Archive | 5:15 pm

Last Day, First Night

31 Dec

Spent the last afternoon of 2007 wandering around downtown, checking out the pre-First Night activity. It was too warm and sunny out, so the ice sculptures weren’t all fully ready by 3pm. But I managed to get some photos of the ones that were on display. And with that, I close out this blog for 2007. To you and yours, I wish the happiest of Happy New Years. I’ll see you in ’08!




The Good, the Bad, and Superbad

31 Dec

You know it’s been a good year for the movies when you go through the list of films you’ve seen (in my case, 56) and when separating out those you remember fondly, the list is close to 20. So narrowing those down to only 10 is quite a challenge. And yet, I’ve done that — but with one caveat: I still have not seen There Will Be Blood (it’s a 2007 release but it doesn’t open in Boston until Friday), and I’m almost positive that it, too, would have earned a spot on this list. So, this may be a top 11 list come next weekend. [Update 1/5: I’ve now seen There Will Be Blood. The list has been amended accordingly.]

But anyway, so without further ado, here are the 10 [now 11] films I saw in 2007 that brought me the most pleasure:

11. SUPERBAD
I laughed harder and more frequently at this film than I did at anything else all year.

10. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones give memorable, iconic performances, but the Coen brothers deserve plenty of credit too.

9. GONE BABY GONE
Ben Affleck’s directorial debut gets Boston right, and tells a compelling tale whose conclusion stays with you.

8. AMERICAN GANGSTER
A thunderous, exciting performance by Denzel Washington takes this one over the top.

7. 3:10 TO YUMA
A real man’s man’s movie, this one boasts some great action and acting (by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale).

6. REIGN OVER ME
One of the year’s most overlooked gems. It’s not perfect, but what’s good about this film (e.g. Don Cheadle’s performance) is so good. And Adam Sandler breaks your heart.

5. JUNO
Snark perfectly mixed with sweetness in a fantastic screenplay, plus a wonderful lead performance by Ellen Page.

4. LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
Sure, it’s a preposterous premise, but Ryan Gosling’s heartwarming performance helps turn this film into a really sweet tale of loneliness and love.

3. HAIRSPRAY
Maybe this isn’t the actual third-best movie of the year, but it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had at the movies all year. And it’s one of only two movies on this list that I saw in the theater twice.

2. THERE WILL BE BLOOD
An epic movie featuring one of Daniel Day-Lewis’ best performances ever, this film is just brilliant. It must be seen, and on a big screen.

1. ONCE
Can’t say enough about how much I love this movie. The music, the acting, the story, the writing … nearly everything about it is perfect. At just under 90 minutes, this is the rare movie you want to be longer. Once is an instant classic, a film of such magic that its effect stays with you for days, months, and (time will tell) years after you see it.


And what about the worst movies? Well, that list was a lot easier to compile. I’d like to think I stay away from the obvious stinkers, but every now and then I do get suckered or disappointed. So here are those films I wish I could say I didn’t see:

10. EVAN ALMIGHTY
9. SPIDER-MAN 3
8. FACTORY GIRL
7. SING NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE
6. LIONS FOR LAMBS
5. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
4. BECAUSE I SAID SO
3. FRED CLAUS
2. IN THE LAND OF WOMEN
1. RENDITION