With so many films to pick from it was hard to decide which films were the best of the best in 2007. After thinking it through and reviewing all the films that came out this year, the task became easier. There were the summer hits, like Live Free or Die Hard, and the love stories, like Lars and the Real Girl. However, these flicks had something for everyone and made it big with the critics … and at the ticket booth.
Blast Magazine’s Best Movies of 2007
Ratatouille — Pixar, Animated, Rated G
If it isn’t the fishes or the penguins then its some other animal, in this case the rat that wants to be a chef proves to be much better than the others. Ratatouille is the endearing tale of a rodent, Remy, who ends up cooking in Paris. Remy creates a delicious soup for which his human friend, Linguini, gets credit and together they make amazing dishes. The restaurant where Linguini works is brought back to life because of this dual-hero power and through personal struggles and feats to find love the movie entertains and delivers animation greatness. With extreme attention to detail Pixar created one of its best films to date, it is exciting to imagine what will be coming in 2008.
Knocked Up — Universal Pictures, Comedy, Rated R
What made this movie likeable, and memorable, was the fact that its story line dealt with a real life dilemma. A one-night stand leads to an unwanted pregnancy, which could lead to a, "shmush-shmortion?" The movie, although comedic, touches on issues that real couples go through. True, Alison (Catherine Heigl) ending up with Ben (Seth Rogen) is probably unrealistic; yet the overall message of life not being what you want it to, or think it should, be is clear. In the words of Mr. Lennon, "life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."
Once — Fox Searchlight Pictures, Musical, Rated R
When one thinks of movie musicals it is easy to imagine films like Moulin Rouge and Hairspray, where the music and complex dance numbers fill the screen. But with Once that is not the case. The Irish musical/drama features music that incorporates into the story rather than being thrown in it. Although subtle, music is the main attraction as the interest that develops between the main characters, which are not identified by name, revolves around melodies. The woman is a pianist who cares for her mother and young daughter, and the man, a musician who works at his father’s repair shop. They find that by writing lyrics and creating tunes they reencounter true love in each other. Acclaimed at Sundance for it simplicity and pointedness, Once may not be a blockbuster or a pop flick but it’s definitely a great movie to watch with a new style for cinematographic musicals.
Transformers — Paramount, Action, PG-13
So it may not be Spiderman or Die Hard but nevertheless, Transformers put up a good fight to be counted as one of the best action blockbusters of the year. Geared towards the action figure and comic book series fans, with use of characters and references only true aficionados would know, the movie still managed to entertain everyone. With a simple plot- the good transformers, Autobots, fight to save the planet against the bad transformers, Decepticons, who want total world domination- the graphics and over the top fights made this movie easy to watch and digest. Far from rocket science with some comments quite politically incorrect the DVD rental is good for a "hanging out in sweat pants" kind of nightâ€¦ if a heart felt discussion is desired, rent A Mighty Heart.
Waitress — Fox Searchlight Pictures, Drama, PG-13
This movie made it on the list because of pie. Pie, pie, pie, everywhere pie. Kerri Russell was delightfully good in representing Jenna; a waitress living in the South who is married to a man she hates and is trying to escape from everything by wining a baking contest. Jenna is great at baking pies but her plans may come to a halt when she discovers she is pregnant. Her married doctor becomes her lover, a grumpy boss makes her life even more stressful and in the midst of it all she continues to bake savory treats. As the last movie from director Adrienne Shelly, who died this year, the movie incorporates three great things, a good story line, originality and dessert.
Zodiac — Paramount, Drama, Rated R
A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area roams free only leaving behind letters and cryptic messages that continue to confuse police. Investigators and reporters in this account of a true 1970’s case search for the murderer, known as the Zodiac, and take the viewer along for the chase. Jake Gyllenhaal was the poster boy for this movie but in reality all the actors did an excellent job in portraying the obsession and desire to catch the murderer. Although long, the film is great for detective show fanatics who enjoy getting clues and linking them together. Hopefully, to obtain the answer that will solve the case. What is best about the film is its use of San Francisco landmarks and era authenticity. Zodiac will hook you and make you think, why are we so obsessed with serial killers?
The Bourne Ultimatum — Universal Pictures, Action, PG-13
The other type of action movie. The Bourne Ultimatum includes fights, tying of the clues and a hunky leading man to make the ladies happy. Ultimatum is the third and final film from the Bourne series. With this movie the questions about David Bourne’s (Matt Damon) true origins are answered and the man-made assassin obtains vengeance. The special effects were realistic enough to make audiences believe such car chases, life-threatening brawls and detailed schemes to kill off Bourne, can take place in real life. Joining action and tale made audiences attentive to details without causing boredom showing them that killers do think before they prey.
Simpsons Movie — 20th Century Fox, Animated Comedy, PG-13
America’s favorite cartoon family made history in 2007 with its long awaited debut movie. With a plot that touched on a current issue, global warming, and appearances from every Simpsons character ever created, during a riot scene, the film delivered. The simple jokes that symbolize society’s faults made fans laugh and feel conscious at the same time. All was not political though. Some of the most memorable parts have got to be Homer’s musical "Spider Pig" rendition and, of course, Bart’s full frontal nude scene. With this movie audiences also got to see the evolution of the characters. Lisa gets a boyfriend, Maggie says her first word-finally- and Marge realizes she is indeed too good for Homer. The Simpsons Movie was funny, fast and odd as expected but it still seemed like a longer TV episode. Nevertheless, the larger than life version may be picked up in the future to elaborate on separate shows. For this reason everyone must watch it and avoid being the "one" who doesn’t know why the family lived in Alaska.
American Gangster — Universal Pictures, Drama, Rated R
Whether it is because it is based on a true story or because Jay-Z created some hot tracks for the film, American Gangster was a great last minute addition to this year’s best films. What makes the movie attractive is its description of the "good" bad world gangsters and cops live in. With rules, brotherly love and respect for their business, both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe demonstrate that neither a drug dealer nor a policeman can be labeled as criminals or heroes. The movie is brilliantly shot so that in almost two and-a-half hours an extensive cast and intertwining story continue to interest rather than overwhelm. American Gangster is the film that will have the local mall Santa Claus thinking "bada-bing" instead of "ho-ho-ho."
No Country for Old Men- Miramax Films, Drama, Rated R
Everything is bigger in Texas and the Coen Brothers show just that with No Country. Set in a border town in the 1980’s a sheriff who keeps his town safe without using any guns encounters crime at its nastiest. A drug deal gone badly puts a greedy citizen right in the middle of danger, bringing a murdering psychopath who wants to reclaim the money and save his own skin, to town. There are deaths, many deaths, and silence, a lot of silence. The brutality and silence are what make the film unique, showing man’s inabilities and the world’s unkindness.
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