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KUFO’s Fatboy Puts JCVD, BURN, PINEAPPLE & RAMBO Alongside WALL-E, SLUMDOG & DARK KNIGHT On His Fatboy Top 10!!

I am – Hercules!! Portland radio personality and avid AICN reader Fatboy Roberts kicks in his top ten for 2008. I guess I need to see the Rogen-scripted “Pineapple Express” already; it’s getting too much end-of-year love!
Things you need to know about my Top 10 list before we get underway: 1) It's f**ked. 2) I didn't see everything released this year, because I'm not insane. I like interacting with people, getting drunk, reading comics, things like that. I can't do those things if I'm in a theater every waking minute of my life. Movies I probably should have seen before making this list: In Bruges. Doubt. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Milk. Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Rachel Getting Married. Superhero Movie. Speed Racer. One of those last two is a joke. Movies I saw that didn't make this list: Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Tropic Thunder. Quantum of Solace. Indiana Jones and the What The F**k is This S**t. The Spirit. A 5-second version of Batman and Robin that consisted solely of a man pooping in close-up. Honorable Mentions: Hellboy II, which was better than Iron Man, which was one of the best superhero movies I'd ever seen until they both got dwarfed by The Dark Knight. Choke, a quiet, low-key, almost hopeful transformation of Palahniuk's grimiest novel. Cloverfield, which worked in spite of it's s**ty characters and shaky-cam artifice. The List. 10. The Wrestler: Aronofsky makes another movie about addiction. Mickey Rourke plays a burnout mid-card professional wrestler who gives up on life the instant it gets hard, and hides in a fantasy world where it's always 1988 and he's always being cheered by a crowd that superficially loves him for slowly killing himself in front of them. Aronofsky pulls his punches enough that some people are reading the film as an inspirational story. One man, true to himself and his art, sacrificing what he loves for what he does. I see it as a sad story of a man choking himself to death on his own security blanket. The film works either way, honestly, and is a testament to Aronofsky's skill. A minor-key run-through of the same themes he sledgehammered to devastating effect in Requiem for a Dream. 9. JCVD: This movie actually does for Jean Claude Van Damme what The Wrestler is being trumpeted for doing with Mickey Rourke. Van Damme's performance is deeper, more heartfelt, and more impressive in an ambitious, arty little heist movie that is equal parts Dog Day Afternoon, Killing Zoe, and The Player. Okay, maybe not equal parts. That's some movie-poster-blurb s**t. But the film bounces around from tense, to goofy, to touching, to exciting, all without feeling too labored. There's a lot packed into these 90 minutes, and Van Damme never drops the ball. Rourke is gonna get a Best Actor nom for his turn as The Ram, and he did good work, but Van Damme (can't believe I'm saying this) kicked his ass. In an actorly way, that is. 8. Rambo: Tarantino and Rodriguez saw this and proceeded to kick themselves in the balls for taking 3 hours and about a hundred mil to make something daring to call itself "Grindhouse." The movie is all viscera and visceral thrill. There's really no other theme than the one Stallone utters as his first lines of the film: "F**k the world." But he f**ks it gloriously. 7. Pineapple Express: Seth Rogen's s**t is getting tired. Good thing James Franco and Danny McBride are around to prop his fat ass up, Franco especially, scaling heighs of onscreen potheadedness not seen since Cheech met Chong. Good thing he's a better writer than he is an actor. Good thing he's got director David Gordon Green bringing some laconic weirdness to this violent little stoner comedy. Good thing he's got Gary Cole as the villain. Good thing there are lines like "You got killed by a Daewoo Lanos motherf**ker!" and "War is upon you! Prepare to suck the c**k of Karma!" and "It smells like God's Vagina." 6. Let the Right One In: F**k Twilight. How this movie could have come out in the same year where pre-pubescents and their saggy, cougarly matrons cried at the sight of Team Edward is beyond me, but this creepy, haunting slice of Swedish cinema might have singlehandedly rescued the Vampire movie from the goofy dimension its been trapped in ever since Buffy and Underworld. There are scenes in this film that make the floating boy from Salem's Lot look like Marley and Me. 5. Frost/Nixon: Ron Howard still knows how to make a movie. You might have thought he'd lost his Beautiful Mind after that cinematic turd frosted your eyes. But he went back to Apollo 13 on this one: Historical event. Tight script. Ensemble cast comprising some of the most solid actors currently working, including Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon and Sam Rockwell, who just barely missed making this list twice with the Palahniuk adaptation he carried on his back. Michael Sheen's Frost is a jittery, grinning piece of work, but Frank Langella's Nixon is probably the best onscreen portrayal of the man ever. The re-enactment of the final interview between the smarmy british fop and the angry, sweaty failure of a president packs a hell of a punch. 4. Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle made the first Bollywood movie that didn't cause my teeth to rot out due to saccharine overdose. And this IS a Bollywood movie: Music, lighting, staging, fairy tale whimsy, elaborate dance number. But it's also a Danny Boyle movie. Which means quick cuts, compelling performance, explosive violence, mounting tension and cathartic release. From Trainspotting to 28 Days Later: Boyle loves to put you through the wringer and leave you exhausted. This one, about a kid from Mumbai who exists in a world made almost entirely out of poverty and constant humiliation, goes on India's version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire," leaves you exhilarated. The movie begins with him 1 question from winning the grand prize, and shows you how he got there. Here's how good this movie is: It almost excuses the existence of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." Almost. 3. Burn After Reading: People didn't quite know what to expect after No Country For Old Men. Same thing happened after Fargo. The Coens got their Oscar, and people looked at em like "Now What?" Back then, they unleashed The Big Lebowski. Nobody got it, and now the film is regarded as a modern masterpiece, a bathrobed onion with layers and layers of zen stoner philosophy hidden inside some of the foulest, funniest dialog ever uttered. This time, they dropped a comedy grenade called Burn After Reading, and unlike Lebowski, people got the joke on the first telling. A pissy, smartassed stab at spy thrillers with an equal amount of ha-ha's and oh s**t moments. Pitt and Clooney and Malkovich and McDormand and blah blah blah--the movie is stolen by Richard Jenkins hangdog portrayal of possibly the only character not criminally stupid and/or coldhearted, along with JK Simmons and David Rasche (Sledge Hammer! Yes!) as CIA execs who sum up the punchline of the movie so succinctly I couldn't stop laughing until about 4 minutes into the credits. 2. The Dark Knight: Christian Bale's mouth is apparently too small for his tongue, because when he talks as Batman, all I can imagine is his tongue, washing up on the sides of his mouth like an ocean being poured into a fishbowl. Other than that, this is one of the best crime epics since Heat, which Chris Nolan was aiming for. To aim for a film that great and get this close is a f**king achievement indeed. That he did it with a Superhero movie? Almost unbelievable. Maybe next movie, they'll address that ridiculously stupid voice in the same way this movie addressed the fact his neck couldn't move in Begins. Oh yeah, Heath Ledger. Best Supporting Actor. Bet that. And not just for sentimental reasons. The performance is more than deserving. 1. Wall-E: Yeah, the humans probably shouldn't have ever spoken in this film. But the first half of this movie is so damned good, that even if it becomes a little more formulaic in the last 25 minutes, it can't be dragged down from the #1 spot. It's the most beautiful film Pixar has ever made, which is really saying something. I hate trying to sum the movie up for people, because I can't do it. Trying to blurb something this pretty seems dirty and wrong. I'm hoping this movie doesn't end up like Ratatouille: The quiet success that is quickly forgotten and appreciated only by a certain few. I'm hoping this ends up like The Iron Giant: A movie mismarketed and misunderstood (The Environment! Fat People!) only to be universally beloved by everyone who lays eyes on it.
Fatboy is not alone in his love of “Wall-E” and “Slumdog.” The tallies:
Regional critics' associations: New York Film Critics: Milk Los Angeles Film Critics: WALL-E Chicago Film Critics: WALL-E London Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Toronto Film Critics: Wendy and Lucy D.C. Area Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Boston Film Critics: (tie) Slumdog Millionaire & WALL-E San Francisco Film Critics: Milk Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Florida Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Las Vegas Film Critics: Frost/Nixon Detroit Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire St. Louis Film Critics: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Utah Film Critics: The Dark Knight Austin Film Critics: The Dark Knight International Press Academy: DRAMA: Slumdog Millionaire COMEDY: Happy-Go-Lucky Critics Choice Awards nominees: The Changeling The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark Knight Doubt Frost/Nixon Milk The Reader Slumdog Millioniare WALL-E The Wrestler Harry Knowles' top 10, as posted in Ain't It Cool News: 1. Let The Right One In 2. The Dark Knight 3. The Wrestler 4. WALL-E 5. The Brothers Bloom 6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 7. Milk 8. Pineapple Express 9. Slumdog Millionaire 10. Burn After Reading (best documentary: Man on Wire) Jay Knowles' top 10, as posted in Ain't It Cool News: 1. The Dark Knight 2. Let the Right One In 3. WALL-E 4. The Wrestler 5. Milk 6. Man on Wire 7. Burn After Reading 8. Benjamin Button 9. Slumdog Millionaire 10. Iron Man "Capone's" top 10, as posted in Ain't It Cool News: 1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2. WALL-E 3. Let The Right One In 4. Slumdog Millionaire 5. The Wrestler 6. The Dark Knight 7. The Fall 8. Snow Angels 9. Milk 10. Tropic Thunder (best documentary: Dear Zachary) Roger Ebert’s top 20, as published in The Chicago Sun-Times: Ballast The Band’s Visit Che Chop Shop The Dark Knight Doubt The Fall Frost/Nixon Frozen River Happy-Go-Lucky Iron Man Milk Rachel Getting Married The Reader Revolutionary Road Shotgun Stories Slumdog Millionaire Synecdoche, New York W WALL-E Michael Phillips' top 10, as published in the Chicago Tribune: 1. WALL-E 2. The Class 3. A Christmas Tale 4. Let The Right One In 5. The Flight of the Red Balloon 6. Alexandra 7. Man on Wire 8. Snow Angels 9. Still Life 10. The Dark Knight Manohla Dargis’s top picks, as published in the New York Times: Alexandra The Dark Knight Encounters At The End Of The World The Flight of the Red Balloon Happy-Go-Lucky Milk Silent Light Still Life Synecdoche, New York Wendy and Lucy Kenneth Turan’s top picks, as published in the Los Angeles Times: Ballast A Christmas Tale The Class Frost/Nixon Frozen River Gomorrah Happy-Go-Lucky Rachel Getting Married Slumdog Millionaire Tell No One WALL-E Waltz With Bashir Plus four Sundance documentaries ("Man on Wire," " Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," "Stranded" and "Trouble the Water") Richard Corliss’ top 10, as published in Time Magazine: 1. WALL-E 2. Synecdoche, New York 3. My Winnipeg 4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days 5. Milk 6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 7. Slumdog Millionaire 8. Iron Man 9. Speed Racer 10. Encounters At The End of the World Stephen King's top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. The Dark Knight 2. Slumdog Millionaire 3. WALL-E 4. Tropic Thunder 5. Funny Games 6. The Bank Job 7. Lakeview Terrace 8. The Ruins 9. Redbelt 10. Death Race Lisa Schwarzbaum's Top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. WALL-E 2. Milk 3. The Dark Knight 4. Waltz With Bashir 5. Gomorra 6. Wendy and Lucy 7. Trouble The Water 8. Happy-Go-Lucky 9. Man On Wire 10. Tropic Thunder Owen Glieberman’s Top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. The Wrestler 2. The Dark Knight 3. Rachel Getting Married 4. WALL-E 5. Momma’s Man 6. The Edge of Heaven 7. Burn After Reading 8. The Class 9. Milk 10. Tell No One The National Board of Review's pick: Slumdog Millionaire The American Film Institute's picks: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark Knight Frost/Nixon Frozen River Gran Torino Iron Man Milk WALL-E Wendy and Lucy The Wrestler If anyone’s aware of overlooked press awards worthy of inclusion in this post - i.e. not the farcical Golden Globes - kindly email: herculesAICN@yahoo.com!

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