and Worst of 2007
A solidly made and utterly absorbing drama from
first time director Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton hits all the
right notes as it exposes an ugly side of capitalism. George Clooney
(Ocean’s 13) is terrific in the title role, a “fixer”
for a big time Manhattan corporate law firm who works behind the scenes
in a moral netherworld. His job is to find a way to protect the firm
and their clients. No one asks about his means or methods.
the screenwriter of the Bourne movies, has contributed a smart,
complex screenplay that crackles with sharp, realistic dialogue. He
also gives us some concise background information that helps us understand
Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack are standouts in a
solid supporting cast. But this movie belongs to Clooney. In a sensational
turn of impressive depth, Clooney brings this complex character completely
to life…alternately strong and vulnerable, savvy and clueless.
is beautiful, and you need look no further than Hairspray for
proof. The movie musical has arrived with buoyant bouffants in tow.
Rousing, energetic and infectious, this adaptation of the Tony Award-winning
show piles the fun as high as a beehive hairdo. It is easily the year’s
most entertaining film and supplies a painless message about inclusiveness.
There Will Be Blood
it doesn’t officially open until Jan. 18, Paul Thomas Anderson’s
chilling adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ novel Oil was
screened in KC in December to qualify for awards consideration. Daniel
Day Lewis is superb as a soulless oilman in this combination of Citizen
Kane and Giant.
Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Amazingly, another musical made the list. Brilliantly
adapted by director Tim Burton, this hit from the Great White Way stars
Johnny Depp as a homicidal barber in 19th century London. The great
music, talented performers and sensational art direction help make the
grisly subject matter much more palatable.
is a beautifully rendered and intelligent animated offering from Pixar,
telling the story of a culinary genius who happens to be a rat. An arthouse
cartoon, it raises the bar both in terms of sophisticated storytelling
and in visual splendor.
No Country for Old Men, Once, Zodiac, Atonement,
After the Wedding.
Daddy Day Camp
there were ever someone in dire need of a new agent, it’s Oscar
winner, Cuba Gooding, Jr. What on earth is he thinking? His latest film
is a mind-numbingly bad family flick called Daddy Day Camp.
A sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 2003 comedy Daddy Day Care,
this cheaply and awkwardly made movie is so awful that even Murphy (who
made Norbit, for crying out loud) wouldn’t touch it
Whoever decided that World Wrestling Entertainment
should get involved in producing movies should be condemned. Stone Cold
Steve Austin plays a death row inmate in a Central American prison.
He’s given an opportunity to win his freedom by fighting to the
death with other prisoners. The onscreen mayhem makes the movie’s
so-called “anti-violence” message seem like the penultimate
the end of this historical drama, a character yells, “Just kill
me!” Audience members will want to say the same thing. Jon Voight
stars in this amateurish melodrama that purports to the true story of
the massacre of settlers by Mormons pioneers.
Pathfinder recreates a period of history
with comic book mentality. Unlike 300, it lacks the artistic
vision to pull it off gracefully. It tells a fable about the Native
Americans’ efforts to rebuff Viking invaders 600 years before
Columbus. As author Frank Miller says, “F*** history!”
The Movie is a live action comedy inspired by the line of dolls
that some groups claim inspire young girls to become pint-sized “hoochie
mamas.” The story concerns the high school tribulations of four
teens with a “passion for fashion.” It’s loud, annoying
and unintentionally offensive.
Who’s Your Caddy, The Seeker: Dark is Rising,
Reno 911: Miami, Because I Said So, Good Luck