I’ve actually been able to see a lot of movies this year, since I’ve been working Thursday nights and have been able to persuade some union folks to screen movies for me and the staff. Haven’t seen everything I’ve wanted to, but more than I’ve been able to the last few years.
So, since the guys at Cinecast (see sidebar) did it last week, I figure I might as well come up with a Top 5 Films Of The Year Thus Far List. So here it is:
1. Sin City–Your enjoyment of this film is directly proportional to how offended you are by violence in movies. If, like me, you thought the Crazy 88s sequence in Kill Bill is one of the high points in the last 25 years of film, then you’ll love Sin City. If not, you should see Me & You & Everyone We Know. Or maybe Because of Winn-Dixie.
2. Kung Fu Hustle–Liked it even better than Shaolin Soccer, which is a terrific movie on a much smaller scale. Stephen Chow mixes the martial arts comedies of Jackie Chan and Jet Li with Warner brothers cartoons, westerns, musicals and gangster films. An interesting match with Sin City: both are all about the visual style of action movies, but in Sin City the world is dark and evil while the world of Kung Fu Hustle is sunny and fun.
3. Me & You & Everyone We Know–A big hit at Sundance and understandably so. It’s like a Todd Solondz movie, except it has a soul and doesn’t make you hate life and everyone who happens to be alive. Quirky, funny, sappy, and original. Written and directed by performance artist Miranda July, who also stars. Co-Starring the guy who plays Saul on Deadwood (a great HBO series).
4. Batman Begins–I think it’s a little overrated, but is still very good. Katie Holmes is bad. Really bad. But Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman are great if underused. Cillian Murphy (from 28 Days Later) is also terrific. Christian Bale’s alright, i found him rather dull actually. But he was great in the Empire of the Sun. The podcast Out Of The Past has an episode devoted to it and how it’s a film noir, which is interesting because it really isn’t one at all.
5. The Revenge Of The Sith–Yeah yeah, I know. Nooooooo! is terrible. Natalie Portman is really bad. Hayden Christiansen ranges from annoyingly petulant to really annoyingly petulant. It’s a seriously flawed movie. I still loved it. The Clone Wars cartoon is actually better than any of the three prequels.