10 best movies of 2008 in one sentence

by zeke

In my opinion 2008 has not been a great year when it comes to cinema. Nevertheless, and despite the lack of very good movies, there are quite a few good ones. Most of them have actually been released towards the end of the year. A successful rescue attempt. Among those, I have picked ten. Some of them are obvious, and some I might be the only one that liked them. C’est la vie

10. burn after reading

burn after reading poster

burn after watching joy

9. vicky christina barcelona

vicky cristina barcelona poster

woody allen is not back, but he is finally aware of that, and not trying to be who he was, but who he is

8. milk

sean penn is to gus van sant’s best film ever what nesquik is to my whole milk every morning Continue reading

taken (2008)

by zEke

There was a time when Luc Besson meant something more than it means right now. nikita (1990) and léon (1994) are proof. Unfortunately, the French filmmaker has not been as successful lately, neither as a director, nor as a writer, nor as a producer. He writes and produces taken, which will not be the movie who brings him back to where he was in the nineties, even though it is not an offensive one. It is just something we have probably seen before one way or another.

The beginning is by far the worst. Thirteen minutes in, all the characters have talked about how dangerous Europe, and specially Paris, is for American teenagers. Whatever. Of course, something is going to happen, but all that pessimism is unjustified. The scared father is Brian (Liam Neeson) a former spy who once retired is finally trying to play dad with his daughter who lives with her mother and her stepfather. It is not a surprise then than right after his daughter and her friend land in Paris they are kidnapped by the Albanian mafia for prostitution purposes. It is then when things turn better and Brian turns to be the grown up version of Jason Bourne. Continue reading

hancock (2008)

by zEke

Originally written in 1996 by Vincent Ngo hancock has finally made it to the silver screen. After a massive marketing campaign, worthy of any summer blockbuster, and on a holiday weekend that guarantees good box office receipts. This, even if it turns to be a fiasco, as it does after the first half an hour.

hancock‘s premises are different from every other superhero movie. John Hancock (Will Smith) is a superhero, but he is also a homeless sour drunkard from Los Angeles. Thus, despite of his efforts, people hate him and would like to see him behind bars. But his luck changes when he meets Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), a public relalions spokesperson. Embrey conceives an impeccable plan to make people miss Hancock and turning him into a celebrity. And while the prologue lasts everything works more or less fine, but then, along comes a first twist that feels like a punch in your stomach. And, still a second one to try to explain the first one, that at this point will let most of you frozen. Continue reading

sex and the city (2008)

by zEke

sex and the city posterI get in the cinema when the lights are still on, but it is already full. Full of dresses up girls. I take some time to count how many boys are about to witness the show. Overall, there are six, a gay couple, three long faced boyfriends, and me. I sit and wait. Definitely, I am going to watch sex and the city.

Many TV series have been adapted to the silver screen recently. Almost unnoticed I must say. I am not a big fan of TV shows turned into feature movies but I always end watching them. I am actually looking forward to the a team (2009). But now is the turn for sex and the city. I was never a big fan of the TV series but I somehow managed to watched them all. A show made entirely for women that caught my eye. Good enough to keep me distracted for half an hour. Continue reading

indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull (2008)

by zEke

Nineteen years later the hero is back. We have waited long, too long maybe, for the archaeologist to come back after Steven Spielberg and George Lucas saw, and explode, his potential back in the eighties. No less than three adventures in a decade. The hero is now older, the hat and the whip stay the same, what about everything else?

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is force to help Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) and her Russian army find an extraterrestrial creature with a mysterious crystal skeleton in a military base in the Nevada dessert. Once back in the Marshall College Jones is contacted by Mutt Williams (Shia LeBouf) who tells him Harold Oxley (John Hurt), and old colleague of Jones, has disappeared after discovering a crystal skull in Peru. No need to explain what follows. Continue reading

my blueberry nights (2007)

by zEke

my blueberry nights posterThose who know Chinese director Kar Wai Wong know how he likes to carefully take care of every single shot he fits in his movies. The suggestive in the mood for love (2000) and the melancholic 2046 (2004) are good recent examples of his meticulous care. my blueberry nights is no different to those on that sense and many will see it as a collection of beautiful shots that fail to build the story within. That is probably what, according to the reviews that followed, attendants to the screening of the opening film of the 60th Cannes Film Festival thought. I, respectfully, disagree.

Elizabeth’s (Norah Jones) boyfriend has left her for another woman. Heartbroken, she decides to start a cross country soul-searching journey around America that starts at Jeremy’s (Jude Law) little cozy café in New York City among blueberry pies and ice-cream. Along the way she meets random ordinary people that will help her find her way back to herself. Continue reading

iron man (2008)

by zEke

iron man posterMovies that are based on comic books are on fashion these days. Mostly, because they seem to be profitable enough. Truth is, most of them are just about that and forget about the essence of the stories they tell. Thus, after the initial hype they are forever forgotten. Does anyone remember daredevil (2003), the punisher (2004)? I could keep going, but I will not. Even those who manage to stay in our memory are not more than ephemeral entertainment. Good entertainment, but far from providing anything else, which on the other hand they do not have to. batman begins (2005) might be an exception. All this to say that iron man is one of the latter, good entertainment and nothing else.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is an eccentric industrialist who only cares about the effectiveness of the weapons his company provides to gain peace in the world by means of war, and how to spend his ridiculous fortune. This is until he is captured in Afghanistan by mercenaries who use his very own weapons. To scape he builds an armor. An armor that once back at home and after a severe tuning process turns Stark into his alter ego, Iron Man. Continue reading