05 May 2008

May 2008 Movies

Had a good weekend knocking two more titles off of my list. First up was The Golden Compass, an adaptation of the brilliant Philip Pullman novel (originally published as Northern Lights in the UK), first in the His Dark Materials series. It was a decent movie, but it felt like they were trying to squeeze too much source material into a 2-hour running time. They also didn't end the movie where the book did, and as such, it's likely that the movie trilogy will have to be a quadrilogy before all is done. Not that I mind, though. Great effects, decent acting, well-cast. I'd prefer a slightly more plodding extended director's cut someday, though.

Second on the small screen was Juno. Now I've not seen any Best Picture-nominated flicks other than this one and the winner, No Country for Old Men, and I really don't think that Juno is Best Picture material, but Juno was a hell of a lot better than NCfOM. Great little indie comedy with a stellar cast. I'd single out someone for their work, but it wouldn't be fair to the ensemble, which was just wonderful. I will recommend to anyone renting or buying the DVD to watch the deleted scene "Montage," as it shows the original cut of a scene that didn't quite ring true (temporally speaking) in the film.

I also caught Anthony Minghella's final film, a BBC TV production of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, an adaptation of the wonderful Botswanan mystery novel by Alexander McCall Smith. It was a wonderful little film, full of heart and magnificent scenery. Ultimately, it still felt like a TV movie, though. It probably wouldn't do well in the theatres on either side of the Pond. I hope that the series goes on under the helm of another talented director.

Here's my top 20 or so movies to see right now, some still unreleased. The starred ones I've got on DVD or Blu-Ray yet still haven't found the time to watch.

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2. The Dark Knight
3. Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End*
National Treasure II - Book of Secrets
4. There Will Be Blood*
5. Idiocracy*
6. Children of Men
7. The Departed*
8. Invincible*
9. Pan's Labyrinth*
10. In Bruges
11. Hot Fuzz
12. Crank
13. Live Free or Die Hard
14. The Simpsons Movie*
15. The Fountain*
16. Gone Baby Gone*
17. Persepolis
18. Zodiac*
19. Michael Clayton*
20. Tropic Thunder
21. Doomsday
22. Atonement*

Update 5/8: Saw 27 Dresses last night. Surprisingly decent comedy. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything starring Judy Greer.

Update 5/17: Watched The Illusionist, just to compare to The Prestige. Didn't like it. Boring. Predictable. Edward Norton was totally phoning it in. Couldn't hold Prestige's jock, even though both movies were utterly ridiculous.

Update 5/21: Managed to watch National Treasure II - Book of Secrets by Redboxxing it on the day of release. Decent film, but not as good as the first movie. Nice setup for NTIII, though. We especially liked the scenes in the rotunda of the Library of Congress, as we've been there before (including down the stairs to the bowels of the LC).

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