2008: Worst year for movies so far this decade?
I'll post this as a blog entry for now, though maybe that's not the right category.
So I've been thinking lately (I do that once in awhile), and I've deduced that, along with the year when Crash won Best Picture, this year is prolly the decade's worst when it comes to movies. I know, we say that every year, but hear me out...
Case in point: The Dark Knight, on track to break Titanic's record, is a phenomenally-dark (but still PG-13) sequel to a very popular first film. And while it's certainly one of the year's best films, few would deny that its gross was inflated thanks to the death of co-star Heath Ledger and to advance buzz over his performance.
But what else was there? Indy 4 underwhelmed almost everyone who saw it, including those moviegoers who already had a feeling that it would suck. WALL-E was a critical fave but audiences were mixed over it (and I basically loathed it), and it's largely dialogue-free script hampered box office grosses. Iron Man was the other successful comic book movie book-end to The Dark Knight, but in between those two were genre films The Incredible Hulk and Hancock. Both had mixed reviews, with the latter's tone-jarring plot twist killing the momentum (and apparently the box office gross, aside from a strong opening weekend). I guess there was another X-Files movie, but I don't think anyone saw it, and I can't help but wonder, who even asked for that one?
What else was there? Tropic Thunder made me laugh, but I can't REMEMBER any other good comedies from 2008...nor can I recall any films released prior to May. Surely I must have seen SOMETHING!
Okay, so it's fall now and the Oscar race has officially kicked off with last weekend's release of The Duchess and the previous week's release of the new Coen Bros. film, which has already proven to be one of their lesser efforts. But when's the new Harry Potter film coming out? Sorry, not until next summer. I must confess, I am excited about the new Bond film, but we still have another two months for that one. What about W, Oliver Stone's GWB biopic? As much as I hope for greatness out of that one, and as much as I credit Stone for casting Josh Brolin as Chimpy McCokespoon, I saw Stone's last presidential biopic, Nixon, and it was, IIRC, a schitzophrenic mess. How 'bout The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? I really wanna be a believer but man, I'm so sick of Brad Pitt. I guess I'll wait for the reviews....
Should we blame the writer's strike for this dreg in cinema, or have our standards just gone down? Kee-rist.