Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Every Song's Her Favorite Song and Mics Don't Feedback/ All the Reviewers Say, "You Need to Go See That."

I don't know shit about music, so self-indulgent and recherche year-end lists only give me a host of things to download and inevitably become disappointed by. Don't feed me that LCD Soundsystem bullshit. I got duped by the fawning praise accompanying their first album and fucking hated it. Drew and Ufford loved them some The Hold Steady last year and I could never get into it.

Movies are another matter entirely for me. I glory in compiling ten best lists and breathlessly debating them with my friends. I worked as a film critic for my college paper, which was fantastic. I never had to go to the newsroom, except to swipe screening passes and I saw everything those two years.

The frustrating aspect of film lists is that you maybe get three or four potential good-to-great films before October. So everything is packed into a three month period when movies are battling with football for weekend free time.

I've painstakingly, despite not seeing all the movies I've wanted to see this year, narrowed down my list. Here goes:

1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2. Juno
3. No End in Sight
4. American Gangster
5. No Country for Old Men
6. Ratatouille
7. Breach
8. Zodiac
9. The King of Kong
10. Knocked Up

Honorable mentions: Superbad, 300, Eastern Promises and Darjeeling Limited.

Commenters would like to add that 3:10 to Yuma, Gone Baby Gone and Once - none of which I saw - are worthy of inclusion.

I'm trying to save room for There Will Be Blood. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments. At least Drew isn't around. If you ever meet him, let him know how much you love the movie Brick.

Anyway, your Meast is Ben Roethlisberger, partially because I'm doing all the posts this week and I can pick anyone I damn well choose and also because he put up his NFL record-tying third career game with a perfect rating against the Rams, which was also his second this season. All that, despite the fact that he's the most frequently sacked QB in the league this year and his offensive line is composed of gauze and Alan Faneca. He may even get an MVP vote. Huzzah!

Bill Simmons likes to harp about Roethlisberger being referred to only as "Ben" by the announcers, because Simmons' mind has been eaten away by feline AIDS and being penetrated in the ear by J-Bug. Perhaps this grating-only-to-Simmons phenomenon has to do with the announcers not wanting to slow down the flow of the game calling by having to pronounce his four syllable last name in every sentence.

71 comments:

The Farthammer said...

Movies and music are entirely subjective; you can't be "wrong" with your opinions on them.
That being said, having Knocked Up over Superbad is total bullshit.

Brave Sir Robin said...

I concur with the Superbad feelings. However, it tends to be more of an age/lifestyle thing. If you're of the age or situation where you or lots of people you know are having kids, knocked up is probably a lot funnier/more meaningful than for people who don't have that in their life.

For me, it's Superbad all the way.

sides said...

Gotta go with Superbad. Zodiac drags, probably better to rent than to watch in theater like I did...Also, add Gone Baby Gone.

Ethan Stanislawski said...

If the NFL was Juno, Mike Williams' nickname would be "The Cautionary Whale."

Grimey said...

What, no Death Proof?

On a related note, is being a Tarantino apologist like being a Favre apologist?

Christmas Ape said...

Grindhouse was good, but Tarantino is a whore for releasing them on DVD as separate movies, just like with Kill Bill.

Christmas Ape said...

Superbad was about even with Knocked Up. It's funniest moments probably topped those of Knocked Up, but overall, I liked Knocked Up more.

Never saw Gone Baby Gone for fear that I might actually like it,

HadesGigas said...

I'll accept the rape and suggest 3:10 to Yuma.

Grimey said...

I think they were just trying to make back their money that they lost from the theater release.

Plus Death Proof is a much better film when you haven't been watching a two-hour movie just prior where you didn't have to wait for anything exciting to happen.

Wormfather said...

Considering the fact that the only two movies I saw this year were The Simpsons and American Gangster...I dont have a point.

HadesGigas said...

Kudos on the Lupe quote. I'm assuming everyone enjoyed "The Cool" for Christmas.

Josh said...

QT only directed one of the Grindhouse flicks, so I don't see what's whore-ish about him wanting to release his movie separately on DVD from Rodriguez's.

Still a pretty good list, though I'd say Eastern Promises, Hot Fuzz and Rescue Dawn all definitely deserve some love. EP might be my #1 of the year.

Also, not sure if you'll trust this or not, but the new LCD is A LOT FUCKING BETTER than the first one. I'm with you on the first one sucking, but the new one is cash.

Christmas Ape said...

Maybe it's unfair to blame Tarantino, but the version released for purchase should the same as the theatrical release.

Eastern Promises was really good and I wanted to include it. The ending was a bit cursory though. I was really let down by Hott Fuzz, but then I didn't like Shaun of the Dead either.

Josh said...

comparatively Hot Fuzz IS a letdown I guess, but that's because SOTD is easily one of the five funniest movies of the decade, to me at least. not to mention one of the most rewatchable (I can't help watching chunks of it every time I stumble across it on TV).

Marcus said...

Re: Brave Sir Robin
Dude, my wife is 9 months pregnant ("due date" is in two days), and the number of new babies I know is absolutely ridiculous because all my friends decided to have their first kid within a span of six months apparently. And yet, Superbad is far, far superior to Knocked Up. Objectively so, in fact. Not that Knocked Up was bad. It simply wasn't Superbad.

twoeightnine said...

Definitely dug 3:10 to Yuma. Saw Charlie Wilson's War last night and it's pretty good. It's better if you don't get caught up in the little details and technical jargon and just follow the broader plot. And the strippers in the beginning are pretty hot.

I'm going to have to wait to see TAOJJBTCRF because it never came out anywhere near me.

Ari said...

i also thought Superbad was better than Knocked Up, it's all subjective. Juno was unbelievable, props to you for giving it props. It might have the best soundtrack ever.

Pemulis said...

Juno? Really? jaysus.


it seemed so forced... like, ok i get it. youre a teenage girl and angry and smarmy and witty, great, Kitty Pride. michael cera and jason batemen were the only tolerable parts of that movie

Chris(BessMervinGirlDetective) said...

Eastern Promises was great. I think if you go back and read some of the history behind the movie, and about the tattoos you might enjoy it a little more.

According to the New York Daily News[4] Viggo Mortensen studied Russian gangsters and the tattoos they wear, and also consulted a documentary on the subject called The Mark of Cain. The tattoos that he wore were, according to the New York Daily News, so real that when he went into a Russian restaurant in London, a Russian couple sitting next to him became very quiet when they saw the tattoos on his hands, but since Mortensen could not speak ten words of Russian the mood of the restaurant changed back to normal.[5] From that day on he washed his tattoos away when he went off the set.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Promises

futuremrsrickankiel said...

If we're allowed to count straight-to-DVD movies, then the Futurama movie definitely has a spot on my list. I'm fairly certain it has no actual merit as an artistic endeavor, but I've watched it about 10 times since I got it and am still amused from start to finish every time... I have extremely lowbrow taste in movies, though, so there you go.

Also, I agree that Superbad has funnier moments, but that Knocked Up is a better movie overall, if only because I found Superbad a little (only a little) misogynistic for my taste...

Pemulis said...

i think the biggest problem with superbad is that the whole cop subplot was fucking stupid, so the nod has to go to knocked up

twoeightnine said...

if only because I found Superbad a little (only a little) misogynistic for my taste...

That's only because you have a vagina.

dickey simpkins said...

As for Knocked Up, I just don't think it handled the sweet shit as well as say 40 Year Old Virgin, so it doesn't hold up as well as Superbad, which I think will still be funny down the road like Anchorman was (until every college student alive decided they would give it the Rick James treatment). I was actually surprised other people liked Breach as much as I did, and the Futurama DVD was hilarious. Everyone should go and rent that shit instead of the Simpsons movie, which is ripe for a torrent.

B.E. Earl said...

The King of Kong?

I must know.

Rusty Trombone said...

Not sure if anyone else caught Walk Hard yet (apparently not according to the box office results so far), but it was pretty damn funny. Right up there with Superbad/Knocked Up, but without any of the schmaltz.

Ken Dynamo said...

knocked up got boring toward it's superfluous last half hour, a lot like wedding crashers. plus superbad has WAY more cartoon dicks. i gotta go with superbad.

Christmas Ape said...

I'm planning on catching Walk Hard over the weekend. Friends told me it was funny. Have no idea how it made so little when it was pushed so hard by the studio.

Christmas Ape said...

The Great Judd Apatow Debate of 2007 will rage on always.

Rusty Trombone said...

Forget Judd Apatow, how did Who's Your Caddy not make the list?

Maxwell said...

I think Walk Hard got harmed by a lot of billboards featuring a shirtless John C. Reilly. Good actor but a weird-looking dude who is not an established leading man. It looks like a funny movie though.

Juno and Knocked Up were all right and everything but today's youth needs a movie called Wear Condoms You Fucking Morons. Perhaps as an After-School Special.

I agree with many of your choices, but 3:10 to Yuma deserves a spot, as does Once. Atonement will get you laid. I'm seeing Blood tomorrow and it looks kickass. Charlie Wilson was meh and I wouldn't fuck Julia Roberts for practice. And Brick was really good.

dickey simpkins said...

I don't think people were thinking too highly of a parody of the Johnny Cash biopic, even with the magic of Apatow. I think that's a movie that gets it's due on DVD.
And b.e. earl:
King of Kong is a documentary about a guy who tries to beat the world's high score on the Donkey Kong arcade game.

miamidiesel said...

Ape, I have to give you credit for carrying KSK this week. That said, you ROYALLY FUCKED UP by not including 300 anywhere on your list. As far as I'm concerned, that shit is #1 not just for the year, but all-time. Lena Headey, with the look that she had in that movie and that kick-ass personality, was an absolute 10. And the whole movie was simply fucking jakked; from the diesel physiques (homoeroticism not intended) to insanely inspiring scenes (like the ones where the Spartans meet up with the Arcadians ("Spartans, what is your profession?") and when the Captain dies at the end (yelling in the face of the Persian after he's stabbed, then pulling him in, killing him and three other Persians before being taken down by four other guys), among others) the whole movie represents something men should aspire to, and is an analogy for life. If you're male and you didn't like 300, castrate yourself, because you have fucking failed as a man (or you're from Boston, which is the same as being a castrated male). Leaving it off the list of Top 10 Movies in 2007 is absolutely inexcusable.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I thought Knocked Up was way too sappy and sucked awfully, and Superbad destroyed it all around, dumbass cop subplot be damned. Eastern Promises definitely deserves a spot on the list too. And I actually enjoyed the whole Grindhouse experience in theaters (possibly the most fun I've ever had at the movies), but I don't think the movies held up as well when they were released separately on DVD.

Christmas Ape said...

Okay, okay.

Honorable mentions: Superbad, 300, Eastern Promises and Darjeeling Limited.

Didn't see 3:10 to Yuma.

mamacita said...

Superbad over Knocked Up, for the reasons marcus said. Also, I thought the crazy wife in Knocked Up was more misogynistic than anything in Superbad. Those are the only two movies I saw all year.

For some reason my in-laws volunteered to take my kids for the week, so now I get to catch up on any movies I missed/ might want to see in the next 11 months. I can't decide between Juno and Walk Hard.

Charlie Wilson was my congressman when I was growing up, and there's no way I can buy Tom Hanks as Charles Wilson. Any thoughts on Persepolis or Sweeney Todd?

Christmas Ape said...

I've read both Persepolis graphic novels (nnnnglaven) and am looking forward to seeing the movie. I liked Sweeney Todd all right, but wasn't blown away by it.

bfreakin3 said...

I'm really glad Across the Universe is severly lacking from this debate. What a pile of crap.

Eastern Promises was probably the movie of the year for me. dont anyone waste their time on AVP2.

Also, i don't care how subjective movies and music are (I think they're highly subjective personally), but The Nightwatchman's "One Man Revolution" was easily the best album of 07. Drastically exceeded expectations, especially given who The Nightwatchman is and what he's done in the past.

devang said...

As far as I'm concerned, that shit is #1 not just for the year, but all-time.

Easy there MD.

Um, I'll take the transcendent masterpiece Godfather over any movie out there. 300 was definitely one of the most kick ass movies I've seen in a while, but not the best of all time.

Brave Sir Robin said...

@Marcus: I was just spousing off a theory about why people would like Knocked Up more. I don't think there's a real comparison, but no one I know has a kid yet so I figured, "Hey, that must be the reason."

@XmasApe: I too was disappointed with Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

@miamidiesel: Jesus Christ dude. 300 is cool and everything, and the historical story is awesome, but Jesus. Calm the hell down. It's not even clear it's the best comic book movie of all time (I would vote for Sin City).

futuremrsrickankiel said...

(praise Santa, murderous cyborg that he is, for a distraction from weak eggnog and having to pretend I like the sweaters my grandmother got me)

I actually agree that the crazy wife in Knocked Up was one of the more unflattering portrayals for women I've seen, but I think she needed to be there to represent the opposite end of the spectrum from Seth Rogan's slacker, disengaged friends... I loved Knocked Up because while it certainly promoted the idea that it's selfish and wrongheaded to demand that someone you love to change for you, it also suggested that it can be equally selfish and wrongheaded to think that a good relationship doesn't involve any sacrifice. The chicks in Superbad just seemed to be these sex-crazed vixens who, if not properly tended, will menstruate all over unsuspecting men...

...then again, maybe that's how teenage boys think of girls? Having never been one, I wouldn't know :)

futuremrsrickankiel said...

whoa just wrote a novel

mamacita said...

Mrs. A -- speaking of menstruation (and I have wanted to do that on KSK for SO long), did you see the SNL commercials episode last week? I had never seen that Woomba ad.

/all right, I'll quit now.

Porky1 said...

Knocked Up is a better film for a single viewing, Superbad is better to get drunk and watch repeatedly.

The cop stuff was uneven, and the fat kid came off a little forced, like a cross between Stiffler and the fat kid from LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN. Hilarious, but not the funniest thing ever.

Also 300 quite good but overrated in the same vein as Scarface.

miamidiesel said...

@devang & robin: as long as we all agree that 300 is kick-ass, it's all good. By the way, I actually have one of the NECA prop shields from the movie - one of only 300 made. Yea, you could say I'm a little fanatical about the movie.

As for my all time list, I probably got a little carried away on that too. In no particular order, I'd have to say that The Godfather Parts I and II, 300, Carlito's Way, Fight Club, Scarface, Donnie Brasco, Goodfellas, Casino, Wall Street, Braveheart, Reservoir Dogs, and Troy (trash it if you want, but Achilles and Hector were all-time great movie characters and had some of the greatest dialogues ever) would have to be in the discussion for me. Not the most varied selection of movies, but what can I say, I'm a creature of habit.

Unsilent Majority said...

Ape's junk smells like pie.

mamacita said...

Thanks for checking in, UM.

Also -- I guess I saw three movies this year; I must be the only person who didn't like Ratatouille.

Rocky Top said...

Was anyone else disappointed with American Gangster? Maybe my expectations were way too high (I was expecting this generation's Scarface) but it wasn't as good as I was hoping. Would have been pretty good by itself, but the hype ruined it for me...

Also, I am fairly confident that you can save a spot for There Will Be Blood. Unfortunately, I don't live in New York or LA so I won't be able to see it until it's released next year.

World Fantasy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DMtShooter said...

Into the Wild. Dude starves to death in front of you, the least you should due is give him a place on a Top 10 list.

Otto Man said...

Juno? Really? jaysus.

Really. Just saw it last night, and it was fantabulous. Sure, it starts off a little too hyper-precocious, but any movie that has the phrase "Thundercats are go!" in that context is a fucking winner.

"No Country for Old Men" is next on the to-see list. Man, I love visiting the parents and pawning off the Ottoette for three hours of babysitting relief.

douglas said...

Pan's Labyrinth? Anyone? I thought it was supposed to be included in this year's movies.

smurphette said...

I finally saw Knocked up with my cousins on Christmas Eve, and it kinda sucked. There were a few funny parts, but most of the time it alternated between lame and obnoxious. Maybe that's because I just turned 26 and I couldn't help imagining myself in that situation -- that could take a lot of the humor out of it.

Superbad, on the other hand, was fucking hilarious.

Paul said...

PLANET TERROR!!! That gets my vote this year. I wish it would, at least get nominated for best picture. I'm not even joking at all, although I am fully aware that that is as likley to happen as an elephant winning a fight against a TH3000 (a late-model terminator hippo).

smurphette said...

"I don't know shit about music"

Samesies!

Ethan Stanislawski said...

http://dumpdolan.blogspot.com/2007/12/nfl-best-of-2007-oscars-edition-if-only.html

You're welcome.

Undead Zombie Horde said...

Best album of the year: QOTSA's Era Vulagris. I can't even think of a viable comparison.

Superbad vs. Knocked Up: After seeing them both in the theater I thought Knocked Up was better. I thought that the fat kid Jonah was annoying and forced. Still a funny movie but that was a negative. However, after seeing Knocked Up on DVD the second time I didn't find it as funny as I did in the theater. Just got Superbad for x-mas so I'll watch that and see.

Best Movie of The Year: No idea. I don't see enough movies in the theater. 28 Weeks Later was a massive disappointment.

Rusty Trombone said...

Movie debate aside, feline AIDS is no joking matter Ape. It's the number one killer of domestic cats.

Michael said...

Pan's Labyrinth is an overly artistic piece of trash that I'm convinced all of the critic's gave good reviews because they didn't want to seem like they didn't get it. (Still this is just my opinion)

I know it was a summer popcorn movie but I put the Bourne Ultimatum on my top ten list. Right now No Country is my number one

iamsofaking said...

No Country for Old Men is the worst movie I have seen since Fargo. It was interesting and eerily beautiful the whole way, but in the end it was just long and pointless. Way too much like real life for me, thanks.
I think that Juno was my favorite movie on the list. It starts out a little to artsy cute, but it gets a lot more genuine later on and ends being very good.

Prairie Dog Possee said...

You should go see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Lars and the Real Girl. The first one was oddly disturbing and the latter was weirdly funny. Both were great movies though.

Christmas Ape said...

I consider Pan's Labyrinth an '06 movie. It was nominated for an Oscar in '07.

Jeffrey said...

First time, long time ladies and gents. Love the site, keep up the exceptional work.

Gonna throw a couple out here that haven't been getting their due in the comments section:

Michael Clayton: After three Ocean's movies it was nice(and somewhat surprising) to find that senor Clooney's still got the acting chops to take on, and subsequently own, a serious role. Watch that movie and then ask yourself: who in this stellar cast wasn't phenomenal? It was almost as if a cast of talneted actors saw the performances Clooney was putting together day in and day out and decided it was time to step up their games.

Smokin' Aces: Put aside the douchebaggery generally associated with Jeremy Piven, and lower your expectations to that "I'm in the mood for tits, hand-cannons and one-liners" level and what you get from Aces is a pretty kick-ass soundtrack and a freneticly-paced shoot-em-up movie that scratches just where you itch.

Recommendation for '08: Cloverfield. It pains me to admit this in a semi-public forum, but my sci-fi dork side is jumping up and down over this movie. Check out the trailer, you will not be disappointed:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=IvNkGm8mxiM

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ufYF0f-zMgY

Sorry for the Crime and Punishment length post.

e.boye said...

3:10 to Yuma is an absolute must, if you have any kind of respect for the western genre, which it seems you might when noticing ...Jesse James... at the #1 spot.

300, American Gangster, and Zodiac all overrated as far as I'm concerned... but that's what lists are for.


1. 3:10 to Yuma
2. Superbad
3. Eastern Promises
4. Juno
5. No Country for Old Men


props for including Ratatouille

HadesGigas said...

My #1 is definitely 3:10 to Yuma. Then:

2. Daddy Day Camp
3. The Comebacks
4. Epic Movie

I keed. But this is equally as stupid as including Smokin' Aces in this conversation.

Jeffrey said...

I thought I made it clear I included Aces only in the Gulity-Pleasure sense. Sometimes you just wanna watch a half-naked Alicia Keys shoot her way through a hotel full of federal agents. Is there really an argument against that to be made?

I'm not in any way saying Smokin' Aces was one of the top 1,000 movies to be made this past year, simply that it has it's place in the world and is not completely without merit

Sir Wesley Willis said...

The lead singer for Hold Steady sounds like the guy from blink 182 if his balls dropped

Maxwell said...

George Clooney is so overrated in Michael Clayton I can't believe SI didn't name him Sportsman of the Year. Yay me! Sincerely, the performances in MC were fine but the story--essentially, Corporations are Evil--was unsatisfying.

Martin said...

If you see one movie, make it There Will be Blood.

Old said...

Rusty Trombone said...
Movie debate aside, feline AIDS is no joking matter Ape. It's the number one killer of domestic cats.
9:11 AM, December 27, 2007

But Bill Simmons contracting feline AIDS is funny. Just watch the PBS show on American Masters about Bob Newhart. Why Bob Newhart was funny was because he allowed the audience to supply the joke, in effect he played the straight man to the audience. Now imagine all the humorous ways Bill Simmons could contract feline AIDS. That is comedy.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Brick's a solid flick. As was No Country for Old Men.

For those fools enjoying the mindless brainfuck that was 300 (see Sin City, etc.), gimme a second so I can shove that DVD back in your ear.

DC said...

so this inspired me to do a top 10 albums of 2007 with analogies to players (e.g. each album corresponds with a player). prettycamel.blogspot.com to check it out. and 300 should be a dishonorable mention, 3 mins of plot and 87 mins of cgi and homoerotic manposes...

Slash said...

I feel like a failure because I haven't seen most of the flicks mentioned. Damn, I need to get out more. That's my resolution for 2008: give Hollywood more of my money.

Of the ones I have seen, I heartily concur with kudos for Eastern Promises, 3:10 to Yuma, No Country for Old Men, Rescue Dawn and Ratatouille. Knocked Up was OK.

Actually, I've seen more movies than I thought. Haven't seen the glistening man chest fest that is 300, apparently I'm really missing out.