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Author Topic: 2006 Movie Year in Review
Lyrhawn
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With 2007 here and memories of 2006 fading fast, I thought fellow cinemaphiles would welcome the chance to congregate and list their top ten favorite movies of 2006. Mine are as follows:

10. An Inconvenient Truth
9. Snakes on a Plane
8. Over the Hedge
7. A Prairie Home Companion
6. Click
5. Pirates of the Caribbean 2
4. The Da Vinci Code
3. Lucky Number Slevin
2. V for Vendetta
1. Blood Diamond

You can find reviews for these, my reasoning for their places on the list, some honorable mentions, and more on my review blog.

Also, after you list your top 10, feel free to name your top five most anticipated films for 2007.

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Launchywiggin
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top 10 of '06

10. Little Miss Sunshine
9. Cars
8. A Scanner Darkly
7. Mission Impossible: III
6. The Prestige
5. Children of Men
4. Superman Returns
3. Apocalypto
2. Running Scared
1. Casino Royale

I still haven't seen The Departed, Babel, Blood Diamond, or Pan's Labyrinth--and I'm sure some of those might be on my list.

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Strider
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In no paricular order...though V may be my favorite.

Tristram Shandy
Little Miss Sunshine
The Prestige
The Departed
Stranger Than Fiction
Apocalypto
V for Vendetta
Lucky Number Slevin
Borat
The Science of Sleep

I missed a lot of movies this past year though(including babel, blood diamond, pans labrynth), the list may change once i netflix all the ones i missed.

most anticipated:

300
harry potter
new pirates
Transformers
new die hard
ocean's 13
ninja turtles
ghost rider

though really, 300 equals the anticipation level of all those other movies combined.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm counting Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men as 2007 movies, since they achieved wide release after January 1st.

New Die Hard is Live Free or Die Hard which comes out the first week in July I believe. New Pirates is Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At Worlds End which comes out May 25th.

FYI.

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Strider
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I forgot about Scanner. I loved the book. I love the director. I love the film style. I loved the acting and the actors. But something about the movie didn't do it for me. I'll have to watch it again.
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Euripides
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I spent most of last year watching older films, but here it goes:

7. The Prestige (?)
6. Catch a Fire
5. Thank You For Smoking
4. V for Vendetta
3. The Departed
2. Casino Royale (watched 3 times at the cinema)
1. Match Point

Overall it was a sea of B grade movies with a few diamonds in the rough.

Worst film of 2006 I have seen over 5 minutes of: Tokyo Drift

I haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth or A Scanner Darkly, but I'd imagine they would be up there. Borat is difficult to rank. Snakes on a Plane was the best monster/disaster/bizarre-crisis film I've seen, but I'm not putting it on my favourites list.

I'm yet to see Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers. Blood Diamond has only recently come out here; I'll be visiting the cinema soon.

Children of Men was a disappointment, PoC2 was more of the same and frankly not too entertaining.

I'm excited about 300, as historically outrageous as it is.

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Puffy Treat
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10. Over the Hedge
9. Akeelah and the Bee
8. Madea's Family Reunion
7. Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
6. Superman Returns
5. Little Miss Sunshine
4. Rocky Balboa
3. Casino Royale
2. Stranger Than Fiction
1. The Queen

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Lyrhawn
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I originally had Casino Royale on my list and bumped it off. The more I thought about it's flaws, the less it seemed like it deserved a top ten spot. I thought the opening chase scene, while cool, had way too many shades of obvious choreography about it, and it lasted too long. The movie had like three endings, and we still don't really know what happened at the end there. Daniel Craig was great for THIS Bond, but I didn't like the fact that he barely even had a speaking role until 45 minutes into the movie.

Plus, if I'm to really believe this was an old school Bond movie, that is, a prequel, he wouldn't have been playing Texas Hold 'Em (much as I enjoyed watching them play), they probably would have been playing Baccarat.

It was the multiple endings, the lack of early dialogue involving Craig, the poker (small I know), and some general bothersome feel to it that caused me to remove it from my list. On the other hand, the action was fun, the jokes were corny and Bond like, the plot was twisted, and Bond was his usual self, albeit younger and impetuous. Still, this didn't make up for the errors to me.

Spoiler warning
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I just plain didn't understand the actions of the girl at the end. I get that she did everything she did for the guy she loved, but she ended up sacrificing her life to save Bond, so one wonders why she kept up the charade for Algerian guy's sake if she was just going to end up dead anyway (and I'm guess he along with her). Why not just come clean to Bond? I think despite feeling betrayed (the whole thing does wonders to helping us understand his later interactions with women), he still would have made every effort to help her, as evidenced by his behavior during the struggle to try and rescue her. And I don't get the message beyond the grave thing. The whole end just bothered and confused me, nothing about it seemed very realistic. And they never told us why he smiled when he thought up the password for the bank transaction. I assumed there was a joke that we'd find out about later, but nothing.

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Euripides
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Casino Royale Spoilers follow

What do you mean when you say that we don't really know what happened at the end?

The bank account password was just Bond's way of telling Vesper that he had the hots for her from the very beginning.

I also found the ending confusing. Specifically, I still don't understand why Vesper locked herself in the elevator. She had to hand over the money to save her old boyfriend. Ok. There are still others in the organization left (such as Mr White). But since Bond had just eliminated most of the men holding the French Algerian boyfriend, I don't see the point in deliberately drowning herself.

This was the situation at that point:
- Most of the organization's henchmen were dead. Both Bond and Vesper were not in immediate danger (you know, apart from the collapsing building). They didn't know Mr White was there.
- If the organization decides to kill Vesper's old boyfriend, there's not much she can do.
- Vesper's death will not help her boyfriend's (or Bond's) chances of survival.

So what gives?

One possibility: She knows that the organization will eventually kill her. She couldn't bear to face Bond after betraying him, or wanted her last experiences with him to be romantic and uncomplicated.

Mmmm.... maybe. But ultimately, Vesper drowns because she just has to die by the end of the film. Like you say, it's a partial explanation of Bond's future attitude towards women.

I really liked the post-Vesper ending. That scene says to me, 'And this is how Bond was created.' When he says 'Bond, James Bond', that's the moment the Bond we know from the other movies comes into being.

Casino Royale isn't perfect, and perhaps not even a "great film". I'm just a sucker for the suave Bond aesthetic. It's all style and little substance, but style done right. Also, Eva Green is beautiful.

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Euripides
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And you must admit, CR had the best opening credits sequence ever seen in a Bond movie.
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Snail
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Hmm... I can't really think of a single truly great film that came out this year. That's why I'm not really attempting a Top 10 list...

I suppose the best films I saw were Match Point, V for Vendetta, Pan's Labyrinth and The Departed. But as stated, all of these were still pretty flawed films. Match Point was nowhere near Woody Allen's best stuff. V for Vendetta didn't do full justice to the comic it was based on. Pan's Labyrinth was probably the best of the bunch, but even so it was a disappointingly straightforward. And The Departed was only a passable remake of a truly great film.

Casino Royale should make the list, I suppose, for being the most entertaining film of the year.

And the biggest cinematic highlight for me was probably seeing My Neighbour Totoro at the cinema. But that was an older film...

As to what I am looking forward to next year, probably the new Evangelion films, they seem the most interesting. Don't know if they'll be released outside Japan within the year, though.

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TomDavidson
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1) Stranger Than Fiction
2) The Departed
3) Casino Royale
4) Children of Men
5) Cars
6) A Scanner Darkly
7) The Prestige
8) The Science of Sleep
9) Apocalypto
10) V for Vendetta

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Puffy Treat
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Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Nanny McPhee
Cars
Apocalypto
The Prestige
Eight Below
Aquamarine
The Devil Wears Prada
Monster House
The Night Listener
Flyboys
Charlotte's Web

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Edgehopper
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Of what I've seen:

Best comedies:

1) Stranger than Fiction
2) Thank You For Smoking
3) Clerks 2
4) Cars
5) Little Miss Sunshine (moved down on my list because parts of it just didn't work for me.)

Best dramas:

1) The Prestige
2) Casino Royale
3) Madea's Family Reunion
4) Pursuit of Happyness
5) Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (may move up once they finish the movie)

Worst/Most disappointing:

1) My Super Ex-Girlfriend (walked out during the most painful looking sex-scene ever to be shown in a comedy.)
2) Superman Returns (Pales in comparison to better comic book movies of recent years, particularly Batman Begins and Spiderman)
3) Borat (Went in expecting the meaningful provocation of the TV spots, got a 2 hour Polish joke.)

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twinky
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Hmmmmmmm. I can think of a few favourites off the top of my head:

The Departed
Water
Everything is Illuminated
L'horloge biologique
The Fountain
Stranger than Fiction

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Strider
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Everything is Illuminated was 2006? Okay, that would easily be in my top 3.

And as much as I love Aronofsky...I'll have to see The Fountain again before I pass judgement. I love weird and offbeat, but there were times in the theater when I was just plain bored.

Side note, you know how the last 10 minutes or so make the ending of 2001 seem normal? Well a group of guys snuck into our theater and caught only the last ten minutes of the fountain. I was pretty amused at what they must've thought when they left.

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Dr Strangelove
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In no particular order

V for Vendetta (Definitely my favorite)
The Good Shepherd
The Departed
The Prestige
Lucky Number Slevin
Cars

And thats all. But I think if I'd seen them, Blood Diamond, The Fountain, and A Scanner Darkly would be up there too. I almost put Children of Men on the list, but in all honesty, it fell flat for me. It was one of the better movies I've seen, but didn't really impress me overmuch.

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katharina
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In no particular order:

1. Pan's Labyrinth
2. The Departed
3. Stranger Than Fiction
4. The Painted Veil
5. The Queen
6. Thank You for Smoking
7. Little Miss Sunshine
8. Apocolypto
9. Children of Men
10.United 93

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Everything is Illuminated was 2006? Okay, that would easily be in my top 3.

I'm not sure, it may have been 2005. I know I saw it in 2006, though.

quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
And as much as I love Aronofsky...

I don't, at least not so far. I strongly disliked Pi, though I haven't seen Requiem for a Dream yet. I loved The Fountain anyway. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Side note, you know how the last 10 minutes or so make the ending of 2001 seem normal?

No...

...I mean, I didn't think either ending was overly obscure or confusing. Both The Fountain and 2001 made sense to me. Not like Pi or Eraserhead, which left me wondering why they'd even been made.

quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Well a group of guys snuck into our theater and caught only the last ten minutes of the fountain. I was pretty amused at what they must've thought when they left.

Heh, yeah, seeing just the last 10 minutes would have been completely nonsensical. [Big Grin]

Added: I haven't seen Children of Men yet, but I really want to see it.

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Strider
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See Requiem. That movie is beautiful. One of my favorites of all time.

Part of the problem may have been that I was waiting for The Fountain for over 2 years, possibly even 3(wow, looks it was 4). That's a long time to get your hopes up for a movie.

Oh, and The Fountain may have made sense to me if I'm interpreting it correctly. If I'm not...then I'm lost.

[ January 16, 2007, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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twinky
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Yeah, Requiem is definitely on my list. I have a local wiki on my Mac at home that I use as a scratch pad for books, movies, games, recipes... pretty much anything, really, and it links references automatically. [Cool]
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TheGrimace
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haven't seen enough this year but:
1) V for Vendetta
2) Stranger than Fiction
3) A Scanner Darkly
4) pursuit of Happyness
5) Pirates 2
6) We are Marshall (touching even though I don't like sports movies as a rule)
7) The Fountain (not saying it's great, but some aspects were definately interesting/beautiful)
8) Clerks 2

those that I need to catch up on:
Letters to Iwo Jima
Flags of Our Fathers
The Prestige
The Illusionist?
Casion Royale
The Departed
Lucky Number Sleven
The Good Shepherd

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SenojRetep
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My top 5 movies of 2006
1) Lady in the Water (theater)
2) The Illusionist (airplane)
3) X-Men 3: The Last Stand (library DVD)
4) The Lake House (library DVD)
5) Click (library DVD)

Umm, didn't really like any of those besides Lady in the Water, but they also happen to be the only movies of 2006 that I've seen (the parentheticals are the manner in which I saw them). So ... yeah; turns out it's hard to get out to the movies when you have really little kids. At least for me.

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katharina
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I'd like to take this moment to plug Pan's Labyrinth. It was really incredible - a wonderful movie.
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jasonepowell
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My list in no particular order:

Children of Men
Pan's Labyrinth
Little Miss Sunshine
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
Idiocracy
Stranger Than Fiction
Jesus Camp
Wordplay
Confederate States of America (I can't remember if this is a 2005 or 2006 flick)
Casino Royale

I still have yet to see Tristam Shandy, Deliver Us From Evil, Volver, or Half Nelson.

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Lyrhawn
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JP -

CSA was a 2004 movie.

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jasonepowell
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Well ok then. Guess the DVD came out in August, which is when I saw it. Whatever - it was still good.
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maui babe
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I kept a media journal this year, just for fun, and realized recently that I didn't see a single movie in the theater in 2006 - although I watched a lot of Netflix... I'm taking notes here and adding to my queue. I'm surprised at how many of these are already available on DVD.
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Liz B
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Cool! I'm excited because I just Netflixed Jesus Camp.

The sad thing about 2006 is I've just read these lists and there are VERY few that I'm like, yeah! I meant to go see that!!

The best movie I saw in 2006 was The Sting. Obviously not a new movie.

Sad, sad movie year for me.

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jasonepowell
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That's ok Liz, the best movie I saw all year was City of God, which wasn't new at all either.
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Olivet
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I loved The illusionist. More people should watch that movie. Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti(?) are so cool.

Movies I want to see, but probably won't have the disposable income to see until they hit video:

Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, The Prestigeand more, probably.

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Carrie
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I'm trying to think of all the movies I saw in '06, and am coming up short. I'll do what I can with what I remember, though:

8. X-Men 3: The Last Stand
7. Pursuit of Happyness
6. For Your Consideration
5. Casino Royale
4. The Departed
3. Little Miss Sunshine
2. V for Vendetta
1. The Queen. Absolutely fantastic.

I forget what else I've seen, but these stand out; and I definitely need to round out the year. And for the love of Zeus, see The Queen. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Excited for '07...

300 WOO!!!!!
Pirates 3
Harry Potter 5
...
and I'm counting 300 a few more times, because it looks frakking awesome.

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Euripides
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I've just seen Blood Diamond. It's wrestling for first or second place. Very powerful, with engaging characters and an excellent plot. It almost brought me to tears, which is rare.

Leonardo DiCaprio is officially and completely redeemed for his role in Titanic.

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twinky
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Catch Me if You Can, The Aviator and The Departed weren't enough? [Wink]
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Euripides
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Okay, so I'm slow to forgive. [Smile]
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PrometheusBound
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Little Miss Sunshine, The Illusionist and Casino Royalle were all great.

But I think that The History Boys may have the most staying powere, even if its transition from stage to screen was imperfect.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Euripides:
I've just seen Blood Diamond. It's wrestling for first or second place. Very powerful, with engaging characters and an excellent plot. It almost brought me to tears, which is rare.

Leonardo DiCaprio is officially and completely redeemed for his role in Titanic.

We're best friends now Eurip. I didn't think anyone else would like Blood Diamond as much as I did, or even near.
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TL
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1) The Departed
2) Brick
3) Monster House
4) The Devil and Daniel Johnston
5) The Illusionist
6) The Good Shepherd

Movies I didn't see:

American Dreamz
Nacho Libre
Stranger than Fiction
Marie Antionette
Talladega Nights
The Black Dahlia
All The King's Men
The Science of Sleep
Flags of Our Fathers
Babel
After Dark: Horror Fest
Notes on a Scandal
Children of Men
Pan's Labyrinth

Most disappointing:

A Scanner Darkly
Clerks 2
The Prestige

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Euripides
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Euripides:
I've just seen Blood Diamond. It's wrestling for first or second place. Very powerful, with engaging characters and an excellent plot. It almost brought me to tears, which is rare.

Leonardo DiCaprio is officially and completely redeemed for his role in Titanic.

We're best friends now Eurip. I didn't think anyone else would like Blood Diamond as much as I did, or even near.
[Big Grin]

I like to wait a couple of days before I write any detailed reviews of a film, to let it sink in a bit. Maybe I'll leave a comment on your blog in the coming days?

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Strider
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quote:
We're best friends now Eurip. I didn't think anyone else would like Blood Diamond as much as I did, or even near.
considering it's by the same director who did Glory AND The Last Samurai, I don't see how I couldn't love it. if and when i see it that is... [Smile]
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TL
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Glory is almost a perfect movie, but why does anyone like Dances With Samurai?
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Strider
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because regardless of the historical accuracy of it(which wasn't ALL that bad for Hollywood), it was a beautiful movie.
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Euripides
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Yep, since Katsumoto was a completely fictional character and presented that way (as opposed to being passed off at Saigo Takamori), it wasn't so historically outrageous. Exempting the Tom Cruise character's status as samurai, of course. Which, I suppose, is what TL was getting at when he called it 'Dances with Samurai'.
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Lyrhawn
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I'm curious to hear Puffy Treat's list of movies to look forward to in 2007. I'll be posting a list of my own shortly, just have to assemble the names and some short descriptions.
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Lyrhawn
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Okay, I just wasted the last three hours I should have spent sleeping or doing homework working on this. I posted on my review blog 29 movies that I'm most either looking forward to or interested in. I've included with them a tentative release date and short plot description of the movie. For more details, you can check YouTube or Apple Trailers to try and find the preview for it, but many of them don't have one yet.

(at the very least take a gander, I just wasted three hours looking them all up)

Edit to add: And just for the heck of it, here's a list that is on the site. But click my link if you want to see a quick summary of the movie:

Pan's Labyrinth
Smokin' Aces
Seraphim Falls
Music & Lyrics
The Astronaut Farmer
Wild Hogs
300
Lucky You
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Last Mimzy
Spiderman 3
28 Weeks Later
Shrek the Third
Pirates 3
Ocean's 13
Ratatouille
Live Free or DIE HARD! (Die Hard 4)
Transformers
Harry Potter 5
The Simpsons Movie
Rush Hour 3
The Waterhorse
Eastern Promises
The Golden Age
3:10 to Yuma
Beowulf
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass
I Am Legend
National Treasure 2

I cast a fairly wide net, so that's 29 movies to watch out for. Descriptions can be found here at my blog, the Royal Oak Review. (Pluggin' it pretty heavy aren't I?)

[ January 18, 2007, 05:37 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Strider
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I forgot about Smoking Aces. The coolest trailer for a movie I had seen in a long time(well...up until I saw the 300 trailer).
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SenojRetep
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Lyr-

Just out of curiosity, how many of your anticipated movies is an original. I count at least <edit>10</edit> sequels, 3 remakes/tv adaptations and 4 book adaptations (not counting HP:OotP, which I counted as a sequel). So at least <edit>18</edit>/29 are derivative in some way. I'm not knocking your list, I'm just wondering if we have a greater propensity to look forward to things we enjoyed in the past, and that's why we're so often let down by sequels and adaptations (expectations being higher and whatnot). Or at least, I am.

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SenojRetep
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From Lyr's blog:
quote:
Everything Smith has touched in the last decade has turned to gold
Golden
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Lyrhawn
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WWW also did over $220 million worldwide in 1999, to say nothing of the millions in DVD sales. Besides, I liked that movie.

Gold can have two meanings, gold as in money, or gold as in quality. I submit that every movie he's made in the last decade has achieved at least one of those qualities, and the majority have achieved both.

As to your other point: I've been talking about this with my best friend for awhile now, and 2007 is going to be the year of the sequels as far as I can tell. I counted 11 original, 9 sequels and 9 adaptations or remakes, but I guess it depends on the criteria you use.

There's a lot of good questions there. I've been saying for the last year that Hollywood, by and large, seems to be out of good original ideas so they are doing all remakes, adaptations of books and sequels to really well received movies. Maybe it's not that they are out of good ideas, but more that they have a formula that works, so they don't see a point in rocking the boat.

There are many, many more movies coming out this year, and many of them are quite original, but they also look formulaic and bland. I have a list of some 60 movies or so that I want to see this year, but not all of them are as anticipated as the 29 I listed. I think what we have to ask ourselves is: 1. Is there something inherently wrong with sequels? and 2. Are adaptations from tv or books bad?

To answer 1. No, there isn't anything inherently wrong with sequels. Ocean's 12 was a bad movie if you ask me, but not because they never should have done a sequel, they just used a crappy premise. Ocean's 13 looks better, and I see a lot of movies anyway, so I'm going to give it a chance. Similiarly, looking at all my sequels, I loved the majority of the movies that came before them. Die Hard, Rush Hour, Harry Potter, Pirates, Spiderman, those were all great series and I can't wait to see how they progress/end. Wanting to see the progression of a loved film franchise is what makes a lot of them so anticipated.

I'm a little annoyed by the cavalcade of adaptations we're getting. Hollywood is raping Marvel Comics for material at the moment, and I think there has to be an exec from New Line and Disney fighting each other with library cards to see who gets to adapt what children's fantasy novel series next. All of these might make wonderful films, but I also want to see a story I haven't seen before mixed in with them.

Now I'm just rambling really. But the answer is, if you mean non sequel non adaptations, roughly a third of my movies are original. If you consider that many of the sequels are coming from original concepts themselves, I'd say it's something more like half.

I think we're only really let down by sequels when the people making it are squeezing an idea that has no juice left in it for more pennies. Most everything that's being made for this year has plenty of mileage left in it, so I'm perfect willing to give them my pennies for it. With adaptations, I think they fail either because the person making it doesn't understand what fans of the original really love about it, or because some things just don't make good films.

I should add that often I don't even know which films I'm seeing are adaptations or not. "The Last Mimzy" is one I'm really looking forward to next year, but I hadn't even heard of it until I went on my 2007 search. I also left off a lot of really good looking independent films because I don't know if they're going to make it to my area or not. I could double the size of that list, made up entirely of new, original films if you wanted, I'm just not that excited about them yet.

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Euripides
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

Okay, I just wasted the last three hours I should have spent sleeping or doing homework working on this.

I sympathise. I should have been working and/or sleeping, but instead I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Fog of War, and tidied up my movie collection. Right now it's [Sleep] for me.
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