Monday, December 29, 2008

Best Of 2008 - Movie

Continuing my "Best of..." series I now turn my focus onto the movies that were released in 2008. And what a fun year for genre movies this one turned out to be. Such gems as The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wall-E, City of Ember and Speed Racer were all released this year; which is not to say that there was not a decent amount of drek. Because for every Iron Man there was a Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, and for every Wall-E there was a The Happening. Additionally there were the movies that weren't great and they weren't that bad either, forgettable is probably the best way to describe them and a good example of that would be the Hulk movie.

But this is talking about the Best of the year, and while a large number of folks out there would pick The Dark Knight or Iron Man I have to choose Speed Racer.


Now, I know everyone is probably thinking "What the..." or some similar concept, but bear with me. First off, it's a visually stunning piece of cinematography. It's bright, colorful and full of pretty people--it is after all based on an anime.

Taking a step further beyond that, it also has a good plot, with surprisingly serious subject matters being tackled especially as "morals" to the story. In the overt, there is the simple fact of "Cheaters never win." And if that was the only moral hiding in it, then I'd be ecstatic to continue letting my kids watch it on a nearly daily basis (which believe me, they do).

But it's not. There's also the whole subplot of underdogs who believe in themselves, and practice hard at getting good at something can achieve success. And even beyond that there's the whole thought of doing what is right and good, despite what everyone else is saying.

In truth, I'm amazed that the Academy didn't nominate this movie for an Academy in the Special Effects category. I mean the lackluster effects of Crystal Skull and Hancock managed to get nods, and this one didn't; it's an utter travesty.

So, we have a movie that's visually stunning and teaches a good moral lesson, and it's just great genre in general. Sure, the critics panned it, the elderly were confused and loads of folks laughed it off.

Yet my two sons love it. It sparks their imagination, and they'll both go running about the house pretending to be in the Grand Prix or some other race. And let's be honest, most of us geeks would not be so if there was not a movie, or boook or something out there that grabbed a hold of our imaginations and just would not let go of it.

And it does all of this while being fun and lighthearted. Which is something that you just can't say about nihilistic vehicles such as The Dark Knight.

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