Usually each January I poll my friends to find out what they thought the best movies of the previous year were. This year I decided to do something a little different and go to a few select pals who usually have some interesting insight and ask them to write about their top picks.
And so without further ado, here they are. The Best of 2007 according to people I know. And me.
1. The Simpsons Movie
Quite simply the movie that made me laugh the most and the hardest all year. And I laughed a lot this year. Going into it I was a bit nervous about how much I’d like it because I haven’t seen the TV series in about 8 years. But I didn’t miss a thing because, quite simply, when something is funny, it’s funny. And this was funny.
2. Dan in Real Life
Maybe I missed all the buzz on this one. But probably closer to the truth is the fact that there really wasn’t any, and that’s a shame. This one kinda slipped under everyone’s radar and I don’t really get why. I mean, after Little Miss Sunshine it should come as no surprise that Steve Carell can do a movie that isn’t Anchorman-slapstick and still make a great movie (and be funny). Dan is no exception. When Dan sings his song in front of the family….wow….what a great scene. I almost lost it, I freely admit it. Plus Dane Cook. Score.
3. Hot Fuzz
The guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead are back (along with most of the S.O.T.D. cast) and finally cop/buddy movies are fun again.
Loved it. Blogged about it. Read it.
Really, can Pixar do no wrong?
I could go on and on about how cool this Irish indie film is but every time I’ve tried to tell someone about it, I never seem to capture how cool it actually is, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you’re a music fan, this is a definite must-see.
Yes it was raunchy. Yes it was rude. Yes when it was over Sarah turned to me and said, “I hope our kids don’t talk like that.” But that doesn’t mean I we didn’t laugh our heads off.
8. 3:10 to Yuma
Once again Russell Crowe (an actor I hate) stars in a western movie (a genre I hate) and I loved it. Between this and The Quick and the Dead he’s a wily guy.
9. Knocked Up
Yea. I admit it. I’ve become a Judd Apatow fan. But who hasn’t?
This is one of those you-had-to-be-there films. Seeing this in the theater was a roller coaster ride like nothing I’ve experienced at the theater. A double feature of crazily over-the-top action films with ridiculous fake trailers in between. My buddies and I (but not my brother) experienced a ride that may never be captured again.
My Worst of ’07
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry – Hey…anybody know where I can hear some really bad gay jokes? Over and over. And over. And over. And over. And over. (Repeat as desired)
Reno 911 – Aw, man….and I really like the TV show. I think the whole premise of the movie was “Wait…you mean we don’t have to blur out the boobs? DONE.” And as a result, they ended up blurring out the funny.
Pirates 3– Hi, I’m Johnny Depp. How about in this one it’s just me running around the boat but the boat’s crew is a hundred other me’s? But for no real reason. It’ll be fun!
Transformers – I really thought I was going to like this one and then halfway through realized “Oh wait…I’m not a 17-year old.”
Keith Soljacich is a writer/filmmaker living in the Chicago area. His work has been recognized at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Festival three years in a row, and in 2007 his short film Last Hand won the City Award to compete in the National finals.
Went in to the year with high hopes came out with mostly disappointment
1. Knocked Up
I picked this as my favorite movie of 07 because I had really high hopes going in to the movie and it exceeded my expectations. It was easily the funniest movie of the year, and for me a good comedy goes a long way.
2. The Simpsons Movie
3. American Gangster
4. Hot Fuzz
9. Aliens vs. Predator
10. Hot Rod
Balls of Fury (surprise surprise), Everything but Venom in Spidey 3, Good Luck Chuck, Rush Hour 3, Black Snake Moan (boring), License to Wed
Best TV of 07
Lost, Curb Your Enthusiasm (You got some long ass balls Larry), 30 Rock, Weeds, The Soup, The Office
Best Shows I Never Watched Before 2007 (Netflix is great)
Dexter, House, Weeds, Veronica Mars, Monk
John Allenlives in Louisville and works in sales with EMI in the national music retail division. John has also worked at Gotee Records in the same capacity and is an aficionado of all pop culture. John also maintains a great blog.
There were a ton of films I didn’t see this year. In fact, if I had seen everything I wanted to, I would have probably had a completely different list. But all that said here is my end of the year ten best and a few random awards:
Biggest Misuse of Talent:We Own The Night/ Duvall.
Pheonix. Walberg. Mendes’ Breast (just one). And its a cop story set 20 years ago. What more did it need? A plot that ways at least marginally believable. Oh and something more believable than a cocaine using Jaoquin leading a police raid 10 minutes after we see him doing said cocaine.
Movie I Refuse To See Since Ed’s On the Cutting Room Floor: August Rush
Biggest Destruction of a Well Performing Series: Spider Man 3.
Everyone’s mailing it in and Spidey has never been a bigger joke than in this one. Reluctant Hero? That’s Tobey Mac. Cocky Superstud? Not so much.
Biggest Hypocrite: Robert Redford/Meryl Streep/Tom Cruise/Lion From Lambs
They spend two hours having what seems to be a logical discussion of the war on terror, only to have it come to conclusion of how all the right wing/republican perspective is propaganda and lies for foolish kids to believe, which really just makes the whole movie feel like left wing propaganda. Could have been so much more.
The Top Ten
1a) 3:10 To Yuma
I Never saw the original and honestly its not all that original, but I love a good western. This one killed me. I went in with low expectations and was happily blown away. Ben Foster is downright sinister and always brings something to the table. On a related note, Christian Bale is steadily becoming one of my favorite actors.
1b) The Kingdom
I love these type of films and the trailer had me dying to see it. Nothing but a bunch of actors I love and a great “state of our times” kind of story. Here’s a hint Hollywood: if you put Chris Cooper in it, chances are I will least pay the “on demand” fee to see it (ala Breach). But here is why it was so great. It tackled a political theme and did so without turning into a propaganda piece (for the right or the left). Tim McGraw is on screen for 2 minutes tops and literally moved Kara and I to tears (almost). Just a great film. A thrill ride with plot, dialogue and characters (someone forgot to tell Bruckheimer or Bay this is possible). Great movie!
3) American Gangster
True Story? Check. Oscar Winning Actors? Check and check? Good Supporting cast? A little overuse of rappers as actors, but nonetheless check.
This movie was pretty good. Only one thing bothered me. As a true story the writers knew how it would end (stop reading here if you haven’t seen it……)
The knew Washington and Crowe’s characters would end up working together to take down bigger criminals. They knew the two would become friends. If they knew this, than why spend so much time turning Washington’s character into such a cold-blooded killer/criminal? Why showing violently killing so many people and being blind to his own ambition to end the movie on the “hey look we’re buddies now” tip? Other than that, good movie
4) Meet The Robinsons
We are forced at times to take Jake to movies we would never choose to see ourselves. On a trip in March to Ohio Jake and I went and saw this. Kara’s grandpa was dying and I needed to get Jake out of the hospital before he started climbing the walls. This was the only kids friendly film at the theater in the little town so we went. In short we got a great movie with a tremendous message and some really fun laughs. Sure its campy, but its a kids flick so whaddya want?!? Haven’t seen it? You should.
5 & 6) Harry Potter/Bourne Ultimatum
Here’s the deal. You would really have to “mail it in” for you to screw up these series in my life. I love the Harry films and this is the best one yet. They successfully managed to capture the bulk of what was the biggest of the books to this point and not leave mush out. The only knock on this film is it could have been longer. Same thing with Bourne. The movies are not even close to the books but I love the action and the attitude. Damon was Bourne * to play the role and they tap into Bond style espionage, better than Bond ever has.
(*thanks Gene Shalit)
7 & 8) Knocked Up/Superbad Combo
To you its fairly obvious why these should count as one film, so I will throw this out there, as it is a great story.
I’m in Ft Lauderdale with my boy Rick, who is a pastor here in KY. Rick has to be pretty selective with what he goes to see in theaters as he works with kids and you never know when one might walk out of the theater and ask what you’re seeing. Can’t tell an impressionable 15 yr old, you’re seeing “Knocked Up.” So Ricky often doesn’t see these until they are ON Demand. Well, we’re in FTL and we decide we’re gonna see a movie. We want to see Superbad, but it doesn’t start for another hour to which, Rick says, well I haven’t seen “Knocked Up” yet and its ON Demand back at the hotel. This leads me to say, in front of about 10 people no less, “well, let’s go back to the hotel and get Knocked Up.” Good times
Really not much of a Tarantino fan but his half of this B Movie double feature stands up well over time. Rodriguez is one of my favs and he delivers as usual here. It’s worth it if only for the fake movie trailers with such great tag lines as: “White Met. Dark Meat. This year everyone gets carved. “
10) Live Free or Die Hard
Cheesy as hades at times, but John McClaine gets the nod here, for one line in the movie. There’s a scene were he’s riding with his sidekick (the guy from “Accepted” and the Mac commercials) and there having this talk about why McClaine is always trying to be the hero and McClaine says because no else is. Perfect. It fits in the movie, but it also speaks to my generation a bit. McClaine, Rambo and Balboa are all back because, there’s an abscence of that type of hero in movies today. Nostalgic piece, but I enjoyed it.
Stacey Gagne works at WJTL and is deeply involved in music, movies, and all things pop culture. Stacey is also a published writer and keeps a blog at Infuze.
Amazing Grace: Powerful and Inspiring
The Bucket List. Great Mix of comedy and drama. I laughed, I cried, I reminded myself to get my passport and get to livin!
PS I Love You. Sweet love story, not necessarily the expected ending.
Hairspray: fun, and I always love a musical
Music and Lyrics Drew and Hugh… what could be better
Wild Hogs: Great cast, I like a movie I can watch with anyone once in a while.
Shrek the Third You gotta love a Shrek movie, although i feel like the jokes are all out on the table now…
Pirates: Again, well done, but nothing beats the first one
Spider Man 3: I liked the darkness of this one
Premonition: lots of twists, but so heart breaking!!
Others I saw:
> Evan Almighty: cute but not hysterical, just cute
> Blades of Glory: funny, but too raunchy for me
> Ratatouille: cute and fun, I think I enjoyed it more because of the company I was with… I think it might have been a little slow otherwise
> Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: another Harry…
> Atonement: well done, but so depressing… I can’t bring myself to put in my top 10
Brad Moist is a movie and music wizard. We also met at Gotee Records and he went on to found the record label Mono Vs Stereo. Brad is still involved in the music and is a contributing music reviewer for CCM Magazine. Brad not only has his hand on the pulse of what is cool but also what is about to be cool.
2. The Kingdom
5. The Lookout
6. 30 Days of Night
7. Shoot ‘Em Up
8. Live Free or Die Hard
9. Smokin’ Aces
Sarah Placencia is a fitness instructor who can also make one mean white mocha (being a Barista Supreme will have that affect). She loves movies and has declared her goal of becoming a movie geek.
1. Hot Fuzz
I am a big fan of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and I am definitely planning on seeing ‘Run, Fat Boy, Run!’. Simon Pegg, yeah he’s cool.
2. Mr. Bean’s Holiday
I could watch this movie over and over. Rowan Atkinson is brilliant!
Very cute movie.WARNING: Do not think you are a chef after seeing this movie, some foods should not be made into soup. My bad.
4. Simpsons Movie
Pure Classic. This was actually the first movie that I watched by myself in the theater and I still laughed out loud, alot.
This movie was great. At first I had wished for a different ending, but then I thought ‘who am I to think it should end a certain way?’ And in a way it didn’t really have an ending. It was a film about new beginnings, which are stories that I’m all for.
Sure these guys are crude and cuss like sailors but in the end, they really are ‘gentlemen’. And it goes to show how important friendships really are……now all together…’aaaawwwwww’.
7. Sweeney Todd
Hmmmm. The music, the makeup, the actors were very intriguing. Who knew that I would actually rooting for their ‘meat pie’ shop to flourish…I’m gonna go see my psych…right now.
8.Shoot Em’ Up
Am I dude? Sometimes I wonder….heh, but I actually really like this movie. It had a Rodriguez/Tarantino feel to it. And I have a weird # that I see at random times in my life. It shows up in this movie for a split second, right before it gets ‘shot up’. Look for it; 1026……yeah I’m weird.
This movie is true story that shows the determination of one teacher reaching out to help her students excel, not only at school but in life. It’s encouraging to see how one person can do so much. Highly recommended.
I’d say this movie was pretty much amazing. It made me really appreciate music, and I don’t even play anything. Great story as well.
Todd Sattison is my oldest friend…not that he’s the oldest person I know, but that we’ve known each other were 4 and 5 years old. Todd’s a big movie buff who’s always up for a trip to the theater.
1.300– The best I’ve seen this year. THIS IS SPARTA!!!! What a wonderful film.
2.Smokin Aces– Fantastic Cast. Ryan Reynolds was really good in this.
3.The Number 23– I’m not sure why I liked this movie so much. It just had me from beginning to end.
4.Fracture– Nobody plays the part like Anthony Hopkins.
5.Disturbia– I rented this movie and thought I would hate it and I ended up loving it.
6.Mr. Brooks– I really have to rave about this movie. Kevin Costner was great as a bad guy. The “I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner movie”.
7.1408– I really don’t like Cusack that much, but he pulled it together for this Stephen King story.
8.The Bourne Ultimatum– Love this story. Can’t wait for the next one???????
9.Superbad– Funniest movie I have seen this year.
10. 3:10 to Yuma– Crowe and Bale were both great in this western.
Going to see No Country for Old Men this weekend and could bump someone.
So…how’d we do? Agree with our picks? Think we’re way off? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts!