This is the time of year where my taste in movies changes. I live with many people that don't share my enjoyment of foreign or obscure films, so the rest of the year I wait for said films to come out on video. But Oscar season allows me, and those around me, the excuse to check out the hype of any kind of film. On Saturday night I saw Slumdog Millionaire and I was blown away. It's up there as one of the best love stories I've seen since Moulin Rouge. Last week I saw Che. It won't get many nominations but it is easily Best Picture worthy...far more than the incredibly overrated and rather disappointing Benjamin Button. Anyways, I still have a few more films to go from 2008 before the Top 10 list can be official, but here is an updated version. As expected, Wanted and Quantum of Solace got pumped.
I know some may wonder how they were there to begin with and the answer is quite simple. First, Wanted is hysterical. It's A Purpose Driven Life with guns. It's quite telling to see the American rhetoric of destiny and individualism exposed for the bloody mess it is. The film was clever and a good shoot 'em up. Any good top 10 list will acknowledge that entertainment and escapism is important as well films with a critical edge. As for Quantum of Solace. I love what they're doing with James Bond. He's no longer a glamorized alcoholic womanizer. He's a flawed man. Post 9/11 tension finally made it's way to the Bond films and after decades of the same old thing, it's nice to see a one-dimensional character get some layers. Yes, there was far too much action but Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever (I'll argue anyone on that point) and the film gave me great hope for the future of the franchise.
Now there's also the issue of why Cloverfield is on my list. First off, I'm not alone as several other critics put this postmodern monster movie on their list as well. I loved this film. I took the ideas of The Blair Witch Project to the extreme. It was brave enough to tell a story people might not want from a blockbuster. And it had some great cinematography. I felt like I was on a 3D ride and I enjoyed it all. The characters were decent and the storyline was ambiguous. Sometimes closure is overrated.
Well, w/o further ado, here's the update list in order, pre The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road, Rachel Getting Married, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, and The Reader (if any of the finalists make the cut, Wall-E will be the first to go).
1. The Dark Knight
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Let the Right One In
4. Iron Man
8. Tropic Thunder
9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall