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2007 Movie List

I think that I would like to read more books than watch movies this year. Now that I am done with the AFI 100 Update, that will be a possibility!

2007 Movie List

January

1. Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version) – It is a scrapbooking tradition

2. Emma (Paltrow) – Ditto. Always makes me cry like a baby. Jeremy Northam ROCKS!

3. High School Musical: Remix

OK, my girlfriend loaned this to me and then asked me, “Have you watched it yet?” quite a few times. So, I thought I would watch it with George. Five minutes into it I am thinking, “How CHEESY!” I know that my friend likes Josh Groban too, and I can only take SO much of his CD, and I can’t handle the Barry Manilow-like overload that I start to experience. All that said, I persevered, and I LOVED IT! I am an official groupie of this fun Disney made-for-television movie, and here is why. I used to love musicals, but we just don’t have them anymore. I used to secretly wish that all of life were a music so that I could break into song, complete with orchestra to fit my emotions at the time. Something has happened since Grease which was the defining musical for my generation. I forgot how GOOD they can make you feel. I forgot that sometimes CHEESY is just what I need. Sometimes a simple message of CAN’T WE ALL JUST WORK TOGETHER? Is what our brains need. So, I give it two-thumbs up and will be waiting with bated-breath for the sequel. Hopefully, by that time, I will have learned all the moves to “We’re All In This Together” and can perform it for anyone wanting to see. If others join in and do the special feature that teaches it, we can do a little choreographed routine for those willing to watch at Tailspin Island?

4. Dreamgirls

Loved this movie from beginning to end. Great acting, great music, great story!

5. Bridget Jones Diary

My mom has “mega-cable” so it was fun to LOL with a edited version without the four letter words! I do admit that I missed the first part, but I think it still counts. Colin Firth makes this movie so fun.

6. Dreamgirls – Had to go again with my Corvallis friends.

February

7. Tuesdays with Morrie – This is a real tear-jerker. How appropriate that Jack Lemmon last movie would be about a man facing death. This is a follow up to the book reading in the fall. It was an excellent rendition of it.

8. Monarch of the Glen: Season 5

My library didn’t have it, but Netflix did! So, my friend graciously reserved it for me! I still really love this series with all the twists and turns. We have to wait for Season 6 and & to come out on DVD though!

9. Music and Lyrics

I really thought this was cute, clever, funny, and romantic. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore were very convincing, and it was a great way to spend an afternoon!

10. North and South (Four part mini-series with the BBC)

Oh my word! I absolutely positively loved this in every frame. It was beautifully filmed, and the story is so compelling. The casting is perfect. It is a great movie!

March

11. Amazing Grace

I have already effused about this, but it was a wonderful story with values front and center and romance too! Loved Ioan in this role!

12. Wives and Daughters (mini-series with the BBC)

It was simply lovely. No words can describe how much I loved this series.

13. Horatio Hornblower: The Duel

April

14. I Have Found It

Sense and Sensibility Indian style! I loved it. I wanted to turn it off after about ten minutes, but it is a hoot, and it really is a great story! It isn’t like Bride and Prejudice because this is an Indian film, not a British film shot by an Indian director. So, it has subtitles and all the dance numbers that make Tamil film great! I cried in the end and had to go to the bathroom halfway through it, but I couldn’t tear myself away. Rent it. If you like Bride and Prejudice, give this one a few minutes, and it will suck you in! LOL!

15. The Holiday

It was on the long Eastbound trip from Portland to Chicago. It had some cute things about it. I just don’t see the need for them to jump into bed within seconds of meeting each other! I am glad they didn’t show it though. I thought the story with Kate Winslet and the old man was just charming. I have never seen Jude Law in anything, and I can see why so many like him. He is charming, but his personal life makes me not like him so much. L

16. Into the Woods

This is the recorded version of the Broadway play. Karen had us watch and discuss during the LampPost retreat. I liked it. It thought the singing and acting were superb. It was funny, and it had a great message about being careful what you wish for and what can happen when we are absorbed in our dreams so much so that we are willing to do anything to accomplish them. I could have discussed it more, but I wasn’t there for most of the larger discussions, but Karen and I had a nice one on one discussion that I enjoyed.

17. The Pursuit of Happyness

This is a re-watch on the trip Westbound from Washington-Dulles to Portland. It made the 18 total hours of transit time much more bearable! I wasn’t going to watch it and discipline myself to read my book that is due on SATURDAY, but I just couldn’t resist. I love this story of a father’s love and determination to be all that he can be.

18. Miss Potter

The icing on the cake of an already wonderful weekend! I had read that the Westbound movie had been Miss Potter between April 1-15, and I was bummed that I hadn’t flow earlier! Well, the trip Westbound was almost an hour longer than the trip Eastbound. So, the pilot got on and said that we had enough time to see another movie, and this was the choice! Oh happy day!
It is about the life of Beatrix Potter, beloved children’s author and illustrator. It stars Renee Zellweger and Ewan Macgregor and is delightful in all the right ways. It is squeaky clean and has all my favorite British character actors to boot. I was in heaven 37,000 feel up in the air!

MAY

19. An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore had some very interesting points and valid concerns. While the subject is very important, I think it was pretty darn boring in parts, and I think there could have been so much more done to make it more interesting. For this reason, I don’t think it should have won any kind of academy award. In addition, it was just a little too megalomaniacal for my taste. He is clearly in love with himself and has a chip on his shoulder about not winning that election. I wish it were a little more about the subject of Global Warming and less about how wonderful he thinks he is. I think Bill Nye the Science Guy could have done a much better job at explaining the subject of global warming. He also does not address any ways we can help. He doesn’t say what HE has done in his own personal life to curb his lifestyle to make a real difference. That is what I want to know: Does he walk his talk?

20. I, Claudius (1976)

Totally amazing! This was on the Top 12 of all time for Masterpiece Theatre, and I can see why! I rate this pretty high up there. I had started watching it at the club on the DVD players attached to the stair climbers. It just isn’t the right environment for it. I bagged it and thought I would never return, but the fact it made Top 12 made me get it again, and I am so glad. The acting in this is excellent. You will see some familiar faces if you are a fan of British TV from the 70’s. In fact there is a young “Gimli” from Lord of the Rings fame! This will get you very curious about Roman history and put Jesus’ birth in historical context for you. Warning: there is some nudity to portray the Roman lifestyle but nothing gratuitous. Makes me wonder how that got on television in the 70’s though! We both loved it (although George had seen it when it came out in 1976!).

21. Bleak House (15 episode mini-series, BBC 2006)

Run, don’t walk to your local video store or library to see this RIVETING Charles Dickens classic come to life with luscious cinematography and an amazing cast. Gillian Andersen is amazing as Lady Dreadlock. One of the actresses in North South is also in this. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Dickens is so amazing in the way he weaves a tale with the funniest names for the characters.

JUNE

22. Mountain of Fire: The Discovery of the Real Mount Sinai (50 min)

This is a documentary about a possible discovery of the real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia instead of Egypt. I would love to know what “hard scientists” think about the discovery. It had some pretty interesting things in it though and is worth watching. It was recommended by my Bird’s Eye View of the Bible friend.

23.Jeeves and Wooster: Jeeves Takes Charge (50 min)
24. Jeeves and Wooster: Tuppy and Terrier (50 min)
25. Jeeves and Wooster: The Purity of the Turk (50 min)

Do these get any better? I get very bored by them and am thinking that I don’t have the “British comedy” gene like so many people here! LOL! We had one more on the DVD, and I was just bored to tears. Sorry. I tried two other ones last year and had the same reaction. It is going back to the library and I won’t be able to complete the Masterpiece Theatre Top 12 after all. L

26. Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles
27. Sherlock Holmes: The Last Vampyre

These were done in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was a Granada Television series. We really enjoyed them! I saw many old faces of British character actors once again.

28. Ushpizin (Guests)

This is a foreign language film from Israel that is heart-warming and excellent. I would love to show it to anyone learning about the Jewish feasts. I heartily recommend this film.

29. A Passage to India

As per my tradition, I watch the movie after I read the book. This is the third time I have seen this film in the last 20 years, and it gets better every time. The book definitely gives more background into the subtleties of the divide between East and West, but I think that David Lean did a wonderful rendering of this fabulous book. I don’t think it is my favorite David Lean (Bridge on the River Kwai remains one of my favorite movies – brilliant BTW), but it is really well-crafted with gorgeous cinematography and flawless acting. Those Brits just do it right.

30. Swing Time

My first Astaire and Rogers film was simply delightful. The song “The Way You Look Tonight” comes from this movie. Definitely deserves a place in the top 100.

31. The Sixth Sense

WOW! I have never had any desire to see this film because I don’t like scary movies, but this was so excellently done. It wasn’t at all what I expected! I totally see why this movie made it in the top 100 too. I am now an M. Night Shyamalan fan. It was a pleasure to see Toni Collette in a role in which she received an Academy Award nomination. The acting is excellent on all levels. Willis really did a great job. Amazing.

32. Sullivan’s Travel – I totally enjoyed this Top 100 film.


33. A Night at the Opera (Marx Bros)

I totally enjoyed this with my kids. Turns out that Paul had never really liked it before because he didn’t understand it, but he was delighted to watch it again because he realized he didn’t get it because he was sick with the flu when he watched it! So, we laughed out loud and had a great morning. Remember Kitty Carlisle from some game show in the 60’s? I can’t remember which show it was, but I didn’t realize she had been a screen actress before she became a game show person!

34. Spartacus

I have always wanted to see this and have never gotten around to it. I am glad it was on the Top 100 to force me to do so in order to have closure! I loved it. It is an inspiration and interesting to read in light of reading 1776 right now.

35. 12 Angry Men

This was very powerful. Some of the starts are Henry Fonda, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, etc. It is an incredible movie about human nature and our justice system of trial by jury. I really like this one.

JULY

36. Persuasion (Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version)

I haven’t watched this one in a few years! I loved it more this time. This was one of my least favorite of the Austens (Northanger Abbey being last in my affections), but it is growing on me as I get older. I have been exposing my friends, Lisa and Sharon, to Austens for the last few years, and they didn’t like it as much, but they still loved it. This one is so beautiful and subtle in every way. Ciaran Hinds is so handsome too!

37. Emma (Kate Beckinsale version)

I did a little bit of comparing and contrasting since I have seen the Paltrow version twice this year. I like this one because it develops the story and adds some scenes that are crucial to the plot line (going to pick strawberries at the house where Jane leaves and Frank comes). I also love how they show how much the servants DO for these rich gentry! We found ourselves chuckling on a regular basis over this. I also love how it is a bit more rustic looking with low lighting of candles and such (which is probably more accurate). The acting is also excellent. All that said, I prefer the Paltrow/Northam version. Paltrow gives a first rate performance. She is much more obnoxious than Beckinsale, and Toni Collette as Miss Smith is a scream. Overall, the acting is first rate. I laugh and cry more in the Paltrow version. The Beckinsale final scene just doesn’t “do it for me” like the Paltrow/Northam final scene. J

38. About a Boy

This is a really clever movie! I was surprised by it. My dh said, “This isn’t at all what I thought it would be.” I laughed out loud at parts. It had a good message there. Hugh Grant is growing on me.

39. The Hours

This is the movie based on the book that was inspired by the author reading Mrs. Dalloway. It is an interesting look into three women’s lives and the hours of their day. It was interesting, but I wonder if people would have confused if they had not read the book Mrs. Dalloway. Since I did for The Well-Educated Mind, I found it very fascinating. It definitely isn’t a cheery movie. Nicole Kidman (Playing Virginia Woolf) is excellent. Juilanna Moore is the woman of the 50’s (with Toni Collette as her friend). Meryl Streep is the woman of the 21st century. It was in interesting look into life and death and women’s lives.

40. Bladerunner (AFI 100)

After all the discussion here, it was nice to finally see it! It was OK for me as a whimpy viewer too. I thought it was pretty interesting. It was so dark and misty the whole time. Daryl Hannah was pretty creepy too. I had more fun reading all the stuff about the movie on the internet afterward too!

41. Do The Right Thing (AFI 100)

This is a film about racism. Spike Lee doesn’t make his black characters out as victims, and I liked that. He is obviously a very intelligent man. I really liked hearing Spike Lee’s response at the Cannes Film Festival News Conference. It helped me know where he was coming from. His special features are amazing because he really gives a tongue-lashing to the critics in his “final words” segment. He is so passionate about this; but as he said in his Cannes Conference, he has HOPE. I can totally see why this was a groundbreaking film. It was such an unusual film too. The language was very strong. So that is my warning.

42. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (AFI 100)

What an absolutely DISTURBING film! YUCK and DOUBLE YUCK! It is about a dysfunctional marriage. I will have to say that Elizabeth Taylor is a superb actress, and she really did deserve the Academy Award for this. Sandy Dennis also won one, and Richard Burton was amazing. Other than that, this one was really hard to stomach.

43. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) (AFI 100)

It was on the Top 100. This years list removed Wings and Birth of a Nation, and I think they are much better films! This wasn’t too bad though. It is funny that it was another movie about a marriage in trouble!

44. Hairspray

LOVED IT! The cast was PERFECT! (I am adding this because I forgot it in my first list!)

AUGUST

45. Dr. Zhivago (Kiera Knightly version on Masterpiece Theatre)

This was a 2003 version of this classic in a mini-series version. It was rebroadcast on PBS, and my mother-in-law wanted us to watch it with her when we stayed with her on the 5th of August. We watched on conclusion the following Sunday. For all the “beauty” of the story, I still have a big problem with this story because it glorifies adultery as a beautiful thing. So, this is why I didn’t like the old one either. It is a compelling story set at the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. So, it is an interesting storyline. Overall, it is such a sad story! Kiera Knightly did a good job though. She was apparently only 16 at the time, but I feel like she did carry the part. The acting really was excellent overall.

46. Cabaret (AFI 100)

What was my mother doing letting me watch this movie in the movie theatre in 1973? I was only thirteen/fourteen! It is quite “tame” compared to today’s standards, but it still isn’t appropriate for that age. Liza Minelli was really phenomenal in it. Michael York was also great. This is the story of a cabaret in Berlin as the Nazis rise to power.

47. The Secret

I had read the book and commented on it already. I don’t like the “throw it out to the ‘benevolence of the universe’” idea. God is the one who answers prayer, and I believe He is control of the universe. The Secret lies in Jesus Christ. I thought it was pretty hokey, and I don’t think this will stand the test of time. I really did not like how “slick” this was. It was more of a turn off than the book!

48. Enron: The Smartest Guys in Town

What a great documentary! I can’t remember why I even put it on hold. It was a fascinating, in-depth look at the history of the fall of Enron.

49. High School Musical Two

What can I say? I’m a Zac Ephron groupie. J I liked the original movie better, but it was nice to visit these great characters again. Silly fun. Saw at my brothers because he has the Disney Channel! My niece said she wanted to be “Mrs. Zac Ephron,” and I laughed!

50. Becoming Jane

Based of the reviews I got from other people, I had low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I went with my Fallbrook friend, and she liked it much better this second time. Anything Jane is good in my eyes. J

SEPTEMBER

51. Monarch of the Glen: Season 6

People come and go on this show, but I love it all the same. I can’t get enough of the Scottish Highlands, and the sweet stories of its people. This is such a gem of a show even with all the changes!

52. Hairspray (1988)

I like this original version. It is different from the newer one (which I FORGOT to add to this original list and just added it now!), but it has merits all its own! Penny’s mother alone makes it worth watching! Her adventure into the black part of town is a scream. If I had to choose, I would say I like the new one better, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was very fun to hear Waters’ (writer and director) commentary. He wrote about his experiences in high school. He is a very bizarre, funny man.

53. Intolerance (AFI Top 100)

This is by the same director as The Birth of a Nation. This must have been a very ambitious project! It has four different stories going on at the same time. It is pretty amazing and deep, but it is LOOOOOOOONG (3 hours). All four stories climax at the end, and that part is quite exciting, but it took forever to get there. J

54. The General (AFI Top 100)

This is a great little Buster Keaton, silent film. I loved it. It has an amazing scene with a train too! I plan on adding this to the list for the “Comedy in Film” Class that I am going to create for my kids!

OCTOBER


55. The War by Ken Burns (7 part mini-series)

One word: Amazing. I bought the soundtrack. The title song, “American Anthem will leave you in tears; trust me. An added benefit, it is sung by Norah Jones.

56. Hitch

Kevin James is hilarious in this, but I didn’t care for much of it. It was sort of a waste of time. Fluffy and entertaining. Also, I just wasn’t feeling the chemistry between Eva Mendes and Will Smith.

57. You’ve Got Mail

I love this movie. We stayed at a cabin with a TON of romantic comedies. This was the one we picked.

58. Sharpe’s Challenge

HE’S BACK! Yippee!!!! Sean Bean is better than ever! It is set in India. Loved it!

59. Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Loved it. I don’t care if the critics panned it. It was majestic, and the acting was superb. The ONLY thing I didn’t like were the slow, sweeping panorama shots of her in all her queenly regalia (that was a little bit overdone) and Cate’s bottom shot (what was the purpose?).

60. Nashville (AFI 100)

Vintage Altman. I didn’t really understand it. It is a really bizarre movie. Most bizarre of 2007, in fact. I have to read up on it to understand the deeper meaning. The best thing about this movie is that it allows me to have CLOSURE on the NEW AFI Top 100 List. YEAH!

61. Troy

I was told this was not very much like The Iliad, but I liked it. Of course, they didn’t include the gods as characters (with the exception of Julie Christie as Thetis, but a viewer wouldn’t know that if they didn’t know the story). So, it leaves out much of Homer’s story, but I still really loved this movie. It was a true epic. I wasn’t expecting much, and I was very surprised. They changed a bunch of it, but they did get across the concept that “honor” and “glory” were EVERYTHING in that time.Oh, did I also mention that I love the fact that SEAN BEAN is a hero in this one! I want a sequel for the Odyssey where HE is the star.I also loved Eric Bana. I have never seen him in anything, and I loved him.

NOVEMBER

62. Back to the Future

I watched this with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew when I was down in California, and I had forgotten what a clever, funny movie it is.

63. Akeelah and the Bee

I have waited for this movie for almost a year! It was worth it. It is a great family movie about a young girl who is part of spelling bees!

DECEMBER

64. August Rush

I really liked this movie. It is sort of a contemporary take on Oliver Twist, and we all know how much I love seeing movie renditions of classical literature. I loved the music too. It was hard to see Robin Williams as a “Fagan” character because he usually does good guys in movies. So, this was hard, but he was a great Fagan! Terrence Howard was great. I love that actor’s eyes!


65. Monarch of the Glen: Season 7 (And FINAL season!)

It has gone through so many changes over the years, but we still love our Scottish highland people and their insane stories!

66. Foyle’s War: Season 1
67. Foyle’s War: Season 2

What an incredible showcase for the great Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa, Mrs. Dalloway, The Buchaneers) I have always loved his acting. So, it is INCREDIBLE to see him as the main character in this great mystery series! He is a detective who fights evil at home in Britain while World War II marches on. It is a GREAT period drama! I am totally hooked, and it is all my dh’s fault. You will see many familiar British period piece actors in this, including James McAvoy, who was just nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in Atonement. There are six seasons of this series, but I think there are only four out on DVD.

68. Enchanted

Absolutely, positively D – E – L – I – G – H – T – F – U – L! It had everything I love.

69. Foyle’s War: Season 3
70. Foyle’s War: Season 4

71. The Muppet Christmas Carol – New Christmas Eve tradition

We watched it a second time to listen to the commentary by Jim Henson’s son, Brian, who was the director of the film. It was fascinating and the most faithful to the novel of all the renditions IMHO.

72. It’s a Wonderful Life – Old Christmas Eve tradition

It is in MY top 5 of all time. I never tire of this tale of friendship and exploration of what would happen if you had never been born. It is a cinematic gift.
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