Monday, January 5, 2009

At the Movies, 1/4/09

Do I have to watch Ben Fuckin' Lyons? I'm from Dublin!

On this week's episode of At the Movies, we got the full top ten lists of both Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. I have already commented a bit on Lyons' top ten, but a few comments about the episode follow the lists.


10. In Bruges 10. Iron Man
9. Miracle at St. Anna 9. Happy-Go-Lucky
8. The Reader 8. Towelhead
7. Let the Right One In7. Rocknrolla
6. Frost/Nixon6. The Bank Job
5. The Dark Knight5. Man on Wire
4. The Wrestler4. Milk
3. Milk3. The Reader
2. Slumdog Millionaire2. Frost/Nixon
1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button1. The Wrestler

As he is introducing his number 7 pick (Let the Right One In), Lyons says "This is the year that saw vampire culture rise to the top of pop culture, due to the Twilight phenomenon." One more time, Ben, please don't remind us about Twilight. You have done enough damage to your career from talking about that movie. No mention, of course, of your role in Twilight-gate--that you are partially complicit in the rise of the movie to the top of pop culture. Let's hope that 2009 will be a Twilight-free year for Ben Lyons--and for the rest of us.

On Slumdog Millionaire, which was his number 2 pick, Lyons says it was "the feel-good movie of the year. I usually don't like that phrase, it's usually too casually thrown around." But he'll use it anyway! Best part is, if the producers want to put his name on the top of the poster during pre-Oscar publicity (although they almost certainly will not), it can just say "The feel-good movie of the year!" - Ben Lyons, and not worry about all the rest.

Of course, our Ben would never throw out blurbs like that, would he? Let's not forget W., which he said was "One of the most important films of our generation." That wasn't good enough (although he assures us it was close) to make the top ten list. Nothing new for Lyons, he said that 300 was "One of the best films of 2007, and of the last 25 years", but that wasn't good enough for his Top Ten of 2007, either.

I cannot help but mention again Ben's unfortunate placement of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the top of his list. He announced it as his number one by saying to Mank: "I'm a little surprised it didn't make your list, but then again, you said 'See' Beverly Hills Chihuahua." The appropriate response to this would have been "Yeah, well, you said Benjamin Button was the best movie of the year!"

Finally, there is Mank's list. He has odd taste, to say the least. Iron Man makes the list but The Dark Knight does not--and neither does Slumdog Millionaire! He was also enthusiastic about the relatively mildly reviewed Rocknrolla and Towelhead. Lyons, on the other hand, did not like the latter film, although it is not at all clear that he was even paying attention.

Next week, we are guaranteed to get the Ten Worst lists. I fear that Synecdoche, New York will make one of them, but we'll see.


Don said...

As a huge fan of Towelhead and a not-huge fan of Slumdog Millionaire, I have to give Mank some credit. Also, looking back at Lyons' 2007 list, I'm astounded that I Am Legend lands at number 2 while There Will Be Blood is nowhere to be found. Sweet lord!

Anonymous said...

A TWILIGHT-free 2009 is out of the question, as the sequel's release date is planned for November 20.

Anonymous said...

Ben M.'s list is a little uneven. RockNRolla was a nice comeback for Guy Ritchie but not best of the year at all. The Bank Job was interesting but it is so hard to suspend reality with Jason Statham. I mean it was like the movie was '70s dress-up.

Miracle at St. Anna was long tedious tripe that was a completely disjointed Spike Lee Joint and I consider myself a fan of his work. Hell I even thought She Hate Me was interesting in concept though average in result.

Let The Right One In was phenomenal but Waltz with Bashir and so many other foreign-language films belong on there but then again I love the contemporary German cinema.