TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #192: 2008: The Year In Movies

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Time for another edition of The Year In Movies where we take a look at different years in movies to find the best and the worst of each year.

This time around, we’re taking a look at 2008 starting with the top 10 worst movies of 2008:

10. Fly Me To The Moon

A lame brain CG animated movie that looks so fake and cheap, it’s not even funny.

9. Space Chimps

Another lame brain CG animated movie that looks so fake and cheap except it was made by 20th Century Fox so that partly makes it even worse.

8. The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

Putting an end to the Mummy movies once and for all, this lame third outing suffers from a bad script, lame comedy, and just an overall lack of not giving a fuck on the part of director Rob Cohen or its’ stars.

7. Bangkok Dangerous

One of the biggest WTF moves on Nicolas Cage’s career. This is a movie that somebody with a caliber name of Nicolas Cage would never put his name to but nope, Nicolas Cage doesn’t give a shit about his career anymore…or at least back then, he didn’t but still fuck that movie.

6. 10,000 BC

109 Minutes of me laughing my ass off at how bad this is. But everything about the special effects is true. Anyway this is Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC, his first film since 2004’s ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (that one a far superior movie that this fucking bull-shit). The film follows D’Leh (Steven Strait), a young mammoth hunter from the Yagahl tribe during the middle stone age (Mesolithic period). It is shown first that, when D’Leh was young, two events happened. First, the mysterious arrival of Evolet (Camilla Belle), a young girl with bright blue eyes who prompts a prophecy from the wise old woman of the tribe, Old Mother (Mona Hammond). Second, the departure of D’Leh’s father who leaves to look for new ways to bring sustenance to the tribe. D’Leh falls in love with Evolet and promises that she will always be in his heart.

Everything about the promos for this are retarded and I did agree with the saber-tooth tiger does look like bull-shit. You know, I shouldn’t be surprised on how shitty this was because IT’S ROLAND EMMERICH, THE WORLD’S SCHLOKIEST DIRECTOR. That and for the fact that the film’s composer Harold Kloser co-wrote the screenplay. Now this would work if this was a musical but not for a fucking action movie and he has not written movies before. Stupid, a complete waste of my time. I almost punched the patron outside after sitting through 109 minutes of bullshit.

5. Swing Vote

A comedy that could’ve worked with the all-star cast involved but just falls apart with a terrible story, having trouble deciding what it wants to be, a comedy or a drama, and the biggest fuck you ending you could possibly end it on.

4. Drillbit Taylor

Ryan (Troy Gentile) and Wade (Nate Hartley) are two nerds preparing for their first day of high school. Things start badly when the pair arrive at school wearing matching shirts, and get worse when Wade sticks up for a fellow nerd, Emmett, (David Dorfman) who is being shoved into a locker by bullies Filkins (Alex Frost) and Ronnie (Josh Peck). Placing an ad on the Internet, they select Drillbit Taylor, a supposed martial arts master/soldier of fortune (Wilson) out of several candidates. In reality, he is just a homeless man who sleeps under a picnic table, showers on a public beach overlooking the highway, and eats out of a dumpster. You know, I walked into this hoping for a fun good-hearted comedy BUT what I got was a semi-funny comedy. The bullies are too mean, the kids’ parents are A-holes, & even the kids don’t look enjoyable especially David Dorfman (the kid from The Ring). However, Owen Wilson was funny in many of his scenes and the scene where the kids are looking for a bodyguard was hilarious. The finale was also great. It sucks that Judd Apatow & Seth Rogen were part of this and even John Hughes (he had an uncredited story credit) and even Josh Peck (who doesn’t even look like himself). Overall, the movie is not bad but it’s not enjoyable. For an airing on Showtime (or Comedy Central or TBS, since I don’t have Showtime), it’s okay to watch but as a must-see, it’s more of a I’m-bored-nothing-else-convinces-me-I’ll-just-pick-a-random-name type of movie, but if you want to see a good Owen Wilson movie, see any of his other works like Wedding Crashers, Cars, any of the Wes Anderson films, Starsky & Hutch, Night At The Museum, and even You, Me, & Dupree.

3. The Day The Earth Stood Still

A lame remake to one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time wasted with an all-star cast, a good director, and forced to deal with a shitty script that makes this one of the biggest cashgrabs of all time.

2. The Love Guru

FUCK YOU MIKE MYERS!!!! That’s all I need to say about this shit.

and the #1 worst movie of 2008 is…

The Spirit

Basically, it’s a feature based on the Will Eisner comic. I was about ready to leave after the first bit of dialogue started but I thought I’d give it a chance. About 20 – 25 minutes in, I was about ready to leave again and it was the scene that features The Spirit when he was a teen but then I got intrigued by the chemistry between The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) and Dr. Ellen Dolan (Sarah Paulson). Then about 45 – 50 minutes in, I was getting ready to leave again but then Eva Mendes’ ass is seen on the screen and it’s like, “Ah, what the hell, I’ll stay for a little bit.” Ten minutes later, I wanted to leave again when Samuel L. Jackson was looking at the foot with a head and saying that was weird. But that ended quickly so I let it pass. The moment I finally decided to leave was in the middle of the confrontation between the Octopus & The Spirit and out of nowhere, they fry a cat. At that point, I said “THAT’S IT, I’M FUCKING OUTTA HERE!!!!!”. I was so mad up at that point and asked for a refund. I got my $7 back but here’s the best part, I paid for my ticket with a Free Movie Cash slip so all-in-all, I made $7. So this film has officially placed itself at the top of my worst movies of 2008 list. It’s shitty, it’s unenjoyable, and if you’re smart, you will stay the fuck away from this movie.

Those are the worst, now, let’s look at the best movies of 2008:

10. Bolt

The film starts off with a loose rip-off of Michael Bay films but not before an origin scene where a young Penny gets Bolt from a pet shop. Bolt, the star of a similarly named popular TV show, believes everything that happens in the show happens in real life. When the show ends with a cliffhanger where Penny is taken away, Bolt thinks it’s real and runs ramped in the real world. John Travolta was fun as Bolt, the voice suits him and the movie also changed my entire view on Miley Cyrus. She was good as Penny and she proves that she’s more than just Hannah Montana. Susie Essman’s Mittens also is really funny to watch as well as Mark Walton’s Rhino. It’s a fun animated film and it’s Disney’s best animated film since Lilo & Stitch.

9. The Incredible Hulk

The movie is both a big screen sequel to the classic series & the 2003 movie and it takes place five years after the first film in which Bruce Banner (played by Edward Norton who also co-wrote this film) is living in Brazil and doesn’t plan to leave there until he finds the cure to his problem. After a mishap of Banner’s blood gets found by General Ross (played by William Hurt), the army is in Brazil and want Banner. What follows is the first of a number of battles in the movie. Following those events, Bruce returns home to America and tries to find Betty Ross (now played by Liv Tyler). Once they reconnect, Ross tries to save Banner from being caught by the military. One of the army men, Emili Blonsky (played by underrated actor Tim Roth), is given the same kind of a super serum that made Banner who he is. Later on in the film, side effects from the serum start showing up causing him to later turn into the Abomination in the last 26 minute action sequence of the film. Near the end of the film, Banner & Ross go to see Dr. Samuel Sterns (played by Tim Blake Nelson) to try to get rid of the problem. There’s a scene where Sterns’ head starts mutating meaning that he will soon become The Leader. What happens after that is the 26-minute action sequence which was the most fun of the whole movie. I liked Norton in this movie. Not only is he a great Bruce Banner, he’s a great writer because he wrote a fun little movie. Also, Tim Roth was badass as Abomination and I never thought that Roth would be a badass but he is. If there was any problem it was Liv Tyler, I just didn’t think she made a good Betty Ross (which was something Jennifer Connelly pulled off in the 2003 movie). She was good but she wasn’t great in the film. F**K the last movie. Yes, I said that I didn’t hate the last movie but after seeing this Hulk, I’m thinking “Yes, this is the Hulk we want to see,” this goes with the greatest superhero movies of all time. Also, yes, Iron Man is in the last minute before the credits roll as he does what Nick Fury did in Iron Man. I say this “I cannot wait for the Avengers movie”. Although I’m still stuck on how it will be made if they can’t make a Justice League movie. Hulk lives up there with Iron Man, Batman Begins, & Superman Returns as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. I loved it a lot and I hope people will like this as much as Iron Man because that’s the same way I feel.

8. Kung Fu Panda

Jack Black, the man behind School Of Rock & Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny, marks his second animated film appearance in this hilarious send-up of martial arts movies. Black plays Po, the panda son of a noodle shop owner who wants to be a martial artist fighter and join the furious five (Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Lucy Liu, & Jackie Chan). At the announcement of the Dragon Warrior, Po makes an unexpected drop into the celebration and is claimed to be the Dragon Warrior. Meanwhile, the villainous Tai-Lung (voiced by Ian MacShane) escapes from prison and wants revenge on his master Shi-fu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman) and it’s up to the chosen one to save the day. This is basically the martial arts version of ‘The Incredibles’, a great animated film and I’ve got to say this works throughout the whole thing. I never got tired from it and this is definitely one of the best animated movies of the year. Another great thing about the movie is Gnarls Barkley’s rendition of ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ which was so good, I sang along when it came on. It’s a great movie with great comedy, great action sequences, and most importantly, great kung fu. The cast is happy to be here and the animation looks awesome. I loved the heck out of this movie.

7. Iron Man

In a contemporized version of the origin story, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is attacked and critically wounded in an ambush in Afghanistan imprisoned in a cave by the terrorist group the Ten Rings, who want Tony to build a copy of Stark’s company’s latest project, The Jericho Missile. A fellow captive, Yinsen, creates a device that keeps Tony alive and they are forced to build the missile.

Yinsen helps Stark escape the group using an arc reactor to turn Stark into a armored superhero to break out of the cave and is rescued by his buddy James Rhodes (Terrence Howard) and is brought back to America where his secretary Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and the company’s manager, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) are waiting.

Seeing how his company’s weapons are being used for evil, Stark makes the controversial decision for his company not to make any more weapons. After that happens, Stark uses his expertise to expand on the suit of armor that got him out of the caves to become the superhero, Iron Man, when he realizes that Stane has been sending the company’s weapons to the same terrorist group that imprisoned him and they plan on using them on Yinsen’s village. Stark also realizes that Obadiah Stane may be more of a threat than he believes.

The movie was directed by Jon Favreau, who at that point was a prolific director of such films as Made, Elf, and Zathura but he at that point had never tackled a big project like Iron Man before so, of course, there was skepticism to see if Favreau could make the jump to a bigger project like this.

It was also a bold project for Marvel because it was the first movie that they’ve self-financed themselves and Paramount Pictures was only the distributor. So, there was a lot of pressure on the movie on those merits alone.

But, as a whole, the movie is one of the best superhero films ever made.

Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as Tony Stark and he does a great job of bringing the character to life. And he could easily relate to Stark because Downey Jr.’s career kind of fell into the same characteristics as Stark did, and that’s more touched on in Iron Man 2 so we’ll get to that one later.

The rest of the cast is also very good, Terrence Howard is pretty good as Rhodes, Gwyneth Paltrow’s really good as Pepper Potts, she’s not the typical damsel-in-distress and actually helps Tony stay ahead of his enemies, and Jeff Bridges is great as Obadiah Stane.

The writers did a good job of contemporizing the origin of Iron Man without taking it over the edge and changing the origin story with unnecessary things like some other origin films tend to do. As well as coming up with a great mix of action and comedy, the movie has a lot of really funny one-liners scattered all throughout the film.

The visual effects are also really good, this is one of the last movies that Stan Winston worked on before his death and he worked on the metal suits and rubber that was used in the film and helped to work on the Iron Man costume with a mix of CGI and his company did a great job on that as well as some of the other visual effects used in the film.

The action is also very well done, the final climax of the movie is well made, there’s a lot of tension, and it looked very realistic, like something like this could actually happen.

Iron Man is one of the best superhero films ever made because of a great cast, a brilliantly contemporized origin story, impressive visuals, great action, and just an overall fun, solid movie-going experience.

6. Tropic Thunder

One of the funniest movies about making a movie ever, Ben Stiller directs and leads an all-star cast in a hilarious satirical look at war movies and the making of movies along with some of the best comedy moments of recent memory.

5. Slumdog Millionaire

This is Danny Boyle’s best film, without a doubt. It’s a tough movie to sit through at some points but there are very small parts where it gets disturbing to watch. The cast of unknowns really is the strong part of the film particularly the two leads, Dev Patel & Frieda Pinto, who are characters that you really care about and you want them to get together in the end. Go and seek out Slumdog Millionaire is you haven’t seen it yet. It’s a fantastic movie.

4. The Dark Knight

Remember three years ago in Batman Begins, when Batman & Lt. Gordon are on the top of the police station with the bat-signal and Gordon gives Batman a Joker card and he said “He would look in to it.?” Well, here comes The Dark Knight, the second best movie of the year and the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen. This is pure brilliance. The film starts where the last film left off. It’s a year later & The Joker (played evilly by the late Heath Ledger) has caused all kinds of mayhem in Gotham City and people have come to respect the Batman (played by Christian Bale). Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne is in a penthouse in the city following the events of the last film and Rachel Dawes (now played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) is now with new District Attorney Harvey Dent (played by Aaron Eckhart) who plans a brand new future for Gotham City. Even though the film is 2 1/2 hours long, you don’t notice it and there’s so much going on here. We get to meet Gordon’s family who plays a huge part in the final climatic battle, Gordon dies (for about 25 minutes) and returns from the dead (or something that’s never explained), & most importantly, Two-Face is revealed in the film and looks bad-ass and evil. There’s a big action sequence in the middle of the film that you think would be the end of the movie and then we get to another hour of action. Also, Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face becomes another main villain in this film dropping the possibility of a return in the next film. Everybody in the film is perfect. The cast, especially Heath Ledger, the crew, & the writers behind it. This is a great film, I love every second of this film and it’s a movie that you have to watch throughout to understand how great it is.

3. WALL-E

Disney & Pixar have collaborated on a number of classic films including the Toy Story films, The Incredibles, Cars, & Ratatouille but their newest animated feature was almost not a reality. Disney did not want to make this movie but Pixar insisted and so we have WALL-E. In the film, It is the year 2800, 792 years into the future, mankind has left our planet leaving a robot to cleaning up the earth, that robot is WALL-E (voiced by sound effects supervisor Ben Brutt). He’s a curious robot who supplies a collection of a number of items and really enjoys the classic film My Fair Lady. Then, one day while doing his daily routine, a space ship comes from nowhere unveiling another robot named EVE (voiced by Elissa Knight). They both started to like each other until EVE is taken back to the Buy N’ Large Axiom after a plant is found which could lead to the humans returning to Earth. I was in all anticipation for this because I thought WALL-E was a great character idea and from the moment, the first official trailer premiered last winter, I was hooked. It’s an incredible experience and I actually believe that it’s Pixar’s best film to date. The thing about the movie is that you really start to love WALL-E and feel for him in a way that helps the movie grow in its’ quality and makes it one of the best films I’ve seen all year. Only one other movie is better and that’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. There was never a moment in the film where I was bored or wanted to go get a refill or go to the bathroom, I love every second of this movie. I’m telling you, you will have a good time with this movie. Plus, get there early to see the best Pixar short since last year’s Lifted. Turn-of-the-century magician, Presto DiGiotagione, is famous for a hat trick. Presto’s apprentice, a rabbit named Alec, is unhappy that he is locked in a birdcage with a carrot out of reach. The movie reminds me oh so much of a classic Warner Bros. cartoon because of the animation and the goofball jokes that happen in the film. I’ve gotta to say it’s definitely worth getting there early.

2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

In the tradition of The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad & Walk Hard comes Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The movie stars, and is written by, Jason Segel as Peter Brenner, a musician who’s writing a puppet rock opera whose life is taking a turn for the worst when his girlfriend Sarah Marshall (played by Kristin Bell) breaks up with him after five years. After three weeks of trying to get over her, his step brother (played by Bill Hader of Superbad & Saturday Night Live fame) suggests that he goes on vacation to Hawaii in order to stay away from her BUT when he gets to the hotel, who shows up? Sarah and her new boyfriend Aldous Snow (played by British actor Russel Brand). And hilarity ensues… Throughout the film, Peter meets a slew of characters from a married religious couple (the guy played by Jack McBrayer, Kenneth from 30 Rock), a surf instructor (played by Paul Rudd), & a waiter whose a fan of Snow (played by Jonah Hill). Plus, he also becomes friends with the hotel receptionist, Rachel Jansen (played by Mila Kunis). Some people are going to get mad about this, I don’t care: Mila Kunis is way hotter than Kristen Bell. I said it, I’m not taking it back because it’s true. Other than that, this movie has surpassed Cloverfield as the best movie of 2008. This movie is a lot of fun. It’s one of the best Judd Apatow comedies ever. This is the funniest comedy I’ve seen since Walk Hard.

and the #1 best movie of 2008 is…

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin Button, a person who was born not as a child but as an old man. From that point, he begins to age backwards going from old to young and the whole story of his life is being told from his journal being read in 2005 by his daughter (Julia Ormond) and his on again, off again girlfriend Daisy (played throughout the film by Cate Blanchett in an Oscar-caliber role). Throughout the movie, we meet all of these characters from a sea captain that offers Benjamin a job to an older woman who has an affair with Benjamin (played by Tilda Swinton). Everything that has been said about this movie is 100% true. This is indeed the best movie of the year and I’m serious when I say that this is one of the greatest movies of all time. Does it live up to the ranks of such classics as ‘The Godfather’, ‘Citizen Kane’, & Casablanca’? I actually think so. David Fincher’s direction is kind of the only weak point about the film that I had. But it’s a small weak point. Another great thing is the makeup designs to make Brad Pitt look older and younger as well as make Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson look the same. The thing that surprised me was the ending when he actually does die as a baby. That scene surprisingly shocked me at how great that was. Yeah, it’s a fantastic movie.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies, The Year In Movies
21 comments on “TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #192: 2008: The Year In Movies

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