No matter how jaded you are towards movie violence, I think you’ll be a little shocked to see 11-year-old Hit-Girl commit acts of cold-blooded murder throughout Kick-Ass. The general controversy around the movie that this violent child is a new low for films and potentially a danger for kids. Honestly, I think my biggest concern is for adults. Hit-Girl kills without mercy or remorse. She seems almost untouched by her militant upbringing. My concern is adults will view children differently, no longer believing that children are impressionable. At the end of the film a man chokes and throws Hit Girl across the room. The moment is horrifying, but given the context it plays like something out of WWE. Kick-Ass is a mediocre movie with some clever moments and I wouldn’t discourage someone from seeing it. However, I hope that cartoon-like child violence does not become a movie trend.
Well this weekend I finally got around to seeing There Will Be Blood and had way too much free time with the holiday weekend, so I feel its safe to put out my best of 2007 list. It turned out to be a good year for movies, although in truth it was actually a pretty disappointing year until the fall hit. For example, I was going to put out a list of biggest disappointments which would have included almost every summer blockbuster. Still there were a lot of films that overachieved, so without further ado, here’s this year’s list.
- There Will Be Blood – Jaw dropping. Daniel Day Lewis is perfect, Paul Thomas Anderson tells a remarkable story and the final scene is perhaps one of the greatest in film history.
- No Country for Old Men – You sense that all the crime stories, dark humor, and beautiful cinematography of the previous Coen Brothers films were building up to this movie. Javier Bardem’s Chigurh is the most intense antagonist in recent film memory.
- Once – This is a simple love story achieved more with less than any other film this year. Filled with great music and a lot of heart, I couldn’t help but feel swept and inspired.
- Juno – Funny, touching, and thought-provoking, this film marks the arrival of two formidable new talents: screenwriter Diablo Cody and actress Ellen Paige.
- Ratatouille – It’s hard to imagine that this is a children’s movie when you consider the story is an elaborate defense of art. Beautiful animation and a clever story help continue Pixar’s proud legacy which is quickly surpassing that of its owner, Disney.
- Superbad – The Apatow comedies are all about delayed or prolonged adolescence, so making a movie about actual adolescents makes a lot of sense. Hilarious and endearing, I think I like this the best of their bunch because it doesn’t try to be something it’s not.
- Eastern Promises – A solid thriller that I found genuinely suspenseful and surprising. I would argue this is Viggo’s best post-Rings performance.
- American Gangster – A facinating story that married two of my favorites The Wire and The Godfather. Unfortunately I was more interested in the Godfather angel (more Denzel, less Russel please).
- The Bourne Ultimatum – The final(?) chapter of the Borne series is my favorite with fantastic action sequences. These movies have succeed in creating its own, original niche in the spy genre apart from 24 and James Bond.
- Atonement – This last pick was the toughest for me. I chose Atonement because it illuminated and engaged me in a story I wouldn’t be interested otherwise.