Location: Los Angeles, California

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Mid-Year Report

The first half of 2007 zipped by with unprecedented speed (although I bet that's something I'll say every year from now on).

Looking back, it's been an above-average year for films, that is, if you knew where to look. The big three summer sequels all disappointed, but several smaller films sneaked into the blockbuster season and thoroughly surprised me.

Far and away, the best film I've seen so far is Sarah Polley's "Away From Her," and I'm pretty confident it'll remain in my top 3 by the year's end. Runner-up status goes to four films: "Hot Fuzz," "Once," "Ratatouille," and "The Wind That Shakes the Barely."

Granted, I failed to catch some movies that are supposed to be wonderful, namely "Zodiac," "The Namesake," and "The Lives of Others." I'll catch them on DVD.

The worst film I've seen is the Australian comedy, "Introducing the Dwights," which I only saw because I had to cover its premiere for Variety. Next up would be a trio of bloated action flicks: "Pirates 3," "Spider-Man 3," and "Transformers." I cringe at the thought of one day having to discuss a "Transformers 3."

As for music, I don't feel knowledgeable enough to claim whether it has been a good or poor year. For me, there has been three standouts: Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," Loney Dear's "Loney Noir," and the Motion Picture Soundtrack to "Once."

I'm looking forward to upcoming albums by Animal Collective, Beirut, M.I.A., and The New Pornographers.

And to the fall movie season, of course.


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