Friday, February 08, 2008

Now for what I considered "The Surprises" of the year. These are films that came out of nowhere or where huge dice were rolled and they paid off whether at the box office or with the critics. I will give the reason why I put this film in this category.

25 Charlie Wilson's War


It was a good film that could have been great if it was given a hour more to develop more. At 90+ minutes, it all seemed rushed. To be this good for a rushed film is what put it on this list.

24 Beowulf

In 2D, the film is so-so. In 3D IMAX, its worthy of the name Beowulf. It was a huge gamble that maybe will recoup the cost but it was a well worth try at the first legendary tale.

23 Stardust

The box office on this film in foreign markets was interesting to watch. It slowly built up a share and kept it for awhile. Nice film and good job of selling it outside of the USA.

22 The Girl Next Door

What a look at one person can force other to do. Great job of making a film.

21. P.S. I Love You

How do you say good-bye to the love of your life? A very well told story about that. A nice surprise from Ms. Hilary Swank; a chick-flick for all.

20. Muk gong Battle of Wits (International: English title)

Now, a very nice surprise film about war in China. I had no idea what was happing next and it sure made me happy that I paid to see this film.

19. Killer of Sheep (1977)

Now this student film has been quiet for a long time and was finally given a limited release in 2007 in USA. What a history lesson this film was and what a look at what was actually going on around this person. Listed this year for surprise and its release from darkness.


From the plot. Every year, one in 700 people wakes up during surgery. When they planned her husband's murder, they never thought he'd be the one.

A small, wicked, horror film that left me thinking, Payback it a Bytch.

17. Why Did I Get Married?

A small film by Tyler Perry. It takes a real look at marriage and why we do it. A real good, small story. People could learn A lot by watching this film.

16. Hairspray
My Review

Every time i think that John Travolta is finally finished as an actor, he has a year like 2007. I never liked the 1988 version of this film. I loved this version. Seeing John and Christopher Walken as a happily married couple was just too much. A huge gamble that worked.

15. No Country for Old Men
Opens: 21 February 2008 (South Korea)

I really have no idea why a lot of people are falling all over themselves in trying to promote this film. I saw it as 3/4 a good film then the last act of this as, "You have got to be fracking kidding me!" This was the pay-off, and the main candidate for Oscar 2008. A real surprise for a lot of people is why its on my list.

14. Otoko-tachi no Yamato Yamato (International: English title)

Once again, a earlier released film that I put on this years list. It has slowly worked itself out of Japan and started to get some serious publicity in 2007. As a former soldier, I stood and saluted at what happened at the end of this film. A small little film that needs to be released wide ASAP.

13. The Game Plan

"The Rock" and Walt Disney working together. I did not think it would work. Well, the Box Office proved me wrong. A small film that shows, "The Rock" can become a decent actor.

12. Smokin' Aces

I was not expecting much when I saw this film at CGV. I had heard a little about it. I had no idea that it would be as good as it was. It was nice to see a huge chess games and in the end everybody became a pawn in one huge game of murder-for-hire.

11. Disturbia

All I saw it was a huge teen rip off of Rear Window with the flavor of the year Shia LaBeouf. A lot more people liked it and are helping LaBeouf into becoming a huge teen idol.

10. The Simpsons Movie
My Review

This film could have bombed big time. Before it came out a lot of fans were saying that it would destroy the TV show. Well, the show is still going on and the movie is doing well in DVD Sales. This is the one American film review where I also, ticked of a lot of readers but asking a simple question on the twitch website. Will Korean nationalism translate into this film doing good here in Korea. More Koreans worked on this film than D-WAR. (It did not do that great of business here in Korea. I was the only one laughing at most of the jokes.)

9. Big Bang

I had no real desire to see this film, the only reason I did was, that I had a friend visit me from the USA and he wanted to see a Korean film. So we picked this one. For a small film in Korea, this told one hell of a story of a man who has finally had enough and decided to strike back. A very good small film, that is work a DVD rental.

8. Voice of Murderer

My favorite Korean Film of the year. It has also received small publicity from NYC Film Festivals. When you start to realize that you are listening to real evil, it really started to mess with your mind. The real kidnapper was way smarter that the Korean Police ever were. As of today, he is still at large and can never be charged for the murder, due to the statues of limitation on murder in Korea has past. After the film is over, you actually hear the real kidnappers voice. Please watch it on DVD when you can. A very small film that showed the incompetency of the Korean Police and how evil men can be.

7. Katyn Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards Nominee.

For those who have no idea about this moment during World War 2 please click here. I have said it before and will say it again. If good men do nothing, while evil prevails, then damn all of the good men straight to hell. I knew how the film was going to end and it was still hard to watch it all go down. Please see it when you can.

6. Once

Well this film has puzzled me, I thought it was so-so and the critics have been praising it. It has received an Oscar nomination for "Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song"If you want to see a good love story, then try this one. I listed this film because of all of the top 10 list this film has received.

5. Wild Hogs

Just when I think that both John Travolta and Tim Allen are finished with acting, they make this film. I have no idea why it worked, but it did and, for now, saved the careers of Tim and John.

4. Knocked Up

What an idea for a film and it worked. Party boy gets nice girl knocked up and he has to grow up. No idea if this or Superbad will ever play in Korea, so try and download or buy the DVD. A huge surprise for Judd Apatow.

3 The Kite Runner

I had heard that this film would take a very different look at the Taliban and Afghanistan. To watch his story before the Russian soldiers came and to see what happened to a child because of teaching was sad. A good look at the film. A really good film that will haunt you for a few days.

2 Alvin and the Chipmunks

Now this film could have been a huge failure due to todays children forgetting about "The Chipmunk Christmas Song" It was not and became a huge hit for Fox. The film was funny and I was actually laughing at this story and I knew what was coming next and I was still laughing at it.

Now the 1 film for best surprise of the year was a huge box office gamble that could have blown up in so many different markets but it did not. So "The Flynnie" for "The Biggest Surprise Of 2007" goes to

1. Transformers
My Review

This is one of the things that I do love about Korea. Every now and then Korea will get a big film before the USA does. This one opened in Korea in June 2007 and went to sell over 7 million tickets here in Korea and did O.K. during its 4 week IMAX run in November 2007. When you listen to the DVD director's commentary, on everything that could have gone wrong with this film, to everything that started to go right with Korea, Japan, Steven Spielberg instance of cost maintenance. It worked and made a truck load of money. The HD-DVD crown won a small victory when this film will be released in HD-DVD format only.

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