Sunday, December 16, 2007

Film-Watching Robot's Ten Favorite Movies of 2007

I'm a nerd who likes lists, and I also write down in a notebook every movie I see in a theater and every rock show I attend. However, I think ranking lists in any kind of hierarchical order is silly and ridiculous. Therefore, this year I have taken on the silly and ridiculous challenge of trying to rank my favorite movies in order of preference. I think it's also ridiculous that most critics' top tens of the year mostly include movies released in the last two months. They seem to be little more than PR tools for Oscar season. I've included the whole year on this list, bitch! Huzzah!

1. Inland Empire (David Lynch)
2. The Boss of It All (Lars Von Trier)
3. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg)
4. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)
5. Offside (Jafar Panahi)
6. Lights in the Dusk (Aki Kaurismaki)
7. Rescue Dawn (Werner Herzog)
8. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen)
9. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)
10. Romance & Cigarettes (John Turturro)

Close, but no cigar: Tsai Ming-Liang's "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone," the fake trailers and Tarantino's half of "Grindhouse," Bong Joon-Ho's "The Host," and Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited." I can't decide if Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales" is a giant turd or hilariously appropriate. Answer: Both! I liked everything about Sean Penn's "Into the Wild," except the boring lump of Emile Hirsch in the lead role, Eddie Vedder's score, and Penn's uncritical adoration of Christopher McCandless. Unlike previous years, I didn't see anything I completely hated. Thank god I didn't have to sit through anything like "Blue Car" or "The Dreamers" this year. Curse god I didn't see anything as delightfully shitty as Labute's remake of "The Wicker Man."


steigrrr said...

i agree with your #1 and #3. i haven't seen some of these, but i'm just getting ready to leave my house in ten minutes or so to see "i'm not there," about which i'm very excited.

i didn't really like the darjeeling limited very much. it seemed like some rich self-indulgent kids making a movie about some rich self-indulgent kids. (it makes me uncomfortable saying that publicly, for some reason. probably because i would never say it to wes anderson's face ... as if it would make a damn bit of difference to him if i did.)

Dr. Mystery said...

I know what you mean about Darjeeling Limited, even if I liked it a lot more than you did. I thought it was funny, pleasant, and really beautiful to look at, but I couldn't personally connect with it like I could with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Life Aquatic. It had the same effect on me as Royal Tenenbaums, which is that I really enjoyed it as a visually impressive, entertaining good time, but I felt like it had nothing to do with my life. By the way, my word verification this time is "nupsk." It sounds like some kind of Russian insult.

Anonymous said...

Eastern Promises, No Country, Inland Empire, and Darjeeling were four movies that I was really excited to see (and excited that they had me excited to see movies) but, if I was to be totally honest with myself, all left me cold (for various reasons that have little to do with one another). I still can't quite figure it out.

Weirdly, the best time I had in the theaters this year was watching Michael Clayton, a movie which on paper (and advertisement) should have been awful, but was really pretty great. I still can't quite figure it out.

The best time I had on my couch this year was watching was Antonioni's The Passenger. Oh boy does my couch love that movie. And Juwanna Man. My couch has no taste whatsoever.


steigrrr said...

i would agree that darjeeling limited was more than a piece of nupsk, if only for the visual pleasure of it. it was definitely goregous. but for some reason the beauty seemed too self-conscious and that irritated me.

on the other hand, i saw i'm not there last night and absolutely loved it. it was self-conscious and beautiful, too, but i couldn't get enough of it. go figure. i guess it all depends on my mood.

conorj said...

I heard _I know who killed me_ starring the dignified Lindsay Lohan gives _Wicker Man_ a good run for its money. So much so that a film critic friend named it only one behind _There Will Be Blood_ as his favorite movie of the year. He just enjoyed it so goddamn much, and slightly as much in a second, less drunk viewing. We must test this out soon, with PBR as our control substance.

--Amy, I didn't like _Darjeeling_ either. Wear it proud! I'm tired of movies that purport that all life's pains can be romantic and beautiful with just the right rock'n'roll song from your ipod.

conorj said...

Plus Anderson's work is not seeming to progress much, and quickly taking on such an elitist tinge, while the real Anderson (PT) is actually utilizing his knowledge and talents to take risks and try different types of things, rather than navel gaze with the Coppolas. Sorry, I'm just dissapointed.

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