Sunday, March 1, 2009
The Best of Last Year
For those that don't know, with me being a big movie geek, I have often written movie reviews for a friend's website www.thatmoviesite.com. Living in Korea last year however, it wasn't only a challenge to write reviews, it was a challenge to see the films at all. Going to the movies in Korea is a pretty good experience for the most part - you can choose your seat at the point of purchase, which means that the night before a big opening movie, you can go with your friends to the theatre and buy your tickets without having to worry about showing-up early the next night to grab seats together. It's nice.
What's less than nice is the fact that the only Western films that are released are of the blockbuster variety. That's cool - I like I am Legend as much as the next guy. Even Iron Man was released here before being released anywhere else - apparently, John Favreau is such a fan of the classic Korean revenge film Oldboy, that he wanted to showcase his biggest release here. It was a nice gesture.
I do wish that more Korean first run films were available with English subtitles though. Last year there was one theatre in Youngsan that showed English subtitles with a popular Korean title, but it was tough to get tickets to. Anyway, point is the theatres here are great, but the slection of less than popular Western films is often somewhat lacking.
So, what's a poor film buff like myself to do? Well, not knowing how to use bit torrents, I go the route of the street shopper - buying cheap movies from nervous looking vendors in Gangnam. I simply need to see some films - going without is not an option.
Anyway, being home in Canada for about 3 months over the holidays and well into Oscar season, I was lucky enough to have enough free time to catch-up with some truly remarkable movies. Most everyone I know gave me movie passes for Christmas and my birthday and I'll have you know that I put all of them to use. I've seen some good stuff, and at times, I've seen some truly shabby crap as well. I've written reviews for only some, so feel free to click on the link below if you're curious.
Let The Right One In will blow your mind, Speedracer was excellent and underrated, Rachel Getting Married irritated me like a skin rash, and The Other Boleyn Girl just made me angry. Here's to good movies...
My Top Ten Films of 2008
10. Waltz with Bashir
8. Speed Racer
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
6. Vicky Christina Barcelona
5. Revolutionary Road
4. The Wrestler
3. Slumdog Millionaire
2. The Dark Knight
1. Let the Right One In
5. Sex & the City
4. Rachel Getting Married
3. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer
2. What Happens in Vegas
1. The Other Boleyn Girl