SPRAYLIST 2008: Movies Of The Year

OK, Christmas is long-gone and New Year’s Eve isn’t for a while, so you’re probably bored. What can cheer you up?

How about yet another end of year list by people who – for some reason – assume their opinion is more worthwhile than yours? Well good. Following Friday’s exploration of the best albums of the year, the individual hecklerspray writers are back to tell you which movies they liked best this year.

Oh, and you should definitely tell us your best movie of the year below. Unless it’s Twilight. Because then we’ll BURN YOU.

Stuart Heritage

You should already know how good There Will Be Blood is, because it’s already won its awards. So sprawling and spare it almost hobbles itself with the breadth of its ambition in places, There Will Be Blood is responsible for two big moments of the year for me. The first was one of the great last-minute hecklerspray deadline panics after I realised I’d accidentally spent two hours combing Google for deconstructions of the film’s berserk final scene. And the second was the moment then I realised that I’ll never count myself as a success until I’m rich enough to pile all my furniture into the middle of a room and blast away at it with a shotgun.

Shawn Lindseth

No doubt a bunch of superheroes and a rapidly de-aging Brad Pitt are gonna top an awful lot of year end movie lists over the next few weeks. Not me – I’m way too indie for a commercial release like that. I prefer my movies straight to home video. Enter then one of two 2008 Futurama movies – The Beast With A Billion Backs. It came out last June. I watched it, almost couldn’t breathe, and then watched it again with any unfortunate visitor that didn’t say ‘no’ right off the bat.

It truly is a fine film – and its got everything from reverse polygamy to a space monster that makes sweet love to every living thing in the entire universe simultaneously. Its far sexier than it sounds right there.

Not really – but you should watch it. You’re incomplete until you do.

CJ Davies

As much as I’d like to appear cool and aloof by choosing something like Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Laurent Cantet’s Entre les murs or James Marsh’s Man On Wire – all fantastic films – I’m afraid the most enjoyable experience I had in the cinema this year involved a lonely robot chasing a flower into space. Wall-E is quite simply joyous feelgood filmmaking that just does everything right. In fact, the biggest criticism I can think of is that the first half is absolutely sublime, while the second half just settles for being very, very, very good indeed.

The Dark Knight was pretty good too, if a little overlong and ultimately muddled.

Chris Laverty

I can’t name just one film. Well, obviously I could, but the pressure is too much so I’m not gonna. Instead I shall reel off a few of my favourites and one absolutely monumental stinker.

In Bruges was a great film because it made me laugh at Colin Farrell being all lairy and sweary and then cry when he talked about capping the kid. No Country For Old Men knocked me for six because it refused to do a damn thing you wanted it to. The result is jarring and breathtaking, though giving the Coen brothers a screenplay Oscar for essentially adapting a book verbatim shows how dense the voting panel really are. Ghost Town was another enjoyable film. It’s amusing, sentimental and cosy, like a cup of coco in a comedy mug.

Other good ‘uns include Rambo for all the limbs, Son of Rambow for the childish retro and The Dark Knight for all the expectation fulfilling.

Worst film of the year was 10,000 BC, partly because it tries to pass off giant turkeys as prehistoric monsters, but mainly because it represented the devil in celluloid form.

Matthew Laidlow

My film knowledge really is shit. I can honestly list the number of films I’ve seen this year on both hands and a half a foot. The best movie I’ve seen in the cinema would probably be Adulthood. Not the biggest seller, but was a British film and had more cultural resemblance than most gash American stuff that is imported. Was quite comedic trying to understand as London seems to have its own ghetto language. I thought all London people talked in cockney rhyming slang. Never mind.

On DVD, Palindromes was an excellent way to kill a few hours. Yes you movie nerds will know it was out in 2004 but I don’t care. Oddly the main character is played by eight different characters of age and race, but its odd little occurrences like this that make me watch. Sounds a bit daft, but it is integral to the plot which includes wacky Christians, shootings and awkward moments with dead babies.

Ian Dransfield

Heath Ledger died – in case you didn’t know – Christian Bale got into some trouble for alleged assault, which he probably didn’t do anyway, and Morgan Freeman crashed his car after falling asleep at the wheel. Obviously all the ingredients for one of the best – if not the best – superhero movies of all time – The Dark Knight. Yes – even better than The Phantom starring Brendan Fraser, as hard as that may be to believe. The Baler did do a rubbish voice, that we can accept, and there was a bit of over-the-top twatitude from people mourning the loss of someone who wasn’t actually acknowledged as a good actor until he had gone and overdosed on some silly pillage, but the plaudits The Dark Knight received were more than well-deserved. Funny, dramatic, action-packed and really, really impressive on an IMAX screen – what more do you need? Free handjobs, obviously. We live in hope.

David Scarborough

One of the few films that lived up to the hype this year (try harder Indy!), The Dark Knight narrowly nudges out the likes of There Will Be Blood and Gone Baby Gone to the top of my list (and my Christmas list!). It’s pure entertainment throughout, with a Class A cast and a definitive version of a classic villain, it’s fun for all the family! (If you want to give you kid’s nightmares, which judging by some of the showings, parents clearly do.) The most unfriendly mass-marketed movie in years (“please mummy buy me the Joker action figure with stabbing motion”), it managed to mix hard drama with kick-ass action. I just hope Santa brings Christian Bale some lockets for Christmas ‘cause he earned them.

Tomorrow: Best TV shows of the year? Oh, alright. For you.

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Comments

  1. dre says

    “– even better than The Phantom starring Brendan Fraser, as hard as that may be to believe.”

    Ummmmm, I think The Phantom starred Billy Zane?

  2. Stabby McGee says

    This year was pretty awful for cinema-goers. All shitty sequels and terrible would-be ‘edgy’ garbage. I’m with Lindseth on the Futurama movie front, although Bender’s Game was a crashing disappointment.

    We missed ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Frost/Nixon’ by a whisker, which is a shame as I’m pretty sure they would have made the otherwise dreary year worthwhile.

  3. irish gemini says

    Hated Twilight…wasn’t true to the books. Watched Interview with the Vampire..feel much better.

  4. tina says

    dark knight as the movie of the year and than twilight as the runner up as the movie of the year!!!