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Last year, I thought that the AFI finally realized that they ran out of ideas for their “100 Films” series of lists when they reprised the 100 Best Films on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of lists. That being the case, I foolishly forgot about the annual TV special that Jared and I have used for argumentative and gambling purposes in the past.

But last Tuesday, the AFI once again drew from their well of unoriginality and scrounged up 10 new lists of the best “genre” movies. Pigeonholing some of the great classics of the past century into just one of these categories is mystifying…how Field of Dreams gets thrown in with “Fantasy” and not “Sports”, as if they are mutually exclusive,  is just silly. Not to mention that the movie deserves a Top 5 All-Time Sports Movie designation and if you asked anyone who had seen Field of Dreams, I don’t know anyone who would call it a “fantasy.”

I’m getting distracted, however, onto the lists, in alphabetical order. One disclaimer: I will not claim to have seen all 100 selected films…but I’ll be passing judgment nonetheless.

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I believe I speak for all of us when I say that the Golden Grouches heart Laura Linney.  Last year, they all really liked The Savages, we all enjoyed Breach, and maybe I’m the only one brave enough to see The Nanny Diaries (the things I do for you, Scarlett).  But what’s she up to now?

The City of Your Final Destination: A grad student (Omar Metwally, from Munich and Rendition) wants to write a biography of a semi-obscure Latin American writer, and visits those (Laura Linney, Anthony Hopkins, Charlotte Gainsbourgh) who knew the man.  The film is directed by James Ivory, the first since the passing of Ismail Merchant.  It was written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who has written many Merchant Ivory films, and based off a Peter Cameron novel.  It seems to be in the can, and Wikipedia said it was geared for an April wide release (not a good sign), but there appears to be some litigation surrounding the movie.  First Anthony Hopkins sued, claiming he hadn’t been paid, and then someone sued claiming she’d invested money in the film without receiving a credit or her money back.  So, I’m not quite sure what to think.  Other than Laura Linney will undoubtedly be great in it.

The Other Man: A husband thinks his wife is cheating on him and starts looking for, um, the other man.  Not a particularly novel plot, but when the movie stars Laura Linney, Antonia Banderas, and Liam Neeson, well, that’s something.  Based on a short story by Bernhard Schlink the movie was directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris) and written by Eyre and Charles Wood.  Charles Wood will be 78 this year.  Charles Wood co-wrote Help!.  Charles Wood is awesome.  The movie is currently slated to be released December 25, 2008.  So I’ve got some pretty high hopes.

Spread: Something about a womanizer and one of the girls he dumps.  The movie stars Ashton Kutcher (I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess he plays the womanizer) and Anne Heche.  Maria Conchita Alonso is in it, along with Linney.  The movie is apparently very raunchy.  The world definitely does not need a Kutcher-Linney sex scene.  Imdb says the movie is in post-production and due out in 2009.  I would not be terribly surprised if this went straight to DVD.

Kevin Approaches: This one may not actually be happening, as all the cast is listed as “rumored”.  But, the rumored cast includes: Robert Carlyle, Minnie Driver, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce, and Christopher Walken.  The New York Times summarizes thusly: “A loner ventures out to seek love in New York only to wind up with success in the art world.”  Weird.  In any case, I’m rooting for it to happen, because that’s a pretty awesome cast.

June 2008
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