Our brains can only remember so much. Between where we parked, how to make brownies and facts we learned on Wikipedia, the space inside there is crammed in like one of those Storage Wars lockers. Try as we might, it’s impossible for most of us who aren’t savants to fit everything in. So, we forget. A lot. Especially when it comes to movies.
I have a working theory, based on no scientific evidence whatsoever, that most of us have reached the limit of the number of movies we can actively recall. Therefore, every time we hear about something new like say The Best Man Holiday, we have to swap an unimportant film out like say Furry Vengeance. It makes a lot of logic sense, and it would help to explain why the hell most people reading this will only be able to remember a couple of the following films that were widely advertised just five years ago.
Back in 2008, 608 movies were given theatrical releases, as per Box Office Mojo. An overwhelming majority of them were small, independently produced feature lengths or complete box office disasters. It’s only natural we would forget about those, but given all the time, energy and effort studios spent actively trying to convince us to see some of these other ones, it’s shocking that they’ve fallen so far from memory.
If you think you’re a movie buff or just have a damn good memory, the following quiz is for you. I’m going to give you a wealth of information about a film released in 2008. I’ll tell you who it stars, what the plot was. Hell, I’ll even show you a still from the film. Then, after you’ve searched through your brain and formulated a mental guess, go ahead and click the next button for the movie poster. Once you're done, let us know how many you got by voting in the poll.
Ready? Then without further ado, let’s begin with the first flick…
Release Date: February 22, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $151,161,491
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver
Plot: This highly forgettable political action thriller follows an attempt to assassinate the President of the United States while at a political summit in Spain. It features a large cast and spends most of its runtime going over the same footage from different angles. It basically rewinds itself and starts over, which, if nothing else, is an interesting idea.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: Aside from that gimmick, it’s a pretty standard case of "save the president", and ___________ pulls that off admirably. It’s consistently taut and intense. Sometimes the specifics of the chase get a little silly, but it’s largely entertaining, and only becomes even more so once the movie stops rewinding and simply starts going.
Think you've got it? Check out the poster after the jump...
Release Date: September 19, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $44,653,637
Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington
Plot: Mad about his life and hopped up on some sketchy politics, a police officer starts terrorizing his neighbors, an interracial couple. The problems predictably escalate during the film’s runtime before an over the top confrontation settles the grudge match once and for all.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: It all ends when encroaching wildfires serve as a deus ex machina that both strengthens Chris and Lisa's love and takes care of the Abel problem for good. Too bad the CGI flames in the distance are more compelling and realistic than anything we've actually seen onscreen.
Does it seem familiar? Check out the right answer after the jump...
Release Date: February 14, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $162,839,667
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen
Plot: This fantasy adventure children’s film is about three siblings, two of whom are played by Highmore. After they unhappily move to a new house alongside their mother, the kids gain the ability to see faeries and must do battle with a slew of creatures with nefarious goals.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: ____________ definitely wastes no time in moving from revelation to revelation, and adventure to adventure. There’s battling the goblins, riding a griffin, getting swept up by fairies, and then just your average sibling rivalry. Not only is the adventure fast-paced and exciting, but it’s not afraid to be scary.
Is it on the tip of your tongue? Did you nail it? Check out the right answer after the jump...
Release Date: July 18, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $64,834,964
Stars: Andy Samberg, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Warburton, Cheryl Hines
Plot: Wikipedia bills this one as a "CGI animated adventure sci-fi family comedy", which is probably another way of saying it’s not very effective at any single one of those genres. The film follows a group of chimps, most notably main character Ham, who try to revive a probe that crash landed after getting sucked through a wormhole.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: ___________ is a movie without a target audience. It’s enjoyable enough that most people will be able to keep from rolling their eyes while watching the movie, but good luck remembering what was so enjoyable even a few hours later.
Is that image ringing a banana? Check out the answer after the jump...
Release Date: May 2, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $105,962,760
Stars: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd
Plot: This Paul Weiland-directed romantic comedy was made right around the time everyone in the world was convinced McDreamy was going to turn into a Matthew McConaughey level draw at the box office. This particular effort follows Dempsey as a rich playboy inventor who realizes he’s in love with his lifelong best friend right as she announces her engagement to a Scottish dude.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: And then there’s the movie’s title, which aside from being a not-so-clever play on words, if you think about it has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on in this film. Trying to ruin your best friend’s wedding so you can make out with her is not exactly what I would call _____________.
Do you remember Dempsey's handsome mug walking down that street? Check out the poster after the jump...
Release Date: April 11, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $65,572,887
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Cedric The Entertainer
Plot: The action/ crime film follows a pissed off cop trying to get over his dead wife and working to clear his name after one of his enemies is murdered. With damn near every single person employed by the Los Angeles Police Department potentially corrupt, our hero must play dirty to get back into the light.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: Some of the action is good, and Chris Evans is interesting as a minor character who doesn’t get a lot of play. Forest Whitaker huffs and puffs his way through the movie like a walking corpse, he’s good at looking like he’s about to drop dead from a heart attack. Unfortunately there’s not enough originality here to deliver anything better than a few cheap shootouts.
Anything? Is it even vaguely familiar?
Release Date: March 14, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $41,627,431
Stars: Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, Evan Peters, Leslie Hope
Plot: A troubled and brooding teenager with a handsome face, quick fists and sad eyes moves to Florida with his family so his little brother can become Bjorn Borg. In his attempt to fit in at school and find a place, he gets excited about mixed martial arts and turns himself into a badass fighting machine.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review : The film plods on, following the familiar hero's journey trajectory, complete with Homeric references for AP Lit points. Jake gets his chance to cry, to shine, to disappoint his mentor, to redeem himself, to finally defeat his demons and to get the girl. A reiteration of this same old story is never unwelcome, but __________ is so thoroughly genre that even the twists are predictable.
Is this early MMA effort ringing a bell at all? Pun very much intended. Check out the title after the jump...
Release Date: September 19, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $27,641,569
Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons
Plot: From co-writer, co-producer, director and co-star Ed Harris, the Western follows a lawman and a deputy who square off against a local rancher with more than his share of sway. A widow is involved. People get gunned down, and there are a lot of pretty horses.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: Packed with horses, dusty boardwalks and lots of wide-brimmed hats, ___________ feels as well-worn as any of the original Westerns, and makes no attempt to either modernize itself or self-consciously point out its presence in the past. Characters talk and curse like normal people, and most of their problems are the same as ours-- Indian raids aside.
Horses? Ed Harris? Slow pace? Any guesses?
Release Date: January 25, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $52,659,594
Stars: Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, Billy Burke
Plot: In what retrospectively feels like an elongated Criminal Minds episode, FBI agents track a serial killer who is murdering people live on the Internet. Without their own version of Penelope Garcia, our heroes are unable to shut down the website and therefore must put an end to the shenanigans using force. All sorts of complicated questions about society are asked, and Diane Lane gets her ass kicking face on.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: If the filmmakers had substituted some genuine tension for the flesh crawling violence and torture, this cast may have been able to put out an above-average thriller. Instead, it feels like a minister preaching against rock music while Led Zeppelin plays from the speakers of the sanctuary. You can’t have it both ways.
It was released in late January; so, you know it's top notch, Oscar quality.
Release Date: September 12, 2008
Worldwide Box Office: $78,460,699
Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Donnie Wahlberg, 50 Cent, John Leguizamo
Plot: De Niro! Pacino! Together again for the first time since Heat in an all-new crime thriller about a serial killer who mows down bad guys and leaves poems on their bodies! Yay! There are also some drug dealers and a lot of misdirection involved as to what the hell is actually going on.
Excerpt From Cinema Blend’s Review: Some of the dialogue between De Niro and Pacino is engaging and since they are who they are, it’s delivered with energy. But then there’s the movie’s big death scene, in which a dying man’s last words are laughably, "I wish you continued success." It may be the worst death scene ever filmed.
I'm sure you remember this coming out, but do you remember the actual name? Get it after the jump...
This poll is no longer available.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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