The Best Music of 2008

By all accounts, 2008 was a great year for music.  Below you will find our respective lists of Top 30 Albums (with favorite songs of each) and Top 10 Mixtapes of 2008, as well as our Top 30 Songs of the Year (from non-Top albums).

TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2008
(with our favorite songs of each):

GrindHustle:
1. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes.
White Winter Hymnal, Blue Ridge Mountains, Ragged Wood
2. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago.
The Wolves (Act I and II), Skinny Love, Lump Sum
3. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges.
Highly Suspicious, Evil Urges, Smokin’ From Shootin’
4. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III.
A Milli, Dr. Carter, Tie My Hands
5. TV On The Radio, Dear Science.
DLZ, Golden Age, Crying
6. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive.
Slapped Actress, Sequestered In Memphis, Constructive Summer
7. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend.
I Stand Corrected, The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance, A-Punk
8. Blitzen Trapper, Furr.
Furr, Gold For Bread, Balled of Bird Love
9. Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
You, The Waitress, Your Glass House
10. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular.
Electric Feel, Of Moons, Birds & Monsters, Time to Pretend
11. Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell.
In A Cave, Juno, Tessellate
12. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals.
Play Your Part (Pt. 1), Set It Off, Still Here
13. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours.
Feel The Love, Lights & Music, Hearts on Fire
14. Beck, Modern Guilt.
Chemtrails, Modern Guilt, Walls
15. Q-Tip, The Renaissance.
Getting Up, Dance on Glass, We Fight/We Love
16. War on Drugs, Wagonwheel Blues.
Arms Like Boulders, Taking The Farm, Show Me The Coast
17. The Cool Kids, The Bake Sale.
What Up Man, Black Mags, A Little Bit Cooler
18. Cloud Cult, Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes).
No One Said It Would Be Easy, When Water Comes To Life, Grandson of Jesus
19. Neon Neon, Stainless Style.
I Told Her on Alderaan, Dream Cars, Raquel
20. Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair.
Blind, Hercules’ Theme, Time Will
21. Nada Surf, Lucky.
Weightless, I Like What You Say, The Film Did Not Go Round
22. Wolf Parade, At Mt. Zoomer.
Language City, Soldier’s Grin, Fine Young Cannibals
23. N.E.R.D, Seeing Sounds.
Everyone Nose, Sooner or Later, Spaz
24. Big Ditch Road, The Jackson Whites.
All The Way to Idaho, The Jackson Whites, Northwoods Report/Chomsky ’08
25. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid.
Grounds For Divorce, Mirrorball, One Day Like This
26. M83, Saturdays=Youth.
Kim & Jessie, Graveyard Girl, We Own The Sky
27. Sigur Ros, Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust.
Gobbledigook, Festival, Vid spilum endalaust
28. Murs, Murs for President.
Everything, The Science, Can It Be
29. T.I., Paper Trails.
Swagga Like Us (feat. Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West), No Matter What, Live Your Life
30. The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire.
That Kind of Man, Colleen, Brukpocket’s Lament

Honorable Mentions:
Department of Eagles, In Ear Park; Frightened Rabbit, Midnight Organ Fight; Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creations Dark; Santogold, Santogold; Foals, Antidotes; Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!; The Championship, Midnight Golden; Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War); The Roots, Rising Down; No Age, Nouns.

Top 10 Mixtapes of 2008:
1. Wale, The Mixtape About Nothing
2. Santogold/Diplo, Top Ranking
3. Clipse, Road to Till The Casket Drops
4. Charles Hamilton & DJ Green Lantern, Outside Looking
5. Jay-Z & Coldplay (Mick Boogie), Viva La Hova
6. The Cool Kids, That’s Stupid The Mixtape
7. Talib Kweli & Mick Boogie, The MCEO Mixtape
8. DJ Benzi, The New Deal (if only for Brother Ali’s verse – the best verse of the year by the way – on “2nd Time Around”)
9. Lil Wayne & DJ Drama, Dedication 3
10. Rhymefest & Mark Ronson, Man in the Mirror

heezwax:
1. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes.
White Winter Hymnal, Blue Ridge Mountains, Meadowlarks
2. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours.
Unforgettable Season, Far Away, Out There On The Ice
3. Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell.
Juno, Centennial, Tessellate
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago.
Creature Fear, Skinny Love, Re: Stacks
5 (tie). Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
You, Yesterday, Puppets
5 (tie). Q-Tip, The Renaissance.
We Fight/We Love, Gettin’ Up, Move
7. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges.
Evil Urges, Smokin From Shootin’, Touch Me I’m Going to Scream pt. 1
8. TV On The Radio, Dear Science.
Family Tree, Crying, Halfway Home
9. Beck, Modern Guilt.
Youthless, Gamma Ray, Chemtrails
10. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III.
Let The Beat Build, A Milli, 3-Peat
11. Foreign Exchange, Leave It All Behind.
All or Nothing, Daykeeper, Valediction
12. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend.
Walcott, The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance, A-Punk
13. Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair.
Blind, Hercules’ Theme, Iris
14. Delta Spirit, Ode to Sunshine.
People C’mon, Children, Strange Vine
15. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular.
Electric Feel, Youth, Time to Pretend
16. Grand Archives, The Grand Archives.
Torn Blue Foam Couch, George Kaminski, Sleepdriving
17. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals.
Play Your Part pt. 1 has all my favorite snippets, Still Here rules, and Set If Off has the Jay-Z/Radiohead mash-up
18. Murs, Murs for President.
The Science, Everything, I’m Innocent
19. The Championship, Midnight Golden.
Mightnight Gold, Gladstone, Ferris Wheel
20. Kings of Leon, Only By The Night.
Use Somebody, Crawl, Be Somebody
21. Nicolay & Kay, Time:Line.
As The Wheel Turns, Through the Wind, Gunshot
22. Neon Neon, Stainless Style.
I Told Her on Alderaan, Raquel, Belfast
23. M83, Saturdays=Youth.
Kim & Jessie, You Appearing, Up!
24. Nada Surf, Lucky.
Weightless, See These Bones, Beautiful Beat
25. The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing.
Great DJ, That’s Not My Name, Traffic Light
26. Nas, Ni**er (Untitled).
Hero, Queens Get the Money, Can’t Stop Us Now
27. Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreak.
Paranoid, Love Lockdown, Street Lights
28. The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire.
Colleen, That Kind of Man, Brukpocket’s Lament
29. Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It.
100 Yard Dash, Oh Girl, Big Easy
30. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer.
The Grey Estates, Langauge City, Soldier’s Grin

DJ Bumbaclot:
1. TV On The Radio, Dear Science.
Golden Age, Halfway Home, DLZ, Family Tree, Love Dog
2. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago.
Skinny Love, Flume, Re: Stacks
3. Portishead, Third.
The Rip, Machine Gun, We Carry On
4. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours.
Out There On The Ice, Far Away, Hearts On Fire, Feel The Love
5. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes.
White Winter Hymnal, Ragged Wood, Your Protector
6. Q-Tip, The Renaissance.
We Fight/We Love, Dance on Glass, Life Is Better
7. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals.
8. Longwave, Secrets Are Sinister.
The Devil and The Liar, It’s True, Eyes Like Headlights, No Direction
9. Neon Neon, Stainless Style.
Raquel, I Told Her On Alderaan, Dream Cars
10. The Kills, Midnight Boom.
Black Balloon, U.R.A Fever, Getting Down
11. M83, Saturdays=Youth.
Graveyard Girl, Kim & Jessie, We Own The Sky
12. Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair.
Blind, You Belong, Hercules’ Theme, Iris
13. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III.
A Milli, Let The Beat Build, Dr. Carter
14. The Black Keys, Attack & Release.
Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be, All I Ever Wanted, Strange Times
15. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend.
I Stand Corrected, A-Punk, Walcott
16. Department of Eagles, In Ear Park.
No One Does It Like You, In Ear Park, Teenagers
17. Foreign Exchange, Leave It All Behind.
Take Off The Blues, All Or Nothing/Coming Home To You, Something To Behold
18. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular.
Kids, Time to Pretend, 4th Dimensional Transition
19. Flying Lotus, Los Angeles.
20. Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.
Puppets, You, Me, Yesterday
21. War on Drugs, Wagonwheel Blues.
There Is No Urgency, A Needle In Your Eye #16, Barrel of Batteries
22. Spiritualized, Songs in A&E.
Sweet Talk, Death Take Your Fiddle, Baby I’m Just A Fool
23. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs.
I Will Possess Your Heart, Long Division, The Ice Is Getting Thinner
24. Beck, Modern Guilt.
Gamma Ray, Chemtrails, Profanity Prayers
25. Delta Spirit, Ode to Sunshine.
People Turn Around, Trashcan, Ode to Sunshine
26. NIN, The Slip.
Echoplex, The Four of Us are Dying, Demon Seed
27. The Heavy, Great Vengeance and Furious Fire.
Dignity, Brukpocket’s Lament, Set Me Free
28. Tokyo Police Club, Elephant Shell.
In A Cave, Tessellate, Centennial
29. The Cool Kids, The Bake EP.
Mikey Rocks, What Up Man, Bassment Party
30. Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life.
Son The Father, Golden Seal, The Chemistry of Common People

Honorable Mentions: Cat Power, Jukebox; Coldplay, Viva La Vida/ Prospekt’s March EP; Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid; Elzhi, The Preface; Foals, Antidotes; Joan as Police Woman, To Survive; Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue; Kings of Leon, Only By The Night; Murs, Murs for President; Nas, Ni**er; The Roots, Rising Down; Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It; Ryan Adams, Cardinology; Santogold, Santogold; She & Him, Vol. 1.

Worst Album of the Year: The Walkmen, You & Me.

Top 10 Mix/tapes of 2008:
1. Wale, The Mixtape About Nothing
2. KiD CuDi, Plain Pat & Emile present A KiD Named CuDi
3. Clipse, Road To Till The Casket Drops
4. Nas & DJ Green Lantern, The Ni**er Mixtape
5. Squincy Jones, Nintendub
6. DJ Z-Trip, Obama Mix
7. Jay-Z & Coldplay (Mick Boogie), Viva La Hova
8. Justice, Fabric Rejected DJ Mix
9. Santogold/Diplo, Top Ranking
10. Cut Copy, So Cosmic Mix


TOP 30 SONGS OF 2008
(from non-Top Albums):

GrindHustle:
1. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
2. These New Puritans – Elvis
3. Big Boi feat. Mary J. Blige – Sumthin’s Gotta Give
4. David Byrne & Brian Eno – Strange Overtones
5. Kid Dakota – Stars
6. King Khan and The Shrines – Land of the Freak
7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
8. Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
9. Department of Eagles – No One Does It Better
10. Alejandro Escoveda – Always A Friend
11. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
12. The Roots – Rising Down
13. Grand Archives – Sleepdriving
14. Santogold – Lights Out
15. Portishead – Machine Gun
16. The Cool Kids – Delivery Man (9th Wonder Remix)
17. Of Montreal – Id Engager
18. The Championship – Ferris Wheel
19. Kate Nash – Foundations
20. Lykke Li – Little Bit
21. No Age – Sleeper Hold
22. Kings of Leon – Be Somebody
23. Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines
24. Drive-By Truckers – A Ghost to Most
25. Jenny Lewis & Elvis Costello – Carpetbaggers
26. Foals – Balloons
27. Solid Gold – Get Over It
28. Mike Doughty – Put It Down
29. Titus Andronicus – Upon Viewing Brueghel’s ‘Landscape With the Fall of Icarus’
30. Connor Oberst – Sausalito

heezwax:
1. Elbow – Mirrorball
2. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
3. Santgold – Lights Out
4. Blitzen Trapper – Furr
5. Wild Beast – Devil Crayon
6. Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
7. Weezer – Pork n Beans
8. Ray Lamontagne – You Are The Best Thing
9. The Cool Kids – What Up Man
10. The Alarmists – You’re Right
11. The Hold Steady – Constructive Summer
12. Usher feat. Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
13. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
14. The Roots – Rising Down
15. Alejandro Escovedo – Always a Friend
16. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
17. Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
18. She & Him – This is Not a Test
19. Estelle feat. Kanye West – American Boy
20. Moby – I Love to Move in Here

DJ Bumbaclot:
1. Blitzen Trapper – Furr
2. Wale – The Kramer
3. Elbow – The Bones of You
4. Kings of Leon – Closer
5. Estelle feat. Kanye West – American Boy
6. The National – Blank Slate (off The Virginia EP)
7. Foals – Red Sox Fugie
8. Kanye West – Love Lockdown (also the MB/Rob Mix, the LMFAO Remix, and the DJ Earworm remix)
9. KiD CuDi – Day N Nite (also the Crookers Remix)
10. Cat Power – Song To Bobby
11. Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
12. Raphael Saadiq – Sure Hope You Mean It
13. The Raveonettes – Aly, Walk With Me
14. Nas – Sly Fox
15. Nicolay & Kay – As The World Turns
16. No Age – Eraser
17. The Brighton Port Authority feat. David Byrne & Dizzee Rascal – Toe Jam
18. Copeland – Good Morning Fire Eater
19. The Cool Kids – Unos
20. Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
21. She & Him – Sentimental Heart
22. Hercules and Love Affair – Classique #2
23. Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor
24. N*E*R*D – Spaz
25. Santogold – Unstoppable
26. Japanese Motors – Single Fins & Safety Pins
27. The Knux – Cappuccino
28. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
29. Brendan Canning – Churches Under The Stairs
30. Solid Gold – Who You Gonna Run To?

YES WE DID.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

“It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

“It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

An Ambiguous Animation Painted On Public Walls

MUTO: An Ambiguous Animation Painted On Public Walls
(http://blublu.org/sito/video/muto.htm)

Amazing

Ricky’s “LOST” Weekly – 05/30/08

Conributed by Ricky L. Escoto – consultant and “LOST” expert extraordinaire:

“There’s No Place Like Home: Parts 2 & 3” – 05/29/08
LOCKE!!! It’s LOCKE! Locke is in the f**king coffin! OMFG! As all of us had been hypothesizing for a year as to whom was in that bloody coffin, it was so satisfying to finally get the reveal. OMG, I was ready to strangle somebody when they gave us the little pre/mini “reveal” that “Jeremy Bentham” was the man in the coffin, I was like, “Who the f**k is Jeremy Bentham!?!?! Luckily for us the reveal at the end totally paid off. Frankly, that alone made the whole finale for me. By the way, I have yet to figure out what “Jeremy Bentham” could be an anagram for but according to Wikipedia: he was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism, the movement spawning socialism, for the concept of animal rights, as an advocate for individual/economic freedoms, the separation of church and state, equal rights for women, the end of slavery and the decriminalization of homosexuality, as well as his opposition to the idea of natural rights, with his oft-quoted statement that the idea of such rights is “nonsense upon stilts.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham).

Oh and visit
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DWWMYFAycmQ to watch the two alternate endings that they teased last night which aired on Good Morning America this morning (which, I am sure, will spawn never-ending late-night spoof sketches with many a notable face in the coffin, i.e., President Bush, Scott McLellan, maybe Hillary?). You’ll see two people I think everyone had tossed around at one point or another, Sawyer and Desmond, as possible bodies filling the coffin, which they just filmed in case it leaked out ahead of time so that no one would know (as has been done in the past with other series finales, like ”Seinfeld”).

So how the hell does Locke get off the Island and wind up dead? Did Widmore find him? If so, why would Widmore kill him? And the biggest quandary: if the Island wants Locke back on the Island (along with the Oceanic 6), then why did it let him die? It presumably kept Jack from killing himself. Remember when Michael made multiple attempts to kill himself after he left the Island with Walt, only to have Mr. Friendly show up and talk him into going back to the Island because it wanted him there? The Island kept Michael from dying. Or did it only keep Michael from dying by his own hand? Sayid told Hurley last night that “Bentham” was found dead, having allegedly killed himself, obviously, Sayid believes otherwise. So can the Island only keep you from killing yourself but if someone murders you then you’re on your own? That seems oddly inconvenient.

That being said, last night’s finale felt very much like a series finale rather than a season finale. They are off the Island now. So…now what? Wasn’t getting off the Island the whole point? The castaways on “Gilligan’s Island” never went back to their island (well, actually, I think they did in a much later “reunion” made-for-tv movie, or at least another island). The cast of “Prison Break” didn’t go back to prison after they escaped (oh no, wait…they did). So perhaps the seemingly finality of “escape” need not be so final. Thankfully, since we know there are two more seasons, it’s not. But it still leaves a rather large enigma: what next? Are they really going to fill next season’s episodes with flash forwards of Jack trying to rally Sayid, Sun, Hurley, Kate and Aaron (along with Locke’s corpse) back to the Island (of course come next season, they may not be flash forwards anymore)? A daunting task to say the least, given Kate and Hurley’s already-pronounced objections to doing so. I also say that it had the feel of a series finale because well, frankly, where was the cliffhanger? The Island “disappears” and we find out who is in the coffin along with this desire of the Island to get all the Oceanic 6 back to it, which Ben is assisting in. So, whereas I enjoyed it and am looking forward to next season, I felt a strong suspense was missing from the end of this season’s finale, one that had been so very prevalent in the last three seasons’ finales. But I digress because I still want to find out what the hell is up with that damn four-toed statue!

So we pick up where we left off and finally have confirmation that Jack and Kate’s secret airport meeting happens three years from when they get off the Island. I’m thinking that LOST is going to run in real time from now on, i.e., 2007 off the Island, with flash backs to the last three years, hopefully both on and off the Island. I am very interested in finding out what is happening with the remaining and surviving Losties in the next three years and what leads to Locke’s leaving the Island. What was the “something bad” that happened after Jack and the other 5 left the Island? And was Kate’s dream about Claire telling her not to let Aaron go back to the Island just a dream or was it a warning? Back to Jack and Kate, I think this was my favorite scene in the episode, as Kate slams the brakes on her Volvo as she was speeding away from her argument with Jack only to reverse back at the same speed (for a moment I thought she was going to run him down – how cool would that have been?) and fly out of the car with all the drama of Norma Desmond – I know I’d have much more fun with Sawyer or Keamy but hot damn, Kate! Too bad “Freckles” never found her eye liner or flat iron after the plane crashed, that would definitely have made for more exciting trysts with Sawyer.

We find out who’s in the coffin and that he’s been visiting everyone, including Walt, who comes to see Hurley in Santa Rosa to ask him why neither he nor any of the other “6” have been to visit him and why they are all lying about what happened. Hurley echoes the same reasoning that Jack gave them all originally – to protect those left behind on the Island. “Like my dad?” Walt asks. To which Hurley responds, “Um, yeah,” when he really means, “No, not really, your dad was a very tasty meal for a few schools of fish.” Okay, so when Walt did show up (and delivered his first line(s) since his “visit” to Locke in “Through the Looking Glass”) I expected him to sound like Barry White. I was just waiting for him to respond with “we got to get it together, baby” when Hurley asks him why he’s there but instead we get yet another cute reference to how “big” Walt has gotten. Luckily it is now three years later and (since it has been three years since Malcolm David Kelley has really been on the show) Walt finally looks passable for age-appropriate. What I still don’t understand about the lie is the need to mention that there were 8 survivors of the flight (not including Aaron) who were marooned on the fictitious island of Membata and three of them died, namely, Boone, Libby and Charlie. Why mention that there were other survivors at all? And why choose those three to name as the post-crash dead? I don’t believe that it was simply for purposes of making the story sound credible or that those three people “don’t matter” – there are no coincidences on “LOST,” and everything happens for a reason. I was just disappointed that this wasn’t included in last night’s revelation about the origins of the fabricated story.

Walt isn’t Sayid’s only visitor as he is later paid a visit from his mercenary-for-hire friend, Sayid, who kills a man outside before entering Hurley’s mental institution (did that sound naughty?). Sayid tells Hurley that he has to get him out of there and to “somewhere safe,” explaining that they are all being watched and “Jeremy Bentham” is now dead. Hurley insists that they are not going back to the Island, which Sayid assures him of. However, after Ben’s encounter with Jack at the funeral parlor, I wonder, since Sayid works for Ben now, if that was just telling Hurley what he wants to hear in order to get him to cooperate and come with him (let’s face it, it’s not like Sayid could have tranquilized Hugo and carried him off). So Hurley says goodbye to Mr. Eko (with whom he had apparently been playing chess) and follows Sayid. Now, I don’t recall Mr. Eko and Hurley being all that friendly or having all that much interaction on the Island before his untimely death-by-smoke-monster, so I found it odd that he would come and visit Hurley for a game of postmortem Chess, but I’ll digress as it’s probably unlikely that Charlie’s ghost is very good at the game.

I couldn’t imagine what would have topped Sun’s flash-forward scene from last week where she virtually bitch-slapped her father after taking over control of his company but finding out that Widmore is apparently not the second man (the first being her father, Mr. Paik) that Sun blames for the death of Jin was equally satisfying. In her rendezvous with Widmore in London, she confronts Widmore (now officially the “managing director” of Paik Industries) and after exchanging false pleasantries, tells him that he and she have “common interests,” seeing as how the “6” were not the only people to get off the Island, and that he should call her when he’s ready to talk. Widmore asks her why she wants to help him but Sun doesn’t answer, just walks away teary-eyed, showing that vulnerable girl who got on the plane instead of running away from her husband is still there inside the now very strong Sun we’ve come to know and love. Now the thought has not left me that she may be trying to align herself with Widmore as a way to entrap him, however, after Ben and Jack’s conversation in the funeral parlor when Jack is explaining how difficult it is going to be for him to convince the other 5 to come back to the Island with him, one of the reasons he mentions is that Sun blames him for Jin’s death. I therefore think that Sun has an altogether different and separate agenda from that of the rest of the “6” – i.e., Sayid’s desire to make Widmore pay, Jack’s desire to return home, Hurley’s desire to stay in Santa Rosa away from the numbers and Kate’s desire to be a mom and happy homemaker. I eagerly await the unfolding of this story line.


So the freighter ends up not being quite the safe haven that the Losties were expecting when they eagerly made their way off the Island. As we found out two weeks ago, the boat had more C4 on it than explosives and we finally learned last night that the detonator was a remote heart monitor strapped to Steamy Keamy’s bulging bicep (R.I.P. Keamy). Despite their laborious efforts, Desmond, Jin and Michael are unable to deactivate Keamy’s bomb, although Michael manages to delay the explosion long enough for the important Losties, i.e., Desmond, Jack, Sun, Kate, Hurley Aaron, Sayid and Jin to get back on the helicopter with Frank (note here that none of the other Losties that Farraday ferried onto the freighter were invited onto the helicopter). Oh no, wait, Jin didn’t quite make it. Having only 3 minutes to fuel up with only enough gas to get them back to the Island after they had barely made it to the boat (thanks apparently to Sawyer’s high dive) (I didn’t realize that gas prices had risen to $4 a gallon by that time or certainly they could have filled up a little more, right?), Jin made it out onto the flight deck just in time to see the helicopter fly away (despite Sun’s efforts to get the whirly bird to return for Jin) whilst the chopper had just enough time to fly beyond the reach of the freighter’s explosion (barely), giving us just enough survivors to make a nice round “6”. Yes 6 and only 6 because just as the helicopter was approaching the Island, it disappeared. The helicopter then ran out of gas and crashed into the ocean. The Losties float around on a raft for a while before they spot “The Searcher” (appropriately christened), Penny’s boat. They are rescued and develop their fake story with penny’s assistance. What happens to Penny, Desmond and Frank after the Oceanic 6 climb into a boat and sail for Sumba? If the “6” need to lie in order to protect the others who remained on the Island, then whom are they being protected from? If it’s supposedly Widmore, then what sort of jeopardy does that put Desmond in now that he is once again shacking up with Charles’ daughter? I can’t wait to find out.

Side bar: Thank gawd that Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter because OMFG, how f**king HOTT was it seeing him swim up on shore in nothing but his wet jeans? That deserves another “OMFG!”. That’s like the opening of a great porn scene right there. Oh what I wouldn’t have given to have been Elizabeth Mitchell when that scene was filmed. You know they had to have done it quite a few times (no doubt because Elizabeth kept flubbing up her lines – intentionally or by being flustered – hell, I would have). Thank you, Carlmon!

So Daniel managed to get at least 12 people off the Island (including Sun, Jin and Aaron). Of those, at least 10 were still on the freighter when it exploded. There were at least 6 more in the zodiac when the Island disappeared or “moved” and we don’t see Daniel and those 6 people thereafter. Could they have been still close enough to the Island that it took them with it when it “moved?” Moved because of Ben’s super strength – I’m sorry, but I had a hard time buying Ben’s ability to move that big frozen wheel, especially after he fell down the stairs and cut his arm, tearing his jacket, which, by the way, puts him in the exact condition that we found him in when he woke up in the Sahara Desert in The Shape of Things to Come. By the way, since Ben mentioned that he who moves the Island must leave and never return to it, did the Island propel Ben to the Sahara Desert during it’s “move”?? That must be how he ended up there because we know he couldn’t have used the giant “microwave” or “vault” that he had just blown up in the Orchid substation and because the wound on his arm was still fresh.

So the Island moves and Ben gets banished to the Sahara but not before Ben kills Steamy Keamy (having already been presumed dead after his encounter with Sayid and Richard Alpert following the ambush of Keamy’s men by the Others who killed them all to rescue Ben, for which they agreed to let Kate and Sayid go in exchange for their assistance in doing so, thus putting them on the leaky helicopter back to the exploding boat) even after Keamy told him that the device on his arm was a heart rate monitor that would activate a large bomb on the freighter in the event that his heart stopped beating. Keamy dies after Ben stabs him multiple times in the neck and the freighter blows up moments later (now, shouldn’t the freighter actually have blown up a day or so beforehand? Since, you know, the Island is allegedly operating in its own time zone, which is apparently much slower than time off the Island? Thoughts?) See now, I don’t understand where Ben tries to get off as if he is some kind of a “good guy.” He has never proven himself to be anything but the contrary and this incident is just another blatant example. Even after Locke forces him to see the gravity of his deed, Ben shies it away with his “So?”. If not Jack, then I certainly hope that the other person Sun blames for the death of her husband is Ben because he’s really the responsible one. Given her encounter with Widmore in London, I can’t help but wonder if this is part of her agenda, to align herself with Widmore in an attempt to find and bring down Ben. But I’ve slipped off track again…

Ben and Locke finally make it to the Orchid Station beneath the Orchid Station where, after Locke asks if this is “the magic box,” to which Ben responds with an absurd look on his face, “No,” (which I found hilarious) Ben sits Locke down in front of a television with the orientation video for the Orchid Station. Dr. Edgar Halliwax appears onscreen holding a bunny marked “15” and explains that one of the Island’s unique properties is the Casimir Effect and that the Orchid Station contains a “vault,” which is a chamber that somehow is able to harness or control this Casimir Effect in such a way that it allows those inside of it (organic matter only, apparently) to defy every law of physics, science, possibility or common sense and be transported through time. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Casimir Effect: In physics, the Casimir effect and the Casimir-Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. The typical example is of two uncharged metallic plates in a vacuum, placed a few micrometers apart, without any external electromagnetic field. In a classical description, the lack of an external field also means that there is no field between the plates, and no force would be measured between them. For more, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect). How this explains some ability to send people/things through time, I suppose lies only in the heads of Carlton and Damon. I was just disappointed that the show suddenly got so elementary. I mean, a time machine…really? Now that it’s blown up, I hope that they step up their game come Season 5. In any event, time machine or not, Ben through metal into it (as Ben was listening to Halliwax specifically say not to – the look on Locke’s face: priceless!) and turned it on, which caused a very similar result to when at 10 years old, my brother re-heated mashed potatos in the same stainless steel cookware my mother had made them in our new microwave – except our exploding microwave didn’t blow a hole through the kitchen wall. Even if it had, I don’t think it would have led to an underground freezing-cold cave with a huge wheel that would make my house disappear (if I’m wrong I’m sure my father would have broken it by now anyway).

On to Charlotte. After Daniel returns from dropping off his first load of Losties on the liner looming off the shore, he tracks down Miles and Charlotte and insists that they have to come with him now, on this next run or they may not make it off the Island. Miles refuses to go, citing no real reason. Charlotte prepares to leave with Daniel but not before Miles expresses his surprise at her desire to do so. He asks her why she would want to leave after after “all that time (she) spent trying to get back (there).” She feigns confusion and asks what Miles means by that but Miles is elusive, responding only with, “Hmmm, what do I mean?” and walks away. Obviously this conversation with Miles impresses upon Charlotte as she soon changes her mind and tells Daniel that she is going to stay, at least “for now.” Daniel urges her to come with him and insists that “for now” could be “forever,” but she only reasons that she is still looking for where (she) was born.” Which confuses not only us but Daniel as well. So…thoughts? Charlotte was on the Island before? Could she have been part of Dharma? Was she born on the Island? How did she get on the Island and how did she get off? She probably wasn’t an Other as Ben didn’t know her except by the dossier that Michael provided him with. I’m thinking that she was recruited by Dharma, much in the same way Ben’s dad was or perhaps how Juliet was, and then left the Island to pursue experiments elsewhere. Meanwhile, the “incident” happens and Charlotte is unable to get back to the Island, now under the control of Ben and the Others. I guess we’ll have to wait until February 2009.

That being said, it is with great sorrow that I bring 2008’s last issue of Ricky’s “LOST” Weekly to a close. After a very interesting season for television in the wake of the writers’ extended vacation, I am happy that “LOST” was able to recover and finish out a full season. I can only imagine how it may have suffered had the writers stayed on their couches much longer. I think this season was definitely a climactic one certainly when compared to 2 and 3 and look forward with great anticipation to how Carlmon wraps this all up come May 2010, which seems so…so…so long to wait. Thank you all for reading, I hope you have enjoyed this volume of my spiels. Now discuss and tawlk amongst yourselves until next year (really, only about 7 months away) when “LOST” will hopefully return on a better night and time – perhaps their old one on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 PM – those were the good old days, but I digress.

Ciao for now…

P.S. This is the website for the “commercial” in the middle of “LOST” last night: http://www.octagonglobalrecruiting.com/. It’s just a form to fill out to receive more information, probably about ComicCon, since those are the same dates.

As Gas Is Now $4 a Gallon in L.A…

…pretty soon our mass transit will also look like this:

There Will Be Bud

by way of Death From Below

From the Bad Guy Hide Out: Best Movies of 2007

2007 has been one of the strongest years in recent memory for film. Even though there were significant snubs by our friendos at the Academy, it seems like they did a great job for once at selecting the Best Picture nominees. As you can see in our year in review, all five make in an appearance in our top ten.

(Note to the Academy: It was bogus to leave Brad Renfro out of the In Memoriam tribute montage. “It was really an editing decision because we can’t fit everyone in” doesn’t cut it when you have random agents popping up who no one has ever heard of.)

To compose our Best Of, we shared our top twenty movies with one another, and combined them into a collective list based on our individual rankings. This felt like the fairest way to do this, even though some were bumped forward, back and even out of our individual lists.

So get out the milkshakes, strum those Irish guitars, and read on through our expert opinions–do we look like we’re NEGOTIATING??

1. No Country for Old Men. I sat front row at The Grove on opening weekend in L.A. and can say I submitted to the undeniable power of No Country for Old Men. This film truly is a masterpiece in the way it grips you from the get-go and doesn’t relent; the tension it creates in so many ways; the unconventional yet awesome ending; and horror personified in Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem. His Oscar for Supporting Actor is rightfully deserved. Mr. Bardem plays a man menacing on par with Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter, and he will go down in history for this role of sheer, calculating evil. “What business is it of yours where I’m from, friendo?” and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The ensemble cast (Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald, and Woody Harrelson) was spot-on. 2007 belonged to No Country for Old Men, and in this regard, it belonged to the Coen brothers, rightfully claiming the creative “trifecta” with Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay Oscars. (AV)

2. There Will Be Blood. Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis have created the ultimate dichotomy: a film that both Brooklyn hipsters and Texas tycoons will love. (Anyone else find it ironic that Plainview’s son was named H.W.?) What There Will Be Blood lacks in Hollywood glamor, it makes up for in unrelenting ambition. DD-L gives one of the best performances this century as Daniel Plainview, an oil man full of greed, hate, and competition, an haunting portrait of the rise to power in America. From the opening sequence without a word spoken for nearly eighteen minutes, to the culminating finale, it is an epic masterpiece. Frequent PTA collaborater Robert Elswit’s photography is cinematic beauty, and Jonny Greenwood’s eerie and looming score perfectly captures the madness unfolding. With this film, Mr. Anderson emerges as a true auteur and cements himself as one of the best directors of his generation, following a career including Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. I can’t wait to see what he does next. (AV)

3. Once. In a year of Anton Chigurhs and Daniel Plainviews and rejuvenated John McClaines (awesome!) along comes Once, a small indie musical out of Dublin. Simply put, Once is the sweetest movie I have ever seen. Penned and directed by newcomer John Carney, Once follows a street musician played by Glen Hansard of Irish band the Frames as he is coerced into giving the music thing a real shot by beautiful girl-next-door Marketa Iraglova. Their relationship starts by her approaching him on the street, and, deducing that he is a vacuum repairman, brings her broken unit to him the following morning. After walking the vacuum around like a disobedient collie, they make a stop in a local music instrument store–and the movie magic officially begins. Hansard starts strumming the guitar and humming, Iraglova sits at the piano, and they write “Falling Slowly”–piece by aching piece, harmony for harmony, a seamless puzzle. Gradually throughout the movie, Iraglova lets him into her life; her child from a separated marriage, her mother, her Czech buddies that come over to watch TV. But she’s guarded, and he’s screwed up from the woman who left him and moved to London (the hilarious song “Broken-Hearted Hoover Vacuum Sucker Fixer Guy” tells this story). As they write and record together, he gets confidence–but is it enough to make him leave for London to chase his career and his ex? This movie speaks the “Once” rhetoric to all of us–the “I’ll do this once I have more time, once I get done with this stage of my life,” mentality. Inspirational, simple, and a perfect length in the era of bloated movies–Once will make you want to drop everything and take that chance. (BM)

4. Juno. Ah, the indie movie that could… I’ve heard people criticize the hipster-speak of the script as if it is the new Ebonics, but get over it. Much of Juno‘s charm is the off-beat and quirky dialogue, most of which spews from the mouth of Ellen Page, a star in the making. Following her dark turn in Hard Candy, she delivers Juno MacGuff with warmth and insecurity. Juno is full of career highlights: Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman as the adopting parents; J.K. Simmons as Juno’s father; Jason Reitman, 30, getting a Best Director nod, fresh off of his last picture, Thank You for Smoking; and Diablo Cody’s wonderful script, as she now reluctantly accepts her place as the ‘It Girl’. Enough has been said about her background, so get over that too. This film is touching, funny, instantly likeable, and the finale is magical. Honest to blog. (AV)

5. Eastern Promises. So, a guy walks into a sauna…If Snatch, The Sopranos and Rocky IV have taught us anything, it’s to never f with the Russians. Eastern Promises drives this point home as it takes us into an unfamiliar world of Russian organized crime in London. Viggo Mortensen’s Nikolai is a henchman for an extremely powerful and dangerous sect of the Russian mafia; he takes direct orders from drunk, hotheaded, son of the boss Kirill, played exceptionally well by Vincent Cassell. All is well in little Moscow until Naomi Watts, a midwife, wanders in with questions about a young teenage girl who dies during birth–and just so happens to have card from the restaurant that Nikolai’s boss owns. Nikolai does his damndest to stay out of it until he learns the truth about the situation and investigates further, leading to tensions between he and Kirill. As his desire to help the lovely Ms. Watts grows, his duties in the vory v zakove (‘thieves in law’) become increasingly more dangerous and violent. Director David Cronenberg has never been one to avoid full-on blood, and this movie is no exception, with lingering kills and of course, the now infamous bath house scene. It’s well-acted, well-structured and full of bloody surprises. (BM)

6. Gone Baby Gone. Those who have talked with me intimately about the novel/screenplay I have been working on will know that, even in the early development stages, I pictured Casey Affleck in the role of my lead detective. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out he would play a P.I. in his older brother’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s (Mystic River) gritty crime thriller. Ben and Casey have been our resident working-class Boston experts before, so it was no surprise that they nailed all of its nuances from the lingo to the accent to the dress code. Casey Affleck stars as Patrick Kenzie, who, with partner/girlfriend Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), take on the case of a missing neighborhood girl. The girl’s degenerate, aloof, coke-snorting mother has helped turn it into a citywide deal through public cries for help and dramatics (played by supporting actress shoo-in Amy Ryan, so convincing as a Boston local she was not let on set at one point). Their search takes them deep into the darkest parts of the city, where bar fights are an hourly occurrence and even the police (The Departed, anyone?), headed up by a fantastic Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman, have questionable motives. Looking for the missing girl takes its toll on Kenzie and Gennaro as they make tough choices and deal with crises of conscience throughout leads, red herrings, twists, and a shockingly poignant ending. Congratulations, Casey–you nailed the audition. (BM)

7. Michael Clayton. Damn you Michael Clayton–you’re so COMPELLING! Clooney’s Clayton is dubbed a “fixer”, a “janitor” and a “miracle worker” for a high powered NYC firm, basically a man who puts out fires quickly and privately. When Arthur Eden, played by the always-skillful Tom Wilkinson, gets buck naked in a Milwaukee deposition and runs through a parking lot, it’s Clayton’s job to bail him out and talk enough sense in him to bring him home. Since this, of course does not go according to the plan, Clooney’s distinguished gentleman goes commando on all our asses. He starts doing things his own way and in the process, uncovers some buried information on the company Arthur Edens is prosecuting lawsuits for. Tilda Swinton plays the company president, bent on suppressing as much from getting out as possible. It’s a fantastic intellectual thriller and first directing effort for Tony Gilroy, writer of the Bourne trilogy screenplays. All the Clooney cynics who argue that he’s played the same character since Danny Ocean may have a little validity here, but his range of emotion and overall bad-assedness has never been stronger. (BM)

8. Knocked Up. The pee-your-pants funny movie of 2007. The wit of Knocked Up is so sharp that I missed jokes upon first viewing, because I was laughing so hard at previous jokes. The script digs into real-life shit (knocking-up a one-night stand, becoming a father, marriage) and makes you laugh even as you realize the emotional weight behind it. The ensemble of this cast is rather large, but many minor characters steal scenes, including Ryan Seacrest, Kristin Wiig, and the Apatow daughters. Mr. Apatow’s comedic troupe, some dating back to Freaks and Geeks–Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr–are hysterical, and Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are both brilliant. By delivering Knocked Up and producing Superbad this year, Judd Apatow has positioned himself as a powerhouse in comedy. It’s about time. (AV)

9. The Darjeeling Ltd. Wes Anderson has become the very definition of a modern-day auteur. His broken family dramedies–with their shot symmetry, bright colors, Owen Wilson/Bill Murray/Angelica Huston use, ballad music and quirky dialogue–are instantly recognizable. This was the very reason I wasn’t quick to see it, that it was just another Wes Anderson film. Coming into the theater with those expectations, I left with a shit-eating grin. The Darjeeling Ltd. follows three separated brothers played convincingly by Wilson, Jason Schwartzmann, and Adrian Brody, as they travel in a train across India. Wilson’s character has a hidden agenda-to track down their estranged mother, played by Huston. Along the way, they fight, argue, remember their deceased father, take lots of cough syrup, negotiate countless pacts, deceive one another, screw attractive train attendants (Schwartzmann) talk women, and and smoke (a hilarious, vintage Anderson set-up shows a male train attendant enter their cabin and point to a “no smoking” sign as the camera pans to reveal all three lighting up). As Owen Wilson plans their itinerary with help of a laminator and a paid assistant, he works his way into Brody and Schwartzmann’s good graces after being out of their lives for the past year. They become brothers again, culminating in a strange reunion and moving scene in which they recount a past incident that left them all devastated and helped to shape them. (BM)

10. Atonement. This film is an epic tale of how different points-of-view of certain actions can spin out of control and change the course of many lives, including two lovers. Briony Tallis, a13 year-old aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecelia (Keira Knightley) and her lover Robbie (James McAvoy) intimately and lies, accusing him of a crime he did not commit. Her lie snowballs, and the story follows her at ages 13, 18 (working as a nurse during the war) and in her late seventies, as the consequences of her lie unfold. There is a stunning five-and-a-half minute continuous shot of Robbie walking through Dunkirk as British troops await evacuation from France, helping give Seamus McGarvey an Oscar nod for Best Cinematography. (AV)

 

 

GrindHustle’s Top 20:
1. Eastern Promises
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Gone Baby Gone
4. Black Snake Moan
5. The Darjeeling Ltd.
6. Superbad
7. There Will Be Blood
8. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
9. Once
10. Juno
11. Into the Wild
12. Knocked Up
13. Breach
14. King of California
15. Persepolis
16. I Am Legend
17. Ratatouille
18. Hot Fuzz
19. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
20. The Namesake

Extra Props To: Atonement, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, I’m Not There, In The Valley of Elah, The King of Kong, Michael Clayton, Sweeney Todd

Thumbs Down For: Lars and The Real Girl, Waitress, Shoot ‘Em Up, 3:10 To Yuma


Heezwax’s Top 20:

1. Once
2. No Country for Old Men
3. There Will Be Blood
4. Gone Baby Gone
5.
Into the Wild. Christopher McCandless, a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, embarks on a cross-country trip with no money, his only intention being to eventually make it to Alaska to survive in the wilderness. The movie jumps between his life in an abandoned Alaskan van and vignettes from his journeys and encounters that brought him there. Emile Hirsch’s McCandless is a little too hopeful about his chances, but this is what gives him most of his charm. Stops along the way include working on a farm with the incomparable Vince Vaughn, crashing at a hippie commune with Catherine Keener and boyfriend Brian Dierker, and living under the roof of the kind-hearted Hal Holbrook, who despite his small role, turns out a great enough performance to warrant a nod. The screenplay is based on the book that Jon Krakauer compiled through McCandless’s correspondence and interviews with the real-life versions of our story’s characters, and it is does an outstanding job of capturing McCandless for what he was: A true-to-life, albeit a bit naive, free American spirit.
6. Michael Clayton
7. Juno
8. Eastern Promises
9. Knocked Up / Superbad
10. American Gangster
11. The Darjeeling Ltd.
12. Atonement
13. Breach
14. Grindhouse
15. The King of Kong
16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
17. Paris, Je’Taime
18. The Namesake
19. Reign Over Me
20. The Lookout

Honorable Mentions: Talk to Me, Zodiac, Driving Lessons


Peter McVeeder’s Top 20:

1. No Country for Old Men
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Once
4. In The Valley of Elah.
In a year that brought out a lot of unrest about Iraq, it seems interesting that almost every film released in 2007 about the subject bombed at the box office. To its credit, In the Valley of Elah is one of the most underrated movies of the year. Tommy Lee Jones gives perhaps the best performance of his career as a former military policeman and father on a quest to find out who killed his son, recently back from a tour in Iraq. In Paul Haggis’ first film since Crash, he delivers a subtly powerful anti-war film that hooks you in and gets under your skin.
5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
A visual, emotional journey based on the true story of French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffered a massive stroke, paralyzing his entire body except for his left eye. The realization that he is trapped inside his body is daunting and overwhelming, but with the help of therapists who devise a way to communicate through blinking and the love from his family, he learns to overcome the tragedy to appreciate his life — “I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren’t paralyzed: my imagination and my memory.” The photography is this film is striking with many of Jean-Do’s POVs incorporated, beautifully capturing his frozen state and dream-like memories. You won’t stop thinking about it.
6. Juno
7. Eastern Promises
8. Michael Clayton
9. Knocked Up
10. The Darjeeling Ltd.
11. Atonement
12. Gone Baby Gone
13. Superbad
14. The Bourne Ultimatum. The best of the three, in a trilogy that only got better. It is not only a bad-ass action flick, it’s a great movie, to boot.
15. Zodiac
16. No End in Sight / Sicko
17. Breach
18. Across the Universe
19. Sunshine
20. The TV Set. A dry and funny satire about writer Mike Klein (David Duchovny) fighting for his vision of a TV pilot, while the network tries to undermine him on casting, production, and everything else. Sigourny Weaver is great as the network president, as is Judy Greer playing Klein’s manager.

Honorable Mentions: 28 Weeks Later, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, I Am Legend, King of California, Live Free or Die Hard, Starting Out in the Evening

Would Love To/Have Yet To See: Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Charlie Wilson’s War, Control, I’m Not There, Into the Wild, La Vie en Rose, Persepolis, The Southland Tales, Sweeney Todd


ThatJacy’s Top 10:

1. There Will Be Blood. From the creepy ass opening shot to the last scene (one of the best scenes in the history of films, I’d say) I couldn’t take my eyes off this movie, mostly due to Daniel Day Lewis’ phenomenal acting. A breath of fresh air after watching a years worth of no-talent Hollywood hacktors. (See: casts of Epic Movie, Norbit, Fred Claus, Josh Hartnett…)
2. No Country for Old Men. Prediction: Top Halloween costume of 2008 will be Anton Chigurh.
3. A Mighty Heart. Most underrated movie of the year. I challenge you to watch Juno and A Mighty Heart back to back and tell me that Angelina did not get robbed of a best actress nomination. Do it. Now.
4. The Darjeeling Ltd. I’m white. Wes Anderson movies never get old.
5. Zodiac. The most entertaining thriller since what’s his name was trying to find out who murdered his wife.
6. Juno. If I would have gotten up to get popcorn, been stuck in traffic, in the bathroom and missed the first 20 minutes of the movie, it would probably be bumped up a couple of notches. But alas, I had to sit through the opening scenes of overwritten, forced dialogue and so it’s six. It’s also six because despite our first impression, it was an original-ish, heartfelt, well-written, well-cast film. And snaps for Diablo Cody for both becoming a name as a writer and for creating strong female characters. Hollywood needs more of them. (Yes, that was my wah to overlooked writers, girl power, feminist plug right there. Suck it.)
7. Eastern Promises. Naked man-fighting? Sold.
8. 3:10 to Yuma. So, okay. Maybe it wasn’t the best film ever, but Christian Bale’s performance was outstanding. Far be it for me to say anything more about this movie when I haven’t even seen the original.
9. Ratatatoullie. Cooking rats? Yes, please. It was funny, charming, and beat out that other shitty culinary movie of 2007…
10. Gone Baby Gone. The only thing I like more than Casey Affleck’s voice is people trying to do an impression of Casey Affleck’s voice. And the only thing I would have liked more about Gone Baby Gone is if I truly didn’t think the movie was over after 25 minutes, gotten up, screamed about how “this is a terrible movie!” and realized that I still had an hour and a half to go. It was embarrassing. Lucky for me I stuck around to get some obligatory words of wisdom from Morgan Freeman, noticed that even if you’re in a movie for <20 minutes you can still get a best supporting actress nomination, and saw a brilliant ending that lead to heated discourse about morality.

Honorable Mentions:
Superbad.
The American Pie of 2007 if American Pie was actually funny, heartfelt, funny, well-written, well-cast, funny, unpredictable, funny…
DeathProof. See aforementioned ‘girl power rant’ and membership card.