This has been a real busy year for me, so I didn't have a lot of time to see all the movies I wanted to, but I did manage to catch a few. Here's my list of the five movies that I liked the most this year, in no particular order:
Baghdad ER - A harrowing documentary about the efforts of military surgeons in the Green Zone trying to keep people from dying. Brutal, but necessary.
An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore examines the inevitability of global consequences to an out of control species (humans). It's time to clean our own house.
Candy - Agonizing portrayal of a couple's decent into drug addiction, from the Luke Davies novel. With Heath Ledger, the always great Geoffrey Rush, and Abbie Cornish. Disturbing.
Scoop - Woody Allen's movie (and I'm not much of a fan of his work these days) starring Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and Woodrow. What can I say? I'm a regular guy. I lust for Scarlett. So sue me.
The Illusionist - Edward Norton and Jessica Biel, with Paul Giamatti in a mysterious and convoluted period piece set in 19th century Austria. Beautiful cinematography.
Less stellar movies:
Little Miss Sunshine - A quirky "road movie", with a great cast. Not a home run, but ultimately a fine story well-told.
The Departed - Scorcese missed on this attempt. Better than "Gangs of New York", but not in "Goodfellas" neighborhood.
Jackass 2 - I dunno, but I think I'm getting too old to cringe for 90 minutes non-stop. I think they're getting too old, too.
Clerks II - Yes, I'm a Kevin Smith fan. Reasonable follow-up 10 years later, even though the "donkey scene" was too long. Rosario Dawson dancing more than made up for it. Dante and Randal still have great slacker dialogue. A slew of cameos from Kevin's friends.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Fun comic-book concept, but a weak script and awful cast ruined it. Uma Thurman is getting too old for this stuff. Maybe it's time she starts looking for some Meryl Streep-type roles.
And the most anticipated movie of the year:
BLOG WARS - Yes, that's me in that image. This is the BBC/Sundance Channel production about the bloggers involved in Ned Lamont's campaign this year. Premieres on December 28th at 10PM on the Sundance Channel, with a repeat on December 30th at 7PM. It will be broadcast in the UK sometime early next year. Click here to see the Sundance Channel's description.