2003 Film List

Brook K

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You're right. Looks like I also need to bring The Man Without A Past forward, which was a much better film than Nowhere In Africa, but Nowhere is a typical "safe" choice.
Nowhere In Africa - B
The Man Without A Past - A-
Next Up: Millenium Actress
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Okay, Jason S. is right. I was getting the one-week qualifier confused with the Best Foreign Film rules. Sticking with my criteria, both COG and NIA are considered 2003 films.

Thanks, guys.

~Edwin
 

ZacharyTait

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I've been meaning to add my list since January to this thread and just never did. Better late than never, I say!
Total Movies seen: 63
Top Movies of 2003
4 Stars
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
Finding Nemo
Lost in Translation
Better Luck Tomorrow*
City of God
The Man on the Train*
In America
21 Grams
Monster
3 1/2 Stars
Bend it like Beckham
Mystic River
Whale Rider*
Thirteen
Matchstick Men
American Splendor
Dirty Pretty Things
All the Real Girls*
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
The Italian Job
X2: X-Men United
Bruce Almighty
Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl
The Rundown
Bad Santa
The Last Samurai
Hollywood Homicide*
Intolerable Cruelty
May*
Identity*
Shanghai Knights*
Kill Bill Volume One
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Open Range
28 Days Later
Elf
School of Rock
American Wedding*
The Cooler
Good Thief*
Shattered Glass*
Fog of War
Something's Gotta Give*
3 Stars
The Hulk
Daredevil*
S.W.A.T.*
Seabiscuit*
Runaway Jury*
Swimming Pool*
Big Fish*
2 1/2 Stars
Tears of the Sun
Old School*
The Core*
The Missing*
2 Stars
Down with Love*
Underworld*
0 Stars
The Life of David Gale*
Bad Boys 2
Legally Blonde 2*
Dumb and Dumberer*
Texas Chainsaw Massacre*
Cat in the Hat*
*1st viewing of movie was on DVD, not in the theater
Movies I need to see on DVD that I didn't see in the theater
Cold Mountain
House of Sand and Fog
The Barbarian Invasions
Big Fish
Brother Bear
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Bubba Ho-Tep
Love Actually
Shaolin Soccer
Triplets of Belleville
Mona Lisa Smile
Paycheck
Peter Pan
City of Ghosts
The Recruit
Phone Booth
Gods and Generals
A Man Apart
LXG
Daddy Day Care
Anger Management
Confidence
The Order
The Hunted
Bringing Down the House
Basic
Head of State
Veronica Guerin
Dark Blue
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Spider
Poolhall Junkies
Irreversible
Laurel Canyon
Nowhere in Africa
Dreamcatcher
Raising Victor Vargas
Lilya 4-Ever
Capturing the Friedmans
Sweet Sixteen
Holes
And Now...Ladies and Gentlemen
Anything Else
Asassination Tango
Autumn Spring
Buffalo Soldiers
The In-Laws
L'Auberge Espanol
Levity
Magdalene Sisters
Man Without a Past
A Mighty Wind
Navigators
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Owning Mahony
Pieces of April
Prozac Nation
Secondhand Lions
The Shape of Things
The Singing Detective
Together
Winged Migration
Wonderland
Casa De Los Babys
Dancer Upstairs
Freaky Friday
Human Stain
Jet Lag
Le Divorce
Mambo Italiano
Sinbad
Spellbound
Sylvia
Under the Tuscan Sun
Alex and Emma
Beyond Borders
Bulletproof Monk
Gigli
Gothika
Haunted Mansion
In the Cut
Just Married
Medallion
Northfork
View from the Top
What a Girl Wants
Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Stuck on You
Man, do I have some catching up to do!
 

Jason Seaver

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As for City of God not being here, since it was released in NY/LA in 2002, I put it on Best of 2002 list at #3 overall.
Except it wasn't; it played some festivals (where I saw it), but Miramax didn't give it a US release until January '03; filmreleases.com shows a 17-Jan-03 NY/LA release, a 24-Jan-03 wider/limited release, and that's all.
 

ZacharyTait

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Just saw Better Luck Tomorrow. A masterpiece. Justin Lin is a name to watch out for. I'll be eagerly looking forward to his next movie. The cast was excellent. I recognized Steve as one of the MILF guys from the AP movies right away. The cinematography was breath-taking. I couldn't belive some of the shots that were pulled off, especially the one in the garage of the camera circling the three guys. Those that have seen it, know what I'm talking about.

Except it wasn't; it played some festivals (where I saw it), but Miramax didn't give it a US release until January '03; filmreleases.com shows a 17-Jan-03 NY/LA release, a 24-Jan-03 wider/limited release, and that's all.
Since everywhere I've looked has City of God as a 2003 release, I'm gonna put it on my best of 2002 and 2003 list.
 

Brook K

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Millenium Actress - The premise of a defunct movie studio making a documentary about its most famous actress is an intesting one, but the execution did not work very well for me. While I was generally interested in the story of her life and enjoyed the animated take on some of the genres of Japanese film, the continuous use of the filmmakers as not only observers, but commentators and even participants within the historical story fell flat for me. Their comic relief or even just their continual aghast expressions often gave poor punctuation to what would have been an emotional scene without their presence. B-
Next rental: Dark Blue
 

Edwin Pereyra

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers - Special Extended Edition fleshes out some of the characters even more while setting it up for a very satisfying finale.
Next Up: Babí léto (Czech Republic)
~Edwin
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Bruce Almighty – With over $240M in its box office till, I can certainly see why it played so well, especially in the Bible belt states, more so probably for its theology than for its comedy. But its messages serves more to reinforce rather than an as a full fledge revelation, while its comedy wanes.
~Edwin
 

Brook K

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Edwin, send back Bruce Almighty, its out of stock for me.

The Cooler: I highly, highly recommend "The Cooler". Featuring a dual storyline, the primary portion is William H. Macy's "Cooler" character, a man with such bad luck that it rubs off on anyone he gets near, making him a perfect casino employee. But he has a hollow, nothing life of disappointment and mistakes. In meeting a cocktail waitress played by Maria Bello, he finds hope for something better. The other part of the story is about the battle between the new family theme Vegas (represented by Ron Livingston of Office Space fame) and the old school gangster Las Vegas rep'd by casino owner Alec Baldwin.
The rest of my review is in the Indie thread. This is going on my top 10 list: A-
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Brook, its on its way. My Netflix dictribution center shows it being available. It's interesting to see where this film is in such high demand.

Vladimír Michálek’s Babi Leto (Czech Republic).
Next Up: Return Of The King
~Edwin
 

Brook K

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Very interesting Edwin, it's a long wait in my queue.
Dark Blue: Corrupt cops in Rodney King torn '92 LA. A pretty good 2 hours spent with Ron Shelton's by-the-book direction and a quality Kurt Russell performance. Russell's character is by far the most nuanced part of the film - a corrupted man who is not so corrupt that he doesn't know right from wrong, but too far gone to do the right thing. until the speechifyin' ending that is
B-
 

Arman

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Updated my list with or should I say ...
And the winner is ... Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King A+ (
 

Seth Paxton

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The Station Agent
7.5 of 10
It's a adequately directed film with a good story, not quite as good script. It suffers a bit from small film syndrome in that it feels as small as its budget probably was, it plays down to its own level rather than exceeding it like the greater small indy films are able to.
Peter Dinklage really carries the film with the one truly strong performance to be found in it. Much of the rest, the other acting, the writing, even the editing and direction show amateurish qualities which restrict the film from being as sublime as the basic premise and story might have allowed.
Worth seeing with a more interesting and honest ending than Hollywood would be willing to leave you with, but that's not enough to expect a life-altering viewing out of the film.
Return of the King
10 of 10
My review is in the official thread, about 5 down on the first page (too lazy to paste in the link right now). Best film of the year and definitely stronger than the first two installments, even without the resolution that this film has to offer.
 

Seth Paxton

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City of God - yes, it is up for all the other Oscar fields EXCEPT FF since it was submitted and passed over for that last year (2002 home country release but a 2003 Oscar qualifying US release).

This was considered a gamble and mistake by the studio since they didn't get it run in time for last years other Oscars but then put it out way too early for a small film for the next year's Oscars.


I would agree with Edwin that Gangs of NY was a similar film that was enjoyable and even had very good moments, yet was also highly (and frustratingly) flawed. However, I think Scorese's mistakes ring more like confused efforts while those of TLS are more in line with comfortable cliches, and I would always side more with confused but interesting mistakes over tired cliches as the backbone of a film (or scene).

As a popcorn film TLS is enjoyable enough, thus the 7 rating, a "matinee, first run" rating but not worth the evening prices.

The only reason I compare a film to another film is when they have an obvious genre, narrative, star, director, or other connection, never to "promote" one film over another. Historical period action epics is a pretty specific category which happens to include both M&C and TLS, as well as DWW and Gladiator. There may be variations in how much they are trying to align to such a genre, but clearly none of those films is trying to be Amelie or Chicago, for example. Thus, I don't compare to those film (or City of God or X-Men 2, and so on).
 

Mark Pfeiffer

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Hmm, I had City of God as 2003 and Nowhere in Africa and Spider as non-qualifying 2002. So you're telling me I can push at least one of those to the 2003 list? I can't keep anything straight with the number of screenings over the last week and a half...

A major update, not to mention one that pushes me to a new all-time high. Plus, I just signed up for Netflix, so those DVD viewings may be increasing next year.

Grades for films seen at this time of year may be revised once I get the chance to revisit some of them. Seeing so many in such a short period of time makes separating them all the more difficult. (Yeah, boo hoo, right?)

Looking like three more theatrical releases for me this year (Mona Lisa Smile, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, and Bus 174) since I've seen everything else that should be opening.
 

Arman

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A major update, not to mention one that pushes me to a new all-time high. Plus, I just signed up for Netflix, so those DVD viewings may be increasing next year.
Grades for films seen at this time of year may be revised once I get the chance to revisit some of them. Seeing so many in such a short period of time makes separating them all the more difficult. (Yeah, boo hoo, right?)
Right! I (started Netflixing & visiting our local library again for 2 weeks now) have these exact same agenda added in my film planner/schedule but (in spite of 200+ 2003 films I've seen) unlike Mark I have lot of 2003 films catching-up to do.
 

Seth Paxton

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It's the S&S list and various catelog viewings (and Tivo viewings) that are killing my 2003 viewings so far. But I'm on a hot streak (for a non-reviewer), so I should still hit at least 100+ before the Oscars.
Speaking of City of God, too bad the release got pushed from Decemeber into next year.
Lost in Translation
8.5 of 10
It's a very nice performance from both Scarlett and Bill, yet at the same time it's exactly what I've come to expect from both. That's not a knock, just a lack of surprise on my end. Between them I'd say Scarlett does more to earn an Oscar nom, but Bill's character is nice. I'd say his effort in Rushmore is still the stronger role, but whatever, it's all good.
What was most likeable about LiT was it's approach to romance and how circumstances and surroundings can affect that, among other themes to be found in the film. It's actually one of the stronger romances I have seen in some time (add to that Bill's comedy charm), especially in the area of realism in what actions can and can not be taken.
In that way the film most reminded me of the father's story from Yi Yi.
 

ZacharyTait

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Just updated my list to reflect that I saw Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Bad Santa, and Last Samurai.

ROTK is hands down, the best film of the year. As great as Reloaded and Revolutions were, ROTK towers over everything else.

Bad Santa joins Christmas Vacation and It's a Wonderful Life as a Christmas classic I'll enjoy watching every year. It's vulgar, yet funny.

Last Samurai was terrific as well. Gorgeous cinematography, terrific choreography in the battle scenes, and wonderful performaces from all around. Tom Cruise shows he can do just about anything. He more than makes up for his last period epic, Far and Away. Ken Watanabe should be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
 

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