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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Whyte, Dec 27, 2004.
Updated my list. Now includes M$B.
Replaced the placeholder with my Top 10 and runnerups. I'll be adding comments in the next few days. The list will probably change in the upcomng weeks and months as I see more and more of 2004 films in addition to 2005 films. Zachary Tait Freiesleben's Top 10 of 2004
Added M$B to my Top 10 at #1. It is far and away the best film of 2004 and that is saying something!
I'm a little short on the 40, but I still have some big ones to see in the next couple of weeks. Therefore this list is a work in progress, and I assume some of 6-10 could get pushed out. Top Ten of 2004 1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2. Finding Neverland 3. Closer 4. Sideways 5. Million Dollar Baby 6. House of Flying Daggers 7. Miracle 8. Garden State 9. Shrek 2 10. Ray
Revised list to insert "Million Dollar Baby" at #4, shifting everything below it down one ranking and dropping "Tengoku no Honya".
FYI, I'm finished entering 90% the films (a bit late - work hectic, sorry), I'm now going through everybody's list and checking off films seen. I started with Scott Weinberg and Bill Harris to get the majority of films; the rest will come quickly after that. This year more than the last 2 I've noticed a lot of films I've already categorized in a previous year showing up in this year's list. Hero is probably the most prominent. Unfortunately, because these films are tied to a previous year (and show up in that year's stats), they won't show up in the 2004 Top 10 stats if anybody has them marked (and I'm one of them - I had Hero as my #2 for the year). If I can I'll try and rework the procedure that filters the qualifying films to include 2003 films, but I won't promise it. I hope to have the full stats posted this week - thanks for everybody's patience!
Some films I enjoyed in 2004 and some comments thereon: The Girl Next Door - Disappointed that the grosses weren't higher for this gem. "What would JFK do? You know he'd tap that ass!" NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience - Informative (I didn't know that those engines are broken down, analyzed and re-built after every race), fun and freakin' LOUD! Super Size Me - Morgan Spurlock makes issues of public health and corporate politics accessible and entertaining, in no small part due to his affable personality ("I've got the McTwitches goin' . . ."). The film has its naysayers (and I engaged quite a few of them in the film's HTF discussion thread)--I'm stunned by how many people seemingly can't acknowledge what a terrific filmmaking hook the documentary has regardless of their issues with Spurlock's process and/or conclusions. But apparently the AMPAS agrees with me: I'm very happy for Morgan's Oscar nomination. Collateral - On second viewing on DVD over the Holidays, my issues with some storyline implausibilities and especially the third act (wherein a psychoexistential drama quickly becomes a Sherry-Lansing-wet-dream-woman-in-jeopardy-thriller) deepened. Based upon his writing of Heat and co-writing of The Insider, it certainly would seem to me that Michael Mann's co-writing this with Stuart Beattie might have ameliorated if not solved some of these problems as I see them. Be that as it may, I still like many things about the pic, from the cinematog (I need to see Aviator again to grip its period look better but I tentatively think that's the cinematog Oscar nom I'd bump in favor of this pic getting a nod); to Max's redemptive character arc; to Mann's second palpable, moody rendering of nighttime in Los Angeles. Woman Thou Art Loosed - Happy for Kimberly Elise's Best Female Lead Independent Spirit Award nom. I've been a fan of hers since one of my 1996 top 10s, Set If Off. Happy she's moved beyond playing second fiddle to/wife of the leading bruh (Manchurian Candidate, John Q); looking forward to seeing her in the lead in Diary Of A Mad Black Woman. "His Mercy Endureth Forever" is the most rousing closing credits crawl song I heard all year. Hotel Rwanda - Damn fine (Oscar-nominated) screenplay. Damn fine (Oscar-nominated) perf from Don Cheadle. The Control Room - Outstanding. And I just knew that the handsome, intelligent Lt. Josh Rushing would get drummed out of the military. The Corporation - Generally speaking, there wasn't a lot here that dutiful progressives/lefty cultural critics aren't already aware of if they were doing their reading during grad school or maybe undergrad. But this is a compelling presentation in one film of just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster - Ya' don' have to be a fan of 'tallica to dig this terrif docu. But it's even better if you are. I was ready for a concert/concert film at the end of this film when we're backstage with the band about to take the stage for their first concert after both Hetfield emerges from rehab and all the other things the pic takes us through. It was either of the directors, Bruce Sinofsky or Joel Berlinger, who told The Hollywood Reporter that that moment backstage was one of the most emotional he's experienced as a filmmaker. I think I felt exactly what he was talking about at that moment watching the pic. Can't wait to dig into the hours of deleted scenes on the recent DVD release. Happy that this got an Independent Spirit Award nom for Best Documentary. The Incredibles - I stopped picking my jaw up off the floor about halfway through, as I knew I would just have to pick it up again. It's like Spielberg and pre-Darth Lucas George making a Bond film using Marvel characters. Amazing, insane, hilarious, wonderful. This is something of a cheat, but I'm reserving a 'top 10' slot for several "political" documentaries I saw last year. The unprecedented, concentrated output of these pics collectively contributed to a sense of needed change in and increased quasi-mainstream awareness about the country/world we live in. Too bad it all wasn't quite enough come November 2. Fahrenheit 9/11 - Although you may find some of Moore's process/methods problematic (as I do), this movie was a sociocultural phenomenon. If you haven't seen it (and unless you have an eye on the home vid biz trades or perhaps the conservative press, you may not have even heard of it), add FahrenHYPE 9/11 to your Netflix Queue for a little ballast. The Hunting Of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign To Destroy Bill Clinton - No movie pissed me off more last year. At the time of the famous quote, I thought Hillary was proferring hyperbolic rhetoric when she said there was a "vast right wing conspiracy" out to get her husband Bill. After watching this pic, her comment is more difficult to dismiss. Outfoxed Orwell Rolls In His Grave - (This is also a little bit of a cheat: I saw a theatrical presentation of the DVD last year of this 2003 film.) Bush's Brain Random comments: Outstanding, once Ethan and Julie got in the car and finally expressed how upset and disappointed they both were with each other and their circumstances: Before Sunset. Two IMO Oscar-worthy perfs that did not get noms but which did get Independent Spirit Awards nods are Kevin Bacon for The Woodsman (that was a helluva lotta $$ spent on trade ads by Newmarket for this film to end up with no nominations whatsoever) and of course Paul Giamatti. I also thought Sean Penn was strong The Assassination Of Richard Nixon. And the Oscar for Most Frustrating Element Of a Pic goes to . . . Kinsey. If there's gonna be full frontal in a movie starring Chris O'Donnell, it needs to be Chris who does the freeballin', not Peter Sarsgaard. Still need to see: The Motorcycle Diaries Bad Education Beyond the Sea - Surprised and--based upon what I've read of his lengthy battle with the Bobby Darin estate to sing the songs himself--even though I haven't even seen it, disappointed that Spacey's labor of love received no Oscar nominations. A Very Long Engagement Persons Of Interest Hero And especially after looking at this thread, Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind. -p
Edited list to add Ray, which bumps Harry Potter. Jamie Foxx was fantastic, but I was a tad disappointed overall.
Wow. If you're saying that you were "disappointed overall" with one of the movies in your top ten, you need to see more movies.
I guess I'm saying I was disappointed because of the hype. The movie was very good, but I think that's almost entirely because of Foxx's performance. Removing that from the equation I felt the rest of the film was a little disappointing. That doesn't change the fact that it was a very good movie that is worthy of praise.
Moreso because of my issues with the script than hype, FWIW Todd, I agree with you re Ray. Foxx's perf is mos def on my list of bests in 2k4, but I had enough issues with Ray to keep it outta my top 10. -p
Ray certainly underwhelmed me. Foxx is great and the musical sequences are wonderful, but the rest is either hit and miss acting or just too glossed over for serious drama. If it was fiction instead of biopic I really think people would be panning this as just average. I notice that several other people are ranking Girl Next Door pretty high. I loved it and thought the retelling of Risky Biz was clever and well directed, but it has gotten blasted by some people. I just don't see that when I look at mistakes like Eurotrip or even Anchorman which are either straight sophmoric or inconsistant and bland filmmaking that merely let the actors play in front of the camera. On to my list, I'm adding Garden State at #9 of my list. M$Baby goes in at 12, and Passion of the Christ slots at 15 (which surprised me). I also reworked some other films in the top 20, Spidey2 slipped on a 2nd viewing by a few places, Kill Bill2 (like KB1) went up a couple of places on its 2nd viewing. I have 21 films before I drop off to films that are too flawed for me to either love or respect, and that is about 10-15 short of a good year unfortunately. Then again, its still 21 new films that affected me greatly in some way which is still a good thing. I have Rwanda, Long Engagement and Vera Drake on deck. Village on DVD next week. But my top 10 is probably wrapped up at this point.
I need to adjust my top 10 to add Rosenstrasse and possibly He Hate Me. Shaun of the Dead will get bumped, and possibly The Five Obstructions. I still have a ton of movies to see. I haven't seen The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, or Hotel Rwanda, not to mention A Very Long Engagement, Vera Drake, Ray, or several others. I'm hoping to see Moolade this week, along with either Million Dollar Baby or seeing Bad Education again. I really need to see Bad Education again before writing about it or deciding whether to add it to my top 10. It is quite a complex film I've had trouble digesting.
Good news (of a sort) - I am *nearly* finished entering everybody's top 10 (I promise!). Barring a series of unfortunate events on Monday, I guarantee it will be posted sometime in the eve tomorrow. Work has been so hectic with my co-worker having been called on jury duty most of the week last week, and him on vacation 2 weeks before that, plus the holidays ... it's been a nasty January, I've had zero time to do much else, even in my spare time. Thankfully I'm all caught up in most other things, and I'm nearly caught up with the stats, too. One thing I noticed, even though I'm not all the way through the list: There definitely are fewer participants this year than last (there were 74 last year I think), plus those that did participate have posted many fewer titles than they did last year. Thankfully we have the likes of Scott Weinberg and Bill Harris to ensure I have a very full database of titles to type in. Just in case the final tallies change by the time I get to the last entry tomorrow (sure seems like an eternal amount of time has passed entering them, too! I doubt I've seen much sunshine since I've started all of this!) I won't divulge the details. But the #1 spot has the #2 slot beat by just less than twice as much. Mind you, things could change by the time I'm through ... but it'd have to take an Incredible stroke of fortune for the next one on the list to take the lead. Stay tuned...
1. Spiderman 2 2. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring 3. The Aviator 4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 5. Before Sunset 6. Touching the Void 7. Sideways 8. Million Dollar Baby 9. The Incredibles 10. Spartan ~T
Thanks for all the unpaid work, Dana, but is there something amiss with your computer keyboard? Also noticed the lack of participation--it looks like we're down at least a dozen lists from last year. I wonder if it's in part due to a continuing trend of failed expectations (or more bluntly, titles that stunk) from rehashed studio pictures, coupled with lack of availability of the more acclaimed, smaller "indie" releases in non-metropolitan theaters...such that these limitations and disappointments just dissuade HTFers from bothering to compile a list of banality and rubbish.
Wow... Dana. Looking forward to seeing those incredible statistics. Thanks for putting so much of your time and effort into it.
I sorted out the rest of my list, so far I've seen forty films, of the ones I've not seen, Mean Creek and Ray are highest priorities to watch, maybe getting that blockbuster-sic-netflix tryout for those two. here's my top 20 + 1
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Passion of the Christ
Million Dollar Baby
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Collateral 4 star runner-ups
The Village 3.5 films:
Spider-man 2 3.0 films:
America's Heart and Soul