Friday, December 29, 2006

The deadline among my friends for Top Ten lists isn't for a few more days. While compiling mine, I made a list of some of my favorite aspects of movies that I otherwise didn't care for, or that aren't among my ten favorites.

  • Ricky Bobby, in Talladega Nights, refusing to shake arch rival Jean Girard’s hand, but willing to do something else, following their climactic race.

  • Stranded sled dogs being chased be a sea lion in Eight Below.
  • Ian McKellan's explanation on where to find the holy grail in Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper, in The Da Vinci Code. It's an exciting, subversive art history lecture.
  • The dwarf wrestlers in Nacho Libre.

  • The cluttered, cramped home of the family in Little Miss Sunshine.

  • The opening scene of The Notorious Bettie Page, depicting an FBI raid on a porn shop.

  • The foot chase that opens Casino Royale.

  • That Blood Diamond made a good-faith effort at deflating some diamond myths.

  • The two best cinematic hosts this year: Johnny Knoxville in Jackass number 2 and Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. Both come across as likable and authoritative. Each also has an engaging, dry humor that made me wish for more of each of them.

  • The avalanche that reveals a large, otherworldly object tumbling through the water in Happy Feet.

  • The last scenes of The Science of Sleep; the dreamer-hero’s inability to face the waking world.

  • The home movies of a sad, out-of-shape George Reeves practicing fighting moves in Hollywoodland.

  • That, in spite of its being generally disappointing, The Black Dahlia contains some exciting Brian De Palma camera work.
  • The distant figure of a subterranean mutant cannibal in The Descent.

  • The ease (and ruthlessness) with which Edward Wilson turns his college mentor in to the FBI in The Good Shepherd. This movie overdid the father figure symbolism, but this portion was quite good.

  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing the villain in Mission: Impossible 3.

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