A YEAR IN MOVIES
As 2007 comes to
an end, let us reflect on what was good, what was bad, what made money and
what the future is about to bring.
HERE to read The-Usher's top 20 movies of 2007
CLICK HERE to discover the top 5 films of 2007
CLICK HERE to find out what were the worst movies
CLICK HERE to view the top 5 grossing movies
of 2007 in the US and UK
CLICK HERE for a preview of 2008
2007 was a strange
year for movies. Usually there are some films that come along and take you
completely by surprise but this year is was the big budget, box office smashes
that really made this year in movies so enjoyable. Here are the 20 films
that really made 2007 a great time to spend in the cinema...
Twenty Movies of 2007 (In Alphabetical Order)
Jerry Seinfeld becomes animated as Barry B. Benson, a bee on a mission to
sue the human race for stealing all of the honey. An excellent mix of animation
and trademark Seinfeld observational humour, this is how animated movies
should be made, making them appeal to the whole family.
Edward Zwick's story of conflict diamond smuggling in Sierra Leone is a
powerful as it is action packed. Despite Leonardo DiCaprio's dodgy South
African accent this is an action movie with a message and one that will
get you thinking.
The Bourne Ultimatum
The third and possibly final movie in the Bourne franchise takes the series
up a notch and brings us one of the best action spy movies ever made. With
car chases that will astound you, fight sequences that mesmerise but it
also has a story that is enthralling from the off. This is superb and intelligent
Die Hard 4.0
80s characters are starting to make a comeback and no one is bigger than
Bruce Willis' John McClane and the Die Hard franchise. Now after 17 years
away from the box office, the very analogue McClane finds himself digital
world where the US can be brought to its knees computers but can his no
nonsense, brutal approach work against the latest technology. Old school
action for a modern audience.
Darren Aronofsky's journey to explain the meaning of life is one of the
most memorable films of the year. Three stories combine to explain the power
of love and the perils of eternal life to create a movie that will cause
debate and discussion for everyone who watches it. Visually stunning and
a film that will get you thinking for a long time after you watch it.
Remakes have never been a favourite of any film reviewer, especially when
the original was beloved classic but the update of 'Hairspray' is a joy
of a musical. With outstanding performances from an all-star cast and a
scene stealing role for Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad, this is a fun musical
with great song and dance moments and even a message that will get you thinking.
Great musical entertainment.
The team of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright reunite for
their take on the cop genre. Picture all of the excesses of action movies
like 'Bad Boys', 'Point Break' or any big Jerry Bruckheimer style of movie
and then transport this to a small West Country village and you have a recipe
for action and laughter that is just as good as 'Shaun of the Dead'
I Am Legend
While this may have been adapted twice already, Richard Matheson's story
of the last man on Earth is one of extremely loneliness and survival because
the he is not alone. Will Smith is superb as soldier and scientist Robert
Neville, having the act for most of the movie alone, with only his dog Sam
for companionship. With some fantastic set sequences and a story that is
touching and heroic, this is a horror action flick that you keep you on
the edge of your seat and fill you with emotion.
After the amazing success of 'The 40 Year-Old Virgin', writer/director Judd
Apatow brings us a comedy about impending parenthood that is as touching
as it is hilarious. With great performances from Seth Rogen and Katherine
Heigl as the two soon to be parents and an excellent ensemble, this is the
funniest film of 2007 and one that is destined to be a firm favourite for
many years to come.
The Last King
An Oscar winning performance from Forest Whittaker as despot Idi Amin and
a career making role for up and coming star James McAvoy, this powerhouse
of a movie shows what happened in Uganda under his rule. British director
Kevin Macdonald moves from documentaries with ease and becomes a shining
light for the British film industry.
While the 'Grindhouse' experiment by directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin
Tarantino may have failed at the US box office, the pair still produced
two really fun movies. 'Death Proof' didn't capture the essence of the Grindhouse
B-movie feel but Robert Rodriguez's 'Planet Terror' is a complete blast
and one that is as funny as it is blood filled. A cult classic in the making.
When Pixar releases a movie it is one of the highlights of the year and
writer/director Brad Bird's 'Ratatouille' is definitely one of the best
movies of 2007. As with all Pixar movies, the emphasis is on story and character
and the tale of Remy, a rat who just wants to cook is a classic piece of
family entertainment and another piece of joy brought to us by the best
animation house in the business.
British director Matthew Vaughn takes us on a fantasy romp that is like
watching a good, old-fashioned pantomime. With stand out performances from
an excellent ensemble and scene stealing roles for Michelle Pfeiffer and
Robert De Niro, this is destined to become a firm favourite and a cult classic.
When it comes to naming the best teen comedy of the 00s, 'Superbad' will
be at the top of most fans and critics lists. With standout performances
from Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and a script
that is touching and hilarious, everyone will be wishing they were McLovin'.
What happens when you cross animation and documentaries, you get a sports
movie about surfing penguins. This extremely original movie copies the best
from all those extreme sports documentaries we have watched over the years
and added in penguins as the sports stars, you have a classic piece of animation
and a fun sports movie to boot.
This is England
Writer/director Shane Meadows is quickly becoming one of Britain's best
filmmakers. The semi-autobiographical story of Shaun, growing up in the
80s struggling to fit in until he meets a group of skinheads is one of the
great character pieces of 2007.
Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Spartan battle against the Persian
army at Thermopylae is a showpiece for comic book adaptations and historical
epics. With jaw dropping battle sequences and a scene commanding role for
Gerard Butler, this is a boy's own action adventure that is destined to
become a classic.
30 Days of Night
Another graphic novel adaptation and one that reinvigorates the Vampire
mythos, '30 Days of Night' is a story of survival against impossible odds.
Set in an Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for thirty days every
year, Vampires descend and cause havoc, killing and feeding on everyone
they encounter. The survivors have to live out the month before the sun
returns making this a movie that will have you on the edge of your seats
throughout and one that is a classic of the genre.
The current level of computer generated visual effects has allowed filmmakers
to create almost anything and seeing this director Michael Bay and producer
Steven Spielberg have brought one of the most beloved toys and cartoon series
of the 80s to the screen with amazing results. Seeing Optimus Prime, Megatron
and the rest of the Transformers is one of the most awe-inspiring moments
of 2007 and the film is action packed and extremely fun to boot.
28 Weeks Later
Sequels are almost always never as good as the original but '28 Weeks Later'
is more of a continuation of the story that surpasses and builds upon what
came before. Reinventing the zombie movie for the new millennium and continuing
the Rage virus story, this is a great horror sequel and one that should
make a great franchise.
Top Five Movies for 2007
4. Knocked Up
3. 30 Days of Night
1. The Bourne Ultimatum
and complete Turkeys of the Year
2007 was a year
filled with some completely awful movies as well and there were some real
stinkers this year.
Arthur and the
Even excellent animation can't disguise the fact that Luc Besson's story
is confusing and uninteresting making this a completely average piece so
called family entertainment.
Bratz: The Movie
Turning toys into movies can work, just look at the success of 'Transformers'
but the 'Bratz' movie is the complete opposite. A terrible high school movie
and one that even little girls will hate.
'Bruce Almighty' was bad enough but the Noah based sequel is even worst.
Even Steve Carell can't stop this from drowning.
Stephen King movies tend to be either brilliant or awful and unfortunately
'1408' is just plain awful. It is King's supernatural stories that seem
to be suffering and this movie is no different. Don't bother entering that
The Farrelly Brothers haven't produced a good movie since 'There's Something
About Mary' and they should stop making movies now.
Lions for Lambs
Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep try to make a political statement
about the war on terror but no one is really listening.
Meet the Robinsons
The good news for Disney is that Pixar creative genius John Lasseter has
taken over as the head of the animation so we should never see something
is average again.
The Number 23
Jim Carey is usually good when he tries something different but this movie
makes you wish the film was only twenty three minutes long.
Horror movies are all the rage again in Hollywood and they are attracting
some big name talent but even Oscar winning Hilary Swank can't save this
Midlife crisis movies can make great comedy but seeing Tim Allen, John Travolta,
Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy in leather and on motorbikes is a little
too much for anyone to take.
Worst Movie of 2007
Please, please, please can Hollywood stop making spoof movies! This is one,
if not the worst of a very bad bunch.
Five Grossing films of 2007 (US and UK)
1. Spider-Man 3 $336,530,303
2. Shrek the Third $321,012,359
3. Transformers $319,071,806
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $309,420,425
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $292,004,738
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix £101,360,911
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End £81,415,664
3. Shrek the Third £78,790,741
4. The Simpsons Movie £78,259,436
5. Spider-Man 3 £67,049,819
to look out for in 2008
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts star in a political drama about a US congressman
who supplied arms to Afghan rebels as they thought against Russian occupation
in the 1980s
Dan In Real Life
Steve Carell stars an advice columnist who really needs to take some of his
Alien Vs Predator
The war comes to Earth as the Predator ship crash lands outside of a small
No Country For
The Coen Brothers return to high drama about a family man who takes on gangster
Walk Hard: The
Dewey Cox Story
A comedic autobiography of the famed singer with John C. Reilly showing his
comedy talent again
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp bring the musical version of the Demon Barber to
the silver screen.
In The Valley Of
Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron investigate the disappearance of a soldier
returning from Iraq. Oscars have been mentioned for both the stars and writer/director
Paul Haggis (Crash).
Producer J.J. Abrams' mystery project about an attack on New York City hits
the box office and it could be one of the best or worst of the year but filmgoers
cannot wait to find out.
Ellen Page and Michael Cera star in a comedy drama about a teenager coping
with an unwanted pregnancy
The story of a dog with superpowers comes to the big screen with Jason Lee
providing the voice of our hero.
Book of Secrets
Nicolas Cage returns to his treasure hunting but this time he has to travel
around the world
Be Kind Rewind
Jack Black and Mos Def play video shop employees who decide to re-create great
moments from cinema, and become local celebrities in the process.
Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell and Samuel L. Jackson star in a sci-fi action
thriller from director Doug Liman
Sylvester Stallone resurrects his other famous character for one last fight
The Rest of 2008
'Independence Day' and 'The Day After Tomorrow' director Roland Emmerich takes
us back to a time of mammoths, sabretooth tigers and the building of an Egyptian
empire. Expect action and visual effects a plenty.
Horton Hears A
Based on the beloved Dr. Seuss book, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell provide the
voices for an elephant and a Who from the microscopic world of Who-ville.
The fantasy novel adaptations continue with this one introducing a magical
world of faeries and fantastic creatures.
James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie and Terence Stamp bring Mark
Millar's graphic novel to life and with the movie in the hands 'Nightwatch'
and 'Daywatch' director Timur Bekmambetov this could be the action movie of
Actor turned director Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura) brings one of Marvel's most
loved comic book heroes to the big screen. With Robert Downey Jr. as billionnaire
turned crime fighter Tony Stark and an excellent ensemble of Terrence Howard,
Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges, this could be the start of the next big
comic boo franchise.
The Wachowski return for their first film since the Matrix trilogy and this
time they go for all out family entertainment. Based on the beloved Japanese
animated TV series, we have the story of Speed who just wants to be a racer.
With a top notch cast including Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon,
Matthew Fox and John Goodman, this could be extremely fun.
Indiana Jones and
the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The man in the hat is back in what should be the biggest movie of 2008. Steven
Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford return to the franchise along with
Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt, Ray Winstone and Jim Broadbent this
will be another whip-cracking adventure for Hollywood's biggest and best adventure
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler and William Hurt replace director Ang Lee's cast
from 'Hulk' for 'Transporter' director Louis Leterrier for a restart of the
big green giant franchise. This time we will definately see more of Hulk smashing.
Chronicles Of Narnia:
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy return to Naria to fight an evil king and put
the rightful heir Prince Caspian on the throne, in what should be the big
fantasy movie of the year.
Will Smith stars as a relunctant superhero who never really wanted his powers
but has to stand up to save the world.
Kung Fu Panda
DreamWorks big summer animated movie with the vocal talents of Jack Black,
Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen and Angelina
Jolie, it could be kung fu fun.
Pixar's big animated movie for the year comes from the people behind the amazing
'Finding Nemo'. This is about a robot who has been doing the same job for
700 years but he is just about to find what he was really made for.
The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan continues his version of the Batman franchise and this
is going to be just as good, if not better than 'Batman Begins'. This time
we have Heath Ledger as the Joker, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent and returning
cast members Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon, Morgan
Freeman as Lucius Fox all starring in what could be the best big budget movie
of the 2008.
Hellboy 2: The
Guillermo del Toro returns to his beloved comic book franchise for another
adventure with Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt and Jeffrey Tambor. With
Luke Goss as the villain and the fantasy, action adventure put up to the next
level, this is going to be one hell of a sequel.
Harry Potter And
The Half-Blood Prince
The sixth year at Hogwarts begins and Harry, Ron and Hermione discover more
about Lord Voldemort's past. Expect this to be magic.
Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) directs Daniel Craig for his second adventure
as James Bond, as the story started in 'Casino Royale' continues.
Director J.J. Abrams restarts the
'Star Trek' franchise by taking us back to see Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty,
Sulu and Uhura as Starfleet cadets. After the franchise was killed off on
TV, could this big screen adventure reinvigorate the much loved sci-fi series?
2008 is looking like
it could be a great year
Thank you for reading
and here's to 2008.
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