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We are in Austin for the week. We’re getting to see lots of old friends. It’s a lot of fun. A couple nights ago we had dinner with some of Sheena’s high school friends, and a few of my friends from my Midland days. In a bit we are heading to Temple to see Will and Beth and their kiddos. Tonight we’re doing the New Years thing with a lot of our friends from Temple/Belton/UMHB. Today should be good times. I love friends.

c.

Phantom Planet rocks/are super weird.

c.

Oh, it’s not the first time I was tossed out of a window, and it won’t be the last. What can I say? I’m a rebel.


Salesman

This is another documentary that was on the top of most lists. It’s about four Bible salesman going door to door. It’s pretty much a true life Glengarry Glen Ross; Jerks tricking people into paying way too much money for something. It was pretty annoying. And actually kind of boring. It’s interesting that these guys let someone follow them around with a camera, the way they treat people and talk about them after they make sales. All-in-all I wasn’t real impressed. Not terrible, but not really recommended.
C


Man on Wire

I thought this documentary was great. Philippe Petit, the wire walker, is a great storyteller. The things he’s done, and the amount of preparation and risk and stealthiness that went into walking between the Twin Towers are all quite amazing. This is a movie that I think most people will enjoy and is definitely worth checking out.
A


American Teen

Althought entertaining, for the most part, this documentary seems more like an episode (I’d imagine) of The Hills. It seems to perfect to all be completely legit. There are a number of scenes that seem very real, but there are just as many scenes that seem to be quite scripted. It’s an interesting and entertaining film, and worth seeing, but I have a hard time believing that everything just played out like it did without a little help from the filmmakers. It may have been less exciting, but I think it would’ve been a better film had it been more real.
C


Seven Pounds

Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that I really enjoyed this movie. Of course, Will Smith is great. The story is unique and depressing and hopeful and the full gamut of emotions. It definitely bumps a few movies down on my favorite films of 2008. I recommend seeing this. You’ll like it.
A

c.

I recommend celebrating Christmas today.

Because today is Christmas day.

Merry Christmas from the Pattons.

Sufjan is giving away some mp3s and whatnot here.

What a nice guy.

If you don’t have his Songs for Christmas albums, I’d remedy that quickly.

Merry Christmas!

c.

I’m guessing this is some sort of training video for Japanese people who are going to visit New York City or something. How to react when you get mugged. Because you will get mugged. It’s a fact.

Spare me my life!

c.

Jury duty, jury duty, jury duty, blackmail, pink slip, chain letter, eviction notice, blackmail, jury duty.


Quarantine

This is a somewhat tough movie to rate. Was it a great movie? No, not at all. Was I entertained? Yeah. It’s cheesy, over-the-top and gross. But it’s also somewhat suspenseful, I guess you could say. All-in-all not something I’d recommend to most people, but I don’t think it was a complete waste of time.
C


Devil’s Playground

I’d seen this documentary a few years back with the Norvells in TX. I thought Sheena would enjoy it, so I got it at the library last week. It’s about a period of time that starts when an Amish teen turns 16. They go through a season they call Rumspringa. At the age of 16 they are allowed to join the “English” world and do whatever they would like to realize what it’s like to not live in the Amish community. Needless to say, most of them go wild. When they are ready, the teens must decide whether they will be baptized and join the Amish church, or whether they will remain “English.” It’s an interesting look at how these teens view their new freedoms and the Amish community. This is a movie that I think most people would find very educational. It taught me more about the Amish, and the good and bad sides to their way of life.
A


Dear Zachary : A Letter to a Son About His Father

To say this movie is sad would be an understatement. The fact that all this happened, but I never heard about it is pretty crazy. This movie is super discouraging and super hopeful all at the same time. You can’t help but watch it and feel a lot of love. But there is also a lot of hate, a lot of heartache, a lot of injustice, and helplessness, and loss. Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse. They do. And it’s horrifying. I could go on and on, but I’ll just say that this is something worth seeing. But it’ll really mess with your head. How can people be like this?
A


Ghost Town

Talk about a pleasant surprise. This movie was way, way better than I expected. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Ricky Gervais was hilarious as always. Kristen Wiig also had a small part that was very funny. I laughed out loud quite a few times, so there’s that. Probably one of the funnier movies I’ve seen this year, but it’s got a good story, too. I mean, other than the fact that he can see ghosts… But seriously, this is one I think most people would enjoy. Check it out.
B

c.

Obviously, this list was a hard one, too. All the movies in the top ten got an A movie rating from me after seeing them, other than Hancock, which wasn’t perfect, but I really liked how the movie was nothing like the trailer made it out to be. The order was tough, but I think I’m satisfied with the outcome. I know The Dark Knight seems obvious, but it really was a huge film in so many ways and was the only movie on my list I went to see a second time in the theater (I have seen Iron Man and Forgetting Sarah Marshall twice, but on DVD). So go ahead, tell me where I’m wrong (Reid/Ashley = Wall-e should be higher).


10. Hancock


9. War, Inc.


8. Traitor


7. Street Kings


6. Wall-e


5. Speed Racer


4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall


3. In Bruges


2. Iron Man


1. The Dark Knight

Other movies I enjoyed this year: Wanted, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Eagle Eye, Transsiberian, Charlie Bartlette, Kung Fu Panda, Waitress, Taken, Hitman, The Incredible Hulk, The Bank Job, Horton Hears a Who, Cloverfield, The X Files, Ghost Town.