Huh. Oh well. More than anything else, 2006 seems to have been the Year of Mediocrity, where the vast majority of films wound up in the “meh” pile, and only a few truly amazing or abysmally bad flicks stood out for their respective awesomeness or sheer crapitude. Keeping that in mind, here’s my look back…
Top 10 Movies I Really, Truly Enjoyed in 2006
- Cars—Pixar once again rules the animation roost
- Little Miss Sunshine—proof that small movies can pack a punch
- Nanny McPhee—Emma Thompson rules, even when she makes me cry
- Notes on a Scandal—blisteringly delicious!
- The Pleasure of Your Company—smart, sharp and witty
- Stranger Than Fiction—understated and wonderful
- Summercamp!—“baaaaaaaabeeeee shark!” and this year’s Spellbound
- 10 Items or Less—simple story and great performances (plus: Paz Vega!)
- This is England—absolutely beautiful and brilliant
Casino Royale—turned this Bond virgin into an instant fan
[Honorable mentions: The Devil Wears Prada, The Departed, A Good Year and The Prestige]
10 Movies That Blew in 2006… recapped in five words or less!
- All the King’s Men—Sean Penn screams at people
- Ask the Dust—why did this movie suck?
- The Da Vinci Code—Tom Hanks bores the audience
- Deck the Halls—cheap, crass Christmas crap
- Heading South—old broads look for sex
- Miami Vice—dull, loud, testosterone-fuelled mess
- Monster House—CGI humans are SCARY!
- R.V.—how desperate is Robin Williams?
- The Sentinel—Michael Douglas manifests his irrelevance
and, of course…
- Loving Annabelle*—just… blah
(*Never before has one of my ‘Pie reviews garnered so much attention, positive or negative, so thank you to all the furious, rabid LA fangurls who loathed what I wrote and called me ugly names and told me to kill myself and basically got their panties in a serious twist over my opinion. May I continue to disappoint you in 2007!)
Behold My Shame: Movies I’m Kind of Embarrassed to Admit I Liked
The Benchwarmers, Stick It, John Tucker Must Die, Open Season, Flicka and Accepted (which almost made it into my top 10).
Behold Their Shame: Movies These Actors Should Be Embarrassed They Made
Harrison Ford in Firewall (clearly just collectin’ a paycheque), Kevin Costner in The Guardian (dude, seriously, give it up), Julianne Moore in Freedomland (shameless overacting designed to win raves…but didn’t), Lindsay Lohan in anything (the bloom is definitely off the rose) and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2 (I defer to Eric on ridiculing this one).
Movies I’m Sorry I Missed in 2006
The Queen, An Inconvenient Truth, Sherrybaby (in my defense, it was never released here), United 93 and Little Children
Dear Hollywood: Please Employ These People More and in Talent-Worthy Projects in 2007
The luminous Carmen Chaplin (Day on Fire), the wonderful Sophia Myles (Tristan & Isolde, Art School Confidential), the always-great Kelly Macdonald (Nanny McPhee, Tristram Shandy…), the quietly intense Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers), the delightful James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Starter For Ten) and my fave young actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick).
Best Use of Water
Worst Use of Water
Movie With “Water” in Its Title That Wasn’t Nearly as Awful as I’d Expected
Lady in the Water
Best Use of a Can of Whup-Ass by an Actress in a Motion Picture
Laura Harris tearin’ up the screen in Severance! (Honorable mentions: Keri Russell in M:I:III, Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta and the entire female ensemble in The Descent.)
Best Use of Bloodshed as a Plot Device
The “kill floor” sequence in Fast Food Nation—I dare you to eat a hamburger after you see it. G’head. Just try.
Best Use of Needless Words and Punctuation to Test the Capacity of Movie-Theater Marquees
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Best Repackaging of Every Chick Flick Ever Made Into a Gaping Hole of Mind-Numbing Nothingness
Bonneville (as an added bonus for me, it co-starred Jessica Lange!)
This Year’s Cinematic MVPs
Toni Collette, for crossing genres and still rocking; Helen Mirren for being everywhere; Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan for bringing the funny to Night at the Museum, and Emily Blunt for doing the same in …Prada; Diane Lane for playing her age (and beyond) in Hollywoodland and still looking totally hawt; Penélope Cruz’s breasts for their supporting turn in Volver; Jessica Biel for single-handedly making me even the least bit interested in the otherwise uninteresting The Illusionist; and Michael Peña, who gets the Javier Bardem Sea Inside Award for his role in World Trade Center, which proved that you don’t have to be able to move to play a compelling, heartbreaking character.
Proof That Gigantically Famous Movie Stars Do Not Necessarily a Great Film Make
The Pursuit of Happyness, X-Men: The Last Stand, Dreamgirls, Click, Running With Scissors
Proof That They Do
A Prairie Home Companion
Movies I’m (Cautiously) Psyched About for the Coming Year
Why do I bother? Every year, without fail, I pick a handful of movies that, despite how good they look to me in advance, only wind up sucking royally once they’re finally released. Whatever. Nonetheless, for the sake of consistency…
- Fast Track—because, honestly, Zach Braff + Jason Bateman AND Amanda Peet?? This has “Vickie” written all over it in big, block letters!
- Bee Movie—because, really, Jerry Seinfeld as an animated bee? I’m there.
- Evan Almighty—because I ♥ Steve Carell. Period.
- Spider-Man 3—because I’d like one safe bet to make it to my “best of” list next year at this time!