movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

BEST FILMS of 2006: 1 - 10

HALF NELSON is one of the most challenging, thought provoking and fascinating character studies of the year. This is about as far as you can get from one of the standard teacher/student movies. This time the teacher, (Gosling) is a drug addict whose life is spiraling out of control and the student (Epps) has a brother in jail, a mother that is always working and a drug dealer that is trying to help her. The characters are complex and seem real. Watching the movie, you believe what they do and who they are, flaws and all. I found myself wrapped up in Dan’s journey and his struggle with his demons. All that he wants is to be a good person, a good teacher and to make a difference in the world through teaching. He is not a “good” person or even one that you would want to teach your children, but that is not what the movie is about.

full review of HALF NELSON

This might be the most realistic movie I have seen in years about relationships. Through the eyes of a group of 29 year olds struggling with the idea of the future and of growing up and relationships, it entertains, but more so, it makes you think. Maybe it is because I can relate, but this movie touched me and struck a chord personally. The writing is clean, clever and real and the performances are all great. Don’t go into THE LAST KISS expecting another GARDEN STATE from Braff. This is a different movie in every way and in my opinion, a superior one.

This is the most emotional movie of the year. A movie about love, its power and its resilience. This is a movie about death, letting go and about finding peace. Darren Aronofski has made one of the most visually stunning movies in years and one that (if you let it) will grab you and make you look at how you live your live and how you see love. Simply, THE FOUNTAIN is a beautiful film from start to finish.

full review of THE FOUNTAIN

I have said before that BREAKING AND ENTERING is the movie that CRASH wanted to be. I do not say that as a way to “bash” CRASH, but as a way to illustrate what makes BREAKING AND ENTERING special. This movie touches on so many issues: race, poverty, theft, morality, judgment, love, family, choice. It does all of this while intricately weaving several intersecting storylines and avoiding contrivances and forced coincidence. All of the performances are great and the writing and direction by Minghella illustrate why he is so respected as a filmmaker. I have no earthly idea why this movie was dumped by the studio and not promoted because it is really one of the best of the year.

I sang the praises of this movie when I saw it a year ago at Sundance. I thought that when it came out theatrically, people would come to the theater and it would be a huge indie hit. Wow was I wrong. Again, the lack of an add campaign combined with good (but not “great”) reviews and a beyond limited release lead to a flop. Please do yourself a favor and rent this movie when it comes to DVD this month. It is one of the most unique and well told stories of the year, with an amazing ensemble cast and an outstanding directorial debut. I hope that this movie will find the love that it so deserved in the DVD world.


A new crime movie from Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and more… THE DEPARTED not only lived up to the hype, but also is Scorsese’s best film in 16 years. It is a clever, witty, and fun movie that just gets better the more you watch it. While I do love INFERNAL AFFAIRS (the movie that this is based on), THE DEPARTED is a film of its own. The writing is great, the acting is fantastic and it is told by the greatest American filmmaker. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out.

I describe THE PROPOSITION as a mix between UNFORGIVEN and MUNICH, directed by Terrence Mallick. This is one of the best westerns I have seen and one of the most dynamic and impressive films of the year. It is a shame that nobody bothered to see it in the theater, but there is another chance on DVD. It is meditative, thought provoking, well acted and complex. This is a movie that will stay with you long after walking out of the theater.

full review of THE PROPOSITION

LITTLE CHILDREN is the movie that I just couldn’t get out of my head. It is so layered and filled deep characters that it gets better and better the more times you watch and the more you think about it. It is one of the boldest films of the year both in subject matter, character exploration and filmmaking. Todd Field established himself a few years back with IN THE BEDROOM, but here he has come back with a superior film in every way. A four story arc punctuated by a third person narrator, LITTLE CHILDREN is one of the most impressive films in years.

full review of LITTLE CHILDREN

2. UNITED 93
This is not a movie about the tragedy of September 11th, it is a story about the courage of regular people put in an extraordinary situation. This is a movie and a subject matter that only works because it is perfectly made and exudes respect. It is not too early to have a movie out there like UNITED 93. It is a movie that will stand the test of time.

full review of UNITED 93

A seamless balance between fantasy and a harsh reality. I have seen PAN’S LABYRINTH 6 times and it just keeps getting better. The themes and the complex layers combined with the superb direction make this stand out as the best film of 2006. I have written a lot about this film and if you have not seen it, then I don’t know what else to say. Here is a link to my full review…

full review of PAN'S LABYRINTH


Blogger Cutshaw said...

When it comes to connecting with a general audience, your films really stand apart. With the exception of THE DEPARTED, your top 10 barely made a dent at the box office. (And it looks like at least 4 of your films need to be watched again and again to be fully appreciated.) I wonder if you watched, say THE WICKER MAN, 6 times would that crack your top 10?
Just kidding, but seriously...too bad audiences didn't get a chance to discover your Top 10 cause there's some great films in there...

...just not HALF NELSON.

5:06 PM  

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