The movie year is now officially halfway over. Now, if you’ve looked at a calendar lately you are probably scratching your head but in the movie world half of the good films are released in the first eight months, half in the last four. Don’t ask me to make sense of it but Hollywood feels like Summer and Christmas are the only “real” movie seasons while they let us rot in January, February, August and September.
With that clarification out of the way I wanted to recap a few disappointments, point out some films that have a crack at the overall 2006 top ten list, and then vaguely hint at the films I know enough about to look forward to.
(Hint: Click any movie title to read my review of it)
MOST DISAPPOINTING (so far)
Art School Confidential
It’s half of a good movie followed immediately by half of a terrible movie, but without an intermission. You’ll be held hostage by the awesome butchering of a second act.
It was just a huge letdown from how I thought it would perform. Frankly, I would have rather it turned out terrible so that I could have some feeling about it.
Here we have the very definition of a bad action film. This would be a hilarious Friday night drinking session with friends.
The Shaggy Dog
I think if you are setting out to make a kid’s movie you should make it at least as smart as them. This one appeals to two year olds everywhere.
Interminably boring. If you can’t sleep pop this in and let the good times roll.
What? We have extra money lying around? Okay, let’s just make a crap cartoon.
TEN BEST (so far)
10. Over the Hedge
This is the only animation to make an appearance in the top ten, a very deserving film. Good voice work, good songs, decent plotâ€¦ Nothing to hate on here which is rare in the toon business.
9. A Good Woman
Not only have you never seen this I bet you’ve never even heard of it. Well it has Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt and some really nice plot fun. Hunt shows she could mature into a leading lady the likes of Meryl Streep (not yet, but in a decade).
8. Lucky Number Slevin
This was such a crisp movie in terms of visual feel, dialogue, and story. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu… I mean, that’s some talent. Brad didn’t love it as much as me because I built it up too much and it’s in his nature to be contrary.
7. Winter Passing
Another one you haven’t heard of unless you’ve listened to me whine about it already. It’s one of the funnier movies of the year, but not with obvious humor. It has Ed Harris, Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell. Why did it not get a lick of publicity? Another mystery.
6. World Trade Center (Brad Review)
Simply very well done, executed on the highest level possible. To take a subject matter I was prepared to loathe and pull off a heart grabber is impressive and I have to commend it.
5. Little Miss Sunshine
It’s hard to tell if this is ranked so high because it was an oasis in a desert of bad film but it had some great laughs and a satisfying ending so I’m throwing it in.
4. Mission Impossible 3
Again, take out all the hype and you are left with a really solid and fast paced action. Phil Hoffman’s appearance elevated this from typical to great. Put him in more movies!
3. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
I don’t expect anyone to ever see it because it is tailor made for hip-hop fans. Now for that small group of us that did get a chance to view it was a great time.
2. V for Vendetta
I didn’t even think America was allowed political satire anymore so you can imagine how pleased I was to see this. No, it’s not a comedy or a superhero movie, it’s a message movie and we need those too.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
I’ve had to defend this one to everyone and their mother but I don’t care. It had everything, action, effects, humorâ€¦ the definition of what a big blockbuster should be. And for all you who still hate, I challenge you not to see the third one.
JUST MISSED THE LIST
The Devil Wears Prada, Scoop, One Last Thing…, The Fast and the Furious 3: The Tokyo Drift
Still looking Forward to… (Click title more info!)
Sherrybaby: From the same producer as Little Miss Sunshine and with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Employee of the Month: Can Dane Cook make the transition to movies?
The Pursuit of Happyness: It looks depressing but they spelled happiness wrong so I’m interested.
Running with Scissors: I really loved the book.
A Good Year: Great trailer and Crowe and Ridley Scott get together again.
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny: I love the band so I have hopes.
Apocalypto: Can Mel rebound with a weird looking project?
For Your Consideration (no trailer): Two Words. Christopher. Guest.
Rocky Balboa: Anything less than a disaster will be a win.
The Good Shepherd (no trailer): DeNiro, Damon, Jolie and the C.I.A. Yeah, I’ll be seeing this one.
That’s it, that’s the list. I look forward to the next four months of film as we launch towards Oscar season and I’m thinking the list will be all shook up by the time we make the turn for the New Year.