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Best of 2006

Published January 1, 2007 in Movie News
By Fred Topel | Image from Paramount.
Jackass: Number Two Jackass: Number Two humor wins approval
Since this is my first year at Canmag, let me explain a bit about how I do my year-end recap. These are absolutely my honest opinions. I would never exclude something great or include something mediocre for shock value. But my lists always tend to be very different from the critical masses and I like it that way. Who needs another journalist saying The Queen is great? Of course Helen Mirren's a great actress, and as films about the British monarchy go, it's a better one. But that’s not my thing. I liked Borat but wasn't totally in love with it. I'm happy with the films on this list. I'd always be more excited by a year like 1999 where I just couldn't decide on 10, but I don't really have any stragglers that I didn't have room for. Only one so I just combined number ten.

Best of the Year List

10. Idiocracy and My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Two brilliant comedies that were probably too smart for America. Mike Judge's film didn't even get properly released, although a foreign language film is always a hard sell. Yes, he created a language of the future, but man, if you get it, it is an amazing and sadly true commentary. Super-Ex is a perfect spoof of romantic comedies. It's so smart and well-informed, and how could people not want to see Uma Thurman in skirts and boots? I blame Luke Wilson.

9. Snakes on a Plane - Get those motherf***in' snakes on my motherf***in' top 10 list. We need movies like Snakes on a Plane. It was outrageous and committed to itself. Film is fantasy and we need these high concepts. If only the studio had expanded the hype from an internet phenomenon into a multimedia phenomenon, the whole world could have enjoyed this ride. I will keep repeating the motherf***in' snakes line as long as I live.

8. Children of Men - This is the kind of film that makes you excited about movies. Alfonso Cuaron used a clichéd trick (long single takes) and made one of the most exciting action movies of the year. The story is flawed but only mildly.

7. Final Destination 3 - And pretty close to the perfect horror movie, we have Final Destination 3. This franchise has always been tops, and the second one was also on that year's top 10 list. They've got a brilliant premise with infinite possibilities and they keep milking them with masterful audience manipulation.

6. Click - I haven't loved an Adam Sandler movie, probably since Billy Madison (not counting Spanglish or Punch Drunk, those weren't his.) His humor got really watered down and it's not the laughs that made me love this, but the profound philosophical statement.

5. X-Men: The Last Stand - Comic book fans and Singer-lovers be damned. This is one of my favorite comic book movies ever. It just rocked. The X-Men worked together as a unit, not as a Wolverine vehicle, and the political metaphors were explored just as fully.

4. Dreamgirls - I really hate to go along with all the hype, but this movie is really great. The music rocks, the gradual inclusion of full on musical numbers is powerful and all the period details of the music industry are flawless.

3. Casino Royale - This is really everything I want in a movie. The action kicked ass, it built up one of my favorite characters in the most intriguing way and I cared about the story. It's long, but I wouldn't lose a frame. I've seen it twice and even the second time, as soon as it ended, I just wanted to start it back up again. I hope they can keep this up with Daniel Craig.

2. Shut Up and Sing - This is the most important movie of the year. I still run into people who hate the Dixie Chicks for what they said, and they have no idea of even the context. You can still hate them after you see this film, but at least you'll have been exposed to the real injustice of uninformed hysteria.

1. Jackass: Number Two - When I first saw Jackass: Number Two, I just thought it was a really funny movie. But it stuck with me like nothing else this year. Now that it's on DVD, I've reconfirmed that it is indeed a comic masterpiece. They assembled the best stunts, not a dud in the bunch. They paced it in a skillful way, with complex building setups interspersed with quickies. The use of music is genius and the boys play to the cameras expertly.

So wraps 2006!

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image from Paramount.

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