—maybe even liked—Tokyo! it came across like “a late Beethoven string quartet.” In other words, it’s the sort of thing that can appeal very strongly to the hardcore admirer who’s really into the technique of it all, but is apt to alienate those who aren’t. I can see that. I can appreciate that. I still think it’s a great piece—or three great pieces—of filmmaking.

8. Coraline Henry Selick’s Coraline is the most likely film not to end up on the final list. It’s a film that doesn’t always work for me—though when it does work, it’s the bee’s knees, and I don’t use that term lightly. I don’t mind that it’s a dark work. I called it a “horror film for children” when it came out and that still seems about right to me. I see nothing wrong with that. The problem that existed for me at the time the movie came out remains—its lack of emotional resonance, grounded in the fact that the characters aren’t particularly likable. It would be a lot easier to fully embrace the movie if I cared all that much what happened to anyone.

That’s where I stand on things at the end of July. There are still quite a few things to come—things that could play havoc with this list. High on my list of anticipated titles are Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, and Rob Marshall’s Nine. I’m curious about Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, too. I have a mix of interest and dread concerning Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. The Maurice Sendak book was not a part of my childhood, so I’m not worried about it from that standpoint. No, it’s simply the fact that the trailer waffles between intriguing and reminding me of an episode of The Banana Splits and the specter of guys wandering around in sweaty costumes. We’ll see.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the other side of the coin—that Ten Worst list—there’s no shortage there, even though at the moment Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is riding high. Still, The Twilight Saga: New Moon lies out there waiting…waiting. Oh, yes, that looks to be a strong candidate.

 

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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40 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: The almost 10 Best list so far (subject to change)

  1. Dread P. Roberts

    Well, I’ve seen exactly half of your list (The Brothers Bloom, Up, Tokyo!, Coraline) so, as usual, I have some catching up to do. But out of what I have seen, it seems perfectly agreeable. I actually just saw Tokyo about three weeks ago on DVD. For me it wasn’t quit a home-run. I loved the first two shorts, but the third just didn’t quite measure up. It wasn’t bad, just a little disappointing after the build up of the first two. I didn’t even know about Tetro prior to reading your glowing review, but it would seem that I need to find time for this henceforth.

    On a side note, what happened to Sophia Coppola? I found Lost in Translation to be a pleasant surprise, but I haven’t seen anything of hers since then (still need to watch The Virgin Suicides one of these days).

  2. Dread P. Roberts

    Also, Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is pretty high on my list of anticipated titles.

  3. Ken Hanke

    On a side note, what happened to Sophia Coppola? I found Lost in Translation to be a pleasant surprise, but I haven’t seen anything of hers since then (still need to watch The Virgin Suicides one of these days).

    She made that expensive — if not uninteresting — dud Marie Antoinette

    http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/marieantoinette.php

    Ironically, the sequence in the film that impressed me most turned out to have been directed by her brother, Roman. Bear in mind though, I didn’t really get all the fuss about Lost in Translation.

    Also, Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is pretty high on my list of anticipated titles.

    I have still seen no US release date or distributor for this. I originally had a reference in the column to Joe Johnston’s The Wolf Man, but that’s been moved from a November 2009 date to February 2010.

  4. Ken Hanke

    I loved the first two shorts, but the third just didn’t quite measure up. It wasn’t bad, just a little disappointing after the build up of the first two.

    Oddly enough, while I tend to agree with that (the short has grown on me, I’ll admit), it’s the second film that seems to cause the most complaint. I’ve been surprised by how many people I know who like the third film best.

  5. Oddly enough, while I tend to agree with that (the short has grown on me, I’ll admit), it’s the second film that seems to cause the most complaint. I’ve been surprised by how many people I know who like the third film best.

    The third part is the best. Unfortunately, TOKYO has been a hard sell on home video. We’ve already sold off half of what we stocked…

    Oh, and if you’re wondering about the other side of the coin—that Ten Worst list—there’s no shortage there, even though at the moment Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is riding high. Still, The Twilight Saga: New Moon lies out there waiting…waiting. Oh, yes, that looks to be a strong candidate.

    GI JOE?

  6. Matt

    “Unlike WALL-E blah blah blah blah”

    No. WALL-E was not only better than Up, it was consistently wonderful throughout. Only those tools who insist on digging for something to complain about and have to make up something when they find nothing in WALL-E use this idiotic excuse.

  7. Dread P. Roberts

    Bear in mind though, I didn’t really get all the fuss about Lost in Translation.

    I’m not saying it’s was anything oustanding, and I would agree that it didn’t really make sense to get all of the lavishing critical praise that I vaguely recall it getting,

    I have still seen no US release date or distributor for this.

    I believe it was originally scheduled to be released in mid October, but now it has been moved to a christmas release. There is a little bit of movie footage on RT if anyone’s interested.

    it’s the second film that seems to cause the most complaint.

    While I can understand that sort of reaction, based off of the darker, more menacing nature of “Merde“, I just don’t agree. I tend to agree with your initial review, Ken, that the first one (“Interior Design“) was the best. Merde might have been my favorite if it had maintained the same level of enjoyment as the initial introduction. “Shaking Tokyo” (the third one) was a well made little film, it just wasn’t my ‘cup-of-tea’.

  8. Ken Hanke

    The third part is the best.

    The difference is that I’m willing to bet that you liked The Host, while everyone else I’ve heard take that stand were either indifferent to it, or disliked The Host outright.

    Unfortunately, TOKYO has been a hard sell on home video.

    Has anyone explained why they didn’t like it? I’m truly curious about that.

    GI JOE?

    Well, I’m not expecting it to be good, but it will have to work at it to be as opulently awful as Transformers or as flat-out retarded as New Moon looks. (I like to fantasize that New Moon will incorporate songs from the old stage show of the same name. I can imagine the chief werewolf singing “Stout Hearted Men” and Bella warbling “Lover Come Back to Me.” It could only help.)

  9. Ken Hanke

    I believe it was originally scheduled to be released in mid October, but now it has been moved to a christmas release.

    I still can’t even find who’s distributing in this country. The most recent thing I can find is from July 27 and it reads that the film “opens in the UK October 16, 2009 and has yet to find a distributor for a US release.” Believe me, I’d like that to be wrong. Certainly, Sony Classics or Strand will pick it up. I hope.

    I tend to agree with your initial review, Ken, that the first one (”Interior Design”) was the best.

    Don’t misunderstand, that’s still my take. I grew to like Shaking Tokyo better on a second viewing, but it’s still my least favorite.

  10. Ken Hanke

    No. WALL-E was not only better than Up, it was consistently wonderful throughout

    So that’s your opinion. It’s not mine.

    Only those tools who insist on digging for something to complain about and have to make up something when they find nothing in WALL-E use this idiotic excuse.

    I usually don’t bother responding to people who name-call, but how exactly do you know the motivation behind this? And you mean to say that you don’t see a significant difference between the first half of the film and the second? You may think the movie is absolutely wonderful, but to deny that there’s a shift in tone is being willfully blind. And neither that, nor coming on with fists blazing do much for your case, nor are they likely to persuade anyone.

  11. Sean Williams

    No. WALL-E was not only better than Up, it was consistently wonderful throughout. Only those tools who insist on digging for something to complain about and have to make up something when they find nothing in WALL-E use this idiotic excuse.

    Oh, of course, the only reason anyone would ever dare to disagree with you is if he or she were deliberately searching for something about which to complain.

    Grow up.

  12. Sean Williams

    Quick question — didn’t you rate Half-Blood Prince a half-star higher than Coraline?

    Mind, I don’t attend the cinema as frequently as you, not having a voucher and all, so it’ll be months before I see most of these films. However, your list for 2008 contained almost all of the same items as mine (albeit in a different order), so I’m eager to compare notes at the end of the moviegoing season.

  13. Ken Hanke

    Quick question—didn’t you rate Half-Blood Prince a half-star higher than Coraline?

    The difference is I’ve had time to weigh and revisit Coraline and I’d rate it higher now than I originally did. If you were to go over the lists from previous years, you’d likely find similar changes from original reviews to those lists.

    However, your list for 2008 contained almost all of the same items as mine (albeit in a different order), so I’m eager to compare notes at the end of the moviegoing season.

    Just bear in mind that this list is not etched in stone. The year that Breakfast on Pluto ended up in the top spot, I hadn’t even known the movie existed till the morning in December that the studio showed it for critics — and I’d no idea what it was even then. (Because the print hung around the theater for a couple days, I’d seen it three times in the next 36 hours or so.)

  14. Steven

    What problems did you have with Moon? From your review, it seemed like you enjoyed it a great deal.

  15. Ken Hanke

    What problems did you have with Moon? From your review, it seemed like you enjoyed it a great deal.

    Oh, I did enjoy it. I admired it. But I don’t quite see it as 10 best material.

  16. Sean Williams

    The difference is I’ve had time to weigh and revisit Coraline and I’d rate it higher now than I originally did.

    Gotcha. I really should see Coraline, but I can’t work up any enthusiasm for the prospect. It’s not that I don’t respect your recommendation; it’s just that back in the 1990s, Neil Gaiman was the Eric Roth of graphic literature: he wrote technically faultless but completely wooden comics that were tone-deaf to the intricacies of the medium and owed their critical acclaim to their hilariously romanticized depiction of poverty and pseudo-profundity in the form of constant use of the words “dreams” and “heart’s desire”.

    It’s a film that doesn’t always work for me — though when it does work, it’s the bee’s knees, and I don’t use that term lightly.

    But is it the cat’s pajamas or the lobster’s dinner shirt? These distinctions are important.

    High on my list of anticipated titles are Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, and Rob Marshall’s Nine.

    I’m also curious about the other Nine — the Arabic numeral one.

    Oh, and if you’re wondering about the other side of the coin — that Ten Worst list — there’s no shortage there

    If you ever release a collection of your negative reviews à la Ebert’s Your Movie Sucks, you should entitle it Moose Fellatios.

    Still, The Twilight Saga: New Moon lies out there waiting…waiting. Oh, yes, that looks to be a strong candidate.

    “Paper cut!”

    Patterson could’ve saved himself a hassle if he’s pushed his chest monster out the window instead. At least this episode features Dakota Fanning.

  17. Michael W

    I liked The Host.

    Also, I’m looking forward to a scathing review of Inglourious Basterds (Firefox doesn’t like me spelling it that way.)

  18. Ken Hanke

    It’s not that I don’t respect your recommendation; it’s just that back in the 1990s, Neil Gaiman was the Eric Roth of graphic literature

    Bear in mind, I’m coming to the stuff cold for the most part. I’ve not read any Gaiman, but he’s one of those people whose fans — the ones I know — tend to be just a little too serious about the whole thing.

    But is it the cat’s pajamas or the lobster’s dinner shirt? These distinctions are important.

    Excellent point. And, maybe the former, but not the latter — nor, if I may say so, it is the bobcat’s claw.

    I’m also curious about the other Nine—the Arabic numeral one

    We’ll see. I must say nothing about that trailer appeals to me and I’ve seen no justification for claims that Shane Acker is “visionary” — a term rapidly coming to be more meaningless than “classic.”

    If you ever release a collection of your negative reviews à la Ebert’s Your Movie Sucks, you should entitle it Moose Fellatios.

    It flows trippingly from the…uh…no, it has a nice ring to it (and I’m not sure that’s any better).

    “Paper cut!”

    Tip of the iceberg of silliness in that trailer. “It’s too dangerous for you to be around me” — so I’m gonna leave you alone in the woods with this Rastapire and a bunch of werewolves.

    I liked The Host.

    I didn’t exactly dislike it. I just found it way overrated.

    Also, I’m looking forward to a scathing review of Inglourious Basterds

    But there’s no guarantee it will be scathing.

  19. West Asheville

    How about Transformers 2 and GI Joe? I think those should be on the list. I’ve never even heard of half those movies. I bet they aren’t that good.

  20. Steven

    Would [i](500) Days of Summer[/i] be added to this list (I’m not sure if you saw it before or after you made this list)?

  21. Ken Hanke

    How about Transformers 2 and GI Joe? I think those should be on the list. I’ve never even heard of half those movies. I bet they aren’t that good.

    You think a movie you haven’t even seen should be on the list, huh? I’m pretty sure that if you found anything good in Transformers 2, you wouldn’t like any of these movies, though.

  22. Ken Hanke

    Would (500) Days of Summer be added to this list (I’m not sure if you saw it before or after you made this list)?

    Probably. I’d like to let it settle a little more before deciding. And I saw it three days after this list was made.

  23. Sean Williams

    I’ve seen no justification for claims that Shane Acker is “visionary” — a term rapidly coming to be more meaningless than “classic.”

    The word has lost much of its cachet — as evinced by the Watchmen trailer that applied it to Zach Snyder!

    I’m gonna leave you alone in the woods with this Rastapire and a bunch of werewolves.

    Do you think he’s trying to tell her something?

    I’ve never even heard of half those movies. I bet they aren’t that good.

    I’m going to guess that this post is a joke. The correct grammar is incongruous with the sentiments expressed. (Surely this incident warrants a visit from the inestimable Gosp. Pijonsnodt?)

  24. Ken Hanke

    The word has lost much of its cachet—as evinced by the Watchmen trailer that applied it to Zach Snyder!

    Yeah, but none of these boys have ever been accused of having “excessive vision” — the interesting criticism applied to Ken Russell for Lisztomania by that Video Hound movie book. Now, that is truly tres chic.

  25. Ken Hanke

    Back to the subject of anticipated titles; I just saw the trailer for Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” (which, according to IMDB, is slated for a December 11, 2009 release date). I must say, I’m pretty impressed and excited with what I’ve seen thus far!

    Saw the trailer for the first time last night (on A Perfect Getaway of all things). I admit I’m more than slightly interested.

  26. T.H.X. Pijonsnodt, Esq.

    (Surely this incident warrants a visit from the inestimable Gosp. Pijonsnodt?)

    For the record, my full name and titles are Gospodin Tomislav Hadeon Xenophon Pijonsnodt, J.U.D., V.K.T., L.S.M.F.T.

  27. Ken Hanke

    L.S.M.F.T.

    Well, with men who know tobacco best, it’s Luckies three to one.

  28. Tonberry

    I wish I had the time to give all these a proper write-up, but work has been crazy, so here is a quick recap on my personal top 8 so far. Keep in mind I haven’t seen any of your top 4 yet.

    1.) Tokyo! — It’s like going on three great adventures in one sitting. I love this movie, the third part was my favorite, but the second part has one of the best introductions to a character I have seen in quite some time.

    2.) Up — I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said, so I’m gonna end on one of my favorite quotes from this beautiful movie “My name is Dug. I have just met you and I love you.”

    3.) Adventureland — Judd Apatow’s journey into deeper waters (“Funny People”) was more than a little rocky, Apatow downright drowned. However, Greg Mottola’s journey is an almost perfect transition.

    4.) Star Trek — Without a doubt, a flawed movie, but I was having so much fun, I just went with it. “Up” may push those tears in its first ten minutes, but I was already moved by “Star Trek” in the first five, which had a lot to do with Michael Giachhino’s musical score I must admit (he composed for “Up” as well.)

    5.) Sunshine Cleaning — I have a crush on Amy Adams, call me shallow, but she usually attracts me to good movies.

    6.) Coraline — Reminded me of those creepy 80’s horror films aimed towards kids (“Return to OZ” in particular). A visual buffet.

    7.) Bruno — A problem I have with “Borat” is the same problem I have with “Bruno;” being a fan of “Da Ali G Show,” I noticed quite a few recycled jokes. Still, “Bruno” is very entertaining, and when the character is doing some new gags (like the army segment) I was howling with laughter.

    8.) Drag Me to Hell — A tad bit overrated, yet still a fun time at the movies.

    And for a bonus…

    Worst Movie (so far): Terminator Salvation — I could rant and rant on this one, but –LETS. JUST. SAY. THIS. MOVIE. IS. IN. ALL. CAPS. OF. SERIOUS. NESS.

    Best Worst Movie: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li — Though the trailer to “New Moon” is giving it a run for its money/

  29. Ken Hanke

    Keep in mind I haven’t seen any of your top 4 yet.

    That’s not entirely my fault. And Tetro is still around…(subtle hint). Of course, I’ve not seen Adventureland and I really should. Hopefully it — and Away We Go — will hit DVD before the end of the year.

    “Up” may push those tears in its first ten minutes, but I was already moved by “Star Trek” in the first five

    Yes, you’ve remarked on this before. I accept it without understanding it.

    8.) Drag Me to Hell

    Well…

    Worst Movie (so far): Terminator Salvation

    It’s certainly not good, but it doesn’t even get in the obnoxiousity ballpark of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. For that matter, it irritated me less than Funny People.

    Best Worst Movie: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

    “Nash out!”

  30. Justin Souther

    Of course, I’ve not seen Adventureland and I really should. Hopefully it—and Away We Go—will hit DVD before the end of the year.

    Adventureland comes out on the 25th. I’m too lazy to look up when Away We Go comes out.

  31. Ken Hanke

    I’m too lazy to look up when Away We Go comes out.

    Tell me something I didn’t know. And it comes out September 29.

  32. Tonberry

    And Tetro is still around…(subtle hint).

    Tough for me to get to downtown at the moment, my car has decided to crap out on me. It’s ruining my movie going time, and finances, thus I’m quite sad that I might not get the chance to see “Tetro” at the Fine Arts. And I want to see it real bad.

    Yes, you’ve remarked on this before. I accept it without understanding it.

    As I mentioned before, it’s the film score that does it for me in the particular sequence of Kirk’s mother giving birth. It’s the most beautiful single theme I’ve heard in a movie so far this year. I think it also might have to do with the fact that I have never, ever, been a trekkie and I just wasn’t expecting an emotional impact that big from “Star Trek” of all things. I’ve been a fan of Giachhino’s work since TV show “Lost,” and I’m glad to see that he is getting more work in film.

    Well…

    I was having a hard time coming up with a film in the 8 spot, and “Drag Me to Hell,” as uneven as it is, didn’t make me feel like I wasted my time. By the end of this year, I’m certain it won’t be even close to being on my own list. In fact, I’ll probably forget about it since I was like “Oh yeah, I did see Drag Me to Hell, forgot about that.”

    It’s certainly not good, but it doesn’t even get in the obnoxiousity ballpark of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. For that matter, it irritated me less than Funny People.

    It’s no secret I’ll purposely watch a bad movie, but I just can’t bring myself to watch “Revenge of the Fallen.” “Funny People” never quite irritated me until it’s final act, and like you said in your review, it is interesting in that ‘watching a disaster sorta way.’

  33. Ken Hanke

    Tough for me to get to downtown at the moment, my car has decided to crap out on me. It’s ruining my movie going time, and finances, thus I’m quite sad that I might not get the chance to see “Tetro” at the Fine Arts.

    I’m of the opinion that you might know a couple of folks who could be talked into going.

    As I mentioned before, it’s the film score that does it for me in the particular sequence of Kirk’s mother giving birth. It’s the most beautiful single theme I’ve heard in a movie so far this year

    While I love the score for Up — and it’s stuck in my head — I have to admit I don’t really remember the Star Trek score. Maybe I’ll remedy that when the film comes out on DVD, though it’s not overall the sort of movie I’d normally be that interested in seeing a second time.

    It’s no secret I’ll purposely watch a bad movie, but I just can’t bring myself to watch “Revenge of the Fallen.”

    I’m hardly going to make a case that you should.

    “Funny People” never quite irritated me until it’s final act

    Oh, it irritated me long before that, but bear in mind I’m not putting it in Transformers territory, only saying I found it more annoying than Terminator Salvation. Dubious as it is, Terminator at least offers unintended mirth.

  34. Tonberry

    Dubious as it is, Terminator at least offers unintended mirth.

    I agree, and I think McG was trying really hard to make a decent enough action flick. Yet, for a movie that is all about ‘the difference between machines and humans is the human heart’ the movie has no humanity to it all. I suppose in a sense it tried with the character of Kyle Reese, but they just kind of toss that character to the side. I’d rather they focused purely on him (Anton Yelchin looks to be a promising actor) than Batman battling robots and Sam Worthington’s character. There is just a lot of points I didn’t like about the story, and just how much of it doesn’t make much sense (*SPOILERS* So if Skynet knew that John Connor would go inside to rescue Kyle Reese, why not trap him in a room full of machine gun wielding terminators, instead of sending just one Arnie looking terminator?)

  35. Ken Hanke

    a lot of points I didn’t like about the story, and just how much of it doesn’t make much sense

    You concern yourself with sense in a movie where a guy jumps from a helicopter into a churning sea at night and it cuts to him toweling off inside a submarine? Yes.

  36. Tonberry

    You concern yourself with sense in a movie where a guy jumps from a helicopter into a churning sea at night and it cuts to him toweling off inside a submarine? Yes.

    And these points are only the tip of the iceberg.

    I just really hated this movie.

  37. Sean Williams

    Well, Time called Imaginarium one of the most disappointing films at Cannes, but considering they described it as being not quite as awful as Tetro, I’m officially intrigued.

    (By the way, I hope Basterds ends up on this list.)

  38. Ken Hanke

    (By the way, I hope Basterds ends up on this list.)

    At the moment, it looks pretty probable.

  39. Sean Williams

    I just finished watching Coraline. As of this moment, I have seen five of the films on this provisional list as well as some more recent movies (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Pirate Radio, and Inglourious Basterds) that I assume you will include by virtue of their five-star ratings.

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