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Author Topic: What films were great in 2008?
Puffy Treat
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Sorry, couldn't resist.

Here's a list of the 2008 films I loved. They may or may not be "great". [Smile]

  • Cloverfield- It didn't reinvent the giant monster movie. It was just an old-fashioned monster film with a gimmick. But hey, the gimmick worked. Best experienced in the theater.
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day- The perfect 1930s style screwball comedy of manners. It just happened to be made in the 21st century! Amy Adams and Frances McDormand provide a strong emotional center that keeps the film from just being fun and froth.
  • Iron Man- Robert Downey Jr. joins the list of actors with the ability to channel fictional characters directly onscreen, rather than merely playing them. A promising start to the ambitious plan to create a cinematic Marvel Universe...one that both comic geeks and the normal public can enjoy.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian- As a Lewis purist, I have mixed feelings about this one. The recent DVD shows some wonderful from-the-book scenes I'd much rather have seen than the admittedly spectacular battle sequences. Still, Reepicheep was awesome. Exactly like I always knew he'd be.
  • Kung Fu Panda- Definitely the strongest film Dreamworks Animation has ever produced. Also a rare sweet, endearing performance from Jack Black. He should really play an ursine Luke Skywalker more often.
  • The Incredible Hulk- The Cinematic Marvel Universe pillar #2. Personally, I thought it was a blast. Far more successful than Ang Lee's arthouse experiment at capturing the characters and world.
  • WALL-E- Pixar's masterpiece. People seem divided on certain hot button issues the movie touched on, as well as the vastly different first, second, and third acts. Personally, I loved the entire thing. Tenderly.
  • The Dark Knight- The film that like some graphic novels before it demonstrates that the super-hero genre can be far more than mere escapism. The late Heath Ledger managed to make the Joker just as evil and demented as bat-fans always knew he was. Whether or not Nolan decides to follow this up, it's set a standard.
  • Bolt- A very sweet movie, in a year already jam-packed with funny CGI animal films. It definitely deserves more success than it's gotten. Not a return to greatness, but proof Disney can still pull off a back-to-the-basics crowd-pleaser.

2008 films I -really- wanted to see, but did not get to: Penelope, CJ7, Young@Heart, Son of Rambow, The Fall, Journey to the Center of the Earth, American Teen, Tropic Thunder, Burn After Reading, City of Ember, Doubt, Gran Turino, The Wrestler, Valkyrie, Waltz With Bashir, Let the Right One In, Slumdog Millionaire.

Movie I wish I had never seen: The Spirit. Just...The Spirit. Frank Miller manages to pull a Schumacher on the work of Will Eisner...a man Frank supposedly loves. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Edit: Film added. [Cool]

[ January 03, 2009, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: Puffy Treat ]

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Jhai
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I'll add in Slumdog Millionaire as a top film of 2008. A very Bombay-ian tale of an uneducated young man from the slums who, despite the odds, wins India's Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The story's not in the winning - the audience knows from the start that he's won - but in how his life has led to him knowing the answers to the questions. Despite being filmed partly in Hindi, and taking place in India, it's quite accessible to American viewers since it's also the classic underdog beating the odds. And it's a very, very fun (if occasionally horrifying) movie.
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Danlo the Wild
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Dark Knight

Iron Man

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Puffy Treat
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I'll add that to the list of future DVDs to check out, Jhai.

Many, I wish the local arthouse theater had a better selection. [Frown]

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brojack17
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Iron Man was surprisingly good. I have always liked RDJ and I am glad he is back. America loves a train wreck but we love it even more when we hear the hero stories about the train wreck. RDJ deserves the credit for making that movie the hit it was.

Kung Fu Panda was pretty good. I agree, it was the best Dreamworks has made.

Wall-E... I think it is in my top three Pixar films. It's so hard to pick. They are all so wonderful. I loved every minute of it.

The Dark Knight was really good, except for Batman. Actually, I should say except for Christian Bale. He does not do it for me as Batman, it's the growling voice thing. Heath Ledger was absolutely amazing. What a role to be remebered by.

Bolt was cute, but Disney is still lacking in the story department. Miley was not the right person for Penny. She has too deep of a voice for a 10-12 year old girl.

Penelope was OK, just ok.

Tropic Thunder was pretty funny. What you would expect.

Burn After Reading was not that good at all. I didn't really get it.

Despereaux was not good. The animation was outstanding, but the story was not very good at all.

Straight to DVD...

TinkerBell. It's about time they released it. It was suprisingly good considering how bad the straight to DVD movies Disney has pushed out for years have been. I'm glad John Lassiter pulled it back for a rework. It was good enough to go to the theaters and I'm surprised it didn't after the rework.

edit to put in the boldness

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T:man
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Tropic Thunder was definitely the funniest movie of the year, you should really check it out Puffy.
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scifibum
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I didn't think Tropic Thunder was all that great. It had some moments.

quote:
Iron Man was surprisingly good. I have always liked RDJ and I am glad he is back. America loves a train wreck but we love it even more when we hear the hero stories about the train wreck. RDJ deserves the credit for making that movie the hit it was.

...

The Dark Knight was really good, except for Batman. Actually, I should say except for Christian Bale. He does not do it for me as Batman, it's the growling voice thing. Heath Ledger was absolutely amazing. What a role to be remebered by.

Yep, and yep. On all points.
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Jeorge
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I take my nephew (who is 17 yrs old and has Downs) to see a lot of kids' movies. Tonight I got him to pick his favorite movie. I did this by process of elimination - I'd give him two to choose from, and he'd tell me which he liked better, then I'd pit that one against another.

Daniel's top picks were Prince Caspian, Bolt, and Wall-E.

My favorites were Dark Knight and Iron Man.

I like Bale as batman, and I don't entirely blame him for the growling voice thing. I suspect someone told him "You need to do a different voice when you're in batman identity," and I think someone along the way should have realized, "This growling thing is only going to be barely sufferable on the first viewing, and will be entirely insufferable on subsequent viewings," and then said, "Never mind, Bale, use your normal voice."

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BelladonnaOrchid
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I'd have to say that my favorite movies this year were Wall-E and Iron Man.
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TomDavidson
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Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day is a great book, too. I'm glad the publisher rediscovered it.
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Shanna
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Iron Man: I spent New Years Eve watching this with some friends and a bottle of champagne. No matter how many times I see it, I still love it. The big climatic fight scene is still boring, but I just adore RDJ. I'd watch him for hours just making Tony Stark-ish jabs and jokes.
The Dark Knight: Brilliant entirely for Heath Ledger. And maybe a few Gary Oldman moments.
Wall-E: Pixar once again can do no wrong
Bolt: Horribly cliched but still so lovable
Young@Heart: Just wonderful! The ending is superb.
Kung Fu Panda: Dreamworks still can't compete with Pixar, but this is their best effort since the first Shrek. Though I found it annoying that they cast all these big name actors for the Furious Five and then didn't give them any lines, with the exception of Tiger.
Tropic Thunder: Personally, I found this laugh-out-loud hysterical. I hate Ben Stiller movies but the rest of the cast so wonderfully overwhelms him that I not only tolerate this movie, I loved it.
Repo! The Genetic Opera: Wierd but I love the music and it had some great belly laughs. Totally worth it just to see Anthony Stewart Head playing ventriloquist with a half-dead body. Paris Hilton also did a great job of...well, playing herself. I laughed, I sang along, I cried at the end. Plus I got to meet the director and writer. Good times! Can't wait for the dvd.

Still need to see: Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, Burn After Reading, Let the Right One In, Choke. and Troubled Waters

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
...
2008 films I -really- wanted to see, but did not get to: [b]Penelope, CJ7...

CJ7 ended up being really a kids movie, maybe a decent kids movie, but not really a Stephen Chow movie. I guess while Shaolin Soccer and Kung-Fu Hustle were targeted at the Hollywood market, CJ7 was targeted at the kids market (and not even American kids so much as Chinese kids). This can be good or bad, depending on your POV.

(Bad from my POV, since I am mostly a fan of Stephen Chow's 90s era films)

The review at lovehkfilm is pretty spot on
http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/cj7.html

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Lostinspace
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Skip Journey to the Center of the Earth...the really did a bad job with it. Love the book and love the original movie (maybe not original but a made for tv one I think) this one was just kind of bad.
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Rodger Brown
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Great year for movies. Good sequels, great special effects and new innovative ways of telling stories.

Highlights

Iron Man
Dark Knight
Hulk
Indiana Jones- Yes Indiana Jones it was fun
Chronicles of Narnia
Wall E
Quantom of Solace
Horton Hears a Who
Eagle Eye
Bedtime Stories
Cloverfield

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Nighthawk
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quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
Skip Journey to the Center of the Earth...the really did a bad job with it.

I found it amusing, but yeah they could have done it much better. My son was upset that the dinosaur only got like five minutes of screen time.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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Slumdog was good. It was just lacking in the necessities that make good movies great. I think the movie's overall lighthearted tone is really what undermined the whole thing. I think when you go from watching this to something like The Class or The Wire, you'll see what I mean. Its still a movie that you shouldn't miss.

Let The Right One In was probably one of the better films this year. Its not so much of a horror flick or a love story or a coming of age tale as a mix of the three. The screenplay is refreshing after watching pretty much every other Hollywood film that is jampacked with shaky camera work and wierd camera angles. The movie's overall subtleness in its themes and storytelling is what makes it good.

Gran Turino was okay. Clint Eastwood's great performance is pretty much what holds the entire movie together, its also rather funny, but don't feel too bad if you miss it.

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Sterling
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I didn't think Hulk was a great movie, but it was definitely much better than I expected. And certainly, as Puffy says, better than the Ang Lee version. (The "the Hulk never actually kills anyone" thing in Lee's movie got to be about as ridiculous as the parachuting pilots in old G.I. Joe cartoons.)

Iron Man and The Dark Knight were both outstanding, in wildly different ways for "a pair of superhero movies".

Haven't seen Slumdog Millionare, but I may soon... My brother-in-law was kind enough to get us a gift certificate for our local "really-nice-non-chain" movie theater for Christmas.

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TL
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Because I like to do this every year, here is my top 10 (subject to change) for 2008.

01. Slumdog Millionaire
02. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
03. Kung Fu Panda
04. The Wackness
05. Iron Man
06. City of Ember
07. Ghost Town
08. Snow Angels
09. Rocknrolla
10. The Wrestler
11. The Dark Knight (in case you were wondering)

I didn't actually think it was a great year for movies, and I have some reservations about everything on the list after 03. The top 3 were movies that I really, really liked. 4-11 were movies that I liked, but which may not have made it onto the list in a normal year. In a normal year, 4 5 and 6 might (maybe) have been 9 10 and 11. Who knows?

I made a list of all the movies of 2008 that I actually liked (at all), and there were only about 20 movies on the list! So either the movies weren't great, or weren't to my tastes, or I grow more bitter with each passing year, or something, I don't know, man.

Movies I wanted to see but haven't yet: Paranoid Park, American Teen, Man on Wire, Rachel Getting Married, Synechdoche New York, Role Models, Repo the Genetic Opera, Milk, Revolutionary Road. I have a feeling that I'm going to like a few of these an awful lot when I finally find the time to see them. But you never know.

Oh man the sun is coming up. I should go to bed. Good night, hatrack.

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Shanna
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^TL, "Repo: The Genetic Opera" came out on dvd today! You should rent it!

And no worries, I know I'm a complete fangirl about that movie.

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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
2008 films I -really- wanted to see, but did not get to: CJ7.

It was okay. Not much else to say about it.

Edit: Get Smart. I loved the series, and though the movie updated some things, I thought Steve C. pulled off the part of Max with flying colors. I could watch that one repeatedly, and it'd make me laugh every time. Especially the crossbow scene.

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Corwin
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Hmm, no mention of Hancock, In Bruges, Traitor?

Anyway, there are some movies I'd still like to see from 2008 that might change my opinion, but overall I'd say last year was nothing special in terms of movies.

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Sterling
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In Bruges was a strange little film. It definitely tried some new things, and I'm glad that I saw it, but I don't know that I'd call it a great film. Maybe because there wasn't anyone in it I could really identify with.
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lobo
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I may be the only one, but I thought Wall-e was boring...
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Lisa
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As far as Slumdog goes, this pretty much killed any interest I might have had in seeing it.

The film that I'm kind of stunned not to have seen on this thread isn't technically a film, in the sense of being in the theater, but I'd count it anyway.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
.

The film that I'm kind of stunned not to have seen on this thread isn't technically a film, in the sense of being in the theater, but I'd count it anyway.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

You're stunned that an internet mini-series was not included in a thread about movies? [Smile]
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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
I may be the only one, but I thought Wall-e was boring...

You're far from the only one. Judging by the animation blog-o-sphere, WALL-E has a very healthy hatedom going. [Smile]
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
The film that I'm kind of stunned not to have seen on this thread isn't technically a film, in the sense of being in the theater, but I'd count it anyway.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

You're stunned that an internet mini-series was not included in a thread about movies? [Smile]
Well, if you want to put it that way...
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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
As far as Slumdog goes, this pretty much killed any interest I might have had in seeing it.

That article's tone completely contradicts what all of my Indian friends have said about the movie. And the violence is bad, yes, but all of it (or variations thereof) occurs regularly in India and other developing countries.
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TL
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Most overrated movies of 2008:

1. In Bruges (which isn't even very good, in my opinion. A re-hash of a thousand other movies just like it, but with different accents.)
2. The Dark Knight (which is very good! but not as good as they say it is.)

Most underappreciated movie of 2008:

Speed Racer!

Lisa, that article was wacky. "Poverty porn?" Let's, as a society, as a world, make a pact, never to tell a story about poor people again.... There is only room in this world now for stories about well-to-do people living comfortable lives. All other stories are henceforth forbidden.

If Dr. Horrible had been a movie I'd have placed it on my list at #1.

Corwin, maybe it's just me, but I really did not care very much for Hancock. I thought the first half was great, the second half seemed like a different movie, and it was a movie I didn't like. I also thought it was absurd to the point of almost being offensive that a movie would posit, as a good thing, the idea of ruining the moon for the sake of advertising. I don't know why that particular point seemed so sucky to me, but it definitely made my enjoyment of the movie less. Maybe it's because I like the moon, and hate advertising. Who knows? I don't like to get to that degree of self-examination. [Big Grin]

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TL
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Oh. I saw Revolutionary Road. I do not need to update my list. Although well-made in all respects, it was frustrating to watch and brimming with this hateful anguish and misery... A little hard to take 2 hours of it, when there is no relief, and when you disagree with the point it seemed to be trying to make. [Smile]
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
I may be the only one, but I thought Wall-e was boring...

My dad slept through it the first time and said he thought it was the worst of the PIXAR movies, then when he saw it again (and stayed awake) he said it was the best.

I suggest you have your sweetheart keep your eyes open through the thing and try again.

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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
Most overrated movies of 2008:

1. In Bruges
2. The Dark Knight

Most underappreciated movie of 2008:

Speed Racer!


Ouch. Sorry man, but if you hold Speed Racer in however high esteem I'm not sure I can take your other opinions seriously! [Wink]

quote:
Corwin, maybe it's just me, but I really did not care very much for Hancock. I thought the first half was great, the second half seemed like a different movie, and it was a movie I didn't like.
Yeah, I guess most people reacted like that and felt it was two movies in one. I did like the two halves though. Maybe it was the departure from the classic super-hero movies that made it seem really great for me, not sure. I'll have to watch it again. [Big Grin]
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Humean316
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I didn't like too many of the movies out this year, but I can say that there were a few that were simply great.

1. Wall-E: Amazing, intelligent and quite a good love story. I loved the optimism and romanticism that pervaded the movie, and though he didn't speak much and neither did she, I loved the main characters.

2. The Dark Knight: My favorite hero is Batman, and nobody has gotten it right in films until Nolan came along, but this movie was more than just a comic-book movie. It was much, much better.

3. The Wrestler: A realistic portrayal of a wrestlers life that had heart and great performances. Simply a great film that made me emotional over Mickey Rourke. The movie had to succeed somewhere...

4. Kung Fu Panda: Great film.

Other than that, I thought the rest of the movies that I saw in 2008 lacked. In particular, I thought Iron Man was highly overrated, as was Slumdog and Burn After Reading.

Oh and even though Dr. Horrible wasn't a movie, I did not care for that either. That should get me in good with sci-fi fans, right?

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
Repo! The Genetic Opera: Wierd but I love the music and it had some great belly laughs. Totally worth it just to see Anthony Stewart Head playing ventriloquist with a half-dead body. Paris Hilton also did a great job of...well, playing herself. I laughed, I sang along, I cried at the end. Plus I got to meet the director and writer. Good times! Can't wait for the dvd.

OMG, OMG!!

omg! That's me on the far left. n_n
I had never fangirled so much in my life. (Except for that one time when I met Orson Scott Card.)

Chase the morning! Yield for nothing!

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Shanna
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Great picture, Alt!! I'm so glad you got to see it in theaters. It was great on the big screen. Which road tour was that from?

I saw the movie and met the guys at the New Orleans stop.

Darren, Terrance and Me
Graverobber signed my anatomy
Pic of me in last minute Shilo costume

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Herblay
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Best:
Son of Rambow
Pirates of the Great Salt Lake
Speed Racer
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Wall-E
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Outsourced
Gamers: Dorkness Rising
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Tale of Despereaux
City of Ember
Iron Man
Incredible Hulk
Meet Bill
Transsiberian

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
As far as Slumdog goes, this pretty much killed any interest I might have had in seeing it.

That article's tone completely contradicts what all of my Indian friends have said about the movie. And the violence is bad, yes, but all of it (or variations thereof) occurs regularly in India and other developing countries.
I wasn't impressed by that article at all, and it made no impression on my desire to see this movie. Making a movie about a situation doesn't invalidate the actual situation, IMO, and may even bring some much needed worldwide attention to some of the problems.
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