By now, you have seen the top five list I made up, based on the films covered by this site. This blog is dedicated to what I consider to be the best film of the year, hands down.
Yes, there are only three films on this list, but that is because there were only three films in 2008 that truly blew me away. I was going to make a top five, but there was nothing I felt that touched the three that I have listed here.
Also, I see alot of movies, but I have not seen every single film that has gotten alot of critical praise, like 'Frost/Nixon', 'Slumdog Millionare' or even 'JCVD'. Any of those movies might have made the cut, if I had seen them.
Ok, enough yammering, here is the list:
3) WALL-E : When this film was mentioned on the site, I pointed out how this was the only major, strictly Sci-fi release that has come out this year, and possibly in the last few years. Thank god that it was done so well. It might inspire others to make films in the same vein, where we are given a sense of wonder at what the future may hold for us, while also commenting on what we need to change in the present. That sense of wonder was present throughout the whole film, thanks to the incredible visuals and beautiful score. At the same time I had the feeling that I was going to tear up at any point, because the main character was so innocent and sweet. I know that makes me sound quite effeminate, but hey, if a movie can touch me so deeply that it changes my gender, it needs to be in my top 3.
2) THE WRESTLER- Who gives a shit about Mickey Rourke? My answer, before I saw this movie, was "Not Me". The only time I have seen Rourke in a film before 'The Wrestler' was in 'Sin City' and in that, he was more of a punchline as opposed to a flesh and blood character. This film gave me a whole new level of respect for him. To me, Rourke wasn't in this film, in fact, it wasn't even a fictional movie at all. To me it was a documentary about the life of Randy "The Ram" Robinson. This film, like 'Wall-E' and the 'The Dark Knight' is a commentary on modern society, that wasn't made to deal with topics that have been in the mainstream for the past five to ten years, but to deal with issues that have been around since the beginning of the media, or maybe even before.
As we follow Randy, and his potential, stripper girlfriend (played by Marisa Tomei) we see what life is like for those who earn their money by showing off their bodies, but have now aged past their prime.
Randy, at one point admits that he is "a broken down piece of meat" and that is the only time that anything even close to preachy is mentioned in the entire film. Everything else is up to the viewer to interpret on their own. This film is for wrestling fans who want to see the dark side of the industry, and for those who are fans of modern tragedies.
1) THE DARK KNIGHT- As you know, I am a huge comics fan (Go read Comics Creepshow. COMMENT!) but in my opinion, 'The Dark Knight' transcends the world of the Batman comics and becomes something better. It should win for best picture, and for anyone who has a problem with it, give me your address so I can pull my foot far back and kick you in the crotch.
Gary Oldman IS Commissioner Gordon. His portrayal of the character is so dead on, that it makes me wince when I think about other actors who have played the character in previous films and in the television show.
Oldman, just like Bale, Ledger, Eckhart and Caine disappear into their characters.
If you have a problem with Bale's Batman voice, my foot is going back even further, before I kick you. You don't need to reproduce. That is how Batman would talk. In the comics, the adjective they use to describe his voice is "gravelly". Isn't the voice that Bale uses what gravelly would sound like? For previous Batmen, people have argued that the actors have either played "A good Bruce Wayne or a good Batman". Bale plays all three perfectly. I say all three, because Bruce is basically three characters. He is the gravelly voiced caped crusader, who should exude anger, a dark protector who, if he had reason to, would beat you to a bloody pulp. He is also the playboy Bruce Wayne, who to prevent people from making the connection between him and Batman, must seem shallow and aloof. Finally, He is the Bruce that we see talking with Alfred and Rachel, a man who is always trying, with all of his ability and resources to make the world a better place.
And that is why this film deserves the best picture nomination (at least). If I was a professor who taught a college Ethics course, I would show 'The Dark Knight', since it is a film that brings up various arguments on what is morally right and what is necessary to preserve an orderly society, while it keeps those in the audience on the edge of their seats. When you watch it the first time, you marvel at Ledger's performance. Ledger disappears so much into his character, that you don't even recognize him on screen. Like Eckhart's Two-Face, Ledger's Joker is simply 'Better' than any of his previous incarnations (even those in the comic books).
The second time watching it, you follow Harvey's story, and take note of the incredible amount of foreshadowing throughout the film. If I used the word Shakespearean to describe the incredible amount of clever symbolism throughout this movie, I would get scoffed at, but can you name another dramatic film in the past decade that shown the rise and fall of a character, and hinted at his fate in such a subtle and effective way?
Watching it, after multiple viewings of the DVD, I realize that there is no point, in the entire two hours and change, where I feel the need to fast forward. There is nothing boring about this movie, nothing unnecessary.
That my friends, is why it is number one.
Let's hope, that when 2009 is comes around.
a) I am still writing for this site (well, at least I hope so)
b) That some of the films that I write about affect me as deeply as these three did.