Thursday, January 1, 2009

Top 10 Films SEEN In 2008 (1 of 2 parts)

I'd like to apologize to any of my readers out there for not blogging more often. Don't worry. Blogging more often is in my list of New Year's resolutions.


Anyway, I thought I'd welcome 2009 by posting my Top 10 list. But unlike most other critics, I'm not going to post my Top 10 films of 2008 since I'm still way behind on 2008 releases. Instead I'm going to post my Top 10 films seen in 2008, regardless of when it was released. These are the top 10 best films I've seen for the first time on 2008. This is gonna be a two-parter and it will be in chronological order rather than order of preference.
















There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)

This is the best film of 2008 and very easily writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's best work and undeniably his first REAL masterpiece. Day-Lewis blew me away as the spiritually bankrupt Daniel Plainview. He's matched scene for scene by Dano and Freasier. Jonny Greenwood's score is SUPERB. I regard this as one of the best films of the decade so far. (2/14)















The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer)
My viewing of the Jonathan Demme remake beforehand did not in any way reduce my appreciation and enjoyment of the original which I've just seen for the first time. Though that film was interesting, this film is a freaking masterpiece, an intriguing thriller that is far from dated. Great acting work by Sinatra, Harvey and Lansbury. (4/1)














Closely Watched Trains (Jiri Menzel)

This is a comedy-drama about a young man's sexual awakening set against the backdrop of a Nazi occupation during World War II. It's one of the masterpieces that borne out of the Czech New Wave and it's easy to see why: The way it blends a quiet character comedy with the looming tragedy is nothing short of masterful. (5/12)




















La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)


AT LONG LAST! Watching Fellini's masterpiece for the first time is like biting into an extraordinarily rich dish and wondering why the hell you waited this long to see it. Gorgeously shot, fabulously acted and brilliantly directed, this alternately funny, sad and outright bizarre journey of a journalist through contemporary Italy is quite an experience to watch. One of the greats. (7/11)

















The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)


This film has everything I love about Bunuel's cinema: It's funny, crazy, absurd, surreal, disturbing, creepy and thought-provoking. I loved it. It's about a group of people in a dinner party who couldn't seem to get out of the music room of their host's house. It would make an interesting double feature with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeousie. (7/26)

4 comments:

Brenton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenton said...

Great to see you started blogging again. You've been doing some great stuff, and this has partly inspired me to do my own blog that I just set up.
Keep it this up, it's a good read.

Joker Redux (Rotten Tomatoes)

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