Wednesday, January 02, 2008


So I like to watch movies. In addition to these below, which came out in 2007, I watched a little over 40 other movies through Netflix (not including TV dvds or music themed dvds that aren't musicals). I didn't watch You Kill Me, Disturbia, Fracture, Ratatouille, or Shrek the Third in the theatre. The others I did. Here they are in order of my appreciation of them:

The Cream of the Crop

1. No Country for Old Men (If this isn't the Cohen Brothers' Magnum Opus, I can hardly wait for their best.)
2. Lust, Caution (Tony Leung Chiu Wai is always strong.)
3. Once (Super Duper musical.)
4. Dan in Real Life (I can't remember seeing such real laughter in a film.)
5. Bourne Ultimatum (Solid finish to a strong franchise.)
6. Michael Clayton (See my review here.)

Compelling Crime Dramas

7. Mr. Brooks
8. American Gangster
9. Eastern Promises

Pleasing Comedies

10.Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End
11.You Kill Me
12.The Simpsons Movie
14.Ocean's Thirteen

Solid with Some Flaws

15.The Golden Compass
17.Across the Universe

Some Good, Lacking "It"

20.Talk to Me
22.3:10 to Yuma
24.Knocked Up

Great DVD rental

25.Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Few Laughs, Good Concept Stretched One Movie Too Many

26.Shrek the Third
27.Blades of Glory
28.Hot Fuzz

Few Highlights, Often Painful to Watch

29.Smokin' Aces
30.La Vie en Rose

Movie Limbo

On the First of January, Marcy and I went to Juno in Omaha, because Douglas Theatres wasn't running it in their Lincoln theatres. It was released in 2007, but I didn't watch it in 2007, so it doesn't qualify for my list exactly.

Regardless, I really liked it, and if it were on this list, it would be in the top four, right behind Once. The soundtrack is superb, almost to the point of being distractingly good. Kimya Dawson is the main contributor to the soundtrack.

Then you have the tremendous cast. Ellen Page carries the movie very capably, delivering her well-crafted clever dialogue with aplomb. Michael Cera (of Arrested Development and Superbad fame) fits his role perfectly. Jason Bateman and JK Simmons are good. Allison Janney was great as ever. But who really surprised me was Jennifer Garner. I guess I had never wanted to see any of her other movies like 13 Going on 30 or Elektra, so I figured that since she was in bad movies, she was a bad actress. Not the case.

More broadly, what I liked about the film was what I liked about Dan in Real Life. It is very natural. The movie is written and acted within a scope that is very believable. It reaches me and entertains me because it is the exact opposite of far-fetched. The closer to reality that the emotions are the easier they are to relate to. Sorry to go all overly analytical, but it easier than saying, "The movie was great. Everyone should watch it." and hope that you do.

So watch it.



At January 04, 2008 10:30 AM, Blogger Katie said...

I'd been thinking Juno looked good enough to drive all the way to Omaha for. I probably won't be able to convince anyone else of that, but I'm glad you reinforced my notion that it was on my "to-see" list.

At January 04, 2008 6:44 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

You'll be happy to know that Juno is now in Lincoln.

At January 04, 2008 7:57 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

The Golden Compass was terrible. Tell yourself hi for me.

At January 04, 2008 8:49 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

Juno was written by a Minneapolitan! I haven't seen it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

At January 04, 2008 10:18 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Who knew a small dish of ice cream could write a film? That does explain why the film takes place in MN though.

I saw that Ebert had Juno as his favorite of the year, with Once as his "Special Jury Prize."


At January 09, 2008 1:48 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I've been wanting to see Juno, ever since Ellen and I watched 15 previews in a row while we were trying to watch The Office online.

And we saw The Golden Compass together. I agree with ellen.

At January 10, 2008 12:25 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I completely back you on "No Country for Old Men." I paid for the whole seat but I only used the edge.

Also, Ellen you should have listened to the NPR reviewer (name?). He strongly discouraged wasting time and money on The Golden Compass.


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