Note: This is as much a testimonial of how much I’ve dropped the ball in my film watching habits as it is a piece of damning evidence of how weak 2008 has been theatrically.

We’ve stepped fully into the Fall of 2008 and I can’t bring myself to accept the fact that Iron Man is still my favorite movie of the year. Last year by this date, many of the movies that made my top 15 of last year (read it here) [La Vie En Rose (June 8), Hot Fuzz (April 20), Superbad (August 17), Zodiac (March 2)], American Gangster (October 19), The Darjeeling Limited (September 29), The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (September 21)  had already been released and there’s nothing this year that can really compete with Zodiac and La Vie en Rose or any of them really. Almost every year it seems like I freak out and proclaim a year the worst year in recent memory and almost every year enough decent stuff ends up coming out to beat my negativity back. But looking at this coming Fall and Winter… I’m worried.

Granted, I haven’t seen as many films this year as in past years but if there was something that seemed like a film I’d enjoy I usually made the effort. Here’s some of the stuff I’ve yet to see:

Appaloosa – Will see it this week, have pretty high hopes.
W. – Dying to see it.
Kung Fu Panda – Somehow I’m not really worried this will sway me.
Wall-E – Looking forward to it, but it eluded me and my daughter saw it opening weekend while I was on a trip.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe – Dying to see it, have no illusions it’ll contend.
Be Kind Rewind – I have no interest in seeing this for some reason.
Redbelt – Will see it in the next couple of weeks.
Son of Rambow – Once again, is of little to no interest to me.
The Wackness – Haven’t had a chance.
War, Inc. – Word of mouth has me scared.
Body of Lies – Am excited to see it and will this week.
Religulous – I’ll see this on Halloween as it’s a horror film.
Blindness – How is this bad? How the fuck is this bad? I’ll find out.

Even scarier, here’s the stuff that if the year ended would have a chance of making my list, in no order:

The Dark Knight – A damn good movie, but hardly worth all of the weight bestowed upon it.
Iron Man – Great and super-entertaining but if not the kind of film one would want to have make their top five list.
Burn After Reading – A decent Coen Brothers movie but not in my top five of theirs.
Cloverfield – It’s Cloverfield. I like it. I’ve moved on.
Hellboy II – The Golden Army – Great and maddeningly creative. I wonder if it’d have done better released this time of year.
Pineapple Express – Solid and James Franco is glorious.
Tropic Thunder – Funny as shit and I have no problem embracing its mainstream-ness.
The Ruins – Actually a pretty solid little horror flick.
Rambo – So dumb. So fucking thin. So great.
In Bruges – I love it to death, and it’ll make the top fifteen but in a typical year this’d be an ‘honorable mention’ flick.
Leatherheads – Decent I suppose but not really up to snuff with top 20 considerations.
The Incredible Hulk – Yeah. No. I mean, yeah but… no.

If you care, here’s my current worst:

The Happening – Such a piece of asshole filmmaking. M. Night needs to go to writer jail.
Sex and the City
– Eternal and pandering. Fuck this movie.
Get Smart
– Really? They’re making another one? Who’s the jerk that made this popular?

The Bottom Line:
This Fall/Winter had better blow our doors off or else I’m not going to even have the strength to muster a list this year.