Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Lists (last parts)

OK, here are the last few lists. I haven't had time to edit my writing here so all apologies for poor word choices, strange puncuation and misspellings. Please do your best to enjoy!

Top 5 Movies of 2007
5. In The Shadow of the Moon
4. Milarepa
3. No Country for Old Men
2. Eastern Promises
1. Inland Empire

5. In the Shadow of the Moon. Great documentary with most the living astronauts who flew to the moon. Very positive movie that is still quite intelligent. Outside of the great interviews it's got amazing moon footage that's never been seen before.

4. Milarepa. Fictionalized account of the Tibetan Buddhist priest Milarepa who started out as a black magician. The pacing is very measured (those of you who don't share my love of this style of film making might call it "slow"). It has some computer effects but the film stock, the colors used, and the actors all give a sense of timelessness. Part one of a two part series. Also, got a great invocation scene!

3. No Country for Old Men. I'm sure you've heard of this one. It's amazing to me just how perfectly this film comes across given how far it skews and subverts the "crime movie" genre. Pitch perfect acting and direction. I believe that this movie will continue and inform the way movies are made more than any other film I've seen recently.

2. Eastern Promises. Probably not objectively as good a movie as "No Country" but, for my money I liked it better. I love Cronenberg's obsessive peeks into conspiracy and paranoia and after a slight break (with "History of Violence") it seems he's back firing on all barrels making a marketable mainstream movie that is still pure Cronenberg. The initiation scene is my favorite initiation scene in any movie outside of "Holy Mountain".

1. Inland Empire. First the Cohen Brothers, then Cronenberg and now Lynch - a number of great directors have made strong comebacks this year proving that the directing game is one game that doesn't rely only on the impulsive energy of youth but where artists can mature and grow. Inland Empire, more than any other movie, feels like a filmed dream. I'm not always sure what actually happened in the movie and what I imagined to have happened and I like it that way. There's an aura of creepiness and paranoia that I love and finally it seems that Lynch has overcome his issues with women. Laura Dern rules the movie with a multi-faceted intelligent portrayal and, as a friend of mine pointed out, is truly the lead in the same way Henry in Eraserhead was rather than in the way Laura Palmer was (confusing, untouchable whore, very hard to figure out). Well I'm rambling but fair to say it's a great movie well worth seeing.

Noel and I don't have channels so we only watch via Netflix and the net. Here's a rough list of what we enjoyed. Only 4 because I can't think of anything else current that we dug.

4. Lost
3. Dr. Who
2. Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job
1. Big Love

We watched a few discs of Heroes but couldn't really connect. Lost we stopped watching because our Mac broke that had the latest episodes downloaded from iTunes but I'm sure we'll come back to it. The characters tend to switch personalities as dictated by the needs of the plot but the overarching story is great mystery.

Dr. Who started kind of patchy but worked itself up to an amazing run. The last 5-6 episodes were classic sci-fi fun. "Blink" is one of the best bits of Dr. Who that I've seen and I've been a fan of the show since I was 6 or 7.

Tim and Eric - great humor taken to a point where it becomes genuine surrealistic art. Brilliant.

Big Love. Wonderfully written and acting. Very consistent writing between episodes with even the fill in writers having a solid understanding of the characters psychology. Probably the best cast I've seen on a show. Very engrossing and personally interesting as I was raised Mormon (though not polygamist) there are a lot of little pieces that I'd all but forgotten about.

I had plans for other lists but time is short and so that's going to have to do it for the year. Enjoy and have a happy new year!!


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