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December 12, 2007


Great list! The contrast with Ed's more disenchanted list is rather startling.

How do your star ratings at Slant compare with your letter grades here? I ask because I noticed that you included some three-star movies in your honorable mentions, and yet I'm fairly certain you gave B+'s to movies that didn't make the cut.

Nick, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your list and Ed's. I haven't yet seen THERE WILL BE BLOOD, but something tells me it's going to be right up my bowling alley. And in addition to ZODIAC, KILLER OF SHEEP, AWAY FROM HER and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, I wanted also to thank you for shining a little light on two of my favorites of the year about which most of the writers I've read so far have not been overly enthusiastic: Herzog's gorgeous and riveting RESCUE DAWN and Dominik's haunting and haunted THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES... When I get my own list done (hopefully in a more timely manner than usual), these two will be near the top. Why, I might even have some room for GRINDHOUSE too! :) Happy holidays!

Hey Nick...a few weeks back there were nothing but glowing reviews for TWBB, citing Daniel Day Lewis as fantastic, the score as amazing and that its a major step forward for PT Anderson. In some recent reviews, however, there have been more than a few comments that Lewis is overacting a storm and just plain hammy, and that the score is atonal and out of place in a movie like this. Having not seen the film yet myself, do you think this is just your typical backlash? I'm sure since its your #1 pick of 07 you enjoyed the hell out of it, but can you see where these critics are coming from at all? Great list, by the way!

Dennis #1:

My star grades at Slant and letter grades on this blog don't quite match up, but in general terms, a 3-star Slant review is equal to a B or B+ here. As for why some 3-star reviews made my honorable mention list while a few B+ reviews didn't, all I can say is - that's the way I felt about the movies at the end of the year. Hell, The Host, which I gave 3.5 stars to at Slant, didn't make my year-end cut either (it was bumped off the honorable mention list, at the last second, by Into Great Silence).

That said, films like Hot Fuzz, We Own the Night, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, This is England, Gone Baby Gone, The Mist and 28 Weeks Later all could have easily placed on my honorable mention list. They were just about as deserving as those that did make it.

Dennis Cozzalio:

Glad you liked the lists, and definitely make sure to check out There Will Be Blood as soon as you can. Weeks later, I still can't stop thinking about it. Just overpowering.

Here here on Rescue Dawn and Assassination of Jesse James, two films that haven't really gotten their due. As for Grindhouse, though....well, I dig Planet Terror, so that's something, right?

And, of course, keep up the great blogging!


It's not surprising that TWBB is polarizing, given how unconventional it is. From my conversations with people right after seeing it, it was clear that not everyone would wholeheartedly be on its wavelength.

But in light of the numerous awards it's already picked up from various critics groups, there doesn't seem to be too much of a backlash brewing. Just some critics who aren't buying what it's selling.

That said, let me restate for posterity that Daniel Day-Lewis is awesome (even when, and sometimes especially when, his performance is over-the-top). And so is Jonny Greenwood's beautifully atonal score.

Yeah, Day-Lewis is quite brilliant. Trust me, you'll never think of milkshakes or bowling pins the same way again.

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