Eric D. Snider

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Archive for July 2nd, 2008

The best films of 2008 so far

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

We’ve used up half of 2008, folks. We’d better start conserving or we’ll run out of 2008 within six months, seven tops.

As of the midpoint, I’ve watched 225 movies so far this year. Holy crap, can that be right? Wow. I guess it is. At that rate, I’ll have 450 by the end of the year. But that rate won’t continue, because the first half of the year was crammed with film festivals (Sundance, SXSW, CineVegas), while the second half will have one at the most. Still, the point is the same: I watch a lot of movies.

Not all of those were for review. Some were just me watchin’ a movie for fun. And two of them were “Anchorman.” (Why have I watched “Anchorman” twice so far this year? I dunno. Long story.) But of those that I have reviewed, here’s what I’ve liked the best. Please note that this list is non-binding, and if some of these don’t wind up on the year-end list, or wind up in a different order, you’re not allowed to yell at me or question my methods for YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

Top 10 Movies of 2008 So Far

1. “WALL-E”
2. “American Teen” (in theaters this month)
3. “Son of Rambow”
4. “Young @ Heart”
5. “Cloverfield”
6. “Dear Zachary” (see below)
7. “Snow Angels”
8. “Funny Games”
9. “The Signal”
10. “The Promotion”

Number 6 is a documentary that played at Slamdance and SXSW that I just barely got around to watching. It’s one of the most emotionally wrenching films I’ve ever seen. Last I heard, they’re looking at an August theatrical release for it. I’ll write up a review soon-ish.

Starbucks says it’s closing 60…

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Starbucks says it’s closing 600 stores. I wonder if this will include the Starbucks stores that are located inside of other Starbucks stores

Rotten Tomatoes minority report

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Rotten Tomatoes, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, operates on a simple concept. It looks at all* the movie reviews on the Internet, translates each into either “Fresh” or “Rotten” (i.e., positive or negative), then tells you what percentage of critics liked a particular movie. If the percentage is 60 or higher, then the film is considered “Fresh.”

“WALL-E” is the “Freshest” movie of the year so far, with a current Tomatometer score of 96% — that is, 147 out of 153 critics reviewed it favorably. Those other six critics … well, they’re in the distinct minority.

And so I got to thinking: When have I been in the distinct minority? What is the “Freshest” movie that I’ve ever given a “Rotten” rating to?

Each individual critic’s page at Rotten Tomatoes (here’s mine) actually lets you sort his or her reviews by Tomatometer, making it easy to check: It was “The Pianist,” which has a 95% Tomatometer score. I gave it a C+, which is just barely on the “Rotten” side, but “Rotten” nonetheless. I’m one of only eight critics (out of 165) to review it negatively.

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