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Father Geek's 21 Best New Films viewed on the Big Screen in 2002

Hey there, its that time of the year again... favorite films list time, and ol' Father Geek is here to give you his opinion. Now first off these are ALL films I've seen projected in theaters on the BIG screen with BIG sound in their final release form. I have seen hundreds of motion pictures in theaters this year. I saw 70 at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain alone, and 10 in the consentrated 24 hours of BUTT-NUMB-A-THON just a few days ago, and another 10 since then. I watch ALOT of movies in the theater environment... at press screenings, private screenings, test screenings, preview screenings, festival screenings, premiere screenings, and yes, even normal screenings that I fork over cold hard cash for.

I want to say right now that I don't really like this list making, I do it because it is expected of us (AICN writers) by our readers. I don't like comparing, judging the films I see... ranking them against each other. Really, how can you compare, say a vast sweeping fantasy like THE TWO TOWERS to a doco like BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE to a small first film like MAY to a musical like CHICAGO to a film in another language from a totally different culture like DOLLS, or 800 BALAS, or IRREVERSIBLE. You CAN'T! Its like ranking a Hamburger against a Quice against a Pecan Pie against a fine seven course French dinner. They're totally different things for totally different tastes and needs.

That said here is...

FATHER GEEK's "Top Twenty One Films of 2002"...

in alphabetical order... my ranking them beyond this changes with my mood, sooooo it would be meaningless to attempt to list them as best to poorest because my opinion would probably change before I even finished listing them...

800 BALAS (Bullets)...Alex de la Iglesia

ADAPTATION... Spike Jonze

AUTO FOCUS... Paul Schrader


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN... Steven Spielberg

THE CAT'S MEOW... Peter Bogdanovich

CHICAGO... Rob Marshall

DOLLS... Takeshi Kitano


FRIDA... Julie Taymor

GANGS OF NEW YORK... Martin Scorsese


INSOMNIA... Christopher Nolan

MAY... Lucky McKee

ONE HOUR PHOTO... Mark Romanek

THE PIANIST... Roman Polanski

SPIDER... David Cronenberg

SPIDER MAN... Sam Raimi

SPIRITED AWAY... Hayao Miyazaki

THE TWO TOWERS... Peter Jackson

Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN... Alfonso Cuaron

Now that that is over with... I've got a baker's dozen plus one of flicks that I saw this year that were a hell-of-alot of FUN... buuuuut that for some reason, or another I couldn't, or shouldn't put on the above list, however these are cool flicks that I enjoyed that deserve to be seen...

In NO paticular order they are:
  • Russian Ark
  • Deathwatch
  • Zu Warriors
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Eye
  • The Ring
  • Dark Water
  • Reign Of Fire
  • Ichi The Killer
  • Red Dragon
  • Volcano High
  • Salton Sea
  • Rules of Attraction
  • Road to Perdition

Annnnd the WORST thing I saw in a theater this year? A dense, pretentious pile of steaming crap called...

La Vie Nouvelle

It will hurt you... your eyes will bleed!

One last note: I could have easily listed 50 or even 100 films that rate pretty damn well from last year (2002), when you see maybe 500 features, or more a year its very difficult to cut them down to just 20 or 30 titles, especially in a year as rich as this one internationally. I'm already thinking of enjoyable films like DAGON, SIGNS, DEVDAS, BELOW, etc... that deserve to be mentioned, also I see lots of movies well before their release dates, soooo flicks like BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, DONNIE DARKO, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, BATTLE ROYALE, etc.... were 2001 films for me. This is a list of Cinema I experienced in 2002, not necessarily ones offically released stateside in 2002.

OK...OKKKKKKKK, if you're going to hold a gun to my head... my absolute faves, in order are: THE TWO TOWERS... THE PIANIST... SPIRITED AWAY... FRIDA... MAY... DOLLS... Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN... THE CAT'S MEOW... GANG'S OF NEW YORK... SPIDERMAN. There its done! These were my favorites the ones I can, and have watched over and over. They're not necessarily the absolutely best made, although some are, but ol' Father Geek finds them the most enjoyable for repeated screenings, which after all is what I think its all about.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 29, 2002, 2:48 a.m. CST


    by Doran

    Way to recognize Chicago and Cat's Meow...

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 3:07 a.m. CST

    The Best Film of 2002

    by castaway

    Without a doubt for me Jackass the Movie was the best movie of 2002. It was just everything I expected and a little more, even though it still seems like Knoxville and his crew could have gone a little farther. Outside of that I liked everything else except for the Two Towers.....just kidding, that rocked the house. I only started ranking movies in '98 (best for me was Pleasantville)in '99 it was The Matrix, in 2000 it was Requiem For A Dream, and for 2001 it was A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 3:40 a.m. CST

    Give me a job, AICN

    by God Of Forkery

    I'll relocate, I'll sit through every goddamn Adam Sandler movie ever made, I'll wash Harry's undies by hand . . .I DON'T CARE! I won't even get to see HALF the movies Father Geek mentioned for like 6 or 7 months due to my geographical handicap (thanks Wisconsin, EAT FARTS). So yeah. I need a job. Suprise me for my birthday or something.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:05 a.m. CST

    The List

    by Tsunami3G

    Great list Father Geek. I've been on the fence over Zu Warriors and Rules of Attraction for a while now. I think I'll seek them out now. Bowling For Columbine and One Hour Photo are two films that blew me away. There are only a few that I haven't seen and I can't argue with any of the ones you listed. Even Cat's Meow is worthy. Can't wait to see Mori's and Harry's lists next. Keep 'em coming gang.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:09 a.m. CST

    You mean to tell me that "Attack of the Clones" didn't rate a sp

    by Mr Fuckinstuff

    I thought for sure this cinematic afterbirth would rate a spot on everyone's TOP 10 FILMS OF 2002 list here at the grand temple of film that is AICN. Guess not, eh? Well, my respect for you Father Geek just went up a notch. Top ten films of 2002 in my opinion are: 1. "The Two Towers" FUCKING GUTTED THE BOOK, FUCKING GUTTED IT!!!!!! PETER FUCKING JACKSON!!! But, after some some nice Zoloft and three repest viewings, I'm willing to admit that it was the one film of 2002 that I wasn't bored once during the course of. I'll reserve hatred of it until I see "Return of the King" Quick question, Anyone know when Narsil is going to reforged? I thought that was a big deal or something. 2: "Spider-Man" The film I've wanted to see forever. 3: "The Salton Sea" Saw "Top Gun" on TV today and must say that Val Kilmer appears to not be aging properly. Which gives even further evidence to support my theory that Casey Kasem is his father. 4: "Rules of Attraction" Bret Easton Ellis is one of my favorite writers and it was nice to see that Roger "Hey, look, my name is on Pulp Fiction too!!" Avary didn't decide to go down the road taken by the cowardly hacks that made "Less Than Zero" and "American Psycho" so fucking stupid. 5: "The Bourne Identity" This film was the ONLY decent spy film of 2002. 6: "Adaption" Nic Cage and without a doubt one of the most original flicks I've ever seen. Strangely, not nearly as depressing as "Being John Malkovich" which is always a good thing. 7: "The Ring" Spooky, little, evil, wet girl. Sounds like a porno and consequently I no longer own any unlabeled videos, I'm afraid of them. 8: "The 25th Hour" For once Spike "It ain't racist if a black man says it" Lee made a flick that didn't make me feel like his ancestors had carried me into the theatre on thier shoulders while I beat them with a wet leather strap. This is a sign of growth on that horrible midget's part and I'm proud of him. 9: "The Road to Perdition" In a summer that rained vomit, this was a lemon scented umbrella. Tom Hanks pulls his head out of his ass and actually puts up something that doesn't include AIDS, Meg Ryan or volleyball molesting. Bravo. 10: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" I didn't see it until April and as such it's included here. I had to include it, because it accomplished the impossible task of making a FRENCH guy look cool. Worst of 2002? 1. "The Santa Clause 2" Never before have wanted a wire brush shower and a Clorox enema after seeing a film. But, now I can safely say that my shit no longer stinks and I have no feeling in my ass and I blame Tim Allen. 2. "Jackass" Yes, I laughed, but shortly after viewing it, I forgot my name, phone number and couldn't remember how to drive. The sheer inconvenience of urinating down my leg afterward because I forgot how my zipper worked convinced me I had just fallen under the greatest monument to ignorance of all time. 3. "Star Trek 10" How do these movies keep getting made? And how is it there's always that one sad bastard with pointy ears and really bad body odor that always seems to sit next to me when I go see one? Patrick Stewart would be better served renting out his head for ad space that consenting to return in any form to this 'franchise'. 4. "Die Another Day" A crushing disappointment. I'm not really sure what it about because I was having a seizure during the first half brought on by Madonna having an epileptic fit over the opening credits. 5. "Attack of the Clones" I'm giving up on Star Wars in general. Anakin went from being the most annoying child in the galaxy to a Natalie Portman stalker. The fact she caves in at the end I'm sure will be used as a defense at the trial of the weirdo who kills her because she catches him jerking off on her bed. Is there a scene on the DVD where Anakin calls her, breaths heavy and shorts out his lightsaber with a flood of Jedi semen? If not, there should be, it was the one thing that would've completed the image. I'm expecting in the next film Padme's death will occur when she catches Anakin "touching" Leia while changing her. 6. "Reign of Fire" Here's a good idea for a Dragonslayer. DISTRACT THE FUCKING DRAGON BY JUMPING INTO IT'S MOUTH!!!! THAT ALWAYS WORKS!!!! 7. "Bowling for Columbine" How do I hate Michael Moore? Enough to say that I'm joining the NRA after this crazy, liberal swill. AMERICA LOVES IT'S GUNS!!! GET USED TO IT!!!! Besides, when the Apes take over anyone without a gun will be an APE BITCH!!!! I'm not at all about guns, they're useful in their own way at the proper time, like say at night, when some crackhead is making off with your PS2. I just don't like Michael Moore. He's just as much a fanatic as the people he's bitching about and if there's anything I hate worse than fanatics, it's Twizzlers. They get stuck in your teeth and THEY HAVE NO FLAVOR!!! IT'S LIKE CHEWING ON AN I.V. TUBE!!!! 8. "XXX" Vin Diesel. I knew a guy named after a petroleum product would eventually enter into Rambo-land. I just didn't know that by comparison it would make Dolph Lundgren's career choices look logical by comparison. This movie had no plot, no brains and actually made Sam Jackson look UNCOOL!!!! YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING HARD IT IS TO MAKE SAM JACKSON LOOK UNCOOL? HE WAS EVEN A COOL HOMELESS PERSON!!! 9. "Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever" You know, if my wife had been on the other side of a car that blew up, I would walk around to the other side to see if she were still alive, but that's just me. Who cast Lucy Liu is this? She's got a voice like a Care Bear and I'm supposed to take her seriously kicking ass? 10. "Signs" Let's start with that touching scene where Mel is talking to his wife pinned by the truck. I think it would've went more like this: "Hi honey, ummm this is awkward." Wife: "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU STANDING THERE LIKE A FUCKING JACKASS FOR??? GET THIS FUCKING TRUCK OFF OF ME, MY GOD THE PAIN, SWEET FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!!" Then there's the aliens who have a water alergy. Ever been in a corn field in the wee hours of the morning? Neither have I, but I've seen pictures and in those pictures, there is dew, some I'm imagining that there were a few aliens running around with holes in their asses. Also, they didn't think to bring any weapons, not even a sharp stick? I'll bet the ones that landed near big cities really got their asses handed to them. Not mention that they can't even get of a LOCKED FUCKING PANTRY!!!! This all leads me to the conclusion that a smarter race was shipjacked by retards during the alien special olympics. I can't wait to see "Signs 2: SUPERSOAKER" I hate fucking top ten lists.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:45 a.m. CST

    No no no, Father Geek!

    by Silvio Dante

    You gotta put 'em in order! (of preference). That's the fun part with these lists, ripping them apart or agreeing wholeheartedly. C'mon, put a little effort to it. And off-topic:McKellen as Dumbledore - it stared straight at our faces all the time, so obvious really. Hindsight 20/20 and all that...

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 5:24 a.m. CST

    y''s the funniest thing...

    by pomeroy some people feel the need to post their top ten lists on the top ten talkbacks. It's almost as cool as reviewing a movie on a talkback. I guess some people think someone cares...

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 6:23 a.m. CST

    No "Punch-Drunk Love"?

    by BillBrasky2620

    Otherwise a good list. The local newspaper in my city gave "Rules of Attraction" an F, and the free alternative weekly gave it four stars. You have to admire any movie that produces that polarizing an effect on critics.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 6:32 a.m. CST


    by olsonizer

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Yeah, very interesting...

    by Lazarus Long

    I wonder if Attack of the Clones will make Harry's list. I mean, he only called it "the most entertaining Star Wars film to date", and that was watching it in a hotel room on equipment of questionable quality. So if it doesn't make his list, it means that either (a) there were too many great films this year, or (b) Star Wars films aren't good enough to make a best of list. Of course, I'm poisoning the well here. I still stand by the opinion that Episode 2 rewards repeat viewings MUCH, MUCH BETTER than Spider-Man, which was cool, but doesn't stick in the brain much. Because it's an amalgamation of old Spidey materian, there's no new mythology to ponder. Not too interesting in the long run. At least X-Men seemed to forge some new stuff. Anyway, as long as we're talking top tens (isn't this going to be lame?), I saw Chicago last night, and although I was hugely impressed, the musical numbers got WORSE as the film progressed, and the final number, which should have been a showstopper (see Moulin Rouge), was pretty weak compared to the first (and best) number, All That Jazz. Ultimately, however, one needs only to see Cabaret again to realize that there is only ONE Bob Fosse, and that Chicago is still just grand entertainment. Cabaret wasn't just one of the best musicals of all time, it was a phenomenal artistic effort, as well as a political/social critique. And it won 4 more Oscars than The Godfather in '72 (no small feat). I really can't imagine Chicago winning the big statue, it just doesn't have the necessary depth, something that A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator at least pretended to carry. Chicago knows it's all surface. *** Films of the year: Gangs of New York, Spirited Away, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Solaris, The Two Towers, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Attack of the Clones, Bowling for Columbine, Frida *** I exclude the fantastic Far From Heaven for the simple reason that I have zero desire to watch it again. Also have yet to see 25th Hour, The Pianist, or The Hours.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 8:05 a.m. CST

    My Top films....

    by Dr_Zoidberg

    Attack Of The Clones and Two Towers were my personal favourites. Then Spider-Man. Then some other films.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 8:26 a.m. CST

    What, no "Ben Affleck" films?

    by JAGUART

    I think there were about a dozen Ben Affleck films this year. But it felt like two dozen.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 8:57 a.m. CST

    What no Donnie Darko???!!

    by Bow1007

    I know it didn't do well in the US, maybe due to bad marketing or bad distribution, but it kicking arse in the UK. Great movie, may even edge out LOTR Two Towers as best film for 2002.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by DonnaDarko

    Donnie Darko was released last year here in the States, and I believe it made Harry's top 20 or so then. Yes, it does deserve recognition. Unfortunately, it was marketed here as if it were just another teen horror flick and died a pretty quick death outside of the art house theatres (word of mouth). Thank you Father Geek for mentioning The Salton Sea. Vincent D'Onofrio was a fabulous bad guy in that flick and Kilmer didn't suck.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:33 a.m. CST

    No wonder Father Geek hates making lists...he doesn't want an in

    by CoolDan989

    But this was actually a pretty OK list, despite many missing good films that I could think of that weren't on there, but hey, you can't put every film of 2002 on the list. The worst movie of 2002 that I saw was Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. No wonder it rhymes with "WORST MOVIE EVER". My God, what a piece of crap. A piece of crap that blows up like everything else in this movie for no apparent reason.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Insomnia sucked compared to Memento...

    by FBI Profiler

    ...and wasn't one of the best films of 2002. It was OK, but it didn't play as well as Memento, and yes, one shouldn't compare, but come on, Nolan has more talent and potential than he showed in Insomnia.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:23 a.m. CST

    cut some slack

    by imageburn13

    He couldnt fit all the other good movies on the list...I thought it was a good list...

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:26 a.m. CST

    a bad feeling about Chris Nolan

    by imageburn13

    Has anyone watched interviews with this guy? Honestly, I think he lucked out BIG with memento, and he was REEACHING with insomnia. Its obvious.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:28 a.m. CST


    by imageburn13

    it was a damn hella good year for film.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Mr. FuckinStuff

    by Minoc Drakkir

    Dude, never post here again! I swear, if I ever read another post like that one I'm going to die from laughter and death is not cool. That was the funniest post I have ever read and my sides are still hurting! Especially the part about AOTC! Your right though... Anakin sucked in both "prequels". How is this pathetic imbecile suppose to grow in the GREATEST VILLIAN IN MOVIE HISTORY!?!?! This is going to be the same guy who utters such classic lines as "I find your lack of faith disturbing", "Impressive... most impressive" and "You have failed me for the last time Admiral"??? I really just don't see how pyscho stalker loser who would is out acted and characterized by even the lamest Lifetime movie of the week; who utters such "romatic" tripe such as some crap about sand being rough and facist dictators are really cool can (1) seduce a sophisticated babe like SENATOR Amidala and (2) become the force of evil that is Darth Vader. I thought I would never say this... but if I had to pick... I rather sit through Jar Jar. Oh and just to keep things on topic here.... Nice list Father Geek.. (with the exception of Bowling for Columbine whose "facts" have been discredited so many times that it should no longer be called a documentary). - Drakkir Out - Peace!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Red Dragon (Silence:The TV Movie) was pretty poor, but nice to s

    by togmeister

    THE most underrated flick of the year, anything that makes Matthew freakin' Mcconaughey look like the epitome of badass cool must have something going for it - "COME ONE, BIG BOY!!" "WE CAN DO THIS EASY, OR WE CAN DO IT REAL EASY." "ENVY THE COUNTRY THAT HAS HEROES? I SAY PITY THE COUNTRY THAT NEEDS 'EM!" "THE VOLUNTEER SECTION IS OVER, IT'S TIME FOR THE DRAFT!" Yeah! That's the stuff! Shame RoF didn't do better, keep an open mind and check it out. A Best of list? Okay....... 1. THE TWO TOWERS 2. MINORITY REPORT 3. CHANGING LANES 4. AOTC 5. ABOUT A BOY 6. YU TU MAMA TAMBIEN 7. INSOMNIA 8. PANIC ROOM 9. SIGNS 10. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE. Worst? 1. RESIDENT EVIL 2. SHOWTIME 3. MEN IN BLACK 2 4. DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD 5. HIGH CRIMES 6. WINDTALKERS 7. THE TIME MACHINE 8. SCOOBY DOO 9. DRAGONFLY 10. JOHN Q. That is all.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Ebert puts Minority Report at #1!

    by togmeister

    I can live with that.....

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by Uga

    You people do know that you don't have to see EVERY movie that comes out, don't you? I mean, go outside, read a book, do SOMETHING - why the hell are you even going to see "The Santa Clause 2," "Scooby-Doo," "Showtime," etc.? I can't begin to put out a Top 10 of 2002 list until about July 2003, though, because I haven't seen nearly enough of the films yet.

  • It's also one of the few films that's better then it's original.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Okay...this is my top ten list of films I loved this year (not t

    by Sod Off Baldric

    In no particular order: The Two Towers, Road to Perdition, Spider-Man, One Hour Photo, Blade II, Solaris, Minority Report (not the masterpiece everyone made it out to be, but still pretty damn good), Death to Smoochy (you heard me), Panic Room, and Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 1:03 p.m. CST



    Its nice to see that someone put Reign of Fire on their list. A movie that did not get the attention it deserved when it was out in theaters. Also The Salton Sea, i happenend to stumble to this movie on accident and highly encourage anyone to see this picture definetley one of the best of the year. Also adding One Hour Photo one of the best and haunting movies based simply on the perfromance of Williams. I really hope the academy does not overlook his performance in this movie.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST

    SIGNS should have been at the top of that list.

    by NeofromtheMatrix

    Everytime M. Night Shyamalan makes a movie, it should be listed among the top five films of that year.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 1:09 p.m. CST

    MY top 5 list for 2002...

    by NeofromtheMatrix

    1) Spider-man; 2) Reign of Fire; 3) Star Wars- Episode II: Attack of the Clones; 4) Signs; 5) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Thats my opinion, and it has absolutely no influence upon your own personal opinion, so fuck off!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Mr. Funckinstuff was right about the Twizzlers

    by Voice O. Reason

    That was some funny shit.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 2:16 p.m. CST

    GANGS OF NEW YORK, my solution

    by The Tao of Joe

    What I would have demanded of Marty, if I were harvey scissorhands, would be for him to totally reformat the film. Its not that I am a Leo Dicaprio hater, I am not by any means, and the ones who are, are only jelous because the girls they spank it to used to be so in love with him. But I would have the focus shifted off of him. I would make the film center on BILL THE BUTCHER KUTTING, who, when he died, said he was lucky to die a true american. What made bill a true american in his mind? We never really got the full idea I dont think. He certainly was a sympathetic hero, I mean he did give food to that poor woman, and he took care of a fair number of people, and respected his fallen enemy more than most people would respect their friends. The movie should have been about him. Forget the vengance of the young boy who grows into Vallon, vengence is a petty story. The movie should have been about a scum sucking bastard of a hero, and during the course of the movie, it should have given us no choice, but to love him, which I almost did despite the horrible things he did. I have cause to believe that if Paul Schrader (sp) re-wrote the script, this is how it would be, and what better title for the film than STAR SPANGLED BASTARD, a film about how many of our country's heroes were monsters in some way as well.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Alien Locked In A Pantry Room

    by MovieView

    A kangaroo can kill you with a sharp kick to the chest like it ain't no thang. But if you were to catch one in a pantry, lock it up in there, it would have no way of getting out. The point is that the aliens in Signs were not human so it would be wrong to think that if a human can escape, an alien should be able to as well.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Where's Frailty?

    by Lou C.

    Come on, man. What a great first-time out for Bill Paxton as a director. The end was slapping me in the face the whole movie and i never saw it coming. i thought it was just absolutely brilliant and had a lot more going on than meets the eye. And Powers Boothe and McConaughey were great. I'm glad to see there are other people besides me who enjoyed Reign of Fire. ... I must also join in on the others to harp about "Signs." I don't understand why this film is getting more credit. best film i've seen in years.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:06 p.m. CST

    where is MINORITY REPORT?!

    by SalCool

    Minority Report was one of the year's best...with Spielberg at his best (after many years).. He has given a spellbinding look at the future and the movie is fun as hell too.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:08 p.m. CST

    da best da wurst?

    by KingKarll

    I sat thru Send in the Klones and enjoyed the carchase though kept on wondering what one of the backdoor Boys was doing impersonating Darth. Then I saw Yoda levitate and become Animal for about 31 seconds against Saruman. That was about the best part of the movie despite several long stretches of suckage in between. Lucas should NOT, repeat should Not write dialogue or direct same at this stage in his mogulistic life. Simply produce and let the Spielbergs of the world do the honors in the director chair. Then I saw Signs. Here you see Mel chewing on his lips and underplaying the whole movie, he is supposed to be the Anti-lethal weapon in this one, I think. I had some fun with it til the aliens showed and turned out to be extras from 'Thriller'. Didn't they invent the Aqualung on their planet before attacking a world full of Oceans? You would think they'd have reruns of 'Sea Hunt' there at least. Must be allergic to Lloyd Bridges too. Give their colds to Contact while yer at it. Then I sat thru the latest Bondage flick with Pierce Brosnon and Halle Berry. Is it me or did this movie just try to do to North Korea what they're actually doing to themselves as we speak? Oh and something about another DrBotanus ray gun from outer space. You can't have enough of those, one per episode. That and a few really awful Police Academy level puns to boot. I can't say that I remember that much from it even 10 days lator. Then I saw Send in the Pines AKA Two Towers. Did Jackson crib those old Atari games for the graphics when it came time to have the mutated wolves attack? Or for the dambusting Elms? Suckage levels were heaped there in spades. I didn't mind the big battle but it needed more of the Ork Olympic torch guy. That was fun. Wile Coyote woulda been proud of their gate demolition too. Ork entrails and Gimli puns galore. Then you got A Soldier's Story-Mel Gibson does the John Wayne thing himself, 78 guys holding off half of Indonesia in '65. I was looking for Orlando Bloom when I realized that he was in Black Hawk Down instead, and holding off half of East Africa. But the Skinnies had better aim then the Orkies. Then you get 8 Legged Freaks, which transcends the genre and subbies Spidors for Zombies. I thought it was great. More of that.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Hey,now hold on a sec...

    by KidCthulhu

    I like Twizzlers.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Zu has some of the greatest viuals ever...

    by Declan_Swartz

    but unless you grew up with the legends, you might get confused by the story. The original Zu at least had some comedy thrown in to keep you going when the viuals weren't amazing you. Zu trailer: tp://

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 5:12 p.m. CST


    by TomVee

    "1) Spider-man; 2) Reign of Fire; 3) Star Wars- Episode II: Attack of the Clones; 4) Signs; 5) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Thats my opinion, and it has absolutely no influence upon your own personal opinion, so fuck off!" SPIDERMAN was OK except for the costumed sequences. REIGN OF FIRE was better than a silly movie like SIGNS, but still it was not a particularly good movie. Didn't see AOTC, as it wasn't targeted at me or my daughters. SIGNS was pretty awful, with a real groaner of an ending. TTT is on the list to see in 2003. Among my personal favorites this year: THE RING.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 5:26 p.m. CST

    where the f***

    by SamBlackChvrch21

    where the fuck is equilibrium damn all of you! see this fucking movie

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by TomVee

    Some very very funny and intriguing posts here. Made me realize 2002 was truly a mixed bag. Some films might have been great but for huge plot holes or miscasting or unsatisfying endings, like ROAD TO PERDITION and MINORITY REPORT. The former suffered from a predictable and illogical climax, plus the fact that Tom Hanks was a little hard to accept as a hitman, and the latter suffered from some bad plotting and an ending that went beyond all credulity -- unless it was a dream! Come on now, Spielmensch, 'fess up! Make me reverse myself on this film!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 5:33 p.m. CST

    I've given-up on Hollywood this year

    by laguna_loire

    This year I've learnt that having a DVD player and living in the UK has really paid dividends - awesome HK movies the likes of Battle Royale, Audition, the Ring trilogy, totally bloody awesome. I thank Hong Kong Legends and Tartan for their total devotion to releasing something that's not a fucking tee-shirt. That said, I've heard the remake of Ring is good, but how long before somebody decides to soil the awesomeness of Battle Royale or Audition? Leave them alone!!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Ok, Okkkkk. You include "Gangs of New York" on this list, and no

    by a goonie

    Especially without Far From Heaven? Then, to add insult to injury, you include a list of other "runners-up" and you include "The Ring" on that one (?!?) and not "Far From Heaven" again. Did you SEE "Far From Heaven?" I'm glad that "The Two Towers is featured so high on your list, and the inclusion of Spider-man is sweet, but... this list is still pretty dumb. I personally love making lists. I look forward to this time every year. My list is coming. Next time, if your list is going to be done in alphabetical order and if you're only doing it because WE "expect it of you," then do us a favour and don't do it.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Har Har Har my Top 5 for 2002

    by zillabeast

    1. Spider-Man 2. Attack of the Clones 3. The Two Towers 4. Signs 5. Star Trek: Nemesis

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Ok, it's obvious no one here cares about anyone else's list, so

    by Ronnie_Dobbs

    This is a very tentative list which will be radically altered many times, especially after I've seen: 1. SPIDER; 2. THE PIANIST; 3. ABOUT SCHMIDT; 4. THE 25th HOUR; 5. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN; 6. BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF; 7. THE FAST RUNNER (I know these last three are my fault ---- I should have seen them already). Anyway, here it is for all of you to scoff at (if you even read it): 1. ADAPTATION; 2. THE TWO TOWERS; 3. BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE; 4. DONNIE DARKO; 5. THE GREY ZONE; 6. RULES OF ATTRACTION; 7. DAS EXPERIMENT; 8. GANGS OF NEW YORK; 9. SPIRITED AWAY; 10. THE GOOD GIRL; 11. FRIDA; 12. HUMAN NATURE; 13. JACKASS-THE MOVIE. I won't even pretend these are in any real order ---- like I said, it's a tentative list ---- but here's a brief sampling of the worst of 2002 as well: 1. RESIDENT EVIL; 2. MR. DEEDS; 3. FEARDOTCOM; 4. QUEEN OF THE DAMNED; 5. AOTC; 6. K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER; 7. AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER. I'd also just like to say FUCK STAR WARS, AUSTIN POWERS, JAMES BOND AND ALL OTHER STUPID, COMMERCIAL FRANCHISE MOVIES!!!!!!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Oops. Here's the aforementioned list:

    by Ronnie_Dobbs


  • Dec. 29, 2002, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Does anyone remeber Femme Fatale?

    by dr. robert

    Worst film of the year? Windtalkers. Biggest disappointment? Gangs Of New York Best of the year? Attack Of The Clones (immensely entertaining), Auto Focus, Femme Fatale, Signs and Solaris

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:43 p.m. CST


    by []D[][]V[][]D

    see subject line.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Most of those films

    by Skanky_Tony

    I like NONE of those films...except for The Two Towers. Half of those films I've never heard of! :) I'd Pick: LOTR: The Two Towers Minority Report Spider-Man Star Wars: Attack of the Clone That's all I can think from the top o' my head. Oh, yea...the best film of 2003 will be none other than X2!!!

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by Mr.Eggeps

    City of God and Bowling for Columbine were the only two films I saw this year that now trully mean something to me. These two films deal with issues of violence among the youth. Earlier this month, someone very close to me was shot due to gang violence. I might lose him, I still don't know. City of God and Bowling for Columbine are more than just films that are entertaining and intelligent. They are a frantic message about the wretched state of our society and a call for action to save our communities. Films do matter.

  • Dec. 29, 2002, 11:31 p.m. CST

    You can get the real DVD cut of Legend of Zu, not Miramax's Zu W

    by Declan_Swartz

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:56 a.m. CST


    by hiperaktiv

    you do man, you do

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Mr. Fuckinstuff, excellent post except you forgot one thing abou

    by Neutral_Density

    When the aliens come down and take his son, he doesn't know what to do. He just stares at the alien. IT TAKES HIM REMEMBERING HIS DYING WIFE PINNED BY A TRUCK TO THE TREE SAYING "SWING AWAY" WHICH MEANS THIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT IN MEL GIBSON'S HEAD: 1. MEL GIBSON INTERPRETS THAT SHE MUST BE TALKING ABOUT BASEBALL 2. THEN HE SEES THE BASEBALL BAT ON THE WALL, SO HE THINKS HE MUST SWING THE BAT AT SOMETHING, BUT WHAT? 3. SWING AWAY? OH THAT MUST MEAN SWING AT THE ALIEN AND PROTECT MY SON!! I GET IT NOW!! God the whole thing reminded me of the episode of Simpson's where Homer keeps on thinking about the dental plan, and the fact Lisa needs braces. Dental plan, Lisa needs braces, Dental plan, Lisa needs braces, Dental plan, Lisa needs braces (co-worker drops pencil in Homer's ass crack) Thanks guys, now I lost my train of thought! Now where was I? Dental plan, Lisa needs braces, Dental plan, Lisa needs braces... hey if we give up our dental plan, I will have to pay for Lisa's braces! Way to go Mel Simpson!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Aliens in "Signs" can travel hundreds of light years with their

    by Neutral_Density

    They come all this way to fight with hand to hand combat?! In the immortal words of Norm MacDonald from the movie "Dirty Work": "Ridiculous. Completely, ridiculous."

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:01 a.m. CST

    The reason DONNIE DARKO isn't on the list is because it came out

    by Zod_Is_Back

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Where's About Schmidt?

    by BWolfe

    Did you not see it?

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:20 a.m. CST

    We all know what the real best movie was...

    by Himwhois

    Stealing Harvard...and I'd like to hear some one deny it.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:32 a.m. CST

    and yo' mama, too...

    by Zardoz

    I'm just curious how this film, Y Tu Mama Tambien, is getting on so many "best of" lists. It was okay, but no big deal. The most interesting thing was the pseudo-sex scenes. Sure, it was graphic for a non-porno, but not particularly innovative as far as the plot was concerned. I think I lot of horny geek-boy critics got a hard-on for this film because, well, they got a hard-on during the film...

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:45 a.m. CST

    i only like 2 of the films on Father Geek's list, TTT & SPIRITED

    by mooncake

    only TTT & SPIRITED AWAY was good, the rest i'd pass over & wait for video.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Why does the Insomnia remake get so much kissing of the ass?

    by FatPaul

    Nolan's Insomnia is, like all remakes of modern foreign films, an insult to moviegoers. So, why do all these people love it? Because the insult fits. How can anyone just accept that ridiculous woman-in-distress/big-mainstream-shoot-out ending? Easy: Their minds have been poisoned by a steady diet of 3-act hollywood formula scripts. In the words of a great man, "...demons sent from Hell, to lower the standards for the perfect and beautiful children of God!"

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    AOTC deserves a spot on any top 10 list because it has a fun fac

    by darthflagg

    Compared to The Two Towers 90% and Spidey's measly 70% (would have been higher if the special effects and action hadn't sucked so much in the last half). Also, if you felt uncomfortable about the romance and saw Anakin as a creepy stalker, then the film DID ITS JOB. You are not supposed to think Anakin is a great, perfect hero like Luke! That's why he falls to the dark side and his son doesn't.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by Nice Marmot

    Loved Signs in spite of the whole water thing. It was worth it just to actually get the willies again w/ all that tension. I grew up on UFO books & was deathly afraid of spotting aliens out the window. PLEASE tell me someone out there read about MOTHMAN before that awful Richard Gere flick. We need more SCARY movies!!! And didn't ANYONE notice that the alien DID get out of the pantry??? Check out the blatant close-up of the fingerless hand cradling Mel's son at the end. The digits were cut off with a friggin' butcher knife, remember?

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:41 p.m. CST

    "Gangs of New York" was the biggest disappointment of 2002.

    by Rollo Tomassi

    If you look, you will notice that even those critics who who placed GONY at the top of their best of the year lists find more about the film that didn't work than did. A typical review of GONY spends time lavishing praise (deservedly) on the performance of Daniel Day Lewis and the previous, better films of Martin Scrocese. Why? Because GONY is a disjointed, pointless mess of a film that has intermittent flashes of brilliance is but fall far short of the sum of it's parts. In the end, it is nothing more than a shallow, tired revenge tale with nothing in particular to say. The various sub-plots to not fit together or compliment the film (the Cameron Diaz romantic subplot clashes wildly with everything else in the movie. And could any plot device possibly be more tired than the two best friends and the girl they both love triangle? That's every damn Aidan Quinn movie). And, as is sometimes the case, Scorcese's undeniable technical innovation and brilliance actually takes one out of the story at times. That being said, GONY is not a bad film, just not a very good one. The cinematography, editing, score, art direction and costume design are all top notch, and Day Lewis gives another masterful performance. And despite my earlier criticism, I find a great deal of Scorcese's direction impressive, some even brilliant. But the characters are not compelling, the film has no point, and the absurdly graphic violence (and the ease with which Di Caprio recovers)is often cartoony and exploitative, rather than real. The fact that it is recieving some good reviews and showing on some best films of the year list is because people have such a fondness for Scorcese (as well they should), and because nobody wants to admit they don't "get" it. Well, guess what, folks: There's nothing there to "get". The emperor has no point.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Roger Dodger

    by Garbageman33

    Was a great little movie featuring an amazing performance by Campbell Scott. Not to mention the triumphant return of Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkeley. For some reason, though, no one saw it. Too bad, because it was better than 98% of the dreck coming out of Hollywood.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Where's "Master of Disguise"?!?!

    by rev_skarekroe

    For shame! sk

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:24 p.m. CST

    The only Top ten list that really means a dam thing

    by skiopps

    1)The Hours 2)Talk to her (3)Gangs of New York 4)Adaptation 5)Auto Focus 6)The two towers 7)Far from heaven 8)Minority Report 9)Punch Drunk love 10)Aerat

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:35 p.m. CST excuse for a lobotomy.

    by Fatal Discharge

    Water??!!!?? A baseball bat!!!!???!!! No special effects budget!!!!!????!!!!! Boring as Hell!!!!!!!!! By the way, as a warning....if your top 5 are all sci-fi/fantasy you are a nerd. Go out and watch The Pianist or Adaptation and broaden your mind a little.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Thanks for that, Albert

    by Garbageman33

    By the way, what movies did you like this year?

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 6:53 p.m. CST

    best of the year

    by obx

    in no particular order, Fast Runner, Bloody Sunday, Punch-Drunk Love, City of God, Spirited Away, Changing Lanes, Sunshine State, Songs from the second Floor, Bowling for Columbine, Adaptation. And my personal favorite, 24 Hour Party People.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:05 p.m. CST

    And Rabbit Proof Fence? A true gem of a movie...

    by workshed

    The one that will walk away with the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2003. You heard it here first. That's unless City of God pips it to the post.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Amen, Brother!

    by Redrockmullet

    You're absolutely right! Why can't people see through the secondary science fiction plot and see the REAL story in signs? Its not about the Aliens at all... its about the Man. Its about Gibson's character's return to his faith...about the way that God works everything together, and that, NO, we are NOT alone. THATS what Signs is about, not effects or aliens!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:23 a.m. CST

    One word....

    by Truman_Burbank

    ... Solaris. How has this not been mentioned by anyone? Easily one of the smartest, most flawlessly crafted films of the year. It will hold up for years on end, and deserves recognition. No box office? Who cares! Not the best reviews? Not winning votes from any coveted awards? Fuck em! Solaris is amazing. Go see it if you haven't. Trust me.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Frailty #1

    by eyeballfilm

    i think Frailty was the best flick of the year by a long shot. others are The 2 towers, rodger dodger, adaptation. worst of the year was AOTC. a friggin mess it was!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Volcano High? Where the hell did that come from?

    by jay1540

    I spent two weeks running this korean film down on dvd and it was worth all the effort. Volcano High is one of the most original, interesting, entertaining martial arts films I have seen in quite a long time. I recommend everyone with the means and any interest to procure themselves a copy as well. But it just seems to stand out to me on that list next to many more publically recognized films. Nice to see someone else actually appreciates it.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:28 a.m. CST

    It strikes me that somehow many didn't understand "Signs"

    by BigTuna

    Complaints that the Alien got locked in the pantry...Hello! the Alien was right there at the end and then complaining of no big action ending geeze. The alien invasion wasn't the focal point of the film at all. It's an excellent movie. Perhaps if it was a movie with no budget and made no money all you idiots would love it.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 2:40 a.m. CST

    something new: a talkbcker's top 10 list

    by jules windex

    In order: AOTC, Spider-Man, Signs, Antwone Fisher, Insomnia, Chicago, Minority Report, Blade 2, Punch-Drunk Love, Road To Perdition

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:27 p.m. CST

    <sigh> Signs yet again....

    by Fatal Discharge

    It didn't bother me that there weren't elaborate special effects sequences but why were the effects that were seen so shoddy? A man in a rubber suit is NOT scary. I read somewhere that Shyamalan was going to have CGI aliens but the effects weren't done in time. Well, there's no excuse for that in a big-budget Hollywood film....they should've delayed the release until they were ready. And I LIKE character studies even in Sci-fi stories but the ludicrous "invasion" which made no sense and had so many plot holes plus the hokiness of the baseball bat and asthma spray used to beat the aliens just made me laugh out loud.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:20 p.m. CST

    The Cat's Meow? Please...

    by Glass

    That movie stinks. The women in it are more annoying and disgusting than a bad case of anal warts. Kirsten Dumpster is terrible in every way. Awful actress, not charming in the least. How can anyone consider this film to be one of the best of the year? Insomnia is a mediocre movie, and One Hour Photo is mediocre at best. Signs is a fantastic movie, and to those who don't like it: watch it again. Give it another chance.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 10:02 p.m. CST

    The HELL with lists...

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    ...too lazy to make one up, but I would like to make the kind of sweeping generalization that gets so much play here in the talkbacks...if you CAN'T SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT THE ALIENS IN SIGNS, STOP WATCHING MOVIES. Or at least be consistent, and start bitching about how ridiculous THE SEVENTH SEAL is, since death wouldn't waste his time playing chess. The fact that people still think the CGI (the FRIGGIN' CGI!) is still worth discussing proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Western audiences are permanently brain dead. Just more proof that some people watch EVERYTHING as if it were a big dumb action film, even when they pretend to pay attention to the story. And I'd just like to add that, had the CGI sucked in MINORITY REPORT, absolutely everyone would say it was crap. I don't care how much time you waste trying to justify the "intellectual" content of that Kindergarten level 1984/FUGITIVE Xerox, if it hadn't have looked cool, it wouldn't have gotten within spitting distance of anyone's top 50.

  • Jan. 2, 2003, 2:06 p.m. CST

    <cough> Facist <cough>

    by BannthisUcommies

    Frida? Bowling? Just get it over with and move to China already.

  • Jan. 3, 2003, 8:47 p.m. CST

    The cool and not-so-cool of 2K2

    by MovieStud

    My top ten list for the year.....number 10 Spiderman, didnt expect alot and got the most fun out of a hyped summer movie since ID4. #9 Brotherhood of the Wolf, which has bizare moments I will never that visit to the bordello and that mortal kombat spoof of a climax. #8 Insomnia with great acting writing and editting...a shame that this is getting ignored over not so great films like 8mile and minority report. #7 Punch Drunk Love a.k.a. Adam Sandler's Truman Show...what a joy to see Sandler act and the underlining message in its plot was something i never thought would be in a least what i got out of it. #6 Igby Goes Down WHAT A CAST!!! Kiren Culkin deserves an oscar nod. #5 Catch Me If You Can wow what a fun movie done with the persion that tops Ocean's 11. #4 Signs M. NIGHT SHYMALAN IS THE NEXT HITCHCOCK...ENOUGH SAID! #3 Road to Perdition such a spectacular movie, hope if gets the oscar nods it deserves. #2 Antwone Fisher WONDERFUL...Roger Ebert was right about this one. AND OF COURSE THE BEST MOVIE OF THE 2K2 was...the Two Towers and its a special movie that entertains and just kinda started and ended not like a movie ever has...some close calls to me was 8 Mile, Minority Report, Frailty, Bourne Identity, Changing Lanes, The Rookie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Barbershop.....ah and the worst...Walk to Remember, John Q, K-19, H202: Resurrection, Reign of Fire, and that Mothman movie. looking foward to the Matrix movies and Return of the King, and not very much else.

  • Jan. 5, 2003, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Was "Dangerous lives of Altar Boys" from 2002?

    by sharmuta

    If it was, I'm surprised it isn't mentioned by anyone. I think it rocked. I haven't seen "The Pianist" or "Adaptation" but I expect that they will end up amongst my favorites for 2002. Can't wait to see them!!!! Other films I really liked: "Two Towers" was incredible, "Insmonia" was great, "Frailty" was downright disturbing (in a good way), "Bowling for Columbine" was copletely fascinating (except for a few exagerations like the Wonderful World montage and the connection with bombing Kosovo), "Minority Report" was awesome, "We Were Soldiers" I quite liked (I have a weakness for war movies) and "The Salton Sea" was also pretty cool. Regarding "Signs", I thought it was interesting, in a sense that Shmalayan, is certainly talented at building tension and establishing mood, but I have to say that, IMHO, anyone that can write off the obvious gaping holes in the plot as unimportant is smoking way too much crack. People, this is a seriously flawed movie. "Attack of the Clones" managed to be quite enjoyable and at the same time absolutely aweful. I'll see the next one, but I don't expect very much from it. Shame Lucas didn't leave Star Wars alone after the the first three, it would have kept its dignity as being serious, revolutionary film making. An I think its time we put an end to all things Star Trek. Stop hanging on to the past people, let things go. I eagerly await the next installments of "Matrix", though something inside of me keeps calling out "Back to the Future". And of course, I can't wait for "Return of the King".