I have been lax on my reviews and now I've got a list of 35 titles going back half a year. I'm going to purge the list of films I saw in 2008 by listing all of them here with a quick impression of each:
five stars (loved):
TITANIC (1997) - The greatest film of all time? Still a treat.
ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) - One of my faves, shared with the family.
THE QUEEN (2006) - Among the most well-written films I've ever seen.
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938) - Took me 70 years to discover this feel good film.
KING KONG (1933) - Dated effects but they're pretty good and the story is involving.
four stars (really liked):
JOHN ADAMS (2008) - Great period reconstruction with time to enjoy the intimate moments.
IN BRUGES (2008) - An overlooked gem with plot points you don't see coming.
THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR (2000) - I was surprised how much I liked it.
INTO THE WILD (2007) - Penn crafts a pleasant journey towards preventable death.
THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) - Ledger wins an Oscar and joins the pantheon of great villains.
THE VISITOR (2007) - Involving tale about individual goodness vs the coldness of the state.
EL MARIACHI (1992) - Amazing film considering its $7k budget and definitely entertaining.
PICKPOCKET (1959) - The best part is the scholarly commentary explaining its importance.
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972) - A childhood favorite shared with my children.
IRON MAN (2008) - Favreau has a nice touch for tone with just the right amount of levity.
three stars (liked):
THE SEA HAWK (1940) - Unlike Tom, I prefer CAPTAIN BLOOD.
THE COURT JESTER (1956) - I liked the intricate plot, thinking it ripe for retelling.
THE COUNTERFEITERS (2007) - The protagonist isn't really the hero but it is interesting.
I AM LEGEND (2007) - Loved it for awhile but it wrapped up before I was ready.
BLOCK HEADS (1938) - Classic Laurel and Hardy buffoonery.
BOLT (2008) - Follows the formula and produces solid entertainment.
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (2008) - Overrated but funny and charming enough.
DEATHPROOF (2007) - Tarantino delivers style over substance for a good throwaway film.
VANISHING POINT (1971) - The reference point for DEATHPROOF has not aged well.
THE HOST (2006) - Atypical creature feature about a kooky family rising to the occasion.
SUNSHINE (1999) - Loved it until the third act which ramps up the bizarro level to eleven.
WAY OUT WEST (1937) - Laurel and Hardy on a mission to be funny in western garb.
THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG (1975) - Enough Disney charm and Don Knotts to satisfy.
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES (1980) - Several gags I've never forgotten since first viewing.
two stars (didn't like):
NODODY'S FOOL (1994) - Sure Newman's great, but the story heaps on the blandness.
AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007) - So long and boring, I can't believe it was a critical darling.
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES (1964) - Watchable only because its stars are easy to admire.
JAMAICA INN (1939) - Hitchcock's British swan song is a bit of a stinker.
BABES IN TOYLAND (1934) - Laurel and Hardy once again but not as good.
WORD WARS (2004) - Predictably engaging, but not an impressive film.
THE SHAGGY DOG (1959) - Even with a dopey story it manages to be thoroughly lame.