Thursday, January 01, 2004


  • The Best Films of the Year:

  • 1. Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt)
    2. Lost In Translation
    3. 21 Grams
    4. Whale Rider
    5. City of God (Cidade de Deus)
    6. Gerry
    7. Mystic River
    8. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    9. The Station Agent
    10. All The Real Girls

    This year was tough to narrow down. As noted in the Underrated section below, there were a couple other films that might have made this list if I made it tomorrow. It was that close. And while Naomi Watts should have won the Oscar for "21 Grams", "Open Hearts" takes the cake for devastating film about relationships. As part of the Dogme 95 movement, the all-natural methodology used to make the film creates a sense of reality few films can hope to reach. You feel like it was your life that was just ruined. Fantastic.

    Also, I must say that "Gerry" is on that list not because its entertaining, per se. It's an "art" film, plain and simple. Gus Van Sant makes you feel like you were really lost in the desert for days, and with only about 40 lines of dialogue, you spend a lot of time watching the long, slow shots of Casey Affleck & Matt Damon walking. There is literally a 15 minute scene of them walking, where nothing happens, all you hear is the crunch of their footsteps. Art vs. Entertainment. Amazing from an artistic standpoint, just rough if you're looking for a good time.

    I could write pages and pages about the films of this year. But I won't. Just check 'em out.

    I do want to make a special mention of "All The Real Girls". If you want to finally see a film that lays down a realistic portrayal of what it's like to fall in love and the ups and downs involved, this film is the one. I admit it is on the slow side, in regards to pacing, but I can't seem to stop rewatching it. While my emotional health is clearly poor, I think there's something in the film that anyone who ever found that special someone can relate to ... not a bright and sunny film, this will either keep you with your sugarpie or keep you from wanting anyone to get close to you ever again. I think we all know which side of the fence I lie in that regard. :)

  • The Worst Films of the Year:

  • 1. Gigli
    2. Daredevil
    3. Paycheck
    4. Just Married
    5. Phone Booth

    Notice the top 3 films are ALL Ben Affleck movies. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. From one of my favorite movies of all time ("Good Will Hunting") to movies that should have gone direct-to-trash can. With "Just Married", Ashton Kutcher continues to vie with Paul Walker and Freddie Prinze Jr. for worst film lead and "Phone Booth" reminds us all that Joel Schumacher needs to take a long walk off a short pier for the mounds of crap he's delivered in the last ten years. I'll just mention Batman 3 & 4 as exhibit A, your honor.

  • The Most Horrible Films That Are Fun To Watch:

  • 1. Biker Boyz
    2. Cradle 2 the Grave
    3. The Core
    4. Wrong Turn
    5. The Medallion

    I love these films, they are SO bad. "Biker Boyz" is loaded with C level actors like Kadeem Hardison, Brendan Fehr and Kid Rock! What's not to like? Add a Star Wars-esque father -son relationship and you have all you need. "Cradle 2 the Grave" proves once again, that you should NEVER fight Jet Li in a ring of fire because you will lose! "The Core" and "Wrong Turn" provide differing levels of crapitude and "The Medallion" features Claire Forlani using a gun and some form of martial arts. Amazing.

  • The Most Underrated/Overlooked/Almost Made The Top Ten Films of the Year:

  • My Life Without Me
    Laurel Canyon
    Better Luck Tomorrow

    All of these films were amazing. "My Life Without Me" still leaves me with that fresh heartbreak feeling at the end every time I watch it. Holly Hunter is extraordinary in "Thirteen", "Laurel Canyon" left an emotional imprint only a few films each year seem to be able to and "Better Luck Tomorrow" offers a new look at high school, unless you live in Southern California, then you probably know people just like them. Still a great film, well worth watching.


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