2006 in Review: In the Dark with Popcorn

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Continuing my personal assault on all things 2006, I move on to the movies I saw in 2006.  To be honest, I wanted to see a lot more movies than I actually saw this year.  There were a lot of films out that either didn’t make it to a theatre around here or just weren’t in my schedule.  I’m seriously considering Netflix if for no other reason than to rent all the stuff I missed this year.

Here’s my favorites, everything I saw, everything I missed and what I’m looking forward to in 2007.

Best of 2006 

The films that I did manage to see were, on the whole, not quite as great as 2005, but it was an interesting year.  Here’s my top 5.

5. Glory Road

I love basketball and I’m a sucker for a “true story” on the big screen.  This film about the historic run of legendary coach Don Haskins and the first all-black starting five in college basketball was a blast.  Josh Lucas was great as Haskins and it had plenty of high-flying hoops action. The best hoops film (non-documentary) I’ve seen since Hoosiers.
4. Inside Man

Denzel Washington is pretty much always good.  His pairing on screen with Jodi Foster was like a meeting of the titans and you could really feel that on the screen.  Spike Lee gets that and also knows how to put together a gripping action movie more about what you think is happening that what is really going on.
3. Nacho Libre

Jack Black does everything over the top, which is what makes him so damn hilarious.  This movie was probably made funnier to me due to the fact that my friend Angie and I watched a couple of El Santo movies the night before we saw this.  Black’s character is based in part on the Mexican wrestler and B-movie star, El Santo.  If you’ve never seen one of his films, they are hysterical.  Pick one up and play Mystery Science Theater at home.

2. Wordplay

Puzzlemaster Will Shorts has been someone I’ve listened to on NPR for years.  I don’t bother trying the NY Times puzzles he edits.  I’m not a glutton for punishment despite being a total word nerd.  This was one of a bunch of documentaries that came out this year that I wanted to see and I’m glad I did see this one.  The comments from some of the celebrities that work the Times puzzles (Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton) were funny, but the real drama and humor was in the puzzle contest the movie followed.  Well edited and definitely worth a rental.
1. Little Miss Sunshine

From the minute I saw the original ads, I knew this film would be both funny and heartwarming.  It didn’t disappoint.  Steve Carrell was fantastic as the gay, suicidal brother in a much more subdued role than usual.  Greg Kinnear’s driven, self-help author father was spot on and was a perfect balance against his father played by Alan Arkin who supplied both the best comedy and the most touching moments of bittersweetness in the movie.  If you haven’t seen it, rent it.  You won’t be disappointed.

The Rest

Here’s the rest of the good, the bad and the “oy vey” I saw this past year listed in order of release date.  Some were at the theater and some were rentals or pay-per-view.

Failure to Launch
She’s the Man
The Benchwarmers
The Sentinel
Mission Impossible III
Keeping Up with the Steins
X-Men: The Last Stand
The Break-Up
Superman Returns
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Charlotte’s Web

What I Wished I’d Seen in 2006

There were quite a few films I just missed in 2006 for one reason or another, particularly a cluster of interesting documentaries that I’ll no doubt be renting in the near future.  Listed below in order of release date.
Thank You for Smoking
Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story
Kinky Boots
Akeelah and the Bee
The Da Vinci Code
An Inconvenient Truth
The Puffy Chair
A Prarie Home Companion
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The Oh in Ohio
Monster House
Miami Vice
The Illusionist
Snakes on a Plane
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Jesus Camp
All the King’s Men
School for Scoundrels
…So Goes the Nation
Employee of the Month
Man of the Year
The Prestige
Running with Scissors
Sleeping Dogs Lie
Shut Up and Sing
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for the Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Stranger Than Fiction
Casino Royale
Fast Food Nation
For Your Consideration
Deja Vu
Tenaciou D in the Pick of Destiny
The Holiday
The Pursuit of Happyness
Rocky Balboa
The Good Shepherd
Night at the Museum
We Are Marshall

Admittedly, some of these may still be in theaters, but my chances of catching them before the first is pretty slim.  Besides, don’t get picky.  It’s so unattractive.

What’s Coming in 2007

There are a number of cool movies coming in 2007.

Spiderman 3
The Transformers
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Simpsons Movie
Evan Almighty
Blades of Glory
Dan in Real Life
Ocean’s Thirteen
The Bourne Ultimatum

and the mutha of all…

Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti as Santa Claus)

It was a fun year watching movies.  I still have a lot more to see.  You can find info about all of these films and actors on the Internet Movie Database.  No WAY I was linking to all of them.

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