Monday, January 22, 2007

Retroactive continuity comes to WPSTB!

Man, the name of my blog doesn't really work as an acronym (or abbreviation, if you want to get picky). And I'm sure to turn some people off with the use of comics terminology. And this self-criticism probably gets old too! Oh well; let's get down to business. I give you:

My Top Ten Films of the Year (revised!):

I got around to seeing a few of the movies I wanted to see, and, sure enough, some of them were good enough to supplant my early favorites. I figured I would go ahead and finalize the list, since I'm sending a top five into The Onion AV Club's annual film poll. Any bumped off off my previous list automatically get an honorable mention (like it matters to anybody but me). And luckily for you (mythical) readers, I'll only offer comments on the new entries. Here we go:

10. Babel
9. Shortbus
8. The Departed

7. Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro really makes incredible movies, both of the personal (Cronos, The Devil's Backbone) and commercial (Blade 2, Hellboy) varieties. This one definitely falls into the "personal" category; it's a sort of fairy tale set just after the end of the Spanish Civil War. I took it to be a look at the tendency/ability of children to escape into their imaginations when confronted with traumatic experiences (and the experiences in this movie are about as traumatic as you can get, with an emphasis on the effect war has on everybody), but I'm sure others might discover different symbolism. Great performances, with beautiful imagery and incredible effects. It's a scary movie, but I'm not sure which is scarier, the fantastic elements or the all-too-realistic human violence.

6. Marie Antoinette
5. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
4. The Fountain
3. A Prairie Home Companion

2. Children of Men

I had to angst about where on the list to put this one (although it doesn't matter that much, as all ten of these movies are pretty much equal in quality), but I eventually decided this movie was good enough to go higher than even Robert Altman's swan song. I did a brief post about it right after I saw the movie, and that sums up my feelings very well. Alfonso Cuaron's harrowingly realistic vision of a world gone to hell will stick with me for quite a while. I can't recommend it enough.

1. The Science of Sleep

So I'm calling that my final list. I should also add that I watched The Curse of the Golden Flower, which didn't make my top ten, but I liked enough to retroactively make it an honorable mention. It's a beautiful movie, with some amazing sets and costumes, and at least one scene that is awe-inspiring in the effort it must have taken to film. I've got a longer review in the works, but until then I'll just say "check it out!"