To clarify: these are films I watched in 2008, not necessarily films released in 2008. I'm just catching up.
Could not finish. Just too tedious and, um, something, by which i mean I must have missed the deeper underlying philosophical meaning. Plus, the cool captain dude, not being a white guy, was clearly doomed from the start to an early death (he is the same actor who played the lead in the seriously excellent film Twilight Samurai, which I highly recommend). Spot the actor also notes Michelle Yeoh and Cliff Curtis, plus a bunch of people I did not recognize.
Pride and Prejudice:
The Keira Knightley/Matthrew McFadden version. I dunno. There were some lovely visual images, and moments of emotional resonance, so in a way I think it was a good attempt at an updating for the 21st century sensibility (whatever that is), but in the end the changes they introduced did not work for me.
The Magnificent Seven:
I saw this film many many years ago, and mostly recalled Yul Brynner because, you know, Yul Brynner was one hot dude back in the day. A couple of years ago I finally purchased my very own copy of Seven Samurai--one of my three favorite films ever--so we could watch and re-watch it with the children. This we did. Seven Samurai is a masterpiece of story telling, narrative drive, scene construction and rhythm, and characterization, with bonus prime Toshiro Mifune stripped down to loincloth scene. What's not to love?
Last year I decided it would be interesting to re-watch The Magnificent Seven since it is, as we know, a remake of Seven Samurai only set in Mexico and with American gunslingers in the samurai roles and Mexican campesinos in the Japanese villager roles. Wow, this film did not hold up for me, especially not in contrast with the far superior Seven Samurai. Yul Brynner is fine; I could watch him for hours, srsly. Just walking him walk. Or whatever. But the script ended up containing all the hokiest sentimentality of the era when it was filmed (The Kid ends up staying in the village with the girl he Loves, which is Just As Well because he is an Innocent Soul who will not survive the Cruel Cynical world of Gunslinging; ugh). I suppose the treatment of the campesinos wasn't as awful as it could have been. Honestly, the fight scenes actually sucked. And the quirky personalities of the gunslingers fell flat, and by the end I was just waiting for the people to die already so we could be done. I mean, except Yul. I didn't want him to die because, you know, I had to have someone I could enjoy watching walk (ride) into the sunset. Srsly.