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December 27, 2005

Too Many Movies: 2005 Edition

Now that it's time to review the year, I realize that I have seen far too many mediocre movies. I've probably eaten too many hamburgers as well. The thing is, you don't recognize the extent of the poisoning until you take in a full view. So here's the litany.

Jarhead, Transporter 2, Domino, Chicken Little , Unleashed, Sahara, The Interpreter, Four Brothers, Serenty, Batman Begins, Sin City, Star Wars III, Wallace & Grommit, Constant Gardener, Lord of War, The Island, Corpse Bride, The Pacifier, Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire, Rize, War of the Worlds, Madagascar, Hitchhiker's Guide,Constantine, Be Cool, Assault on Precinct 13.

There are only about four of these films that were worth seeing. So they'll be my top films of the year and remind me that I've got to leave the junk alone. Understand that I go to see big screen films that are visual and auditory experiences. I'm really not down for art flicks nor message movies, although I did go see Hotel Rwanda last year. I have grown somewhat intolerant of movie fiction in the literary cast. I used to be a big fan of them but these days I simply can't stomach any pretense in film, and it seems to me that most 'important' films are overly pretentious. Still, I'll probably go see Syriana and be disappointed anyway.

1. Serenity
This was unqualifyably my favorite flick of the year. A big surprise in plenty of good ways. I was supposed to get the Firefly boxed set for Xmas but maybe I was too naughty this year.

2. Lord of War
A textbook exercise in storytelling that takes me into a credible vision of a world I think I know but don't. That to me is perfect entertainment. This one was very grownup with no simpleminded characters. Very nicely done.

3. Sin City
This was a brilliant looking film but man was the dialog crummy. I don't know how they missed that so thoroughly. I'll probably end up with the DVD of this one simply because it's so unique.

4. War of the Worlds
This is the first movie to deal with horror appropriate to the mindblowing that was 9/11. It also confirmed that I absolutely cannot stand Tom Cruise as an actor. It should have been Willam Dafoe.

5. Madagascar.
I like to move it, move it. It was as good as it promised to be. What more could you ask for?

The worst movies?

Chicken Little was pure PC drivel from end to end, but at least the first part of it was funny. The end was horrible.
Jarhead was a complete waste of film - an insult to soldiers and citizens.
Domino was pure incoherent excess. It did look good in spots though.

Honorable Mentions:

I have a feeling that King Kong will be close to great but I haven't seen it.
Harry Potter was what it was supposed to be, so was Star Wars.
Sahara was a pleasant surprise for the kids
Rize. Yeah.

Posted by mbowen at December 27, 2005 04:09 PM

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Oh man! I thought Sin City's dialog was on-point. I absolutely loved the over-the-top dialog in many scenes. Perfect.

Posted by: T-Steel [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 04:43 PM

I liked "Serenity" OK. "I swallowed a bug."

You didn't take the kids to see the Narnia movie?

Posted by: Laura [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 04:54 PM

Check out Narnia.

Posted by: Lottajota at December 27, 2005 09:04 PM

Just saw "Syriana" on Xmas Day. Good movie, especially Clooney, but a bit too dry in parts. Check it out, if for no other reason than to be prepared for when the conspiracy theorists start telling you it's solid proof that all foreign policy is about oil, etc.

Posted by: Kirk at December 28, 2005 04:57 AM

Syriana wasn't bad, it's both stylish and challenging. Be prepared to see it twice tho.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 09:31 AM

Syriana was cool, but King Kong was the movie that really tried my patience.

Posted by: Rashid Z. Muhammad at December 28, 2005 06:27 PM

The reason the dialogue in "Sin City" was so bad is that they copied the dialogue from the graphic novels. Frank Miller is a great comic creator, but dialogue is not his strong point.

Spider-Man showed the world how to translate a comic character to the movies.

Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning are both aliens. I expected their human faces to peal away at any moment. Dafoe would have been a perfect protagonist for this movie.

And don't waste your time going to see King Kong. Of you MUS see it, arrive an hour late. You will miss nothing.

Posted by: American Guesser at December 28, 2005 07:25 PM

Yeah I don't know how it has been that we haven't done Narnia yet. We're due. But first I have to take the Spousal Unit out for her birthday.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 08:44 PM