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Top Ten Films of 2008

Posted by: Matthew Turner 18/12/2008 @ 13:08
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 481
Films seen this week: Yes Man, The Tale of Despereaux, Twilight, Pretty Peaches, La Boheme, The Age of Stupid, Doubt, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2

The Top Ten Films of 2008
And I thought compiling LAST year's Top Ten was difficult. What with one thing and another, I seem to have seen around 100 more films this year than I normally do (I aim to get to 500 by New Year's Eve), so hammering around 450 eligible films into a top ten was nigh on impossible. Still, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, this is my final list of the top ten films of 2008, with There Will Be Blood easily my favourite film of the year:

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Visitor
3. In Search of a Midnight Kiss
4. The King of Kong
5. [REC]
6. Persepolis
7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
8. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
9. Man On Wire
10. Iron Man

Honourable mentions for the top ten films of 2008 go to the following, particularly the first five, which were really painful to lose: No Country For Old Men, Lonesome Jim, Waltz With Bashir, Sweeney Todd, Shotgun Stories, Taxi to the Dark Side, The Silence of Lorna, Trouble the Water, The Devil Came on Horseback, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies.

Watchmen Comic Con Footage
The more I see of Watchmen, the more I'm convinced it's going to be THE movie of 2009. Man, I hope Warners and Fox can resolve their differences in time to make the March 6th opening date. This video is the 3 minutes of footage that director Zack Snyder showed at San Diego Comic Con this year and it shows lots of stuff that hasn't made it into the trailers yet, including, finally, our first proper glimpse of Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter. I like the music they've used for this footage too. It's also worth checking out the new theatrical trailer
here, which gives you a better idea of the plot than previous trailers have done. Can. Not. Wait.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only two new entries this week, with Alex Gibney's superb Hunter S. Thompson documentary and Twilight both making it into the top ten and Summer disappearing from London screens after only two weeks (though you can still catch it in the provinces). Meanwhile, I've Loved You So Long is still hanging in there and this week is probably your last chance to catch Trouble The Water. Looking at that list, though, something has just struck me – they're all pretty depressing films. Indeed, if Quantum of Solace is the closest thing in the list to a feelgood movie, that's a pretty poor state of affairs. Here's hoping for cheerier fare in 2009...

1. Trouble the Water
2. Waltz With Bashir
3. I've Loved You So Long
4. Hunger
5. Quantum of Solace
6. The Baader Meinhof Complex
7. Lemon Tree
8. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
9. North Face
10. Twilight

DVD of the Week: Man On Wire (released 26th December, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Man On Wire, directed by James Marsh, which is one of the best films of 2008 (see above). Part documentary and part dramatic reconstruction, the film details the so-called "artistic crime of the 20th century", when, on 7th August 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped onto a high wire strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and performed for 45 minutes. Utterly gripping from start to finish, it's a brilliantly directed, hugely entertaining documentary that tells a genuinely stunning story and paints a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary man. Now, I had intended to review the extras here, but unfortunately, my review copy didn't have any. Still, the press release reliably informs me that they include: a commentary by director James Marsh, producer Simon Chinn and executive producer Jonathan Hewes, an interview with Philippe Petit, a short film by James Ricketson, about the Sydney Harbour Bridge crossing and an animated short narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal. For what it's worth, I also highly recommend Petit's book (To Reach The Clouds), which perfectly complements the film.

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