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The Big Board
for David Mumpower

Big Board Year:

Choose the size of the Big Board:
Small (just the list)
Medium (quick bullet points)

Think Rear Window
1. Iron Man
    This is a masterpiece of popcorn cinema. Favreau delivers a focused story and Downey Jr.'s performance is a revelation, while Paltrow is every bit as good in her supporting role.
2. Frost/Nixon
    This film manages the impossible by demonizing Nixon for his weakness while lionizing his strengths. Sheen, Langella, and Rockwell all deliver breathtaking performances.
3. Definitely, Maybe
    One of the best romantic comedies of the 2000s and easily the most innovative.
4. Kung Fu Panda
    Immediately surpasses Over the Hedge to become (easily) my favorite DreamWorks Animated release. I even bought a stuffed animal of Tigress.
    I love the first half of the movie, but the part with the humans does feel a bit forced and awkward. The start is as good as Pixar gets (i.e. perfect) but it fails to sustain momentum.

Think Die Hard
6. In Bruges
    Sparkling script helps In Bruges win the coveted vote for most pleasant surprise of the year.
7. Bolt
    A scene toward the end of Bolt made me cry. That doesn't happen often for me at a movie.
8. The Bank Job
    Brilliant heist flick makes me long for the days when Statham did high-brow British villainy rather than low-brow Hollywood action.
9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    Adorable comedy features two of my favorite scenes of the year. I also think this is the film that establishes Kristen Bell's greatness.
10. Meet Bill
    I absolutely adored this film and felt Aaron Eckhart should have gotten more end-of-year awards consideration.

Think Lost in Translation
11. Speed Racer
    Shockingly complex storyline of fractured time has been largely ignored in the rush to bash the film. Speed Racer is a visceral as well as a visual achievement that I enjoyed mightily.
12. Rachel Getting Married
    This is my choice for best screenplay of 2008. Jenny Lumet somehow paints a vivid picture with the brush strokes not made as much as she does with those on the canvas.
13. Slumdog Millionaire
    A marvelous storytelling accomplishment, it's just a bit too grim and moralistic for my tastes. I also wish adult Latika's husband hadn't been so one dimensional.
14. The Dark Knight
    Please put down your torches and pitchforks. I found some aspects of the movie brilliant, but it overreaches in a confusing, clunky climax that has at least two too many moving parts.
15. Tropic Thunder
    The funniest film I have seen in 2008 to date.
16. Traitor
    Grrrreat spy thriller totally re-shapes the landscape of the story halfway through. I was impressed by that piece of storytelling.
17. Milk
    I would have put this movie in my top five for the year if not for the Diego Luna character being such a swishy cliche of neediness. All the other acting in the film is the gold standard.
18. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Worthy sequel has all the right touches but is clearly inferior to the two best films in the franchise, Raiders and Last Crusade. It's still better than Temple of Doom, but that's not saying much.

Think Point Break
19. Get Smart
    As a huge fan of the original series, I expected to be disappointed by this. To the contrary, Anne Hathaway uncannily channeled Barbara Feldon and made this a joy.
20. The Strangers
    Easily the scariest movie of the year, the true terror here is the randomness of the act.
21. How to Rob a Bank
    You have probably never heard of this movie, but Erika Christensen is a revelation in it. I am also deeply impressed with the way first time writer/director Andrew Jenkins' mind works.
22. The Duchess
    This tale of court intrigue surrounding her loveless marriage of convenience (and title) and fall from grace at court proves a showcase role for Keira Knightley's natural talent.
23. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    Imaginitive, colorful sequel is more of a fable than most comic book adaptations. I expect it to stand the test of time as a family classic.
24. Fool's Gold
    I am shocked by how much I enjoyed this movie. It's got the spirit of Romancing the Stone even if it lacks the same story or acting talent.
25. What Happens in Vegas
    I'm indifferent to Kutcher and can't stand Diaz, so I was surprised by how charismatic I found them as a tandem. Movie plays like an above average episode of Friends.
26. Street Kings
    Quality guy film has the tendencies of L.A. Confidential and the violence of a Charles Bronson flick.
27. Hancock
    I love Will Smith's and Charlize Theron's performances, but Hancock is a jumbled mess too often to be ignored.

Think Odd-Numbered Star Trek Movie
28. The Wackness
    Engaging story is probably the one The Squid and the Whale meant to be. The Wackness features the best musical accompaniment of 2008.
29. Horton Hears a Who
    Dr. Seuss would have liked this one, probably a first for one of his movies.
30. Then She Found Me
    Helen Hunt's personal project is uneven at times, but I really like where its heart is. Don't tell my wife but Colin Firth is great in this.
31. Cloverfield
    The camera work distracted me too much to love this, but I give huge credit for the number of good ideas explored in the film.
32. Shine a Light
    The conflict between Scorsese and Jagger makes for a fascinating sideshow to a great concert performance. Plus: Tumbling Dice!
33. The Forbidden Kingdom
    Genial kung fu flick is so easy going that even Jet Li cracks a couple of jokes. The proverbial fun for the whole family qualifier of early 2008.
34. Journey to the Center of the Earth
    Warm albeit straight forward family film offers few surprises, but it delivers exactly what the trailers promise, a rare occurence these days.
35. The Incredible Hulk
    My low expectations were easily surpassed by the opening sequence alone. The "days since incident" counter is a great inclusion.
36. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    This is too shamelessly derivative of the writer's prior work, Forrest Gump, to be ignored. It's also too long by a full hour.
37. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
    Fun cast revels in an uneven but warm movie written by BOP fave Malcolm Lee.
38. The X-Files: I Want to Believe
    The movie is not as terrible as some would have you believe; it's just not special. What proves to be a modern update on a classic horror tale isn't engaging enough to justify movie sequel status.
39. Diary of the Dead
    Mr. Romero keeps making zombie movies and I keep enjoying them. There aren't many new ideas here, but it's still a lot of fun.
40. Run Fatboy Run
    I love Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton but the sum of this is less than its parts. The film is very well intended, though.
41. Nim's Island
    Amiable family film walks just the right balance between whimsical and therapeutic.
42. Priceless
    If Audrey Tautou doesn't have a restraining order against me, she should get one. This is a decent French farce but her presence makes it worth the effort.
43. 21
    The book was much better, but I still found this to be a decent albeit shallow exploration of the MIT gamblers.

Think Ashley Judd Movies Where Her Husband Is Awful, So She Kills Him
44. Vantage Point
    What seems like a 24 knockoff on the surface offers some inventive sequences but doesn't add up to much in the end.
45. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    I would have enjoyed this movie so much more without the brutal narration. It's like a Driver's Ed film in this regard. Yikes.
46. Untraceable
    Underrated thriller offers its fair share of surprises but the ending leaves a lot to be desired. All build-up, little payoff.
47. The Pineapple Express
    I'm growing concerned Seth Rogen is headed down the wrong path, but James Franco and Danny McBride almost save the film.
48. Defiance
    World War II was an unpleasant time for certain religious factions. What a revelation. Seriously, it's an amazing story of perseverance, but just read the wiki entry about the story instead.
49. Space Chimps
    Sure, this is a film for the under eight set, but who cares? It's a sweet, amiable movie for kids that I recommend for all new-ish parents.
50. 88 Minutes
    I had high hopes for this movie after the first hour. I found the build-up taut and engaging, but the rest of it is...well, pathetic.
51. Mister Foe
    God bless Sophia Myles and her filthy, dirty mouth. I would have paid $9.95 a minute for that.
52. Quantum of Solace
    Things I liked about this Bond film: Gemma Atherton. Things I didn't like: everything else.
53. Made of Honor
    By the numbers romantic comedy covers no new ground but is amiable enough, painfully forced ending excepted.
54. RocknRolla
    Guy Ritchie's roots show at several instances in the film, but this is his worst overall outing since Swept Away.

Think Even-Numbered Star Trek Movie
55. College Road Trip
    Too silly for words. I think the target audience for this is only slightly older than the Baby Geniuses franchise.
56. Choke
    The most difficult movie to judge this year, parts of Choke are sublime (a barn scene toward the end in particular) while others (the craigslist ad) are cringe-inducing. I don't -think- I liked it.
57. Mirrors
    Kiefer Sutherland is great in everything, but the big mystery here not the least bit engaging.
58. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
    Even rougher around the edges than the first film, this one doesn't have quite as many laughs but it's still fun.
59. Leatherheads
    Quality performances cannot overcome a deadly dull script. This is a textbook example of thinking star power will fix everything.
60. One Missed Call
    Novel idea for a horror movie has decent performances but not enough in terms of chill-inducing oomph.
61. The Orphanage
    I thought the idea was creepy and understood the buzz but I found the exercise too artificial in execution.
62. Gran Torino
    Angry film features poorly illustrated, stereotypical characters. Eastwood's worst work in many moons.
63. Jumper
    I love Samuel Jackson, but he's in this movie in name only. I've seen more effort from Manny Ramirez.
64. The Other Boleyn Girl
    Quite possibly the biggest waste of talent of the year. I've seen operas that were not this boring. Wagner operas.
65. Body of Lies
    Hollywood just needs to stay out of the Middle East. Syriana is the only one of these politico films that really got it right.
66. Eagle Eye
    Why would the world's smartest computer locate its most important tech directly above a pool of destructive fluid? Stuff like this is what drives me nuts about the movies.
67. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
    My wife was asleep long before the fight between Michelle Yeoh and Jet Li occurred. I think that says it all about a well-natured but mediocre sequel to a franchise I really enjoy.

Think Tyler Perry's Collection
68. Rambo
    This and Doomsday are running neck for the title of Most Pointless, Gratuitous Movie Deaths of 2008.
69. Prom Night
    In the annals of pointless horror remakes, this one still manages to fall somewhere near the bottom. I really like Brittany Snow as an actress, though.
70. The Eye
    Most faithful remake of an Asian horror masterpiece to date is hurt by the lack of mystery and surprise...and Jessica Alba's acting.
71. Charlie Bartlett
    Enjoyable first hour falls apart completely in the end. This is the forgotten 2008 Robert Downey Jr. release and rightfully so.
72. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
    I've never felt older. Also: those Jonas Brothers are some ugly kids.
73. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
    She's just too spunky for me.
74. Revolutionary Road
    There had to be a better project these two could have chosen for their Titanic reunion.

Think Star Wars Prequel
75. Doubt
    Powerhouse acting troupe fails to save a grim tale of murky ethics among the clergy. And Viola Davis' character makes some comments that frankly infuriated me.
76. Mad Money
    Katie Holmes picked this over The Dark Knight? That's even crazier than marrying Tom Cruise.
77. Transsiberian
    I'm a huge fan of writer/director Brad Anderson's previous film, Session 9, but this completely misses the mark, particularly Ben Kingsley's character (and acting).
78. The Ruins
    Hey, look, a bunch of teens die in a movie! How novel! The novel had a reputation for originality, none of which is found in its theatrical adaptation.
79. Baby Mama
    Every bit as awful as the trailers made it out to be. I'm just not drinking the Tina Fey kool-aid.
80. Wanted
    Quite possibly the most misogynistic, hateful movie of the 2000s. Anyone who enjoyed this film needs court supervision.
81. Semi-Pro
    Not even semi-funny. Makes Kicking and Screaming look like Airplane...and I couldn't stand Kicking and Screaming.
82. 10,000 B.C.
    The CGI kitty and the lead actress' contact lens are the only highlights of the movie. I'm not even kidding.

Think Date Movie, Superhero Movie, and Their Shameless, Pathetic Ilk
83. Sex and the City
    I curse the day the creators of this series were born.
84. The Spiderwick Chronicles
    Harry Potter wannabe allegedly cost $90 million. Looks like a bad show on The CW (assuming that's not redundant)
85. War, Inc.
    This makes me retroactively dislike Grosse Pointe Blank a bit. Seriously, John, dubya tee eff?
86. Miss Conception
    Ironically, this is a cinematic abortion.
87. The Reader
    Kids, let this be a lesson to you about literacy. If you don't learn to read, the only jobs you can get are at concentration camps.
88. Superhero Movie
    Clearly, its superhero ability should have been not sucking.
89. 27 Dresses
    Offensive to men, women, dogs, cats, trees and especially dresses.
90. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
    Ben Stein was impossibly well cast in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. 90 minutes of him is the proverbial cure for insomnia.
91. Religulous
    Bill Maher redefines unctuous in this movie and I say that as someone who watched Politically Incorrect for years.

Think Uwe Boll's Collection. Or Not. Not Is Probably Better.
92. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie
    Okay, we all know Uwe Boll sucks as a filmmaker, so let's focus on something different this time. Who did the god-awful music in this and how tone deaf are they? Free advice: never play Rock Band.
93. Meet the Spartans
    Why, God, why?
94. Meet Dave
    Dear Gabrielle Union: Please never put me through something like this ever again. Otherwise, I may have to stop crushing on you.
95. The Hottie & the Nottie
    Ugly people don't deserve love until they pretty themselves up. Duh.
96. The Happening
    M. Night Shyamalan was replaced by a Skrull. That's the only logical explanation for how much his films have fallen in quality since Signs.
97. Doomsday
    Rhona Mitra is possibly the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but this movie is Tank Girl Meets Road Warrior...and a complete disaster.
98. The Love Guru
    This is the worst movie I've seen since Alone in the Dark. If it had more singing and chainsaw killing of Meatloaf, it would be destined to become a midnight movie classic.



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Monday, July 16, 2018
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