Monday, December 31, 2007

Movies in 2007

Greg Veltman of Comment magazine discusses his favorite films of 2007. I only saw four that are on his list, but I agree that each of them are well worth watching. The four are Amazing Grace, Blood Diamond, The Lives of Others, and Ratatouille.

Here's a list, in no particular order, of the films I watched (or watched again) this past year. Some of these, depending on taste and interest, are highly recommended. Some are entertaining but not particularly memorable. Others were not worth the time. Those with a single asterisk I thought offered a message or technical effects that made them stand out. The double asterisk indicates that, for me, the movie was exceptional:

  • Cinema Paradiso*
  • Legends of the Fall
  • Maria Full of Grace*
  • Blood Diamond**
  • Beyond the Gates*
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Human Stain
  • Lives of Others**
  • 300*
  • Dune
  • Bourne Identity*
  • Bourne Supremacy
  • Emperor's Club
  • A Beautiful Mind**
  • Salvador*
  • Failure to Launch
  • 13Tzameti
  • The Pianist**
  • Stalingrad*
  • Ratatouille**
  • Pirates of the Caribbean*
  • Gangs of New York*
  • Nowhere in Africa
  • Algiers
  • The Great Raid*
  • Wyatt Earp
  • Amazing Grace**
  • Casino Royale*
  • No Man's Land*
  • Tears of the Sun*
  • Kingdom of Heaven*
  • Die Hard: With A Vengeance
  • Russia House
  • Bang Rajan
  • I, Robot
  • David Copperfield*
  • The Last King of Scotland
  • Apocalypto*
  • Troy*
  • Hunt For Red October*
  • Babette's Feast
  • Jackal
  • Training Day*
  • Sum of All Fears
  • Lucky Number Slevin
  • Das Boot**
  • City of God*

On the recommendation of friends I tried to watch Damon/Affleck's Good Will Hunting, but found it so gratuitously vulgar that I couldn't make it past the first ten minutes.


Books in 2007

The New York Times has published its list of the top ten books for 2007. I confess that I haven't read any of them.

For what it's worth, here's a list of the books I did read this year. I found most of them well worth the time and recommend them to anyone interested in the topics they're written about. The ones marked with an asterisk were especially good reads:

  • For the Glory of God: Rodney Stark (Christian History)*
  • The Victory of Reason: Rodney Stark (Christian History)
  • From Darwin to Hitler: Richard Weikert (History of Ideas)*
  • The Edge of Evolution: Michael Behe (Biology - Evolution/Intelligent Design)*
  • A History of Christianity: Paul Johnson (Christian History)*
  • Erasmus and the Age of Reformation: Johan Huizinga (Biography)
  • Deliver Us from Evil: Ravi Zacharias (Social/Religious Commentary)
  • Can We Trust the Gospels: Mark Roberts (Theology) Nature, Design and Science (Reread): Del Ratszch (Philosophy of Science)*
  • When God Says War Is Right: Darrell Cole (Ethics - Just War Theory)
  • Epicenter: Joel Rosenberg (Dispensational Eschatology)
  • David Copperfield: Charles Dickens (Classic Literature)*
  • Atheist Manifesto: Michael Onfray (Sociology of Religion)
  • The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini (Novel about Afghanistan under the Taliban)*
  • The Spiritual Brain: Mario Beauregard & Denyse O'Leary (Philosophy of Mind/ Psychology)
  • Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe: Simon Singh (Cosmology)*
  • Boys Adrift: Leonard Sax (Sociology)*
  • There Is a God: Antony Flew (Biography/ Philosophy of Religion)
  • The Bottom Billion: Paul Collier (Analysis of Global Poverty)*
  • Heroic Conservatism: Michael Gerson (Political Ideology/Memoir)*
  • My Grandfather's Son: Clarence Thomas (Autobiography)*