we movie to canada, wmtc annual movie awards, 2008-09

Another baseball season begins, another movie season ends. Last year I blogged a list and ratings of our previous two years of movie viewing, so I guess a tradition was born.

Here's last year's post, in which I rated movies according to famous Canadians. This year I'll rate movies based on something I enjoy while watching them.

The Red Wine. My favourite thing to sip while watching a movie. These are the very best movies we saw in the 2008-2009 Movie Season.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon)
Fugitive Pieces
Man on Wire
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
The Visitor

The White Wine. These don't rise quite to the level of best of the best, but they're excellent movies, and well worth seeing.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Burn After Reading
Ben X
It's a Free World...
Run, Fat Boy, Run
Sir! No Sir!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Good beer out of a very cold bottle. These are solid movies, enjoyable or interesting or funny, as the case may be. I have some criticisms, but each movie does what it sets out to do. If I'm choosing movies wisely, most titles will fall under this category.

Be Kind Rewind
Beautiful Thing
Charlie Wilson's War
Dan in Real Life
Death at a Funeral
Fay Grim
49 Up, including extras
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
Get Smart
The Grand
Hamlet 2
James Bond 22: Quantum of Solace
Lars and the Real Girl
Lust, Caution (Se, jie)
Reservation Road
Standard Operating Procedure
Taxi to the Dark Side
Vantage Point
Who Killed the Electric Car?

What, we're out of wine? This is not good. I can watch the movie, but I don't like it. These are mostly failures, but not completely awful.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
There Will Be Blood
Up the Yangtze
Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?

The Budweiser. Undrinkable, unwatchable.

Breakfast with Scot
I'm Not There
Radiant City


Jere said...

Have you talked about Religulous here? I can't remember. How come you didn't like it?

redsock said...

He didn't truly discuss religion at all. He took some extreme examples or some people his audience would find amusing and made jokes/fun of them.

He was shooting fish in a barrel. It's well worn territory for a comedian. He might as well have made a movie about airplane peanuts.

L-girl said...

I didn't write about it, no. Lots of reasons I didn't like it.

- Making fun of cartoons is very easy. Cheap humour, not especially smart or funny.

- Some of the people Maher made fun of aren't harming anyone with religion, and their religion seems to be helping them. The men in the truck stop, for example - who are they hurting? If it helps them live, why should anyone else think it's bad or wrong?

- I don't like being lectured. Maher's conclusion - if there were no religions there'd be no wars - isn't very compelling or well thought-out. I don't see modern warfare as being religion-based at all. (An aside of my own, does he really think 9/11 was caused by religion?)

- I don't like bigotry. Bigotry against people who believe in god is still bigotry. If it's ok for me as an atheist to look down on religious people, aren't I just as bad as the religious people who look down on me?

- I assume it was supposed to be comedy, but it wasn't that funny.

That's a summary, anyway.

L-girl said...

I am going to write about my own atheism and my feelings about religion soon. I've never done that before - or I've only done so in the context of proselytizing or other things I dislike. But I'm headed that way, in case you have an interest.

Potato Head said...

Another thing I didn't like about Religulous was it's special pleading when it came to Judaism. Instead of looking at the vicious chauvinism that drives Israeli expansionism, Maher finds... some rabbis who don't think Israel is the Promised Land! And some other Jews who make devices for getting around Sabbath restrictions on doing work! I mean, really, when I think of the destructive side of Judaism, these are NOT the folks I think of.

L-girl said...

That's a good point, Potato Head. It's in keeping with taking easy pot-shots than actually looking at what parts of religion might be destructive.

L-girl said...

I remembered another thing I intensely disliked about this movie. Maher makes no distinction between faith - believing in some type of diety - and organized religion.

A lot of what he's making fun of are the institutions of organized religion. Now, I detest those institutions myself, and many or most are worthy of ridicule. But I don't confuse those institutions with people's own spirituality and belief.

Maher either doesn't understand the difference (which I doubt) or doesn't care, because he's not engaging in actual satire, just charicture.

L-girl said...

^ caricature