Best & Worst of 2007

Happy New Year, everyone. I’ve never done a list like this before, but thought it might be fun. Now I’m only going to count movies that were released this year. Older movies I caught on DVD won’t make it.

So here goes, in no particular order…


  • 300 – Some people didn’t like this one. Personally, I think it should be required viewing for any guy to get his “Man Card.”
  • 3:10 to Yuma – If I had to pick one movie for Best of the Year, this would be it. This is a must see for everyone who loves movies. It’s perfect.
  • No Country for Old Men – Think Fargo set in Texas. Tommy Lee Jones will probably win the Oscar for his work here. The movie itself could win, too.
  • Zodiac – This was a creepy movie about a serial killer in California. Well acted and extremely well paced for a movie that covers several years.
  • Grindhouse – Obviously these two had to make the list. Go watch both of them. Now.
  • Wild Hogs – Imagine two hours of jokes about the biker in the Village People. This one’s worse.
  • Blades of Glory – I like Will Farrell, I really do. I just don’t like him in any movie where he’s the main star. This was better than Anchorman, but that’s not saying much.
  • Bridge to Terabithia – Some of you who saw this will assume I’m a cold-hearted bastard for listing this one. I can handle that. But the movie still sucked.
  • The Invisible – Worst.Ending.Ever.
  • Ghost Rider – You know that prank where you set a bag of poo on fire and leave it on your enemy’s doorstep? This is like that, but the bag of poo is in your DVD player.
  • TIE: Spider-Man 3 / Transformers – Two movies I had such high hopes for, dashed upon the cold, rocky coast of mediocrity.

Still left to see:
There are still many movies I’m waiting to see. Hopefully they’ll be included in the Best and not my Worst list. They are…

I Am Legend, The Bourne Ultimatum, Ratatouille, Superbad, The Kingdom, Stardust, Charlie Wilson’s War, Sweeny Todd, Juno, Across the Universe, and The Kite Runner.

I hope everyone has a great 2008 (Note to self: Trademark “Two-thousand Great”)!

Who Killed the Electric Car? – Review

Every time I watch a documentary these days, I go in expecting two things:

1) It’ll lean politically left.
2) There will be a bunch of people whining on camera.

Who Killed the Electric Car? fulfilled both of my expectations.

The movie tells the story of GM’s failed EV1 in the 90s. Never heard of it? It was the first electric car by a major automobile manufacturer and was only sold in Saturn dealerships in California and Arizona. I vaguely remember it, but it was neat to learn a little more about the car and its short life.

The problem is that this movie portrays the car as the savior of mankind and how the evil, ignorant men in power killed our one chance of salvation. I got the feeling the car should have been named JC1. More tears were shed over the death of this car than the actual number of them produced.

To be fair, the movie puts the blame on a number of different “suspects.” There’s Big Oil, GM, consumer ignorance, and the CA government. Bush wasn’t even in office when GM killed the project, but he gets blamed, too. The best quote to describe the EV1’s demise is “death by a thousand cuts” and the film does a good job of describing each of those.

Also, the film never really talks about the problems the car had. It said a typical charge would last about 60 miles, but it didn’t say at what speed. It also didn’t say how long it would take to charge, only “typically overnight.” It also didn’t describe how much horsepower it had, nor its safety rating. Electric cars are awesome, but there are some big technological hurdles to conquer before they are viable. With gas prices rising and technology getting better, I bet we see an EV2 on the market in the next 5 years.

So should you rent this? It did have some interesting points to make, especially since I don’t remember the car all that well. If you can handle a bunch of people whining about a crappy car, then go for it. Otherwise, just start reading Popular Mechanics for the next innovation in alternative fuels.

Grade: C

Death Proof – Review

Like I mentioned in the Planet Terror review, Death Proof is Quentin Tarantino’s yang in the Grindhouse movies (Note to self: stop talking about Tarantino’s yang). But unlike Planet Terror, this one is not a horror movie. Sure, there’s lots of gore and violence, but it’s not horror.

Rose McGowan makes an appearance has a blonde with two normal (boring) legs, but Kurt Russell stars as the obligatory creepy guy. He stalks women and laughs like a creepy guy and even demonstrates a creepy way to eat nachos. But he’s got a personality and a cool name (I won’t spoil it) that makes ya want to have a few beers with him. All in all, he’s awesome. Some critics say this is Kurt’s best role ever. That’s saying a lot when you’ve got Snake Plissken on your resume.

Like Rodriguez, Tarantino plays around with the Grindhouse Special Effects(tm). Instead of having the film skip and melt, he plays with the edits. Back in the old days (or maybe they still do it), an editor would cut the different takes and piece them back together into one continuous reel. Now imagine if those cuts weren’t exact and missed a few frames that should have been left on the floor. That would get real annoying if it happened a lot, but Tarantino is a genius and everything works to perfection.

The one thing that everyone will tell you about this movie is the car chase. Fact, it’s the best car chase in movie history, even beating out The Blues Brothers (/dwight schrute). Yeah, it’s that good.

So as you may have guessed, you need to watch both Grindhouse movies. Invite some friends over, let them in if they bring beer, and have an outstanding evening. Which one is best? Well, that’s what the drunken arguments at midnight are for.

Grade: A

Peter Jackson to direct new Hobbit movies

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

(Ain’t it Cool News)

Planet Terror – Review

OK, first off, look at the poster for this movie. Is your first thought, “Holy Crap! I need to see this!!!”? [Notice the proper use of British punctuation.] If that thought is the furthest thing from your mind, stop reading and go back to watching Martha Stewart. You are way too intellectual for this movie. And by “intellectual” I mean “boring.” For the rest of you, continue reading what you already know.

Planet Terror is Robert Rodriguez’s ying to Tarantino’s yang in their Grindhouse movie. Because the majority of the movie-seeing public is boring, the movie tanked in the box-office. To help recoup some money, they cleaved Grindhouse in two like you would a zombie. I missed it in the theater, so I have no idea if anything is different, but I heard rumors that the DVD versions are a bit longer. I consider that a win in my book.

In order to describe the greatness of Planet Terror, I have to discuss The Greatest Movie Ever Made, a.k.a. Army of Darkness. That movie was (is) brilliant because of its B-movie horror flick, cheesy goodness. And Bruce Campbell. Planet Terror doesn’t give us Bruce Campbell, but gives us Rose McGowan with an M-16 for a leg. She’s basically how I’d picture Bruce Campbell if he started injecting estrogen. It’s not a bad second, really.

Rodriguez styles up the movie to make it look like you’re watching in a real Grindhouse. The reels skip off track, colors bleed, and the film even melts at an (in)appropriate time. Any more authentic and you’d have to mix bubble gum in your cat’s litter box and spread it over your living room.

So, if you are a fan of Robert Rodriguez, cheesy horror flicks, or ever wondered how Bruce Campbell would look with breasts, you owe it to yourself to watch this one. As for me, I’m waiting for the HD version so it can sit right next to the HD DVD of Army of Darkness.

Grade: A