best films of the year?

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best films of the year?

Postby TerraFrost » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:56 am

well, here they are, atleast according to dark horozons...

The Top Ten of 2003 :

10. "Kill Bill: Volume I"
"Tarantino is back with his most polished and yet slightly empty effort yet. 'Bill' is a kinetic and quite often stunning homage to those 70's kung fu flicks but combines many a genre and inspiration to deliver one of the more breathtaking B-movies in a long time..." (full review)

9. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
"'Pirates' is a great Summer adventure movie but not for the reasons you may think. Like all of Bruckheimer's movies its quite fast paced, full of massive action sequences, contains a solid (if slightly juvenile) sense of humour, and has some picturesque locales. However one man mames this movie and his name is Johnn Depp who camps it up to a volume of 11..." (full review)

8. "Phone Booth"
"A superbly taut and tight little thriller, "Phone Booth" is a high concept project which is executed with precision and for the most part works perfectly, one of those films which is so simple and yet so compelling that even those who've little desire to make film will be slapping their heads thinking "now why didn't I come up with this?"...." (full review)

7. "X2: X-Men United"
"This is a sequel which lives up to and in a few ways exceeds its predecessor. Without the necessity of character introduction exposition and with a much bigger budget on hand, the filmmakers have still taken great care and produced a shining example of blockbuster entertainment at its best - certainly its most rewarding and entertaining since "LOTR: The Two Towers" almost half a year ago..." (full review)

6. "The Last Samurai"
"Its been a while since we've had a great old fashioned epic involving warfare and one man's redemption. Ed Zwick's 'Samurai' delivers just that, its not the "Braveheart" that it wants to be, but what you have here is a superbly shot and reflective film with solid performances an stunning scenery..." (full review)

5. "Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World"
"A smart adult character drama which mixes equal amounts of realistically clever strategic action sequences, quiet moments of contemplation, and a meticulous attention to detail. Weir has proven one of the great filmmakers and this is amongst his best efforts since the likes of his early Australian work..." (full review)

4. "Lost in Translation"
"Simply incredible. A quite beautiful, quiet and yet subtley wacky movie about two lost souls who form a believable and unique friendship in one of the few remaining cultures on Earth that Westernisation hasn't yet torn apart. I rarely get emotional in any film but I was both smiling and in tears at the end..." (full review)

3. "Shattered Glass"
"'Glass' can be best summed up as a modern day "All the President's Men", a well-constructed piece about how trust can be so easily misplaced, how the illusion of a good story can be so much more compelling even to journos whose job it is to get it right before making it sound good. Truth may be stranger than fiction, in this case its far more interesting..." (full review)

2. "Finding Nemo"
"This is simply a perfect family film designed to appeal just as much to adults as to kids and pretty much exceeds even "Shrek" for the crown of best CG animated film ever. Dare I say this is a film in the league of "The Lion King" - a cinematic classic which live-action movies this year will have to struggle to grab the 'best film of the year' title. Simply the most entertaining movie you'll see all year...." (full review)

1. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
"When things come together so perfectly for a film its astonishing. There is absolutely no doubt that not only is this the film of the year, but one of the greatest 'epic' films of all time. A truly cinematic experience that you'll find practically impossible to forget and a more than fitting end to one of the greatest film franchises ever made..." (full review)
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Postby Nuxius » Sat Jan 10, 2004 7:36 am

Is this based on sales, or some reviewer's personal opinion?
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jan 10, 2004 8:43 am

some reviewer's personal opinion. in fact, based on current sales, finding nemo would have to be above return of the king (since finding nemo has been earning money for a tad longer than return of the king), and matrix reloaded would have to be second or third.
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Postby Nuxius » Sat Jan 10, 2004 9:37 am

Ahh, O.K. then.


Well, here's James Berardinelli's top 10 (the only movie critic I ever actually bother paying attention to, since he's the only one I usually agree with)


10. Finding Nemo:
Pixar has re-discovered the true meaning of the term "family film." It's great to be able to recommend a motion picture to viewers of all ages, and to give parents an option that they will enjoy as much as their kids. Finding Nemo isn't a rarity when you consider the source. Pixar hasn't had a dud yet, and this is one of their finest efforts, both in terms of vocal acting, animation, and storyline. Put this alongside Toy Story and Shrek (not from Pixar) as shining examples of what this kind of "new animation" can produce when it's done right.

9. The Last Samurai:
Edward Zwick scores another hit with this story of a broken man whose soul finds healing in a distant land. (This is not, as some have erroneously argued, about a white man saving the Japanese. Those who make that statement didn't take the time to figure out what the movie is about.) Borrowing themes and ideas from Braveheart, Dances with Wolves, and Glory (to name a few), Zwick fashions a compelling and emotionally stirring tale that pays homage to Akira Kurosawa. It's not a flawless motion picture, but its strengths vastly outweigh its weaknesses. Tom Cruise is solid as the protagonist, but supporting actor Ken Watanabe steals his scenes.

8. Irreversible:
This is a tough movie to sit through. However, to appreciate it, it needs to be watched twice. The first time, the experience is so visceral that much is missed. Consider it Memento on heroin. It's daring and violent, and will be too much for many potential viewers to endure. But there's tremendous power in the story and the images, and even a moral about violence begetting violence. Irreversible also illustrates how fragile happiness can be. When we have it, we should savor it to the fullest, as well as guard it jealously.

7. Mystic River:
Not as dark as Irreversible, but dark enough. Aside from the final two scenes, which might fit in the book but don't work on the screen, this is a nearly perfect meditation on grief, crime & punishment, guilt, and how the events of childhood shape our lives. It's Clint Eastwood's finest movie in years, and makes a compelling case that the actor-turned-director should concentrate all of his efforts on making movies rather than appearing in them.

6. House of Sand and Fog:
Make that three dark films in a row. House of Sand and Fog really got to me, primarily because it is so evenhanded in its portrayal of both sides of a struggle. What's particularly poignant in this case is that neither position is morally wrong and that some kind of tragedy is inevitable. House of Sand and Fog features some of the best top-to-bottom acting of the year. It may also stimulate the most interesting post-viewing conversations.

5. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not:
Never heard of it? You're in the majority. This small release, starring Audrey Tautou, slipped in and out of theaters early in the year, and is currently available on DVD and VHS. The film, which features a premise not often touched upon by feature films, is sort of an extreme Rashomon. To say any more would ruin one of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not's many surprises. This is a real hidden gem, one of 2003's best little-seen treasures.

4. Lilya 4-Ever:
Darker than Irreversible, Lilya 4-Ever takes the most possible bleak view of human nature. The film left me shaken and numb. (Yes, I have a propensity for grim films - made well, they often leave an indelible mark on the psyche.) There's an inevitability to the ending that is painful. Nevertheless, it's impossible to deny Lilya 4-Ever's power, and for those who want movies that offer more than light entertainment, this is not to be missed. I saw the film in late 2002 and almost made this #1 on last year's list. However, once I learned that a limited theatrical release was planned in early 2003, I deferred ranking it. (That means that four of this year's Top 10 would have been placed higher than last year's #1, Minority Report.)

3. 21 Grams:
Some have criticized 21 Grams' structure for diminishing the emotional impact of its tragic storyline. In my opinion, the jigsaw puzzle editing enhances the movie. The film's non-chronological approach will confound the inattentive viewer. We pay more attention that we ordinarily would, and this results in a clearer, deeper understanding of the characters. Distraction, even if it's momentary, will result in confusion and frustration. There are some people who don't like seeing subtitled movies because of the "effort" involved in reading. Even though 21 Grams is in English, those people should avoid it. The mental work required to assemble this movie into a coherent whole will be unmanageable for them.

2. Lost in Translation:
Had it been released in any recent year other than 2003, Lost in Translation would have been an easy #1. As love stories go, it's as beautiful and intelligent as it is unconventional. The characters are remarkably real. Their interaction never feels forced. And the acting is perfect (or nearly so). This movie is moving without being tragic, and powerful without inflicting pain. It is sublime and cerebral, the best "small" movie of 2003.

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:
An achievement to dwarf all others, The Return of the King isn't just a movie, it's an experience. Distilling the essence of this film into a few sentences is a fruitless effort. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which is capped off by this, the best movie of the three, will echo through the decades as a remarkable cinematic milestone. Directors will emulate Peter Jackson for years to come, seeking to capture the same kind of singular magic with which he infused this motion picture. Tolkien purists be damned! Combined with its predecessors, The Return of the King represents the best movie to reach multiplex screens in about ten years.
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:27 am

that list as a lot more foriegn / independant films than the list i posted (which, i believe, has none, heh)!

anyways, regarding one of those movies...

8. Irreversible:
This is a tough movie to sit through. However, to appreciate it, it needs to be watched twice. The first time, the experience is so visceral that much is missed. Consider it Memento on heroin. It's daring and violent, and will be too much for many potential viewers to endure. But there's tremendous power in the story and the images, and even a moral about violence begetting violence. Irreversible also illustrates how fragile happiness can be. When we have it, we should savor it to the fullest, as well as guard it jealously.


this review (specifically, the comments about how fragile happiness is) sorta reminds me of another (positive) review i read of this movie, in which the person reviewing said that this movie was good because it served as a reminder that people are capable of really horrible things (in the movie, the really horrible thing is the ~10 minute rape that occurs on screen). however, i would like to point out that too many such "reminders" will inspire nothing but xenophobia (fear of strangers) and agoraphobia (fear of the outside world), and sadly, america already has too much. also, i don't believe one can learn to appreciate the delicacy of life from a movie - rather, i believe one only learns it after they, themselves, experience something disasterly.
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Postby Icegaze » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:53 am

I hated "Finding Nemo" I thought it was going to be freakin hilarious and it turned out to be like all the other pixar movies. The ones you outgrow when your 10. Finding Nemo was a one time watch, but thats it.
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Postby TerraFrost » Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:07 am

best films of the year (and other things) according to zap2it.com...

Oddly enough this year, some of the movies that have made the Best List for some critics have made the Worst List for others. "Spanglish," "A Dirty Shame" and "I [Heart] Huckabees" had some people raving about them, and others scratching their heads. "The Passion of the Christ," "Shrek 2," "Spider-Man 2" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" made great waves at the box office, but ultimately didn't make many top 10 lists for the year.

Consider for example, that some arthouse films like "The Dreamers," "Dogville" and "Stage Beauty" were vilified by some critics and lavishly praised by others. Movies like "De-Lovely," "Being Julia" and "Ray" have all sorts of nominations at all sorts of awards shows but ultimately left audiences yawning.

And then, some movies, like "Catwoman," "Alexander" and just about anything Ben Affleck was in, were universally hated while others like "Sideways," "Finding Neverland" and anything that Jim Carrey was in, were universally praised.

Here are a few of Zap2it's highlights, and a few personal Zap2it favorites.

Puppet Movie Made with Live Action People
"Thunderbirds," based on the 1960s British marionette show which had more personality than this live-action version.

Puppet Movie Made About Live Action People
"Team America: World Police" spoofed much of liberal Hollywood as well as political leaders and Michael Moore.

Surprising Quirky Little Movies
"The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra"
"Latter Days"
"Head in the Clouds"

Great Foreign Language Movies
"Bad Education"
"House of Flying Daggers"
"Maria Full of Grace"

Movies About Real People
"The Sea Inside"
"Kinsey"
"Finding Neverland"

Movies About Real Musical People
"Beyond the Sea"
"De-Lovely"
"Ray"

Best Use of Colin Farrell
"A Home at the End of the World"

Worst Use of Colin Farrell
"Alexander"

Best Chance for Seeing Naked People
"Games People Play"
"A Dirty Shame"

Best Remakes
"Dawn of the Dead"
"Ladykillers"

Unfortunate Remakes
"Walking Tall"
"Stepford Wives"

What Were they Thinking Remaking This?
"Alfie"
"Around the World in 80 Days"

Good Sequels
"Spider-Man 2"
"Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban"
"Bourne Supremacy"

Unfortunate Sequels
"Scooby-Doo 2"
"Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London"
"Ocean's Twelve"

Zap2it's Best of 2004 List
1. "Phantom of the Opera"
2. "Kinsey"
3. "Finding Neverland"
4. "Motorcycle Diaries"
5. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
6. "Hotel Rwanda"
7. "The Merchant of Venice"
8. "The Incredibles"
9. "The Aviator"
10. "Alexander" -- controversial, but it's a decent epic with great battles.

Honorable mentions: "Shaun of the Dead," "Dogville," "Kill Bill 2," "House of Flying Daggers," "Million Dollar Baby," "The Sea Inside," "Woodsman," "The Dreamers," "Shrek 2," "The Assassination of Richard Nixon."
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Postby Drazo » Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:45 pm

Why is Finding Nemo so over rated? Is it as good as Shrek? As for Scooby-Doo 2....please, I wouldn't even go see it if I was offered £10,000! After watching the first one that put me off enough to avoid the second one like the plague.
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Postby Evlfrost » Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:33 pm

Drazo, I think I could suffer through a 2 hour movie for $18,836.70.

Why did they put Alexander at number 10? There was only one battle scene that was any good. I would put Troy ahead of Alexander if we are just looking for battle scenes.
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