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2004 Film List

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Whyte, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Updated with the second weekend of the Boston Film Fetival:

    #97: Dead & Breakfast - [​IMG][​IMG]½ - A fitfully funny blood & guts (you can't really call it horror) comedy.
    #98: Man Dancin' - [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]½ - A good riff on Jesus of Montreal set in Glasgow.
    #99: King of the Corner - [​IMG]½ - Boring mid-life crisis movie.
    #100: The Boys From County Clare - [​IMG][​IMG]¾ - Works better when it's trying to be a cute comedy than a serious drama; features an actual Colm Meaney leading role.
    #101: Kontroll - [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]½ - Vaguely like a Danny Boyle movie set in the Budapest subway system. Nifty.
    #102: Duane Incarnate - [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]¼ - A thin, but funny, comedy of jealousy.
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    2 more, again I'll try and slowly add longer reviews to the alternate thread as I get time:

    Coffee & Cigarettes - C+ (aside from the humorous Alfred Molina/Steve Coogan segment, a mostly dull affair with segments ranging from ok to unwatchable)

    Carandiru - C (Don't trust the outstanding trailer. Poorly structured Brazilian prison film with a social message. Skip and rent Bus 174 instead)

    On Deck: Mean Girls
     
  3. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Mean Girls - My first exposure to the Lindsay Lohan phenomenon was not an unpleasant experience. The first hour of the film is an often funny, to my mind fairly accurate depiction of human relationships through the exaggerating comedy lense. I could have done without the attempts at surrealism by having humans literally become slavering animals, but otherwise, this section of the film was enjoyable. Most of the characters have more dimension than is usually seen in today's teen films.

    However the last half hour devolves into an eye-rollingly weak "message" picture that wrecks the bite and cynicism that had been developed. Happy endings all around so that our teen audience can feel good and forget about the ickiness of self-examination. B-
     
  4. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    I've finally updated my list with a few films I've seen in the past few weeks. That including the good zombie film, the terrible zombie film, and the film that has been delayed two years by MGM.
     
  5. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    While in LA I was able to add 3 new films.

    DVD projected by Universal for the HTF meet...
    Van Helsing
    1 of 10

    Very likely one of the 3-4 worst scripts of the last 5 years. I heard a vampire say "Too bad. So sad," for chrissake. Sommers must be stopped before he can outdo Michael Bay.

    I appreciated that Universal took some time to spend on us, but it was pretty clear that they totally misunderstood what the HTF group was about. They should have presented their latest classic monster DVD box efforts and briefly tied that into Van Helsing, rather than trying to win us over with one of their worst film efforts in years.


    Then I wanted to see a film at Grauman's, but we got off the wrong subway stop and by the time we walked back we had to settle for Mann's 6 instead. Better than stuff in Indy, but crap compared to the really top theaters I've been to.

    So that didn't help me enjoy...
    Sky Captain...
    7.5 of 10

    I liked the art direction/FX of the film, but generally speaking the script was just terribly thin. There is almost nothing to the film, as though it was lacking scenes to fill out and space the film better. The hurried "highlights" version that was presented just didn't feel like a full script. It looked good and the general premise was great, it just needed more time and perhaps less settings/situations for a better story pace.


    But we ended the week hitting the Arclight. I messed up and thought it was on Hollywood instead of Sunset which cost us the first 5+ minutes (and normally they might not seat you then) but we had good reserved seats so it was still worth it. BTW, the place was sold out which made those reserved seats even better.

    Theaters of similar quality that I've seen - Cinerama in Seattle, Grauman's (classic style), Astor in Times Square (now closed)...and that's it. Add in the reserved seating and general presentation attitude and it's got to be the best theater in America.

    That made it all the more fun to enjoy...
    Shaun of the Dead
    8.5 of 10

    The first 2 acts are stellar, even though I missed several of the more clever references the first time around. The only thing that keeps it from rating higher is that it gets a little to into being a zombie flick in the final act which dilutes the humor. However it does come back strong for the final few minutes. It also features one of the most impressive scenes of gore I've seen even in serious horror flicks, for what that's worth.


    The national meet was great and was filled with a lot more activities this time than it was in 2000, which cut into my planned film viewings. But as of now I swear that any LA trip in my future will involve as many runs to the Arclight as I can manage.
     
  6. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Updated with a few films over the last few days.

    Resident Evil: Apocalypse - **½/*****
    Not as awful as I was expecting, but that's not saying much. I did think it was better than PwsA's other flick AvP. Man was that Nemesis make-up cheesy, though. Ug.

    Hustle - *½/*****
    The crappy ESPN biopic. Trying to conjure up words to describe it's crappiness makes my head hurt. Tom Siezmore was okay, but put off a creepy vibe most of the time.

    Wimbledon - ***½/*****
    Nothing new here, but Paul Bettany was really likable. Same ol' story told the same ol' way, but enjoyable none-the-less.
     
  7. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I also got to check out a copy of Man on Fire (thx Peter and Fox).

    Man on Fire
    8 of 10

    To me Tony Scott is like the good version of Michael Bay. He has been touched by the Bruck style but has managed to forge his own style within it, as well as adding in bits of style from other sources including Ridley's work. The results are films like True Romance, Enemy of the State and Man on Fire.

    The style serves the harsh tone of the subject and character, adding to the intensity of the more violent scenes (in a rather Tarintino fashion of "less seen") and the confusion, emotional and otherwise, of Denzel's character.

    And I enjoyed the subtitle touches and how they emphasized certain moments. Scott still goes for a little too much pop filmmaking at times to rate it higher, but it's a strong effort.
     
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Updated with the terrific Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (****½/*****). It's a shame that more people aren't seeing this.
     
  9. Joe Kamsan

    Joe Kamsan Stunt Coordinator

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    Updated my modest-sized list with the pleasant though unremarkableThe Terminal . Hanks can still elicit a laugh from me with the right type of sight gag yet the film felt like a clumsy attempt at an Truffaut-type comedy. Hanks' character is an easy-going, in-over-his-head guy getting into adventures, befriending the airport employees and even landing a job, all this while mangaging an elusive love interest. Watch for one moment that seems to have been lifted straight from Stolen Kisses. Too lovey-dovey and didn't have enough bite, though I still give it a B .

    Meanwhile, a movie that totally surprised me was The Village. I went into this movie with no expectations; I had seen the trailer only twice but felt no urgency to go see it. All those factors probably helped my enjoyment of this movie, which in retrospect, does not entirely play fair with the audience. However, overlook the 'gimmick' to see it as a conceit pivotal to understanding the protaganist.
    The audience knows that the threat of the monsters is not real, though it still remains real enough for Ivy, whose decision to embark on the journey - all for the sake of love - is made that much more corageous. So in a nutshell, even though there weren't any monsters, there were [​IMG]

    A film that has mood and atmosphere in spades. I give it a A-.
     
  10. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    Updated my list with:

    The Bourne Supremacy (***1/2/****)

    Mean Girls (***/****)

    I'm up to 25 now. Usually I'm at about a movie a week by this point of the year, but finances are making me choosy about movies to see.
     
  11. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Finally updated the list with 15 films after a 2-month absence; my new job prevented me from regularly revising the list, but now that I'm used to normal working hours, I should be able to do bi-weekly/monthly updates.
     
  12. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Added 3:

    Supersize Me: At times this is powerfully compelling material that is the rare piece of cinema that could actually change someone's life. It presents further affirmation of the human penchant for self-destruction. But director Morgan Spurlock's "style" is a carbon copy of Michael Moore, for better and for worse. The smugness, the trotting out of "local color" for audience amusement, the self-congratulatory tone of the latter sections of the film, all are straight out of the Moore school of filmmaking. B

    The Alamo: Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, and Jason Patric do their best to try and carry this otherwise limp and disappointing retelling of The Alamo story. The politics are ill-defined, the side characters are little more than line readers, and even the battle scenes are lacking in energy and direction. Thorton's Davy Crockett and Quaid's Sam Houston can singlehandedly make scenes compelling viewing but they can't cause a film with inadequate direction to gel into a satisfying whole. B-

    Shark Tale - Like Shrek 2 this morally ambigous, barely-there story, serves only to keep Dreamworks from bankruptcy, attract product placement fees, and reference other, better movies. Sample Martin Scorsese dialogue: "Pound it dog!" (or is that dogg or dawg?) Easily the worst movie I've had the displeasure to sit through this year. Even my kids were bored. D
     
  13. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Updated my list with the craptastic Shark Tale and the all style, no substance Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
     
  14. Raymond_H

    Raymond_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Updated with a nice size of 04 films, and 1 theater entry with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow it was nice for what it was, but the writing and some of the acting was sometimes unbearable. Still for the most part the movie was enjoyable.

    Ray
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  16. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Updated my list with the fantastic Motorcycle Diaries.
     
  17. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Along Came Polly
    6 of 10

    It wasn't particulary hilarious or anything, in fact if it has a problem its that it can't decide what sort of film it wants to be. But it did stay away from a bit of the formula cliche by not having Anniston or Stiller change beyond all belief (nor have them get married). I think the film would have been better if it committed more to Stiller resolving his own hang-ups rather than continually flip-flopping into gross-out silly comedy.

    But since the trailers implied that it was all gross-out silly I guess I was impressed that it was sometimes more than that. That might be why it got a 6 out of me instead of a 4 or 5. Mostly its bland, retread humor.
     
  18. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Updated my list with the brilliant Team America: World Police.
     
  19. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    I'm slowly coming back down to earth from the behemoth known as the Vancouver International Film Festival. In the course of around 19 days (15 during the fest and four of press screenings) I somehow managed to survive 74 films, which is not counting the 15 or so "other" films ("I [Heart] Huckabee's," "Shark Tale" and "The Forgotten", among others). What a great time I had constantly hanging around the Granville 7 in Vancouver and mixing it up with my friends, fellow filmgoers and filmmakers.

    Anyway. The list has had a massive update that took me about three hours. Bill Harris also has a whopper of an update too so check out both of our posts, which are far too long to summarize here.

    Jason
     
  20. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Shaun Of The Dead - An absolute blast, Shaun of the Dead deftly mixes comedy and zombies, while also being able to pull off weighty emotional content in surprisingly effective ways. I loved how the film opened with a montage of shots suggesting that humanity doesn't need to be turned into zombies, we've already done it to ourselves! Shaun is an outstanding character, a slacker going nowhere in life until faced with a challenge he can't escape from and finds the power within himself to become a hero. The strong relationships between the characters win our sympathy. Unlike most horror films, it is genuinely affecting when the characters die (well, except for the twat ) or are placed in harm's way.

    It also does a very good job of introducing the story. It takes its time and gives things to us in bits and pieces, rather than just throwing us into the fire. The filmmakers impressively capture a disintegrating world on a budget. Lots of jokes, good action, good makeup and gore effects, even good small-scale CGI use. Wow, I have 2 zombie films in my top 10 right now. A-

    Friday Night Lights - One of the best sports films in recent memory, it is best at capturing the mood of the small town who's life revolves around their football team and the way our expectations as fans overwhelm the humanity of the players on the field. The film is great at portraying the sportstalk/chat room mentality where players are heroes and coaches geniuses when they win, and the next week those heroes and geniuses suck and have forgotten everything they seemingly knew because of a different outcome in the game.

    The film is spotted with fine performances, Derek Luke as the heartbreaking Boobie Miles, Lucas Black as the conflicted quarterback, Billy Bob Thorton's nuanced Coach Gaines, who understands the political games he has to play, but doesn't let it effect who he is. The ultra creepy character played by Tim McGraw, trying to live through the son he is constantly disappointed by, because his own life never shown brighter than when he was 18 years old.

    Director Peter Berg makes a nice switch from the usual in-your-face hyper editing of recent football films with a handheld, documentary style reminiscent of the gritty style of behind the scenes football programs on ESPN and NFL Network. The football scenes are very well done and realistically portray the energy and ability to absorb pain that playing football requires. Like any good sports movie, he generates legitimate emotion and "chill scenes" on the field.

    His only mistakes are in casting too wide a net in his adaptation. He tries to include too many players, as if he felt he had to identify somebody to follow on the defense, but was unwilling to commit the time to really tell us anything about them. The script alludes to several things that could have made interesting subplots, the QB's golddigger girlfriend, racism in the town, college recruiting, or the boosters, but these are things we see briefly and are left undeveloped. Also, Berg can't quite resist some of the hoary sports movie cliches during the end of the film (post "big game) that he managed to avoid for most of the running time.

    Very good, one of the best Hollywood films I've seen so far this year, but doesn't reach the pantheon of classic sports movies like Rudy or The Natural. B+
     

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