All entries for Friday 12 December 2008

December 12, 2008

You wouldn't bail–out a bookshop…

Thomas Friedman, one of America’s best op-ed writers, has written the first decent summary I’ve seen of why the U.S. government shouldn’t bail out the Detroit car companies.

...our bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into the CD music business on the eve of the birth of the iPod and iTunes. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into a book-store chain on the eve of the birth of and the Kindle. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into improving typewriters on the eve of the birth of the PC and the Internet.

Read it to find out why.

Is that a bandwagon I see before me?

Just about every newspaper in the land seems to be compiling a Top 10 Films of the Year list, so here’s mine, just in time to beat the Long Eaton Topper.

999. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Lost Skull
Truly appalling. I wanted my money back and compensation for hurt feelings.

998. Sex and the City
Must admit, I didn’t watch it.

10. Body of Lies
Funny when it shouldn’t be, scary when it should. I do think DiCaprio’s just about the best actor out there at the moment, despite his annoying good looks. Russell Crowe’s not much far behind, and put the two of them in a Ridey Scott film and you’re guaranteed a winner.

9. No Country For Old Men
Good, but not as good as everyone made out. The Coens seemed to go off on a violence trip, which while appealing to the mostly male film critics of this world, only sometimes made for brilliant cinema.

8. How To Lose Friends and Alienate People
Simon Pegg – makes you proud to be British. My only concern is that he’s kind of the John Cleese of our generation, meaning he’ll a miserable old git in about 30 years time.

7. Gomorrah
Different from any film on the list (or any film released this year). Beautifully shot and eerily quiet.

6. Quantum of Solace
Well, I’m never sure about James Bond films after just one viewing. So I went back a couple of weeks later and it was just as good. Not Casino Royale, but a great lead-in to what will definately be a superb Bond 23.

5. Wall-E
Cute. Not Toy Story, but close. Please, no sequels though.

4. Juno
Warm, funny, not afraid of being a ‘small’ movie,

3. Batman: The Dark Knight
Simply the best, biggest and boldest action film in years.

2. In Bruges
The funniest film of the year, under-rated, and under-seen. Once I get hold of the DVD I’ll be inflicting it on anyone who can take the foul language.

1. There Will Be Blood
Far superior to No Country for Old Men, which thrashed it in the awards ceremonies that matter. Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano were nothing short of brilliant, and from the film’s opening seconds you know you’re watching something timeless.

I’ve missed a few I’m sure. Waltz with Bashir might have made it in had I seen it yet. Australia has an outside chance, but the reviews haven’t been brilliant.

EDIT: I’ve seen Australia now. It’s good, but parts of it annoyed me enough to keep it out of last year’s top 10. Too much comedy, too many shots straight out of the Moulin Rouge playbook (every time I saw the Aborigine grandfather, I thought of Kylie Minogue) and an act too long.

Later/next week I’ll do the ten films I’m most looking forward to in 2009.

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