Favorite Films of 2006
Hello everybody who still cares about anything on my website
unrelated to my kids.
Dr. Chuck Wood has requested that I start my Favorite Movies of 2006 List,
so here it is. I can say, as I looked back over the movies I saw at the
theater this year, that it was a kind of weak year for movies. Since I no longer seem to
have time to write full reviews I will add a paragraph or two of reasoning and
explanation behind my scores and choices below. Also, this is no longer a
top 10 list. I usually like more than 10 movies every year and I found
myself having to take good movies off the list just to make it a list of
10. I'll try to rank them but even that will be difficult since it's hard
to compare cross-genre. Anyway, enjoy the list Chuck, you
can go ahead and paste it into your NetFlix queue now.
say this all the time but I just want to make sure everybody understands, this
is my list of FAVORITE movies for the year. It in no way
represents what I believe were the best films released in 2006. I
do not have any expectation that X Men 3 will win the Oscar for
Best Picture. That would be crazy (cool, but crazy.) I'm not an
insane person. At this point, probably the only film on my Favorites
list that has any chance of winning anything is The Departed.
Children of Men
Well I finally saw it, and this is far and away my favorite movie of the
year. It's so good I wish I could go see it again right now. If
you were only able to watch one more movie for the rest of your life, then I
would say get to the theater right now and see Children of Men.
I had insanely high expectations for this movie and I was still completely
blown away by it. It's that good. No kidding. I LOVED IT!
Guillermo del Toro deserves an Oscar win
here. Best Foreign film would be nice, or perhaps Original Screen
Play. This is by far the most imaginative film of 2006. I loved
this movie. This mix of scary fantasy and horrifically realistic
ultraviolence makes for a unique viewing experience . Don't miss this
one in the theater. It is a cinematic event movie and will be
diminished on DVD no matter how big or HD your TV is.
X-Men: Last Stand
Another of my favorite movies of the
year. It is also my favorite of the three X-Men movies. The
action was awesome and I loved the fact that so many major characters had
their lives dramatically altered. I'm trying not to give to much away
in case you haven't seen the movie yet. Probably the biggest
controversy of the movie was that it was directed by Brett
Ratner instead of Bryan Singer. Man, people really seem to hate Brett
Ratner. I totally don't understand why though. In my opinion,
his only crime was making the third installment of the series the
best of them all, and if that's a crime I hope they punish him by
making him direct then next movie as well.
In case you were wondering what Bryan Singer was
doing last year when X3 was being made, your answer came a few weeks
later when Superman Returns was released. Now my first thought,
as a Marvel Comics fan was that this jump from the Merry Marvel Marching
Society to the dumbed down DC Universe was a evolutionary step backward
for the director. Now I admit, as a comic movie fan I pretty much get
excited about any comic book movie, so I was giddy with anticipation about
seeing Supe come back. And I was not at all disappointed.
Plus I saw the film in IMAX 3-D and I just gotta say, the scene when
Superman saves the plane with Lois on it in IMAX 3-D was by far the coolest
action scene of the year.
Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
My high expectations and excitement for this
film might have ruined it for me but I was more than pleased with Borat.
It was hilarious. This is the only movie this year that I have seen at
the theater 3 times already. The scene where Borat & Azamat
wrestle naked through the hotel is the funniest thing I've seen in
This movie was technically released in the U.K.
in 2005 but it didn't make it's way to the States (with a tamed down ending)
until 2006. Even with the Americanized cop-out at the end, this was
still a super exciting horror movie. I don't know what kind of
crazy people would be interested in spelunking anyway, and when you throw
some creepy monsters into the mix, that pretty much makes it the least
appealing sport on Earth. I just saw this again on DVD and it was just
as scary! I think I even liked it better.
This movie, a thriller by Spike Lee, kind of
came and went back in March but it left an impression on me. First of
all the song that plays during the opening credits totally gets your
attention. (Sapna Awasthi & Sukwinder Singh - Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint)
Then it stars Clive Owen, who I've kinda been in love with ever since Sin
City (Last Years Best Movie of the Year). And as if Clive and
Spike wasn't enough, it also stars Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster.
It also has a super-cool story about a bank heist which reminds me of other
cool bank robbery movies like Dog Day Afternoon and Killing
Zoe. You must rent this movie! It's super-cool!
Mission: Impossible III
Unlike most people in America, Tom
Cruise's antics off screen in 2006 did nothing to make me like him any
less. I love Tom Cruise movies. Especially his action and
adventure films. MI3 was probably the best one in the series.
And that, I believe, was in no small part because the director this time was
J.J. Abrams (The creator of Alias and Lost). Not that
DePalma and John Woo (Directors of 1 & 2) are slackers, but Abrams gave
the series a nice new direction. The action sequences were awesome and
Philip Seymour Hoffman was the best
Mission Impossible villain ever.
Daniel Craig? Daniel Craig! Who the
hell is Daniel Craig and what has he done with Pierce Brosnan?! I
waited over 1/2 my life for Pierce Brosnan to be James Bond (as was his
destiny.) And now they've gone and replaced him. I'm a Bond
fan. I like all 20 of the previous films and I've seen them all many
times. Especially around Thanksgiving when TBS runs marathon
showings. So I was excited and sad at the same time when I went to see
this new one. The verdict: Craig is a great Bond. The film
was as awesome as all the Bond films that have came before it. My only
complaint, which many have described as a virtue, is that the action was too
realistic. I've come to expect an over the top cartoonishness to the
action sequences in Bond films and I was a little disappointed that this
film has decided to dial that down.
Much like Tom Cruise, the media attention on Mel
Gibson for the last few years has been very unfavorable. Of course his
racist tirades don't help any but none of the bad PR seems to have affected
his film making. Apocalypto is awesome! I had no real
expectations going into this movie. The previews looked OK but it was
not the movie I went to the theater to see that day. By the end of the
day, it was the movie I most enjoyed. The action is terrific and the
violence is horrific. An excellent combo. And since I watch
every movie at home with the subtitles turned on anyway, the fact that the
entire film is spoken in a Mayan dialect was no big deal.
Snakes on a Plane
Jeff Till pointed out that I left this one off
my original Top 10 List, even though I had given it the 5+1 Star
Rating. That was the reason that I decided to just make a favorites
list instead of a Top 10. How could I leave the most hyped movie off
the year off my list? I was really excited to see this movie. If
you like goofy action movies like Anaconda and Arachnophobia
you'll like this one.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
This was a great sequel that was totally better
than the first movie, which I also liked, but it's really just the first
half of a single movie. It can't stand on it's own at all so if you
haven't seen it, feel free to wait until just before the 3rd movie comes out
in the theatres or on DVD and rent it then. Johnny Depp is great and
the action sequences are way over the top!
Pixar can do no wrong in my book. They
even got me to like a movie with country music that's kind of about NASCAR.
The movie is VERY family oriented and very mushy, so don't expect the super
fast paced action awesomeness of The Incredibles (My favorite Pixar
movie ever.) Owen Wilson and Paul Newman do great voice work in this
People probably don't remember that this movie
came out at the beginning of 2006. This was, for me, one of the best
suspense/thriller/horror movies of the last decade. It's kinda gory
and not really scary while you're watching, but after you see the movie , it
haunt you for days. For me the scary part of this movie is the
probability of it. I am 100% certain that even while I'm writing this
sentence, that horrors like those depicted are taking place in some former Eastern
Bloc country. Also the fact that Tarantino helped out a bit and Takashi
Miike has a cameo, upped the coolness factor.
I suppose this might be the film that finally
wins Scorsese his much overdue Oscar for Best Director. It will be a
shame because this is in no way the best Scorsese film, but it was a really
great re-make of a so-so Hong Kong actioner called Infernal Affairs.
Jack, Matt and Leo are top notch. Especially Jack who makes a
great big villain out of what was only a small role in the original
This was one of the most intense movies I
have ever seen. I'm kind of a 9/11 fanatic. I collect all the
movies and documentaries I can about the day. The movie succeeds marvelously
in that you know exactly what's gonna happen in the end but you're still
stressed out and sweating right up to the moment of impact.
Letters from Iwo Jima
Great movie. I liked the battle
scenes in the counterpart film Flags of Our Fathers better, but the overall
story was less interesting. This is cool because we never get to
see WWII from the Japanese perspective and Clint Eastwood is a great
In the Pick of Destiny
Here's a movie I was excited about but had low expectations for and then
was pleased when I saw it, because it was way better than I expected.
I loved the HBO show of The D even though I never saw them all until
the DVD came out a few years ago. My brother introduced me to
them. He even saw them a couple times live in concert before they
became really popular. (I'm super jealous of that!) Anyway, if
you like cool rock parodies and like to smoke weed then I can't think of a
better movie for you to see from 2006.
The Good Shepherd
This was a very dense movie. It'll
probably be better the second time because it covers a lot of
territory. They call it The Godfather of spy movies and that
seemed fitting. It definitely has that vibe. I even seem to like
Matt Damon this year, fancy that!
This movie made me cry. Yes, I cried at an
Adam Sandler movie. Shut Up! Don't try to recreate it. And don't make fun
of me. I've thought about it and seen it twice now and my only guess
if that if you have kids you'll cry, if you don't, then you wont. Also
Sandler doesn't use his "stupid voice" (see Billy Madison, The
Waterboy, Mr. Deeds, etc.) and that's a good thing.
Over the Hedge
This was my favorite kid's movie of the
year. In fact the first time I saw it I was by myself! I ended
up taking Sasha later in the year and she liked it too! It's funny and
clever and has the voice of Bruce Willis, so that's cool!
I like the Wallace & Grommit movies, and
this is basically a computer generated Wallace & Grommit movie without
W&G. The comedy is top notch and the animation was really good
too. There were many times during this movie that I laughed out
loud. I think the title may have scared some people off and that's too
bad. It's a good one.
This was a great film to watch but the story was
somewhat convoluted. It was a beautiful movie, both visually and
spiritually, but it's very "artsy" and will likely be
misunderstood and disliked by the masses.
V For Vendetta
I recently re-watched this movie on DVD and I
liked it even better the second time. It's a good story. It
doesn't even try to hide the fact that it's a scathing social criticism of
the Bush Administration. And it's made by the guys who did The
The DaVinci Code
I read the book (who hasn't?) before I saw this
film. I don't usually do that but people were so in love with the book
and many encouraged me to read it. I liked the book. It was fun,
but it left some questions unanswered. I hoped the movie, having to
trim down the text, would resolve some of those questions but it
didn't. It is a fun, fast paced adventure with Tom Hanks so I really
enjoyed watching it. When am I gonna learn to stop reading books and
just trust the movies!