23 December 2009

Best of the 00s, 2007 Films Edition

A few more years to get out of the way, and then we are done with the 00s (I know that technically 2000 was part of the 90s, and 2010 is still part of the 00s, but since everyone treats decades as lasting from the 0-9 year rather than the 1-0 year like they should, I'm going with the flow)

2007 Films

I personally didn't like the two films from that year that you are supposed to like (There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men), I found both of them ultimately pointless and overwrought. As far as the almost making the list films, Smokin' Aces is surprisingly good for a film with Jeremy Piven in it, Zodiac wastes a lot of solid performances with a story that is spun out way too slowly, Spider-Man 3 deserves mention for strangely and inexplicably being half a musical (especially the bar scene with partially 'venomized' Peter Parker is secretly hilarious). Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has a few brilliantly surreal sequences while Cap't Jack is alone, but the overall picture is a failure. Knocked Up has a lot of good moments, but the whole is less satisfying than the parts. Superbad is one of the best teen comedies to come along in some time, but that's not saying much as it's a pretty crappy genre. Ratatouille is solid, but not great PIXAR-ness, so long as you can get over the whole rats in the kitchen angle. Rescue Dawn is a solid picture, that avoids a lot of the clich├ęs you'd expect this kind of flick to contain. 3:10 to Yuma is solid as far as those kinds of pictures go. The Death Proof half of Grindhouse has some of the best car related stunt choreography on film, and since it's a Tarantino picture, strong women, and plenty of shots of bare lady feet.

Shoot 'Em Up
There's nothing not to love about this picture. Monica Bellucci as a lactating hooker, check, Clive Owen as a carrot chomping super assassin, double check, and Paul Giamatti as a shockingly menacing bad guy, triple check, and mate. A smartly put together dumb action picture that explodes every genre trope even as they milk them for all their worth. A really entertaining westernized version of the old Lone Wolf and Cub Samurai pictures

The Bourne Ultimatum
A rarity, an action film sequence that gets better as it goes along. Also, it's probably the only film to use the dreaded shakycam camera technique to good effect. So long as this film doesn't make you vomit, it's a great ride of a film.

Which one of these things is not like the other? Not quite the over the top action pictures like the other two best of 07 pics. Probably the most surprising film to gross in excess of $200M of the decade (this, and that Greek Wedding film). I guess I'm a sucker for Jason Reitman films, cause he manages to hit another homerun with this picture. Forget the backlash against it, this film really did deserve the positive regard that it received. The performances are great throughout, the characters are well conceived, and Ellen Page holds this together with an amazing lead turn. Another example of Jason Reitman tackling a scenario that Hollywood would usually ruin with polemics and posturing. He lets the characters tell their tale, and leaves the politics out of it (from both the left and the right perspective, which is probably why there was criticism, and praise, from both sides). Even Jennifer Garner is made to be warm and sympathetic in this one. Jennifer Garner!

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