Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten: The Top Ten (Redundancy!)

for the list lover in you and the list maker in me

If the year ended today [NO! I need my fall prestige movies-- ed.] this would be my top ten list (links go to trailers). Note: I've allowed things that haven't come out yet unless they don't have a US distributor in which case, let's hope for 2008.

Top Ten of 2007 (So Far)
Extremely subject to change before year's end. Many of these are very
close in my estimation and some will get second v
iewings

Question: I don't know what to do with Grindhouse. It was released as one movie. It's listed as one movie on IMDB --even the mock trailers are "part of" rather than attached creditwise. But with Planet Terror and Death Proof coming out separately on DVD is it two movies that just happened to be released together or is it one film that they're just having post-partum complications with / depression about? I'll have to decide before year's end for list & awards purposes. And so will you (if you're into that. And aren't you?) Help me decide in the comments.

Runners Up: Lady Chatterly -surprisingly good considering how long it took to hook me, Sicko -just saw it Sunday. still considering its merits but regardless, it's a must see for Americans. International audiences might enjoy it, too: you can laugh at how horribly deranged our priorities are and feel superior.

10 Year of the Dog I'm still impressed by the ambiguity of the ending. Molly Shannon's minimalist performance fascinates despite or perhaps because of its repetitive nature: so much smiling when she's so very sad.

09 Black Snake Moan I've never known quite what to say about this one but I liked its audacity and appreciate its funny cinematic verve in a couple of key sequences.

08 A Mighty Heart Michael Winterbottom's unsentimental look at the Daniel Pearl abduction. Strong performances circle megastar Angelina Jolie who finally challenges herself as an actor [my review]

07 Hairspray It's not quite as wild as the John Waters classic or as filled with endless showstoppers as the Broadway show (at least when the original cast was involved), but it's a ton of fun... a worthy third wave for this surprisingly enduring comedy.

06 Bug I was probably too attached to this going in --the play really is a shocker. But I think they made a strong case for it on film. Hopefully more people will take a chance on it in DVD form. I know I'm giving it a second spin when it arrives.

05 Zodiac David Fincher's absorbing procedural will collect more victims fans when the DVD hits [my review]

04 Fraulein It's supposed to get a release in the next few months. Don't miss it. Three fine actresses get entangled as co-workers in this immigrant drama set in Switzerland. [capsule review]

03 Ratatouille An unlikely (and frankly disgusting) premise works like a charm thanks to Brad Bird's skills in the director's chair and the beautiful animation. Still fresh out of the oven. Will it collapse or get tastier as it settles -- have you seen it twice yet? [review]

02 Away From Her Julie Christie is mesmerizing and heartbreaking. So's the movie.

01 Once The filmmakers captured lightning in a bottle... low key lightning sure, but it's still crackling [my theory on why it's so effective]

I know I'm jumping the gun with this "where we are now" list --I don't expect too many of these to survive until the official year end list --but I was getting antsy to put something down on paper. or screen as it were.

I showed you mine. Now you...

46 comments:

DL said...

I never seen enough movies in theatres to do a half-way top 10 list, but this is what my top 5 would look like at the moment:

01) Away From Her
02) The Namesake
03) Death Proof (I'm going to consider Grindhouse two different movies. And I think imdb will probably do the same after the DVD releases.)
04) Knocked Up
05) A Mighty Heart

DL said...

*never see. I REALLY ought to start proof-reading my comments. :P

Kurtis11 said...

No "Knocked Up"? Even in your intro? I can honestly say that it was one of the best comedies I've seen in years. That's a tough genre for me, considering there's so much mindless crap out there, but I found it to be genuinely HILARIOUS with a big, sweet heart at its core. I haven't seen most of the other choices on your list, but I really want to see "Away From Her" and "Once". I thoroughly enjoyed "Black Snake Moan" - such an off-the-wall premise that works. I love the way that Craig Brewer incorporates music and the gritty heat of the South into his films - a promising director.

NATHANIEL R said...

i had issues with KNOCKED UP.

i know i'm in the teensy minority. oh well... my basic issue was it felt like a standard male fantasy that i'm kinda tired of: schlub gets hot chick. and the hot chicks never make much sense. Even in sideways with a stellar performance for the woman it's a little hard to buy. I also thought it was a half hour too long

but yes it was quite funny

steve said...

Mine looks like this:

1. Once
2. Jindabyne
3. Black Snake Moan
4. Ratatouille
5. Bug
6. Spider-Man 3
7. Paprika
8. A Mighty Heart
9. Grindhouse
10. Black Book

adam k. said...

1) The Host (takes my top spot out of its huge ambition and technical virtuosity... Nat, it's really kind of a shame that you missed this... so thrillingly cinematic)
2)Once (LOVE the music, and the film too, but a second viewing revealed a few chinks in the armor that allow Host to edge it out... but I could still change my mind)
3) Ratatouille
4) Away From Her
5) Bug
6) Grindhouse (I guess, if it's one movie)
7) Waitress
8) Year of the Dog
9) Knocked Up
10) Spider-Man 3

I missed Zodiac, Breach, The Lookout, A Mighty Heart, etc. which I'm sure would've kicked out some of these. But oh well.

I expect Once, The Host, and possibly even Ratatouille to stay in my top 5 throughout the year... so this was a good first half.

Julia said...

1. "The Lives of Others"...although I'm not sure if it technically counts as a 2006 or 2007 release. Oh well, it came to NYC in 2007, so I'm counting it here.
2. "Ratatouille"...I saw it for the second time this weekend, and I found even more to love.
3. "Once"
4. "Away from Her"
5. "Waitress" - I was utterly charmed by this film.
6. "ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway" - I like documentaries, and I love musical theatre. It was a match made in heaven for me.
7. "Zodiac"
8. "The Namesake"
9. "The Hoax"
10. "Paris, Je T'aime"

J.D. said...

I have Grindhouse as two separate films, especially since the only way I'll see them is on separate DVDs! My Top Ten so far:

1) Breaking & Entering
2) Bridge to Terabithia
3) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
4) Zodiac
5) Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
6) 300
7) Breach
8) The Reaping
9) Music & Lyrics
10) Hannibal Rising

It's obvious I've only seen 10, but still...

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm sure i'll see HOST before the year is out. don't fret.

if i split grindhouse into two films Planet Terror gets a better grade ;)

Kamikaze Camel said...

1. The Lives of Others
2. Noise
3. Zodiac
4. Transformers

...well, they're the only movies I'd even consider saying were the best I've seen this year. A bunch of decent-but-not-great movies (Romulus My Father, Pirates, Knocked Up, Sunshine) and one terrible movie (Spider-Man 3).

Needless to say, 12 of the 14 films Nat mentioned haven't even been released here yet. So...

Chinese Odyssey said...

So far this year:

01) Away From Her
02) Requiem
03) Once
04) Ratatouille
05) The Wind That Shakes the Barley
06) Zodiac
07) Tuya’s Marriage
08) Paprika
09) The Postmodern Life of My Aunt
10) Jindabyne

rural juror said...

Hey...we completely agree on our #1 picks. hoorah! I expect Once to stay on my list for the year.

Steven said...

Once was wonderful. Hurrah for you putting it in the top slot.

And dash it all, I wish I had seen Bug in the theatres. The play is ridiculous!

~Steven

Scott said...

I'm surprised that Hot Fuzz hasn't made anyone's top 10 - I thought that was awfully entertaining. As to more serious fare I'd place Zodiac #1, with Paris Je T'Aime being my happiest surprise of the year. Haven't seen Once yet, but I am looking forward to it.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I'm yet to see 10 films that premiered in 2007, but I'll break my rules and give you a Top 10 list based on American release:

1. The Italian
2. The Host
3. Offside
4. Sunshine
5. Knocked Up
6. Zodiac
7. Hot Fuzz
8. The Lives of Others
9. Grbavica
10. Jindabyne

Aaron said...

For Grindhouse I think you need to think of it as one movie. The films have different directors, but isn't it like a kind of extended Paris Je T'Aime or Coffee and Cigarettes?

J.D. said...

^ Not really, since Death Proof and Planet Terror are feature-length. And there's only two movies, not 22.

Michael Parsons said...

For award ceremonies like Oscar, Grindhouse will be considered one movie. ie: It was released in LA and NY originally as one movie. However BAFTA will have to consider it as two movies.
Tricky tricky.
Heck do what the hell you feel...two movies, one movies, it is still a shout out!

Sadly I have only seen Zodiac. Most of the movies I want to see are being released on DVD next month, much perfer the comfort of my own home.

Anonymous said...

The lack of KNOCKED UP is derelict. Your logic for dismissing it is elitist crap. If Schlubs couldn't get women too, where would Schlubs come from? Rethink.

James said...

A top ten would be paltry at this point but my top 5 would be:

5) THE LOOKOUT- a fine little noir with an exciting Joseph Gordon Levitt

4) WAITRESS- didn't expect to like this as much as I did-- Keri Russell charmed heartily

3) GRINDHOUSE- exhilarating

2) YEAR OF THE DOG- Molly Shannon was outstanding, hopefully she'll at least get some critics prizes

1) ONCE- the best so far.

Anonymous said...

I only have a top five for now, b/c not a lot has maintained my interest this year movies wise.

1. "A Mighty Heart"
2. "Knocked Up"
3. "Ratatouille"
4. "300"
5. "Away From Her"

Anonymous said...

it is a real treat to get a top ten in the middle of the year !!! i would've only included knocked up...

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well, considering you saw it as Grindhouse and not Death Proof plus Planet Terror then I think you should count it as one movie and any nominations would be for Grindhouse.

Yet everyone else on the planet will have it as two movies. And Planet Terror will be a 2008 release for many because the Weinstein's have apparently given up entirely on that one.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous knocked up lover:
i have no issues with schlubs getting women. everyone deserves to find someone. but why do movies keep trying to sell us on schlubs getting ridiculously hot women. this is annual fantasy.

Cinephilia has an excellent review that touches on this a bit (and she likes the movie more than me)

Have you EVER seen a movie about an unattractive girl getting a ridiculously hot man?

if it's so defensible a notion, why haven't you seen that?

oh yes: BECAUSE IT'S A FANTASY FOR MEN MADE BY MEN TO MAKE MEN FEEL BETTER. It wouldn't even bother me if it was only once in a blue moon but it's all the time. i just saw a trailer for Interview wherein it *looks* (it's only a trailer who knows) like they're going to try to sell us or convince us that Sienna Miller is falling for/should fall for Steve Buscemi.

yeah right (I accept that this happens in real life --you see couples that don't match up like that... but ever noticed how we're supposed to accept that and recognize it as an option for all... EXCEPT WOMEN since when the rare couples where it's the opposite way people like to publicly ridicule them? (i can only think of hugh jackman and his wife right now but there are others) that's sexism in boldface for you)

but again: i don't hate the movie. I thought it was very funny and I enjoy Judd Apatow's career (this is just my least favorite thing he's done is all) and even if they were equally hot or the relationship and decisions made were more believeable the movie would still be an entire half hour too long.

:) /end rant

Douglas Racso said...

1. Ratatouille
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
3. Once
4. Grindhouse
5. Im a Cyborg but thats OK
6. Knocked Up
7. Zodiac
8. Year of the Dog
9. Bridge to Terabithia
10. Sicko

check out my blog and website thanks!

http://racsoledger.blogspot.com

http://racsoawards.madur.net

Kamikaze Camel said...

Nat, when the tables are turned it's more "older woman younger man". Think... The Mother or How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

The only time I can think of the "hot" guy getting the schlubby girl is She's All That and they had to give her a makeover to make it believable!

mike said...

1. Black Book
2. Darkon
3. A Mighty Heart
4. Zodiac
5. Knocked Up
6. Grindhouse
7. I haven't seen enough movies this year.

Ben said...

Just saw Once last night and yeah, it's kind of amazing. What I think makes it so magical is that we're not only seeing these people sing the songs live (or at least, what feels like live... I'm sure some of it was dubbed), but we're watching them create the music right there in front of our eyes. That first song where he's just singing singing singing and then bam, he's screaming with passion. I got chills.

But the best sequence in the film by far is where they're in the music store and in one glorious long take, we see them sit down, he teaches her a song, she rolls with it, and then they just sing something magical. Amazing.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

According to mainstream conventions plain Nia Vardalos bagged an attractive man in My Big Fat Greek Lobotomy (though personally I find him repulsive in a very oily way and her moderately TV-pretty)

And there's always those movies where a hot girl with frizzy hair and glasses bags a hot guy right before she morphs into hot girl with silky hair and presumably contact lenses.

I'm forgetting the point I was supposed to prove.

NATHANIEL R said...

glenn --but the older woman doesn't really get the hot man in The Mother and older women like Angela Bassett kinda defy it because they're smoking hot.

where are the female Giamatti's getting the male Madsens is what i wanna know

(i'm just being argumentative. i don't really wanna see this trend in reverse. i'd just like hollywood to be a little less pandering is all)

y kant --yeah i find him repulsive too so i didn't think of that (i was alarmed when he became a sex& the city regular)

ben --they claim that none of it is dubbed. or so i hear. i haven't done a lot of research other than reading interviews where they talk about the confirm the lack of playback

everyone -- i forgot to mention in the post that i missed THE HOST and BLACK BOOK which are the big holes in my viewing this year when i look at reviews.

JA said...

Nat, I did a more extensive version of this list over at MNPP, but here's my 10 for the year so far:

10 - Away From Her
9 - Black Book
8 - Jindabyne
7 - Severance
6 - Ratatouille
5 - Zodiac
4 - Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
3 - Year of the Dog
2 - Grindhouse
1 - I'm a Cyborg But That's OK

There are loads of movies I've missed this year, though.

Carl said...

On the rant subject posted earlier -


Have you EVER seen a movie about an unattractive girl getting a ridiculously hot man?

I can think of two exceptions that may prove the rule:

"Carrie" - Sissy Spacek is not classically beautiful and they played her unattractive in the role, but she still apparently got William Katt's attention on the merits. The consequences of which are filmic history...

"Muriel's Wedding" - Toni Collette (another not classically beautiful woman made up as unattractive) gets the hunky swimming star, but only for "green card" purposes.

JA said...

What about Dogfight, where River Phoenix falls for "ugly duckling" Lily Taylor?

Anonymous said...

John Corbett isn't oily or repulsive! He was hot in "Sex and the City". You guys will bitch about any and every thing.

NATHANIEL R said...

hey, they started it ;)

Catherine said...

Dang, I really haven't seen enough new films this year.

1. Jindabyne
2. Zodiac
3. Paris, Je T'aime
4. Spidey 3/La Vie En Rose
5. The Bridge to Terabtihia

Nah, I haven't seen enough. Only the top three warrant a place. Ratatouille, Knocked Up and Hairspray should be coming my way soon though.

Kamikaze Camel said...

All this love for Jindabyne makes me happier than something else that's happy (I can't be bothered with similes right now).

I love John Corbett, actually. He was my favourite of Carrie's bfs on Sex and the City also. And, of course, Northern Exposure.

adam k. said...

But Nathaniel, if you didn't see The Host in the cinema, then you've missed the chance to REALLY see it. It is one of those films that video cannot do justice. So I will be mad at you at the end of the year if you don't think it's that great cause you never saw it in theaters.

I totally agree with Ben about Once. It does seem that none of it was dubbed EXCEPT "If You Want Me" where it all gets kind of non-realistic. But that seemed intentional. It was sort of like her dreamscape or something. And Marketa's voice is the type that probably requires amping up (beautiful, but not very strong).

And that music store scene was just magical. It will REMAIN the #1 musical moment for the rest of the year, I'm almost certain. No matter how good Hairspray, I'm Not There and Sweeney Todd turn out to be.

steve said...

Oh my God! I completely forgot Sicko, At World's End, and Knocked Up in my list (not that anyone cares but me, but you know). Here's my new list:


1. Once (A)
2. Jindabyne (A)
3. Ratatouille (A/A-)
4. Black Snake Moan (A-)
5. Knocked Up (A-)
6. Sicko (A-)
7. Grindhouse (B+)
8. Spider-Man 3 (B+)
9. A Mighty Heart (B+)
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (B+)

I like this year's movies so much already, I think this would be pretty swell list as is - it's already as good as many of my year-end lists. I can't think of another year like it (but then, I can't keep release dates straight so who knows). If the next few months are as much of an improvement as they usually, are, 2007 will definitely be giving 2001 and 2004 runs for their money.

JA said...

I saw The Host in the theaters, Adam, and I really didn't think it was that great at all. It had some fine moments - that first attack was one of the greatest action set-pieces of the year, for sure - but I thought it was a muddled mess otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I hope it is not too late for this

1. Drama/Mex 9.8/10
2. 12:08 East of Bucharest
3. In the pit
4. Crazy love
5. Ghosts of Cite of Soleil
6. Ten canoes
7. Factotum
8. The road to Guantanamo
9. Red road
10. Poison friends

Anonymous said...

1.) Ratatouille
2.) Paris Je Taime
3.) Bug
4.) Waitress
5.) The Lookout
6.) Away from Her
7.) Knocked Up
8.) Zodiac
9.) Breach
10.) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, I haven't seen too many movies yet, because I was away at school in a place that doesn't show too many movies:

1. Once
2. Ratatouille
3. Away from Her
4. The Lives of Others
5. Knocked Up
6. Waitress
7. Paris, je t’aime
8. Live Free or Die Hard
9. Paprika
10. Grindhouse

Josh Timmermann said...

Hi, Nathaniel. Here's my list so far this year.

01. Still Life: Just amazing. To my tastes, Jia's strongest work yet--which is saying A LOT.

02. Bug: Didn't expect much going in (was only vaguely familiar with the source, and I'm not ordinarily a Friedkin fan), but was blown away. It may have flopped, but in the summer of sequels, it's nevertheless remarkable that a movie this heady somehow saw wide release.

03. Black Book: I really need to see this one again, but I think it might be Verhoeven's best. Neck and neck with Showgirls...

04. Knocked Up: The best movie about relationships since Before Sunset. So dead-on, at times, it's scary!

05. Sicko: I might be ranking this too high, but it doesn't matter--this is a vital statement put to film, regardless of whether it's necessarily a vital piece of filmmaking. Seeing this as an American recently relocated to Canada was a memorably odd experience, to be sure.

06. Paprika: I'm not much of an animation person--I can casually admire, for example, Miyazaki's films without swooning the way a lot of folks seem to--but this took me by surprise. Probably the most vivid, accomplished piece of 'adult' animation I've seen.

07. Spider-Man 3: Speaking of very pleasant surprises, I liked the first two okay, but this one is major cut above. An ode to forgiveness, second chances, and growing up that's worthy of the brothers Dardenne!

08. The Host: A terrific monster movie and ferocious political satire. The Anti-American sentiment is, ultimately, a touch heavy-handed and generalized, but this is still a must-see.

09. The Journals of Knud Rasmussen: Not as singularly stunning as Kunuk's The Fast Runner, but just as enveloping, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. The final sequence will likely remain the year's saddest.

10. Black Snake Moan / Death Proof: I have numerous qualms with both films, yet both yield major pleasures and even minor fits of invention. Samuel L. Jackson's never been than in the former, and its optimistic denouement is touching, if troublesome for its arguable endorsement of sexual puritanism. The latter is QT's most formallly successful piece of regurgitated popcult trash, and the gal speak seems (hilariously) indebted to Gilmore Girls--albeit with potty mouths.

florence said...

now my top eight, no more good films to add
1)les chansons d'amour (honoré) go and watch it as soon as you can
2)away from her
3)a fost sauna fost: an excellent romanian film, hilarious about the end of the dictatorship. try to find it if it's not out here
4)das leben der anderen(henckelvon donnersmarck) same as before
5)death proof
6)persepolis (satrapi)
7)irina palm(garbarski)
8)still life (Jia Zhang Ke)

florence said...

could add zodiac as 9