Saturday, January 13, 2007

This is the 2nd annual “The Best Films of the year” list. Just as last year, I will have , “The Worst films of the year”,” The Surprises of the year”,” The disappointments of the year” and the final category, I call “WTF” In which I ask why were these films made in the first place.

For last year’s list please check on this link Last Years reviews

And it’s about half way down.

Now for what’s different from this year to last year’s end of the year list.

1. PIFF . You will see these letters on a few of the reviews. These films played at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival. Because I saw these films listed in the preview book, I went out and watched a few more films from around the world that I usually do.

2. Because of the above watching, my list includes films from the USA, Mexico, Japan, Korea, England, Romania, Algeria, Greece, China, Spain, Turkey and Russia. I really tried to watch allot of varied films for this list. I wanted it to be a true representation of the various members of the expat community in Korea by selecting films from all over the world and not just English speaking films.

3. For surprises and disappointments of the year list, I did put films that I liked in the disappointments and films that I hated in the surprise part of the review. I felt that this would be a more honest look at the list.

4. I will give all IMDB links for the movies, so in case you see a film that sounds interesting to you and you might want to watch it one day, this will give you allot of information on the film. Also please remember these reviews will have spoilers all throughout so please be careful. I will also give links to my longer review of the movie.

5. Last but not least, I have named the award that I will give out to the top selections. I will call the award , “The Flynnie” We’ll my first name is Flynn and it just sounded better than ,”I do movie reviews and one day I might mail you a funny looking Korean award.”

2006 was an interesting year for films; we saw terrorism from up high and underground. We saw the return of an American Icon in Rocky. We heard the words, “WE ARE MARSHALL” and we saw a town heal. We got to see, “The Battle of Iwo Jima” from both sides of the combatants. We saw ghosts and Death Notes also this year, but most of all we will always remember why the fifth of November is for gunpowder, treason and plots.

Each list will have my top 20 and I will start with number 20 and work my way to #1.

Now here are my selections for the Best Films for the Year 2006.

20.The Curse of the Golden Flower

The only reason I wanted to see it was because one of my favorite actors, Yun-Fat Chow, was in this film. I was quite please with this film
And I had no idea what was ever going to happen next in this film. When it was over I had to re-watch the last 15 minutes just to make sure that I caught all of it. Please see it when you get the chance.

19.Over the Hedge
My Review

Talk about a huge gamble that paid off. This cartoon was not in the majority of newspapers so when it came out allot of people had to be reminded that this is a daily comic strip in newspapers. I loved the casting of William Shatner as Ozzie and the film works because R.J. (Bruce Willis) was so believable as a raccoon with an idea to show the wildlife “Suburbs”.

18.The Prestige
My Review

Now this had 3 great actors (Michael Caine, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) all competing for the best magic trick and along the journey you are reminded why David Bowie can act with the best of them. The ending asks you was it really worth all of this pain and revenge that each man unleashed upon each other.

17.Days of Glory or Indigenes (PIFF)

What a war story this one will tell you. It talks about men from North Africa who fight for their so-called motherland against Nazi Germany. It tells of the racist policies that France had for those that they called “Indigenes”. Please see it when you can and watch the entire film.

16. 12:08 East of Bucharest (PIFF)

This is one of the 2 films that I saw at this years Pusan Festival. I picked the film because it just sounded interesting. I was so glad that I selected this one.
The film basically ask did a revolution happen in our Romanian town in 1989 and if it did how? The film will get a release, mid-2007 in the USA. Watch this small film if you can and you will not be disappointed.


Imagine if you can, if you had the chance to come back as a ghost and help fix all of the wrongs that you had done in your life, would you? The film is getting serious Oscar buzz for Penelope Cruz role as the lowly dinner owner who soon has allot of her own problems in the film. The film should be released on DVD in January here in Korea. A great film about death and what a family really is, at the end of the day.

14. Pirates of the Caribbean 2
My Review

This was everything a summer blockbuster should be. It had a great story, great plot and a very unusual villain. When the film was over, I could not believe that I would have to wait until next year to see the final act of this trilogy.

13.The Holiday
My Review

Now this one was a huge surprise for me when I saw it. I had no idea that I would like it so much. Law and Diaz sold the film and Winslet and Black stoled the film. It should be a welcome addition to your annual Christmas movie viewing.

12.We Are Marshall

I knew what the film was going to be about but I sure what not ready for it. When you see the towns reaction to the accident it will just make you feel numb. Matthew McConaughey, to me, finally took that huge next step from becoming a so-called actor to becoming a great one. Please watch the film for Matthew Fox’s portrayal of Red Dawson. He made this into Red’s story and it was a good one to tell.

11.Notes on a Scandal

Now this one was a huge surprise and I felt like I should not have been watching this film due to its subject matter. I’m still not sure I completely understand what I was watching but it needs to be seen. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett give outstanding performances here and might catch some award talk within the next few months.

10.Death Note
My Review

The only reason I saw this film was because I was able to see a preview of this movie on YouTube and it just looked interesting. Give Japanese actor Tatsuya Fujiwara credit here, after Battle Royale I did not think that he could ever come close to that performance again. Part 2 arrives in Korea in January 2007.

My Review

Now being an American racing fan I had huge reservations about this film. Pixar pulled it off and gave us a story that we can show our grandchildren one day. A well developed film, in which Owen Wilson gave us his best work of the year as the voice of Lighting McQueen.

8.The Departed
My Review

When I first heard that Martin Scorsese was going to remake “Infernal Affairs” I had some reservations about it. I was going to see the original but I waited until after I saw “The Departed.” The film can stand alone from the original. It was so nice to see Jack as a villain once again.

7.Half Nelson

The only reason that I saw this film was because friends of mines blogs made comments about this film and since I have always recommended films for them. I figured that I would listen to them. This is not a normal film, it’s a low budget film that takes you on a teacher’s journey and makes his students a little different because of it. I love the scene when he realized that all he has been taught could be wrong. It would not surprise me to see major award nominations for Ryan Gosling for his acting in this film.

6.The Queen
My Review

The film takes a look at the Queen of England and her response to the Death of Lady Diana Spencer. Helen Mirren has already won a few awards for her role at the Queen and it would not surprise me if she adds an Oscar for this one.

5.Rocky Balboa
My Review

I had heard reports of entire theaters shaking because the audience was so into this film. After seeing this film, I can understand why. What you see is one man who has one shot left and he takes it. Please go along with the ride.

4.United 93
My Review

I will watch this film one more time, when I can get the DVD and I will watch the special features when the actors meet the families of those left behind. Then I doubt, I will ever watch it again. It is not because it is that bad, it’s because the film is that good. I was crying when I saw this at the theaters and I could not stop myself for a while. I don’t know if I can go on that ride again.

3.V for Vendetta
My Review

The first time I saw this film was at the Yongsan IMAX and it sure did not disappoint me. What a plot and what fine actors you had to pull this one off.

Now if I am going to catch hell for this year’s list here it is.

The winners of this year’s “Flynnie’s” are

1-2 Tie. Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.

My Review
Flags of Our Fathers
Letters From Iwo Jima

These 2 films were directed by Clint Eastwood and it shows, “The Battle of Iwo Jima” from both sides. “Flags of our Fathers” shows what happened to the men who raised the US flag on Iwo Jima. “Letters From Iwo Jima”, shows how the Japanese soldiers fought to the bitter end against the US invaders. Flags Opens in Korea Feb. 2007

They show war from both sides and they both ask, “What is a hero?” I have no idea if we will ever see the Japanese part of this film here in Korea. I just cannot imagine a Japanese Army film ever playing here in Korea. They only reason I was able to see “Letters” was a very bad cam DVD from Japan. I kept wondering, will we ever see these 2 films edited into one long one? It would be an interesting idea.

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