What a difference a year makes. Last year was extremely disappointing
in terms of the quality of motion pictures released. I was
lucky to have a top ten last year, simply because there happened
to barely be ten movies worthy of the honor. Barely. This year
I have plenty of 3 1/2 star films left over to allow me to
do a top 20 list if I wanted. That's how it should be.
To give you an idea of how improved the movie going experience
truly was in 2006, for the first time in at least four years,
I gave no theatrical release zero stars. However, my list brings
about some other issues.
To start with, number 3 on my top ten is a film from 1975.
"How does that work?" you might ask. Well, this particular
movie wasn't released theatrically until this year. Movies
are eligible for my top ten of the year if either they were
released theatrically during the calendar year, or they were
viewed by me as part of a film festival I attended during the
year. This can cause a little confusion, I know. For instance,
"Brick," which didn't quite make the top ten played at a film
festival I attended in 2005. However, I didn't see it until
it's theatrical release in 2006, so it was pushed to this list.
Same thing is happening with "The Host." I didn't catch it
on the festival circuit in 2006, but now that I have, it'll
be eligible (and just may make a spot) for the 2007 lists.
All cleared up? Good.
The other issue is something I've already touched on. A good
portion of my top and bottom ten lists come from film festivals.
That means that 1) I'm seeing a huge disparity in the quality
of films that are exhibited as part of the festivals and 2)
that the studio systems are stepping up as much as they need
to in order to truly turn the market around.
Anyways, enough talk. Here's the top ten and the bottom ten
of the year, followed by everything else I saw. Enjoy.