The Best and Worst of 2007
Although most of the entertainment news this year has involved one or another celebrities going to prison and/or rehab as well as the infamous writer’s strike, I think it can still be said that it was a good year for movies. Week after week there were good, if not great, films to check out. The one thing I love the most about writing for The Beaumont Journal is that I get to pick what to review and most of the time I skip the stinkers. This year a few stinkers were inevitable, but overall, I am very pleased with what I consider to be the best 10 films of 2007
1) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This extraordinary musical about a murderous barber and his thirst for revenge is one of the best movie musicals to ever hit the big screen. Burton proves himself to be the perfect choice to direct with this macabre masterpiece.
2) Juno. While it was a great year for pregnancy flicks (Knocked Up, Waitress), Juno takes the cake with it’s story about a 16-year-old girl that decides to put her baby up for adoption. It is not only the best written film of the year, but one of the funniest as well.
3) Atonement. This WWII epic romance starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy is a breathtaking and heartbreaking love story that could prove dangerous at this year’s Oscars.
4) American Gangster. Like a cross between Scarface and The French Connection, this crime drama is an amazingly crafted saga.
5) Ratatouille. Terrific story-telling and eye-popping visuals make this animated gem one of Pixar’s best yet (and that’s saying something).
6) Persepolis. While the animation might not impress you, the story, about a young French girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, most assuredly will. This film will be coming soon to Houston theaters.
7) The Lives of Others. I’m a sucker for good endings and this one has the best ending I’ve seen in years. The rest of it is pretty darn great as well. While it won the 2006 Oscar for best foreign film, I’m including it here since it didn’t open in Texas until February.
8) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. While the performances by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck are terrific, the poetic screenplay by writer/director Andrew Dominick (based on the Ron Hansen novel) and the mesmerizing cinematography by legend Roger Deakins make this western a true classic.
9) Once. The musical for those who hate musicals. This film had the highest rottentomatoes.com score of the year and is worthy of being added to both your DVD and CD collection.
10) Superbad. I laughed at this film so hard, and it brought me so much joy, that I just had to include it in my top 10.
Films I hated to leave out include: Lars and the Real Girl, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Charlie Wilson’s War, War Dance, Sicko, Hairspray, No End In Sight, Knocked Up, Across the Universe, Hot Fuzz, and Transformers.
1) Evan Almighty. Proof that the brilliant Steve Carell is not infallible. Thank God we still have The Office.
2) Fantastic Four. Turn down the volume or listen to the film in French without subtitles and this might not be a bad little movie. Too bad the dialogue in inescapable.
3) Wild Hogs. I wish they had left the pen closed.
4) I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. We should be striking these writers!
5) Dan In Real Life. I liked it better the first time I saw it – when it was called The Family Stone.