#12: Children of Men – Top 25 Films of the Decade


Children of Men (2006)

Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston

Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
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#20: Serenity – Top 25 Films of the Decade


Serenity (2005)

Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, David Krumholtz, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Directed By: Joss Whedon
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Top 10 Movies of 2008


As I did with my albums of the year list, I have to begin this list lamenting the fact that the 2008 year in film was not as good as the 2007 year in film. It was a down year for art in general, as pretty much any critic you read will tell you. Part of the reason for the negativity is the fact that the usual year end glut of awards baiting prestige films were largely disappointing, often ranging from merely solid to outright bad. And since that’s the steady diet critics (and myself) are fed around the time they write year end lists (albeit theirs come out at the actual end of the year, whereas mine waits until February, but I have to pay to see my movies), so it’s not surprising that the same enthusiasm wasn’t there, especially when the year before featured instant classics like No Country for Old Men, Zodiac, and There Will Be Blood.

Instead, the greatness in 2008 came not from the types of movies Hollywood likes to get dressed up for to dole out awards, but from the films fans line up for to buy overpriced concessions to see on opening day, or movies released early in the year when people weren’t paying attention. So this list is still filled with movies I enjoyed quite a bit, and recommend to everyone. As of this writing, I’ve seen 63 films released in North America in 2008, which includes some foreign language films that were released in their native countries in previous years, but doesn’t include some TIFF films I saw that haven’t yet been released (some of which would definitely contend for this list and will probably pop up next year… unless it is phenomenal). Of those 63, these were the best…
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TV Talk: My Television Schedule

Updated with new networks.
Here’s something many of you probably never expected to hear me say (or read me write for that matter): I watch too much TV. Okay, I don’t really mean that, at least not in the traditional sense. I don’t actually have a problem with the number of hours I spend in front of the television (well, okay, in front of the computer which is in front of the television), but rather the number of shows I’m currently watching.

What’s the issue? Well, every week it seems that most of my free time is spent keeping my DVR clear of the new shows that air, leaving me less time for other important matters, like movies or TV box sets (ha… and you thought I was going to say “reading”). This is an issue because there’s a good chunk of TV series that I’m currently following that aren’t as good as the ones I’d like to be watching on DVD (The Shield in particular). So I figured a good exercise would be to look at all the TV series currently airing new episodes that I follow, and maybe make some choices that will ease my burden (or, you know, “burden” as it were). After all, the last time I used this space to muse about a show that I no longer cared for, I cut the cord a week later.

Plus, I thought it could be fun for you all to see exactly what I’m watching, day by day. You know, if you were wondering.
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Movie Review Catch-up

I’ve cooled off on writing movie reviews lately, in part because I wrote up 28 movies in 10 days about a month ago, in part because I’ve been wanting to use this blog for more than just movie reviews. So I’ve let a few 2008 releases that I’ve seen pass without reviews, but still have the desire to get my opinion of them on he record. In some cases, enough time has passed since I last saw the film that I couldn’t hope to write a full review, so here’s four mini-reviews on some 2008 movies that may be of interest.

Read on for reviews of:
Baby Mama (2008) 
Burn After Reading (2008) 
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 
Pineapple Express (2008) 
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Top 20 Comic Book Movies of All-Time

I admit, this story makes no sense.

I grew up a comic book fan, falling in and out of the habit as I got older. The times in my life where I stopped reading comics didn’t have too much to do with the comics themselves (although they probably did at times parallel a downturn in quality in the X-Men, the primary series I collected), but more to do with a lack of funds or my other entertainment options taking up my time. But then they started making movies about comics — more specifically, they started making GOOD movies about comics, and I decided to start reading comics again (albeit in much smaller doses).

So I write this list both as a fan of movies and a fan of comics. Thus, I’m also a big fan of movies based on comic books, when I’m not busy being a big critic of movies based on comics that fail to live up to the source material. This is a list I’ve been meaning to write for a few years now, and in that time, the list of candidates has only grown. Because the world of comic book adaptations has grown to encompass a nice variety of of genres and types, I felt a bigger list of 20 would lead to a more diverse and interesting collection than would a traditional list of 10. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen every comic book movie released, but I have seen every one that’s been released that I plan on seeing (meaning that if I haven’t seen a movie by now, I probably never will, because I’ve heard it sucks).

But first, I’ll clarify what I mean by “comic book movies”. For the purpose of this list, a comic book movie is any feature length film whose story and/or characters originally appeared in a comic book (and a comic book includes comics, comic strips, graphic novels, or manga). So films with comic book themes that didn’t originate in the world of comics, such as The Incredibles, Unbreakable, or Hancock, don’t qualify. Nor do sci-fish properties that originated elsewhere but have since become comic books, such as Transformers (not that it would ever make a list of mine).

The other thing I should clarify is what I mean by “top”. In this, I’m mostly judging the films by the quality of the films themselves, and less so by how strong they are as adaptations, although that will obviously come into play. The reason this isn’t simply a list on the best adaptations is twofold: one, I haven’t read all the source material for every comic book movie, and two, some movies don’t necessarily adapt one source as much as they borrow from several (that said, if I have read the source material, it would obviously affect my opinion of the film). Other than that, “top” is an amalgamation between “best” and “favourite”. And now, on to the list…
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Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Top Five.

This is it, the end of the list. If you were saving your comments for the list in full, speak now. I don’t really mind if few people were reading this, it was fun to put together either way. If you wanna see all the screen caps I made, including episodes that didn’t make the cut, you can see them HERE. If you want them for yourself, feel free to take them. It’s not like I own the copyright. Just don’t hotlink.
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Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 10-6.

Here it is, the start of the top ten. A quick note to be made here is that I didn’t miss number 8. Number 7, “Graduation Day” is a two-part episode, and thus is a tie. It is both number 7 and 8 on the list, or, 7a and b. If I were only doing a Top Ten, then I’d probably just rank it as one episode, but since this is a Top 25, I figured that they should take their own spots on the list as a tie. To see what ranked 15-11, click HERE.
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Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 15-11.

Numbers 20-16 can be seen HERE.
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Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 20-16.

Time to continue with the Big List. The reason why I’m breaking it down into 5 groups of 5 is that I worry that no one would read the whole thing if I posted it at once. Most would start off reading it, then they’d scroll down, maybe read an episode they love, then scroll some more. Of course, that could still be happening, but breaking it up increases the possibility that some people might read the whole deal. To read what ranked 25 through 21, click HERE.
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Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 25-21.

One of my favourite reads this summer has been Noel Murray’s posts about the first two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for The Onion’s AV Club. Murray is a first time viewer of the show, and reading him discover the brilliance of one of my all-time favourite shows has been a fun way of re-living the series, so if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out his posts (which finished up today, to be continued with season three some time around December).

Inspired by this trip down memory lane, I thought I’d re-post my Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer list that I originally wrote way back in 2005. While an older piece of writing (and thus possibly not as strong as my current writing), it’s still one of my favourite blog posts ever, both in terms of how much fun it was to put together and pride in how in turned out. Read on past the jump to find out the first five episodes to make the list, along with some of my reasoning at the time for the post. Numbers 20-1 will follow shortly (or, depending on when you’re reading this, have already been posted).
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