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Part 1 of Moriarty's Look At 2001!Part 2 of Moriarty's 2001 List

Moriarty’s End of 2001 List!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

January is almost over, and I’ve spent the last few weeks catching up, seeing more movies than I can count, watching anything I could get my hands on that had even a modicum of critical buzz. There were a few titles that I missed for one reason or another, and a wicked case of pnuemonia over the last few weeks hasn’t helped, pretty much leaving me laid out. But now I think I can rest easy with the list I’ve put together, secure that I’ve made my best effort at sampling the year’s films of note, and I can say with authority that this list reflects the way I feel about the entirety of this very strange year just ending.

Of the 26 titles listed (my ten best list and the runners-up, with ties for several of the entries), nine of them were viewed at Sundance last year, a testament to just how strong a line-up of movies that was. Another three of them played at the Fantasia festival in Montreal this summer, two of them played at Butt Numb A Thon, and one of them never got a regular release in the US at all, meaning very few of these were films I saw in conventional theatrical engagements. I hate it when critics put together lists that seem to lean towards obscurity for the sake of it, but I can’t deny that these were the experiences I’ll remember from this year. These were the films that really affected me.

As always, I’ve broken things down so I can discuss the films, the runners-up, the 20 hours I want back (which isn’t to say they’re the worst films of the year... just the ones I enjoyed seeing the least), with separate discussions for the filmmakers and performances that enriched our time in the dark this year. I would remind you that the very nature of list making is personal, and this is not meant to be some sort of comprehensive "Best Of," since I don’t presume to speak of some empirical, demonstratable fact. This is all opinion, all just my particular tastes, and if it’s to serve any purpose, maybe it’ll steer you towards something you missed that you might enjoy.

With that in mind, let’s get started. I’m running backwards, counting down to my favorite film of the year.

THE RUNNERS-UP

20. CHAIN CAMERA

dir. Kirby Dick

I love documentaries. I think that’s what it boils down to. There’s something about the form that just makes me happy as a filmgoer. As much as I love handing myself over to a skilled writer/director of fiction, I also find there’s something almost intoxicating about watching someone’s best efforts to capture truth with a movie camera, a slippery process at best. It can take on almost Sisyphean dimensions of futility, since the very presence of a camera affects the reality of what we’re watching, but it’s that quandry that seems to force the best documentary filmmakers to come up with ways to try and make theselves invisible in the final picture.

Kirby Dick’s solution was to remove himself and his crew from the equation altogether. He went to John Marshall High School and handed out video cameras which were passed, once a week, from student to student, with each person spending their week putting together a video diary. When I saw this film at Sundance last January, I had no idea where John Marshall High School was in Los Angeles. Looking at the film, I don’t see anything of the daily life I experience in this city. But the high school turns out to be about a six minute drive from my front door, and this isn’t a glimpse at a world completely removed from mine. These lives are happening right now all around me, and the really remarkable thing about Dick’s accomplishment as a director and editor is how he took this mountain of rough footage he must have ended up with and somehow picked out moment after moment of simple, lucid truth. It is impossible to watch this film and not be affected by these young people. Their hopes, their fears, their goals in life... they’re all achingly recognizable, no matter where you grew up or how. The greatest films, fiction or documentary, are the ones that strike universal chords with viewers, and this is one of those movies.

READ MY ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!!

19. THE MAJESTIC

dir. Frank Darabont

Wow, am I out of step with the majority on this one. And even now, on the other side of the bloodbath, I don’t see what you got so worked up over. I’ve seen people put this on their "worst of the year" list, and that’s certainly their perogative. I maintain that this is of a piece with Darabont’s first two films, and that it fits very nicely into the filmography he’s building. I like Jim Carrey’s work in the film, and commend him for making what seems like a daring choice only when compared to the work he normally does: he is quiet in this film. There are long stretches of it where Pete (Carrey) only reacts, where he is an observer, and that’s a totally new role for Carrey. It’s in this new state of repose that Carrey becomes a real leading man.

Instead of trying to list other people’s problems and respond to them, I’m going to just restate the things that I like about the movie. I relate to Pete Appleton. It’s as simple as that. His love of movies, his desire to make movies, his ambition to write something good... those basic traits make me invest in this guy and root for him. The film is plot-crazy, overstuffed with plot, but it all coasts effortlessly by for me because of the cast and the way Darabont encourages this community of characters into Capra movie, SATURDAY EVENING POST life. He’s not making a movie that’s nostalgic for a real time and place, but is instead making a movie that is nostalgic for the trappings of nostalgia, that is in love with the shared artificial memories that movies have given us. In some ways, this is as post-modern and as self-reflexive a film as BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, and it might not even be something Darabont and screenwriter Michael Sloane, friends since high school, were aware of. I’m sorry that this particular picture postcard was rejected so harshly by so many, but remain confident that it will find its audience over time. It will be bitter irony indeed when a film that is so desperately in love with the experience of seeing a film on the bigscreen finds acceptance at home on video.

READ MY ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!!

18. SHAOLIN SOCCER

dir. Stephen Chow

When people accuse me of being too hard on films, or not being able to enjoy a film as pure entertainment, or being too hard on the scripts of movies, I am glad something like SHAOLIN SOCCER exists that I can point at to shut those people up. This is a movie that exists only to please, and the lengths it goes to in trying to accomplish that goal (pun not intended) are amazing to behold. It’s got an efficient set-up, with a legendary soccer player named Golden Leg Fung humiliated and injured by his enemy. We flash forward to the present day, where Golden Leg (Man Tat Ng) works for his enemy, humiliated over and over on a daily basis. His fortunes change, though, when he hooks up with Sing (Stephen Chow), a gifted shaolin fighter whose brothers have all gone their different ways. Golden Leg gets the idea to teach soccer to Sing and his brothers, putting together an unstoppable Shaolin soccer team. And the rest of the movie is a standard sports-movie formula. The team gets together. They have a rough time training, but finally do find their skills. They progress to the championship. It’s difficult, but they win. Celebration ensues. You certainly won’t be surprised by SHAOLIN SOCCER when you watch it.

This makes my list because of the pleasure that one gets from watching how Chow plays with the conventions of this formula. Because of the sheer joy of watching just how much fun soccer can be with the use of CGI and some remarkable martial arts choreography. This is film trickery for one purpose: to make you smile. There’s nothing Stephen Chow won’t do in this movie to entertain. A musical number featuring Mui (Vicky Zhao) early in the film is a complete left-turn, a bizarre one-time trick that somehow works beautifully. There’s a sequence involving Bruce Lee that is totally audacious and winning. Scene after scene, reality is redefined by Chow and his cartoon eye, and it all adds up to a movie that’s as pure a piece of cinema adrenaline as ENTER THE DRAGON or TOY STORY, and exists in a world somewhere between the two. Besides... the film would make it onto the list if only for the notion of its incredible last scene, a glimpse at a kung-fu world, reshaped by the simple good-natured wish of Sing. Walking down the sidewalk of that world for that last shot, I found myself filled with almost unbearable happiness. I want to live in a kung-fu world, and I love this movie. I hope you do, too.

17. MEMENTO

dir. Christopher Nolan

No mind game proved more fun to play this year, and Christopher Nolan deserves every bit of praise and buzz he’s gotten as a result of crafting this clever mind-bender that manages to say some very profound things about memory and the weight of the past.

So why isn’t it higher on my list?

I recently sat down to rewatch MEMENTO on DVD. For the older films on this list, I made my best effort to see them again before settling on where to place them, and with MEMENTO, I found that I was impatient sitting through it again. Much of the film’s impact for me was based on the discovery of watching it unfold, the kick of piecing it together and trying to make sense of all the levels that Nolan is playing with. And it stood up to rewatching once or twice for just that purpose. But now that I know what I think happened in the film, I find that I am left with a collection of puzzle pieces I’ve already assembled. The charge isn’t the same now. This is one of the inherent dangers of working in the "brain-teaser" genre. It’s very hard to make one of these films that stands up as a dramatic experience even after it’s been solved. There is some great work by the cast in this film, and it’s beautifully directed. I think Nolan is a major talent, and this is a film that should be seen by any serious film fan. But is it one I’ll continue to revisit in the future? Probably not with any frequency.

Doesn’t lessen it’s worth a bit. Just means there were films that are ultimately more dear to me from this year.

READ MY ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!!

16. THE BELIEVER

dir. Henry Bean

Guess what, America? As far as Henry Bean’s blistering drama THE BELIEVER is concerned, you got screwed. Just like with BATTLE ROYALE. And you know why?

Because you’re stupid.

Or maybe you’re just not grown-up enough to understand a film that deals in shades of grey when discussing matters of religion, race, and hatred.

At least, that’s what I assume America’s distributors think of you. That’s got to be why no one had the stones to handle this complicated, disturbing look at Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling), a Jewish skinhead who wrestles with issues of faith in his own life even as he acts out against his two different communities, that of his heritage and that of his hatred. It’s an astounding performance, and manages to make us believe the self-loathing we’re watching. So frequently, self-destructive characters are romanticized in movies, made ciphers. Gosling and writer/director Henry Bean manage to put us inside Danny Balint’s head, and we can see how this troubled kid has ended up this way, spun so sadly out of control.

Ultimately, the film’s harshest critics called it a "how-to guide for anti-semitism," managing to miss the point completely. Balint’s struggle in this film eventually leads him back to some sort of grace, even if it is ragged and sad. Not every soul’s journey to salvation is an easy one, and it is the fact that Balint struggles at all that marks his story as an important one. In an age where spiritual matters are so frequently hushed up or swept aside, here’s an American film brave enough to put its soul right up front, on display. That courage is worth embracing and seeking out.

READ MY ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!!

15. SEXY BEAST

dir. Jonathan Glazer

Slick, adult, dark, and fun, this features one of the very best performances, male or female, in any film this year. Ben Kingsley is a thing of true horror as Don Logan, the name that comes looming out of the past to ruin the idyllic retirement of "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone) and his wife Deedee (Amanda Redman). Like RESERVOIR DOGS, this is a heist film where the heist isn’t very important, where it’s more about the dynamics between the principals involved in the job than the job itself.

I loved this film for the Pinter-esque wordplay between Don and Gal. I loved this film for the sense of dread that it manages to build as Don becomes more and more agitated. I loved this film for the hypersaturated world of color that Glazer created, and for the "sexy beast" nightmare creature that keeps appearing in the movie, a symbol of something swooping in to destroy the life Gal has built. This is a sophisticated trifle, a slice of nasty that was too rich to resist, and it’s worth seeking out if only to see just how badass Gandhi can be.

READ MY ORIGINAL REVIEW HERE!!

14. BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF

dir. Christophe Gans

This one’s got it all. It’s a period drama, persuasively told, as well as a kick-ass martial arts adventure, a mystery, a horror thriller, and a no-shit monster movie. It manages to juggle all this disparate elements with a masterful touch, and it stands as a major announcement for both French director Christophe Gans and action star Mark Dacascos, whose performance as Mani exhibits a rare depth of feeling as well as a powerful physical presence.

If there’s a complaint to be made, it’s the overabundance of plot twists in the final twenty minutes or so. There’s no need for some of them, and they muddy up such a great, clear piece of visceral storytelling. Still, when a film spins out of control because of an overage of imagination, I consider that to be too much of a good thing, and not much of a problem. This one’s just now rolling out to American theaters, so run out and soak it up on the biggest screen possible. It’s worth the trip.

13. VANILLA SKY

dir. Cameron Crowe

Like MEMENTO, this is a head game first and foremost. The difference here is both source material (this is a remake of the very recent OPEN YOUR EYES from Spain) and style (this looks and feels like a mainstream Hollywood film, although it’s anything but).

What’s been fashioned here, though, is something I was quite taken by, a movie that seems to deconstruct itself even as it builds its science-fiction premise with meticulous detail. It all starts with the casting of Tom Cruise, who was smart enough to recognize the potential in the original Amenabar film when he saw it. He was good enough to produce an original film with the director (THE OTHERS) even as he was working on this remake, and he brought over one of the original cast members (Penelope Cruz), reprising her role to excellent effect in this new version. Cruise chose his key creative collaborator well, too, in the form of Cameron Crowe. They worked together once before in JERRY MAGUIRE, where Crowe took all of Tom Cruise’s typical tricks of performing and wrote a role that both played into them and played them down, forcing Cruise to a place of honesty that made him more charming than ever. Now, in VANILLA SKY, Crowe seems set on dismantling the very icon that is Tom Cruise, punching holes in the picture of perfection and showing us the asshole behind the mask. It’s knowing, mature work, and considering the personal and public changes he was going through at the time, it speaks well of Cruise to be able to focus and craft something this strong.

The film is a visual and aural pleasure from one end to the other, with a soundtrack that plays as wry counterpoint to what we’re seeing. Listen to the lyrics and the titles of the songs that go by, and it’s almost like a running commentary by Crowe. He’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music, and the way he uses it here is something that is unique to him. Bending reality to the extent he does here seems to have brought out his playful side, as well. The film is overflowing with subtle detail, all of it having to do with what is or isn’t actually happening to David Aames (Cruise) and his world.

The exceptional supporting cast in the film all helps Cameron in his sophisticated gameplay, and there are particularly nice moments from Kurt Russell and Cameron Diaz, actors who are frequently underrated. The end result of all of this is a film that manages to not just stand alone as an experience, but actually enriches and informs the experience of watching the source material it was drawn from. Quite a trick.

TIE

12. MONSTERS INC.

dir. Pete Docter, David Silverman, and Lee Unkrich

12. WAKING LIFE

dir. Richard Linklater

12. METROPOLIS

dir. Rin Taro

12. MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

dir. Satoshi Kon

What is included in this four way tie is just as important as what is excluded. SHREK is, in my opinion, a very entertaining piece of pop culture, fresh upon arrival, that will date terribly. And that’s okay. Not every film has to be a classic, one for the ages. I don’t take anything away from SHREK by saying that. It’s not included on this list, though, because of that shelf-life, that big fat "2001" stamped across it. Instead, I have to give the edge to the animation I saw this year that pushed the envelope or that genuinely moved me, and I find it impossible to place any one of these four marvelous films above the others.

MONSTERS INC. is another example of Pixar’s almost preposterous mastery of building gag sequences and giving real emotional weight to digital creations. John Goodman’s Sully is as great a character as they’ve contributed to the pop lexicon so far, and his relationship with the pre-language toddler Boo is a heartbreaking delight. Anyone who wants to know why this film will last in a way that SHREK will not should be directed to two things: the exquisitely staged chase scene amidst the assembly line of doors, and the final shot, as communicative and emotional as any live-action moment in any film this year.

WAKING LIFE is a dream, an art film in the best sense of the term. Using a desktop animation package, a group of Texas animators turned rough footage shot by Richard Linklater into something beautiful and ethereal and completely new. As Wiley Wiggins makes his way through a world that may or may not be a dream, or a series of dreams, or even the afterlife itself, any number of dizzying ideas are thrown at the viewer, and the end result is intellectually exhausting and visually overwhelming, a hallucinogenic candy that managed to push the medium in a direction never seen before in American features, something few directors can claim.

METROPOLIS is everything I wanted from A.I. this summer, and would be higher on this list if only the designs weren’t so... well... cute. The story being told here is sad, adult, and complex, and it would be nice if the designs were equally solemn. Still, I understand that this is a tribute to the defining work of anime legend Osamu Tezuka, and the ultimate weight of the thing is quite moving. In addition, I have to give the film points for one of the most unexpected, incongruous, and effective uses of music all year long in regards to a certain Ray Charles tune that is played at the precise moment it will do the most emotional damage. When this hits DVD on March 12th in the US, it’s worth searching out.

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS is a delicate, almost ethereal film about memory, and at first glance, one might think its story better suited to live-action. One would be wrong, though. This is a glorious use of animation to do something that would be impossible, compromised by the frailty of flesh if trying to shoot it all for real. Considering the director’s last film was PERFECT BLUE, a giallo told anime style, it should come as no surprise that his genre bending new film works as well or even better. This time, though, he’s telling an epic romance that spans several decades as well as writing a love letter to the history of Japanese cinema. If this film had been crafted by a "serious" filmmaker, we’d be discussing it for every major award there is in international filmmaking. Instead, it’s probably going to be overlooked because it is animated, and that seems to be a real shame. However you have to, track this one down. It’s rewarding in ways that few films can hope to be.

11. GHOST WORLD

dir. Terry Zwigoff

This is one of those movies that would rank higher on my list if the whole running time was as sublime as the best moments are. It’s not, though, and there are dramatic choices made in the film’s second half that disappointed me. Scarlett Johansson ends up marginalized, which is a shame, but almost to be expected based on how charismatic Thora Birch is as Enid, the greatest geek-girl ever captured on film. I’ve known many Enids in my day, and I have a soft spot in my heart for each and every one of them. Seeing Birch’s performance here, she seems to have captured them all in one fell swoop.

There is a wonderful easy rapport between Enid and Seymour (Steve Buscemi at his most likeable), and it unbalances the film, even if it is obvious why Terry Zwigoff (whose early documentary CRUMB remains one of the finest films of the ‘90s) and Daniel Clowes got distracted by them. The film has a deceptively simple conclusion, but it’s the little things that make it ultimately affecting. Zwigoff’s loves and Clowes’ quirks combine to create something that is both hip and completely free of guile, much like Enid herself.

CLICK HERE FOR SECTION TWO

CLICK HERE FOR SECTION THREE

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 21, 2002, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Loved VAnilla Sky!

    by BigTuna

    JUst wanted to say that!

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Tying ANIME with the genius of Pixar and Linklater's is BLAS

    by HEADGEEK

    Nuff Said

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Can't wait...

    by Huneybee

    To read the next two lists. This one had some very good films listed as runner-ups and I know it only gets better. ;) Oh, and I thought Memento was rather boring the first time, once the concept lost its luster.____A Huge Fan

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Harry, calm down. Besides, it's "Blasphemy"

    by JTylor

    Personally, depending on how well I like Metropolis when I see it (SEEK OUT THOSE LIMITED ENGAGEMENTS!!) it just might blow a lot of things out of the water. And, Harry, shame on you: for a long time, Japanese animation was the only form that got serious fantasy or SF right. Broaden your knowledge before you slam something categorically.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 12:20 p.m. CST

    I have to post something that bothers me.

    by ElGuapoForever

    I am not jealous of harry success and even though I know that the guilty dog always barks, but when you make as much money as harry does then is it really necessary to have those GODDAMN fucking pop-ups that are shoved in my face every fucking time I click to the front page? Yeah, Harry is sucking on some sweet corporate cock I'm sure...but for christsakes, make it to where at least I can CLOSE the fucking pop up windows! The popular tactic of haveing it to where the window is forced over the whole screen making it difficult to close it is something I'd expect from a porn site. I miss the way this site USED to be. This site has lost me totally. Sorry. ~Ethan, San Antonio, TX.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 12:22 p.m. CST

    All I Wanted Me Was A Piece Of Cornbread, You Mother Fuckers....

    by Darth Pixel

    Hehehe... In eleven years its going to be 1984, man. Think about that!

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Moriarty is the coolest

    by Niaiserie

    Just that there's someone around here that proofreads is great. Great reviews, great list, good times.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Hated Vanilla Sky!

    by wash

    Just wanted to say that. After I finished watching it, I felt the need to see Mulholland Dr. again pronto see a WELL DONE confused-thriller. Vanilla Sky didn't work for me because I hated every single character in it, and the ending was just pure stupidity. Worst movie of the year.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Another "Best Of 2001" List.

    by jasher78

    Rather than go on about other peoples lists, here is my "Best Movies 2001": 1) Moulin Rouge - Brilliant on every level. The images and emotions that leaped from the screen in a cosmic whirlwind of music and life... it floored me. Baz Lurman piss's me off, because he made the movie I wanted to make. 2) Amelie - A film that magically and whimsically tells the story of this woman and the way she affects those around her, only to discover the magic that is with-in her... and so much more. This film draws me in and never lets me go. Innovative, smart, funny and absolutely beautiful. 3) LOTR: FOTR - On this site, need I say anything? It was grand storytelling and it never disappointed. 4) Memento - This movie was amazing. We've never seen anything like it and I certainly hope we'll see more in the future. I love movies that take you on a journey of discovery along with the characters, and this did just that in a most imaginative and brilliant fashion. 5) In the Bedroom - Tom Wilkenson -is- this movie. He commands this film in a way few can. The acting is what makes this film hold #5 in my book. Everyone in it gives a spot on performance in a great story. It is raw, visceral, hands on and absolutely real. This is what acting is all about. 6) Gosford Park - I applaud this movie for it's advertisements. It is exactly what you think it is, but so much more. It is a great comedic murder mystery that it's very center focuses on 20 odd leads and you can follow all of them! This is just a great movie, nothing else to say on it. 7) Life As A House - An overlooked movie. It doesn't try to be more than it is. This film brings some of Kevin Kline's best work and introduces a fine Anakin Skywalker to us all. I really feel as if it doesn't fall into some very conventional moments that it could have, very easily. Just a great movie. (I saw it with my dad, so maybe that has something to do with it) 8) Shrek - What can I say? I am a sucker fo comedies and animation. This was just so funny and so well done in again, so many aspects. This must make the grade. 9) The Royal Tenenbaums - Nowhere near what 'Rushmore' was, but still a great movie that was just weird and quirky enough that it's dark tones can be looked at in a very human light... and funny! 10) TIE! or honorable mention catagory: Training Day - great movie with some great acting. Ocean's Eleven - just all around a great escape movie. i had not one complaint about it. a perfect 'blockbuster'. Honorable Mention: Man Who Wasn't There Waking Life Ghost World - I didn't see these 3 yet, but judging from the reviews and what I have seen of them, they very well could've made my list! The Justification: Movies have been taking an interesting journey as of late. I think it started in 1999 in with an amazing pallette of edgy new films and new styles (FIGHT CLUB, BEING JOHN MALKCOVICH, MATRIX, DOGMA, 3 KINGS, etc). This year had it's share too. Maybe this is a personal need or maybe I blew a transitor in my brain, but I feel that a movie needs to inspire you and make you feel something when you have left it. Every movie should aspire to be something new, different and unexpected. My list is full of a lot of those films that tried (and succeeded) to do just that. I am a filmmaker and an actor myself, and if I do not get moved by a film then I say, whats the point? An entertainment film (eg Shrek, Ocean's Eleven) is something else entirely. But unless you are going for that, please don't satuarate the film world with the same old stale crap we've seen for years that just tries to be Oscar fodder(eg A Beautiful Mind). My plea to fellow filmmakers out there is: Aspire to be something more than yourself. Break that mold, or at least try too. I personally appreciate the effort.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Cameron Crowe is the best director on the face of the fucking ea

    by David Fincher

    Cameron Crowe is the greatest fucking director on the planet! Of course you have other greats like David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino etc. etc. But with Cameron Crowe movies it's different. His characters are real. They are good people. It's about REAL things. Really human characters in real human situations dealing with it in such a humain/comic/dramatic way. I have never seen it anywhere else. -- Look at how he handles the romantic side of things. The way he does the love stuff in "Jerry Maguire" is perfect. It's honest. It's at times funny. It's just fuckin' great, man! -- But when you see other flicks dealing with romance in movies it is usually cheesy and laughable. Cameron does it with style and Class!-- For me JERRY MAGUIRE is the greatest fucking movie ever to be made (it shares the no. 1 spot with PULP FICTION). JERRY MAGUIRE RULES!!! Why? Well I have wrote a piece as to why I love it. Now this only TOUCHES onto the surface as to why JERRY MAGUIRE is so fucking great. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!! I just geek out at the movie. IT IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!! Here it is! Enjoy-------------------- Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Brotherhood of the Wolf...

    by The_Black_Hair

    I've never seen such praise for such overproduced dreck before in my life. The first three quarters, I found bearable... it could have turned out good with a good ending. But man, what a convoluted mess the ending was... and it just wouldn't end! There's nothing that kills a movie like a movie that doesn't know when to end.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Jerry Maguire was written for Tom Hanks first of all.

    by David Fincher

    Yeah, written for Tom Hanks first of all!

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 4:05 p.m. CST

    ghost world best movie of year

    by narky

    i wish ghost world would have been higher on the list, but i understand Moriary's reasoning. MORIARTY RULES!

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 4:10 p.m. CST

    oh and... vs

    by narky

    im sick of hearing everyone bitch about vanilla sky(3rd best film of year). you all expected it to be mullholland drive and memento, to be abstract. JUST BECAUSE U EXPECTED IT TO BE SOMETHING< DOESNT MEAN IT SUCKS BECAUSE IT ISNT. It had a literal, almost all ends tied ending, that was what was. A really long Twilight Zone episode. It wasnt dumb in any sense of the word. It was interesting, had great characters, great score and music and BEAUTIFULLY directed.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Isn&#39;t Metropolis opening this Friday in theaters?

    by Fatal Discharge

    Personally I LOATHED Jerry Maguire, that film was as deep as a puddle of piss. Darabont&#39;s films have grown progressively sentimental until he crossed over into the land of treacle this time and can someone EDIT his films down to a reasonable length. As for Thora Birch, I will refuse to think of her and the word "actress" in the same breath until the foul taste of Dungeons & Dragons finally dissipates in a few years.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Ghost World

    by Tokyo Joe

    Ghost World is one of the only movies I&#39;ve ever watched completely and fully enjoyed on an aeroplane. Usually the poor quality screen, poor sound, fucked up body clock and pretty cabin staff tend to make me give up on trying to watch a film and turn on Tetris for a few hours. I&#39;d have to see it again properly to judge it, but it was definately very watchable.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Memento

    by Tokyo Joe

    I&#39;ve only seen this once on DVD and it was an excellent experience. Once I got over the clever way it&#39;s made, I was struck by how it managed to build itself up, develop tension and excitement and come to a dramatic conclusion in the way that a normal good thriller is supposed to do despite going in the wrong direction. A fantastic piece of writing.

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 10:11 p.m. CST

    my grandpas mumified testes did it.

    by the shrunkenHead

    after checking out the &#39;right way round&#39; easter egg of my Memento DVD this is the de facto no bullshit conclusion, it&#39;s all there plain as day, yes siiirreee. Sorry, uh, do I know you? - actually I didn&#39;t realise until today that Brad Pitt had turned the role down, which meant Guy Pearce could step on up. Nice one Pearce for an underplayed performance of minTaL fuKtitude, I don&#39;t reckon Pitt could have handled the subtlety. ( hey , that last word looks sooo sooo wrong)

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Moulin Rouge!

    by FilmInjection

    Best Picture, 2001

  • Jan. 21, 2002, 11:09 p.m. CST

    pretentious fuck

    by narky

    flip63hole, the very fact that you WALKED OUT on Almost Famous makes me wanna puke. oooh subtitles ooh, oohh "films!" ooh, get the hell over yourself.

  • Jan. 22, 2002, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Does Moriarty have a friggin tumor in his skull???

    by Rogue_Leader

    Are you kidding me dude?? You rate a piece of shit movie like Vanilla Sky HIGHER than a damn masterpiece like Memento?? Do yourself a favor and hit yourself in the forehead with a sledhammer. Maybe you&#39;ll set those loose screws back into place. BTW Memento is STILL the best movie of 2001 peeps. YOU KNOW IT!!

  • Jan. 22, 2002, 7:31 a.m. CST

    rouge leader

    by IonicMagus

    Whoa. Harsh man. I&#39;d hate to think what&#39;d happen if you dumped on a guy in that fashion, simply for stating an opinion, in an actual room of actual people. You might.. just.. get your ass kicked. Or even worse, everyone in there would laugh in your face (that harsh, cackling, humiliating kind of laugh - I&#39;m sure you know it). A geek acting tough can get so hysterically funny.

  • Jan. 22, 2002, 3:42 p.m. CST

    LOL

    by narky

    i rarely lol people on message boards and talkbacks, but that DEFINITELY deserved it! funny shit.

  • Jan. 22, 2002, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Satoshi Kon is a genius

    by empyreal0

    THANK YOU MORAIRTY. THANK YOU THANK YOU for telling us about Millenium Actress. Perfect Blue was one of the most astounding movies I&#39;ve ever seen, a head trip above and beyond any I&#39;ve ever seen in any live-action film. Can&#39;t wait to see his latest. BY THE WAY, anyone who has the impression that anime is nothing more than Dragonball or yet another Macross movie with color-coded characters is making as big a mistake as those who would write off computer animation after seeing an episode of Beast Wars. (Personal recommendations include Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Grave of the Fireflies, Cowboy Bebop, and Evangelion.)

  • Jan. 22, 2002, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Memento, best movie of the year?

    by empyreal0

    Hardly. It was clever, yes, but cleverness does not a #1 movie make. The biggest problem with the movie is it OVERINDULGED in its cleverness. Remember that we&#39;re supposed to be watching a piece of entertainment here. Don&#39;t get me wrong, I&#39;m all for smart movies. I think the vast majority of Hollywood movies seem to have been written for a 6 year old -- especially the comedies. But Memento could have been a far greater movie if it had removed one or two flashbacks and added a little bit of variety to counteract the constant "okay he does that thing in the future cuz we&#39;ve already seen it, and what he&#39;s doing now leads up to that, how neat" puzzle. There&#39;s another movie I can think of that was clever in a different way. Moulin Rouge was clever in its anachronistic use of irony, its dreamlike (very french post-impressionist, I might add) visual treatment, and huge library of songs to resample and remix, BUT it was also just plain fun to watch, and it had a great soundtrack to boot! Sure the plot wasn&#39;t as complex as Memento&#39;s, but I could write a more complex script just by including a series of calculus equations being worked out - a movie needs balance! Enough ranting.

  • Jan. 23, 2002, 10:50 a.m. CST

    brotherhood of the wolf is not that good of a B-movie

    by redlight

    how can you find those movies so great?? don&#39;t get me wrong , both are interesting in some aspects. But they are in no way great work of cinema. Brotherhood is slightly entertaining for 1h30 then get completly ridiculous. and those scenes with the monster ?? how dumb & badly made is that? it&#39;s a movie that wants to have different styles but who ultimatly end being nothing but unfocus , mislead and stupid.

  • Jan. 23, 2002, 8:40 p.m. CST

    moriarity&#39;s good best of list

    by adoraboy00

    Good list...i agree with some of the list while the other films i haven&#39;t seen yet. the top 10 list @ HTTP://WWW.CZREVIEWS.COM is more mainstream, but it does offer some insite on a fanboy&#39;s favorite popcorn favorites