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Unfortunately, I didn’t think this was a great year for movies. The only two new releases that I really loved were Slumdog Millionaire and There Will Be Blood.
Slumdog Millionaire is best experienced without knowing the story. I liked that it was part romance, part comedy but without being a typical romantic comedy. The music was fantastic.
There Will Be Blood, and Daniel Plainview, stayed with me for weeks. Watching the movie felt like watching perfection. I’m sure I could watch it over and over again and never lose interest. I have nothing more to say.
2008 was the year of huge comic book movies finally being taken seriously. Or was it? I’m not sure. Even the posters were asking that question (why so serious?). Maybe I should have my man parts examined, but I didn’t love Iron Man and The Dark Knight as much as the hype should suggest. I think the “seriousness” of these movies comes from the fact that the heroes don’t have super powers — they are just smart nerds with a lot of money. No xray vision, no kryptonite, no radioactive spiders.
I thought Robert Downey Jnr was fantastic in Iron Man, but the movie was just ok. However, if they are giving out awards for the dumbest hostage takers ever then they can stop searching. Let’s lock the weapons engineer in a cave with a bunch of tools and explosives, and then ask him to make weapons without supervision!
The philosophical aspect of TDK was most interesting to me. I loved that it was a somewhat depressing movie. Otherwise it was a little long (and the magic cell phone reprogramming annoyed me, even though, yeah, I get it, he’s a bat and it is sonar). Although, seeing on IMAX was awesome.
The surprise of the year was Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I really liked this movie, even on repeated viewings. It went a little further than the typical romantic comedy (and not just by showing male genitalia multiple times). I loved how it refused to completely demonise Sarah, even though it would have been the easy thing to do. At the same time, it didn’t make the hero out to be completely innocent. Basically, I felt it was a little smarter than the average comedy. And to top it all off, it had a musical about Dracula done with puppets.
The movie I enjoyed the most was from 2007: Hot Rod. Nearly everyone I’ve talked to thought it was just so-so, but it hit my funny bone dead on. Seriously, if I had the talent to make a movie I would want it to be Hot Rod.
“When life gives you lemons… just say ‘Fuck the lemons,’ and bail.” from Forgetting Sarah Marshall
“I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people… There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking… I see the worst in people. I don’t need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I’ve built my hatreds up over the years, little by little… I can’t keep doing this on my own with these… people.” from There Will Be Blood
Daniel Plainview understands how I feel.
And finally (you must be sick of me by now), the rest.