Commentary on Movies and TV by Brian Holcomb

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stephen King likes Jason Statham

Stephen King has posted his annual list of the best movies of the year at Entertainment Weekly.com-you can read his critiques HERE but for the purposes of our discussion these are his picks:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. WALL-E
4. Tropic Thunder
5. Funny Games
6. The Bank Job
7. Lakeview Terrace
8. The Ruins
9. Redbelt
10. Death Race

Well, I gotta say that it's a pretty eclectic list, not surprising from King who has long displayed a love of both pulp and high lit. I also applaud his support for Jason Statham who is represented here with two divergent films himself: the bread and butter action film Death Race and the smaller, character based film The Bank Job. Statham's a better actor than people think and the only actor in my mind who could carry a role with the weight of a Lee Marvin.

The other choices are a bit odd. I mean, The Dark Knight at number one? I'm still not convinced that this is the great movie everyone thinks it is. I liked it well enough, but as a movie I thought it was flabby in story construction paling in comparison to the tight and economical storytelling of Batman Begins. Though it was a FAR better film, it resembled Spider-Man 3 where you had more villains than the running time could handle and a loss of control on just what the story was for in the first place.

Slumdog Millionaire should be number one. It's far better than The Dark Knight on almost every level and just as popularly entertaining. Some of the rest are just headscratchers like The Ruins, or simply pointless like Funny Games which Haneke seems to have made twice now. I am quite pleased, though, to see Mamet's Redbelt here . That was a great and nearly absurdly well-plotted sports film. As brilliant and outrageous as Mamet can be...

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