Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reverse Shot's Best of 2008


Let's face it. We all love top 10 lists, no matter how arbitrary they actually are. At their best, they name films that readers might not see (or have even heard of) otherwise. At their worst, which is more often, the lists barely vary from critic to critic and don't have any surprises. While we at Out 1 are still working on our own lists (which will hopefully be a version of lists at their best), one of my favorite sites, Reverse Shot, has just released theirs. Hopefully, this will give everyone their good top 10 fix until we put the final nail in that coffin with our own lists (coming at the end of the month). Reverse Shot always displays some of the sharpest film criticism found anywhere today. Likewise, their top 10 is one I am always extremely interested in. Thought I might as well point you in their direction and share the list. The list (copied below) can be seen with comments here.

1. The Flight of the Red Balloon
2. Synecdoche, New York
3. A Christmas Tale
4. Wendy and Lucy
5. Silent Light
6. Happy-Go-Lucky
7. Still Life
8. Paranoid Park
9. Wall*E
10. Ballast

Our own top 10 lists will appear somewhere near the end of the month. Sorry for the delay, but many of our contributors are still waiting on certain films to be released in their markets. We'd rather wait and be closer to complete, rather than everyone wanting to edit their list two days after its published! Thanks for your patience!

14 comments:

Brandon Colvin said...

It sucks that I haven't seen half of those.

STILL LIFE is coming on Netflix.
WENDY AND LUCY is not playing anywhere close.
Same for SILENT LIGHT.
A CHRISTMAS TALE is coming to Lexington soon.
I missed HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

FUCK.

James Hansen said...

Stupid Kentucky. Gotta get out of there!!!

STILL LIFE is visually amazing, but the first time around I found it to have some confusion in execution (see my review if'n you don't remember). That said, I'm gonna try and see it again soon. Jia's films sometimes need a few viewings.

Do you have a region free player? SILENT LIGHT is out on Region 2 DVD and I have it. Let me know... or talk to Jacob. He has a couple of the ones you listed...perhaps don't talk about that on the board though... :P

HGL is realz good. CHRISTMAS TALE is all over the place- sort of in a good way, sort of in a bad way. It's a great watch, but it's nothing compared to some of Desplechin's earlier efforts.

Does that cheer you up at all? :)

Brandon Colvin said...

Makes me feel a little better.

Still, I think I would punch someone in the face to see WENDY AND LUCY.

Chuck Williamson said...

Not to intrude, but did you say that SILENT LIGHT is available on a region 2 disc? If so, I would love to somehow purchase a copy. It was, without a doubt, the film I most anticipated seeing this year, and I was beside myself with frustration when it failed to materialize anywhere close to here.

Like Brandon, I suffer from the Kentucky blues.

As for the list: I actually saw this the other day, and think it's one of the better top tens released this year (Film Comment's also rocked my socks). I am especially happy to see THE FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON and SYNEDOCHE, NEW YORK placed so high.

And like Brandon, I have not seen WENDY AND LUCY, STILL LIFE, or A CHRISTMAS TALE (though I'll probably watch it on IFC on demand--W&L, on the other hand, is out of my reach). I've also missed out on PARANOID PARK (which is coming to me through Netflix)--and many others that are slowly, but surely, coming to Nashville (or not).

Sometimes, I wonder if I just need to start downloading all of these from torrents, like everyone else.

Chuck Williamson said...

And for the record, I would also punch someone in the face to see WENDY AND LUCY.

Brandon Colvin said...

Regarding the lists, I think this is my favorite one so far. Four of those are in my top 10 and one is an honorable mention for sure.

Film Comment's list is pretty solid - as usual. I'm kind of shocked that THE DARK KNIGHT didn't make their list though. Not that I wanted it to, necessarily. It's not gonna make my top 20.

Chuck, I envy your IFC On-Demand.

Chuck Williamson said...

Don't get too envious. I'm still screaming at them to go ahead and make GOMORRAH and CHE available on demand. Instead, I get all of IFC's flotsam and jetsom -- the second-tier stuff that I don't necassarily want to purchase for $6. But, in all, you still get to see a lot of good stuff that wouldn't otherwise make it to my neck of the woods.

THE DARK KNIGHT is still the only mainstream American film I really liked this year -- all of the traditional Oscar bait, meanwhile, has disappointed tremendously. Well, aside from MILK. But that's about it.

Brandon Colvin said...

Agreed about the Oscar bait.

Mainstream-wise, I was into quite a few releases.

Tony said...

Christmas tale is definitely making my top 10 this year, though I do agree it was all over the place. As for the others, flight of the red balloon, wendy and Lucy, ballast, are on my must see list and I'm crossing my fingers for re-releases of the first and the latter given the buzz surrounding. And I'll look into my ps3, I really hope it's region free. If so James I'd like to talk to you about coming over to visit andy. :)

Synechdoche, ny and wall e would both make my top ten as well. So all in all I am very impressed with this list.

In concern to mainstream though, what about wall e, isn't that considered mainstream?

Also gamorrah hasn't even been released in New York, coming to IFC in February. So it might be a bit for tHe on demand as well.

Tony said...

Christmas tale is definitely making my top 10 this year, though I do agree it was all over the place. As for the others, flight of the red balloon, wendy and Lucy, ballast, are on my must see list and I'm crossing my fingers for re-releases of the first and the latter given the buzz surrounding. And I'll look into my ps3, I really hope it's region free. If so James I'd like to talk to you about coming over to visit andy. :)

Synechdoche, ny and wall e would both make my top ten as well. So all in all I am very impressed with this list.

In concern to mainstream though, what about wall e, isn't that considered mainstream?

Also gamorrah hasn't even been released in New York, coming to IFC in February. So it might be a bit for tHe on demand as well.

Jacob said...

I wasn't a huge fan of Still Life (I should probably re-watch it), but everything else on this list (that I've seen) was pretty great. I would probably punch someone in the face to see Ballast. Square in the jaw...

Chuck Williamson said...

This might be sacreligious or something, buuuuuuut... I wasn't that much into WALL*E. I recognize the merit and liked it well enough, but could not understand the hyperbolic responses people had about the film. It was good and certainly gorgeous and brave--but not the masterpiece I was expecting. But, then again, I had similar issues with other Pixar products (that--and I have a heart of STONE). Maybe a second viewing will help me warm up to it (at the same time, I would be elated if WALL*E got a Best Picture nomination over something like FROST/NIXON or BUTTONS or DOUBT--or Brandon's favorite, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE).

I guess I'm just impatient for GOMORRAH.

FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON is available on DVD. As is PARANOID PARK, which just arrived in my mailbox (thanks Netflix!).

BALLAST is quite excellent -- definitely on my top 10.

MovieMan0283 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MovieMan0283 said...

I've only seen one of these films (and that only a few days ago). My folks saw Flight of the Red Balloon and hated it. And I still haven't seen Wall*E.