Monday, December 31, 2007

the movie year. 2007. the top twelve

Feel free to disagree.

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Anyone interested in perusing some 2060 of my film reviews, dating back to 1994, can do so by simply going to RottenTomatoes.Com


Anonymous said...

Fascinating list!

Anonymous said...

"Norbit" and ""There Will Be Blood" on the same list? I'm loviing it.

Anonymous said...

I think "Southland Tales" rocks. Thanks for acknowledging it.

Anonymous said...

Of your list, I've seen Atonement, Michael Clayton, Death Proof, Zodiac, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, Norbit and Ratatouille. Of those, all but Norbit will likely make my own best list.

As much as I wanted to give Norbit the benefit of the doubt after your defense of it (I'm a big Tashlin fan, too), I simply loathed it. And not just because I didn't think it was funny. As Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy gave an exceptional performance as an overweight man who, though the butt of many jokes, was treated sympathetically. But his characterization of Rasputia in Norbit is so depressingly insensitive, it's hard to believe it's the work of the same man. In terms of the story, Rasputia need only be vile on the inside. But it would take great writing to make such a character funny, so bring in the fat suit!

Unfortunately, comedians know they can insult and demean the overweight and rarely catch the same kind of flak they'd get for jokes about race or disability. As you may have surmised, I have some friends who struggle with major weight problems, and it's honestly hard for me to see how anyone who calls at least one overweight person a friend could find anything amusing about this film.

Then again, I've certainly laughed my ass off at plenty of "politically incorrect" humor, and I do believe everything is fair game in comedy. But it comes with risks, and Murphy and company simply lost me with this one.

joe baltake said...


Comedy is strictly personal. Frankly, I surprised myself when I liked/enjoyed "Norbit." I saw it begrudgingly at the end of its run and, well, loved it, unapologetically so. I disagree with you on the depiction of Rasputia which, yes, is insensitive and even mean-spirited but also bracingly brave and, for me, very, very funny. I'm not only tired of political correctness, which has made Hollywood wishy-washy, but especially annoyed by selective political correctness. Yes, Judd Aapatow, for some reason, gets a waiver to do anything he wants on screen, no matter how juvenile, sexist or unfunny, and he's applauded by even the most discerning critics, while other less beloved filmmakers have to watch their step. Jeez!