The Tens: Best Of Film 2007

My Top 10 for the year 2007 comes to you from the midst of the WGA Writer’s Strike of 2007-2008, when there was some doubt about whether or not a typical Oscar telecast would even be possible without those striking scribes.

That would have been quite a shame, since 2007 is one of the very best (if not the best) cinematic years of the new millennium thus far. In almost any other year that decade, my #3 choice would probably have been my #1 choice.

Of course, the Oscars did happen, with major wins for Marion Cotillard, Diablo Cody, and the Coen Brothers, amongst others. But it’s interesting, and a little depressing, to imagine an alternate reality where we never saw a bunch of very deserving actors and filmmakers take home the gold for a job well done.

(A briefer version of this Top Ten list was first published in my “Confessions of a Dangerous Film Student” column in INsite Boston in early 2008.)

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‘Selma’ & Louie Z: Awards Season’s Historical Heavyweights

UNBROKEN Some films are great.

Some films are Important.

Some are both, some are neither. Many are one, attempting to be the other.

This time of year always unleashes at least one major release about a historical event we’re all familiar with, usually a true story, often centered around a major war or some other national or global watershed moment. Is it something about the onset of winter that makes us want to watch such stories?

No. It’s the Oscars.

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I Need A Hero: Is Tom Cruise Still The Best Action Star We’ve Got?

(Movies discussed in this post: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.)

I had the makings of a fanboy. Things could very well have turned out differently for me, had I continued my worship of Batman and the T-Rex instead of turning my eye on the guys who put them in front of my eyes, Tim Burton and Steven Spielberg.

Instead, I evolved — and soon my “Event Movies” were the ones with names like Aronofsky and Cuaron and Greengrass attached. Names the general public probably isn’t even familiar with. What happened? In theory, I’d like to get into those big-time Event Movies the same way I used to, but lately, so many of them turn out to be a non-event. For every blockbuster, there are ten would-be tentpoles that are a plain ol’ bust.

Is it me, or the movies?

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