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Our Top 10's of 2001 -- Time To Throw Down

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#1 of 235 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

Jason Whyte


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Posted December 24 2001 - 10:37 PM

Ok people here we go! This thread is for posting your Top 10's and Bottom 10's of 2001. Please include anything you want, summaries, thoughts, small pictures (let's not fill up the place!) Please post your list FIRST then go back and edit your list as you see future films, and simply add an update post to bump the thread. AND, as a test to my formatting for the 2002 List, all participating members will have their name and choice of favorite film of the year in this post. Any questions, feel free to IM or email me. Have fun! Jay --- I would also like to recommend avoiding this thread if you have seen less than 25 films this year. The purpose of this thread is to share the feedback of members who have seen their fair share of films this year and to seperate the good from the bad. Posting any list by saying you only saw Lord of the Rings but thought it was the best of the year, for example, without having seen the other 250+ releases in 2001, is unfair to the other contributors. Thanks --JW
Buy National Treasure on DVD today..."The best movie I saw on Saturday night from 7pm to 9:30. The DTS track is freakin' awesome!" --Multiplex Drone

#2 of 235 OFFLINE   Jason Whyte

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Posted December 24 2001 - 10:41 PM

Top 10 +2 of 2001 FINAL EDITION!

By Jason Whyte

Final Top 10:

Posted Image1. Mulholland Drive "There is no band, and yet we hear a band." Strange things happen in David Lynch's masterpiece of film noir, his best work ever, and it had me hanging on every last frame that ran through the projector. It's so wonderfully refreshing to finally see a film that rewards you, that enjoys your company, that challenges you and wants you as a part of the ride. Everything in the film happens for a reason, but it takes patience and work to find it. And when you do find it, it's a job well done. "Mulholland Drive" will live on for years, in my mind and in my head.

Posted Image2. Donnie Darko Ditto. Richard Kelly, a first time director and screenwriter, has already bolted out the gate and joined the likes of Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson in this ultra-weird tale of Donnie (Jake Gylenhaal), his family, a demonic bunny rabbit, the mass apocalypse, and Patrick Swazye teaching how to deal with fear and love. Some movies have only a few memorable moments, "Donnie Darko" has one in every single scene.

Posted Image3. The Princess and the Warrior Ubergod Tom Tykwer has done the unthinkable: he's bettered his art-house classic "Run Lola Run" in this mesmerizing tale of fate and chance surrounding Sissi and Bodo (Franka Potente and Beno Furhmann) and features a wild creative story and an incredible romance. Featuring an outstanding music score, gorgeous cinematography, terrific performances by both Potente and Furhmann, and Tykwer taking his time developing the story, there's never a dull moment here. And like all the films in this top five, it has a finale that is challenging and unforgettable.

Posted Image4. In The Bedroom Real, brutal, emotional pain is felt through and through in Todd Field's drama surrounding loss between a father and mother (Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek) and how they handle it. But the structure is shockingly three-act: a love story, a story of loss, and a painful revenge story; to watch how Field balances all three of these themes is incredible. And although Sissy Spacek is wonderful here, the real star is Tom Wilkinson, an incredibly underrated actor who finally gets his chance to shine.

Posted Image5. Black Hawk Down Ridley Scott's mesmerizing war film, which details a supposedly short operation that becomes larger, more violent and more horrific, is one of the best war films ever made. Scott only wants to show what happened, and why. He saves pointless character development in favor of deconstructing the horrors of war and the futility of man. It's his best film, his least flashy and his most responsible.

Posted Image6. The Royal Tenenbaums And then you have Wes Anderson, who has already carved a niche out for himself as a literate director who wants his cake and eat it too. He loves the Tenenbaums, every last one of them, even the pithy, ostracized Royal (Gene Hackman) who wants nothing more to love his family again, but at what price? Featuring pitch-perfect performances, a brilliant soundtrack and winning dialouge, moment after moment, "The Royal Tenenbaums" is sweet and heartbreaking, funny and violent, rockin' and tearful, and Anderson wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted Image7. Monster's Ball Marc Forster's brilliant writing is the core of "Monster's Ball," a film that shows the intracies, the strengths and the weaknesses of the human soul. Everyone here, from Hank (Billy Bob Thorton) to Leticia (Halle Berry), is flawed and have connections in their lives that root ugliness, but are presented by Forster with such honesty and insight that we can't help but be fascinated by them. The performance by Halle Berry is proof of this.

Posted Image8. Amelie This is a rare delight -- a romantic comedy that is high on spirits and rife with originality --that even though it slows a little too much at the finale, I nevertheless fell instantly for Amelie (Audrey Tatou). She's a problematic cupid of sorts, that works wonders on all of those around her, but when it comes to herself, she is afraid of what may happen. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet wonderfully shows a lighter side of Paris and has many visual tricks up his sleeve (fast cutting, visual effects, odd narration) that only adds to the overall wonders.

Posted Image9. Bully The most stomach-wrenching film of the year, for it presents a realistic and horrifying look at teen life, in the Everglades in Florida, where all the characters drink, drug, smoke, fuck, swear and party all day and night long, to the point when a situation occurs, we're fascinated by their sheer lack of moral value and stupidity. Director Larry Clark has shot this film as if we're another character in the movie, his camera lingering around just like the characters are. Not recommended for anyone under the age of 16.

Posted Image10. Moulin Rouge Crank up the sound, the Cinemascope frame and the editing to maximum. Here is Baz Lurhmann’s spectacular (spectacular) musical that exists in its own time and place. Not a second is wasted here, right from the story of a writer falling for a club singer, to the outlandish musical numbers, featuring old and new tunes to 1900 Paris. Although I do wish Lurhmann would have slowed down on the editing (some scenes have four cameras filming on two people TALKING), it's a light consequence to the overall fun and dazzlement of this rowdy and entertaining film.

11. Lost and Delirous Lea Pool, a director whom I have never heard of before, has the eye of Stanley Kubrick in this beautiful, haunting and yet ultimately sad film detailing the loss of love between Paulie and Tory (Piper Perabo and Jessica Pare) at a boarding school, and the new roommate Mouse (Mischa Barton) who has a sexual awakening of her own. There’s true moments here, of the sadness and despair the human spirit can endure, as well as some beautifully poetic imagery. Topping it all off is an unforgettable scene where the three girls read a test letter to their respective parents.

12. Ghost World This is one of the finest films on adoloescene I've ever seen (on par with "Say Anything" and "Dazed and Confused," even "Lost and Delirious"). Terry Zwigoff, adapting from Daniel Clowes' underground comic book, has a keen eye for the oddities and goofiness of pop culture, and certainly young people. This is the kind of film where the lead character (in this case Enid, played beautifully by Thora Birch) storms out of her graduation, throws her cap on the ground, stomps on it, and gives the school the middle finger.

Thirteen Runner ups:

A.I. Artifical Intelligence Steven Spielberg comes so close to Stanley Kubrick's vision of a robot child designed to love, but not close enough. There's a passageway to the end that does not feel Kubrickian, but more Spielbergian and not taking a chance. Which is too bad, because the rest of the film certainly does take risks, and is one of the most ambitious projects of the year.

The Anniversary Party Here we have a razor sharp portrait of a Hollywood Couple whose relationship is put to the test during their wedding anniversary. There’s one excellent performance and interesting characters here, but nothing tops the incredible climax, featuring the two leads Joe and Sally (directors Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh) at their wits end.

The Deep End This is such an interesting and engaging thriller, that would have been nothing without one of the year's strongest performances by Tilda Swinton. As Margaret, a mother who has to cope with the death of one of his son's boyfriends, Swinton is remarkable here as a woman using all of her available powers available to alieveate the problem, from the simple task of getting rid of a car to fighting off a mystery bribseman.

Divided We Fall A fascinating war film that shows humanity, kindness to your fellow man, and yet somehow possesses a sense of humour. It takes place in Czechoslovakia during the final days of WWII, with a couple holding a Jewish man who is hiding in their basement. My only complaint is an editing effect that removes every other frame to highten action, which irritates more than makes us gasp.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 152 of the fastest moving minutes of 2001. Despite some strong flaws (of which include some poor lighting, bad editing and the occasional lackluster visual effect), "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was the closest I came to feeling like a kid again.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Oddly enough, this slam-bang, rockin’ adaption of the hit Broadway drag musical would make one hell of a double feature with “Moulin Rouge”. The fact Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell, giving an amazing performance) is a transvestite is irrelevant. It’s the music, baby, all the way from the rousing “Tear Me Down” to “Angry Inch” to the brilliant “Wig in a Box” (complete with sing along subtitles!) that goes hand in hand with the animation and weird live performances. Just go with it! “Ladies and gentleman, whether you like it or not…”

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Some may call it violent, some may call it long, I call it a visionary spectacle of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic stories, full of life and imagination.

No Man's Land Danis Tanovic's study of a Bosnian and Serbian soldier trapped between enemy lines is shocking, funny, sad and revealing. And it ends on a final shot that is purely unforgettable.

The Pledge - This powerful and haunting drama from Sean Penn is a testament to human despair and sadness, and features Jack Nicholson, as detective Jerry Black, in a performance so bold, so interesting and yet so sad that we care for him and yet want to tear his head off. He may have sworn to find the person who killed one's daughter, but what if he can't? This film is amazing in how it shows the lengths that Jerry will go to to find a serial killer.

Shrek The best kid's movie of the year, "Shrek" was also one of the year's biggest hits box office wise, but was also wonderfully funny and incredibly original, from the Ogre with a heart of gold, his best friend Donkey, the princess, even to Lord Farquaad, who is just a little obsessed with attention. And who can forget a gingerbread cookie, recently turned into a parapeligic?

Spike and Mike's 2001 Festival of Animation The third year in a row the animation festival has made my list, and for good reason: one year after another, the L.A. based company strings together a 90 minute program of short animated films from all over the world. This year, among very many strong additions, featured two perfect classics: a short on Italian versus Americans, and Don Herzfeld's "Rejected," which defies description, is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Keep watching out for Herzfeld's DVD of this short, it's coming one of these days. "I'm a banana!"

The Taste of Others The setup may remind one of “The Five Senses” with the body’s responses belonging to its respective characters, however Anges Jaoui’s film from France shows so many different angles and styles of five completely separate friends that you’re amazed these people even know how to get along. There’s a big story here, but it comes out of the rich dialogue and performances, and has a good sense of reality.

Note: Italian For Beginners will be filled onto my 2002 Film List since the film has not been offically released in North America at this time; I saw the film at an invite screening in Victoria and their print was furnished by the good folks at Alliance Atlantis and the Vancouver International Film Festival. Had this film made the cut, it would be somewhere around #9 on my list.

Another Note: Apocalypse Now Redux is certainly ineligible for this year's list, but I found the restoration job outstanding, featuring an additional 50 minutes of material that may not all work, but it gave viewers a chance to see this film in a theater, where it always belongs. Had this been a 2001 film, it would be #1.


Bottom 10 + 2

1 Druids The cinematic equivalent to drinking a bottle of drano and setting yourself on fire. It’s nearly impossible to watch a film like this, which doesn’t really have a form or reason to exist; at best I could describe it as a ripoff of Gladiator or even Braveheart, but what’s the point? Christopher Lambert (who is missing the second “R” out of his first name on the poster) looks half dead in his portrayl of Vercingtorix, who is so bloody sedated, that if he were like this in reality, we’d have a battle consisting of warriors on Nytol.

2 Freddy Got Fingered & Corky Romano (tie) The only difference between these two films is I still like Chris Kataan, but Tom Green’s career belongs in the 99 cent bin the cheapest video store in town. Both films feature complete morons who somehow make their way through a tedium of 90 minutes of bad plotting, over-obvious foreshadowing and slipshod filmmaking. Chris Kataan may be funny as Mango or even Mr. Peepers on Saturday Night Live, but not as Corky. And as for Tom Green, I don’t care how many boundaries he breaks with his “talent,” he is simply unentertaining and tired as an entertainer.

3 How High The only thing this movie is high on is ethnic slurs, black women with complementary shots of their butts, and two rap stars who don’t necessarily act but mumble their performances in. This is a noisy, racist film that ranks among the worst comedies ever made.

4 3000 Miles to Graceland Elvis impersonators, shooting at each other. And again. And again. This film is not only loud, but painfully loud, "Battlefield Earth" loud.

5 Bride of the Wind Alma Mahler deserved better than this. In Bruce Beresford’s laughably stupid and aimless bio of the composer in hiding for many years, Mahler’s portrayed here as Evita Redux, sleeping her way to the top and not really doing much else. Oh, the film’s a technical nightmare (we dream sideways?) but it’s real disaster is casting such a great actor like Jonathan Pryce as conductor Gustav Mahler, and reduces him to flailing his arms around like Bugs Bunny.

6 Fat Girl Two erections. A 15 year old girl, naked from head to toe, in the same shot as the erect man. A 12 year old girl topless in two scenes, raped. This could have been sophomoric material by Catherine Breillat, but she makes it ten times worse by including disgusting pornographic material that does no service to any aspect of the storytelling.

7 Pearl Harbor A lot of things blow up and we witness what may be the most poorly written love story in nearly a decade. This is Michael Bay for you. He’s always been a director of big action spectacles, so it comes as no surprise that he doesn’t know any better way to film a real event with characters who say things like “I’m going to give Danny my heart, but I don’t think I could ever look at a sunset again without thinking of you.” Now that’s said, I can’t watch a sunset ever again without thinking of this damn film.

8 The Art Of Woo Cheaply shot piffle. It’s dull and uninteresting story – two roommates (Soon Li-Yung and Adam Beach), he a professional painter, she an art dealer that are supposedly a match made in hell, but eventually discover each other. At least I think that’s what happens, there are so many dead patches in this film that there was a whole ten minute section where my mind completely floated away.

9 Scary Movie 2 A sequel to one of the most failed attempts at comedies I have ever seen. What were you expecting? Throughout, there's one dated joke after another that falls, fast, and then moves onto the next one, with the same effect, ad nauseum.

10 Bubble Boy This movie tries so hard to offend everyone that it never tries to please! I don't see what's funny with having a boy with immunities, trying to stop his girlfriend's wedding, on a road trip of sorts, running into every ethnic slur in the dictionary. I stand in awe, also, of a sequence featuring Bubble Boy running out of a building to the tune of "Disco Inferno!" I wanted the projectionist to "Burn, baby, burn!" the print.

11 Riding In Cars With Boys I'm sure the real Beverly has seen better days than this. Penny Marshall's cheap, slipshod adaptation of Beverly D'Onfrio's novella chronicles her life as a cheap, slipshod mother growing up in Dullsville, but what sets it apart is asking us to believe Drew Barrymore ages 15 to 34 years of age, but looks the same to us throughout (the fact they use Mika Boorem to play her character at age 12 is odd enough). Even further adding to the confusion are what seems like 5 different versions of Beverly's son.

12 Double Take The opposite-year equivalent to "How High," this was George Gallo's disastarous, loud, endless January movie with nary an original idea in sight, just a long string of idiot plots, "I'm not really who you think I am!" contrivances, and a long string of racism and ignorance. Somewhere, John Shaft is laughing...

Thirteen Dishonorable Mentions (not worth my time to comment on)

-American Outlaws

-Black Knight

-Down To Earth

-Head Over Heels

-Joe Dirt

-The One

-Out Cold

-See Spot Run

-Summer Catch

-Thirteen Ghosts


-The Wash

-The Wedding Planner

Guilty Pleasure of 2001 Award

Posted ImageThe Fast And The Furious I gave this film Posted Image seeing it in the theater, but it was the same kind of Posted Image I slapped to Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is a great, great BAD film that is stooped in its own self-centerdness. The sound is extreme, the girls are hot, the cars fly down what appear to be the length of Vancouver Island. This the kind of film every person with a digital sound system WANTS on DVD, and only for the sound. I love it. Posted Image


Top Ten Memorable Scenes From 2001:

1. Mulholland Drive: "Sixteen Reasons."

2. No Man's Land: The final sequence and ending shot.

3. Donnie Darko: "Head Over Heels"

4. Amelie: The cut-and-paste (with zoom sound effect) sequence.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums: The "Crash" climax tracking shot.

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Quidditch!

7. Ghost World Enid working at the movie theater. I have two friends who work at a movie theater and can't help thinking of them during this sequence.

8. Donnie Darko Jet engine.

9. Moulin Rouge "Come What May."

10. Bully Coda.

Top 10 Funniest Moments/Lines from 2001:

1. The Royal Tenenbaums: "He Has The Cancers!"

2. The Royal Tenenbaums: Talkin' Jive.

3. The Royal Tenenbaums: "Wildcat."

4. Amelie: "Fifteen!"

5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch "No, but I love his work.

6. Zoolander: "A centre for ants?"

7. Donnie Darko: Patrick Swazye.

8. Bridget Jones's Diary: Bridget's Bum on Camera.

9. The Taste of Others: Multiplying the amount of sex partners.

10. Monsters Inc. Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

Top 5 Movie Moments That Lifted My Heart and Made Me Feel Good to be Alive:

1. Amelie: Amelie Poulain in the movie theater.

2. Moulin Rouge: "How Wonderful Life Is..."

3. The Royal Tenenbaums: Prologue.

4. Donnie Darko: "Head Over Heels" (second mention)

5. The Majestic: Frank's return to the small city.

Top 5 Films That Show What We Need More Of:

1. Mulholland Drive, Donnie Darko and The Princess and the Warrior, Memento: Challening, original ideas with a director not afraid to make the audience put in a little bit of work.

2. Last Wedding: More films shot in Vancouver should actually have the story set in Vancouver.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring: Better adaptations of novels.

4. Amelie, No Man's Land, The Princess and the Warrior, Asoka, The Crimson Rivers, Amores Perros, With A Friend Like Harry, many more More foreign films to be released in North America!

5. Apocalypse Now Redux Bring back 70's films in reissue prints!

List finalized at 4:50pm, March 31st, 2002.


Buy National Treasure on DVD today..."The best movie I saw on Saturday night from 7pm to 9:30. The DTS track is freakin' awesome!" --Multiplex Drone

#3 of 235 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted December 24 2001 - 10:46 PM

2001 will be remembered by me as one of the best years for foreign language and independent films. With a lot of filmmakers still focusing their efforts on films that matter and those that challenge the mind, I have renewed confidence in cinema as an art form. Without further due, here are my top films for 2001: 10.DIVIDED WE FALL (Czech Republic) – A heartfelt story about courage and love and the lengths people would go through just to do the right thing. Set in the Second World War, the film, which also contains some dark humor, is full of unexpected twists and turns and some memorable characters. 9.IN THE BEDROOM - is an examination of human emotions and conditions surrounding a tragic situation. It is about love, secret resentments and painful choices told with the very least sentimentality and manipulation. Actor turned director Todd Field has made a very good debut film with shots delivering some quiet intensity, which are all the more important especially in character driven narratives. Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek and Marisa Tomei all deliver powerhouse performances. 8.AMORES PERROS (Mexico) – No one would think that this import from Mexico is a first film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. He achieves the kind of maturity both in story and direction most directors do not attain with their debut features. This is a film that is so down to earth stripped of any pretentiousness involving true and honest emotions. 7.MULHOLLAND DRIVE – David Lynch delivers a richly textured film that avoids the standard convention of straightforward storytelling by using fragmented narrative. Naomi Watts' breakout performance is this year’s best performance by an actress. 6.MEMENTO - Creatively crafted film with the use of flashbacks, flashforwards and everything else in between to tell its story. It also features one of this year’s best actor performances by Guy Pearce. 5.MOULIN ROUGE - While the story may not be completely original, it is the journey, artistic interpretation and acting that make this film excel from all other musicals in recent memory. Director Baz Luhrmann’s visual style is so original that he transports the audience to another world with the use of quick cuts along with some exhilarating camera work. 4.WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY (France) – Director Dominik Moll’s superb character study about the deep recesses of the subconscious and explores the possibilities of what life might have been had different choices been made. The film examines the human dilemmas between desire and fear, identity and illusion, freedom and passivity, and above all, making choices and compromise. 3.AMELIE (France) - The film touches on the theme of solitude and achieves it greatly by a surprisingly uplifting story and a very impressive visual style by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It is a celebration of life in the most memorable fashion of them all – fun and spontaneous. Audrey Tautou in the title role is very charming. 2. A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – The year’s most complex film is also the year’s most misunderstood film. It is a film to be enjoyed at a metaphysical and analytical level rather than at an emotional one. A.I., in more ways than one, is philosophically enriching. It aims for the intellect instead of the heart. What a tremendous achievement by both Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. 1.BLACK HAWK DOWN – What it comes down to this year is a film that matters. With all the criticisms about factually based films being made rather carelessly, we finally have a film that actually gets it right. Other directors who continue to make films based on real people or real-life events should take notice of this Ridley Scott film. The events portrayed onscreen showed the harsh realities of what actually happened in Somalia in 1993 without the need to sugarcoat any of it. It is the least sentimental and manipulative combat film to come out of Hollywood for quite some time. Beyond the Top 10: 11.The Deep End 12.Together (Sweden) 13.Monster’s Ball 14.Hedwig and the Angry Inch 15.The Road Home (China) 16.Enemy At The Gates 17.Shrek 18.In The Mood For Love (China) (temporary placement due to film being viewed on VHS format) 19.The Princess and the Warrior (Germany) 20.Ghost World 21.The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring 22.The Pledge 23.Under The Sand (France) 24.The Royal Tenenbaums ~Edwin
DVD Unwind: Paradise Now (Coming) • King Kong - - • KeaneThe Squid And The WhaleA History Of ViolenceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Best Of Youth (Italy) • Good Night And Good LuckHowl's Moving CastleWalk The Line - - • ZathuraNorth Country

#4 of 235 OFFLINE   Thi Them

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Posted December 24 2001 - 10:48 PM

1. Mulholland Drive 2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 3. In the Bedroom 4. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 5. A.I. 6. Moulin Rouge 7. The Man Who Wasn't There 8. Waking Life 9. Ghost World 10. The Deep End ~T

#5 of 235 OFFLINE   Bill Harris

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Posted December 24 2001 - 10:57 PM

After a lighthearted conversation with Jason about the Pledge being #2 on his list..i submit this Posted Image

NY/L.A Rule in the house y'all!

(1) Amelie

What can i say. The only film ive seen more than twice in the theatre this year. I made a stupid comment on another board saying this was the best film ive seen since Pulp Fiction. I was wrong. Best film since Malkovich

(2) Harry Potter

I could read the books over and over again. Damn near perfect translation. bring on the dvd!

(3) Memento

I saw this film really early , and talked about it for months. Finally a movie that lived upto the hype even after i pumped it up.

(4) Amores Perros

But its a 2000 film!...blah , blah , blah. The scene with the Dog in the floor still drives me to tears(right Jay? Posted Image ) , but who cares!. How did Crouching Tiger beat this for the Oscar?.

(5) Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

Sorry , but i still like Dead Alive better Posted Image. All kidding aside , Peter Jackson is a genious!

(6) Mulholland Drive

While i dont think its on par with Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks , its a damn fine movie.

(7) Series 7: The Contenders

Jason Whyte and I saw this together at UVIC. Not even torching a couple of frames could destroy my fondness of this flick. Sidenote: The DVD is great

(8) Moulin Rouge

Give props to Baz...he deserves it. I will say that Hedwig had better songs Posted Image

(9) Ghost World

Crumb was a great movie that showed T.Z as an upcoming force in documentries. So what does he do for his next movie?.. a straight ahead black comedy Posted Image. I am worried that Thora Birch wont get a nod at oscar time though

(10)Lost and Delirious

did anybody in the US actually see this on the big screen after one of the stupidest film ratings ive ever seen!.

As of December 24th..im still missing a few movies. So expect some changes

#6 of 235 OFFLINE   John Thomas

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Posted December 24 2001 - 11:05 PM

Top 10 Of 2001

Posted ImageUpdated on 06/07/02

# 1Posted Image# 2 Posted Image# 3Posted Image# 4Posted Image# 5Posted Image

# 6Posted Image# 7Posted Image# 8Posted Image# 9Posted Image#10Posted Image

#1: The Royal Tenenbaums

#2: Amelie

#3: Memento

#4: Mulholland Drive

#5: Artificial Intelligence

#6: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

#7: Black Hawk Down

#8: Ghost World

#9: Moulin Rouge!

#10: Donnie Darko

#11: In The Mood For Love #12: The Road Home #13: The Man Who Wasn't There #14: In The Bedroom #15: Monster's Ball #16: Startup.com #17: The Deep End #18: A Beautiful Mind #19: The Pledge #20: Bridget Jones' Diary

#21: Hedwig and the Angry Inch #22: Va Savoir #23: Vanilla Sky#24: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back #25: Monsters Inc #26: Made #27: The Dish #28: Sidewalks of New York #29: Gosford Park #30: Baby Boy

Currently in queue..

No Man's Land, Lantana, Kandahar, The Business of Strangers, Waking Life, Iris, The Taste of Others, Series 7: The Contenders, The Princess and the Warrior, Amores Perros

#7 of 235 OFFLINE   Matthew Chmiel

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Posted December 24 2001 - 11:05 PM

--- As of May 20th, 2002 (Comments On The List Coming Soon) ---

Posted Image

The Top Ten Best Films of 2001:

1. Donnie Darko

2. Memento

3. Mulholland Drive

4. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch

6. Royal Tenenbaums, The

7. Ghost World

8. Princess and the Warrior, The

9. Lost and Delirious

10. Series 7: The Contenders

Honerable Mentions of 2001:

11. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

12. Moulin Rouge

12. In The Bedroom

14. Dish, The

15. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

16. Ginger Snaps

17. Shrek

18. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

19. -

20. -

The Top Ten Worst Films Of 2001:

1. Adventures of Joe Dirt, The

2. Driven

3. Saving Silverman

4. Freddy Got Fingered

5. America's Sweethearts

6. Along Came a Spider

7. Tomb Raider

8. Out Cold

9. Knight's Tale, A

10. Scary Movie 2

#8 of 235 OFFLINE   Mitty


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Posted December 24 2001 - 11:14 PM

Even though the list will undergo a myriad of changes, still needing to see about a million movies, here goes...

1. In The Mood For Love (Wong Kar-wai) - Emotionally, it felt like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg or Splendor in the Grass, but stylistically it looked and felt like Eyes Wide Shut. All together, it's the most spellbinding movie of the year. Oddly, I think it was also the first local 2001 release that I saw this year.

2. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg) - The best American film of the year. Wickedly complex and layered, this is Spielberg's most complex film since his masterpiece, Jaws. This movie is responsible for one of the most affecting revelations I've had at the movies in years. It washed over me like a wave.

3. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) - The feel good movie of the year, and you can quote me on that. From the moment in the opening credits when little Amélie was eating the raspberries off of the ends of her fingers, I was sure I was going to love this film. The title character is arguably the most adorable heroine I've ever seen in a motion picture. As it stands, it's the only movie in the last 3 years I've paid to see twice.

4. Memento (Christopher Nolan) - Maybe the best thriller in years. Wickedly convoluted, with as many questions as answers, but very watchable and absorbing even if you don't feel the need to draw yourself a flow chart to figure out the time line.

5. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)

6. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff) - What becomes of intelligent youth raised in an era of irony and nihilism? Are happiness and intelligence in direct conflict with one another? Ghost World attempts to answer these questions, although not in the predictable ways one might expect. At times wickedly funny, scathingly honest, and even touching. I never really knew where this film was going to go, and each detour was a delight.

7. In The Bedroom (Todd Field) - This film refuses to be tied down to a specific genre and as a result, we never really know what will happen next. Serious buzz surrounds the work of Sissy Spacek, and to a lesser extent, Marisa Tomei, but Tom Wilkinson gives the finest performance in the film as a father who quietly alternates between grief and rage.

8. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell) - That the symbolism in this film is bludgeoningly obvious may actually work in its favour. John Cameron Mitchell should receive an Academy Award nomination for his performance. This movie wanted so bad to be good, and it is. Plus, anything that pisses off the squares is always fun. Like Ghost World, 'Hedwig' is alternately wickedly funny and touching, plus the music kicks fucking ass. Far and away, the best transgendered glam rock musical of the year! You can quote me on THAT too. Posted Image

9. Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann) - Another musical. Gaudy, loud, obnoxious, simple, schmaltzy, slapstick-y. These are all words that could be used to describe Baz Luhrmann's latest headache-inducing opus. But...I had a great time at this film, even if I had to swallow a couple of Advil afterwards. The most ambitious undertaking of the year, a rich, sumptuous production that will no doubt get lots of notice at Oscar time, if only for the "pretty" awards, like Costumes, Set Decorations, etc.

10. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar) - If it weren't for my pick at #1, I'd easily have said this was the most beautifully photographed film of the year. This is almost a throwback film, one they just don't make anymore, a real ghost story, dependent on mood, tone, pace and atmosphere. Nicole Kidman had a great year, with this and Moulin Rouge. She might even get her first Oscar nomination . Who needs Tom Cruise?

#9 of 235 OFFLINE   Stephen R

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Posted December 24 2001 - 11:30 PM

Posted Image #1. Mulholland Drive - An endlessly fascinating examination of the boundries between dreams and reality, Mulholland Drive and its characters occupy a dark rift between mental and physical existence. In an early scene, a man in a cafe watches in horror as a recurring nightmare he's attempting to overcome begins to take root in reality, and feels the presence of a dark man who'd infected his dreamstate. The man, in his waking state, suffers a heart attack at the unexpected sight of the nightmare figure, and dies. Whether the man was only in his imagination or not doesn't matter: he was frightened enough that it caused his death, thus effectively blurring the line between physicality and metaphysicality from the onset. What follows, the tale of a two women searching for answers in Hollywood, is equally soaked in the apprehension of what is to come. Even more structurally brilliant than Memento and philosophically subtler than Waking Life, Lynch's masterpiece serves as a centerpiece for a year of great films that focused on the reality of unreality.

Posted Image #2. Audition - Comments coming.

Posted Image #3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - More so than any recent Hollywood epic, Jackson’s first installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a snaz-free vision. Grime and dirt infest the heroes’ hair; fingernails are outlined by the black muck of adventuring. Close-ups reveal unhealthy pores clogged with filth. The characters and locales feel as if they’ve been around as long as we’ve been told. We notice because Jackson’s camerawork allows us to see the minutest of details and the grandest of architecture. By deftly juxtaposing extreme long-shots with extreme close-ups, expressions become the living embodiment of the adventure itself. McKellen’s emotive face is indeed an emotional counterpoint to the landscape traversed, and offers as much a diverse topography as that of New Zealand’s Middle-Earth. The film is rousing and moving, its dialogue never stilted or bogged down with politics. Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien and the filmmakers involved in bringing his work to the screen, we’ve been given one of the most unique epics ever, and we can be thankful that there are two more to come.

Posted Image #4. Donnie Darko - I must admit an affection of sorts to these types of films. There aren’t many things I like more in film than man-sized bunny rabbits with carnivorous insect faces portentously predicting the apocalyptical doom of man, jet engines falling through suburban houses with no plane to link them to, and coming-of-age stories punctuated by theories of time travel vessels that link with individual humans by means of a long, gooey cylinder that extends from the chest. It’s like Ghost World directed by David Lynch with a helping of Being John Malkovich. But Richard Kelly puts his own stamp on this creation with truly brilliant casting and a script that dares us to second-guess it – it’s filled to the brim with memorable twists. This is also one of the best directorial debuts of the year; Kelly balances Donnie’s dark, perhaps psychotic delusions with a cockeyed, humorous vision of the 80s that’s both absurdist and reverent, and his use of slow-motion is inspired, often and appropriately displaying ludicrousness rather than grace or style. A bonus: the movie gives Patrick Swayze his best role since, well, ever.

Posted Image #5. Memento - While the impact of watching Memento is, not surprisingly, somewhat diluted upon multiple viewings, the joyous act of viewing bravura, audacious filmmaking remains intact. Like Mulholland Drive and Waking Life though not is such a discreet manner, Memento’s main character, Leonard Shelby, is trapped in a recurring dream/nightmare of sorts. He exists for the sole purpose of exacting revenge on those who left him with such a blindingly depressing final mental Polaroid. Some critics attacked Nolan’s screenplay as being gimmicky. In essence, it is, but the high-concept premise certifies and justifies it. Through patient repetition, Nolan builds a fully contained meta-universe for Leonard, complete with its own set of rules, that gradually builds steam in defiance of all former rules of filmmaking: a story told backwards should lose momentum. When it finally arrives at its bleak, existential faux-beginning, Memento daringly suggests that a mans id is only as stable as his memories allow it to be, and memories exist on shaky ground.

Posted Image #6. In the Mood for Love - Comments coming.

Posted Image #7. The Royal Tenenbaums - Comments coming.

Posted Image #8. Va Savoir - Comments coming.

Posted Image #9. The Princess and the Warrior - Comments coming.

Posted Image #10. The Day I Became a Woman - Comments coming.

10 Runners-Up (In Preferential Order): A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Songs From the Second Floor, Monster's Ball, Waking Life, The Others, Kandahar, Amelie, The Devil's Backbone, The Man Who Wasn't There, Monsters, Inc..

Missed: Eureka, Together, and The Werckmeister Harmonies.

UPDATE - 1/11/2002 - Some notable shifting on my list. I saw Waking Life again, and didn't think quite so highly of it this time. It's still a great, enlightening film, but I don't think it deserves its original place of #5, so it dropped quite a bit. On the other hand, I watched my Region 2 DVD of In the Mood for Love last night, and my appreciation of Wong's film only grows. It moved up 2 slots to #5.


The Most Overrated Movies of the Year

Amelie - Yes, I realize it's on my runners-up list of favorites of the year. Comments attempting to justify my paradox coming.

The Deep End - Comments coming.

Moulin Rouge - Comments coming.

Shrek - Comments coming.


The Worst Movies of the Year

#01. Freddy Got Fingered

#02. Valentine

#03. Tomcats

#04. Ghosts of Mars

#05. Say it Isn't So!

#06. Tomb Raider

#07. Lantana

#08. Double Take

#09. 3000 Miles to Graceland

#10. Charlotte Gray


10 Memorable Scenes from 2001 Films

#01. Fat Girl - The final five minutes, which is not a favorite scene, for sure, but I'd be lying if I didn't mention it as the one scene from 2001 that's most permanently tatooed on my brain, for better or for worse.

#02. A.I. Artificial Intelligence - Flying through the frozen city.

#03. Mulholland Drive - Club Silencio.

#04. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - "Drums...drums, in the deep."

#05. The Man Who Wasn't There - The car sails through the air; the hubcap takes a trip.

#06. Memento - "I'm chasing this guy. No, he's chasing me."

#07. A.I. Artificial Intelligence - David falls and plunges into the ocean.

#08. The Princess and the Warrior - Emergency tracheotomy.

#09. Donnie Darko - Revelations.

#10. Ghost World - White trash with nun-chucks at the convenient store.

Honorable mentions include: Chase through the kingdom of doors from Monsters, Inc.; the piano playing scene from The Others; the main titles from Amelie; the car crash from Amores Perros; and a slew of scenes from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Posted Image

(Note: This list will likely change as I remember more scenes that I love.


Repertory - The ten best older films I saw for the first time in 2001

#01. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Comments coming.

#02. The Decalogue (Dekalog) - Comments coming.

#03. Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena) - Comments coming.

#04. A Man Escaped (Un Condamné à mort s'est éschappé) - Comments coming.

#05. Greed - Comments coming.

#06. Sansho the Bailiff (Sanshô dayû) - Comments coming.

#07. Ordet - Comments coming.

#08. Come and See (Idi i smotri) - Comments coming.

#09. The Godfather - Comments coming.

#10. Letter From an Unknown Woman - Comments coming.



Best Picture: Mulholland Drive; Runners-Up – Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Donnie Darko

Best Director: David Lynch, Mulholland Drive; Runners-Up - Wes Anderson, The Royal Tenenbaums and Robert Altman, Gosford Park

Best Actor: Haley Joel Osmet, A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Runners-Up – Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums and Tom Wilkinson, In The Bedroom

Best Actress: Naomi Watts, Mulholland Drive; Runners-Up – Nicole Kidman, The Others and Audrey Tautou, Amélie

Best Supporting Actor: Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Runners-Up – Jude Law, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Steve Buscemi, Ghost World

Best Supporting Actress: Frances O’Connor, A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Runners-Up – Scarlett Johansson, Ghost World and Alakina Mann, The Others

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, The Man Who Wasn’t There; Runners-Up – Christopher Doyle, In the Mood for Love and Javier Aguirresarobe, The Others

Best Original Screenplay: David Lynch, Mulholland Drive; Runners-Up – Joel and Ethan Coen, The Man Who Wasn’t There and Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko

Best Adapted Screenplay: Memento; Runners-Up – Ghost World and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Best Original Score: Howard Shore, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Runners-Up – Yann Tiersen, Amélie and John Williams, A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Best Visual Effects: A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Runners-up – Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Best Make-Up: Planet of the Apes; Runners-Up – Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

#10 of 235 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted December 24 2001 - 11:37 PM

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is the best film I have seen so far this year.

American Pie 2 is the worst film I have seen this (perhaps any) year.

Complete list to follow soon.Posted Image
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#11 of 235 OFFLINE   Doug R

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Posted December 25 2001 - 12:13 AM

Last Updated: January 5, 2002

Top Ten of 2001

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

1: Memento

2: Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

3: In the Bedroom

4: Der Krieger und die Kaiserin

5: Mulholland Drive

6: The Royal Tenenbaums

7: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

8: Moulin Rouge

9: The Deep End

10: Sexy Beast

Honorable Mentions:

A.I. - Artificial Intelligence, A Beautiful Mind, The Crimson Rivers, Vanilla Sky, Made, Amores Perros, The Others, Ghost World, Ocean's Eleven, Series 7: The Contenders

Worst of 2001:

Driven, Pearl Harbor, Mummy Returns, Tomb Raider, Planet of the Apes, Ali, Behind Enemy Lines

Haven't seen yet that could crack the top ten: The Man Who Wasn't There, Black Hawk Down, Monster's Ball, The Devil's Backbone, Gosford Park, In the Mood for Love, Donnie Darko

#12 of 235 OFFLINE   David Oliver

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Posted December 25 2001 - 02:01 AM

Updated Top 10 (Last update: 1/21/2002) 1. Memento 2. Black Hawk Down 3. Sexy Beast 4. Royal Tenenbaums 5. Apocolypse Now Redux 6. Amelie 7. The Others 8. Training Day 9. A Beautiful Mind 10. Shrek Haven't Seen: Ali, Monster, Inc. Moulin Rouge, In the Bedroom, Gosford Park, Spy Games, Mulholland Drive. Worst Movies (luckily I think I just didn't go to a lot of what seemed to be obvious bombs, like Freddie Got Fingered. That is why I only have 7. There are many movies that I kinda liked so I don't really want to put them on a worst list. The movies in this list made me ill.)..... 1. Hannibal 2. The Musketeer 3. Original Sin 4. Pearl Harbor 5. Planet of the Apes 6. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 7. Hearts in Atlantis
Go Packers!!!
My DVD Collection

#13 of 235 OFFLINE   JohnS



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Posted December 25 2001 - 06:16 AM


#14 of 235 OFFLINE   Kevin Clemons

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Posted December 25 2001 - 11:03 AM

There are a few I still haven't seen: Amelie, Monsters Ball, etc.. but here goes nothing 1: Waking Life 2: Vanilla Sky 3: In The Bedroom 4: Black Hawk Down 5: The Deep End 6: The Royal Tenn. 7: LOTR 8: Training Day 9: Memento 10: A Beautiful Mind Honorable ment. The Man Who Wasn't there, Harry Potter, A.I., Amores Perros, Divided We Fall, Mulholland Dr. Kevin

#15 of 235 OFFLINE   Nick Sievers

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Posted December 25 2001 - 03:31 PM

Nick’s Top 10 of 2001 Last Updated: 26th July, 2003 1. Mulholland Drive 2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 3. The Royal Tenenbaums 4. Moulin Rouge! 5. Black Hawk Down 6. Amélie (Le, Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) 7. A.I Artifical Intelligence 8. Hedwig and the Angry Inch 9. The Man Who Wasn't There 10. Ghost World
Top 10 Film Lists: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Film Lists: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

#16 of 235 OFFLINE   MichaelPe



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Posted December 25 2001 - 03:53 PM

I'm still working on it, but my sig has my top 30.

    [*]Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amelie)[*]Memento[*]A.I. Artificial Intelligence[*]Mulholland Drive[*]Moulin Rouge![*]The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring[*]Amores Perros (Love's A Bitch)[*]Dut yeung nin wa (In the Mood for Love)[*]In The Bedroom[*]Black Hawk Down
    [*]The Animal[*]Tomb Raider[*]Original Sin[*]The Mummy Returns[*]Evolution[*]Heartbreakers[*]Kiss Of The Dragon[*]Ginger Snaps[*]The Fast And The Furious[*]Les Rivières pourpres (The Crimson Rivers)

#17 of 235 OFFLINE   Steve Blair

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Posted December 25 2001 - 06:34 PM

Jason, I edited to remove Traffic and add A Beautiful Mind. The website I used for movie listings had Traffic coming out in March 2001. I haven't yet seen Black Hawk Down so this list may still change. My top 10: 1. Lord Of The Rings 2. A.I. Artificial Intelligence 3. Memento 4. Apocalypse Now Redux 5. Vanilla Sky 6. Enemy At The Gates 7. A Beautiful Mind 8. The Others 9. Training Day 10. ALI My WORST top ten is: 1. Crocodile Dundee in LA 2. The Ghosts Of Mars 3. The Musketeer 4. 15 Minutes 5. Tomb Raider 6. Driven 7. American Outlaws 8. 3000 Miles To Graceland 9. The One 10. Exit Wounds

#18 of 235 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted December 25 2001 - 06:36 PM

Seth's semi-official final top 10

Surprise - Donnie Darko hits my top 10

(getting closer to being final- btw I had to refresh to get my pictures to change as they were cached)

Posted Image

1. Memento - Fav scene - The ending speech by Pearce.

Some called it gimmick, but that is truely a mistake. The "gimmick" is simply another hierarchy of knowledge technique, not unlike North by Northwest or Maltese Falcon. Sure it's unique in how it is done, but the basic premise of keeping the audience in the dark goes hand in hand with any good investigative narrative. While the film doesn't look film noir, the story almost feels it. Pearce is a big part of that, bringing his troubled hero to full 3-D life. By the time we understand the story we also understand the emotions his character must deal with constantly. His final monologue brings it home in a way that instantly burned into my memory.

"Now, where was I?"

Posted Image

2. Amelie - Fav scene - Maybe the toys talking about Amelie being in love, or any scene with her smile in it.

The film has a "guys film" sense of coolness to it. Showy techniques, funny narrative devices. Yet it serves a beautiful story of a female romantic dreamer. To me it felt like a melding of old fashioned female romance with old fashioned guy film fun. In some ways it has the innocent meddling of a "Forrest Gump" with a lot less of the sap. Tautou brings such a beautiful innocence to the screen that you can't help falling in love with her and her ways. And the touring of Paris ain't half bad for the cinematography either. Posted Image

Posted Image

3. The Fellowship of the Ring - Fav scene - The second the drum hits in Moria and Boromir's last stand starting with the tracking shot following his horn blowing.

Okay, it's got some first time flaws, but once I saw it a couple more times I started to notice how much baggage I had brought to the first viewing. Suddenly I saw the film as PJ wanted it, a tale aboud a wizard and troubled hero who both die trying to change the world. A film about a Fellowship that will come together and then fall apart. It has made me rethink how I think about the books, and that is some achievement considering the books. Something this big, this well done, this moving at times, is more than a film, it's a spectacle.

Posted Image

4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Fav scene - Tough call. Wig in a box or Sugar Daddy I guess.

James Cameron Mitchell. Need I say more. He acts, he directs, he sings. He sings well. This film feels like it ran for 2 years off-Broadway, the poise is clearly there. Still, it's a tricky thing to translate it to the screen and JCM did it. The character is DEEP, the songs are FUN, the visual style is EXCITING. And we have real progression for a character that while clearly "different" is no less real. I don't know all the details behind the creation, but the truth that eminates tells me that someone involved lived something like this at some point. It's that honest.

Posted Image

5. Moulin Rouge - Fav scene - The Elephant Love Song, especially the moment of the starburst heart-shaped light explodes from the window behind them.

Baz had a vision. And from the minute the little man begins conducting you are brought into it. Every device, every look, every cut seemed to serve that same uproarious, bawdy, sexy, funny, cartoonish musical ideal. That such a singular vision could be brought to the screen is a tribute to Baz's artistry and smarts. Supurb acting and some especially moving singing from Ewan pushed this right to the top. Oscar calliber filmmaking on all levels.

Posted Image

6. Black Hawk Down - Fav scene - This may be "wrong" of me, but my favorite moment is the most Hollywood scene, when the special ops sneak up, wire choke some militia and then turn the cannon on other militia. What can I say, I needed a "win" at that point. Posted Image

This is all Ridley Scott. His action cinematography is much better than Gladiator (less choppy). The film is tight as hell and feels very accurate in it's depticions. It plays well as a "then this happened" type of narrative, in fact it is this form at it's very best. The devastation of the situation is overwhelming and brought to the screen with an unflinching yet unglorified eye.

Posted Image

7. Donnie Darko - Fav scene - The effects scenes when Frank is talking to Donnie early on, there is something captivating about Frank's voice and it uses the surrounds very well.

Here's a film that I let slip by at the theaters and upon renting the DVD I really regretted that fact. The film defies genres, instead walking along parallel lines. Is it horror, a pyscho thriller, the story of an irreverent teen putting the world in it's place (ala Rushmore)...? All of these at once? The film doesn't let you know, at least until the end when everything is totally resolved. There are a few indulgent 80's music scenes that go beyond serving the film, but that can be forgiven. Also, the acting is top notch, extremely well done.

Posted Image

8. Waking Life - Fav scene - When the guy explains that you know you are in a dream when the numbers on the clock are fuzzy.

I realize some people just didn't dig this, it didn't click with them. But for me the philosophical story was right up my alley. The investigative technique of having Willey trying to discover just what the heck is going on kept me glued to each moment. And then there is the art. Breathtaking to me. I expected basic rotoscoping, but they took the chance to tailor each scenes art to the mood and the effect is amazingly inspired.

Posted Image

9. The Royal Tenenbaums - Fav scene - Listening to the Rolling Stones album in the tent, or maybe the Ramones sequence of Paltrow's history.

While Smith (below) is being outrageous, Anderson is using his dry wit to perfection. His characters feel warm, lovable, yet appropriately flawed like real people. His humor is the humor of everyday life, rather than moments that we could never imagine happening (funny or not). Hackman gobbles up the opportunity to strut his stuff as much as Murray did in Rushmore. Another masterpiece for Wes.

Posted Image

10. No Man's Land - Fav scene - A great ending moment...and any of the stuff with the UN sergeant who was excellent.

Part dark comedy, part war commentary this film has tons of heart. It's well filmed with excellent acting on all parts. At times it felt almost like "Gods Must Be Crazy" (2nd half) in it's style/tone, though I'm not sure why. The look perhaps?

Anyway, the film is enjoyable on several levels with an interesting script that manages to avoid relying on a cynical tone to make it's point. It's more about respect for the protagonists than dislike of any "antagonist" (if there really are any).

I saw a lot of good films this year. Here are films 11-30.


Muholland Drive, Monsters Ball, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Pledge, Princess and the Warrior


The Others, The Man Who Wasn't There, A.I., Gosford Park, Bully


In the Bedroom, Sexy Beast, Harry Potter, The Deep End, Bridget Jones's Diary


Ghost World, A Beautiful Mind, Monsters Inc., Shrek, Anniversary Party

Seen - 101 films

Critical films left to see:




#19 of 235 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted December 25 2001 - 07:16 PM

Well, it's hardly a surprise to anyone who's seen my entry in the 2001 Film List thread. Updates will be made as necessary, obviously this doesn't include movies I haven't seen, and I'm using (general) Academy Eligibility Rules.

Top Ten (Plus)

1. A.I. - Might as well chisel this one in in stone. I'll admit certain biases, and intelligently made science fiction, with a fully-realized world, is something we don't see enough of. And all the Spielberg vs. Kubrick arguments this one dredged up missed the point - it's great science fiction, with big ideas, astounding visuals, great performances, and, perhaps most importantly, a final act that smashes through the "been there, seen that" mindset of today's more cynical audience to generate the sense of wonder and awe that infused sf's golden age.

2. The Man Who Wasn't There - Deserving of a spot in the top ten for its cinematography alone, the Coens' latest is a sharp comedy noir about the dangers of a life without passion. The noir tale is punctuated with absurdity, the look is fabulous, and the performances by all, especially Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Shaloub, are top-notch.

3. Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie in the USA) - You may be noticing a trend toward visually inventive movies in my top ten. Film is an inherently visual medium, though, but what we see on the screen isn't necessarily what makes Amélie great - it's an almost complete lack of cynicism, the willingness to find delight in everything, and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's skill at presenting that to the audience without making it saccharine. It is, for lack of a better word, joy.

4. Happy Accidents - Happy Accidents is a difficult film to recommend without spoiling one of its biggest plot points (the poster, for example, doesn't even try), but is nevertheless an easy film to recommend. The core of the film is the relationship between Ruby (Marisa Tomei) and Sam (Vincent D'onofrio), who are respectively co-dependent and eccentric to the point of possibly being insane. Brad Anderson sets up intriguing questions, and is sly enough not to tip his hand to the answers until what is, for my money, the year's best ending.

4A. Acts Of Worship - Possibly ineligible because it's a film which played the festival circuit during 2001 but didn't, as far as I can tell, have a real theatrical release. A festival may be the best setting for this one, though. Between them, writer/director Rosemary Rodriguez and star Ana Reeder craft a sharp portrait of the indignity and, worse, banality of drug addiction that will, unfortunately, only be seen by those who want to see it, rather than those that need to.

5. Lantana - A film about intersecting marriages under stress, Lantana features a number of fine performances, good direction, and a script that may rely a little too much on coincidence but does it to keep the size of the ensemble down to a manageable level.

6. Moulin Rouge - I am not, in general, a fan of the musical as a genre - it has to be done exactly right, or it becomes torturous, and not enough are done exactly right. Somehow, everything comes together here - the story is operatic, the style is MTV, and the actual music is from all over the twentieth century. Stir in fantastic production design and a performance that I didn't realize Nicole Kidman had in her, and the result is a stunning spectacle that, in the end, dragged me into its world and made me excited to be in it.

7. Vanilla Sky - The rare remake that transcends its source material, Vanilla Sky is structurally an almost line-for-line copy of Abre Los Ojos, but Crowe gives it postmodern edge with his own ideas about how pop culture permeates our minds, and tweaks the characters to make them both more likable and more cruel. If the end contains too much mincing detail, well, he's trying to make a movie for the same audience that rejected A.I.; cut him some slack.

8. The Royal Tenenbaums - A bitter family drama disguised as a screwball comedy, Tenenbaums continually catches the audience off-balance. The characters are wonderful creations, oftentimes managing to be charming and loathsome at the same time. It doesn't allow for easy answers, and has many heavy moments while still being very entertaining.

8A. Le Pact des Loups (Brotherhood Of The Wolf in the USA) - An adventure movie that could quite possibly also land on my "Best of 2002" list, when it gets its American theatrical release. It's got everything you need for good escapist fun - dashing heroes, pretty girls, fierce beasts and dangerous men - without the lame dialogue, idiot plots, and general malaise that makes most action movies suck. The style of the moive blends French sophistication, Hollywood gloss, and Hong Kong energy for the best action movie in what may be years. It's making the rounds now, so don't miss it - it kicks ass.

9. The Pledge - A promising start to the year, Sean Penn's chilling tale of obsession serves up an unusually reserved Jack Nicholson as a retired detective who will go to frightening lengths to catch a serial killer.

10. Last Orders - An all-star ensemble, led by Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Ray Winstone, remembers a man, Jack (Michael Caine), after he passes on. Among the "present-day" actors, there's not a less-than-great performance in the bunch; the younger ones aren't quite at their level, but all in all, this is a near-perfect piece that will probably get buried in the U.S. because its late-December "Oscar run" backfired.

Bottom Ten (Plus)

n-9. The Fast And The Furious - Vin Diesel needs better representation. Or at least better co-stars; his charisma so overwhelms Paul Walker's lack thereof that any scenes without Vin (like, the ones which are supposed to advance the plot) seem plodding.

n-8. Heartbreakers - All I ask for is one character to care about. Just one. Let me love them, hate them, be amused by them, or just want to see them on screen. Sadly, all that's left here is Ray Liotta's mildly amusing small-time gangster and Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts. The rest of this alleged comedy is simply repugnant and ugly.

n-7. Waking Life (animated) - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO SOMETHING RESEMBLING ANYTHING!!! Okay, that phrase was actually yelled during a midnight screening of Galaxina, but the sentiment is accurate. An hour and a half of pretentious talk which detracts from the really quite incredible (if occasionally nausea-inducing) animation.

n-6. Monkeybone - An example of neat ideas that just never quite gel, and parts which need just the right actors (but don't have them). Then, to make it worse, there isn't quite enough money to execute it well, and the result after that gets mauled in the editing room. Sometimes a movie just can't catch a break.

n-5. The Mummy Returns - I liked Sommers's The Mummy, but this sequel has little of that movie's charm, unfinished effects, and never slows down for a breath no matter how necessary it is.

n-4. Swordfish - How does crap like this get made? Seriously. It's not exploiting a property, it's not a good script, and the big action set-piece could be incorporated in another movie with ease. It is a venal hateful mess of a movie that everyone involved will scratch off their resumés by the end of the year.

n-4A. Sam The Man - Take a loathsome main character, a script that goes nowhere, a cast that should know better, and low-resolution digital video, mix them up, and you get this disaster. It played at the Boston Film Festival but has yet to receive a general release. Pray that it doesn't.

n-4B. Edges Of The Lord - One of the most staggeringly well-produced pieces of garbage one ever will see. The tech credits, the acting, the direction - all fantastic. And yet, the base idea is so utterly repugnant - the adventures of a Jewish city boy hiding in a Polish Catholic village during the Holocaust, and his foster brother who thinks he's Jesus - that I found myself staring in open-mouthed shock that someone assumed that there was an audience for it. It's a case of the surface being so repulsive that it overwhelms any other virtues the moive may have.

n-3. Tomb Raider - It's never a good sign when the principle topic of conversation overheard after an action movie is not the story, or a particular scene, or how cool a character is. What's truly frightening is that the discussion of the heroine's breasts didn't focus on merit, or even the natural/silicone question, but on whether or not they were accurate. That's when you know a movie has nothing going for it.

n-2. One Night At McCool's - Another entry in the "repugnant movie about unpleasant people" derby. No reason to care about the characters, and the story isn't creative enough to work on a fun-to-see-it-unfold level.

n-1. 3000 Miles To Graceland - Okay, Kurt Russell riffing on Elvis and Kevin Costner as a villain; both of these have potential. A heck of a supporting cast, too. What went wrong? I'd argue that the violence is too pervasive to be exciting and too realistic to be entertaining; Graceland just doesn't have the sense of fun that makes something like Brotherhood of the Wolf such a treat.

n. Planet Of The Apes - I can't even discuss the end rationally; it always ends up as a rant. Even before then, though, the story is terrible, the acting is flat, the satire of the book and first movie version is non-existant, and I'm never convinced that the movie has any reason to exist other than employing Stan Winston. This movie requires complete and utter passivity to enjoy the limited joys of the ape suits and soaking in Estella Warren's good looks; sadly, it occasionally tries to show how clever it is, calling attention to its utter and complete stupidity. A more pure waste of time, I can't immediately recall.
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#20 of 235 OFFLINE   Kevin Leonard

Kevin Leonard

    Supporting Actor

  • 922 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 11 2001

Posted December 25 2001 - 07:17 PM


1) Memento

2) Amelie

A delightful French confection, Amelie is probably the most charming and infectious film I've seen in the past few years. Like some wild collaboration between Billy Wilder and Luis Bunuel, Amelie is at its core a simple love story, spiked with surreal cinematography, restless (yet never show-offy) direction and situations that are outlandish, yet seem logical in this film's world. Audrey Tautou is utterly perfect in the title role; I cannot think of anyone else who could pull off the required innocence, craftiness, shyness, and charm required, yet do it all with a wink to the audience; the supporting cast shines as well.

Whether riffing on a popular urban legend (the traveling gnome), using TV clips to show the joys of the outside world or deploying a series of mind-bending visual tricks, Amelie does it all, and does it perfectly. Thank you Jean-Pierre Jeunet: you have made one of the finest films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.

3) The Others

4) Ghost World

5) Lost and Delirious

6) In the Bedroom

7) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

Well, Peter Jackson has done the impossible: he has adapted J.R.R. Tolkein's massive literary trilogy and pulled it off without turning it into an incomprehensible mess (though I still love Bakshi's version Posted Image). A feast for the senses, Fellowship strips away the unecessary material from Tolkein's novel (Tom Bombadil, the many songs, etc.) and keeps the focus tight on the physical and psychological journey of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who encounters wizards, trolls, orcs and elves, oh my!

Though the film drags a bit towards the end, and has an anti-climatic (yet logical) conclusion, Fellowship is still one of the most amazing cinematic achievements in recent history. Acted by a pitch-perfect cast and directed by Jackson with a tremendous visual flair (along with the help of seamless special effects and exceptional set design), Fellowship is a beautiful piece of work, and one that will be remembered for years to come.

8) Series 7: The Contenders

A savage satire of television, Series 7 is like some bleakly comic version of "Survivor," where contestants set out to win through any means necessary. Director Daniel Minahan has crafted something that is both a wicked commentary and at the same time a dangerous look at what is considered "entertainment." Welcome to the Network of our generation.

9) The Royal Tenenbaums

10) Moulin Rouge


1) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

After Mission to Mars, the most souless, vile, piece-of-shit, what-the-hell-were-they-thinking, money wasting, boring, scare-the-small-children, brain sucking, horrifying, makes-you-lose-all-faith-in-the-film-industry piece of cinematic bad hoodoo I've ever seen!

2) Monkeybone

Oh, what a waste of cinematic potential. Veering between extreme stupidity and extreme obnoxiousness, Monkeybone sounded like something right up Henry Selick's alley--a sideways approach to a relatively bizarre concept. But somehow, it all went wrong: the direction (lifeless), the performances (EVERYONE is annoying), the music (grating) and the structure (very jarring editing, though this may be more 20th Century Fox's fault than Selick's). Despite the short running time, Monkeybone dragged on forever, extending concepts past their breaking point; Chris Kattan's character is a good example of this. A movie to avoid like the plague.

3) Scary Movie 2

The first, despite the critical bashings, was actually rather funny, mostly out of its sheer audacity. The second fails on every level...this is a prime example of make-a-quick-buck filmmaking. 85% of the references will be outdated by the time it hits stores ("The Weakest Link," Firestone Tires, etc.), while other gags just drag on for an eternity (the bit at the dinner table with Chris Eliot's deformed hand). A rather funny bit on the deaths of black characters in horror movies and Kathleen Robertson's ample cleavage are the only saving graces.

4) Pearl Harbor

SEE Ben Affleck try to be sensitive. FEEL the fake emotion trying to be manipulated by director Michael Bay and screenwriter Randall Wallace. HEAR the mind-numbing, ear-bleeding soundscape, augmented by Hans Zimmer's sappier-than-syrup score. And witness how Pearl Harbor has become the Saving Private Ryan of 2001: a shallow, poor film that reduces a historical event to a cinematic cliché.

5) A.I. - Artificial Intelligence

It's a sad commentary on the state of movies today when a film like A.I. is considered "intelligent and challenging." When I originally saw it, A.I. was an OK film; however, the more I thought about it, the more its flaws became more apparent and the more I hated it.

Where to start: the Chris Rock robot. The cartoony Dr. Know. William Hurt's beyond-zombie acting. The sledgehammer-like symbolism (see David's drowning for a good example). The pointless (and then some) final half hour. And finally, the realization that Steven Spielberg threw away several potentially interesting ideas and concepts to make nothing more than a hi-tech remake of Pinocchio.

6) Driven

Let me explain my disdain for Driven by saying this: I LIKE dumb movies. But not dumb movies that insult the audience's intelligence and take themselves seriously.

7) Blow

8) Freddy Got Fingered

Maybe Roger Ebert is right. Maybe in several years, this film will be recognized as a surrealist masterpiece, as the Bespectacled One wrote. But for right now, it's Grade-A crap; not only does it overstep the bounds of good taste, it gleefully runs right over the bounds and into another dimension, where a plot of land is urinated upon, thereby marking it as the new highest low in cinematic history. Grabbing a newborn by its umbilical cord and twirling it around (as Tom Green did in the film) is neither surreal nor funny...it's just pointless.

9) Tomb Raider

I am in the minority when I say that attempting to create detailed storylines for video games was one of the worst ideas ever. (If I want a deep, rich story I'll read a book or watch a film.) Likewise, trying to adapt a video game's plot to the screen is another "bright" idea that is guaranteed to fail. And Tomb Raider doesn't break the mold. While I want to shake the hand of the person who cast Angelina Jolie as Ms. Croft, I just wanna yell at everyone else involved with this production. A series of action pieces connected by the loosest of plots, chainsaw-like editing, and a general waste of time and talent for cast, crew and viewers. Oh well: at least the soundtrack was pretty decent.

10) Tomcats

Oh hell, you don't need to view my criticisms of this movie to find out why it was bad; just read the back of the video box and let logic take over.
I like shiny things. | 2002 Film List | Best & Worst of 2002 | 2003 Film List | 2004 Film List

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