Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Years Best

There’s still a few movies I want to see this year (i.e. Gran Torino, Che, Frost/Nixon, The Wrestler, and Revolutionary Road), but I probably won’t make it out to see them anytime soon.

 I think it’s safe to say that this year, more than any other year in recent memory, was the year that blockbuster movies were actually good; usually there’s one or two good blockbuster movies, and the rest are simply entertaining popcorn flicks. Below are my top 5 books & movies of the year:

WALL-E – yes, I nearly cried it was so beautiful; it’s Pixar, so I knew it would be great, but this was beyond great—it was a masterpiece, and now ranks just below Wild Strawberries as one of my all time favorites.

The Dark Knight – This movie felt, at times, more like a roller coaster ride then a movie—it had more twist and turns then any Batman movie before it, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it’s the best one in the series.

Slumdog Millionaire – I am not a huge fan of Danny Boyle, but after this movie, I just may become one. It gives one of the best glimpses of true India that I have ever seen, and was truly touching. The acting wasn’t always great, especially by the gangster brother, but the story made up for its shortcomings.

Iron Man – I guess Robert Downey Jr. isn’t all washed up after all? Not quite the dark masterpiece of The Dark Knight, it was nonetheless a greatly paced and highly original story; I can’t wait for the sequel.

Tropic Thunder – If it hadn’t been for Downey playing an Australian guy acting like a black guy, I probably would not have liked this movie at all. 

Post Office - It's my wife's favorite book, so I had to read it, and it didn't disappoint. It wasn't really about anything, but I think that's sort of the point. Whatever the case it was quite funny.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union - I read this book much too quickly to properly enjoy, and I am going to reread it again soon. Chabon wrote one of the greatest novels I have ever read (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay), and is the king of style; it's going to be hard for him to top Kavalier & Clay, but he's still a great writer, and rarely disappoints.

Watchmen - I didn't think it was as good as everyone always says. Yes, for a comic book, it was great--perhaps the greatest. I would hardly list it as one of the 100 best books of the century. One of my top 5 favorite books of the year, but only because I didn't read a lot of really great books this year.

The Wordy Shipmates - I was a bit disappointed, because it didn't have quite the same with as "Assassination Vacation." Still it was interesting.

In Defense of Food - Okay, I'll admit I didn't actually read this book; Diana read it. But she gave me a overview of what it was about each night before I went to sleep, so I didn't really need to. I wish more people would read books like this, instead of blindly continue to eat unhealthy and think they'll be fine.

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