Friday, 6 March 2009

Review of 2008

Now that I have caught up with most of the major releases of last year, I thought I'd rank the 28 films I saw last year. I didn't think I had seen much this year, but I'm only 7 off of last year's total, and I'm sure I'll see more of 2008 over the next few months.

I have to agree that this was a subpar year, especially the top ten. My favorite film remains Night and Day, which I saw at the Jeonju festival back in May. There were only 3 films that I thought were 5 or 4 1/2 stars, which to me are films that are masterpieces or near to it. Lots of solid movies of varying quality, but little that was really inspiring.

These rankings tend to be pretty generous. Basically, anything I enjoy I give 3 stars even if it's not great filmmaking, and if I really enjoyed it I give 4 stars, again, even if the filmmaking isn't masterful.

The films are ranked in order, even within the star ratings. My Top Ten for 2008 (and other years) will continue to mutate as I see more films.

5 stars

Night and Day

4 1/2 stars

The Flight of the Red Balloon

4 stars

Burn After Reading
The Wrestler
Paranoid Park
Standard Operating Procedure
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Rachel Getting Married

Bigger, Stronger, Faster
Roman Polanki: Wanted and Desired
Revolutionary Road
The Dark Knight
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

3 1/2 stars

Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Body of Lies
Quantum of Solace

3 stars

Tropic Thunder
Son of Rambow
Synecdoche, New York

2 1/2 stars

My Bluberry Nights
Sex and the City: The Movie

2 stars

Shine a Light
Slumdog Millionaire


roujin said...

Hey, still haven't seen your #1! No idea when it'll happen either. I'm counting Flight of the Red Balloon and Paranoid Park as 07 releases otherwise they would top my 2008 list. Anyway, here's my top 5 films for 2008. Maybe you can catch up with them later.

1. A Christmas Tale
2. Synecdoche, New York
3. Redbelt
4. Two Lovers
5. Sparrow

Argh, really want to see that Hong film!

Marc Raymond said...

Yeah, both Flight of the Red Balloon and Paranoid could be 2007. I actually saw Paranoid Park in 2007 here in theatres, but since it still hadn't gotten a wide release in the US I decided to put it this year.

Of your Top 5, I've only seen Synecdoche, and although it didn't work for me, I can see people loving it. Still have to track down the others, especially A Christmas Tale.

NIGHT AND DAY still isn't out in Korea yet on DVD, when it does I'd be willing to send you a copy.

Jacob said...

that's cool that your a hong sang soo fan. i have to say i disagree with the 4 star rating you gave 'milk,' 'forgetting sarah marshall,' and 'the curious case of benjamin button.' those movies kinda blew.

Marc Raymond said...

Well, any movie in the 4 star range tend to be films I enjoyed and yet do not make any claims for greatness. I wrote about MILK already so won't go into that one again. BENJAMIN BUTTON is a tough one, very flawed and intellectually easy to dismiss, but the emotional tone and visual style worked on me. Many would agree with your assessment though. I really liked FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, especially as an ideological corrective to the other Apatow films. Plus, I found it very funny. Not great cinema, by any means, but solid storytelling. But obviously, if you didn't like the sense of humour, it would "kinda blow".

Jacob said...

i thought 'forgetting sarah marshall' was funny sometimes but not on par with 'knocked up' or 'superbad.' i've been disappointed with a lot of the newer stuff they made, including 'pineapple express' and 'role models.' but thinking back on it 'sarah marshall' wasn't all that bad. i didn't mean to say it blew.