e’s Best and Worst of 2008

by | Dec 31st, 2008 | 5:00PM | Filed under: In My Humble Opinion

Sorry, e, not my call!
What is December 31 for, if not to look back on the other 364 days of our planet’s latest journey around the sun?  James has weighed in on his favorite films of the year and Locke will be doing so as well in the coming weeks, so I’ll take a slightly different approach and give you my take on some different, but still cinematically-related, highlights and low points of 2008. 

Most Disappointing News
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moves from November 2008 to July 2009

Misery loves company, so at least the millions of J.K. Rowling fans around the world could take solace in the fact that they all were crushed by Warner Brother’s decision to delay the release of the sixth HP movie.  I was definitely among those who wanted to organize some sort of protest.  At least the traveling exhibition will arrive in my home city a few months before the next installment’s premiere.  Sneak peeks galore for me!

How DARE they?
Most Frustrating News

Footloose and The Karate Kid will be remade.

Zac Efron is no Kevin Bacon, and Jaden Smith is no Ralph Macchio.  And there will never be another Mr. Miyagi!  I’m still in denial that these films are going to happen.  Wax OFF, evil Hollywood studios!

Craziest Pop Culture Phenomenon
Twilight 

Duh!

I read all of Stephenie Meyer’s books within six weeks this summer, saw the adaptation of the first novel three times, and then bought its soundtrack.  And I’m well into my thirties.  Sad?  You be the judge.  But whether you love them or hate them, those "vegetarian" vampires aren’t going anywhere… for years.

Enough!Most Overexposed Film… Which Isn’t Even Out

Watchmen

Unlike J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, which I believe has a very
good shot at attracting moviegoers who have never watched the TV series
of the same name (such as myself), Watchmen is set to alienate all but its most hardcore fans before the graphic
novel adaptation even hits theaters. There’s simply way too much hype for this one… but now that
Fox and Warner Brothers are deeply embroiled in a legal dispute over the
film’s distribution rights, maybe no one will ever even get to see what
all the fuss was about.

Most Overexposed Film… Which Is Out
Slumdog Millionaire

Yeah, I said it!  Sure, I was one of the many who enjoyed Danny
Boyle’s colorful, frenetic tale of triumph over life in the slums of
Mumbai, but I’m totally sick of hearing about it at this point.  And I
feel badly for anyone who sees the film now, after expectations have
been raised so high about how awesome it is.  It was good, but it
wasn’t that good.

Best Use of a Song
"Benny and the Jets" in 27 Dresses

I may be in the minority here, but I still get a smile on my face when I think about Katherine Heigl and James Marsden’s characters belting this one out with no abandon from atop the counter at a dive bar.  B-b-b-BENNY!

Biggest Disappointments
Semi-Pro and Step Brothers

Paging Funny Will Ferrell — return to us immediately!  Remind us why you’re above these hot messes.  Hint: you seem to do a lot better when anatomy and bodily-function gags aren’t behind every attempt to get a laugh in your movies…

Bring it!Most Pleasant Surprise
Drillbit Taylor

Owen Wilson’s turn as a low-budget bodyguard could’ve easily been horrible; no one would’ve blamed him for giving a halfhearted performance.  Instead, his off-the-cuff riffs, hilarious one-liners and swaggering persona had me laughing out loud.  Which was fantastic, seeing as how I had been prepared to cringe through ninety minutes of roundhouse kicks.

I realize that this has been a fairly random brain dump of opinions regarding this past year in film, so I’ll end with more familiar territory:

The Worst Movie I Saw in 2008
Senior Skip Day

Haven’t heard of it?  Good!  Keep it that way… trust me.  Just know
that Tara Reid makes an appearance as an older sister who tries to help
her brother throw the Best. Party. Ever.  It’s an offensive, vulgar,
unnecessary copycat of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and if I
ever come face to face with anyone involved in this monstrosity, it
will be hard for me not to haul off and smack them!   Unless, that is,
they’re willing to pay for me to have the memory of this godawful romp
erased from my memory. 

Thanks for the laughs!
My Favorite Movie of the Year

Role Models

Notice I didn’t call this "the best" film; I deemed it to be my favorite movie of the last twelve months.  I realize that overall, it can’t compete with the likes of Frost/Nixon, Milk or any of the other heavy-hitters that will surely be showered with awards come February, if they haven’t been already.  But I have to keep it real, and watching Role Models was by far the most fun I had in a movie theater in 2008.  And yes, I would’ve still given it my top honor even if I hadn’t seen Paul Rudd at the screening!

All in all, I feel that 2008 was kind of a blah year for movies (yes, I’m bracing for Dark Knight fanatics to flame me…).  But within the next week or so, I’ll write about the great expectations I have for 2009.  For now, I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe time ringing in the new year tonight!   


5 Responses to “e’s Best and Worst of 2008”

  1. Crista
    Posted on January 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Another great write-up e! Thanks for working Twilight into the list as well. I feel better knowing I am not the only 30-something’er who saw the movie more than once, read the series in record-time, and listen to the soundtrack…often.

  2. Cayley
    Posted on January 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I could barely make it past the first thing you said before commenting. Yes, the delay of HBP made me sorely disappointed as well. Let me know if that protest gets organized, I’m all over that. It’s not just the movie for me, I am a non-video-gamer that became absolutely addicted to the HP video games, and this year I have a wii… I have seen the Phelps twins demo-ing dueling in the HBP game and the delay of that alone almost made me break the coffee table in half. So, yeah. I want my Harry Potter and I wanted him last month!
    Good article!

  3. Danny Donahue
    Posted on January 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I second your “favorite film of the year” designation as Role Models… many laughs in this film. I unfortunately also saw Senior Skip Day and like watching a car wreck in slow motion, was unable to turn my head away, hoping that there would be some survivors in the wreckage… DOA.

  4. Greg Anson Sr.
    Posted on April 3, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Will Farrell was a disaster in the movie “Elf”. Of all the christmass movies my vote for number one is A Miracle on 34th Street. Hands down.
    It just would not be christmass without it.

  5. Greg Anson Sr.
    Posted on April 3, 2009 at 6:53 am

    “e”‘s best and worst….” Most Frustrating News
    Footloose and The Karate Kid will be remade.
    Zac Efron is no Kevin Bacon, and Jaden Smith is no Ralph Macchio. And there will never be another Mr. Miyagi! I’m still in denial that these films are going to happen. Wax OFF, evil Hollywood studios!”
    I cannot agree more!