Movie of 2008

I enjoyed your selections for the year’s best songs and albums, so look forward to seeing what you come up with for this one.

Do include a link to the trailer, if you can.

I’m thinking of De Niro and Pacino together again (in ‘Righteous Kill’); Will Smith as ‘Hancock’ (does he do a film a year, that man?); history being given the Hollywood gloss-over treatment in ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’; another Western adaptation of an Asian cult horror (‘The Eye’); and the new additions to the Batman, Indiana Jones, James Bond and Star Trek franchises.

Just please don’t mention ‘Mamma Mia!’ unless to say that it made you nauseous.

Although I watch a lot of films (in bursts, rather than closely keeping up with developments), I tend to discover older titles that I missed on their release. I haven’t yet seen any of the above, preferring a DVD to a visit to the cinema, so I’d particularly welcome your thoughts on which are worth watching and which should be given a wide berth when the newer have been transferred to disc.

Don’t worry if you’re a year out: late-2007 cinema releases which didn’t appear on DVD or Blu-ray until 2008 are fine.

In that case, ‘Cloverfield’ is the first that springs to mind. Seen that?

Throw in any stray thoughts you may have on the quality and value-for-money aspect of cinemas these days, the choice of films shown at the dominant multiplex chains, DVD prices, the last film you went to see or DVD bought, etc.

The chatroom opens at 15:00 (UK), so please bring the conversation in with you.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

106 thoughts on “Movie of 2008”

  1. I watched Burn After Reading the other night and it was the biggest lot of ol’ dribble!

    Hancock was superb!

    Liam Neeson, who is a relation of mine, Ballymena man, N. Ireland, has a few coming out as well which should be good!

    1. Rather liked Burn After Reading myself. Not as good as some of the Cohens other films but still a cut above the usual Hollywood tosh.

      On the other hand I thought Hancock was utter tripe.

      Funny old thing personal taste, ain’t it!?

    2. It’s a wonderful thing, Dan. Thanks for that.

      I have no wish whatsoever to see ‘Hancock’, by the way. I imagine I’d also end up likening it to stomach lining.

      As fine an actor as he may be, Will Smith is on my Most Annoying list.

    3. The storyline is always secondary in films such as Hancock, special effects sort of take over from the plot like in most movies nowadays… but you don’t really know ’til you’ve seen it, I suppose… fair chance and all that.

    4. I’d particularly welcome your thoughts on which are worth watching.


      I’ve had another read at your reply to my post… you said you would welcome opinions on films, ie Hancock, that are worth watching, I felt Hancock was worth watching, for you to dismiss it in the manner you did after saying you welcomed an opinion on it is a waste of my fucking time!

      I’ve been on this blog a fair while now and have always tried to contribute to it positively, for my comment to be returned to me in such a manner is just plain rude.

      Stick this blog up your arse… seeing as we’re on this low level with each other.

    5. I’m with Andrew. “Pursuit of Happyness” is quite the movie. See it for the strength of the screenwriting, the stunning yet true story, and to see Will Smith play a different character.

    6. I’ve had another read at your reply to my post… you said you would welcome opinions on films, ie Hancock, that are worth watching, I felt Hancock was worth watching, for you to dismiss it in the manner you did after saying you welcomed an opinion on it is a waste of my fucking time!

      I’m sorry you feel that way, Paul.

      Just because it doesn’t appeal to me on first impressions doesn’t mean that I can’t reconsider, or that I – or anyone else – wouldn’t be interested in hearing that someone enjoyed it.

      Isn’t that what opinions are all about? Isn’t that more interesting than everyone agreeing all the time?

      Apparently, no.

    7. Love Liam Neeson but his newest ‘Taken’ you should give a miss. Very predictable and ‘ho hum’ but he is always watchable.

  2. Well, a 2008 movie I’d definitely recommend, from the top of my head right now, is “Blindness”. For sure my favourite 2008 movie, alongside with a totally different kind of movie “The Dark Knight”. You can’t compare… and of course “Wall-e”.

    I also tend to watch older titles, and I choose the movies I watch in theatres very carefully (at least I try to reduce my disappointments).

    Quite often I catch a movie that is years old that makes it to my top 10 immediately. That happened a year ago with “Blade Runner”, which I caught on a re-run at the theatres. Amazing movie.


    1. Blade Runner – Directors Cut. I just saw that a couple of weeks ago since I’m a huge Blade Runner fan. It is very good and well worth the watch even if you know the original by heart! 😀

  3. Films of 2008:

    “JCVD” : arthouse thriller made more effective by JCVD
    “Man On Wire” : thrilling documentary
    “Tropic Thunder” : ridiculous quotable comedy
    “The Mist” : intellectual horror, a dying breed

    The cinema is too expensive, and the choice at my cinema is ridiculously small.

    1. ‘The Mist’ was excellent. It pulls no punches, especially at the end. If you let yourself go in this movie, you might just think you’re tripping. Not a bad ride for a couple of bucks, and a fun, freaky trip.

  4. So how much is it for a ticket to the cinema in the U.K. these days? And is that with or without the refreshment and popcorn?



    1. Our arthouse is £7.50 (less £2 for members) excluding popcorn – but we are more likely to have glass of wine…

      Multiplex is c. £5.50 plus rip-off prices for very dodgy cheesy nachos and something which claims to be a hot dog but clearly isn’t.

      Of course that’s not as many $ as it was a year ago!

  5. Good one again!!! OK. Movies I really liked from 2008:

    “The Bucket List” springs to mind. A great film with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson who discover they only have months left to live so decide to live out their dreams.

    “Cloverfield”, mentioned above. Great movie! Although the camera wobble does grate. But the movie really sucks you in. There’s a great sense of panic.

    “In Bruges”, I loved. Always been a fan of the black comedies. Really worth a watch!!

    “Doomsday”, haha! That just sprung to mind. A totally off-the-wall movie. Deffo not for movie snobs or people looking for something with class. But it’s a crazy movie with a cool 80s soundtrack in parts.

    “Tropic Thunder”, Tom Cruise has never had a better role. He should do more comedy. Very funny movie.

    That’s all I can think of. My brain always starts to fizz when I try to think of movie lists for some reason.

    I gotta list some baddies, ones that I saw (not always by choice) and thought “what a waste of time that was”:

    Rambo (new one), Saw V, The X-files: I Want to Believe, Mamma Mia! (agghhh), Sex and the City (agghhh).

    One movie I will recommend though, ‘cos it’s my 100% fave is called Oldboy. It’s a South Korean film with one of the best stories that I’ve ever encountered. Out in 2003 so a mini bit off the topic time line. But it’s a gem.

    1. Rambo IV was surprisingly good. The rest of the movies you list (In Bruges, Saw V, Tropic Thunder etc., not really).

      But I’m replying to you because you mentioned one of my top favourite movies: Oldboy.


  6. Burn After Reading was great, particularly on Blu-ray!

    I enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire and In Bruges was pretty funny too.

  7. We went to the cinema just one time last year but did see a good movie. “21” which is the story of how several MIT students and a professor beat the system in Las Vegas. Very good movie.



  8. The Dark Knight was definitely high up there on my list of great movies last year. I saw a bunch of movies that didn’t leave much of an impression on me (which is why I don’t remember them) and I also didn’t see a lot of movies in general. I did really enjoy Marley and Me… I went through three dogs before I graduated high school, so the life cycle of a family pet is very familiar to me…

    I think the Incredible Hulk also came out last year – I never watched the other, but this one I saw in a flight to London and it kept me sane on a horrible trip… that might mean that it’s good, hmm?

  9. One of my faves from last year had to be ‘Son of Rambow’ despite watching it in a cinema with some people who shouldn’t ever be allowed near a cinema! This is NOT a kids film… It’s for us ‘seventies/eighties’ kids. 😉

    Last movie at cinema: Slum Dog Millionaire
    Next movie at cinema (Friday): Frost Nixon

    P.S. My father recently discovered that he and therefore I, are distantly related to the aforementioned Mr Nixon. 😮

    1. Here in the Northern part of America, it would not be wise in many circles to tell anyone you’re in the Nixon family. Of course, there are vast stretches of the American South where that would make you a celebrity…

  10. I loved Wes Anderson’s ‘The Darjeeling Limited’. If you have enjoyed other Wes Anderson films like The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic and Rushmore, then you’ll love this one too. Slow moving, introspective, wryly funny, stylistic, poignant – all the things you’d expect, really.

    This year I’m really looking forward to Fantastic Mr. Fox.

  11. A movie from 2005 that you must watch is “The Sea Inside” with Javier Bardem… just an incredible film…. here’s the gist:

    Based on the profoundly moving true story that captured the world’s attention, The Sea Inside is about Spaniard Ramón Sampedro (played by Oscar® nominee Javier Bardem), who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. The Sea Inside is the story of Ramón’s relationships with two women: Julia (Belén Rueda) a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa (Lola Dueñas), a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others. A truly joyous experience, The Sea Inside celebrates the nature of freedom and love, and the mystery and beauty of life.

  12. Batman: The Dark Knight was awesome. It’s hard to have a second movie in the series which is better than the first, however this one is. The Other Boleyn Girl was good, not sure to the historical accuracy, but a good movie like Elizabeth: The Golden Age where history was a little ‘Hollywooded’! Iron Man was a good family movie, the tendency it seems right now is for movie companies to make movies from comics and this one is worth watching. Another good family movie would be The Spiderwick Chronicles based on the popular kids books.

    Don’t bother watching Babylon: A.D. with Vin Diesel. Not worth renting either, and I like Vin Diesel but this is one sci-fi movie he should had said no to. X-Files: I Want To Believe, not good if you are a fan of the series (they stretched an hour show 2 hours), but may be tolerable if you’ve never seen the show or have an idea who Mulder or Scully are!

    But as usual, it is best to watch the movie and determine yourself whether or not it was good. I have loved many movies critics have hated! 😀 Enjoy!


    1. Thanks for that, Scott. Very helpful.

      I always liked Jack Nicholson as The Joker in the first ‘Batman’, but keep hearing that Heath Ledger genuinely deserved the plaudits for ‘The Dark Knight’. Not sure I fancy it, though.

      I avoided ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’, but might have a look just out of curiosity. I think Helen Mirren’s portrayal in Channel 4’s two-parter would take some beating.

      ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ is on my list.

  13. I hear that if you begin Roger Water’s “Ça Ira” at the start of “Mamma Mia” about a minute in you get explosive diarrhea…

  14. I don’t recall having been in a cinema last year… Maybe the other bloggers give me some hints of what I could see this year.

    Best regards,

    1. FEd,

      Do you still have some of those action figures?? The original ones go for some good money these days.



  15. I didn’t go to the cinema that much last year (I could buy the DVD for almost the same price as seeing it in the cinema…) but what I did see, I really enjoyed.

    I loved “The Dark Knight”, I just thought it was epic. I’ll admit, when Heath died beforehand, and there was all this hoo-ha about him being Oscar worthy, I thought it was purely hype, to celebrate his final role. Surely it couldn’t be that good?!

    However, when I went to see it, I can honestly say I agree. It was masterful, probably the best movie character I’ve ever seen.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed “WALL-E”, which had an extremely good message, I thought (though slightly hypocritical maybe…)

    As for DVDs, my favourite release was Into The Wild. Beautiful, haunting, a true classic. As is the soundtrack. I urge you all to go watch this film, it really did change me… I only regret that I didn’t go to see it on the big screen, it would have been amazing! 🙂

  16. A very poetical movie at least for its first half – and thus my favourite for 08 – is Wall-E.

    It is very sad on one hand, how “wasted” this city is – and on the other hand the naive friendliness of this little robot at its daily Sisyphean work.

    Good music, as well, esp. Peter Gabriel’s contribution.

  17. I’m looking forward to the release of Gran Torino next week. It stars Clint Eastwood and was produced and directed by him too, so it should be good. Apparently it’s rumoured to be his last film appearance but I hope that’s just idle speculation. I reckon if the scripts are good enough he’ll carry on staring in them.

    I wouldn’t mind going to see Frost Nixon at some point, but I usually plan to go and see a film at the cinema but never actually get round to it. Watching films at home is a lot more convenient.

    As for Valkyrie the history department at my school organised for those of us studying A Level history to go and see it one Thursday evening (and they say that education standards aren’t slipping). 😉 I just stayed at home and watched ‘A Bridge Too Far’ instead – better acting and far more accurate.

    My favourite release of last year was

    The Who Live at Kilburn. Great music, great quality (I opted for the Blu-ray release) and a piece of music history. It got a short cinema release in America I think but unfortunately it wasn’t shown in cinemas over here. 🙁

  18. I also no longer go to the cinema. I got fed up of people on the phone or chatting and having to watch 20 minutes of adverts.

    I have to say that I was disappointed with Dark Knight. I felt it lacked structure. The first one I loved. I would recommend that even if you don’t like superhero films. Speaking of which, Iron Man was good.

    The Mist I enjoyed. I think Thomas Jane is a very good actor. Stander is another one of his that I would recommend. Also good having some Dead Can Dance in the soundtrack.

    Was The Prestige last year? Maybe the year before. That is superb.

    By the way FEd, Star Trek isn’t out yet. Looking forward to that one.


  19. Definitely recommend :-

    Slumdog Millionaire – funny, feel-good and yet gritty also
    The Reader – thought provoking, fine performance by Kate Winslett
    Sweeney Todd – a surprisingly good listen and marvellously grimy London
    Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (Kristin Scott Thomas) – great character piece, if a bit spoiled by weak denouement
    Quantum of Solace was OK, if a bit low on plot
    Hancock – quite enjoyable, good FX

    And I’m sorry to say I enjoyed Mamma Mia 😮 also – so disregard the above.

  20. Well, I haven’t been to any flicks at all due to work and a little toddler but one of my “newish” favourite films at the moment is ‘Troy’ (now probably dated) . It is so close to Homer’s ‘Illiad’ even down to Hector being dragged around by Achilles’s horse.

    I am a huge fan of Homer and ancient Greek stuff.

    1. Julie:

      I liked this too. Also, the actor who played Hector was good in ‘Munich’.

      The actor’s name has slipped my mind.

  21. Um… I haven’t seen a film in a theater since 1998.

    The only recent film I’ve come to love and recent is a pretty relative term here is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I have watched over and over again until I can sing along with Danny Elfman.

    I like documentaries about music, mostly. I’m not a good date, sorry.

    1. Well Jill, engaging conversation over a dinner is better for a date than sitting in a dark theatre watching the screen. That actually can lead to more fun afterwards too.

      Reminds me of what I witnessed a few nights ago.

      Went out to dinner with the family and at the table next to us was another family. The man at that table brought along his little portable TV and sat there watching that instead of talking to his wife and kid.

      Perception of this is certainly not positive, but who am I to judge based on that scenario?

  22. Have only been able to see a few movies this past year as I have been very busy.

    Two that I really liked were:

    The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger was fantastic I think, better than Nicholson.
    Appaloosa with Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris. Best Western in a while. They were both in A History Of Violence 3 or 4 years ago and that was a great little film.

    Do not bother with The Day The Earth Stood Still. Horrible movie. I think there was supposed to be an Ecological message in this movie.


  23. I know it’s off topic, but just wanted to mention how much I like the new EMI Page. Thought it was excellent.

    Not so Happy Days today, got Glandular Fever, bummer.

    Anyway, Happy Days, Si!

  24. The Visitor – no question. Slumdog Millionaire was great too – and definitely praiseworthy, but The Visitor was the most outstanding picture of 2008. The acting was great – the storyline flawless.

    The Academy pays scant attention to great movies like this or often chooses a safe bet for awards (think Gladiator beating Traffic in 2000 – you have to be nuts to think Gladiator was a better movie than Traffic… even if Gladiator is a good movie it’s no match for the depth of plot and acting in Traffic). The Academy is much like the Grammys… I mean a body that gives Milli Vanilli an award or chooses Jethro Tull over Metallica for best metal act is pretty misguided – ditto for the Academy.

  25. Of course the best arty film of 2008 was Beverly Hills Chihuahua. 🙂

    Well, my kids liked it!!!

  26. I reckon, and don’t laugh, but ‘Hancock’ brought a smile to my face. Also, even though it was released in December 2007, ‘I am Legend’ was a good girlfriend-scarer.

    I just saw ‘Batman: The Dark Knight’ and found myself far more entertained than I expected!

    Off topic, but what was the acoustic guitar played at Live from Abbey Road (on Acoustic Echoes)?

    1. A Gibson Country and Western, I think. From the late ’50s.

      I’m sure someone who knows far more about guitars than I do can correct me if I’m wrong.

  27. 2008 seems to be the year of the “overrated.” Lots of people loved “The Dark Knight,” while completely overlooking numerous flaws that the film had. A very good movie, but GREAT?

    “Slumdog Millionaire” is an Indian Cinderella story mixed in with a globally-famous game show. The problem is, if you know ANYTHING about how that game show actually works, the film collapses onto itself in a heap of its own magic pixie dust. A good movie at times, ridiculous in others, but GREAT?

    There’s a thing called “suspension of disbelief” when you see a lot of films these days, but too many audience members go so far as to suspend their entire brain functions when watching, which leads to a lot of fanboys/fangirls gushing over films that aren’t at the epic masterpiece level they imagine it to be in their heads.

    The best film of 2008 was indeed, Milk, which will hopefully win for Best Picture at the Oscars this Sunday. It’s one of those films that even if you know the story behind the biography of the man, it’s so well-done and well-acted that it becomes extremely compelling drama DESPITE knowing how it ends. That’s a very difficult feat to accomplish in storytelling.

    WALL-E is another brilliant film on multiple levels that I really need to watch again. Pixar does not make bad films. Ever.

    And for the record, “Pink Floyd: The Wall” is still an awesome film. 🙂

  28. FEd,

    Two films that come to mind from last year were Cloverfield and Batman: The Dark Knight. I thought Cloverfield was superb in the cinema, big screen, lots of crash, bang, wallop but lost some impact on the DVD. Did you notice the splash in the ocean at the end?

    You should really watch The Dark Knight, the performance of Heath Ledger is something else and was really worthy of the hype lavished. Go on, give it a go.


    1. I don’t think I remember the splash in the ocean at the end… As you say, you lose a little something by watching on DVD.

  29. Films I watched in 2008:

    ‘Into The Wild’ – Sean Penn, I loved it.
    ‘Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis’, ‘De L’autre Côté De La Rue’, both not transcendantal movies, but pleasant comedies.
    ‘Phénomènes’ (‘The Happening’), I found it bad and even ridiculous, but I’m not fond of horror movies.

    Some DVDs that I enjoy watching and that spring to mind:

    ‘Rain Man’
    ‘Apocalypse Now’
    ‘Minority Report’
    ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’
    ‘American Graffiti’
    ‘Le Crabe Tambour’
    ‘Le Jour Le Plus Long’
    ‘La Gifle’
    ‘Ratatouille’ (eh oui…)


    1. ‘The Happening’ was terrible.

      I thought it started well enough, but was it really supposed to make us laugh?

    2. Yes, that was some film.

      I didn’t care for ‘Unbreakable’, and found ‘Signs’ somewhat disappointing, yet I enjoyed ‘The Village’.

      Which just goes to show that what’s commercially successful can still be rubbish, no? 😉

    3. My husband loved ‘Unbreakable’. I thought ‘Signs’ was scary and for a while thought ‘The Village’ was too, until the ending let me completely down. Although for someone who has too much imagination, a saner ending is probably my best bet.

      For longer than I care to admit, I looked over my shoulder every time I had to go to our basement after seeing ‘Aliens’!!!!


  30. Dark Knight was eerily entertaining, but if you like comedies like I do, Ghost Town will make you laugh out loud.

    A few great moments in that movie, especially the dog scene.

    1. Another good comedy, I thought, from 2008 was ‘Semi-Pro’ (Will Ferrell).

      Not quite as good as ‘Blades of Glory’, but there were some funny moments.

  31. I haven’t seen a new film in a theater in quite a long time. It’s become too expensive, and there are a lot of bad films out there. I did manage to see Hancock, Wall-E and Tale of Desperaux in second-run. I found the first half of Hancock to be a fun twist on the traditional super-hero character. If you walk out after about an hour, you will have seen a good flick. After that, it feels like you’re seeing a big, fat advertisement for “Hancock 2: Return of the Special Effects.”

    Wall-E was surprisingly good. The entire first half is done without dialogue, and it works. This one is engaging enough for children, yet interesting enough for adults.

    And last but not least, “Tale of Desperaux” which I just saw a few days ago. I saw it because the book was so enjoyable. The movie is just as fun. This is another one that is not just for children. There are so many stories-within-stories, and yet it manages not to get confusing. And the symbolism is a story in itself: the important people living the high life in a castle, while all kinds of evil lurks in the cellar…

  32. Just because it doesn’t appeal to me on first impressions.

    You likened it to Stomach Lining and you want me to think you’re going to reconsider???? You’re some boy.

    I’m all for different opinions but the manner in how you say them leaves a lot to be desired on your front… I’m sure Will Smith would find you as annoying as you find him… that being his opinion and all.

    I won’t be posting again.

    1. Fair enough.

      I should hope that he wouldn’t care too much about what any of us think, because ours are just two more insignificant views in a sea of others, and he is clearly very successful and very popular and hopefully not so sensitive that he can’t take criticism. It would seem that far more people like him than not. And, presumably, it’s always better to talk about one’s work than to just not bother. Good luck to him.

      What I said was that I “imagine I’d also end up likening it to stomach lining.” I haven’t seen it, so I can only imagine. It’s not really my cup of tea, so I’m assuming from the synopsis and trailer that I wouldn’t enjoy it.

      That said, I will watch it and will be happy to be proved wrong. Surely that’s better than merely, pettily, dismissing something and not being open-minded enough to try it or to acknowledge that other people have different opinions and are free to express them however they like.

    2. I won’t be posting again.

      😮 Oh!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!

      Paul, I already miss you!!! 😛

      Proverb: “Seuls les imbéciles ne changent jamais d’avis” = “Only fools/idiots/stupid people/pillocks never change their mind.”

      Paul!!! Come back!!!

      PS: Many exclamation marks = joke, eh?

    3. And I think that trailers rarely give a good/honest idea of what the film will really be. Truncated and too commercial.

    4. Hey Paul, please don’t be so sensitive.

      I apologise to you and FEd if my post sparked any trouble, I really didn’t mean it to.

      I just found it interesting how different personal tastes are, e.g. you think Burn After Reading is a “load of ol’ dribble” whereas I think it is pretty good and visa-versa re; Hancock (Superb/utter tripe).

      I think it was my comment referring to Hancock as ‘utter tripe’ that led Fed to respond with the ‘stomach lining’ comment – FEd can correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t think any personal disrespect or insult was intended.


    5. Paul:

      Isn’t there a song out there that says something like “we agree to disagree”?

      Please don’t take this so personally. We have all been ‘nipped’ by FE’d’s rapier wit at one time or another. Frankly, even though I have felt a sting now and then, I always come back here because I learn something.

      I think you are just having a bad day, as we all have now and then. Reconsider coming here, because if you have been disappointed by that small remark then dealing with big stuff in your life will really be tough. We need opinions. Some of my friends think I watch terrible stuff, but I don’t give them up. Especially as I think their choice isn’t any better than mine (actually, I do think my taste is better, but…) Keeps it interesting here and frankly thought provoking.

      Lots of times I have said I don’t want to see such and such a film, and have ended up loving it and other times what I wanted to see turned out badly for me. Right now everyone is talking about ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which I absolutely have no interest in seeing. Probably will prove me wrong again, but so what? I have been wrong so often that it will probably be on my tombstone. :))

  33. I seldom go out to a theatre for a film, but this year “Loft” was definitely worth going out for.

    Here’s a review in English.

    I quite liked the plot twist at the end.

    The film has meanwhile become the most successful Belgian film ever.


  34. Whenever I am in a theatre I am apparently a magnet to the annoying so therefore I never go.

    Example: The last time I went was Frost/Nixon on behalf of my 79 year old Dad who really wanted to see it. So we went at 1pm to avoid crowds and sat in a virtually empty theatre throughout all the previews and just up to the start of the film. Just then, and to no surprise of my own a woman who was practically dragging the entire concession stand with her, attempted to wedge her bulldogs into the seat directly behind me. There she sat for the next hour and a half munching, crunching and Mmm-ing in delight at what was being shovelled down her gullet…

  35. A few others released on DVD (in the UK, at least) in 2008:

    – ‘American Gangster’
    – ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’
    – ‘The Counterfeiters’
    – ‘Gone Baby Gone’
    – ‘In the Valley of Elah’
    – ‘The Kingdom’
    – ‘Michael Clayton’
    – ‘Mr Brooks’
    – ‘Vantage Point’
    – ‘We Own The Night’

  36. Love movies… favorite night out for my husband and I unless it is a DVD at home. Most annoying thing at the theatre for me… please don’t come late and then ask me to move.

    I have a long list that I enjoyed:

    No Country For Old Men (very good acting)
    Wall-E (wonderful)
    Frost/Nixon (very very good)
    Michael Clayton (becoming a Clooney fan)
    The Departed (DiCaprio-need I say more?)
    Gran Torino (Eastwood always does a good picture… Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Bridges of Madison County… writes some of the music and plays the piano too!)
    Things We Lost In The Fire
    Burn After Reading (McDormand and Pitt were funny)

    Others on my list of older pics and odd bods:

    Nurse Betty
    Breaker Morant (Aussie flick)
    The Station Agent
    Iron Man
    Eastern Promises (Viggo has long been a favorite since Albino Alligator and A Walk On The Moon)
    The Insider (best film for Russell Crowe)
    The Good Shepard

    Disliked intensely I Am Legend. Love Blanchett but only liked Elizabeth for some of the dramatic scenes and Geoffrey Rush’s acting (Blanchett was good in ‘Bandits’).


    1. It’s so annoying having to get up to let people pass, isn’t it? And sometimes they don’t even thank you, or they step on your toes without apologising…

      I hear you, Jan. Unless they’ve got a good reason (a long queue at the bar not being one), they should be made to sit in the back, looking sheepish, fingers on lips.

    2. Mainly, these are people wanting us to shift over two seats, because they came late to a filled theatre. Am I being selfish in wanting someone to understand that coming in during the credits is annoying? I’m the one with the gray hair and these are usually young guys. And then they are usually talkers.

      I wonder if these are the same annoying souls that come in late to concerts too and then cause so much commotion that you miss your favorite song.

      Sheesh, I must be getting old. 🙁

  37. I didn’t care for ‘Unbreakable’, and found ‘Signs’ somewhat disappointing, yet I enjoyed ‘The Village’.

    I loved “Signs” and thought “The Village” was daft. Just goes to show ya, I guess.

    I love the way Shamalamadingdong’s films look but sometimes, script-wise, he tries too hard and other times (Lady In The Water) he doesn’t try at all…

    1. There you go. It takes all sorts to make the world go around.

      I haven’t seen ‘Lady In The Water’, was it really as bad as it sounds?

    2. I have tried to watch “Lady In The Water” several times and I just can’t get through it. I find it immensely horrible. I also didn’t like his movie “Sideways” which I know many adored. But Paul Giamatti was terrific in the Howard Stern movie several years ago.



    3. Even Night’s fans (here & elsewhere on the web) seem pretty divided on his films.

      To add my 2c, The Village was the only one that let me down – the twist was just too much for me, and left me feeling that the first 95% of the film was a waste, although I understood the point. Signs, one of my very favorite films, was so tense that I couldn’t breathe & wanted to hide behind my couch while I watched. Unlike most people, I thought Lady In The Water was perfect, a real fairy tale come to life, and I loved The Happening, it was very surreal.

      I suppose the atmosphere Night goes for strikes some as dumb or amusing, but I love it.

      As for other movies, I understood why Wall-E won, and I enjoyed it, but not so much once I realized I was being taught a lesson. As for Mamma Mia… I don’t like musicals, and movies like Mamma Mia represent everything I hate about any form of entertainment, and I sought to avoid it… but after actually sitting through it, I have to admit that I enjoyed it.

      One good creepy movie is The Mothman Prophecies – two minutes into it I thought “based on a real story? Cool, I’ll research it later.” Twenty minutes after that I thought “—- this, I’m leaving this alone.” Seen it twice; rattled me both times.

    4. I really enjoyed ‘The Mothman Prophecies’. There’s a great documentary on the DVD as an extra, too.

      Thanks for the views, all. I’ll have to give ‘Lady…’ a try.

      Now, ‘The Ring’, I loved… 😉

  38. I would mention that we go to a theatre where the films are 5.00 and parking is 2.00. Rather a good deal for a downtown theatre. We don’t eat there, but go out after and split an appetizer sometimes.

    Otherwise it is DVDs from Netflicks as we don’t have cable. That way we can also rent some of the cable series that friends recommend.

    Theatre food and sports venues cost too much and aren’t all that good.


    1. By the way, for anyone following the economy, I’ve read that Blockbuster video in the U.S. is not doing well and actually may have to file for bankruptcy protection. The speculation is that On Demand Video and Netflicks is part of the reason for their business demise.



  39. Put it this way, as far as I’m concerned Paul Giamatti can do no wrong but even his phenomenal talents weren’t enough to save this drowning film…

  40. At my local Odeon the seat prices are £5.50 during weekdays if the film starts before 2pm but £7.20 if it starts after 2pm. I sort of understand a change in price but what’s so special about 2pm? It doesn’t seem to get busy until the evening anyway, but why does it cost more to go at say 3pm then it would 1pm? Or do their staff get paid more after 2pm as well? 8|

    Not only does the price seem a bit odd when you look at the cost of renting a DVD, or even buying a DVD after it’s been out a while the price seems rather high. Yes, you get a nice big screen, and large speakers but you also have to share it with lots of other, usually noisy, fidgety (if that’s a word) people.

    The only film from last year that you listed at the start that I saw was James Bond. I was going to watch Indiana Jones but after I was told about how he hides in a fridge to escape a nuclear blast I decided to wait until it was on telly.

    I thought James Bond was better than most of the reviews I read gave it credit for. I reckon if you watch Casino Royale and then watch Quantum of Shoelace (or whatever name you call it by) then the (admitted slightly lacking plot) will probably make more than enough sense for the film to be enjoyable.

  41. Paul Giamatti is tremendous in a little sleeper film called, “Duets” with Gweneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis. Huey is actually very good in this as well as the dead beat Dad with a beat!

  42. The best film I watched last year was Holiday On The Buses with Reg Varney and co. All filmed in North Wales, you know.

    Yes, I know it was filmed in 1908. 😀

  43. Wow, who would have thought a simple topic like movies would stir up such emotion? With such dire things going on in the world need we be buggered by others’ opinions? I mean, people have made it clear on here that they dislike James Blunt… immensly yet, I’m not afraid to disagree and given sufficient provocation I would explain why.

    For the record I liked Hancock, it was at moments typical super-hero fare which some find annoying yes, but there brilliant spots of humor that are often lacking in those types of movies. The ending was a bit wobbly for me though, still I have it in the purchase category.

    Burn After Reading on the other hand I thought was mediocre, average, middle of the road. It didn’t help that I had high hopes going in but it didn’t deliver. I mean maybe it just wasn’t fair but compared to The Big Lebowski, Fargo, and …O Brother Where Art Thou?, it doesn’t compare.

    But, anyway see Tropic Thunder it’s good; however the winner and hands down must see. is The Dark Knight. This film NEVER gets old and you forget it is a super-hero movie.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

    1. It was just called ‘Waking Ned’ but I agree it was a brilliant film. I remember when the old chap was riding the motorbike with not a stitch on, I thought I was going to do myself an injury laughing. 😀

      Sad that Ian Bannen is no longer with us, great actor.

    2. Veronica from England:

      I enjoy the work of Fionnula Flanagan also.

      Ian Bannen was always one of my favorites.

      Thank you for the correction of title. It was one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen and one most people never hear of.


  44. I read a biography years ago authored by Michael Baigent and his partner Richard Leigh titled Secret Germany, about the Tom Cruise movie being released now called Valkyrie.

    I am so looking forward to seeing that one and hope it does the book justice.

    What an amazing man and soldier he was. That is an unsung hero if there ever was.

    1. Indeed. There are many streets in Germany named after von Stauffenberg.

      I enjoyed ‘The Plot to Kill Hitler’ (1990). I think that will remain closer to the actual events than ‘Valkyrie’, but I’m also looking forward to seeing it.

      But why, oh why, can’t these very well-paid Hollywood actors at least attempt a German accent?

  45. I rarely went to the cinema in 2008. I decided to go for “Gomorra”, because it obviously caused a lot of discussion in Italy and I was really curious. I found it very interesting, being (unfortunately) a sort of documentary more than a movie.

    About DVDs, some of my favourite ones were “No Country For Old Man”, “Into The Wild”, “Burn After Reading” and Ken Loach’s “It’s a Free World”, a good movie, even if very sad.

  46. I’m almost embarrassed to say that the only movies that I saw from 2008 were Wall-E, Horton Hears a Who! and Definitely, Maybe… all on DVD.

    Based on that I guess I’ll go with Definitely, Maybe since I am still waiting for an evening to watch the Dark Knight once the kids are asleep…

    Looks like I’ve got some movie watching catching up to do.

    Have a great weekend everyone!!!

  47. What’s pissing on my chips at the moment is the amount of re-makes that seem to be constantly churned out.

    Hancock (not a re-make) was entertaining and the effects are superb, Wall-E was great, not just a kids film. Cloverfield the biggest pile of pants since Blair Witch, I cried with laughter the first time the monster was shown. No Country for Old Men was OK but I reckon I have seen the plot of that one before. Anyone?

    Dark Knight crowns my list superb.

  48. OK, I am gonna be a little different in my suggestions; yes, I agree with Michèle and Alessandra, ‘Ratatouille’ by Walt Disney was absolutely delightful! And have you seen ‘P.S. I Love You’? If you feel to see a romantic comedy and have little tears in your eyes, this is a beautiful love story film (my female side is talking to you guys!!!).

    Has anyone seen it?


  49. Fighting on a movie??????? Paul, that’s something you’re allowed to do only with your girlfriend on a Sunday evening…

  50. I thought the best song category was just dreadful this year. Two chants and a rant does not make up a best song category, in my opinion…

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