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Title: UNOFFICIAL MOBIUS 2007 POLL


Erik Nelson - February 25, 2008 11:56 PM (GMT)
Thanks again to everyone who voted.

UNOFFICIAL MOBIUS 2007 POLL
THEATRICAL FILMS

No Country for Old Men 171.5
Zodiac 138
Black Book, The 78
Grindhouse 74
Assassination of Jesse James… 72
Host, The 69
Ratatouille 66
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 60
There Will Be Blood 55
Brand Upon the Brain 46.5
Michael Clayton 45
Eastern Promises 39.5
Gone, Baby, Gone 39
I'm Not There 35.5
Once 35
Sicko 34.5
Exiled 32
Control 30.5
Bug 27
Into the Wild 25
Lust, Caution 24.5
Sweeney Todd 24
Darjeeling Limited 23
King of Kong, The 21
No End in Sight 21
3:10 to Yuma 20.5
Hot Fuzz 19.5
Mist, The 19
Knocked Up 18.5
This is England 17
Wind That Shakes the Barley, The 16
Bourne Ultimatum, The 15
Children of Men 15
In the Shadow of the Moon 15
King and the Clown, The 15
Paprika 15
Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust 14
Deep Water 14
Please Vote for Me 14
VHS Kahloucha 14
Yo Yo Girl Cop 14
28 Weeks Later 13
Away from Her 13
Curse of the Golden Flower 13
Inland Empire 13
Innocence 13
Pan's Labyrinth 13
Transformers 13
Across the Universe 12
Juno 12
Killer of Sheep 12
Planet Terror 12
Sunshine 12
Taare Zameen Par 12
You, the Living 12
12:08 East of Bucharest 11
300 11
Beowulf 11
Hana Yori Mo Naho 11
Lady Chatterley 11
Lars and the Real Girl 11
Persepolis 11
Sopranos, The, Final Episode 11
Unforseen, The 11
All is Forgiven 10.5
France, La 10.5
No Mercy for the Rude 10.5
Ocean's Thirteen 10.5
Southland Tales 10.5
Still Life 10.5
Superbad 10.5
Unpolished, The 10.5
Until Death 10.5
XXY 10.5
Apocalypto 10
Letters from Iwo Jima 10
My Kid Could Paint That 10
Triad Election 10
Whispers & Moans 10
Bella 9
Starting Out in the Evening 9
Sun Also Rises, The 9
Waitress 9
Breach 8
Hooked on You 8
Kings 8
Mr. Brooks 8
Ostrov (The Island) 8
2:37 7
Cocaine Cowboys 7
Johnny Gaddaar 7
Lookout, The 7
Manufactured Landscapes 7
Mukhsin 7
You Kill Me 7
Faro: Goddess of the Water 6
Nishabd 6
Talk to Me 6

Erik Nelson - February 25, 2008 11:58 PM (GMT)
UNOFFICIAL MOBIUS 2007 POLL
DVD RELEASES

Blade Runner (Five Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) 64
Mario Bava Box Set, Volumes One & Two 50
Ford at Fox 39.5
Berlin Alexanderplatz 39
Late Ozu 39
Films of Kenneth Anger, Vols. 1 & 2 38
Ace in the Hole 33.5
Film Noir Classic Collection 4 30.5
36th Chamber of Shaolin, The 30
Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky 30
Killer of Sheep: the Charles Burnett Collection 25.5
Twin Peaks Definitive Gold Box Edition 25
if… 22.5
Straight Time 22.5
Colossus of Rhodes 22
Sergio Leone Anthology 21
Two-Lane Blacktop 16.5
Angel Face 15
Blade Runner (Four Disc Box) 15
Directed by Douglas Sirk 15
Erik the Conqueror 15
Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara 15
3 Penny Opera 15
Yo Yo Girl Cop 15
Becket 14
Doctor Who: Series 3 14
First Films of Sam Fuller 14
Hot Fuzz 14
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, The - Volume 1 14
Peter McDougall Collection, The 14
Holy Mountain 13
I Am Cuba 13
Killers, The 13
Night of the Comet 13
Popeye 1933-1938 Vol. 1 13
Queen of Outer Space 13
Shadow Warriors 13
Torment / Hets / Frenzy 13
Chosen Survivors / The Earth Dies Screaming 12
Muriel 12
Pan's Labyrinth 12
Spider Baby Special Edition 12
When Taekwondo Strikes 12
Woody Woodpecker & Friends 12
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, Vol. 1 11
Canyon Passage 11
From Beyond 11
Hawaii Five-O: the Complete First Season 11
Prisoner of Zenda, The 11
Rockford Files, The, Season 4 11
Saoirse? 11
Troy - Director's Cut 11
Bicycle Thieves 10.5
Cruising 10.5
Cult Camp Classics, Volume 1 10.5
Fall Guy, The: Complete First Season, The 10.5
Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman 10.5
Manitou, The 10.5
Mission: Impossible: The Complete 2nd / 3rd Season 10.5
Monster Squad, The - 20th Anniversary Edition 10.5
Robinson Crusoe on Mars 10.5
Sansho the Baliff 10.5
Search and Destroy / The Glove 10.5
Streets of San Francisco, The, Season One 10.5
Twisted Terror Collection 10.5
Caged 10
Diau Charn 10
Green for Danger 10
I Shot Jesse James 10
Love, American Style - Season One, Volume One 10
Perversion Story 10
Days of Heaven 9
Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron 9
Milky Way, The 9
Miserables, Les 9
Perfect Couple, A 9
Return of Frank James 9
Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film - 1900 - 1934 9
Twin Swords 9
Warner Home Video Director's Series: Stanley Kubrick Collection 9
Woman in Winter, A 9
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Volume 3 8
Breathless 8
Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster 8
Heroes, Season 1 8
Monsieur Hire 8
Night of the Werewolf 8
Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of Sea 8
Prisoner of Shark Island, The 8
Screen Icons: Julie Christie Collection 8
Billy Budd 7
Brothers Five 7
Clock, The 7
Fox Horror Classics 7
Gentleman Jim 7
Goliath and the Barbarians / Goliath and the Vampires 7
Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, The 7
King Boxer 7
Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection, The 7
Superman: Doomsday 7
Walt Disney Treasures: The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit 7
BBC's Count Dracula 6
Black Sabbath 6
Cult Camp Classics: Historical Epics 6
Monsters and Madmen 6
Morning Musume - All Singles Complete Zen 35 Kyoku - 10th Anniversary 6
Return of Dracula, The / Vampire, The 6
Route 66: Season One, Volume One 6
Verdict, The 6

Erik Nelson - February 26, 2008 12:02 AM (GMT)
INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS
A - C

DOUG BASSETT

It was an odd year for movies, started out strong, hit a dreadful
tailspin in what is the worst summer of my recent memory, and then picked up
a bit near the end. But then my pet theory #78 is that even year-ed
movies do better than odd year-ed ones, so 2008 is gonna be great!

Maybe.

In reverse order, just to, you know, build up the suspense:

10. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM -- In a crappy summer season this was the
best bet, and while I found the culmination of the three a bit
depressingly predictable (we have met the enemy and guess what! It’s US! You
never saw THAT coming, huh?) I did and do admire ULTIMATUM (and SUPREMACY)
for it’s leanness. It’s the ultimate triumph of style and attitude
over content, but in this context it really works -- sort of like
“24” without any of the dull bits. Greengrass is the only advocate of
the handheld camera I can tolerate, and Matt Damon I think remains
America’s smartest (not necessarily best, mind, just smartest) actor.

9. GRINDHOUSE -- I thought the first movie was actively bad (I can’t
stand Rodriguez, and he’s just the kind of guy who would think that
putting ironic quotes around a bad movie somehow makes it “good”),
but I thought Tarantino’s was something of a return to form, and in
general the whole nutty concept of the thing made it worth watching.

8. GONE, BABY, GONE -- Has it’s problems -- I buy Affleck as a
woebegone guy moping around and screwing everything up in his quest to make
the “right” decision, but not as a tough PI, no sir. And while the
story simplifications at points made a lot of sense, I did miss the
diminuation of Gennaro’s role. (In the books she’s arguably the most
interesting character.) On the other hand they got the vibe of the thing
down just right, and I liked how it at least offered you a complex
ending, whether you chose to buy the dilemma or not. (Full disclosure,
I’m with Gennaro on this one.) Plus they got Bubba exactly right,
something of a triumph by itself.

7. WAITRESS -- About once a year I see one of these twee independent
art house comedy type things, and I usually end up enjoying them,
although I can’t ever seem to muster up the strength to see more than the
one. This year it was this, which I liked a lot, actually. I thought it
was unpatronizing towards rural life (something Hollywood has trouble
pulling off), I thought it mixed offbeat humor with genuine pain and
sadness just right, another thing very hard to pull off properly, and I
thought it was ultimately pretty good-natured. It sounds weak, but
actually, how many times have you seen “goodness” portrayed convincingly
on screen? Yeah, it’s tough. Prediction: Andy Griffith gets best
supporting actor Oscar for “Likable Old Codger”.

6. EXILED -- A disappointing Philly Film Festival this year, but I did
like this daffy blending of Asian gangster conventions and THE WILD
BUNCH very much.

5. BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR DEAD -- A really fine modern noir, in
the classic sense of the term, ie, “a crime story where everybody is a
victim”. One of the few really good uses I’ve seen recently of a
broken up chronology, as it slowly peeled away the layers of what at
first seemed to be a couple of punks dumb idea gone wrong, revealing
instead just acres of pain and disappointment and loneliness. Depressing as
hell but I found it oddly life -affirming -- maybe because it’s just
so damn well put together.

4. KING OF KONG -- In which the battle for who is the best Donkey Kong
player becomes an extended metaphor for man’s quest to matter, in
some small way, somewhere, to somebody. One of the best documentaries
I’ve ever seen, actually. The brilliant thing about this movie is that
you start laughing at the freaks with their weird rituals and taboos and
stars…until you fall right on the other side and discover that the
universe depicted here might be weird, but the story is a timeless one.

3. ZODIAC -- You know, I thought about making this number two (I never
had any doubt of what my number one was going to be) but I can’t get
past the fact that I think Gyllenhall is miscast in the lead, a wet
noodle who’s okay in a boy scout kind of way, but is just unconvincing
as a guy obsessively going over the edge. He just looked to me like a
boy scout trying gamely to play a guy going over the edge.

Other than that, I think this is a true masterpiece, and while I liked
a couple of other pictures better, I think this is the one from 2007
that has the best chance to be talked about, I dunno, twenty years from
now. A lot was talked about the serial-killer aspects of it, but I think
ZODIAC’s best understood as being the anti-police procedural. The
anti “CSI“, if you will. Here nothing works, there are no big breaks,
nothing’s conclusive, no last minute leads. Just tedium and false
trails that eat up people’s lives. The amount of people I saw on other
boards taking issue with the movie’s “theory of the crime” --
well, they miss the point of the thing so stunningly I really don’t know
what to say. This isn’t a movie about “who was the Zodiac
killer”, except in the most superficial kind of way, it’s a movie about
how purposelessly pursuing fundamentally unanswerable mysteries can ruin
your life. The final scene in the hardware store encapsulates it all,
really. It’s freighted with implications -- but isn’t really about anything.

2. MICHAEL CLAYTON -- I really really really really really liked this,
and I fear, like THE PRESTIGE in 2006, it’s in danger of somehow
being forgotten. Judging from the promos you’d think it’s another
tiresome ERIN BROCKOVICH kind of thing, but really the actual corporate
wrongdoing storyline is something of a MacGuffin, the important thing is
not the sins of the company (which are mostly brushed aside or handled
matter of factly) but the ramification of these sins on the players.
Nothing here is quite as you might expect it -- too take an obvious
example, Tom Wilkerson is both an avenging angel of justice and quite mad.
Clooney’s best work since THREE KINGS, I think -- of what I’ve seen,
anyway. As with Damon, he’s good when he gives himself room to play
with his persona, and that surface charm of his can cover a multitude
of sins.


1. THE HOST -- I was thinking, earlier today, that I’ve done these
lists for a four years now, and three of the four years I’ve picked an
Asian film as #1. HERO, KUNG FU HUSTLE, now this. I like Asian movies,
but I don’t see a lot of them and certainly don’t pretend that
I’m particularly knowledgeable about them. I just think that nowadays
they’re the best at doing the kind of movies I like, which essentially
boils down to “intelligent takes on traditional conventions or
genres”. THE HOST on one hand is a straightforward horror flick -- a
monster movie yet -- but on the other hand is a sardonic commentary about
international (and presumably national) politics, and on another hand is a
genuinely touching, especially because it never gets cheap about it,
story of redemption through the family. And it all works together
seamlessly, it never feels forced or calculated. There’s a scene here where
the family are all eating about 2/3 of the way through the movie which
is just magical, one of the reasons you go to the movies in the first place.


JOHN F. BLACK

In order of preference:

ERIK THE CONQUEROR
COLOSSUS OF RHODES
QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE
SPIDER BABY S.E.
TROY DIRECTOR'S CUT
LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE Season One, Volume One
A PERFECT COUPLE (released singly in 2007)
ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS Volume 3
GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS/GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (Wild East
Productions)
BLACK SABBATH (with new Tim Lucas audio commentary)


MICHAEL BLANTON:

Favorite 2007 Films:
1. Darjeeling Limited – Wes Anderson
2. Brand Upon the Brain – Guy Maddin
3. Inland Empire – David Lynch
4. Into the Wild – Sean Penn
5. The Black Book – Paul Verhoven
6. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead – Sidney Lumet
7. Hot Fuzz – Edgar Wright
8. Zodiac – David Fincher
9. No Country for Old Men – Coen Brothers
10. Eastern Promises – David Cronenberg

Also Enjoyed – Mafioso, Paprika, Rescue Dawn, Planet Terror, The Lookout, El Aura, 28 Weeks Later, Sicko, 3:10 to Yuma, Sweeney Todd, Bug

Might have made list but didn’t see – Southland Tales, The Last Winter; Jesse James, Gone Baby Gone, There will be Blood

Favorite 2007 DVDs (Year of the box set):
1. Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara – Criterion
2. First Films of Sam Fuller Eclipse Collection - Criterion
3. Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky – Anchor Bay
4. Beriln Alexanderplatz – Criterion
5. Sergio Leone Anthology – MGM
6. Twin Peaks: Definitive Gold Box Edition – Paramount
7. Warner Home Video Director's Series: Stanley Kubrick Collection
8. Film Noir Classic Collection 4 – Warner Bros
9. Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) – Warner Bros
10. Tie Bava Box, Set Vol. I – Anchor Bay & Bava Box Set Vol. II – Anchor Bay

Also enjoyed: Fox Horror Classics, Two-Lane Blacktop, Inland Empire, if…., Under the Volcano, Days of Heaven, Brute Force, Fires on the Plain, Breathless, The Third Man, Yojimbo–Sanjuro Box set, Vengeance is Mine, Burmese Harp, Army of Shadows, The Naked City, Sansho the Bailiff , Ace in the Hole, Les Enfants Terribles, Stranger than Paradise, The Milky Way, Cria Cuervos, Drunken Angel, Canyon Passage, The Magus, Brigette et Brigette, A Girl is a Gun , Perversion Story, Angel Face, Macao, Billy Budd, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Bedazzled, La Belle Captive, Fixed Bayonets, Blind Woman’s Curse, The Nightcomers, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Black Test Car, Who Can Kill a Child?, The Woman in the Window, A Bullet for Joey, Malpertuis, The Page Turner, Kansas City Confidential, Snake Woman’s Curse, Horrors of Malformed Men, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Cruising, The Blood Rose, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, The Iron Rose, Count Dracula (Jess Franco), Films of Kenneth Anger: Vol. II, Time, El Bruto, The Killing Kind, The Hellbenders, Max Mon Amour, RoboCop SE, Lemming, The Psychic and The Eroticist

BRIAN CAMP

Best Movies of 2007

I saw so few new movies in theaters this year (for a variety of
reasons) that I could only find six I’d want to put on a list.

PAPRIKA
The latest head trip from Satoshi Kon, one of the foremost anime
directors today and one of the few to consistently tackle contemporary
Japanese life. This is his wildest work yet, a sci-fi tale of dreams spilling
over into real life.

YO YO GIRL COP
(seen at the New York Asian Film Festival in July 2007, possibly its
only theatrical showing in the U.S., and released on DVD two weeks later)
My J-pop girls, Aya Matsuura and Rika Ishikawa, triumphantly hit the
big screen in a new version of “Sukeban Deka,” the manga-turned-TV
show-anime-and-various movies about yo-yo wielding schoolgirls taking on
all manner of baddies. They’re not only great singers, but great
movie stars as well. In a just world, they’d be getting all the parts
that Milla Jovovich and Jessica Alba are getting.

TRANSFORMERS
What a big-budget giant robot blockbuster should be: clever script,
good actors, believable lead characters and awesome robot combat, with the
fate of the world at stake. And, most importantly, a sense of humor.

PLANET TERROR
(Since this is a separate movie within GRINDHOUSE, I’m pulling it
away from its inferior co-feature to single it out.)
Pumped-up 1970s-style drive-in sci-fi zombie gorefest, but with a
faster pace, better special effects, better actors and loads of black humor.


300
In the 1960s, the Italians figured out how to do thrilling spectacles
on low budgets. Well, now Hollywood’s kind of figured out how to do it
(if you call $60 million a low budget). If I was 10 or 12, I would
have loved this movie. So I’m not a kid anymore, but it won me over
anyway, thanks to the loads of black humor and an unabashedly non-PC
approach to a tale of burgeoning western civilization under attack by the
dark, superstitious hordes from the East.

3:10 TO YUMA
An honest-to-God westtern, partner. Actually shot in the American west
(and not Canada). With cowboys, Indians, horses, six-shooters,
Winchesters, railroads, hotels, saloons, deserts, canyons, campfires, the whole
kit and kaboodle. How often do we get to see one of these? Good
plotline, too. Strong cast. Better than the original, if you ask me.


In a good year, none of the last four would have made the list. In a
good year, I would have seen eight better films. But these last four
represent the kind of mid-range genre film that used to be a staple of
neighborhood theaters but have become an endangered species in Hollywood.

Other mainstream movies seen this year that I would NOT put on my list:
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
HAIRSPRAY
If you had asked me at the one-hour mark of BOURNE if it would go on my
best list, I would have said yeah. But a few minutes later, I would
have been doubtful and not long after that I would have adamantly said
no.
If you had asked me at the 90-minute mark in NO COUNTRY I would have
said, hell yeah! But that good will dissipated rather quickly after a
certain character exits the movie and at some point well before the
two-hour mark, I lost all interest.
But both films have some very good scenes in them.
If you had asked me at the 6-minute mark in HAIRSPRAY…well, after
that wonderful “Hello Baltimore” opening, the overload of dull songs
just got too wearying.



Ten Best DVDs of 2007
I’m only putting down ones I’ve watched, which leaves dozens of
potential inclusions sitting on my shelf but off the list.

YO YO GIRL COP
(aka SUKEBAN DEKA CODENAME SAKI ASAMIYA) The special “Making of”
feature, “Yo Yo Girl Mission,” is even better than the movie and
charts the process of how to turn exceedingly cute and radiant J-pop girls
into snarling, fighting, ass-kicking delinquents. A must for acting
(and directing) students everywhere. When the Actors Studio adopts this
video as a training tool, then I’ll know there’s justice in the
world.

THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA, Vol. 1
Mind-boggling, head-tripping, comical sci-fi anime series about a
restless schoolgirl who latches onto a male classmate who doesn’t want to
be bothered with her only to be told by three other mysterious
classmates that if he doesn’t keep Haruhi CONSTANTLY entertained, the entire
universe is in jeopardy. Wrap your head around THAT. Best new anime
series I’ve seen in years.

SHADOW WARRIORS
Nine-disc set contains the complete first season (27 eps.) of this
celebrated Sonny Chiba historical ninja series from Japanese television,
1980. Each 45-minute episode plays like a mini-Samurai film. The set
includes two additional Sonny Chiba period films, SHOGUN’S NINJA (1981),
which is also very good, and SHOGUN’S SHADOW (1989).

WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES
Fortune Star/Legendary Collection.
Angela Mao’s classic
Chinese-Koreans-and-French-take-on-the-Japanese-in-wartime-Korea kung fu epic is now out in a decent edition
(LBX/Mandarin language/proper sound mix/original music) that’s a far cry from
the poor-quality full-frame/cropped/poorly-mixed “Also Sprach
Zarathustra”-heavy soundtrack/English-dubbed edition known as STING OF THE
DRAGON MASTERS.

BECK: MONGOLIAN CHOP SQUAD Vol. 1
Animated Japanese TV series about a teenaged boy in contemporary Tokyo
who wants to make music and falls in with a motley crew of struggling
musicians, including a brother-and-sister pair who grew up in America
and liberally sprinkle their Japanese dialogue with English phrases.
Boasts an emotional honesty and sense of urban realism that are completely
absent from live-action American shows.

DIAU CHARN
Shaw Bros.’ first color film, made in 1958, a Huangmei Opera tale of
a poor girl working for a crafty government minister who uses the
girl’s charms to topple a corrupt prime minister. Just beautiful. A second
disc offers short segments on star Linda Lin Dai, including an
original 1964 nineteen-minute “Tribute to Lin Dai,” produced right after
her death.

TWIN SWORDS
A Shaw Brothers classic that had been missing in action for many years
despite being the middle section of a 1965 trilogy that started with
TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS, which was released on disc in January 2003, and
ended with THE SWORD AND THE LUTE, which was released in August 2006.
So I had to wait till April 2007 for TWIN SWORDS so I could finally
watch THE SWORD AND THE LUTE. I like TWIN SWORDS the best of the three.

POKEMON RANGER AND THE TEMPLE OF THE SEA
2-disc set includes a short, “Pikachu’s Island Adventure.” The
9th Pokemon movie and almost as good as the 6th, 7th, and 8th ones. Gotta
catch ’em all!

BROTHERS FIVE
A case could be made that this unsung Shaw Bros. production from 1970
is among the very first “true” kung fu movies. Cheng Pei Pei stars
as a swordswoman whose job is to reunite the five fighting Gao Bros. for
a mission of vengeance against the man who killed their father.
All-star cast directed by Lo Wei with fight scenes by Hsu Er Niu (aka Simon
Chui Yee-ang), the third best fight choreographer at Shaw Bros.

MORNING MUSUME – ALL SINGLES COMPLETE ZEN 35 KYOKU ~ 10TH ANNIVERSARY
~
2-disc set contains all 35 music videos by J-pop sensation Morning
Musume from 1997-2007. The greatest music videos ever, including “Love
Machine,” “Mr. Moonlight,” and “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari.” I
had planned to leave all J-pop concerts/videos off this list and leave
it to movies and TV shows like everybody else, but then I only would
have had nine, so in goes this one.




ROBERT CASHILL

No DVD list at this time. My Top 10 is below, in 10 to 1 order (1 being the best, of course)

10) In the Shadow of the Moon
9) Once
8) There Will Be Blood
7) Gone Baby Gone
6) No Country for Old Men
5) No End in Sight
4) Michael Clayton
3) Black Book
2) Ratatouille
1) Zodiac

Additional verbiage, and other end-of-2007 film lists, can be found at my blog, in and around this entry:

http://robertcashill.blogspot.com/2008/01/...-2007-best.html

Erik Nelson - February 26, 2008 12:04 AM (GMT)
INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS
D - G

WILLIAM D’ANNUCCI

This past year has been such a treasure trove of great cinema. Reducing my list to a mere top ten has been tough, far more than previous years. Most of my “Next Ten” really deserve Top Ten status… it was painful making choices. What a great year for horror! I usually only find maybe one horror film a year I love and want to revisit… but 2007 gave me at least five instant horror classics. This year showed many acclaimed directors take their work up to a much higher level, such as Verhoeven, Burton, Fincher, and the Coens. I also really loved seeing films like Bourne Ultimatum, Ratatouille, and Michael Clayton take what normally would be cut-n-dried mainstream Hollywood product and show just how excellent films like that can be. Man, I’m tellin’ ya… 2007 has spoiled me rotten.

2007 CINEMA
------------------

THE TOP TEN

1. Black Book
Thank you Mr Verhoeven for showing us what cinema is all about. Every aspect of this film is stellar, with enough suspense sequences for at least 3 Hitchcock films, wrapped around the instant-classic performance by the devastating Carice Van Houten. I even love the contrivances… it’s all that good. You haven’t seen it yet? What the hell are you wasting time reading me for?

2. The Host
One of the best monster movies I’ve ever seen (a phrase I’ve thankfully repeated about other recent films) would be great even if there were no monster in it. What a cast! What a wonderfully oddball array of characters! I didn’t know what would happen moment by moment, or how it would affect me emotionally. Bravo.

3. No Country For Old Men
The Coens are back, with some serious goddamn attitude and one of the all-time greatest villains of movies. Long complex sequences of pure action and suspense, detailing every strategic thought of the characters without a word of dialog, keeping me in a tight knot of sweaty tension. In other words, pure cinematic bliss.

4. Sweeney Todd
For me, this was the Casino Royale of 2007. By that, I mean it was a property I’ve loved for years but I expected the worst from the film. In both cases, I’m overjoyed to admit how wrong I was. Burton has skillfully refashioned Sondheim’s classic Grand Guignol into the greatest gothic horror film that Hammer never made.

5. Zodiac
Outside a couple dodgy CGI shots, this is a perfect film. And it’s only getting better with each viewing. It was a great pleasure to see Fincher tuck away most of his Fight Club gimmicks and stick to good ol’ nuts n’ bolts filmmaking. The most outstanding ensemble cast of the year made an impossible amount of facts and details easy to absorb and fascinating to ponder. Mark Ruffalo is quietly powerful as the anti-Dirty Harry, never kicking down doors, never catching the killer, and not drawing his gun once. John Carroll Lynch is both pathetic and terrifying all at once in one of the best scenes of the year. Charles Fleischer is great as Boris Karloff. And ya gotta love Downey…I want an “I’m Not Avery” button. The last close-up just breaks my heart.

6. The Mist
There’s not much more I can say about this mostly ignored classic-in-waiting. One of the greatest Stephen King adaptations and (once again) one of the greatest monster movies I’ve ever seen. The movie’s cult will grow with the DVD release. Cruel, brutal, terrifying, and not to be missed. One of the most hotly debated films on Mobius this past year. See it and decide for yourself.

7. The Bourne Ultimatum
Ba-da-bing-bang-zzzzzoooom!!! This is what the people want! The trilogy ends by building and improving on the previous films to such an emotionally satisfying slam-bang finale. The Waterloo Station and Tangiers sequences are brilliantly edited masterworks of suspense, like Hitchcock on crack. Hollywood entertainment that’s smart and topical. Praise the Lord.

8. Ratatouille
A rat cooks gourmet food by pulling on some idiot’s hair. This movie should have stupid, really stupid. Instead, it’s one of the best explorations of the creative process and artistic passion I’ve ever seen at the movies. Brad Bird, I love you.

9. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford/There Will Be Blood
Beautifully photographed examinations of American history, filled with dark details and stellar performances. Both are going to get a lot of love in the Mobius poll. But both left me a bit more emotionally distant than the titles above. So, I’m okay with letting them share a couple points down here.

10. Eastern Promises
Yet another example how a mainstream genre story can become far greater than it normally would. Cronenberg and his usual crew bring understated technical excellence on-board, leaving plenty of room for Mortensen and the rest of the cast to shine. See it for the Viggo Man.

THE NEXT TEN
11. Hot Fuzz
I’m incensed that this delightful character-based comedy got bumped out of my Top Ten. Well, that’s why God made DVD Top Ten lists. A genre spoof that can easily stand next to classics like Young Frankenstein. See it already.

12. The Orphanage
13. Michael Clayton
14. Breach
15. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
16. Juno
17. Bug
18. Black Sheep
19. The Last Winter
20. 1408
In the need to wrap this poll up and get it to Eric, I’m going to make some quick general comments about # 12-20, many of which were deserving of a Top Ten list. It seems to me that all of these films show how general and established Hollywood-type genres (horror, thriller, noir, teen comedy) can and should be so much more than the typical crap usually offered. Bug is the exception to the rule, an extremely-indie freak out, finding horror in the sad reality of drug abuse and insanity, but pitched by the ad people to American audiences as some parasite sci-fi horror. Excluding the foreign horrors of The Orphanage and Black Sheep, the films here are testament that American cinema is far from dead.

RUNNER-UPS (all recommended)
3:10 To Yuma
Grindhouse
The Abandoned
Paprika

MOVIES I’M SUPPOSED TO SEE (but haven’t yet)
I’m Not There; Atonement; Persepolis; Lust, Caution; Into The Wild; The Diving Bell And The Butterfly; The Savages; Gone Baby Gone; La Vie En Rose; Away From Her; A Mighty Heart; American Gangster; etc etc

WORST FILM and MOST OVERRATED (a 2 category winner!)
300
Thank God circumstance prevented me from seeing this until I settled into a DVD viewing with a bunch of friends who hated it as much as I did. The resulting verbal tar and feathering by the group probably kept me from bursting a blood vessel in my brain by staying quiet in the theater. There’s probably at least 300 period war epics better than this.


2007 DVD

THE TOP TEN

1. Blade Runner (the 4-disc box)
Despite my continued disappointment in the 2007-style retooling of The Final Cut’s color scheme to create Blued Runner, this is the new standard by which all future home video special editions will be based. Even if you only feel so-so about the film, it’s worth getting.

2. Hot Fuzz (either the R2 2-disc or the R1 3-disc Special Edition)
There’s so much fun inside this set, making my love for the film even stronger. More flip book action! Flash animated hogwash to fill in the plotholes! Edgar Wright’s amateur teen shot-on-video shoot ‘em up! And a Fuzz-O-Meter! Skip the R1 single disc and get one of the special editions.

3. Mario Bava Box Set Vol 1/ Mario Bava Box Set Vol 2
These could have easily been the DVD sets of the year. It’s wonderful to see them out there, introducing the majority of Bava’s works to a new generation. I have them sharing 3rd place as penalty for excluding some classics in favor for some Bava duds and for not finding some way to get the commentary and documentary on the Kill, Baby… Kill! DVD. But still… Kill, Baby…Kill! On DVD! Am I dreaming?!?

4. Pan’s Labyrinth (R1 2-disc)
A modern classic, graced with beautiful Standard-Def image and DTS sound. Del Toro gives good commentary, as usual. The 2-disc set shows off some fascinating extras… but I must admit that the 2 ½ hour (!) documentary on del Toro’s Hellboy DVD really spoiled me.

5. From Beyond
This is one of those cases where a decent but unexceptional movie can be made really special by finally arriving on DVD with the right treatment. Even with the conversion from High-Def to Standard, the picture has that “reach out and squish it” 3-D quality that continues to astound me. A joyful and nostalgic commentary from a very enthused cast and crew makes up for the years From Beyond has been lost in the digital video age.

6. The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
Here’s a film that I’ve already bought twice on DVD. The third time’s the charm, as they say. Dragon Dynasty is really showing off their good intentions with this fantastic DVD, which lives up to one of the all time greatest kung-fu films. Practically a must buy.

7. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron/ Hellboy Animated: Sword Of Storms
Pure animated horror goodness. If Saturday morning TV cartoons were this good, I’d go to sleep early every Friday like a good boy. Blood & Iron gets extra moxie for bringing back John Hurt for a kick-ass Hammer vampire-werewolf-witch monster mash. A great way to tide over fans until the next movie. Ron Perlman is God.

8. Night Of The Werewolf
One of the great delights of the DVD era is affordable and happy blind buys. I’d never seen a Naschy before buying this and never regretted it. What a presentation! What beautiful gothic horror eye candy! What babes! Gimmee more!

9. King Boxer
Another blind buy that made me the happiest chop-socky viewer west of Shaolin. Yes, somehow I’d gone through life without seeing Five Fingers Of Death before the summer of ’07. The picture quality is stunning, with vivid colors and an almost three dimensional quality. Incredibly entertaining. Keep ‘em coming, Dragon Dynasty.

10. BBC’s Count Dracula (the new R1 uncut Louis Jourdan version)
This adaptation of Stoker’s novel is visually on the level of what you’d expect from 70s British TV and comes with zero extras, save for some BBC ads you’re forced to watch at the beginning. But it’s a classic, it’s uncut, the cast is superb, the adaptation is remarkably faithful, and it’s finally here on Region 1.


RUNNER-UPS (all recommended and worthy of a Top Ten list)
Erik The Conqueror; Yojimbo/Sanjuro (Criterion Box Set); The Amazing Screw-On Head ; Invasion Of Astro-Monster; Tales From The Crypt/The Vault Of Horror; The Host (R1 2-disc); Samurai Jack Vol 4; Phantasm

DOUG DILLAMAN:

1. THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Simply the best new release I've seen since ... I don't know, YI YI? So
far beyond anything P.T. Anderson has attempted, almost like a lost
Kubrick movie. Absolutely one for the ages.

2. DEEP WATER.

The most overlooked film of the year? One of the greatest, most
outrageous survival narratives ever, a look at what it means to go alone into
the ocean and confront both the dangers of the sea and the dangers of
solitude. Formalist junkies might grumble that it doesn't re-invent the
documentary form or some such, but look: when you have material this
gripping, letting the tale tell itself and staying the hell out of the
way is the best course.

3. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

The best Coen Brothers movie ever, and would have been a walk for #1
drama of the year in most years. Having read the Cormac McCarthy novel,
I'm more than impressed how much the Coen Brothers remained utterly
faithful to it while bringing their own vision to it. Best sound design of
the year.

4. YOU, THE LIVING.

Apparently most are finding this to be an inferior second cousin to
SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR because it's "lighter". As if a straight-faced
mix of Antonioni, Fellini, Kaurismaki and Monty Python suffers for
being light. Director Roy Andersson is one of the most distinctive voices
working today, and I hope this film gets some release in the US. (I
hold no hope of it returning to NZ.)

5. THE UNFORESEEN.

An ambitious, meditative documentary on land development in the Austin
region, THE UNFORESEEN is as remarkable for its aesthetics as its
refusal to demonize the land developer it profiles. Every political
documentary director should see this film before inflicting any more half-baked
political screeds on the public.

6. MY KID COULD PAINT THAT.

I saw this with the director in attendance, and perhaps that colored my
perspective, but I really appreciated that Amir Bar-Lev used this not
just as an examination of the story of the, shall we say, youthful
abstract expressionist Marla Olmstead, but instead as an examination of the
role of the documentary director in shaping the story. Some have
complained that he didn't dig hard enough for an answer, but I prefer the
fact that you end up appreciating the questions more.

7. CONTROL.

Not sure about the place for this one, but there's something very
stunning and completely outside of the bio-pic mold in this film. I also
loved its refusal to overdetermine the obvious (as with the performance of
"Transmission" on TV, which moves from inept to jawdropping without
any painful exposition), and was shocked how moving I found an ending I
already knew.

8. MR. BROOKS.

This film really doesn't deserve to be here, on a certain level. It's
faulty, has a crap Demi Moore performance ... but it's so outrageous
that I can't help but love it. William Hurt and Kevin Costner make a great
team, and while it ain't profound, it's possibly the most fun I've had
in the movies this year.

9. MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES.

The best opening shot of the year, a great (a)political documentary, a
fascinating study of art and how to translate still photography to the
moving picture.

10. ONCE.

While frustrating from a craft perspective at times, ONCE is so
freaking lovable that I can't leave it off the list. Particularly notable, and
possibly my favorite scene of the year, is when our leads learn
"Falling Slowly" in a piano store, the only scene like it I've seen that
actually seems like the musicians are truly learning the song as they go
along.

A second ten that could have made it in on a different day: ZODIAC,
MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET), PERSEPOLIS, GONE BABY GONE, THE ORPHANAGE,
SUPERBAD, KNOCKED UP, HELVETICA, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD,
CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR.

WOULD HAVE FOUND A PLACE IF I HADN'T VOTED FOR THEM LAST YEAR: THE
HOST, 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST.

WOULD HAVE MADE IT IF THE LAST THIRD WASN'T DIABOLICALLY TERRIBLE:
SUNSHINE, which goes from visionary brilliance to head-thumping stupidity.

WOULD HAVE MADE IT IF THE FIRST HALF WASN'T INTERMINABLE: DEATH PROOF.
That closing half hour or so is one for the ages, though.

MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MASTERPIECE IF I HAD ANY CLUE WHAT WAS GOING ON:
SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS: RESCUE DAWN, THE HUNTING PARTY, MARGOT AT THE
WEDDING, EASTERN PROMISES, PERFUME, OCEAN'S THIRTEEN

NOT YET SEEN BUT MIGHT HAVE HAD A CHANCE: I'M NOT THERE, THE DARJEELING
LIMITED, LUST CAUTION, MICHAEL CLAYTON, JOSHUA, KING OF KONG, I KNOW
WHO KILLED ME.

WALKED OUT: HONOUR OF THE KNIGHTS.

BEST TRAILER OF THE YEAR: 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS.


DAVE GARRETT:

DVDs:

Any lingering doubts that DVD has reached full maturity in terms of
the availability of catalog titles should be permanently dispelled
by the wealth of long-unavailable rarities that hit the shelves
this year: Anger, Bava, Fassbinder, Ozu, and Jodorowsky, among
others. But towering above all else (both literally and
figuratively) was Fox's magisterial survey of John Ford's films,
which should serve as a blueprint for future directorial
retrospectives.

1 Ford at Fox (Fox)
2 The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vols. 1 & 2 (Fantoma)
3 Berlin Alexanderplatz (Criterion)
4 Bava: The Mario Bava Collection - Vols. 1 & 2 (Anchor Bay)
5 Hawaii Five-O: The Complete First Season (Paramount)
6 Late Ozu (Eclipse)
7 Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film - 1900-1934 (Image)
8 Blade Runner (5-disc Ltd Ed) (Warner)
9 The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (Warner)
10 The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Anchor Bay)

Honorable Mention:
The Sergio Leone Anthology (MGM/UA)
Cult Camp Classics Vols. 1-4 (Warner)
The Film Noir Classics Collection: Volume 4 (Warner)
Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938 - Volume One (Warner)
W.C. Fields Comedy Collection: Volume 2 (MCA/Universal)
Hawaii Five-O: The Complete Second Season (Paramount)
Land of the Giants: Giant Collection (Fox)
Playboy After Dark: Collection Two (Morada Vision)
The Johnny Carson Show (Shout! Factory)
The Wild Wild West: The Complete Second Season (Paramount)
Roots: The Complete Collection (Warner)
The Streets of San Francisco: The First Season - Volume One (Paramount)
The Untouchables: Season One - Volume One (Paramount)
Love American Style: Season One Volume One (Paramount)
Route 66: Season One - Volume One (Infinity)
The War (PBS Home Video)
Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back (New Video)
The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at Newport Folk
Festival 1963-1965 (Sony)
Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding (Reelin' In The Years)
Stax/Volt Revue Live in Norway 1967 (Reelin' In The Years)
Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same (Warner)
Discovering Cinema (Flicker Alley)
42nd Street Forever: XXX-Treme Special Edition (Synapse)
The Lost World (1925-1960) (Fox)
The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft (H.P.
Lovecraft Historical Society)
Rio Bravo Ultimate Collectors' Edition (Warner)


Films:
1 BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD
2 I'M NOT THERE
3 GRINDHOUSE
4 SICKO
5 CONTROL

Not yet seen: THERE WILL BE BLOOD, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, SWEENEY
TODD, MICHAEL CLAYTON

Erik Nelson - February 26, 2008 12:06 AM (GMT)
INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS
H - P

JONATHAN HERTZBERG

Points should be weighed equally:

2007 Theatrical/Festival, in no particular order. Missed many Stateside releases so this is heavy on foreign titles screened at festivals:
La France
Control
No Country For Old Men
The Unpolished
Still Life
All is Forgiven
No Mercy for the Rude
XXY
Eastern Promises
Ratatouille

2007 DVDs, also in no particular order:
Killer of Sheep: The Charles Burnett Collection
Ford at Fox
Ace in the Hole
Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume 4
if...
Two-Lane Blacktop
Straight Time
Sansho the Bailiff
Bicycle Thieves
Cruising

MICHAEL HOWARD


2007 theatrical releases:

I missed some movies this year that I'm almost certain would have made
this list and quite a few that had a really good chance to. But from
the smaller than usual amount I was able to see, here's what I've come
up with.

- The Assassination of Jesse James... (12)
- No Country for Old Men (12)
- Gone, Baby, Gone (12)
- Across the Universe (11)
- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (10)
- Lars and the Real Girl (10)
- Bella (9)
- The Darjeeling Limited (8)
- Superbad (7)
- Knocked Up (7)
- Ratatouille (7)

ALAN MAXWELL

10
FARO: GODDESS OF THE WATER
It was a good year for African cinema, with the emotional drama Daratt
and the updating and relocation of the Jesus story in Son of Man, but
this film from Burkino Faso was the best. When a young man returns to
the village where he grew up, he finds that his modern ways are at odds
with the superstition of the locals and it seems the river is angry
about his return. Well acted and features some gorgeous photography.

9
2:37
It might owe a lot to Gus van Sant's Elephant, but this Australian teen
drama packs an emotional punch that is hard to shake off.

8
KINGS
A group of Irishmen living in England get together at the wake of the
first of their group to die, and reminisce about the plans they made
when they first left their home in the 70s. Tinged with a palpable
melancholy, the film is a heartbreaking look at a group of men who don't
belong in England but know that the Ireland they left no longer exists.

7
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
Fantastic documentary about the Apollo missions which correctly sweeps
aside technical chat in favour of concentrating on the human effect of
the missions.

6
APOCALYPTO
On one hand it's a historical epic, on the other a typical action movie
- Mel Gibson's mythical adventure movie is magical (and wasn't
released in the UK until January, hence it making it onto my 2007 list).

5
THIS IS ENGLAND
Shane Meadows follows up the brilliant Dead Man's Shoes with this
equally brilliant tale of an English youth who loses his dad in the
Falklands war and falls in with a gang of skinheads in Thatcher's Britain.

4
SUNSHINE
This spectacular space adventure from Danny Boyle would probably have
featured even higher were it not for a slightly flawed ending, but it's
still one of my favourites for the year.

3
AWAY FROM HER
Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie are both superb as a couple whose
marriage is torn apart by premature senility in this incredible directing
debut from indie favourite actress Sarah Polley.

2
PLEASE VOTE FOR ME
This documentary charts how a group of Chinese children learning about
democracy turn into a bunch of savage political backstabbers with
hilarious results.

1
ONCE
Plain and simple love story with great music, a lovely setting (Dublin
- I'm a fan) and characters that you can't help but warm to. Low on
budget, high on charm.

THE ONES THAT JUST MISSED OUT:
Tell No One
Great thriller but let down slightly by some less than subtle choice of
songs and an over-talky conclusion.

War/Dance
If this documentary about Ugandan children entering a music contest
doesn't get at least a nomination at Oscar night, I'll eat my hat. Or at
least be really, really surprised.

Jonestown: Life & Death of Peoples Temple
Fascinating if slightly depressing insight into the birth and harrowing
end of the cult of Jim Jones.

The Lives of Others
I'm sure I don't need to say anything more about this that hasn't
already been said by countless others.

The Bothersome Man
Scandinavian oddity - part sci-fi, part thriller, with a thick vein of
black comedy. A man wakes up in a strange town where everything seems
to be lovely, but where there are no emotions or sensations of any kind
- everything just seems... numb. In a wonderful scene, he puts it to
the test by slicing his own finger off. Then the strangeness really
begins...

Buenos Aires 1977
Gritty, tense thriller based on true events, in which ordinary guys are
kidnapped and tortured by the dodgy Argentinean government but hatch
an escape plan. Saw it at a festival, definitely deserves a wide
release.

Curse of the Golden Flower
As visually spectacular as ever, so much so that I forgot all about any
flaws it might have. The two leads prove why they're stars though.

The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson does the same stuff again. But that's why I liked it.

Sicko
Okay, it's Michael Moore, so it needs a hefty pinch of salt, but as
entertainment and polemic it hits all the right buttons.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Absolute gem of a western that wanders a ghostly desert plain somewhere
between Leone and Malick.

Small Engine Repair
Well, I made Once my number one film, so two brilliant Irish films
about the troubles of a struggling guitarist might be overkill. It is
superb though.

Last King of Scotland
Condensed to the point where it makes the reign of Amin look like a
couple of months, but a tight thriller all the same, with great
performances and striking visuals.

The Queen
All the press was about Mirren's performance, but it tended to forget
the fact that it's actually a good film.

The War on Democracy
John Pilger continues to show why he's one of the best documentary
filmmakers out there. He's like Michael Moore, but honest.

Atonement
Good cast, great story, well crafted. Deserves much success.

Earth
The BBC TV show Planet Earth (their first in HD if I'm not mistaken)
was spectacular. So now picture the best of that series edited together
into a movie and shown on the big screen, in digital projection. WOW.

The Counterfeiters
Depressing Holocaust drama (is there any other kind?) but at least has
a new story to tell, and one which is remarkably balanced given that
it's based on a book by one of the characters in the film.

Planet Terror
Insane 80s-style gore horror, and one of the most shamelessly enjoyable
pleasures of 2007. Everything Death Proof should have been. If I
extended my list of films to 11, this would probably be the extra movie.

10
CULT CAMP CLASSICS: HISTORICAL EPICS
(Warner, USA)
Finally Leone's other film gets a release, in a nice new transfer. And
it's coupled with another couple of movies. Can't argue with that.

9
THE IGUANA WITH THE TONGUE OF FIRE
(New Entertainment, Germany)
I love giallo films. I love Dublin. So I was quite excited when I
discovered that there was a giallo film shot in Dublin; not as excited as I
was when I discovered it was available on DVD however. Picture and
sound are not exactly pristine, but it's a very watchable anamorphic print,
apparently uncut and features a couple of minor extras. Makes my top
ten more from the "exciting discovery" factor than anything else.

8
SCREEN ICONS: JULIE CHRISTIE COLLECTION
(Optimum, UK)
Not a perfect release, but I admit it, they could have released an
empty box with a picture of Julie Christie on it and I'd still have been
tempted.

7
A WOMAN IN WINTER
(Tartan, UK)
First off, let me say that this film is flawed. However, as a fan of
Scottish cinema, it fills me with joy to see Richard Jobson continue to
make films that he wants to make and that don't conform to the usual
Scottish film trends. Who else would dare to make a low budget Scottish
film shot beautifully on HD, combining astronomy, parallel worlds and
ghosts with a romance story against the backdrop of the Old Town area of
Edinburgh? For all its problems, I salute this film and Jobson. The DVD
has a decent array of extras too.

6
PERVERSION STORY
(Severin, USA)
Great Fulci film, given a great release. My VHS tape now resides in a
cupboard next to my pre-cert copy of my number 3 DVD of 2007.

5
SAOIRSE?
(Gael Linn, Ireland)
When I mentioned MISE EIRE in my DVD comments from the previous year, I
had no idea that a follow-up film even existed. It was a nice surprise
therefore when Gael Linn released this one in 2007. Just as MISE EIRE
used rare footage and original newsreel footage to tell the story of
Ireland's fight for independence up to the 1916 rising, SAOIRSE? employs
the same technique to tell the subsequent period encompassing the war
of indepence and civil war. A lovely presentation and further proof that
director George Morrison is a much underappreciated master of archival
preservation and documentary filmmaking.

4
CHOSEN SURVIVORS / THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING
(20th Century Fox, USA)
As a post-apocalyptic junkie I was really pleased to get the former
film on DVD after all this time; but that was just a bonus, as the latter
is one that has been crying out for a release for ages. Finally I can
bin that pan & scan copy I recorded from TV.

3
NIGHT OF THE COMET
(MGM, USA)
Long, long, long overdue. Pretty barren release but the film is the
main thing, and I've been wanting this one for a very long time.

2
THE PETER McDOUGALL COLLECTION
(BBC/John Williams Productions, UK)
His name might not be as instantly recognisable as other luminaries of
gritty British drama, but it definitely deserves to be spoken in the
same breath as Loach, Leigh, McGovern, etc. and is among the best
Scottish television work ever made. This collection includes four TV dramas
written by McDougall, three of which were episodes of the BBC's PLAY FOR
TODAY. These three are all directed by THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY's John
McKenzie (who also directed McDougall's Scottish gangster drama A SENSE OF
FREEDOM) and included is the long-overdue DVD debut of JUST ANOTHER
SATURDAY, a hard-hitting look at Scotland's sectarian problem, starring
Jon Morrison as a naive young man looking forward to leading an Orange
march through Glasgow, unaware of the dark consequences.

1
DIRECTED BY DOUGLAS SIRK
(Universal, UK)
No extras and far from definitive, but you still have to applaud
someone for finally getting round to addressing the criminally underneglected
on DVD Douglas Sirk with some lovely new transfers in what appears to
be a UK exclusive unless I'm much mistaken. Of the seven films
included, three of them are making their (legitimate) DVD debut, two of them
were previously only available in the USA and one of them had only been
released in the UK as part of a Stanwyck box set. Of the ones I'd not
seen, I was wary of HAS ANYONE SEEN MY GAL (because it seemed more like a
comedy) and ALL I DESIRE (because Sirk without colour didn't seem
right) - but I loved them both. What a great collection indeed.

Other DVDs that just miss out:

SUPERMAN DONUYOR (Onar Films, Greece)
WHO CAN KILL A CHILD (Dark Sky Films, USA)
LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN REMASTERED (Shriek Show, USA)
All of these look like contenders for a 2007 top ten, but I haven't got
round to watching them yet.

APOCALYPTO, THE PRESTIGE, SUNSHINE, AWAY FROM HER, PAN'S LABYRINTH
There's not really anything out of the ordinary with these UK
mainstream DVD releases, but they came close simply on the strength of the films
themselves.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT / VAULT OF HORROR (20th Century Fox, USA)
Would have been a dead cert for my top ten, had they not botched the
VAULT disc.

GOD'S GUN (MGM, UK)
I don't even know if this is any good, I've not watched it, but it's
nice to see more spaghetti westerns being released and it was cheap.
Aside from not having watched it, I've also heard it's cut.

JOHN PILGER: DOCUMENTARIES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Misses out because the release date is listed as September 2006,
despite the fact that I couldn've sword it had a copyright date of 2007 on
the sleeve. Oh well, I'd like to give it a shout here anyway. One of
Britain's best and most important documentary makers finally gets a decent
representation on DVD with this 4-disc box set covering several of his
films, and topics from the killing fields of Cambodia to the Coke/Pepsi
war. A follow up set (JOHN PILGER: IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE) was also
released in 2007 but I didn't discover it until I was typing this up!
Must buy that too. His film THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY also narrowly missed out
on my top ten movies of 2007.

Finally, there were a lot of discs released in 2007 by either Blue
Underground (particularly their cheap re-releases which I bought a lot of,
having not owned the originals), Koch Media (several spaghetti westerns
and a nice new INGLORIOUS BASTARDS) and Wild East (lots more
delightful spaghetti westerns and one or two other Eurocult items), which I
bought but never got round to watching. I'd just like to give them a
mention here to recognise their efforts, especially Wild East and Koch.



LENNY MOORE:

DVD:

1. Blade Runner 5-Disc Ultimate Edition: I have no idea where to store the case the films came in, but this is a set for the ages. Pretty good commentaries and an exhaustive documentary, along with the films.

2. Dr. Who: Series 3: Count me as a completely smitten Martha Jones fan. And the episode “Blink,” is one of the most brilliant episodes of any television series I’ve seen in a long time.

3. I Am Cuba: Cinematography Fantastique!!!

4. Noir Film Collection: Volume 4: Worth it for CRIME WAVE and MYSTERY
STREET alone.

5. Ace in the Hole: Cynical, despairing, and unrelenting. This film has nothing to do with reality, right?

6. The Sergio Leone Anthology

7. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin: It’s kind of funny how the RZA’s commentary track has grown on me. The film is beautiful, too.

8. Monsieur Hire: I can finally retire my laserdisc. An excellent unrequited love / mystery from Patrice Leconte.

9. Fox Horror Classics (The Lodger, The Undying Monster, Hangover
Street)

10. Monsters and Madmen

Films:

1. ZODIAC: The funny thing is how this film elicits a response in the viewer similar to what the characters in the film display in their quest to unmask the Zodiac killer. At first sight, the film seemed to be brilliantly shot and constructed, if a little chilly emotionally; the parts seemed greater than the whole. The first half of the film also seemed like the strongest part. On subsequent viewings, the individual characters and their respective journeys grew ever more compelling, with the acting of Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal both more deeply insinuating and asserting them in one’s consciousness.

2. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: Amazing use of sound, including Javier Bardem’s voice. Frequently suggests more than it shows and is all the more powerful for it. Having seen it only once, I'm dazzled by the Coen's craft.

3. THE HOST: A brilliant combination of humor, horror and pathos that put off many unwilling to go with it, notably the insipid Richard Roeper. How anyone could not crack up during the family quarantine scene early in the film is beyond me. That the film dares to straddle the line between such moments and familial despair make it a brew well worth partaking of.

4. BUG: Can’t say that I’ve ever been much of an Ashley Judd fan. In fact, someone recently said to me that’s she’s not much of an actress. On the strength of BUG, she can certainly refute their claims. What a strange film! It almost requires you to surrender yourself to the characters and experience their tenuous grasp on reality. You believe that a woman in Judd’s place could find herself sliding down the slippery slope of her own sanity. What else is there to anchor herself to in her life? Apparently this was too close for comfort for countless upon countless millions, but if you let yourself go with the flow, it’s a trip worth taking.

5. BLACK BOOK: Paul Verhoeven has always been hit or miss with me. Carice van Houten=hit. While it’s probably a mistake to view any film as being representative of historical accuracy, this film film and THE PIANIST make for a far more compelling look at a certain period of time than SCHINDLER’S LIST. It’s moral and ethical questions are far more adult than anything in the latter film.

6. NO END IN SIGHT: A sober, yet infuriating document of the incompetence of decision makers who got us into the war in Iraq. The most shocking aspect of it all: a credible argument can be made that even after unjustifiably invading Iraq, we could have done things in such a way as to minimize the possibility of an insurgency. What if we had treated the Iraqi’s and their country with some basic human respect? What if Bush and his lackeys cared? A must see regardless of one’s political affiliation.

7. MICHAEL CLAYTON: So, I guess this George Clooney cat is here to stay.

8. Exiled: Putting aside some issues of sentimentality that could eject you from the entertainment (a shoot- out followed by a group fixer-upper and dinner klatch come to mind), this is a beautifully shot Hong
Kong evocation of Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH, Johnny To style.

9. ONCE: However slight the story (and the resultant over-reliance on montage during a couple of scenes), this is an undeniably sincere and heart-felt film. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova make for as engaging an on-screen would-be couple as I’ve seen in a long time. If you’re ever feeling a little down, watch Irglova walk down the street while singing If You Want Me, or the two of them crafting Falling Slowly in a music store, and see if you remain so. A film for the spirit.

MARTY MCKEE


Top 10 DVDs of 2007 (in alphabetical order):

CULT CAMP CLASSICS, VOLUME 1 (Warner Brothers)
Warner Brothers actually released four of these box sets, all on the
same day, but the only one I purchased (and really wanted to purchase)
was Volume 1. Its theme was Sci-Fi Thrillers, and it offered three fun
‘50s cheapies: THE GIANT BEHEMOTH, QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE and ATTACK OF
THE 50 FOOT WOMAN. Outside of the disrespectful commentary track on
BEHEMOTH, every bit of this box is a real joy. It was particularly nice
to see QUEEN in its full 2.35:1 glory, after being taunted for years by
cable TV airings in which the opening titles would be letterboxed, but
the rest of the film pan-and-scan. Tom Weaver co-moderates
entertaining, informative commentary tracks on QUEEN and ATTACK, which will make
you eager to sit through these not-really-very-good films at least
twice.

THE FALL GUY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Fox)
Actually, HAWAII FIVE-0: THE SECOND SEASON would have slid into this
spot, except for the fact that it is missing an entire episode, “Bored,
She Hung Herself,” which has not aired anywhere since 1969. I
don’t like the term “guilty pleasure,” but THE FALL GUY, a series I
loved as a high school kid, probably applies. It’s the perfect series
concept, and I’m amazed nobody has remade or ripped it off yet. It
stars former SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN Lee Majors as a Hollywood stuntman
who moonlights as a bounty hunter. The genius is that episodes can show
off fancy stunts with no narrative motivation whatsoever—just show
the guy at work. Doug Barr plays it simple as Majors’ bumpkin
cousin/partner Howie, but the supporting cast member everyone remembers is the
stunningly curved Heather Thomas, whose posters hung on every boy’s
wall in 1981. THE FALL GUY’s writing and direction are nothing to
write home about, but Majors’ insouciant demeanor fits the show’s
easygoing vibe like a ch!
arm, and jumping huge 4x4 trucks over things is always cool.

ICONS OF HORROR COLLECTION: SAM KATZMAN (Sony)
It’s a stretch to call schlockmeister producer Katzman an “icon of
horror,” but if it gets THE GIANT CLAW out on a widescreen DVD, so be
it. The box also includes CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, ZOMBIES OF
MORA TAU and THE WEREWOLF, and though I’ve only seen CLAW and ATOM
BRAIN, I feel confident putting it here. THE GIANT CLAW is rightfully
mocked for featuring some of the worst visual effects in sci-fi history,
and they’re even more hilarious on this beautiful remastered print.
It’s a real crowdpleaser, and it co-stars Mara Corday, one of the
sexiest leading ladies of the 1950s. ATOM BRAIN works wonders on forgiving
audiences too, particularly a surprisingly rousing sequence where a
bunch of cops try to gun down zombies created by the film’s
mad-scientist villain.

THE MANITOU (Anchor Bay)
Once you’ve seen poor Susan Strasberg, aged 40 playing 28, spending
most of the film mumbling, a rubber hump on her back, boobs hanging out,
shooting fireballs out of her fingertips across outer space at a
bloody 400-year-old Indian midget, well, what can I say, you’re hooked.
Thank you, Anchor Bay, for providing us with the definitive presentation
of William Girdler’s most far out film, a crazy horror flick with
Tony Curtis as a disco-dancing psychic and Michael Ansara as an
aphorism-spouting Native American medicine man.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: THE COMPLETE 2ND/3RD SEASON (Paramount)
I put THE COMPLETE 1ST SEASON on last year’s list, but the series got
even better in Season Two, after venerable Peter Graves took over
leading-man duties from the insufferable (behind the scenes) Steven Hill.
With William Read Woodfield & Allan Balter, Laurence Heath and Paul
Playdon delivering the years’ best teleplays, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE really
crackles behind its best cast, which also included Martin Landau,
Barbara Bain, Peter Lupus and Greg Morris. Bain and Landau left after
Season Three, to be replaced by Leonard Nimoy, and though the show was
still quite good, it was never as great as it was during its second and
third seasons.

THE MONSTER SQUAD—20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Republic)
Yessirree, wolfman definitely got nards in this lovingly assembled
two-disc set, commemorating one of the most beloved kids’ movies of the
1980s. Written and directed by Fred Dekker, it’s a fun tribute to
Universal’s classic monsters (Dracula, Gill-Man, Mummy, etc.) with a
talented young cast and wonderful work by tall Tom Noonan as a sympathetic
Frankenstein monster. The bonus features outweigh the film with tons
of documentaries, trailers, a commentary and more here to explain just
why children of the ‘80s still revere this sometimes-touching
action/horror movie.

ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (Criterion)
Criterion gives the ultra-classy treatment to this space opera that was
not a hit upon its original release, but has since attracted something
of a fan base and been given an ambitious DVD release that mostly
replicates Criterion’s earlier laserdisc. Don’t let the silly B-movie
title turn you away from this colorful, thoughtful adventure. American
astronaut Paul Mantee crash-lands on Mars and learns to survive on the
rocky, sandy surface, where he finds a native source of food and
water, discovers a natural oxygen supply when his tanks run dry, and even
constructs a loom to make new clothes. Ib Melchior and John C.
Higgins’ literate script drags on for a few minutes too long, but Winton
Hoch’s lovely cinematography (with Death Valley standing in for Mars) and
Mantee’s engaging performance set the film apart from typical
low-budget SF of the period. Mantee’s candid and sometimes whimsical
commentary track is a must-listen.

SEARCH AND DESTROY/THE GLOVE (Dark Sky)
Okay, so maybe the films aren’t all that. SEARCH stars Perry King
and Don Stroud as ‘Nam vets being stalked in Niagara Falls by a
Vietnamese assassin from their past, while Rosey Grier lightens up THE GLOVE
as a serial killer being pursued by wiseass bounty hunter John Saxon.
However, it’s the first DVD to carry a cover blurb by Yours Truly, and
for that reason, it’s a favorite of mine.

THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, SEASON ONE (Paramount)
Quinn Martin’s finest crime drama (with apologies to you UNTOUCHABLE
fans) finally comes to DVD. Karl Malden and a young Michael Douglas
are wonderfully cast as police detectives chasing various bad guys around
the scenic City by the Bay. I wish Paramount had sprung for some
extras, though it usually doesn’t on their TV box sets (MISSION:
IMPOSSIBLE sorely needs some), but the series’ glossy production values,
generally exciting scripts, solid direction and warm camaraderie between
its stars mark it as a policier to catch up with.

TWISTED TERROR COLLECTION (Warner Brothers)
Just in time for Halloween came this affordable box set, which features
six horror movies that don’t have much to do with each other, but
I’m glad to have them. Its highlights are SOMEONE’S WATCHING ME!,
John Carpenter’s taut made-for-TV thriller; the uncut EYES OF A
STRANGER, available for the first time ever, featuring Tom Savini’s gore
makeup effects; and THE HAND, directed by Oliver Stone. Also in the set
are Wes Craven’s DEADLY FRIEND, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE and DR. GIGGLES,
which are nice to have too.


Once again, I didn’t go to the theater enough in 2007 to be able to
compile a truly worthwhile list, but the ten best films that I saw last
year are (alphabetically):
3:10 TO YUMA
GRINDHOUSE
HOT FUZZ
KNOCKED UP
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
OCEAN’S THIRTEEN
SICKO
SUPERBAD
UNTIL DEATH
ZODIAC

The 5 worst films of 2007:
28 WEEKS LATER
CROOKED
PERFECT STRANGER
RISE: BLOOD HUNTER
TRANSMORPHERS


ERIK NELSON

TOP THEATRICAL FILMS

1. Zodiac
2. Black Book
3. Pan's Labyrinth
4. Sweeny Todd
5. Eastern Promises
6. Grindhouse
7. The King of Kong
8. No Country for Old Men
9. You Kill Me
10. Talk to Me

OTHER REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: Once, Juno, The Host, Curse of the Golden Flower, Dead Silence, Bug, Letters From Iwo Jima, Inland Empire, Knocked Up, I Am Legend, Michael Clayton, Waitress, Superbad, The Simpsons’ Movie, 3:10 to Yuma

NOT SEEN NOT YET: There Will Be Blood, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, In the Shadows of the Moon, Ratatouille, The Mist, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, American Gangster, Savages

ZODIAC and BLACK BOOK were unexpected delights. Great films from directors I’ve never fully connected with before. SWEENY TODD was another surprise for me, but Tim Burton is a favorite of mine. PAN’S LABYRINTH and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN were both slightly overrated, but still remarkable achievements. EASTERN PROMISES and YOU KILL ME are lighter films, which were perfectly executed. (Viggo Mortensen is especially good in PROMISES.) THE KING OF KONG is a very smart, charming documentary. GRINDHOUSE gets points for conception, but I loved TERROR PLANET and most of DEATHPROOF. TALK TO ME was an evocative and resourceful, low-budget recreation of an era that reminded me of AMERICAN HOT WAX. Sharp direction by Kasi Lemmons, fine supporting cast, strangest use of Johnny Carson since THE KING OF COMEDY, and sheer brilliance from Don Cheadle. Cheadle creates a charismatic personality that is crazy, dangerous, and reminiscent of Richard Pryor’s best standup performances.

I also thought 2007 was a GREAT year for films (and DVDs). THERE WILL BE BLOOD did not open in Houston until 2008 and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (along with the BLADERUNNER re-release) only played one week!

TOP DVDS

1. Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition
2. Berlin Alexanderplatz
3. Blade Runner - Five Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition
4. If...
5. The Rockford Files Season 4
6. The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 2
7. The Mario Bava Collection, Volume 1
8. Heroes, Season 1
9. Superman - Doomsday
10. Route 66: Season One, Volume One

Too many runner-ups to bother to list, but the FORD AT FOX set and MY NAME IS EARL, SEASON TWO were on and off my top 10 list at one time.

The complete collection of TWIN PEAKS gave me the most pleasure this year, and it was an exemplary set. I think the series definitely drops in quality after the Laura Palmer arc, as the energies of Lynch and Frost were diverted elsewhere. (The last episode is powerful, but the cursory way Lynch disposes of Windom Earle indicates what a lightweight he was.) However, even the weaker episodes are compelling, and the Laura Palmer arc is magical. Watching this series for the umpteenth time, it's evident that almost all of the characters are either going to high school or were haunted by it. The style of the show is pervasive, and it's the digressions that stick in the memory. One of my favorites is Ben and Jerry Horne's recollection of the sweet flashlight dance performed by their babysitter, while Ben is in jail accused of murdering Laura Palmer. The documentary on the series is pretty frank and thorough. Lynch's reminisces with MacLachlan, Amick, and his personal assistant are fascinating and about as open as he’s ever going to be. (Favorite bit is Lynch’s ignorance of BAYWATCH.) The other extras including the log lady intros, Japanese commercials, and various teasers are fine. BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ, thanks to a major restoration, looks better than it did at the theater or on tape. Not much to say about the BLADE RUNNER set, which I’m still working my way through, but it’s perfect. IF… is a personal favorite (the first “art” film I ever saw), and McDowell’s commentary is one of the best you’ll ever hear. Season 4 of THE ROCKFORD FILES is probably the second best season of my favorite television show. The second Anger collection would have made my list if it only had SCORPIO RISING. However, the terrific restorations and the fascinating commentaries by Anger are the cherry on the top. Thanks to the low price and the noticeable upgrade in quality and extras, the Bava set easily makes my list, even if I’m repurchasing some of the titles. HEROES was my favorite show last season. If the finale was a little underwhelming, there were very few loose ends (ala X-FILES). I enjoyed the development of all of the characters, and loved the alternate future episode. SUPERMAN - DOOMSDAY is the first direct-to-DVD from Bruce Timm’s unit at Warner Brothers Animation. Terrific adaptation of a sprawling story; this shines in comparison to the bloated, disappointing SPIDERMAN 3 and FANTASTIC FOUR – RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. The extras on the disc are stellar also: long documentary on the original series and an entertaining commentary. The first ROUTE 66 set used inferior elements for some of the episodes (a situation that is being corrected in future sets). However, these are still the best looking presentations of this classic series I have ever seen. The series seems to be heavily influenced by the French New Wave and various Beat writers and poets. Sterling Silliphant’s dialogue is distinctively poetic, and unlike any other series. The episode with Jack Lord playing a Chet Baker type jazzman and Anne Francis is the best old television episode I’ve seen in a couple of years.

VINCENT PEREIRA

Best film of 2007: BUG

Best DVD (high def or otherwise) of 2007: BLADE RUNNER

Erik Nelson - February 26, 2008 12:08 AM (GMT)
INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS

R - Y

BRANDON ROME

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
This is by far the best crafted film I have seen this year (and the closest to possibly labeling with the loaded term "masterpiece"). Casey Affleck gives a wonderfully contemplative performance, Pitt leads a great ensemble of actors, Roger Deakins' photography is noticeably amazing, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' music is better than their work for THE PROPOSITION, and the pondering existentialism of celebrity as curse is more than enough of contemporary relevant theme....

VHS KAHLOUCHA
Thanks to cinephile piracy online, I was able to enjoy this wonderful documentary on Tunisian filmmaker Moncef Kahloucha (I'd be happy to buy this and/or one of his movies, if somebody could point me in the right direction). Armed with a VHS camcorder and an ensemble of villagers (some of which are paid in beer), Kahloucha makes movies, like "Tarzan of the Arabs", with enthusiastic passion. Needing prop blood for a dead character, he cuts his own arm open to supply it; staging a break-in, he sets a perfectly livable apartment on fire. I suppose it could be described as a sort of Arabic "American Movie", without the ironic condescension. If he doesn't inspire you to just go out and make movies, you don't love Cinema as much as you think you did.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
The Coen Brothers finally show their brilliant cinematic hand; making a (mainly) serious comment on the inability to rationalize what our human comedy is all about. Apparently this includes the fact that stories don't have endings. Deal with it.

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!
Guy Maddin is a weird man, but his self-crafted weirdness is a gift. He and George Toles have created yet another psychological melodrama that seems to hark back to a silent film alternate universe, where movies are not-so simple (Freudian) dreams on celluloid. My version has Isabella Rossellini as the narrator, but this apparently varied depending on the location of its screening. Just plain unpredictable fun.

I'M NOT THERE
The more you think you know about Dylan, the better this movie is. The problem is, this is the idea behind the movie; you can't really know him, because he is so many personas, and of those many, some are partly true and partly false, and nobody will ever know which ones are which. So, that's what this movie is; partly great and partly not. Haynes makes the mythos his own, and semiotically runs with it. The individual segments initially come across as choppy, uneven, and, of course, non-linear (though I'm inclined to believe Haynes' formalistic hang-ups have created a structure that rewards with repeat viewings). I would have liked to have seen more of the Basement Tapes town (the version of "Goin' to Acapulco" in this is great) and, for never really liking Charlotte Gainsbourg that much, I thought she and the late Heath Ledger were excellent in this Godard-like piece of the puzzle. BLONDE ON BLONDE and BLOOD ON THE TRACKS are really well adapted to fit her and Ledger's scenes together (by far my favorite "part" of the film). Cate Blanchett, of course, is amazing, but she's really only amazing because she enchants despite not being given much to do, other than ape already documented film moments. And I'm thinking this all would make a lot more sense, if I could get a hold of RENALDO AND CLARA....

MICHAEL CLAYTON
A thriller in its paranoid, yet entirely plausible, representation of corporate reality (it's hard not to see U-North as a stand in for a Monsanto-like company); a character study of a man in moral crisis; an ensemble piece with a cast of excellent actors. This movie feels like it was made back when people who are older than me say 'movies used to be good'. I'm happy the Academy lauded this with award nominations; maybe Hollywood will take note and start making more movies of this caliber...

GONE BABY GONE
Two wrongs don't make a right. This sharp, blatant cut of a morality tale is an impressive debut for Ben Affleck, aided in no small effort by his brother Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman's attempt at showing he can still show up to act. Amy Ryan provides the focal point here, though. Without her uncompromising take on ambivalent single motherhood, we wouldn't feel the weight of which side of the decision we take in the end.

OSTROV (THE ISLAND)
I can't really explain why this one got to me. Priests in the very cold, desolate looking Russian countryside somehow sustained my interest. I'm not a religious person, but I do acknowledge the concepts of fate and redemption. A gem of a film in these regards.

THE LOOKOUT
Joseph Gordon-Levitt owns this movie. After this and MYSTERIOUS SKIN, I am not above saying he is one the most interesting actors of his generation. There is just so much going on that he brings to the performance that would otherwise make this a mediocre heist movie. Though, Scott Frank's skills as a screenwriter are not to be overlooked. I've looked forward to anything he does since DEAD AGAIN.

THIS IS ENGLAND
I've never been to England, and I was even younger than the 12 year old in this movie in 1983, but the message of this film really does transcend nationality. Powerful performances by the young Thomas Turgoose and the awe-inspiring Stephen Graham, and probably my favorite ending scene of the year.

Note: I still haven't be able to see THERE WILL BE BLOOD yet, and I will probably regret not having included some of the following I have seen: BLACK BOOK, INTO THE WILD, ONCE, ROCKET SCIENCE, SECRET SUNSHINE, JUNO, ZODIAC, BUG or I AM A CYBORG, BUT IT'S OK.


DAVID ROSINGER

Movies:

1. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD – As
perfect a period piece as we are likely to get. From Roger Deakins’s
wan, melancholic palette to Patricia Norris’s historically correct
costumes, Andrew Dominik’s film succeeds in breathing new life into
well-worn myth.

2. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN – The Coen Brothers are masters of
storytelling, and here, finally, is a tale worth their efforts.

3. INTO THE WILD – Although set in the early nineties, Sean Penn’s
drama tells us more about the romance and folly of youthful rebellion
than virtually all the films we have from the sixties.

4. JUNO – Hooray for the return of droll, stylish repartee to the
film comedy – and phooey on the prissy critics who worry about the movie
not taking teen pregnancy seriously enough.

5. LADY CHATTERLEY – The best film treatment of D.H. Lawrence since
Russell’s WOMEN IN LOVE. Any surprise it took a Frenchman to do it?

6. ZODIAC – I can’t remember the last time I saw a true crime
thriller this creepy, this intelligent.

7. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING – In film you don’t have shout to be
heard. Demonstrating is not acting. Frank Langella's understanding
of the medium shows in every scene.

8. LUST, CAUTION
9. BLACK BOOK
10. THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY.
In one year we get three terrific films about the hazards, moral and
practical, inherent in armed resistance to tyranny. Combine these gems
with last year’s re-release of ARMY OF SHADOWS, and you have yourself
a thought-provoking film festival.

DVDs:

1. ANGEL FACE
2. BECKET
3. THE KILLERS (1946)
4. ACE IN THE HOLE
5. THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937)
6. CAGED
7. DAYS OF HEAVEN
8. BREATHLESS
9. THE CLOCK
10. THE VERDICT

DYLAN SKOLNICK

I am listing these in no particular order. Please assign them all an
equal value. I am only listing Theatrical Releases because I haven't
bought enough DVDs this year to vote properly.

Ten Best Theatrical Releases of 2007
No Country for Old Men
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Zodiac
I’m Not There
Ratatouille
Grindhouse
Brand Upon the Brain
There Will Be Blood
Lust, Caution
Southland Tales


BRANDON CRAWFORD SMITH

All titles listed should be given equal weight in points...

CINEMA

Unfortunately, I have not seen enough new films this year to warrant a list of ten. THERE WILL BE BLOOD still has not opened here and I missed seeing ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES..., THE KING OF KONG, and on and on so I offer the six best works of cinema that I have seen this year.

GRINDHOUSE / PLANET TERROR - The whole GRINDHOUSE experience was terrific - even though I was severely underwhelmed by Tarantino’s DEATH
PROOF - but it was the opening film in this double feature that delivered one of the best times that I have had in a theater in many years. I am a sucker for zombie movies (okay, so they were technically called “sickos” in this film), Rose McGowan has real go go talent, and the deal was sealed on PLANET TERROR when I finally realized that Jeff Fahey was channeling Warren Oates - I will be watching this film again and again.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - Although I will never refer to this film a masterpiece - it was damn solid filmmaking from the brothers Coen.

THE HOST - I thought that this horror movie did several things that I have not seen in a monster movie in a long time: it had great cinematography, did not take itself too seriously, and had characters that I actually cared about.

KILLER OF SHEEP - When I was watching this film, I realized that David
Gordon Green must have seen this film several times before making
GEORGE WASHINGTON. The characters/performers in KILLER OF SHEEP are people that are rarely seen in cinema, but they are most definitely people that I have often encountered in my own life. I admire the strength and dignity of the story presented in KILLER OF SHEEP and that the film opened a window in which filmgoers can view black people instead of black characters, especially given the era in which it was made: a time when nearly all American films that centered on black characters appear to have focused on delivering sensationalism (exploiting the audiences expectations), delivering an almost self-righteous message of hope, or a damning condemnation of the status quo.

FINAL EPISODE OF THE SOPRANOS - I contemplated and discussed and read about that cut to black for weeks.

THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY - A truly beautiful film that made me realize just how much I am missing by not being able to see most of Ken Loach’s filmography.

DVDs

KILLER OF SHEEP

THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER, VOLUME ONE - I had heard of these films for years and was finally able to see the work of Anger earlier this year. I cannot recall any non-animated film that can compare with the color palette of Anger’s work.

HOLY MOUNTAIN - All I can say is that it was about time this came together.

STRAIGHT TIME - A well done crime film is the second greatest pleasure in cinema–it would be the greatest but for the fact that my favorite crime films are always a bittersweet experience. In the best of these films, crime does not pay and there is no way hell the hero is going to win. I have a soft spot for characters that make really bad decisions - I guess it is a sympathy for the underdog that lets me root for people that have a habit of setting themselves up for failure. STRAIGHT TIME is a very well done crime film - it may be the most realistic crime film in American cinema. They have not made too many like this since the fall of the Hays Code. I miss the losers of American cinema.

36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN - My second favorite kung fu films gets a legitimate video release and a Cantonese audio track.

GREEN FOR DANGER - I should think that naming a color in the title of a black and white film would be violating some sort of rule. Having a color function as an important part of the plot in a black and white film should have presented a problem for the filmmakers. However, this film is so well written, acted, and filmed that the above ideas never entered my head while watching the film.

RETURN OF FRANK JAMES - There were so many Jesse James titles released this year: JESSE JAMES, I SHOT JESSE JAMES, as well as THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID. This was my favorite of the bunch - even though Jesse is dead before the events of this film. It is a western that appears to have been shot in two strip Technicolor (surely it was not two-strip) and a western in which Fritz Lang–especially during the Day for Night scenes–made the sparkle of Henry Fonda’s blue eyes cold and frightening.

THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND - The FORD AT FOX set was by far the most important studio release of the year and THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND is the film that warmed the heart of the kid within me. It has everything a kid could want: an island prison with a moat that is filled with sharks; the assassination of Lincoln; a wrongfully accused man; as well as the meanest performance that I have ever seen from John Carradine! They should have shown this in history class!

GENTLEMAN JIM - “The Corbitt’s are fighting!”

TWO-LANE BLACKTOP - One my favorite films gets the Criterion treatment
- there is no way this was not going on the list. Color me gone!

WADE SOWERS

Top Ten Movie’s of 2007

THERE WILL BE BLOOD
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD
INNOCENCE
THE ASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
BRAND UPON THE BRAIN
ZODIAC
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
BLACK BOOK
EASTERN PROMISES



Top ten DVD’s of 2007

LATE OZU - the entire set of five films from Eclipse is worth your time . . .

FORD AT FOX - what can you say, one of the world’s great directors treated with respect (except for the really bad box these film come in, and the rather stupid spindles each film is sitting on) - several months, or years, ago someone posted on Mobius about being able to see the entire work of a favorite director and I mentioned it was possible with many of the newer people, but the sadness was in not being able to see the early work of the masters of the past; well, here is a chance to see nice prints of some of John Ford’s silent classics (THE IRON HORSE, 3 BAD MEN), as well as a few of his early experiments in sound (UP THE RIVER, with Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart) . . .

TORMENT/HETS/FRENZY (1944) - this first script by Ingmar Bergman was directed by Alf Sjoberg and is available as part of the Early Bergman set from Eclipse . . . The other four films, while interesting, vary in quality, but this norish story of a boarding school
student, his sadistic teacher (“Caligula”), and a local shop girl, is some sort of a masterpiece . . .

MURIEL (1963) - this is one Alain Resnais film I had managed to miss, so it was a thrill when it finally turned up in an OK presentation; as usual, I am not sure exactly what is going on, but if you love LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (1961), you will probably have as much fun with this one . . .

CANYON PASSAGE (1946) - since this Jacques Tourneur movie surfaced as one of the films on the CLASSIC WESTERN ROUND-UP set from Universal, I have watched it several times and screened it for friends - this movie is magic; half the time the characters appear ready to burst into song (actually, Hoagy Carmichael does his “Ole Buttermilk Sky” a couple of times) as Dana Andrews and banker Brian Donlevy compete for Susan Hayward, Ward Bond steals and tries to beat people up, there is a house raising party that compares favorably with Ford’s MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946), Indian trouble, and the use of color makes you believe this is all taking place in Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden - this is a wonderful, unique movie, and not to be missed . . .

I SHOT JESSE JAMES (1949) - the entire set from Eclipse called THE FIRST FILMS OF SAMUEL FULLER is worth getting, as THE STEEL HELMET (1951) is another of his excellent conversations about men at war, while THE BARON OF ARIZONA (1950) - not his finest work - enjoys an excellent performance from Vincent Price . . . JESSE JAMES is Fuller’s first film as a director, and it is wonderful to see him bending the medium to his will; this one is also instructive when you see Fuller’s no budget 84 minute version of this story after watching the other JESSE JAMES/ROBERT FORD movie that came out this year . . .

LES MISERABLES (1934) - we were quite swept away by Raymond Bernard’s massive (281 minutes) telling of this familiar story - no reason to go over the plot, but the sets are fine, and acting by all concerned is aces . . . This is another of those Eclipse sets; this one also has Bernard’s anti-war film WOODEN CROSSES (1932) . . .

THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961) - this is the one Sergio Leone film I had never been able to find, so thanks to Warner and their CULT CAMP CLASSIC series, it now has a place next to THE SERGIO LEONE ANTHOLOGY on my shelf; you know, COLOSSUS is actually not bad at all, and Warner did an excellent job with this beautiful transfer . . .

BILLY BUDD (1962) - one of the few films directed by Peter Ustinov is a masterly telling of Herman Melville’s short novel, BILLY BUDD, FORETOPMAN . . . with Ustinov himself as the ship’s Captain who must act against his desires due to the requirements of law, Terence Stamp in his debut role as the “good” Budd, and Robert Ryan as the “evil” Master-At-Arms Claggart, we have a cast more then equal to the demands of this powerful story which is beautifully told in all departments . . .

THE RETURN OF DRACULA (1958) and THE VAMPIRE (1957) - so, I will count these as one since they came out together as one of those (seemingly) hundreds of sci-fi/horror films that appeared last September, I think it was . . . Anyway, these were both written by Pat Fielder and directed by Paul Landres, who show a love of the genre (as well as a neat use of plot elements from BIGGER THAN LIFE and SHADOW OF A DOUBT) - I, for one, wish they had gone on to shoot many more such films together . . .


YVONNE TEH

I’m probably going to change my mind more than once again about what
constitute my top 10 choices of best theatrical film of 2007 but, hell,
I figure I might as well go ahead and submit the list I finally
assembled this week – and AM (1:58, as I write this, to be exact!) to you.

(No votes for best DVD of 2007 though I actually did the bulk of my
film viewing in cinemas this year!)

*For the record, for the first four months of 2007, I was living –
and viewing movies – in Penang, Malaysia. Then, on May 1, I moved to
Hong Kong (where, as it turns out, I viewed all but one of the films that
I consider to be the top 10 theatrical releases of 2007).
Consequently, I feel justified in counting both of these locations as my towns for
the purposes of this Mobius Poll.

1) RATATOUILLE (U.S.A., 2007)
Call it the ET effect if you will. But what gets me convinced that this
feel-good Pixar animation is so very wonderful is that I went from
thinking – prior to viewing the movie – that its rat protagonist
looked disgusting to deciding – post viewing the work – that it really
was very lovable and utterly worth rooting for!

2) BUBBLE FICTION: BOOM OR BUST (Japan, 2007)
Nothing beats the experience of viewing a comedy with a thoroughly
receptive audience. So part of me wonders whether I would have loved this
hilariously screwball time-travel comedy from director Baba Yasuo as
much as I did if I hadn’t viewed with the (Hong Kong International Film
Festival) crowd that I did; one that was guffawing away like there was
no tomorrow throughout the screening. Still, it’s not like HKIFF
audiences are usually that easy to please. So, I’m going to give this
movie the benefit of the doubt and believe that it really is super funny
and enjoyable in its own right!

3) CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (Mainland China-Hong Kong, 2006)
This visually sumptuous historical epic was released in cinemas at the
tail end of 2006 in Malaysia (and Hong Kong) but it continued its
theatrical run in these territories through to at least January 2007.
Although this hyper-dramatic work certainly can make for a study in excess,
what I particularly liked about it is that director Zhang Yimou managed
to ensure that its grand scale didn’t detract all that much from the
domestic melodrama that was chillingly laid bare over the course of the
film.

4) ZODIAC (U.S.A., 2007)
Well-written, beautifully shot, well-acted (by an all-round strong
cast) and thoughtfully presented procedural turned thriller with a couple
of genuinely hair-raising moments. Maybe the strongest praise I can
give this David Fincher-helmed work is that I found it so involving that
time flew by when I watched it, and so much so that it came as a bit of
a shock to realize that the film’s actually as long (158 minutes) as
it is!

5) PERSEPOLIS (France, 2007)
This visually inventive and touching film adaptation by Marjane Satrapi
(and Vincent Paronnaud) of her autobiographical graphic novels lays
bare an eventful life led in Iran and Europe. The animated work’s
images may be largely black and white but no way does this mean that it
lacks for wondrous imagination and expressive beauty.

6) WHISPERS & MOANS (Hong Kong, 2007)
A prostitute drama that strikes a serious tone and is all the more
moving for doing so, this low budget offering from the 2007 Hong Kong
International Film Festival’s surprise Director in Focus, Herman Yau, got
me all nostalgic for a time when Hong Kong cinema churned out
actor-centric, human-scale and female-focused works such as it like there was no
tomorrow.

7) THE SUN ALSO RISES (Mainland China-Hong Kong, 2007)
A highly original and thought-provoking (even if hard to understand)
work from Jiang Wen that comes complete with a superb score and equally
top class visuals, particularly in its pulsating final segment that
melds together mesmerizing music with the kind of aesthetically edifying
imagery that stands as a rebuke to anyone who doesn’t realize that
moving pictures can be as beautiful and artsy as hand-drawn or -painted
masterpieces.

8) HOOKED ON YOU (Hong Kong, 2007)
As is to be expected of a film that was released in Hong Kong cinemas
three days before the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong being handed back by
the British to China, this ostensible romantic dramedy which stars a
couple of singer-thespians (in Miriam Yeung and Eason Chan) contains a
look back at the past 10 years of Hong Kong’s history. What’s less
expected though is that the only movie that I deigned to see twice in
cinemas in 2007 possesses an ending which is especially satisfying
because it contains concluding messages on the subject of love, life and
friendship that are rather deep and realistic, and all the more
unconventional for being so.

9) MUKHSIN (Malaysia, 2007)
This charming and emotionally satisfying coming-of-age tale sees
director Yasmin Ahmad staying true to the culturally-sensitive cause and path
that she charted with works like SEPET (2004) and GUBRA (2006) but
also providing evidence of an increase in cinematic sophistication by way
of being less heavy-handed in her moralizing approach this time around.


10) LUST, CAUTION (Taiwan-Mainland China-Hong Kong, 2007)
An amazingly atmospheric piece of film-making which sucked me into its
world and millieu, leaving me temporarily disoriented when I got out of
the cinema. If only this Ang Lee adaptation of an Eileen Chang short
story’s climactic scene/denouement didn’t have its main female (a
bravura performance by newcomer Tang Wei) appearing to act so
disappointingly out of character…

RAYMOND TUCKER

Criterion - 3 PENNY OPERA
Eclipse - LATE OZU
Warner - POPEYE 1933-1938 Vol. 1
Universal WOODY WOODPECKER & FRIENDS
Anchor Bay - THE FILMS OF ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY
Anchor Bay - MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOL. 1
Criterion - Bunuels's THE MILKY WAY
Classic Media - GHIDORAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER(1964)
WALT DISNEY TREASURE- THE ADVENTURES OF OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT
BLAD RUNNER (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) (2007)
Honrable mention:
Tokyo Shock FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD / FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON
(1966)

WILLIAM S. WILSON

2007 Theatrical:

1. CHILDREN OF MEN
2. THE HOST
3. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
4. SICKO
5. BEOWULF
6. LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
7. ZODIAC
8. BREACH
9. COCAINE COWBOYS
10. EASTERN PROMISES

I don't have a DVD list as I have a hard enough time tracking my
theatrical viewings.

JENNIFER YOUNG

Couldn’t put THE HOST on this year’s list since it was on my list
last year. Also couldn’t put last year’s CASINO ROYALE and CHILDREN
OF MEN on this year’s list after seeing them too late. Then I missed
the chance to see SECRET SUNSHINE twice! Hard to rate them in order
(apples-oranges) but I tried for the sake of the rankings.

1. THE KING AND THE CLOWN
This ultra-romantic ode to same-sex friendship between two 16th century
street clowns had me completely hypnotized all three times it played.

2. EXILED
It’s a blood-soaked love letter to Johnnie To’s many action fans.
Probably the best “Greatest Hits” film I’ve ever seen - a
simultaneous tribute and subdued sendup of the director’s body of work.

3. 28 WEEKS LATER
Fast and vicious but doesn’t wallow in it – just shows it to ya’
and moves on. The powerhouse first half more than makes up for the
slightly weaker second half. I was positively tingling afterwards.

4. TAARE ZAMEEN PAR
Respected Hindi film actor Aamir Khan directs his first film (although
rumors abound that he’s been ghost directing for years). Khan found
an amaaazing child actor who carried the sensitive subject matter on his
tiny shoulders in almost every one of the film’s 165-minutes.

5. HANA YORI MO NAHO
A change for Koreeda from the subtle, sobering, modern docudrama to a
subtle, sobering, historic dramedy. Koreeda seems to give a fuller
account of his characters compared to other storytellers and while it’s
not HIS best it’s well on top of the heap.

6. TRIAD ELECTION
I don’t even know what to say here – this film is totally raw!
After seeing it I felt like I was one of the gangsters’ victims. Very,
very effective.

7. THE MIST
Why do we love it when the monsters turn out to be us?! Very well told.

8. GRINDHOUSE
Somehow I never tire of the antics – how come? Finger. Pulse.

9. JOHNNY GADDAAR
A kicky caper film with clever twists, quirky characters, solid acting,
a massive soundtrack, and unusually good cinematography. It’s a
Hindi fried vintage film noir.

10. NISHABD
I know director Ram Gopal Varma has been more miss than hit lately but
this naked May-December romance between a 60-year old father and his
daughter’s teenage friend is truly unconventional and provocative.
It’s a joy to see Amitabh Bachchan get his hands on this kind of material
and RGV takes full advantage of the actor’s monumental talent.

Also deserving:
BLACK FRIDAY, CHAK DE INDIA, DARK MATTER, DAY WATCH, A DIRTY CARNIVAL,
EKLAVYA, IT’S ONLY TALK, MEMORIES OF TOMORROW,
THE OLD GARDEN, PERFUME, SPIDER LILIES, TRAFFIC SIGNAL

Favorite oldies on the big screen in 07:
PYAASA
DAYS OF HEAVEN
KWAIDAN
99 RIVER STREET
TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER

Best trash:
LAST LEGION
A new sword and sandal film!?! Come on - takes guts. Was actually a lot
of fun AND Ashwariya Rai got her Michelle Yeoh on!

Worst trash:
CASH, FOOL N FINAL, SICK NURSES

Yummy item songs:
Barso Re – GURU
When Mani Ratnam directs an item number starring Ashwariya Rai to A.R.
Rahman music what do you think is gonna happen? Uh-huh, movie magic.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/558764/barso_re_guru/

Move Your Body – JOHNNY GADDAAR
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy slam another superhit to the ground and spice it up
with Brit rapgrrrl Hardkaur.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVjqxnMJOeY&feature=related

Jab Bhi Cigarette – NO SMOKING
Adnam Sami’s jazz soaked voice curls out over a sexy Bob Fosse
cabaret number.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/no-smoki...aret/3390476537

Aaja Nachle – AAJA NACHLE
I will come dance with Madhuri any day of the week. It’s good to have
her back especially dancing to the meticulous choreography of dynamo
Vaibhabhi Merchant.
http://www.bollyclips.com/video.php?videoid=5045

Chak De – CHAK DE INDIA
Yeah, riot grrrls kicking ass!
http://filmyduniyavideos.magnify.net/item/GL8FCCVHPHX3LRSY

Maiyya Maiyya – GURU
Mallika channels Shakira AND Rita Hayworth!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ly55_maiya-maiya_family

Erik Nelson - February 26, 2008 12:13 AM (GMT)
MEA CULPA DEPARTMENT

Sorry about being late. I was going to post this last night to tie in with the Oscars, but I decided to double check.

Sorry about the uneven margins, but everything posted fine.

I should have combined the two BLADE RUNNER releases to be consistent, but I kept forgetting to do so during the tabulation process.

Also, I flipped the order of the ballots of Marty McKee and Lenny Moore for some inexplicable reason.

As usual, the individual ballots are fascinating. I originally was disappointed by the turnout, but it was close to last year's. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

Bob Cashill - February 26, 2008 12:20 AM (GMT)
No mea culpa necessary. Thanks for pulling it together.

Michael Blanton - February 26, 2008 12:30 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Erik Nelson @ Feb 25 2008, 06:13 PM)
Also, I flipped the order of the ballots of Marty McKee and Lenny Moore for some inexplicable reason.

As usual, the individual ballots are fascinating. I originally was disappointed by the turnout, but it was close to last year's. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

EriK:

I always get Lenny & Marty confused, though I sometimes call 'em Lenny & George.

I also wish that more folks would participate, but thanks for all the hard work in tabulating everything.

Much appreciated!!!!! ^_^

Marty McKee - February 26, 2008 04:18 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Once again, I didn’t go to the theater enough in 2007 to be able to
compile a truly worthwhile list, but the ten best films that I saw last
year are (alphabetically):
3:10 TO YUMA
GRINDHOUSE
HOT FUZZ
KNOCKED UP
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
OCEAN’S THIRTEEN
SICKO
SUPERBAD
UNTIL DEATH
ZODIAC


I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing I could revamp my ballot, but I would now (now that I've seen them) add THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS and THERE WILL BE BLOOD and drop UNTIL DEATH and HOT FUZZ. And SUNSHINE would go on my Worst 5 list.

Michael Blanton - February 26, 2008 02:24 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Marty McKee @ Feb 25 2008, 10:18 PM)

I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing I could revamp my ballot, but I would now (now that I've seen them) add THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS and THERE WILL BE BLOOD and drop UNTIL DEATH and HOT FUZZ.

HOT FUZZ would still make my list.

"Yarp!"

Michael Blanton - February 26, 2008 02:25 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Marty McKee @ Feb 25 2008, 10:18 PM)
And SUNSHINE would go on my Worst 5 list.

"Yarp!"

Marty McKee - February 26, 2008 02:49 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Michael Blanton @ Feb 26 2008, 08:24 AM)
QUOTE (Marty McKee @ Feb 25 2008, 10:18 PM)

I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing I could revamp my ballot, but I would now (now that I've seen them) add THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS and THERE WILL BE BLOOD and drop UNTIL DEATH and HOT FUZZ.

HOT FUZZ would still make my list.

"Yarp!"

Well, I had to choose between SUPERBAD and HOT FUZZ, basically, and I just liked SUPERBAD a little better.

Alan Maxwell - February 26, 2008 06:38 PM (GMT)
Unusually, I've just looked over my list and wouldn't change anything. Well, except for the fact that I managed to make up the word "underneglected", but you know what I meant.

I really do love reading the individual ballots and comments - the most interesting part is always the one or two choices that are entirely unique on each ballot. It would be easy to be cynical and say people do this deliberately but in the case of the Mobius poll I don't think so; I genuinely think it reflects a diversity of tastes but a shared enthusiasm and passion for seeking out movie gems wherever they may hide.

I know I'll often find myself wildly enthusing about a movie while getting the feeling that I'm the only person who seems to have seen it; I'd guess from these ballots that almost everyone here gets a little of that, and that's why reading these things is so much fun. It's also nice when someone shares my hatred of HONOR OF THE KNIGHTS (thanks again, Doug) - if that thing isn't the most nekkidest emperor I've ever seen, I don't know what is.

Anyway, I just want to say thanks to everyone that responded and of course most of all a big thank you to Erik for doing all the hard work. It is very much appreciated!

William S. Wilson - February 28, 2008 12:58 AM (GMT)
Big thanks again to Erik for putting this together. I would also be a contender for the "wishing to revise my list" category as two of the best 2007 releases I saw in 2008 (ATONEMENT and THE KING OF KONG).

Brian Camp - February 28, 2008 09:52 PM (GMT)
Nice to see all the love for 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. That would have been on my list, too, except that I haven't watched this DVD yet; I've had too many unseen Shaw Bros. films to catch up with first.

The point system threw me off. When I saw "15" next to YO YO GIRL COP, I jumped for joy thinking I'd made 14 converts on this board. But then I realized all 15 points were mine, based on its ranking in my list. Bummer. :huh:

Oh, and in answer to Brandon Crawford Smith, RETURN OF FRANK JAMES was definitely shot in three-strip Technicolor. I don't know how the color on the DVD looks, but the color's always looked fine in every TV/cable broadcast I've seen of it. Two-strip is noticeable by a distinct lack of a portion of the color spectrum, e.g. you'll see a lot of blue and yellow OR a predominance of red and green, but not both.

And I was stunned to see the Steve Reeves sword-'n'-sandal "epic," GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS on this list. I didn't know it had been released. I saw it as a kid in a theater when it came out and have virtually no memory of it and am eager to see it again to find out exactly why it made no impression. (I'd been eager to see the Steve Reeves HERCULES films a year or so earlier, but hadn't been taken to them--too young--so this was the next best thing at the time.) Yet the black-and-white B-movie playing with it, JET OVER THE ATLANTIC, a dangerous-substance-on-a-plane thriller with Guy Madison, Virginia Mayo and George Raft, was quite a vivid movie experience and has stayed with me ever since.

Michael Blanton - February 28, 2008 10:34 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Feb 28 2008, 03:52 PM)
Nice to see all the love for 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. That would have been on my list, too, except that I haven't watched this DVD yet; I've had too many unseen Shaw Bros. films to catch up with first.

I didn't see 36th CHAMBER till after submitting my DVD list.

It still probably wouldn't have made my top 10 - all Box-sets - but it is a gorgeous transfer of great film with some nice extras.




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