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Stalker's Top Ten 2008: Trovster

10FSReel.jpgNow onto the penultimate Stalker's Top Ten of 2008, and this clearly shows that I have to rename the whole category next year because it's not just about top, and it's not just about tens!

Trovster gives us his top rated films for the year after seeing a fair few over 300, and he also shares with us the two disappointments he's found and his looking forward to list for the year.

It's a pretty good list, and I think some will find it hard to argue against, but you can try!

So over to Trovster to get stuck in.

The 10's and 9's
Since 2006 I have been keeping score of every movie I've watched, whether on television, DVD or at the cinema. In 2006 I managed to watch 165 movies, 316 in 2007 and in 2008 I watched a total of 331, just shy of the 365 target! I rate each movie after I've watched them and below are my best of last year. You can see all my ratings at my own site.

Although some movies where 'released' in 2007, they might not have made it over to the UK until 2008. These are the movies, twelve in total, that I watched in 2008 and I rated 9 or above.

WALL-E (Filmstalker review) - 10
Gone Baby Gone - 10
Juno - 10
No Country for Old Men (Filmstalker review) - 10
Into the Wild - 10
There Will Be Blood - 9
The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) - 9
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - 9
Funny Games (Filmstalker review) - 9
The Kite Runner - 9
The Orphanage - 9
Lars and the Real Girl - 9

I watched WALL-E, Gone Baby Gone, Juno and No Country for Old Men twice each at the cinema. After a long delayed I managed to watch the much praised directorial effort by Ben Affleck; Gone Baby Gone. I was extremely impressed with everything about this movie, the acting, direction, pace and all the twists and turns of the story.

The 2008 only 9's and 8's
These are movies which, according to IMDB, were released in 2008, and that I watched in 2008. I have only watched nine movies which I rated 8 or above.

WALL-E - 10
The Dark Knight - 9
Cloverfield (Filmstalker review) - 8
Iron Man (Filmstalker review) - 8
Taken (Filmstalker review) - 8
Burn After Reading - 8
The Ruins (Filmstalker review) - 8
Mamma Mia! The Movie (Filmstalker review) - 8
Changeling - 8

WALL-E absolutely blew me away, such an amazing movie. There were the superb references and absolutely amazing diverse characters. These are just the extra layers on top of a movie which speaks to all ages, has an obvious but not an "in your face" agenda, superb story and breath-taking animation. Definitely my movie of the year - by far. The Dark Knight was brilliant but didn't quite live up to the hype - partly due to the advertising which I commend and rate as the best I've ever seen. Solidly acted and yes, Ledger was spell-bounding as the Joker, but there were a few loose-ends and I felt they could have explored Harvey Dent's character better.

Best of the Rest
These movies are the 'best of the rest' which were released in 2008, they are ten selected movies which I watched in 2008 and I rated 7 out of 10.

The Strangers
Tropic Thunder
In Bruges
Somers Town
Kung Fu Panda
Man on Wire
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Notably are two British movies; Adulthood and Somers Town, both of which I was impressed with. I liked the suspense of The Strangers and film-making used in the documentary Man on Wire. I was slightly disappointed with W. and In Bruges, but I am waiting for a second watch before I pass full judgement. Kung Fu Panda was fun and Tropic Thunder was a treat, especially considering I'm not a fan of Ben Stiller or his comedy. Appaloosa was an interesting buddy-Western which was well written, directed and acted, but didn't quite live up to previous contemporary movies The Assassination of Jesse James and 3:10 to Yuma. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was a touching and intimate story of the holocaust, with some interesting layers and a shocking ending, although overall I felt it was missing something.

What to Come?
As I mentioned earlier, the UK is usually a little late in getting releases, so here are a list of movies which were released in cinemas in 2008, in order of my expectance!

The Wrestler
Synecdoche, New York
Slumdog Millionaire (Filmstalker review)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Milk (Filmstalker review coming this week!)
Let the Right One In
Gran Torino Frost/Nixon (Filmstalker review)
The Broken
The Fall (Filmstalker review)
Rachel Getting Married

The top four are by my favourite directors/writers. Aronsofsky's The Wrester has been praised, the story sounds interesting and the cast is intriguing. Charlie Kaufman wrote my favourite movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and since the announcement of his directorial debut I have been expecting Synecdoche, New York, however I've heard mixed reviews. Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle has been heavily praised and my expectations of this movie have soared to phenomenal proportions after the slightly disappointing sci-fi outing Sunshine. After hearing about the concept for Benjamin Button I have been very interested and have even brought a lovely illustrated graphic novel of the story. The movie has been getting good reviews and I'm positive David Fincher will do a sterling job, but my excitement has dwindled recently.

I was disappointed by two movies in 2008.

Firstly, Be Kind Rewind (Filmstalker review) by Michel Gondry. I normally love his inventive visual style and this storyline had great potential, however, the movie was boring and completely missed in my opinion. Son of Rambow took a similar concept, but kept the idea much simpler, the movie had a relatively decent storyline (especially compared to Be Kind Rewind) and the childish perspective worked much better with the theme.

The other disappointing movie was M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (Filmstalker review). If you studied the tagline "We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening.", you may have grasped the b-movie style. The terrible acting is synonymous with b-movies restated this fact. However, I don't know whether this was intentional or it if is was, it wasn't made clear. People lost faith with Shyamalan a long time ago, but I am still a fan, but The Happening has me severely questioning that now.

Well those are some good lists I have to say. I maybe wouldn't have given WALL-E a ten, in fact I know I wouldn't, and although it deserves to be high it's not that great a film in my eyes, and while I might argue with the order of his first list there, and even the second, I can't really deny that they are solid choices.

Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon and The Fall are all cracking films, get yourself out to see them Trovster, and most of the others on that list are making my own wanna-see list for the year. What I also find surprising is that I agree with your disappointments, and I wanted The Happening to be good too!

However I could talk till the cows come home (whatever that means) about how much I like his lists, but it's up to you. What do you think? Agree?

Before we read the last list of the year which should be arriving nearer the end of the week, if you want to look at the other lists that have been sent in, then just head to the Stalker's Top Ten section. Meanwhile, tell Trovster what you think of his lists.



I would get myself to watch Frost/Nixon and The Fall, but alas they've not appeared in my cinema yet! I think The Fall has been and gone, but Frost/Nixon is yet to be released.

Since I sent this in, I saw Slumdog Millionaire. I am readdressing my initial thoughts and will probably see it again to make my mind up. Definitely an 8.5, which counts as an 8, but maybe a second viewing will help push it to a 9.

Slumdog Millionaire didn't quite meet my expectations, but now I am very much looking forward to The Wrestler - I tweeted as much!


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