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The SOMB Best Films Of 2008


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#1 Elemeno P.T.

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:53 PM

Nobody seems to argue that 2008 was not as good a year in film as 2007...but a closer look and feedback from SOMBIES indicates that while 08' is top-light, there were just as many really good movies as any other year, an opinion supported by the fact that more films were voted for (163) than any other year. Besides, even if the quality pales compared with recent years, one thing's for sure, the SOMBIE Best Movies thread is a more complete, enjoyable experience than watching the Oscars. Not sure? Let's see...

The Top Ten Reasons The SOMB Film Thread Is Better Than The Oscars
10. Amount of time to read a SOMBIE blurb<<<<<Amount of time to hear an Oscar acceptance speech.
09. The Dark Knight was one of our Best Pictures, while The Reader failed to place in our top 60.
08. SOMBIES appreciate comedy- 12 made our list.
07. Nothing in the Oscar telecast is likely to match the intrigue of the SOMBIE debate regarding the merits of Rachel Getting Married.
06. Gabriel would never shun the SOMB.
05. 2 Words: Be-Headings
04. Arcane References (such as....)
03. "Milk was a bad choice"
02. We show our masculinity with words, not push-ups.
...and the #1 reason the SOMB film thread is better than the Oscars...
01. They've got Hugh Jackman and we've got Billy Crystal...well, not exactly, but I'll do my best...

(To be sung to any random showtune)
Oskar, Oskar Oskar
Though I'm a vampire, this much is true
I would never make a meal out of you
Oskar, Oskar Oskar
Blonde and pale, you're so fine
you could pass, for an albin...ooohhhh
Oskar, Oskar Oskar
You're so humble and so kind
You know you drive me, into my mind, Soooo
Oskar, Oskar Oskar
Don't be afraid, jump in the pool
There'll simply be less, kids in the schoo...oooohhhl...

...(sung to the tune of The Notre Dame Fight Song)
Cheer, Cheer for the Irish hit men
They'll fight Ray Fiennes til' the bitter end
Gays, blacks, whites, obese and midgets
Comments so cruel, in your seats you'll fidget

What though his suicide is a ruse
Such is another day in Bruges
While the tourists linger onward into the eerie mist...

...(sung to the tune of The Joker)
You're the cruelest thing that I ever did see
Show me that cool trick, slam your pen into me.
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Ooo-eee Batman, I'll sure show you a good time

Cuz he's a licker
he's a grinner
he's a bad guy
yeah, he's a sinner
murders people just for fuuuuuunnn

He's the Joker
he's a choker
got a face for poker
Heath sure deserved to see this one...wooohoooo...

...(sung to the tune of Mickey Mouse Club)
Who stepped up when Nick and Sly declined regretfully
Mic-key Ro-ur-ke
Who agreed to take no pay to work with Aronofsky
Mic-key Ro-ur-ke
Mickey Rourke- down on his luck
Mickey Rourke- career was stuck
Now he'll less regret he spent the 90's high, high, high
Who can nod 'yes' to a staple gun so casually
Mic- key Ro-ur-keeeeeeee...

...(sung to the tune of Mr. Cab Driver)
Mr. Driving Instructor, stop your thoughts and let her in
Mr. Driving Instructor, preoccupied with others' sins
Mr. Driving Instructor, he ain't never gonna win

Mr. Driving Instructor, thinks to himself about the girl
Mr. Driving Instructor, won't admit she's rocked his world
Mr. Driving Instructor, no one's ever smiled off him
Mr. Driving Instructor, stop your thoughts and let her in
Let her in
Mr. Driving Instructor...

...(sung to the tune of Tiny Dancer)
But oh how it feels so real
sitting here, in this game show chair
when only you, and you can hear me
when I say softly...surely...
Aramis my final answer
Count the rupees, 20 million
for "it is written" let's stop the tease
so it's time, the envelope please....

The Sombie 60 Best Films of 2008 are....
Oskar, Oskar Oskar!

#2 killerparties

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:09 PM

That was adorable.
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#3 nole.kennedy

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:12 PM

That was adorable.

Yes. And I'm getting excited. Lets do this! I have my Netflix queue in another tab, just waiting for any of the top 60 I haven't seen.
Check out the non-profit I volunteer for: Rise Up International. Buy some of their clothing and help support kids in poverty!

#4 WP64

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:14 PM

Very, very excited for the inevitable Rachel Getting Married debating.

#5 Hero

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

is it too late to vote?
"the ladies have been checking me out lately.... could it be the 10 push-ups i've been cranking out every other Sunday? - Perhaps!" -Scrubs


Some people are a lot like slinkys... kinda useless, not really good for anything -but still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs

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"After much thought into this, I have finally come to a conclusion as to why the ‘Meet the Spartans’ commercial is so funny:

It is an interesting choice to have Sanjaya sing ‘I’m not gay,’ as his final words on earth. As he is plummeting into a seemingly bottomless pit, he does not say ‘dear god no,’ ‘I love you mom,’ or even simply ‘argh.’ He instead takes the moment to reaffirm to the world, in spite of their doubts, that he is not a homosexual. Not only that, but he continues to sing, despite falling to his certain death. The distinct lack of plausibility of this situation is what produces giggles from our mouth. It is the antithesis to the belief that ‘it’s funny because it is true.’
"


#6 WP64

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:04 PM

is it too late to vote?


I believe polls closed at about 5 pm central time on the 15th.

#7 Elemeno P.T.

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:59 PM

So a reminder, the teaser contest winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to AMC theaters or his/her favorite film of 2008 on DVD. Each teaser is worth 2 points unless otherwise specified- one point for correctly naming the reference, and one point for how it relates to the film.




"The Dying Animal"

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60. Elegy
Directed by: Isabel Coixet

Memorable Quotes:

David Kepesh: When you make love to a woman you get revenge for all the things that defeated you in life.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0974554/

From Roger Ebert's 3 star review:

Ben Kingsley, who can play just about any role, seems to be especially effective playing slimy intellectuals. "Elegy" is a film that could have been made for him, although by the time it's over, Penelope Cruz has slipped away with it, and transformed Kingsley's character in the process. It's nicely done.
Kingsley plays David Kepesh, a professor of literature whose classroom manner seems designed to seduce the young student of his choice from each new class. He narrates the film, and is not shy about describing his methods. To stay out of trouble, he waits until the semester is over, and the grades have been given, and then throws a party at his book and art-filled apartment, where he singles out his prey and dazzles her with flattering insights, intellectual bravado and an invitation to meet sometime -- just for coffee or a drink and conversation, you know.
His target this semester is the lithesome Consuela, played by Penelope Cruz as a Cuban-American who is old enough to know better but discerning enough to see that there may really be something to old Kepesh after all. The professor appoints himself her tutor to all the mysteries of life, art, New York, music and sex. And for a while they mesh and enjoy each other.
But David grows obsessed with jealousy, convinced that Consuela is seeing someone else -- younger, or course, and more handsome and virile. He even accidentally drops in at a dance he knows she's attending, to check up on her. His distrust spoils everything, because she cannot abide not being trusted.
And then -- the movie takes a dramatic turn, which I will not reveal, even though it contains all the deepest emotions and real feelings of the story. And in these scenes, Cruz is quietly powerful and very true. You understand why the Spanish director, Isabel Coixet, chose Cruz instead of, say, a 19-year-old. An actress needs depth and the experience of life to play these scenes, and Cruz has them.
The film is based on a novel by Philip Roth, who has just about exhausted my desire to read his stories about young babes falling for older, wiser, intellectuals like, say, Philip Roth. I was reading his Library of America volume about Zuckerman recently, and finally just put it down and said to the book: Sorry, Phil, but I cannot read one more speech founded on the f-word. I don't object to the f-word itself, but sorry, I've simply been overserved.
That "Elegy" is not simply a fantasy about the horny old rascal and the comely maid is to its credit. That it sees Manhattan clearly as a setting is also an advantage, since it is a place where we believe things like this are likely to happen. And then there is a wealth of supporting characters, notably Carolyn (Patricia Clarkson), no spring chicken, who has been David's mistress for years. She can't believe there's another woman in his life and launches a barrage of f-words, but she makes the character real -- and poignant. I also liked Dennis Hopper as George, the old pal he has coffee with, who attempts to bring sanity to David's behavior, but despairs. And Peter Sarsgaard as David's son, with problems of his own, and a father who has become not only an embarrassment but, worse, an irrelevancy.
The movie is not great. I'm not sure why. Maybe the payoff plays too much like a payoff. Consuela asks David to do something I think we might be better off hearing about, instead of seeing. I'm not sure. The movie is obviously going for a big emotional charge at the end and might have been more effective with a quieter one. But you decide.


Ranked Highest By: killerparties- #3
Oskar, Oskar Oskar!

#8 Ogawa

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:02 AM

Never caught this one, though I really liked the book. Can't imagine how that material would translate. I'll have to check it out. Interesting start to the list.
Few beings have ever been so impregnated, pierced to the core, by the conviction of the absolute futility of human aspiration. The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear. Other races in turn will appear and disappear. And human actions are as free and as stripped of meaning as the unfettered movements of the elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, sentiments? Pure ‘Victorian fictions.’ All that exists is egotism. Cold, intact, and radiant.

Michel Houellebecq

#9 killerparties

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:17 AM

I had it at #3. edit: not in a dickish correcting you way. i just wanted to voice my love for the film double-edit: Ben Kingsley not winning a single major nomination for Elegy was criminal. The entire ensemble is pretty incredible.
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#10 Elemeno P.T.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:29 AM

I had it at #3.

edit: not in a dickish correcting you way. i just wanted to voice my love for the film

double-edit: Ben Kingsley not winning a single major nomination for Elegy was criminal. The entire ensemble is pretty incredible.

Corrected. I mistakenly referenced #59. Won't be the last time I fuck up in this thread.

Surprisingly never even heard of this movie, though the plot seems right in my wheelhouse. Moving to top of Q.
Oskar, Oskar Oskar!

#11 Elemeno P.T.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:05 AM

"Say I'm old-fahioned say I'm over the hilll"

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59. Young At Heart

Directed by: Stephen Walker

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1047007/

From James Berardinelli's 3 star review:


When I think of the musical associations of men and women in their golden years, the names that come to mind are Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, and maybe Herb Alpert or Neil Sedaka. I wouldn't connect a white-haired old lady with Sonic Youth, Coldplay, and the Talking Heads. Yet that's where Young @ Heart takes its audience - into the behind-the-scenes stories, rehearsals, and performances of a New England chorus that takes its rock 'n roll, punk, and blues seriously, even though the youngest performer is 72. Young @ Heart, a labor of love for British documentarian Stephen Walker, doesn't tackle any big issues or ask any life-changing questions. It's a simple chronicle of admirable people that's part humor, part sentimentality, and part inspiration. If the characters populating this movie don't get you, the music probably will.

The Young at Heart group is comprised of 24 members in their 70s and 80s. They are led by 50-something Bob Cilman, their conductor and musical director - a man of seemingly limitless energy and patience. Time constraints prevent Walker from getting up close and personal with every member of the chorus, so he picks his subjects carefully, taking aim at the most intriguing stories. We meet the likes of Eileen Hall, the sprightly eldest singer; Steve Martin (no, not that Steve Martin), a guy who refuses to let his age get in his way; Fred Knittle, who is strapped to an oxygen tank; Bob Salvini, who is trying to make a comeback after recovering from a serious illness; and Joe Benoit, who has undergone enough chemotherapy to have killed almost anyone else.

Young @ Heart documents the rehearsal period leading up to a live performance where the group will delight with unique renditions Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia", James Brown's "I Feel Good", Cold Play's "Fix You", and Allen Toussaint's "Yes We Can Can." Lost in the mix is "Life in Wartime" because one of the two singers designated to interpret it dies before the concert. In fact, two singers who are present at the beginning of the film are no longer there at the end. This adds a touch of pathos to the proceedings, but Walker doesn't go overboard. (He does not, for example, subject the audience to the funerals.)

The film is about 50% music and 50% documentary footage. There are four music videos featuring the oldsters, including David Bowie's "Golden Years" and the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive." While it's fascinating to watch the behind-the-scenes workings of how a show evolves from the ground up, I might have preferred a few more live songs and a few less samples of "I Feel Good" being messed up. From a purely cinematic point-of-view, this isn't the best made documentary, but budgetary constraints probably play a large role in the limitations of shot selection and the choppiness of some of the editing.

Walker's primary goal in making this film was to follow the group over the seven week period during which he was provided with unfettered access. He stumbles unwittingly into some emotionally potent drama and does his best to gather sufficient coverage for it to seem more like an integral part of the story than a footnote. He is mostly successful, although one can envision that had he known certain events were going to take place, he would have framed things differently. But that's what happens when a documentary filmmaker finds his cameras capturing things he hadn't anticipated.

My reservation about Young @ Heart is the same one I have for most documentaries: its inherent theatricality, or lack thereof. One could generate a plausible argument that this film might play better on a small screen than a large one. Certainly, it won't lose anything if reduced to 31". Like all movies shot on video, there are times when it doesn't look so good in the 35 mm format. However, whether you see it in a theater or on TV, Young @ Heart is likely to bring a smile to your lips and a bounce to your step.

Ranked Highest By: jjh- #8
Oskar, Oskar Oskar!

#12 undo

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:12 AM

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edit: Because they're old and they're singing rock n roll.

Edited by undo, 17 February 2009 - 07:55 PM.


#13 Ogawa

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:13 AM

The film that brought audiences to their feet with spontaneous applause at the Los Angeles film festival? The DVD has been sitting in a stack by my TV for almost half a year now. I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually. The trailer irritates me to no end, though. I fear I may be predisposed to hating this film.
Few beings have ever been so impregnated, pierced to the core, by the conviction of the absolute futility of human aspiration. The universe is nothing but a furtive arrangement of elementary particles. A figure in transition toward chaos. That is what will finally prevail. The human race will disappear. Other races in turn will appear and disappear. And human actions are as free and as stripped of meaning as the unfettered movements of the elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, sentiments? Pure ‘Victorian fictions.’ All that exists is egotism. Cold, intact, and radiant.

Michel Houellebecq

#14 BRANDON BOYD FROM INCUBUS

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:27 AM

somebody warn me if religulous is going to be on this list

#15 undo

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:33 AM

i bet it will be

#16 killerparties

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:05 AM

I'm at a loss for 60 movies from 2008 that could be on this list. I haven't seen Young at Heart, but I watched a couple of clips ("Fix You" and "Forever Young") and they were pretty awesome. Good list so far.
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#17 Bob Loblaw

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:19 AM

In case it's not obvious, undo's correct Seger answer references Old Time Rock and Roll, and the subtitle for the movie could have been Old Timers Rock and Roll. That is one of those docs that looks like it might be interesting for about 25 minutes, and get old real fast. (no pun intended)

#18 Slackmo

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:35 AM

Elegy would've done better if the producers had had the presence of mind to name it Penelope Cruz Naked.
Someone Still Loves You Pants McJickson

#19 Bob Loblaw

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:51 AM

Elegy would've done better if the producers had had the presence of mind to name it Penelope Cruz Naked.




I think the poster says that.

#20 Elemeno P.T.

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:40 AM

Elegy would've done better if the producers had had the presence of mind to name it Penelope Cruz Naked.




I think the poster says that.

Yeah, I was tempted to post the stunning pic of Cruz in her birthday suit, but I suppose I should keep the list PG.

Lobs got the obvious reference and undo the artist. As we go forward I'll do one update a day on what references are still unanswered. I'll update the standings after every 10-15 posts.
Oskar, Oskar Oskar!