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Moriarty's Favorite Films Of 2002!

Published at: Oct. 10, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST

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

It’s that time of year.

The time of year when everybody who even remotely deals with reviewing films for the public grabs a soapbox, jumps up on it, and starts declaring what the best of this and the best of that and the worst of this or that was. It’s that time of the year when we are innundated with lists, endless lists, and even more seemingly endless awards.

So far be it from me to be any different, right?

As best I can figure, I saw 112 films worth contemplating this year. I also count 92 films I missed for one reason or another. I’ve decided to offer a full list of qualifying films I saw and a full list of films I missed (e-mail me if you care) because this was a strange year for me. This was the first year I can remember where I was genuinely so busy that I simply missed films I wanted to see. There are films I feel like I missed out on, discussions with friends that I didn’t have because of my work load. One of the reasons I’m not more upset about it is because so many of the experiences I did have were great ones, and the bad ones just added the flavor that makes 2002 a keeper.

This, then, is not definitive. It’s not even close. This is simply assorted nonsense that dissects, bisects, examines, and explores the movies I saw, an effort to give the year a context. This is just a look back, by me, at the year 2002, and the highs and lows that I take away from it. Don’t sweat me on the math of each list, because I cheat like a mutha. If you want a list of the ten “best” films released this year, I suggest you wait a decade, since at the end of the year, it’s all hysteria and panic, anyway, no matter who you talk to, and the only way to really know what the best films this year are is to see what stands up to the test of time.

So... without further ado...

TEN GREAT FILMS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T SEE (in ascending order of preference)

This is not the main list. This is a warm up. These movies didn’t make the main list (although there might be a few on there that have had limited exposures of their own), but they deserved to be seen. They offered something that made the year memorable, real voices that should be heard. If you saw any or all of these films, then consider yourself fortunate, and count yourself as a real film lover, someone who is dedicated to seeking out the experiences worth having each year. I’m sure you’ll agree that these were some of 2002’s gems:

10. TIE: BIGGIE & TUPAC and GIGANTIC: A TALE OF TWO JOHNS

Maybe I’m cheating, putting two films in this last slot, but these two documentaries, both about musicians and the music business, are equally illuminating, but of totally different corners of the difficult and even deadly music world, and I can’t help but see them as mirrors of one another. Nick Broomfield, an even more reckless provocateur than Michael Moore, takes on Suge Knight and the mystery surrounding the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Biggie” Smalls. Broomfield isn’t afraid to point fingers and name names, and the release of his film was met head-on with an LA TIMES article that implicated a totally different culprit, a magnificent piece of spin that reads like science fiction after seeing how persuasive an argument Broomfield mounts. GIGANTIC is a success story by comparison, a portrait of a partnership that has survived the ups and downs of being working artists on the fringe of mainstream acceptance. They Might Be Giants are presented in all their majestic monotony, the antithesis of the way bands are typically hyped by MTV or ROLLING STONE. They’re professional, friendly, and above all else, businessmen. The triumph of the film is seeing how they’ve always managed to reach out and find an audience, and how as the way people listen to music changes, the band does to. A survivor’s story like this is the perfect antitode to the acid pessimism of Broomfield’s work, and taken together, they’re a potent slice of reality.

9. BUBBA HO-TEP

Don Coscarelli and Joe R. Lansdale are the sick, silly minds responsible for this deep-fried monster movie featuring excellent work by fanboy fave Bruce Campbell and a surprisingly affecting appearance by Ossie Davis.

When you try to describe the plot to someone, they look at you like you’re farting the National Anthem, and for good reason. An elderly Elvis Presley, who didn’t die thanks to a late career PRINCE AND THE PAUPER-style switch of lifestyles with his best impersonator, is serving out his last days in a miserable Texas retirement home, where he’s friends with an elderly black man who believes he is JFK, the victim of extensive plastic surgery after a failed assassination attempt. Together, they have to stop a mummy that is killing the other residents of the home. Coscarelli doesn’t go for the easy joke, and he seems to have been given a real kick in the seat as a filmmaker by the Lansdale source material. He invests these characters with a peculiar dignity, and the actors give it all they’ve got. This is shameless fun, the kind of film I’d have to call a guilty pleasure if it wasn’t so damn good.

8. DIAMOND MEN

I saw Dan Cohen’s film when I was in Champaign-Urbana for Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival, and it’s one of those low-key charmers that just sticks with you. Robert Forster hasn’t always been given the best material since JACKIE BROWN, but this is a role that makes the most of his particular charisma. Donnie Wahlberg is a surprise in the picture, genuine in the way he seems to get better the more time he spends with Forster. Even Bess Armstrong has a chance to shine in a way that she’s almost never done before. Cohen’s script is along the lines of a Mamet con game, but there’s a much warmer heart than there would be in a Mamet film. It’s well-plotted, and more than anything, there’s a sense that Cohen meant it. His father and his grandfather both worked as travelling diamond salesmen, and there’s an authenticity to the film that makes you forgive any minor bumps in the road. Whenever it finally hits video, this is one you owe it to yourself to track down, a guaranteed smile.

7. EQUILIBRIUM

I could have included BELOW in this list, too, I suppose, since it suffered the same indifferent release as Kurt Wimmer’s futuristic actioner, but in the end, BELOW didn’t stick with me the way EQUILIBRIUM did.

Until I can get my MATRIX fix this summer, Wimmer’s film is more than fine. That’s not to say it’s a total lift. At least not from any single source. Instead, he’s taken a series of influences and whipped them into a groovy, fast-moving, high-octane action film on a budget, and more than anything, it’s the impact of the big moments that left an impression on me. I’m always a cheap customer when it comes to well-choreographed action with just enough of an excuse for a plot, and this film delivers on all fronts. Christian Bale proves here beyond a shadow of a doubt that he should be the next major actor slapped into spandex in service of the BATMAN or SUPERMAN franchises, although a truly enterprising writer/director would craft an original for him. Maybe Wimmer will get another shot soon, and maybe next time he’ll be with a studio that has the balls to release his film properly.

6. HELL HOUSE

This one’s already playing on IFC or Sundance Channel (I forget where I stumbled across it the other day), and I find that anytime I’m just skipping channels and see this, I’ll stop. I think it’s an absorbing picture, reminiscent of early Errol Morris work, that doesn’t condescend to its subjects in order to make its points. That’s a tricky tightrope to walk when you’re making a film about religious fundamentalists and media propaganda, but George Ratliff does a great job of staying out of the movie. Instead, the creators of a religious haunted house are analyzed in microscopic detail, and the particular fervor of their beliefs ends up being quite affecting, even if you don’t agree with a word of it, or with their tactics. A great documentary is a window into someone else’s world, and this film is definitely a great documentary.

4. TIE: INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN and ATANARJUAT: THE FAST RUNNER

Here’s a pair of films that feel like documentaries, but aren’t. In one case, it’s intentional, a sly goof on the form that allows first-time director Neil Burger to build a convincingly creepy conspiracy film around a character of his own creation, and in the other case, it’s because everyone and everything we’re looking at is authentic, something we’ve never seen on film before. In both cases, the films are unforgettable.

Raymond J. Barry is the whole show in INTERVIEW. If he wasn’t the remarkable character actor he is, I wouldn’t still be talking about this one at this point in the year. Barry’s one of those character actors you’ve seen in a dozen different roles at least, but this feels like a role he owns completely. There’s something so corrosive, so bitter about the way he plays it that you believe he’s capable of anything, including the murder of a President. Writer/director Burger taps the potent mythology around the JFK conspiracy to craft something that feels true.

Inuit mythology is brought to vivid life in this film that feels like a transmission from another planet. It’s hard to accurately dissect the performances in this film, since the culture being portrayed is so different from ours in almost every way. It’s the similarities that begin to show up that make this such an electric viewing experience. Director Zacharias Kunuk is all but invisible, his touch feather light with the material, and the film takes on a more hyperreal quality because of it. If not for the almost mythical elements to the story, one could believe that this happened, that it’s happening right now, and that it will always happen this way, no matter what culture.

1. THREE-WAY TIE: NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE and THE RULES OF ATTRACTION and THE SALTON SEA

Yes, I hosted screenings of all three of these films, and in a way, that’s why they were chosen for this top slot, but that’s sort of stating things backwards. It’s just as easy to say that I hosted screenings of these movies because I knew they would be hard sells, and I believe in the merits of each.

NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE is the single skankiest film I saw this year, grimy and unpleasant and so dirty you feel like you should wash your hands repeatedly during the thing. That’s the point, though. Adam Rifkin, fascinated by one of the darkest little corners of Los Angeles, managed to invest our sympathies into a group of hapless losers floundering towards some sort of grace, and in the process, he gave great roles to complete unknowns and made expert use of familiar faces. This is not an easy trip, but it’s one worth making.

The same could be said of Roger Avery’s RULES OF ATTRACTION, a blistering adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis’s novel, and a more successful film than the overrated, underbaked AMERICAN PSYCHO. Unlike Mary Herron, Avery didn’t feel the need to tone down the worldview of the book to make it more palatable. If anything, Avery drives home the disconnected apathy of the book by giving flesh to these characters. It’s one thing to read about Sean Bateman’s behavior; it’s something else entirely to see it play out in front of you. James Van Der Beek redeems himself for every single half-witted episode of DAWSON’S CREEK with his performance here, but it’s Shannon Sossamon who is the revelation. It’s been obvious that she was lovely from her first moment onscreen, but until this, I hadn’t seen a hint of the actress she seems to be evolving into. Add daring, fearless work by Ian Somerhalder and Kip Purdue, and you have the year’s best youth cast in the most unjustly maligned film this fall.

And then there’s SALTON SEA. I would love this film ferociously if only for the fact that Val Kilmer seems to be alive for the first time in years here, fully engaged by what he’s got to do. Ironic, since his character has withdrawn from life and become a mask, a mere shell, following the murder of his wife by corrupt police officers. The crime story here takes various twists and turns, some more clever than others, but it’s the cast and the sure hand of DJ Caruso that makes this one matter.

HONORABLE MENTION (in ascending order of preference)

If this were my top ten list, I’d still say it had been a damn fine year of film. The films on this list include foreign, domestic, independent, and studio movies, and I love the fact that there were so many different experiences to have at the theater this year if one went looking. One of the most enjoyable things is how some of these filmmakers are people who I’ve never really cared for in the past, and who have established themselves as really vital this year, while people I’ve really enjoyed in the past failed to make a mark with their most recent work. Just goes to show... you have to take it film by film, because everyone is capable of surprising you.

10. MAY

This is one of those films that makes me proud to be a lifelong horror film fan. Sure, the majority of what gets released as part of that genre is garbage, but on those occasions that a filmmaker really takes full advantage of the metaphorical potential of horror, we get movies like this one about a girl who is simply unable to connect with the people around her, and who reaches out in the only broken, stunted way she knows how. Angela Bettis is bliss in the lead role, and Jeremy Sisto and Anna Ferris lend nice support as two of her objects of desire. Lucky McKee has a promising career ahead of himself as long as he manages to avoid the trap of becoming another whipping boy for Dimension, a place where talented genre filmmakers evidently go to die. Let’s hope Lions Gate proves that they’re more adventurous when they roll this one staring this March in New York and Los Angeles. Learn from those test markets, Mr. Ortenberg, and handle this with care. After all, if you’ve seen the film, you know what happens to anyone who screws with MAY’s affections.

9. NINE QUEENS

Faibian Bielinsky makes one of the year’s strongest debuts as a director with this elaborate con game that manages to out-Mamet Mamet and actually say something profound about Argentina, the film’s country of origin.

I love movies about deception when they’re done well. They’re enormous fun to watch with an audience as people try to guess which way the film is headed, and Bielinsky manages to confound every guess you might have about the eventual outcome of things thanks to the fact that he’s got more on his mind than he initially lets on. I watched this for the first time on Christmas Eve in a house full of Argentinians, and not only did they enjoy the narrative’s twists and turns, they also flipped out at each location they recognized. Their mood of celebration grew somber, though, as the real agenda of the film was revealed. Without ruining the film’s next to last great twist, let’s just say that anyone who followed the news about Argentina’s tortured economy this year will be able to guess who’s really getting screwed by the time the credits roll, and just who the bad guy of the piece ultimately turns out to be.

8. CQ

I didn’t see this one until it made its debut on DVD, and I’m kicking myself now. Roman Coppola’s film is such a smart, informed love letter to movies that it demands a bigscreen viewing. MGM/UA may have packed the DVD with extras, but the picture quality of the transfer is horrific, which is twice as painful once you realize just how subtle and witty the cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman is. Growing up around the film industry has informed this and given Coppola’s script a gentle, effortless depth that raises the question, “Can a film that is primarily about the process of making films and that is cobbled together from the evident influences of other films ever manage to stand as an original?” The answer, based on this film’s almost overwhelming charm, is a resounding “Yes.”

7. ABOUT A BOY

Who knew the Weitz brothers had it in them? ABOUT A BOY is such a quiet, simple leap forward that I had to see it twice before I believed what I was seeing. Maybe seeing it near my birthday this year (my 32nd... dear god...) had something to do with the way I reacted to it. Maybe it’s the fact that Nick Hornby is a keen observer of men, especially young men who are making an uneasy transition into the responsibilities of adulthood.

Whatever the case, this definitely goes on the “credits” column for Hugh Grant, who delivers career best work here as Will, one of the two boys the title refers to. He’s not the Hollywood version of self-centered, ripe for a change at the slightest nudge of conscience. Instead, he’s a genuine selfish prick, and at best, he makes baby steps towards being a better man by the end of the film. What Hornby realizes, and what screenwriter Peter Hedges understood, is that it’s not the end results that matter. It’s the decision to change. It’s the willingness to change. Once you reach that, the rest is a process that may never fully end. Nicholas Hoult deserves some sort of special award for wearing the most unfortunate haircut in film history, and special mention must be made of how bold it was to not turn the film into a romance between Marcus’s mother and Will. It’s a film that confounds expectation, and that delivers genuine delight.

6. FAR FROM HEAVEN

Forget the Douglas Sirk references. If I read one more critic try to tell me that this film is good because of some relationship to Douglas Sirk, I’m going to scream. Who cares? I mean, I get it. The lush photography by Ed Lachman, the magnificent score by Elmer Bernstein (one of his very finest), the impeccable sense of color and composition and the restraint... all of it is present in ILLUSION OF LIFE or ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, but if all this film accomplished was a recreation of another director’s style, it wouldn’t be worth discussion.

Instead, it’s the way Todd Haynes uses this artificial world to communicate truth that makes FAR FROM HEAVEN such a grand emotional sucker punch. Haynes has always been fond of rigid formalism that disguises emotional abandon, even from his first film, the illegal and impossible to see SUPERSTAR. This time out, he was blessed with Julianne Moore, who he worked so well with on SAFE, and who seems to have decided that this year, she was going to take all the limits off of how far she was willing to push herself. There’s an optimism, an unextinguishable spirit, that makes her glow in this film, and somehow, Haynes and his cast transform melodrama into essential text, and an homage into something that stands resolutely on its own.

5. UNFAITHFUL

Boy, this one surprises me. UNFAITHFUL is, in many ways, the film that Adrian Lyne tried to make with FATAL ATTRACTION. Satan’s Minion Joe Farrell and his Instrument of Evil, NRG, took care of that, though, when test screenings led Paramount to force Lyne to cut the balls of his movie, turning an attack on infidelity into a stupid slasher film that seems to say “It’s okay to have an affair as long as you and your wife kill the crazy bitch when it’s over.”

Here, Lyne and his screenwriters (Alvin Sargent and William Broyles, Jr., working from a French film by the brilliant Claude Chabrol) have switched the genders up and backed off the sensational aspects of this kind of story. Instead, they’ve made a film about choices, and about how single moments can change our lives. Diane Lane’s never been given a role like this, and she makes the most of it. I’ve harbored a crush on her since I was 12 years old and saw THE OUTSIDERS, but this is one of the first times she’s ever been allowed to play a fully-written human being. You hate her for what she does in this film, but you can’t help understanding her as well. It’s daring work, and this also marked Gere’s trifecta for the year (MOTHMAN PROPHECIES and CHICAGO serving as fascinating bookends). He’s great, and he has one of the best moments in the movie. Oliver Martinez plays a believable object of lust, and his arrogance is both hilarious (watch him smell his fingers in the restaurant) and infuriating (his scene with Gere). This is sophisticated adult entertainment that forces you to react, and that never offers up an easy out or a simple answer. It’s the best work of Adrian Lyne’s career, and an indication that he may still be growing as a filmmaker, something that’s always wonderful to watch happen.

4. THE QUIET AMERICAN

Philip Noyce is another one of those guys who has been languishing in commercial hell for a while, only to come on strong with not one but two personal films in a year. RABBIT-PROOF FENCE is a nice small film with some very natural work by child actors, but it’s no WALKABOUT. No worries, though. Noyce made his classic this year, too.

Graham Greene would seem to be difficult to adapt to film because of how internal and personal much of the material is, but that’s not the case when a filmmaker really understands what they’re doing. Neil Jordan nailed it with his criminally overlooked END OF THE AFFAIR, and so does Noyce with this film, adapted with grace by Christopher Hampton and Robert Schenkkan. Michael Caine is the broken heart of Britain watching its empire slip away, and he manages to make his May-December romance with Phuong (played with reserve and poise by newcomer Do Thi Hai Yen) poignant and moving instead of creepy, as so many of them are on film. Brendan Fraser proves again that given the right material, he’s capable of great things, and the cinematography by Christopher Doyle (one of the best in the business) transports us to a Vietnam I never knew existed. This isn’t an easy political message to swallow this year, but that’s what makes it so incredibly important. Quick... someone screen this for Bush and let’s see if any part of this film’s enormous heart and soul can influence him towards sanity while there’s still a chance to avoid a simple repeat of history.

3. NARC

Awesome. Ass-kicking. Compact and explosive. Joe Carnahan’s second film is the kind upon which entire careers are built, and if there’s any justice in this world, Ray Liotta and Jason Patric will ride a wave of goodwill from this for years to come. They’re both as good as any actor in any film this year as they dance around a confusing, grimy little mystery, and the real trick of the thing is that the mystery isn’t important at all. What matters most in this film is the way Patric fumbles for redemption and the way Liotta tries to deliver salvation. These two broken souls just keep butting heads over the course of the film until there’s nothing left to do but explode in an operatic ending that puts NARC on the short list of great police procedurals. Cliff Martinez is rapidly becoming one of the best film composers in the business, and the support he and cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy give to Carnahan is immeasurable. This may be a small film, but it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any “big” movie this year.

2. BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

I know people who hate Michael Moore, and I know people who love him. Me, I fall somewhere in the middle. I think he’s a very smart guy who can be his own worst enemy. There are moments in his films that I think every man, woman, and child in this country should see, and there are sequences that almost embarrass me, they’re so miscalculated. That’s part of the charm of his movies, though, and it seems appropriate when you see an image like Moore walking off the estate of Charlton Heston near the film’s end, this big shambling wreck of a guy.

What I found most remarkable about BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE was that the film isn’t the anti-gun screed so many people had told me to expect. I don’t think the film is anti-gun at all. After all, Moore uses the Canadians as one of his major focuses of study in the film, and the gun ownership rates in that country are incredible. Instead, Moore suggests that America’s apparent problem with rage is more a result of our culture of fear, especially as encouraged by our news media. It’s a bold, intuitive leap, and it’s still not the only answer Moore offers. It’s just a possibility he raises, and the more he explores the idea, the more rational and obvious it seems. For a film to offer images of such stark horror and such simple humor over the course of a mere hour and a half is pretty amazing, and no matter what you think of Moore’s film in the end, it’s a safe bet you won’t forget it.

1. THE HOURS

I had to chew on this one for a few days before I decided what I thought of it. Easily one of the most rigorously intellectual mainstream films of the year, THE HOURS surprised me by also being one of the most sensual. There is a tactile quality to this film that seduced me, and I could just sit and soak up the lush cinematography of Seamus McGarvey or bask in the score by Philip Glass that practically hypnotizes as the film unfolds, but there’s so much more to it than that. Yes, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep do great, difficult work as women all dealing with notions of happiness and unhappiness, but Ed Harris is the one who really knocked me out in his supporting role. His physical transformation is shocking at first sight, but it’s his trademark willingness to expose himself emotionally that makes it stick.

What David Hare seems to be saying with his adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is that we can drive ourselves crazy by holding a certain picture of happiness or satisfaction in our heads and comparing everything else in our lives to that picture. Yes, it’s good to contemplate what we want, but at what point do we begin to miss the things that we already have? This is not a film that offers up its meanings on a plate, and there’s a lot to digest on first viewing. But like a great novel, this is a film that will reward viewers who are willing to dig deeper, and it’s a helluva nice next step in Stephen Daldry’s directorial career.

MY TEN FAVORITES OF 2002 (in ascending order of preference)

And now, the cream of the crop. These ten films all felt essential to me as I moved through the past year. Each of them means something different and personal to me, and I want to thank everyone involved with them. The harder I work on projects of my own, the more grateful I am each time I see something that transports me or moves me, and the more precious I consider these small wonders. When I think of 2002, these are the movies that defined it for me. Oh... and I know I cheated like a sunuvabitch on my number one slot. Sue me. This isn’t rocket science. It’s emotional response, and rules seem a little silly.

10. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE

It’s very simple. Either you feel the films that Paul Thomas Anderson makes, or you don’t. I can’t explain to you what it is that draws me into this enchanting, sweetly surreal little movie, and I can’t expect you to have the same reaction I did. I will say that keeping his film to a brief 94 minutes seems to have liberated him. As much as I love MAGNOLIA, it’s a hard film to rewatch casually. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, on the other hand, is a confection, a beautiful, lyrical little mediation on anger and love and the fragility of connection, and Adam Sandler is every bit Emily Watson’s equal in it. Packed to the edges of the frame with supporting characters worth spending more time with, PTA seems to have finally learned the value of leaving his audience wanting more.

9. 25TH HOUR

Wow. Who woke Spike Lee up?

I can’t imagine anyone seriously levelling the charge at Lee after this movie that he is a hateful filmmaker, something which has haunted even his best efforts in the past. Maybe it was September 11th that changed him, or maybe it just clarified things for him. Whatever the case, the shadow of that event hangs over this entire film, and Spike seems to take energy from it. There’s a moment in the middle of this film where Monty (Ed Norton) sees “fuck you” written on a bathroom mirror, sparking off an extended monologue that seems at first glance to be another of Spike’s rants about the different racial groups in New York. What’s great about this film can be summed up in that moment, though, because Spike isn’t just trotting out an old trick. Instead, Monty is ranting at himself, lashing out at everyone who gets to stay in New York while he prepares to face seven years in prison. He’s actually saying “Fuck me for having to leave all of this behind.” In the same way, Lee uses visual tricks we’ve grown familiar with to new and more powerful effect here. Some credit has to go to screenwriter David Benioff, working from his own novel. He’s given Spike a simple character piece to bring to life as Monty spends his last day of freedom trying to make some peace with his best friends (Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman, both great), his girlfriend Naturelle (the lovely Rosario Dawson), and his father, played with quiet power by Brian Cox. Ultimately, the film seems to be about survival in the face of adversity, so it’s really no wonder Spike embraced it and turned in one of his very best films. And if you make it through the emotional powerhouse ending of the picture unmoved, then I’d advise you to get your black little Grinch heart checked. You may already be dead.

8. LILO & STITCH

Walt Disney Feature Animation isn’t fooling anybody. Anyone, even the most casual of fan, can tell you that they’ve been locked into rigid formulas since THE LITTLE MERMAID put the company back on track in 1988. Any attempts to stray from those formulas tended to lead to diminshing returns.

I mean, let’s be honest. Pixar has been more regular about producing great films, and the arrival of a new Disney film is no longer the event it was when, say, THE LION KING first arrived. As a result, it’s sort of a miracle that something like LILO & STITCH even exists. What makes this work where something like TREASURE PLANET fails is that LILO & STITCH is full to the brim with love of its characters. Because Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders love their entire cast of oddballs, so do we. Design is a key part of what makes this so immediately embraceable, too. Stitch is one of the great Disney characters, visually speaking, and Lilo seems to be straight out of the work of Bill Watterson, a sort of little-girl answer to Calvin. Yes, the film hammers home its theme of “ohana” a little hard, but it also delivers with big laughs and an earned emotional punch. No matter how mercilessly Disney exploits these characters in vile direct-to-video sequels in the future, at least they made this big-hearted gem to kick it all off.

7. SPIRITED AWAY

Miyazaki is one of film’s purest poets, and his latest effort is an incandescent fairy tale, a thing of wonder and beauty. Analyzing it... trying to dissect it intellectually... is a mistake. This is a film to feel, a film to simply let wash over you. It is also one of the great examples of imagination given shape and form, and will no doubt be enjoyed by future generations as one more magnificent effort from the master of anime.

6. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND

The fact that this is the second best screenplay written by Charlie Kaufman this year would depress me if I hadn’t hated HUMAN NATURE. This guy’s got a scary amount of talent, and when he’s paired with the right filmmaker, the results are magical. I love Sam Rockwell as Chuck Barris, and I’m surprised by how much I liked the work by Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. If there’s anyone who deserves a clap on the back for making this work, it’s George Clooney, who proves to be a gifted and intuitive filmmaker his first time at bat. Here’s hoping he makes more trips behind the camera soon.

5. CHICAGO

Pure joy. A wicked cynical heart may make CHICAGO dance, but there’s no denying the dazzling spectacle that Rob Marshall and Bill Condon have summoned in honor of the late Bob Fosse. My first viewing of this will remain one of my very favorite memories from this year, and I recommend seeing it with as big an audience as possible. When someone mentions a “crowd-pleaser,” it’s a film like this that they’re talking about.

4. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN

Effortless, like a French New Wave classic, loaded with meaning and utterly without guile at the same time, Alfonso Cuaron’s defining film is one of those effortless classics that lingers. Maribel Verdu is the year’s most appealing and heartbreaking heroine, and she’s going to be utterly forgotten by the Academy. These movies only work if we all fall in love with this type of character. Think of Jennifer O’Neill in SUMMER OF ’42. Verdu is a lovely woman, but what makes her beautiful is the grace with which she both accepts and spurns the advances of these two fumbling boys. She takes them a step closer to manhood, and she challenges them. She’s not afraid of anything because she knows she has no future. How she has been overlooked by everyone is beyond me, and if the acting branch of the Academy had one ounce of self-respect, they’d nominate her luminous work. I salute the film, and Alfonso Cuaron deserves special mention this year for capturing such mercurial magic on film with such an accurate and impassioned eye.

3. ABOUT SCHMIDT

Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor are one of the great teams in film right now, and adding Jack Nicholson to the mix raised their game substantially. “Dear Ndgugu” is one of the most memorable lines of dialogue this year, and the way Warren Schmidt lays himself bare in these letters that have no chance of being understood feels like one long dark cruel joke until the last scene, when a single ray of light becomes the year’s most devastating punchline.

2. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Spielberg has never been this light on his feet. He’s tapdancing as he makes this one, and the film manages to balance a heartfelt melancholy with a sense of playful malice, a combination that turns Frank Abagnale, Jr. into one of the year’s best characters. Leo Di Caprio is perfectly cast in the lead because he has learned the secret of great acting: generosity. Di Caprio wisely defers to Tom Hanks, who is flat out hilarious as Joe Friday-serious FBI agent Hanratty, a fraud specialist who finds himself drawn to this daring thief he’s chasing. Di Caprio also plays second-fiddle to Christopher Walken, the very definition of charisma, even in mid-collapse, as Frank Sr. His scenes give the film a soul, and John Williams, doing some of his best work in years, gives it a pulse. Minor gripes aside, this is a master commercial filmmaker at the top of his form, and it’s nearly pure joy.

1. THREE-WAY TIE: LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS and ADAPTATION and THE PIANIST

Life is, simply put, the process of people telling stories to each other. The way we learn, the way we socialize, the way we define ourselves, is through the telling of stories, the passing of experience from one person to the next. This year, three films were made which seemed to celebrate the integral nature of storytelling to our very existence, and no one of these masterpieces eclipsed the other. Instead, they each stand alone, perfect examples of what this media is capable of at this particular moment in time, each as cutting edge and as bold as they are classically styled and traditional. These three stories not only entertain and illuminate, they also manage to transform. You are a different and more interesting person for having taken these trips with these filmmakers.

People who complain about the way Peter Jackson is telling J.R.R. Tolkien’s remarkable LORD OF THE RINGS epic are missing the point. No two people tell a story the same way. If I asked someone to tell me about Jackson’s film, it would be filtered through them, and what they’d describe to me would be their version of Peter’s film, just as his films are his version of the books, which one could argue is simply Tolkien’s version of the books left behind by Bilbo and Frodo. Jackson’s vision of Middle-Earth as a real place and time and these films as historical epics is truly innovative, and it’s the thing that makes them feel brand new after decades of film fantasy. Digital effects are one of the tools he brings to the table, sure, but that’s not why he’s pulled off something that stymied other filmmakers for decades. I think it’s more due to the clarity with which Peter imagines this place. He’s managed to infect a whole team of lunatics with his vision, and it takes that almost evangelical zeal to work on a film for the better part of a decade. People misunderstood something I said in my initial review, so let me clarify it here... I see this as an essential film for viewing right now, as we stand on the brink of not one but two wars on foreign soil. We hold the Ring in our hand, and we have the ability to use it to terrible destructive ends. Our leaders are sorely tempted right now, and for reasons that are, at best, questionable. I am horrified at how little we seem to have learned from history, and how ready we are to plunge headlong into the madness of war once more.

That’s why a film like THE PIANIST feels so urgent, so essential. I’ve had people complain to me, “Oh, it’s just another film about the Holocaust,” but they’re missing the point. The reason Roman Polanski’s haunting testament is so important is because it is a true story of how one person survived that unfathomable event. Every survivor’s story is true, because when these things happen again (and I say when, not if, because I am afraid we do not learn from the past), we will once again be forced to turn to each other for help. Polanski’s film shows that there were good Jews and bad Jews, good Poles and bad Poles, and good Germans and bad Germans, and that it is the actions of individuals that allow Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrian Brody in the performance of a lifetime) to make it through the horror of WWII Poland alive. This is an enormously human film, vital and alive, simple in style but cutting edge in its clarity of vision.

Deciding how to tell a story is even more important than deciding which story to tell, which is why ADAPTATION seems to be the film that binds every other picture on this list together. Charlie Kaufman’s blindingly brilliant screenplay was brought to effortless life by Spike Jonze, and Nicolas Cage has never done better work than he does here as both Charlie and Donald Kaufman. This film can be read in a number of different ways, and one of the things that has most amazed me is how violently some people have rejected the film’s last third. I continue to marvel at the impact the film had on me, and I find myself aching to see it again now that I’ve made my way through everything else I wanted to see before writing this list. In the end, that’s the most basic criteria I use to determine where to place something on this list, and ADAPTATION deserves to share this number one spot with THE TWO TOWERS and THE PIANIST because of the enormous resonance they all have, and because I know these are classics, films I will revisit for the rest of my life.

FILMS I SIMPLY LIKED BUT HAD NO PLACE FOR ON ANY SORT OF FORMAL LIST:

JACKASS: THE MOVIE, BLADE 2, ONE HOUR PHOTO, THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE, ROAD TO PERDITION, TALK TO HER, AUTO FOCUS, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, FRIDA, IGBY GOES DOWN, SEX & LUCIA, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, LOVELY & AMAZING, SPIDER-MAN, SECRETARY, BELOW, 8 MILE, FRAILTY, LATE MARRIAGE, MAX, STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, THE RING, SPIDER, and SUNSHINE STATE.

FILMS I DESPERATELY WISH I COULD SAY I LIKED, BUT ULTIMATELY HAVE TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH:

SIGNS, GANGS OF NEW YORK, and MINORITY REPORT

THE 20 HOURS I WANT BACK (in order of agony)

As I’ve explained before, I don’t do a “worst of” list, since I hope I avoided a lot of films that might genuinely claim that title. Besides, one man’s bread and butter is another man’s shit on toast, so instead of me saying these are the worst films I saw this year, I’ll say that these are the movies that made me desperately wish I was doing something else... anything else... the entire time I was watching them. If I could add these to the “Missed” list and trade ten titles, I would.

1. FEARDOTCOM

Someone saw the original Japanese RING and PULSE and decided to try and rip them off. Too bad that someone didn’t know the first fucking thing about horror. Or acting. Or which way to point the camera while shooting. Miserable and loathesome would be too kind.

2. LOVE LIZA

Evidently intense grief turns you into a mongoloid. Who knew? This is one of those films that exists only to showcase a performance, and since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s working from a script by his brother and he’s being directed by another actor, there’s really no chance he’s going to even approximate subtle. This was about 90 minutes long, but felt like nine hours. I can’t imagine a more self-indulgent performance piece, and if I ever encounter one, I may not survive.

3. SIMONE

Dear Santa. Please bring Andrew Niccol a good idea this year. Something that isn’t smarmy and self-satisfied and hermetically sealed, please, like this catastrophe. Al Pacino looks lost here, and even the presence of my beloved Catherine Keener can’t save this one from collapsing under the weight of its own pretension. I promise, I’ll leave out the good milk and cookies, and I’ll even remember not to light a fire this year. Just please don’t make me sit through another one of these.

4. TIE: HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION and THEY

Someone stop Dimension before they kill again.

5. TWO WEEKS NOTICE

Someone needs to sit Sandra Bullock down and explain to her that Marc Lawrence may be a nice guy and fun to hang around with, but he obviously hates her very much. How else can you explain the triple crown of FORCES OF NATURE, MISS CONGENIALITY, and TWO WEEKS NOTICE? Now that he’s directing his own abominations, Lawrence appears to be poised to make shitty Bullock movies for the rest of his life. And if I get dragged to another one, I’m gonna have to throw him a beating.

6. THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS

Pointless animated fantasies and a coming of age story that goes nowhere and relies on one of the stupidest plot devices of the year make Peter Care’s directorial debut one of the most unpleasant chores of the year. Took me three tries to make it all the way through. I’m sorry I bothered.

7. SCOOBY DOO

This is a given. Don’t argue with me.

8. JOHN Q

This year’s I AM SAM. You can almost hear the executives on this one congratulating themselves on cobbling together one of the most pedestrian and condescending polemics possible, something that undermines the actual horror of the modern HMO system. It’s been a long time since DOG DAY AFTERNOON was made, and people still keep trying to rip it off. Remember... you gave Denzel an Oscar last year. Try watching this one without regretting it just a little.

9. TIE: PANIC ROOM and STORYTELLING

Two talented filmmakers. Two lifeless, shitty films. Todd Solondz and David Fincher both need to learn some new tricks right freakin’ now.

10. THE FOUR FEATHERS

Evidently honor is defined as the killing of brown people in this film that has no idea what the hell it’s trying to say. I know Harvey Scissorhands mangled Shakur Kapur’s original cut, but I have no idea how this witless, although pretty, mess could have been improved by more running time.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Best Film I Saw For The First Time That Isn’t A 2002 Film

TWO WOMEN (Iran)

Best Comic Book Movie

BLADE 2

Honorable Mention

SPIDER-MAN

Funniest Line Of The Year

”Is Butterbean okay?”

Honorable Mention

“Dear Ndugu...”

Best STAR WARS Film Of The Year

THE TWO TOWERS

Honorable Mention

ATTACK OF THE CLONES

Best James Bond Film

THE BOURNE IDENTITY

Honorable Mention

xXx

Best Terrible Film That Really Wasn’t

FEMME FATALE

Honorable Mention

DEATH TO SMOOCHY

Best Hip-Hop Culture Film

BIGGIE & TUPAC

Honorable Mention

8 MILE

Film I’m Happiest I Managed Not To See

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

Honorable Mention

MAID IN MANHATTAN

THE PERFORMANCES OF 2002

Films are collaborations, but the very nature of performance is such that people can distinguish themselves, and this is the list of people who made me sit up and take notice, who created indelible impressions and gave life to characters I feel privileged to have met this year:

Hugh Grant, ABOUT A BOY

Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates, ABOUT SCHMIDT

Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, and Nicholas Cage, ADAPTATION

Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe, AUTO FOCUS

Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis, BUBBA HO-TEP

Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Sam Rockwell, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND

Jeremy Davies, Jason Schwartzmann, and Angela Lindvall, CQ

Robert Forster, DIAMOND MEN

Eminem, 8 MILE

Christian Bale, EQUILIBRIUM

Julianne Moore, FAR FROM HEAVEN

Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim Broadbent, GANGS OF NEW YORK

Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris, THE HOURS

Sid Haig, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES

Raymond J. Barry, INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN

Robert Evans, THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE

Andy Serkis and WETA, LOTR: THE TWO TOWERS

Emily Mortimer, LOVELY & AMAZING

Noah Taylor, MAX

Angela Bettis, MAY

Jason Patric and Ray Liotta, NARC

Christopher Plummer, Tom Courtenay, Jim Broadbent, and Nathan Lane, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY

Anne Magnuson, NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE

Robin Williams, ONE HOUR PHOTO

Adrien Brody, THE PIANIST

Adam Sandler and Emily Watson, PUNCH DRUNK LOVE

Michael Caine, THE QUIET AMERICAN

Paul Newman and Jude Law, ROAD TO PERDITION

James Van Der Beek and Ian Somerhalder, RULES OF ATTRACTION

Val Kilmer and Vincent D’Onofrio, THE SALTON SEA

Maggie Gyllenhaal, SECRETARY

Joaquin Phoenix, SIGNS

Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe, SPIDER-MAN

Frank Oz and ILM, STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES

Edie Falco, SUNSHINE STATE

Ed Norton, 25TH HOUR

Diane Lane, UNFAITHFUL

Maribel Verdu, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN

And so 2002 comes to a close, and 2003 is underway. I’ve already seen one truly amazing film this year, and I’ll be back with my review of CITY OF GOD in the next few days. I’m also on my way to Atlanta on Thursday for a peek at something really promising and strange and bold, and I’ll be back to share the details of that trip with you next week. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Thanks for name-checking ABOUT A BOY, Mori.

    by Cash Bailey

    I ignored it at the cinema and only saw it on DVD just last week. It's a wonderful movie. God, I'm glad they didn't make it American. I was amazed that the Weitz (sp?) brothers kept it so quintesentially and effortlessly English. And thank Christ there were none of the Richard Curtis-esque 'wacky friends' or loads of inappropriate bad language to goose an easy laugh out of the audience. ABOUT A BOY gets a place on my top ten list.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Todd Solondz and David Fincher both need to learn some new trick

    by Aronld Scazziger

    Ya kiddin, right? These 2 flicks weren't THAT bad. Drew, ya know, I'm really interested what you are goin to achieve in the industry with your script. If you are makin some TopTens ...

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Best STAR WARS Film...TTT

    by Niggle

    How truly fucking funny is that! Best LOTR vs SW rant I've had the absolute pleasure of reading...EVER (and there's been a few)

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Speaking Of Crying...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... calm down, Edison. I have been a tireless advocate of earlier films by Fincher and Solondz on this site, and the fact that they both got caught in a creative stutter this year was a disappointment. Pardon me for saying so. PANIC ROOM is empty calories, and STORYTELLING is shock in search of something to talk about. In both cases, it feels like good filmmakers who are simply marking time, doing nothing to advance their own art. Forgive me if I want to see something from them that lives up to the promise of other things they've done.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Halloween68

    That's Bilbo and Sam with contributions by Merry. Frodo definately contributed to what was said, but I don't think he ever actually wrote anything in The Red Book. Unless he wrote some materials on the journey from Gondor or on the way to The Grey Havens. Um... Yeah, okay, geek-geek.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:26 a.m. CST

    one time i made a top ten list of the year....

    by uberbill

    and every number until the number two movie of the year has a tie between 50 movies...there was no number one because i used up all the movies in my ties....silly me...ill do better next time.......

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:41 a.m. CST

    American Psycho

    by Glass

    In what world is shoving a rat up a woman's vagina through a tailpipe a normal view, "Moriarty," you overblown sac? If American Psycho is overrated, I'd hate to hear what they say about you.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Why is it that 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE has gotten so little attenti

    by charliechaplin

    Each year I eagerly await the new films being released by my favorite film makers. These are directors who have already made films that rank among my favorites who I know are capable of great things. To me, that Adaptation and Punch Drunk Love or even About Schmidt rank among the best films of the year, it is no surprise, they come from film makers who produced some of the best films of 1999. However, when I look back at any given year, I always take a certain amount of joy in recalling the movies which surprised me. The films that came out of left field to dazzle and amaze me, like Donnie Darko did last year. Films I had no reason to think were going to be great, but were great nonetheless. I think 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE was mis-marketed, even the title is misleading. It is much more of a frentic, creative, comedic art film than some party/rave up movie. It's a crime that my girlfriend and I are the only people we know who have seen this. This is a smart film that is innovative in its form and structure and retains the ability to suprise and delight throughout. Any fan of rock and roll, punk rock or just creative, risk taking filmmaking should seek this one out.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Panic Room and Storytelling

    by Glass

    Are not the worst of the year. Please. Panic Room may have had cheesy villians, but it still had some moments of unbearable tension and Kristin Stewart and Jodie Foster were superb. Storytelling was funny and quirky and better than that fucking cheese-fest called Spiderman.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Nordling's Top Ten List In No Particular Order

    by Nordling

    Two of these films I caught at the Houston Film Festival, and may have been released before 2002, but what the hell. As the title says, no particular order. THE TWO TOWERS - Just getting it out of the way. Yes, I loved it. CHICAGO - Kicking it up old school. A genuine pleasure of a movie. BUBBA HO-TEP - Ossie Davis for Best Supporting Actor, please. Seriously. No, SERIOUSLY. AS FAR AS MY FEET CAN CARRY ME - This is a German film about a POW who walks from Siberia to Afghanistan to get home. Incredibly powerful and moving. David Lean would have been proud. HOW HARRY BECAME A TREE - No, this isn't about Harry's tree fetish, this is an Irish movie starring Colm Meaney as a man who seeks revenge for his lot in life. Wound the cabbages! MAY - The best horror film I've seen in a few years. STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES - A worthy addition to the SW saga. SPIRITED AWAY - Magic. INSOMNIA - Best Al Pacino performance in years. This film's kinda under the radar for a lot of people, and that's a shame. ROAD TO PERDITION - A quiet, beautiful film. I think in later years people will treat it better. Now, having said these, I've missed a lot of year end films this year, including ADAPTATION, NARC, ABOUT SCHMIDT, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (there's actually a Spielberg I HAVEN'T seen floating around, dear Lord), GANGS OF NEW YORK, so feel free to dismiss this list if you like. Next week I'm on vacation and believe me I'm going to catch ever last one of those.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:06 a.m. CST

    My thoughts on 2002, and why P.T. Anderson is THE KUBRICK OF THE

    by CoolDan989

    If it were up to me, I would elect Punch Drunk Love as Best Picture of the year at the Oscars. Again, P.T. Anderson is quite simply THE KUBRICK OF THE NEW MILLENIUM. He knows so much about filmmaking it's scary. He knows how to print humanity on film. He knows how to make uplifting moments and depressing moments. He knows how to make you feel for his characters as if they were part of your family. Punch Drunk Love is a classic example. It's not too often you can say you've met a guy whose world hates him. Well the main character, Barry Egan, is one of those guys. His world hates him. His world is cruel to him, and constantly teases him with the most spontaneous things happening in front of his eyes, most of which further adds to Barry's suffering, but once in a great while a harmonium comes along. Barry is utterly defenseless, period, and he just can't stand up to his cruel world, he has to fall victim to it all the time. And Barry gets so frustrated with how weak he is, he completley loses control and destroys everything around him, as a way of lashing out at the world blindly, be it in his sisters' house or in a resturant bathroom. But Barry never stops fighting against it. A typical man despised by his own world would break down and cry and beg for mercy. Not Barry. And by the end of the film, when he's been strengthened and inspired by the love of his life, he finally decides to be brave and defiant and say to his world that he's not gonna take it anymore. He isn't one bit hesitant to yell and swear at his sister over the phone, or beat up a truckload of phone sex punks out for his blood singlehandedly. He decides to protect himself and the love of his life from his nightmarish world he's had to endure far too long. Barry Egan is now a force to be reckoned with. This is a marvelous movie. So much insight in 90 minutes. To watch this movie, you must think it over and talk about it after the movie has ended to understand it all. Why the characters are who they are, why they did what they did, why what happened happened. And once you figure it all out, you'll be talking about this magnificent film for days on end. It's that kind of film that deserves a Best Picture Oscar. You may need to see it again. This film was trashed by audiences and tanked at the box office, very, very unfairly. Of course, it should be expected. Adam Sandler stars in this movie (in a wonderful performance), so naturally empty headed Sandler fanboys will flock to this movie, say "I don't get it" and automatically hate this movie and prevent others from seeing it. P.T. Anderson is one of the finest misunderstood filmmakers. A filmmaker who soars above the heads of many. And that's fine. Kubrick did that too. But I'm confident P.T. Anderson will eventually get the commercial success and audience acclaim he so richly deserves. As for Chicago, I just saw it last night. While the cinematography was excellent, and the songs were fun and original, Moulin Rouge is better. Chicago is chock full of characters you can summarize in one word. It's almost as if they're not real people. Moulin Rouge has real people. It has character development with characters you can really care about. And that caring comes in handy when you experience the shocking, yet expected twist ending that is one of the bravest and most brilliant endings I've seen in a musical, maybe in a movie, period. I won't spoil the ending, but up until the very end, all signs point to a happy ending. A happy ending is inevitable, just waiting to happen. You may even be ready to stop the movie thinking it's over. But then, right then...it doesn't end happy. The ending wipes the smile right off your face that the movie has given to you, and in case you were too distracted by the movie's color and music to pick it up, the ending really hits it home and conveys the movie's hidden message about love. While the songs may not be original, this is why Moulin Rouge is the better movie. Oh, and Catch Me if You Can is also one of the best films I've seen this year. It's a con trapeze act, it's the sheer exhiliration of watching a rookie pull off unbelievable cons with the greatest of ease, and watching an FBI agent fall all over himself to catch him. I enjoyed this movie 3 times more than Chicago. But the movie does have a serious undertone, and it doesn't make the main character look like an evil con artist, just as a nobody raised in a family of nobodies who wants to be somebody no matter what the cost. But by the end he realizes his mistake and he isn't running for the thrill anymore, it's to simply not go to jail. I really loved this movie and saw it twice, and while it may not get any Oscars, if they ever open a "Most Fun Movie" category, Catch Me if You Can should prevail. As for Road to Perdition, Moriarty's snubbing of the movie has made it clear that this movie has been long forgotten. And well, can't say I'm surprised. When I saw it, I thought the movie was good in its own terms (with great cinematography from the late Conrad Hall), and it was one of those rare movies that had heart despite everyone in the movie dying, but it falls very short of American Beauty. Road to Perdition has no actual insight that you can't get from watching it once or twice. American Beauty has so much insight you'll have to see it over and over again. And also, Road to Perdition feels a bit sappy at times, when American Beauty was anything but. I predicted there would be better movies to come during the year that would win Best Picture, and, well, looks like I was right. Well, I'm sure you have other posts to read, so I'll shut up now.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:20 a.m. CST

    What? No mention of Grando Calrissian?

    by halconmilenario

    I

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:21 a.m. CST

    YES!!

    by Stokowski

    Moriarty must have been sweating over his 'list-piece' for hours and hours and hours..... spellchecking it frequently for the readers/Mori-asskissers/Harry-haters/people who think the LOTR flicks are the second coming/Americans/etc. SO THAT IS WHY THERE WERE SO FEW AICN-UPDATES LATELY, EVERYONE WAS WRITING THEIR TOP-10(In Mori's case, a top 50+) LISTS THAT NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT!! Whoa, what was that?! I know that since your Hollywood deal you have been avoiding certain bridges in fear of setting them on fire, but...POST HUMAN! I WANT THAT SCRIPT because you badmouthed David 'hack' Fincher!!!! You mentioned Sex & Lucia twice btw! Muhaha! AND thank you for liking Resident Evil! -----This message was scrambled by UNISOL-thank you for your time-----

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Damn right about Maribel Verdu, Mori....

    by unwell_arena

    Her work in Y Tu Mama Tambien is going to be the one of the most breathtaking performances ever overlooked by Oscar. After snubbing Naomi Watts last year for the best performance of the year by ANYONE, I'm getting seriously depressed at the state of affairs in the Academy.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Haynes' "Superstar" is not "impossible to see"...

    by MartinBlank

    You can buy a copy at 5 Minutes to Live (www.5minutesonline.com/) for $20. Fans of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" can also get "The Gong Show Movie" there, same price. Lots of other cool rarities there too. (Look up "Gimme Gimme Octopus" there and tell me it doesn't look like it's on the most serious-ass drugs since "Sifl and Olly.") They're promising the original "Dirk Diggler Story" and "Bottle Rocket" short films soon, too.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, keep your cowardly views outta your reviews

    by Johnny Law

    I'm a little miffed how he relates the LOTR: Two Towers to our present military situation. How can he say that, "Our leaders are sorely tempted right now, and for reasons that are, at best, questionable," about us going to war.....QUESTIONABLE!?!? The twin towers...the World Trade Center was destoryed! 2,500 Americans, some of which were probably reading thier morning reviews on AICN were killed. Even today we are all under the same constant blanket of threat from that same enemy. How can that reasoning be..Questionable?!?! Moriarty, you are a brilliant movie analyst, stick to that and leave your cowardly political views out of your reviews, because it only makes you look like a fool and offends those of us who lost family on September 11 and who will not sleep until justice is inflicted on those responsible

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:40 a.m. CST

    JohnnyTwo-Thumbs

    by Glass

    Eff off. Moriarty is not a brilliant movie analyst. So he can compose a sentence, unlike most people. Big deal. I have yet to read one especially riveting review by Moriarty. As a matter of fact, after years of study, I can honestly say that he is the most boring reviewer in the analogs of the sport. In short, he stinks.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Reign of Fire

    by mthiel1977

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Reign of Fire?

    by mthiel1977

    Panic Room is on your 'worst list', but not Reign of Fire?

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Mori's objection to U.S. wardrum-thumping...

    by MartinBlank

    ...has nothing to do with our alleged "war on terrorism." Which has been a botch -- we've gutted our civil liberties, and Osama is still out there somewhere. Mori is clearly referring to our brinksmanship re: Iraq and North Korea. Especially Iraq. This war, if it happens, is not about 9/11; it is about oil, distracting us from the tanking economy, and Dubya trying to finish what his daddy started. The people we didn't elect to the White House keep telling us they have evidence of Iraq's WMD capability. Okay. Let's see the evidence. Show us exactly why we should put our people in harm's way over there. If anything, WE are the ones the world should be worried about. We have a shitload of WMD, and we are the only ones to have actually used one on a civilian population. And we wonder why the rest of the world hates and fears us, especially with a bunch of chicken hawks in the White House who've never been anywhere near real combat pushing for war. And here we are, antagonizing even more, making future terrorist strikes on us a dead certainty. We're not the noble Fellowship of the Ring here, folks, we're Sauron. If you can look at the shameful state of our economy and the number of layoffs, and the irresponsible and suicidal military dick-swinging and invasions of our privacy in the name of "security," and deny that we are eyeball-deep in very serious fucking shit, feel free to vote Dubya in 2004. Hey, even if you don't, he'll buy his way in same as last time...

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:40 a.m. CST

    It's All Subjective

    by Corporate_Stooge

    I think Moriarity made the mistake of titling it his "Best Of" list instead of just saying it was his take on the movie year that was 2002. I think this has been one of the toughest years to critique in a very long time. Independent films ruled this year and even the big studio popcorn flicks like Minority Report, Spiderman, Episode 2 and Blade 2 really delivered. In a year with so much goodness, there's a lot that is going to go overlooked like Insomnia, which also suffers by having been released early in the year and fading from many people's minds by now. I agree with some of the TB's that Panic Room wasn't the dud Mori makes it out to be. Heck, I bought the DVD without having seen the movie and watched it at 2 in the morning and I was completely absorbed, cliche villians and ending aside. Anyway, most people are semi-right when they say that Mori seems overly critical, and his script could turn out to be a hackneyed, steaming turd which would seemingly give him no leg to stand on to criticize other people's work. But let's face it, we'll all critics. Everyone is quick to critique food and 99% of the people on this planet can't cook worth two shits. And after all, that's what this site is all about, movie news (not so much lately) and reviews by Mori and the red-haired jolly one. Why come if you don't want to read what Moriarity has to say about films? Its a shame he didn't like Minority Report because I'd put it in my top 5 of the year I think, but I won't lose sleep over it. Opinions are like colons, everyone has one and most of the time they're full of shit. By the way, do you think The Real Moriarity keeps reading all these posts or just stops after the first few when he realizes what raving a-holes we all are?

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:58 a.m. CST

    My objection to MartinBlank's America-hating...

    by mr stay puft

    has everything to do with his ignorance of the facts: 1) War is expensive. It has bankrupted many an economy throughout history. War is also risky. Only quick, decisive victories save political leaders from armchair quarterbacks complaining and second-guessing. NO leader who valued his political life would ever enter into it (especially in a shaky economy)unless the need for military action was clear. 2) Of course it's about oil, you moron. Unless you are an extreme naturalist, Luddite, or Amish farmer, you should care about oil, as well. If Sadam should capture (and hold - which is why he needs W's of MD) Saudi Arabia (something he tried to do in 1990-1991) our economy will be severely crippled. I'm talking 1930's here - or worse. No clear thinking individual could ever desire that. Just ask a friend or relative who was alive during the depression (better hurry - the youngest ones who can remember it accurately are turning 80 now) how well off they were. Sad times, friend. 3) The US is Sauron? Exacly how many people have we conquered and oppressed in the 15 years or so that we have been the most powerful nation in the world. Please, I need a count. If we were so evil & power-mad, why did we fail to finish the job in 1991? Why did we not just take over the entire middle-east? It was laid bare, no opposition was left to stop us. Sauron wouldn't listen to the objections of the world community. Sauron wouldn't be part of a United Nations - working in colaboration with the countries of the world for our mutual benefit. Sauron wouldn't extend debts to countless countries and then extend and forgive the payments. Sauron wouldn't risk his forces to keep the world safe from terror. 4) Please note, Martin, there have been NO terrorist strikes on US soil since the war on terror began. Coincidence? So, to call it a 'botch' is a bit misguided. I also have to laugh at your contention that more terrorist attacks are contingent on US aggression? What US aggression caused 9/11 exactly? The terrorist attacks will come, whether or not we take action. Only a fool believes otherwise.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I'm glad he mentioned CQ"

    by riskebiz

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Martin

    by Glass

    What a fucking ignorant thing to say, really. The US is Sauron? Then you must be Wormtongue, dumbass. If anyone is Sauron (which I don't think anyone is because SAURON IS N0T REAL) it's Hussein. He's the guy who starves and kills his minions while trying to control the earth by finding his ring (arms). Please think about what you say before you say it. I'm sick of people saying how terrible America is. You know what? YOU'RE terrible. YOU are the reason that America is on shaky ground. Because you, like pretty much everyone else, are stupid and useless.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Martin

    by Glass

    What a fucking ignorant thing to say, really. The US is Sauron? Then you must be Wormtongue, dumbass. If anyone is Sauron (which I don't think anyone is because SAURON IS N0T REAL) it's Hussein. He's the guy who starves and kills his minions while trying to control the earth by finding his ring (arms). Please think about what you say before you say it. I'm sick of people saying how terrible America is. You know what? YOU'RE terrible. YOU are the reason that America is on shaky ground. Because you, like pretty much everyone else, are stupid and useless.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Johnny Two-Thumbs

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    I'm sorry for your loss - that is a horrible situation, I do not know how I would deal with it were it me in your shoes. As for your justice - I believe 16 of the 18 people who are alledged to have perpetrated this crime are from Saudi Arabia - go get 'em. Tell your leaders that you want justice. Their not interested right now....... Moving on - Mori's list seems well proportioned to me - I would include Ararat (overblown maybe, but I really admire ambitious fillm), City of God (thank god for festivals), Fellowship Extended Edition (Boromir's character I felt suffered, but on the whole a better story) - but on the whole, Mori echoes my feeling too. Still haven't seen Confessions of a Dangerous Mind yet though. Should do that.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:52 a.m. CST

    GrandoCalrissian.com

    by chirpychap

    www.grandocalrissian.com is still an available domain. I challenge the whole of geekdom to buy this address and set up a website in honour of who wil be the ultimate SW character - Grando Calrissian. All hail Grando.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 12:02 p.m. CST

    lotta gay movies..

    by Silver Shamrock

    The Hours = Gay. About a boy = Gay. Chicago? = Gay. Catch me if you can? = Gay. Not enough movies with friggin testosterone. And Vin deezil's manufactured "action" movies don't count. How many movies in any of Mori's list had any kind of worthwile nudity either? You emasculated bastards don't even care that it's misisng cuz it ain't PC anymore.. Last year sucked!! DAMN YOU LATTE SIPPING SWEATER WEARING WIMPS! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    JohnnyTwoThumbs...well said. It's amazing how juvenile and shril

    by HillaryLovesMe

    ...you'd think that the members of a movement that has devolved to the intellectual equivalent of the ninety-nine cent greeting card would maybe take a step back and reconsider the sad fact that their main arguments rest around calling Bush a "Bushie," "Shrubya, "Dubya," and so on, and accusing Bush (and thus America as a whole) of being motivated solely by revenge and greed. I won't even get into the absolutely pathetic rock-bottom status of someone who STILL feels (not thinks, but feels) that Bush was not legitimately elected, despite the facts of the election, and despite all that has happened since. The anti-war movement is its own worst enemy, intellectually speaking, but that was a great response you made. And trying desperately (one cannot miss the sheer desperation, do typical of the horribly misinformed, in Moriarty's comments comparing LOTR to reality) to compare the Two Towers to, well, the Two Towers and arriving at an anti-war stance can only be a tactic to embarass one's self.********** And MartinBlank: we hate Saudi Arabia as much as you do; technically speaking, even more than you do. We would love to have our own oil supply, and thus be independent of complete scum like the Saudi royal family so that we can smack them around a bit; but methinks you are one of those simply DORABLE little liberals who hate the idea of us drilling for oil for miles off the Gulf shore, or (even worse) drilling for oil in the permafrost, nearly lifeless, dark-most-of-the-year portion of the Alaskan National Wildlife Preserve. (I'm assuming here that you fell for the shameless environmentalist wacko con game, which alleged that the oil-rich region involved actually has higher life forms than scrub grass. "We must protect the scrub grass!! Who speaks for the frozen bacteria?!" *rolling eyes*) Besides, what makes you think the Saudis aren't next on the list? Are you a proponent of the marvelous liberal "argument" that the possibility of having more than one country on our list precludes us from not attacking any of them? If so, you've just painted yourself into a corner with your selective moral indignation (I'm saying this about Moriarty and MartinBlank, both of whom could use a few lessons in saving their dignities). When you show some effort to sound consistent, then you might not humiliate yourself in public so easily.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Panic Room was decent.

    by KONG33

    It just needed a better ending and more padding.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:12 p.m. CST

    HEADLINE NEWS??????

    by G-BOY

    Hey ya'll. Since when did this become a political view web site? Where's Wolf Blitzer???? Call CNN immediately!!!!!! I vote Martin the next great news analyst of our century!!! I'm just as upset about the state of affairs in our country as the next guy, but I love AMERICA!!!! and can't stand to see fellow americans bash this great country. However, this is a movie news web site, right??? Can we please stick to that and leave the political views out!!! By the way, The Golden Globes and Oscars are a bunch of crap anyway. Talk about political - These pieces of crap awards shows are the definition of politics working at it's best!!!! One example - Saving Privaye Ryan losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love several years ago????? Who did Miramax pay to accomplish that feat????? Can you say - RIGGED!!!!!!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:13 p.m. CST

    HEADLINE NEWS??????

    by G-BOY

    Hey ya'll. Since when did this become a political view web site? Where's Wolf Blitzer???? Call CNN immediately!!!!!! I vote Martin the next great news analyst of our century!!! I'm just as upset about the state of affairs in our country as the next guy, but I love AMERICA!!!! and can't stand to see fellow americans bash this great country. However, this is a movie news web site, right??? Can we please stick to that and leave the political views out!!! By the way, The Golden Globes and Oscars are a bunch of crap anyway. Talk about political - These pieces of crap awards shows are the definition of politics working at it's best!!!! One example - Saving Privaye Ryan losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love several years ago????? Who did Miramax pay to accomplish that feat????? Can you say - RIGGED!!!!!!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:14 p.m. CST

    HEADLINE NEWS??????

    by G-BOY

    Hey ya'll. Since when did this become a political view web site? Where's Wolf Blitzer???? Call CNN immediately!!!!!! I vote Martin the next great news analyst of our century!!! I'm just as upset about the state of affairs in our country as the next guy, but I love AMERICA!!!! and can't stand to see fellow americans bash this great country. However, this is a movie news web site, right??? Can we please stick to that and leave the political views out!!! By the way, The Golden Globes and Oscars are a bunch of crap anyway. Talk about political - These pieces of crap awards shows are the definition of politics working at it's best!!!! One example - Saving Privaye Ryan losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love several years ago????? Who did Miramax pay to accomplish that feat????? Can you say - RIGGED!!!!!!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:18 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by Glass

    Firstly, I have created a new rule for these talkbacks. There will be NO MORE of this: *nods emphatically* or this: *rolling eyes* or this: *smiles*. And there will especially be no more of this: LOL:). STOP IT STOP IT NOW. It is so gay. Just type out what you want to say. It's not that hard, you lazy fucks. And it's not cute. It's sickeningly annoying. And secondly: fettastic. You're completely off-base about the character of Warren Schmidt and the character of Melvin Udal in As Good As it Gets. Warren is a suburbian from Omaha who is shy and quiet and doesn't say much of anything, who never intrudes with his opinions and doesn't have the wherewithal to complain or to fight. Melvin is the absolute opposite! He lives in Manhattan, the polar opposite of Omaha, he's outspoken, rude, has no problem making his feelings on pretty much everything clear as a bell, and complains all the time! There are only three similarities between Warren and Melvin: they are the same age, they are both dicks, and they are both pathetic. End of story.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Blade 2 better than Spiderman? WTF? and No undercover brother?

    by Tarl_Cabot

    I was entertained by Blade 2 but I had and still have no desire to see it again. Spiderman is the best Popcorn movie of the year, bar none. The Two Towers was #2...Attack of the clones was boring...XXX was vastly overrated but Bourne Identity was much better than Die another Day, I agree on that. "Catch me if you can" was the best of 2002.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:38 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by Glass

    I think, my friend, that YOU are the one who needs to lighten up. It's stupid to discuss characters in movies? Then what the fuck is this website? Just because someone disagrees with you they need to lighten up? And no, I do not see your point. I do not think the 2 characters are similar. The only point I see is the redundancy of my previous statement regarding Schmidt's quietness. Excuse me for being repetitive, Mr. Faulkner. By the way, Melvin does explode - all the time! He yells at everyone. He doesn't hold back, while Schmidt most certainly does.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:40 p.m. CST

    G-Boy

    by Emmasin

    I'll tell you when it became CNN.com. About the time Mori and Harry started using this site to take whacks at W. Not that I've found anything M & H have said to be particularly inflammatory, especially when compared to Martin's ridiculous humor piece of a post (flame away, Mr. Blank). If I had my way, Mori and Harry would keep their political opinions to themselves and we could all avoid (for the most part I hope) flame wars between the liberals and the conservatives. Now if we could just invent a cure for the SW vs. LOTR flame wars...

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Oh dear god, we are all doomed - HilaryLovesMe

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Geebus, but do you pontificate - I guess its easy to be calm and comfortable with the path America has chosen when you are able to ignore the opinions and musings of thousands of people that don't align with yours - yes that's right, all us anti-war folk are just cowards and idiots. The access to oil is not a right, or a rationale to subjucate and bend nations to your whim - it is a product. Try reviewing the precursors to the Kuwaiti invasion by Iraq - they thought that oil was their right. What you seem to fail to get a grip on is the tens of thousands of lives that hang in the balance - and the long-term repercussions of acting in short-term interests militarily on the world stage (much like a company, the US seems to fail to see beyond the next fiscal quarter). America is powerful enough to do whatsoever it pleases, to take those lives or let them be. Your SUV is not more important than that. But hey, tell ya what - why don't you just bomb my country? If you can find it on a map.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 1:58 p.m. CST

    greek wedding = one of best films of 2002

    by Lelon

    blade 2 = one of the worst

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 2:11 p.m. CST

    How can Panic Room be "lifeless", yet "Spider-Man" made your lis

    by SilenceofFreedom

    Spider-Man was horribly devoid of life, whereas "Panic Room" was the best suspense film of the last 10 years. Pity none of you saw that potential.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Wait -

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    - Did no one see Secretary? It was fucking good. Maggie Gylenhall (sp?) shows that her bro ain't the only talented weirdo in that family. I wonder what dinner was like around that particular table circa 1995.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Other performances that should be mentioned!

    by Mabinogi

    I thought Angela Basset was way better than Edie Falco in Sunshine State. Brian Cox in L.I.E was an extremely complex performance. Also what about Aaron Stanford in Tadpole? Seeing that Chicago is also so high in his list I think Catherine Zeta Jones performance is one of the best of the year also. Especially seeing as Frank Oz is on this list, which basically was just him talking like a spaz. And Eminem playing himself like one overlong music video.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 2:40 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by Glass

    No, you chill out.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 2:45 p.m. CST

    that dudes packin heat

    by cjr71244

    yeah but when the hell is bubba ho tep going to come out in the theaters for us regular folks to see?!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Now who needs to chill out for real?

    by Glass

    I WAS JOKING, DUMBASS. You really are a jackass. I am laughing out loud right now (see how easy it is to type it out)? As a testament to all talkbackers, I posted my last comment in order to prove what a retard fettastic is. Who in their right mind would not understand that it was a joke? Answer: fettastic.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the Superstar link, Moriarty

    by damorend

    that's one I've been looking up for a long time.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:26 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by Glass

    Whatever. You're a fool. Take a look at my history on this site and you'll know I was joking. And Dog Soldiers: Yes, it is tragically missing from these lists.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:33 p.m. CST

    ChickenGeorge...

    by CoolDan989

    I meant P.T. Anderson is the new Kubrick in terms of filmmaking quality, not in terms of what's needed to make the film. Sure, P.T. Anderson and Kubrick make their films differently: P.T. Anderson likes to make slick, warm and grand movies and Kubrick likes to make primitive and cold movies. But both of their kinds of movies expose facets of humanity many people aren't aware of. They know more about the human condition than most people on Earth. And what's great about P.T. Anderson is that he skillfully finds actors that if not already great, then actors they mold into great actors that are fit to portray a freezeframe of humanity. I mean, just look at Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise! They both were shaky in terms of real acting before starring in P.T. Anderson movies, but they both got acclaim for their performances and Cruise got an Oscar nomination! I am certainly not saying P.T. Anderson is BETTER than Kubrick, I'm saying he's worthy of being in the same class as him, of continuing Kubrick's legacy, even if he makes films differently then him (and, OK, he does swear more than him, lol)

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:41 p.m. CST

    2 things....

    by Truman_Burbank

    1.) Mori's right, but 2.) he should still be depressed. "Human Nature", a decade from now, will be viewed as easily one of this year's best films, and the best of all the Kaufman scripts to date. So layered and funny, yet scarily on point, it's amazing it didn't catch on more. I love this list for the most part, but the fact that someone who agrees with me on so much can hate "Human Nature" is, well, I guess part of the beauty of cinema. Mark my words though, people.... "Human Nature" is well worth your time, and is now out on DVD. Give it a chance if you even remotely enjoy Kaufman's work or Tim Robbins. You won't regret it.

  • it`s just so that i read that list and say...aaaaaaah ATANARJUAT...i wanted to see it...i really have to catch this now! your lists are a cool look over the past year!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Hmmm...almost had to exert effort to respond..

    by HillaryLovesMe

    ...but not quite. Too easy, fella! :) C'mon, try harder. "Geebus, but do you pontificate - I guess its easy to be calm and comfortable with the path America has chosen when you are able to ignore the opinions and musings of thousands of people that don't align with yours - yes that's right, all us anti-war folk are just cowards and idiots." No; the majority are, like yourself, just grossly uninformed and hopelessly bound to their emotions. This becomes apparent in the amazingly superficial "logic" the anti-war movement uses. When asked to put up or shut up, they start bawling and screaming. One would think that that would start to embarass otherwise rational people such as yourself. --No, my comments were directed to the self-appointed "spokespersons" of the peace-at-all-costs movement, who show the collective intellectual rigor of an autistic yak. "The access to oil is not a right, or a rationale to subjucate and bend nations to your whim - it is a product." --Woah! Hang on, let me write these down and send them to Hallmark...okay: subjugate, blah blah blah, oil is not a right, etc...better send that to their "Silly Mantras" division... "Try reviewing the precursors to the Kuwaiti invasion by Iraq - they thought that oil was their right." Indeed. By contrast, we believe that Iraq's freedom is a right. Freedom being a right and all. I know, freedom is an empty word to one who believes that peace is infinitely more important than freedom (unless that peace is broken by leftist revolutionaries),...but it was worth a shot, y'know? :) "What you seem to fail to get a grip on is the tens of thousands of lives that hang in the balance" You mean the tens of thousands, and potentially hundreds of thousands, of innocents whose lives hang in the balance in the decades to come if Saddam is allowed to stay and fester? Surely that's what you meant. Surely. " - and the long-term repercussions of acting in short-term interests militarily on the world stage (much like a company, the US seems to fail to see beyond the next fiscal quarter)." Right, freeing Iraq is surely a move that will cause incredible chaos in that incredibly stable region of the world. Sure. Oh, the horror, the region could become dominated by theocratic medieval-style potentates bent on killing all Westerners! YEGADS, THEY MIGHT EVEN START FLYING AIRPLANES INTO OUR BUILDINGS!!! WOULDN'T THAT BE A NASTY SURPRISE?!?!!? AIEEEEEEEE-- "America is powerful enough to do whatsoever it pleases, to take those lives or let them be." Ah, yes, and Saddam is the virginal innocent here. Of course. Nice selective indignation there. :) I also appreciate the assumption that America is fundamentally evil. I love that. Please keep discrediting yourself by saying such things. "Your SUV is not more important than that." I don't own an SUV; besides, we all know that it's older cars that pollute far more than modern cars, and hold fewer people besides. But older cars tend to be driven by old people and the poor (and sometimes by poor and old people). Surely you're not being selectively indignant, and ignoring the real culprit just because it doesn't fit your emotionally centered views? Or, more likely, you are simply a willing sponge for environmental wackos with ulterior motives, perfectly willing to regurgitate the silliest mantra. "But hey, tell ya what - why don't you just bomb my country?" Love to. If you're European, Canadian, a UN supporter, or a liberal, you are by definition a willing terrorist collaborator. "If you can find it on a map." Ad hominem much? ;)

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:12 p.m. CST

    come on

    by ZO

    the hours? can u pick a more boring chick flick? trying to be serious mor isn't working and this anti war stance pretty much ruins ur credibility. we won't have any history if we let these nutjobs attack us and develop nukes. liberal passive crap

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Spiderman

    by ArchDiver

    was a MUCH better comic book adaptation. Now whether you liked it less than Blade2 is a matter of taste. And am i the only one who recognizes what an improvement and worthy addition to the Bond franchise DAD was? I can grok the Bourne Identity bit, but xXx over DAD is just... I dunno,... sick, sad and twisted. Did Broccoli or Fleming piss in your Cheerios once upon a time, Mori? AD out

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:21 p.m. CST

    "Gangs..." has too much problems but you recommend "Unfaithful".

    by crimsonrage

    Mo, I must say that that is completely fucking stupid. "Unfaithful" is insulting garbage. For example: If you were cheating with someone would you give them a globe that your husband gave you? A globe that sits in your living room as a decoration? Do you think he wouldn't notice? And if you were the husband that found the globe and killed the Eurotrash with it would you put it back in your house? Wouldn't you think that your wife would notice and assume you were at her lover's apartment? And when the lover was missing wouldn't you think she would know you did the deed? "Unfaithful" was mindless garbage with absolutely no eroticism or anything thought-provoking (except how does Adrian Lyne continue to get financing for his crap-fests). "Gangs of New York" is a flawed but ultimately spectacular piece of film-making that actually takes risks instead of attempting mediocrity (like "Unfaithful" does...the only thing is...it doesn't even reach the heights of mediocrity). Mo, I love ya' but fuck your list.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Call 911!!!

    by Corporate_Stooge

    'Cause we have a flame war a-brewin'. Maybe Bush can mobilize his troops here as well. Glass and Fettastic aren't exactly making this TB worthwhile anymore. I doubt Moriarity had a political debate in mind when he made his list. Anyway, I'm usually a pretty inflammatory guy and my views are mostly liberal, although not bleeding heart, but I won't rave on like an a-hole here. I think MartinBlank is being unfairly attacked and WeedyMcSmokey has made the best observations. Everyone knows the war is about oil and the U.S. trying to gain as much control of it in the mideast. And no two ways about it, we're overstepping our bounds. Assume for a minute the U.S. had a commodity that the rest of the world needed desperately. Would other nations be justified in attacking/invading us to secure it? Not on your life. And its as simple as that. I don't have a problem with us drilling for oil in Alaska, just don't steamroll everything over in the process. And the nation needs to decrease its dependence on oil. Give up the SUV's, yacht's and other monstrosities that burn oil like there's no tomorrow. And to the TB'er who claimed 2,500 Americans died in the WTC attack, I think you're forgetting that Hipanics, Europeans, Canadians and Asians died in those attacks as well, several hundred of them. Everyone around the globe has a reason to be pissed at those jerkwads who perpetrated the attacks, but using it as a thin veil to wage war on a dictator we should have gotten the first time around is absurd.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Hmmm...My top five is located w/ in Mori's top ten...

    by PumpyMcAss

    25th Hour, Punch-Drunk Love, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Chicago, and About Schmidt would be the five best of the year, not necessarily in that order. Next five would include The Good Girl (inexplicably overlooked), Talk to Her, The Pianist, Adaptation, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, once again, not in any particular order. So those are the ten best of the year. If you missed any of those, seek them out. Wait a second...What makes me think anyone should give a shit what I say?

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Right back at ya HilaryLovesMe

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    I would be hard-pressed to believe that the alternative view is married and monogamous to cold-hard rationality - emotion plays a large role in any political slant. However, I do take exception to your fear-mongering - predicated on this insistence that the far right has obtained Nostradamian powers, predicting that an Iraq without Saddam would pose an even greater threat the US soveriegnty - likely the same spin used when arming him was in the US's best interests (that seemed to have worked our and been cost-effective, right?) Really what your saying is that a middle east left uncontrolled posses a terrorist threat- Quick history fact for you - Iraq didn't fly planes into the Towers - that you not merely associate Iraq with Al Qaeda, but equate them to be the same thing is either horribly misinformed or downright ignorant and racist. But that's understandable, they're all just a bunch of Sand NIggers anyway - right? But no, I think its the use of the word freedom that interests me the most - because if that's the mission of the US I'll eat my own ass. Collective intellectual rigor of an autistic yak, indeed (Great line though). Saddam's innocence is not debatable - scum that he is. But the national soveriegnty of Iraq certainly is - your moral superiority is based on what? The secular nature of the US government? Look again - God boys to a man Then what? Self-interest? Surely you would admit that creating enemies is not congruent to that. Look, just come out and say it - the US is determined to own a monopoly on violence - while at the same time securing a profitable future for their little junta - the rest is simply rhetoric. Environmental wackos the world over certainly do have an agenda - must be money and power - after all, what other agenda do you understand? Ignore away. So polish your gun, drill away in Alaska (after all, it's almost always night there! THAT'S YOUR ARGUEMENT?!? - oh right, the thing about sub-life - interesting designation, can it applied to the third world?) and bring them retard nations in line! This will help ensure the future you fear will be become the present fast.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Corporate Stooge

    by HillaryLovesMe

    "Everyone knows the war is about oil and the U.S. trying to gain as much control of it in the mideast." Oh, I see: everyone who's smart knows this. Nice ad hominem attack, Corporate Stooge! :) You'll make a liberal bleeding heart yet. "And no two ways about it, we're overstepping our bounds." And no two ways about it, you're pretty happy with the terrorists overstepping their bounds. Let me guess: terrorists aren't really bad in their motivation, they're just frustrated? "Assume for a minute the U.S. had a commodity that the rest of the world needed desperately. Would other nations be justified in attacking/invading us to secure it?" Let's examine the assumption in your assumption: that the US would purposefully, cruelly withold that commodity to the world's detriment. Are you sure you're willing to sacrifice your credibility by joining the hate-America crowd, Corporate Stooge? You're obviously much smarter than that. Don't waste your intelligence, CS. You can do so much better. But I'm in agreement with everyone else here: this should not be a political TB. But it is, thanks to Moriarty's painfully unintellectual political remarks in his article. Leave the politics to those more qualified than you, Mori. Like a broken flashlight, perhaps.

  • can lick my asshole clean. Stupid fucking git. You can disagree, but if you're going to be a fuck, how about you suck it and stuff it.

  • can lick my asshole clean. Stupid fucking git. You can disagree, but if you're going to be a fuck, how about you suck it and stuff it.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Hmmm. A commodity withheld by the US...

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    .... Well, it's a good question. Foreign aid, communications technology, medicine and food are a few - but I guess they're not really commodities, and you probably can justify it. Awwww, look at the poor US cruelly treated by OPEC - I got an idea! Let's kill the bastards! But aren't we selling are own oil to foreign markets because it's more profitable? Whatever works!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I know you've all been waiting for it. Here it is, finally. My T

    by a goonie

    THE BEST: 1. Far From Heaven: Todd Haynes

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Towelie

    by Glass

    Because is was a joke! And to Lara Means: I most certainly think TTT was the greatest movie of the year. It equalled FOTR. And when Return of the King comes out, I will say the same, I'm sure, and then I will say that all three are the best movies OF ALL TIME!!!!! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Now some comments on Mori's list.

    by a goonie

    A good list, really. There was a whole bunch to choose from, and generally I like to keep my lists at Top Tens with no ties, and if there are ties, then the tie has to take up an extra spot or two (depending on how many ties) on the list. And I generally like to have simply a Top Ten Best and a Top Ten Worst, but I appreciate what you've done here, Mori, nonetheless. Your comments about end-of-the-year hysteria are very spot-on. That said, I'm glad (though not a bit surprised) to see The Two Towers occupying your no. 1 spot, even if it is tied with Adaptation, which is good, but suffers from a silly, muddled, cliched final half hour. Though I must admit that Brian Cox's rant to Nic Cage at the McKee seminar is one of my favourite scenes of the year. Too bad Far From Heaven had to be on that runner-up list, but hey, at least it's somewhere there in the good category. Great to see such wonderful support for Catch Me If You Can, and such disappointment with Minority Report. Catch Me is a wonderful movie that harkens back to the Spielberg of old. DiCaprio is incredible in the film (as is Hanks) and Spielberg and Kaminski get to play with the camera in the ways that only masters can pull off. Nice to see Chicago so high on the list. Man, I love that movie. Anyways, a good list indeed.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:36 p.m. CST

    anti-american?

    by defino

    i never thought i'd be on the same side of an argument as fettastic... regardless, why do all the fanatics on this board label ANYONE who questions the current path the america a "america hater?" see, yeahhhh the thing is, when people question the motivations and tactics of their own government, it's usually because they FUCKING CARE ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY!!! and questioning a war on iraq doesn't automatically make you "a whimp liberal" or a "bleeding-heart democrat" either. go back to your pot-bellied rush limbaugh who teaches his followers to blame everything on "those crazy liberals." let's just bomb every country filled with brown-skinned people back to the stone age. no -wait! who are we gonna get to fill all those new jobs being created... you know janitors, maids, food service, etc. etc. best movie i saw this year: cremaster 3 (matthew barney) best movie i saw this year that came out before 2002: meet the feebles (peter jackson)

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Who gives a fuck

    by Pissflaps

    Who cares about Biggie Fries and Too-Shot-To-Cure? Two more dead rappers. What a loss.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 6:19 p.m. CST

    WAR & POLITICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by G-BOY

    PLEASE PEOPLE!!!!! ENOUGH RANTING AND RAVING ABOUT THIS CRAP!!!! CALL CNN OR HEADLINE NEWS!!!!! One more thing - doc_loggins - you think you could post a longer talkback???? How long was that. By the time I finished dreading that the uper Bowl would be over. Your killin' me!!!!!

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 6:30 p.m. CST

    man... moriarty has a real fucked up idea of what "good movies"

    by BEARison Ford

    rules of attraction? blade 2? the salton sea? unfaithful? narc? 25th hour? y tu mama tambien? one hour photo? there's gotta be other people out there who agree with me that some of these movies range from dreadful to merely average or mediocre.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 6:37 p.m. CST

    re this anti US talk

    by prims

    The biggest threat to world peace is not these so called evil Iraqis who may have weapons of mass destruction it is a country like the USA who feel the need to attack another country for there own personal gain that being OIL but justify this because of Iraqis Weapons of mass destruction which weapons inspectors have failed to find. If they cared so much about the so called weapons of mass destruction then why not attack North Korea to? Because the US have nothing to gain by attacking North Korea and Bush knows that a Attack on North Korea would cost thousand of US soldiers lives. A prevous talk backer said Bush is Sauron and yes he is exactly right about that. What right do you arrogant Americians have to attack another country.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Why we're really threatening war

    by OK Then

    Probably stupid to jump into this fray, but I want to challenge an assumption -- specifically, that Iraq and Islamic terrorists aren't related. Some may propose that the way we go about fighting the War on Terrorism is to wait for the Richard Reids of the world to put a Zippo to their shoes and then string them up by their thumbs. It seems more logical, though, that if you have a mosquito problem, you don't try to swat each bug -- you drain the swamp. Terrorism can't exist on the scale we've seen without state support. Sure, individuals can provide the financing -- sort of like individuals in Boston keeping the IRA in biscuits -- but it takes the complicity of a state to allow training camps to exist, to allow known terrorists to cross borders, to allow WMDs to proliferate. Iraq is one of those supporters (remember the videos of the dogs being gassed to death at an Al-Queda weapons lab? That was in Iraq, and places like that don't pop up in an autocratic nation like Iraq without the big cheeses knowing about it.) Iraq IS producing WMDs (and without drawing a picture in crayon, remember that 400,000 pounds of component material for chemical WMDs were in Iraq in 1998 and now Iraq doesn't know where they are -- they just vanished, with no paper trail, no technicians who handled the disposal process, no site where it happened.) There's some amount of international opposition to Saddam's regime, and effecting regime change would greatly influence other state supporters of terrorism like Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lybia to cut it out. Many folks are focused on the oil, but it seems that's another reason to press forward -- not because the US and the UK could seize that oil, but because the wealth it generates will help the nation to emerge strong and stable, much like Germany's resources and industrial capacity helped it to emerge from the second world war. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of this war, but I believe that it may end up being the right thing to do. ***** By the way, I've got to add to the chorus who are thrilled about the mention of "About A Boy" here. Thanks, Mori.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Lot of venom around here...

    by Kerrak

    But I think a lot of it aimed at what the US is currently doing is misdirected. Our responsibility is to help make the world "safer for freedom." Saddam and the weapons he could create (and would have already had if Israel hadn't blown up Iraq's nuclear complex back in the 80s), present a very real threat. We have only to look at N. Korea to see why we should step in in Iraq. They've broken umpteen U.N. resolutions, and just because we don't go after others who've broken U.N. resolutions (Israel), doesn't mean we shouldn't enforce them at all. It may be hypocritical, but that doesn't make it wrong. That right there is enough justification, aside from the fear and death Hussein rains down on his people day after day, year after year. And as far as killing innocents, that is an unfortunate consequence of war. This is easy for me to say, sitting in my nice chair typing away, but it doesn't make it less true. I'd rather have 50,000 innocent iraqis die now than 2 million innocent new yorkers (or londoners, or berliners) die in a nuclear blast ten years from now. Sayings like "no war for oil" etc. are easy, they roll off the tongue nicely, but ultimately are the opiate for the intellectually immature. Let's grow up and realize there's a danger, and it's only going to grow as time goes by. Iraq and N.K. aren't going to have sudden changes of heart.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:42 p.m. CST

    ChickenGeorge, I honestly wish you would just STOP speaking...

    by CoolDan989

    You may be right about Kubrick, but you are one of the many who just don't understand P.T. Anderson. And if all the talking I've done about P.T. Anderson doesn't clarify him or you don't understand what I'VE said, then you probably never will understand this filmmaker and you might as well stop trying. Us people who understand the budding brillance of P.T. Anderson know this guy is the real deal, and it's OK if you don't. I suspect that one day it will be clear to everyone. (By the way, P.T. Anderson has been highly praised by Steven Spielberg. Go to http://www.chud.com/news/dec02/dec23spielberg.php3, chum.)

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:48 p.m. CST

    xXx????

    by trago

    how in the hell does xxx deserve any kind of merit??!!! i lost more brain cells watching xxx than i did from the rum i had before i saw it.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:53 p.m. CST

    No excuse for Minority Report not being on that list!

    by Monkey Lover

    It's almost certainly the best film of the year, although I haven't seen Catch Me If You Can yet because it's not out here until January 31. So technically it'll qualify for my 2003 list. But if you think LOTR is so fucking big and timely because "oooh, the US is Sauron and we've got a ring" bullshit, think about this: Pre-Crime! We all know Saddam has weapons, we all know he'll use them someday. But he hasn't yet. Do we invade? Is it morally justified for us to step in to stop something that might happen, but then again might not? HUH? HUH? HUH? PRE-CRIME! Do you see? Far more relevant than "a big baddy with power" type arguments. Minority Report: timely, intelligent, exhilarating - an awesome achievement, and a further jewel in Spielberg's crown awarded to him by me for being King Of All Movie Directors Of All Time. So eat my goddamned ass, all you naysayers out there. Oh yeah, and the other great movies I saw were Road to Perdition, Donnie Darko, Signs, Spider-Man, and probably a shitload others that I've forgotten and I can't be arsed to remember right now. SPIELBERG IS GOD, BOW DOWN BEFORE HIM.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 7:57 p.m. CST

    what about "PUMPKIN"?

    by frymar

    This film was far and away one the best of the year. It was dark, subtle and had people claiming it was a work of genius or a piece of s**t. Those who didn't like it failed to see it for the sly absurdist farce which it was. I saw it included on many Top Ten lists as well as some bottom 10 lists, too. I would have hoped it would have shown up on at least one of Moriarty's lists. Perhaps he didn't see it.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Hey charliechaplin, I'LL give it up for 24 Hour Party People!

    by Basic Alias

    I was lucky enough to see it in theaters and it's probably the best film I saw all year. I think one of the problems with getting people to see it is that one, it's too eclectic to be described in simple terms, and two, it's about a reporter no one in America's heard of talking about bands that no one in America really remembers. Which is funny, because after you watch the film you'll want to learn as much as you can about them. Seriously, if anyone else is reading this do yourself a favor and rent the movie when it hits DVD. And tell 'em Basic Alias sent you. That way they'll give you a weird look and you can laugh at their funny face.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Johnny and HillaryLovesMe

    by Kaitain

    "the World Trade Center was destroyed! 2,500 Americans, some of which were probably reading thier morning reviews on AICN were killed. Even today we are all under the same constant blanket of threat from that same enemy." Your point might be valid if there were any evidence whatsoever linking the WTC attacks to Iraq. Hillary, I assume you know all about the schemes (implemented successfully) that effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of black voters in Florida and have some startling evidence to dismiss that found by people such as Greg Palast? (Hardly any of it was published in the USA because the media there is so cowardly and dependent on White House cooperation for bread and butter political stories.) The WTC attacks and subsequent patriotic hysteria have made any serious investigation into the Florida debacle something that no-one wants to touch. I would be *astonished* if it turned out that the will of the people had been served properly by Bush's being elected. Some light reading: "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" by the aforementioned Palast. I challenge you to read it rather than dismiss it out of hand because you fear you might not like what it has to say. The thing I continue to find most shocking is that those who would sell out the principles of the constitution in order to accommodate their support for Bush genuinely believe that they are the true patriots.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Hanks, Walken but not DiCaprio

    by austi

    Moriarty, first you say DiCaprio has learned the secret of great acting....generosity, then you give him the shaft by ignoring him for Catch Me....As far as I'm concerned the guy made the movie for me and provided the only really touching moments as well....Hanks was annoying, Dan Ackroyd would have been a more than adequate replacement, imo, and he wasn't hilarious. Walken was fine, but a little overrated, imo. I kept trying to figure out what all the fuss was about watching him. DiCaprio did a wonderful job but he gets no acknowledgement from you, just a backhanded pat on the head???? You sound like a moron to me, Moriarty.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:21 p.m. CST

    and btw

    by Kaitain

    Anyone who believes that Saddam Hussein has anything in common with Islamic fundamentalists doesn't know their arse from their elbow when it comes to international politics. His regime is purely secular, and he is interested in amassing power in the middle east, not bringing some bloody jihad to the west. His aims are at best totally tangential to those of people like Al-Queda, and in many ways diametrically opposed. Do you think Hussein would like to see the imams wielding power in Iraq? Get real. To assume that all arabs pursue a fundamentalist Islamic agenda is to be totally ignorant of contemporary geopolitics. Hussein's agenda has been to acquire power and thumb his nose at the west only when to do otherwise would involve a loss of face at home. He has no desire to antagonise the USA in the name of Islam. He is a brutal tyrant, but not a theistic loon.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Minority Report

    by Kaitain

    "It's almost certainly the best film of the year". Perhaps if you regard a fundamentally flawed piece of logic at the heart of its narrative as something of little or no consequence, i.e. the conflating of first order with second (and third etc.) order predictions. The ironic thing is that this notion is at the heart of Dick's original short story, yet Spielberg's film either disn't understand it or chose to ignore it and hope the audience wasn't smart enough to spot the problem.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Ryan Gosling

    by The Colonel

    I don't know what the fuck year The Believer "officially" got released, but I saw it summer '02, and it's on my top 10 lists. Not perfect, maybe not great on its own, but Gosling's performance is RIDICULOUS. Ferocious, intelligent and conflicted. He could shit the bed the rest of his life and rest assured he's got at least one lifelong fan. Amazing. Amazing performance.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Kerrak

    by Kaitain

    "It may be hypocritical, but that doesn't make it wrong." That's an interesting stance to take. Do you think it would apply equally to a police force that only arrested black people for crimes but not white people? Hypocritical, but not wrong, according to you, i.e. hey, we might be letting those white folk get away with it, but it's surely a good thing to at least enforce the law properly on the blacks, yes?

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:32 p.m. CST

    LostHighway

    by Kaitain

    "Last time I checked, who cares what happens to Iraqis? the more of them dead the better!" You're an idiot.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Wormtongues! sayeth Duke Ray

    by Duke Ray

    It *almost* amazes me that Mori and so many here on Talk Back fail to see the most obvious applicability of THE TWO TOWERS to the modern Iraq situation. Instead, we have here a chorus of Wormtongues, racing to impress Leftie college girls by decrying supposed "war mongering" while our modern-day mustachioed little Saruman wannabe is building his forces of destruction. // Mr. OK Then -- I salute you! Preach it, you glorious wielder of Fact -- let the sleeping king that is the West hear it: "War is upon you, whether you would have it or not!" THAT LINE is just as relevant to today's situation as all the warnings re: the use of Power to be gleaned from Frodo and Sam's journey. To stretch the LOTR metaphors to the breaking point, just because Faramir let the Ring go, doesn't mean that he threw away his sword. Unlike the Sheryl Crows of our time, Tolkien knew that war's horror doesn't always preclude it's necessity. There are some things worth fighting for. Duke Ray out.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Hate to get involved....

    by pizzatheface

    I'm sorry to post any of my political views here, but I am currently in the US Marines, and my unit has been told if the flag goes up in Iraq, we're going. This prospect scares me. Nobody wants to go to war who is actually going to go, but we can justify it by looking at the positive aspects of going into war with Iraq. Now trust me, I could have swung either way when looking into what justifies this war, because I have a family here to watch after, but I'm also committed to protect our country's interests. After reading everything I can find on the net and in the papers, I can admit that this war is legitimately justifiable. This doesn't mean I ever want to have to physically raise a gun and kill another human being. In a current "Reader's Digest", Saddam had been quoted as saying things to the effect of, "it's ultimately going to come down to a showdown between Iraq and the US." He's expecting it. he has shown the world he's not afraid to use NBC weapons, even on his own subjects. The first time YEARS AGO, that he sent away inspectors should have sent the red flag up to the world that, yes, he has something he doesn't want us to see. And if he doesn't want us to see it, then that means he probably assumes that we would know he would use it. This has been going on for years. Go to msnbc.com and listen to a former inspector tell you himself. And yes, Sept. 11 is very applicable to this current situation. In order to stamp out terrorism, (which if you were to honestly ask yourself, you would probably remember that you too agreed with the notion at the time) we need to take out the ability for terrorists to train, gain weapons, and even be supported by a government. (And if you don't think Saudi Arabia's day is coming, you don't know too much about military strategy.) Sometimes these measures must be preventative. Surely liberals could agree with that, seeing as how they made a lot of fuss about Bush NOT doing enough to prevent Sept. 11. And just because the press stopped covering the was in Afghanistan, doesn't mean we have stopped searching for Osama. Besides, it not about killing one man, anyway. Again, let me stress that I don't desire war. I just see it as a better alternative to allowing a proven madman to have even ONE chance to make a devastating attack on my people. What good would admitting that Bush was right do then? Signs deserved better than Moriarty gave it.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Just One of the Guys

    by Broken_Hill

    Like all of us here, I too have a healthy obsession with Britney Spears rectum, however I differ in several regards. A. I don't know who or what the fuck a 'Moriarty' is. B. It puzzles that there is always a cartoon of some fat bearded fuck doing obscene things in the top left hand corner of this site. C. All these movies are fucked beyond comprehension and unworthy of comment. D. I don't understand how Mohammed Atta's passport jumped out of his back pocket at the moment of impact, shot at the speed of light through a fireball, punched a hole in the wall of the World Trade Centre, and somehow signalled rescue workers to pluck it out of ten thousand tonnes of rubble. Back to Britney and parting those taut little pecan-tanned cheeks, face aglow with wonder like Indy encountering the golden idol...tell me her butthole wouldn't look like a little pink quivering rabbit nostril. I'm right, aren't I? I need a job.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Just One of the Guys

    by Broken_Hill

    Like all of us here, I too have a healthy obsession with Britney Spears rectum, however I differ in several regards. A. I don't know who or what the fuck a 'Moriarty' is. B. It puzzles that there is always a cartoon of some fat bearded fuck doing obscene things in the top left hand corner of this site. C. All these movies are fucked beyond comprehension and unworthy of comment. D. I don't understand how Mohammed Atta's passport jumped out of his back pocket at the moment of impact, shot at the speed of light through a fireball, punched a hole in the wall of the World Trade Centre, and somehow signalled rescue workers to pluck it out of ten thousand tonnes of rubble. Back to Britney and parting those taut little pecan-tanned cheeks, face aglow with wonder like Indy encountering the golden idol...tell me her butthole wouldn't look like a little pink quivering rabbit nostril. I'm right, aren't I? I need a job.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:46 p.m. CST

    CeriStagg

    by Kerrak

    In answer to your question, I would say that if I had a choice between arresting just the black criminals or no criminals at all (and I realize I may be stepping into sensitive areas here, so please forgive me), I'd pick the former. It's not always in the best interests of our country to apply the same set of standards to every actor on the world stage. While idealistic, its completely naive in the face of the complexities of geopolitics. The world (unfortunately) just doesn't work that way. We can't treat China and Canada the same way - it would be a disaster. And so the US places a higher value on its relationship with Israel than it does on fire-bombing every country that runs afoul of UN regulations - how would you have it? One country is a dictatorship let by a madman who's gassed his own people, the other (for all that may be said about Sharon) is a democracy surrounded on all sides by enemies, and yet churning out first-rate schools and medicine and on and on. No, the US policies are not ideal, they are not necessarily fair, but they are grounded in reality, with an understanding of the world as it works, and not some pie in the sky utopian paradise where nothing bad ever happens because we can always trust everybody to do the right thing. *** I apologize for this extremely off-topic post. Please forgive ***

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Thanks For The List Mori

    by Son Of Batboy

    Great overview. I now have some interesting films to see in the coming year, mainly on DVD, since these movies rarely make it to my area. THE PIANIST is a film I'm really looking forward to. Always been a fan of Roman Polanski's films. Even his supposed failures are interesting to me. Unlike some aging directors and despite Roman's numerous personal troubles, I've felt he's never lost his great talent for directing. Real glad to see him make a film that is so highly regarded.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Political Debate / Anti-American banter

    by mrglory

    Is futile because all of you are "falling" for what you see and read after being filtered through some source, having never been where you talk about, or truly knowing what goes on behind the scenes, yet at the same time I can guarantee that NONE of you have a goal in politics, and maybe 1% have any military experience. So you'll run your collective mouths like a pistol with a never ending supply of ammunition. Both entirely unbelieveable. Put up, or shut up.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Zippyzim

    by NapalmCarcass

    hahahahaha, Jesus Christ, thats the best, most hilarious post here! Can kinda see where he's coming from too.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:36 p.m. CST

    The Salton Sea was terrible.

    by dr. robert

    Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can were deeply diasappointing. 24 Hour Party People was one of the best films i've seen in quite a while. I also loved Attack Of The Clones, Femme Fatale, Solaris, Movern Callar and Signs. The worst? Without doubt Windtalkers.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 10:40 p.m. CST

    yeah, way to go PJ - you've succesfully laid your steaming Holly

    by son of stik

    And sad souls like Moriarty are lapping it up - and then attempting to tell those who don't dig PJ's shit why we should all be so happy and grateful for the changes made. Face facts - ITS NOT LORD OF THE RINGS. It's a frikin mess of a film, with more than a passing resemblance to Dugeons & Dragons and Independance Day - and the very essence of lowest commonn denominator cinema. PJ is clearly out of his depth with this material, and TTT made it more noticable than ever. Man, when you think of what could have been, such a shame.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:01 p.m. CST

    TREASURE PLANET KICKED ASS!!!!!

    by Robert Blake

    Almost everything in it is perfect. The looks, the story, the bad guy... definitely, one of the coolest animated movies I've ever seen. Disney's finest, almost as good as AKIRA, and even better than TITAN AE.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:12 p.m. CST

    CoolDan989, PT Anderson, and ChickenGeorge...

    by MagnoliaFan2001

    The most ridiculous thing I've ever seen are the "for your consideration.." ads for best picture for Punch Drunk Love. It really shows how delluded the people behind PTA really are if for one second they actually believe that it has a chance or should even be considered as best picture, or maybe they're not delluded at all and are just eeeking out every bit of undeserving praise it's gotten from the critics, who wouldnt want to be apart of an oscar winning film? Too bad they're milking the dead retarded cow that is PTA. the kubrick / anderson comparison is a HUGE JOKE, are you telling me that legions of people can understand and appreciate 2001: A space odessy and they can't understand Punch Drunk Love? HAHA. 2001 was a box office smash and endlessly more complicated, so why was that a hit and Punch Drunk Love not? marketing? nope. word of mouth made My Big Fat Greek Wedding a smash, the fact is, Punch Drunk Love is absolutely STUPID, I heard it from countless people in the audience as they walked out (during the film), and have read it countless times on Yahoo, the reason it fails is not the audiences fault, they're not stupid, it's is PTA's fault, plain and simple, he's incapable of communicating to the audience and the vast majority of people consider Punch Drunk Love retarded. if Punch Drunk Love were smart, complicated, and truly hard to understand, no one would be gawking at the screen laughing at how pathetic the film is. I dare you to show "Breathless" to a group of "stupid" Sandler fans and see what they say, they'd respect it, they probably wouldnt understand it but they'd respect it as a genuinely intelligent film. and i've done that experiment... the people understand and know truly GREAT directors, and PTA is not a great director. spielberg made Jaws, Lucas made American Graffiti, Scorsese made Goodfellas, Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, Spike Lee made Do The Right Thing and what has PTA made so far to validate his status as a great director? all his films are BOMBS and all his films will be BOMBS. then why make them? the art? PTA is a ham n cheese fuckin director that is incapable of making anything of REAL SUBSTANCE. 10 years from now, maybe all of you will realize this. Critics ranging from Rex Reed to Ray Carney and filmmakers like Kevin Smith all see right through PTA and more and more begin to with every film he releases...

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Some post way the f$#% back there.

    by MJAYACE

    You know what, I saw K-19 the other night and actually didn't think it was nearly as bad as everyone said. It had already kind have been done (reminded me of Crimson Tide), but it sure as hell wasn't that bad. XXX was on the other hand, probably the worst movie of the year--that and that movie with Fat-lo, where she gets beat up by her husband and learns psychic Karate at the end and kills him (can't remember the name...). Now that movie sucked! Out here, no political rants for me tonight.

  • Jan. 15, 2003, 11:34 p.m. CST

    I don't know what to say....

    by Green Arrow

    fettastic, yours are some of the most ignorant arguments I have ever heard. My God. I could go line-by-line to counter your arguments, but I don't have all day. Here is a sampling: Yes, all the people who hijacked planes on Sept 11 are dead. So what. You think there aren't more of them out there, hiding in our country right now, biding their time, just waiting for their chance to kill Americans. I want to find and bury them before they kill my family or yours. Ass. "Do all brown people have to die?" You cannot possibly be that stupid, so you must be using the classic liberal tact of race baiting. Ass. The economic boom during the Clinton years is a direct result of tax cuts during the Reagan years. We would still be in a boom if the Democrats hadn't raised all those taxes (even Senior's taxes on Social security) back in '93. Ass. Bush Sr. didn't trade arms for hostages. For crying out loud, do you really think he crept aboard an SR-71 Blackbird and secretly flew around the world for a clandestine meeting with terrorists? Man, not even the worst Bond flick would have that kind of plot point. Ass. "Supported terrorists throughout the Middle East including Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, The Contras, etc". Ummmm. Hate to break it to you, but at the time he supported Osama and Saddam, they were both fighting with us against, respectively, the Soviet Union and Iran. And the Contra's didn't fight in the Middle East, but rather in Central America. They were fighting against the Sandanistas, a puppet regime of the Soviet Union looking to gain a communist foothold on the American continent. Ass. And on and on. What kind of liberal windbag takes a name like "fettastic" anyway. Wouldn't the Fett family be a little too antagonistic for you to emulate? Ass. Hillarylovesme, you're awesome. pizzatheface, amen. I'm a service member also, and couldn't have said it better myself. And you're right, Signs was a better movie than Moriarty gave it credit for. So was Spiderman.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Star Wars fans can tell you why AOTC is *their* favorite film, W

    by Moriarity Report

    Haha, but PJ set himself up for this when he had Sam recite that pathetic "ABC movie of the week" speech at the end of TTT. Hey Moriarty, try making a case for the TTT that's not based on your love of FOTR, or your politics. Can you? I just don't think he could find enough positive things to say about it, so he had to resort to talking about his personal political beliefs. Well, I could go on and on about AOTC without resorting to the same, tired old political rhetoric (world events are complicated folks, you can't explain it all away in a few sentences like everyone here is trying to do). But you can't when talking about PJ's Lord of the Rings because its just not that deep. Just like everyone here thinks they are better informed about what is going on in Iraq and elsewhere than the President and his men. And just like they know how to make better movies than half the people in Hollywood who they criticize. But you're not there, you are here. The themes in Star Wars run so much deeper than petty political rhetoric. Im so happy that I am able to see these things and I don't have to get hung up on the same old, hateful political spiel that everyone else does with their favorite movie (TTT). Oh well, I still respect most of the opinions expressed on AICN a lot. --peace

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Complete Pacifists are COWARDS

    by PJM

    I personally believe that a war against Iraq would be justifiable, since Saddam has had chances to behave for over a decade, and has broken all his promises and kept developing WMD (and threatened Kuwait several times). However, a convincing argument can be made either way. So if you are opposed to war in Iraq, well, you can make a good case. However, if you are against ANY war at ANY cost you are a COWARD! No, it's not because you are physically afraid (you may or may not be) but because you are mentally afraid - afraid of opening your eyes to a world in which not everyone can be trusted, not everyone is good or reasonable, not every threat can be negotiated away. You would rather take comfort in your smug little towers wringing your hands than realize that, like it or not, war does sometimes eliminate longer-term dangers, and that ignoring these dangers and pursuing "peace in our time" blindly can be shameful. In 1939 people just like you supported Appeasement. How many Jews, Slavs, Romani, and mentally-retarded people died simply because "right-thinking people" wanted to feel good about avoiding the evils of war? And how much worse did things become than if the world had confronted Hitler early on, when he was weaker, and breaking promise after promise? I would also like to point out that in Afghanistan right now, as tense as things still are, women are attending university. They can walk down the streets with their veils off without getting whipped. Men can shave their beards and watch tv without being tortured. Is anyone who opposed attacking the Taliban for fear of killing innocent Afghans now prepared to admit that, although several hundred innocent civilians DID die, the millions of them who survived ARE NOW MUCH BETTER OFF because of the bombing? Because that would be a brave admission from a peace-lobbyist.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Few Facts

    by Broken_Hill

    Actually 7 of the 19 September 11 'hijackers' have turned up alive and made public statements to the effect of "Huh?" These guys all reported their passports stolen at one time or another in the last 5 years, and the FBI itself ackowledges that it does not know who the real hijackers were (another FACT buried under the avalanche of prpagandist-shit the mass media is there for). bin Laden worked for the CIA. There's never been any record of him severing ties. Look at the business connections between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family. The bin Laden 'confession' video is a blatant hoax. All facts that are easily verifiable for the citizen with the slightest interest in reality. For the rest - roll yourselfs back up in that creepy flag and spiral back down into your little cocoon of fear and hate.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Dipshits! Dipshits as far as the eye can see...

    by BigTed

    Gee, I sure do love being patriotic. Also, I likes killing me some things. Isn't there some kind of wonderful way I can do both of these at the same time? Justifiable my surprisingly small in mass ass. Also, I'm fairly certain that Bush should stop trying to appease North Korea with left over french fries from the Clinton era and focus more on eradicating his weaknesses to shiny objects and words in English. The only reasons Korea is getting the 5 Star Hooray-For-The-US-Of-A treatment currently are that there's not lost pirate treasure buried there as far as Bush knows, the American public is still just a little too intellectually active to not make the observation that the guys we are blowing the fuck out of are suddenly Asian, not Muslim, and therefore not instant liabilities and SCUD targets, and finally because North Korea is within range, one million strong and actually has some nuclear weapons. Someone should tell him that nuclear weapons are not collectors items and therefore will not appreciate in value if all other countries with smaller and less impressively phallic collections are butt fucked into oblivion, steamrolled, then a break for lunch, and then butt fucked again. On a note almost entirely unrelated to the previous thematics of butt fucking and pirate gold, did anyone else feel that TTT was truly spectacular and on par with FOTR for the last 2 hours, but the first hour was just, well, wrong? So many jarring cuts and poorly conceived moments crammed into two thirds of your standard feature film length did not inspire me. Still evened out in the end though.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:37 a.m. CST

    by LivingTribunal

    JohnnyTwo-thumbs: Bin Laden blew the WTC, not the Iraqis you dumb fuck.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:38 a.m. CST

    mrglory, you're a fucking chimp...

    by darth sars

    had to say something about your little diatribe there... i personally have a problem with americans. i'm not going to pretend i know EVERYTHING that goes on in the political arena, but i WILL rest easy tonight knowing i don't live in a country that's gotten so full of itself, enjoys pushing other countries around (iraq and n. korea come to mind) and basically pissing EVERYONE in the world off with their arrogance. there's a reason WHY americans are hated around the world... think about it. i'm proud to say i live in a country where i can travel world-wide with a canadian flag on my bag or jacket and not feel embarrased. i don't get my opinion from watching the news... i get it from my visits to the states.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:46 a.m. CST

    p.s.

    by darth sars

    loved the list mori.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:51 a.m. CST

    PJM

    by LivingTribunal

    Where is the proof that Saddam has continued to develop more WMD? I don't see it. Bush has not provided any, he just keeps talking about it.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:56 a.m. CST

    PT Anderson

    by TheBrokenLevee

    This guy struck gold with "Boogie Nights," bored the hell out of me with "Magnolia," and made me wish I had never heard of him with "Punch-Drunk Love."

  • Funniest line of the TB. If you have "Canadian pride" I guess you're past the point of being embarrassed, right? Yes, you can wear a Canadian flag anywhere and not get a second glance. And that's because Canada is a nation of zero consequence. Anyhow - as a US citizen who thinks Bush is a tool and his foriegn policy is psychotic, folks from other countries might want to realize that not everyone in the US is gung-ho about everything our government does. Far from it. As for being "hated" around the world - whoop-de-do. All things considered, it doesn't feel like much of a slight.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:16 a.m. CST

    thanks...

    by darth sars

    for proving my point.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:27 a.m. CST

    more politics

    by defino

    of course america knows that iraq has "weapons of mass destruction"... we sold them the parts to build them! just go ask donald rumsfeld, he can tell you all about them. -slightly unrelated, but still relevant - bill hicks on the military and gays in the military: (just to offset all the "i should know cuz i'm in the army" talk on this board... yeah yeah i know you're out there protecting me from all the "threats" out there) ANYWAY - "Anyone DUMB enough to want to serve in the military should be allowed in. That should be the only requirement. I don't care how many pushups you can do. Put on this helmet, go wait in that foxhole. We'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody." on objections over gays in the military: "Excuse me, aren't ya'll just a bunch of hired killers? you're thugs. And when we need you to blow the fuck out of a nation of little brown people, we'll let you know." "Is that a village full of children? Where's the napalm? I don't want any gay people around me when I'm killing kids."

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Oh no, a Canadian

    by mrglory

    If the world was a salad bar, Canada would be celery. If the world were a porn movie, Canada would be the impotent towel boy. If the world were a human body, Canada would be eyebrows. If the world were the music industry, Canada would be The Captain & Teneal. As an American I can walk around with my flag and not give a rat's ass about what others think, because MY country's money, military, and teenaged consumers run the show. If the other countries despise us so much, do not import our exports, and stop asking for help, eh?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:31 a.m. CST

    one more from hicks

    by defino

    "And don't tell me the military protects our freedom because ladies and gentlemen no one's a fuckin' threat to us. Oh wait I'm of course talking only about the places we don't arm first. OK They might be scary for about a day! We give them the old weapons and use the new ones on them. Iraq sure found that out. 'We have the scud' 'We have the patriot! The scud times two!' Fucks. We've got new shit now!"

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Honestly, enough PTA bashing.

    by PumpyMcAss

    I CAN fathom (barely) how someone might not enjoy his movies, but I CAN'T imagine how someone who claims to love film cannot at least APPRECIATE what the man is risking and striving for with his daring body of work. Damn. At least his films are different enough to divide people as much as they do. Personally, I find Anderson to be second only to Scorsese in terms of living, working directors. Seems a pointless chore to try and defend him to the ignorant self-loathers on this site but I still try to educate to little avail. Well, Rome wasn't built in one day and I figure in one decade there will be no questioning of the man's brilliance.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:51 a.m. CST

    my last bit...

    by darth sars

    hey, everyone's got their own opinions :) that's the whole reason i come to this site... people say what they want to say, and everyone is forced to sit and read. open's my eyes a bit to read people's reactions, and i'm never offended by them... what makes me mad is going to american news sites (cnn, msnbc) and seeing no mention (cnn does have a 'video' of the event, ALL the way at the bottom of their homepage) of the trial going on right now over the friendly fire incident in the Afgan fighting.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:39 a.m. CST

    "the friendly fire incident in the Afgan fighting."

    by Hoof Hearted

    Its probably not news, because, as anyone who's ever been in the military knows, the only real threat to our soldiers is each other. Some of them just aren't that bright.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:46 a.m. CST

    hoof hearted

    by darth sars

    amen to that.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Spielberg 1, Scorsese 0

    by Lazarus Long

    It's almost pointless to keep criticizing people's Top Ten lists (De gustibus non desputandum est?), but it really gets my goat that Spielberg goes slumming and makes (supposedly) the 2nd best film of the year, while Scorsese and Soderbergh bite off more than they can chew--and wind up in the doghouse. That pisses me off. You want to talk about entertainment, fine. Catch Me If You Can was great, it was instant gratification. Do I have any desire to see it again? Not really. Daniel Day-Lewis' PERFORMANCE was the best thing in films this year. It was better than Helm's Deep. It was better than Yoda vs. Dooku. It was FUCKING ALIVE. I won't go on and on about Scorsese's passion for the project, the attention to detail, etc. What it comes down to is, Does it work or not? Apparently it doesn't for a lot of people. But a film that contains so much GOOD STUFF...so many great performances, lines, shots, scenes, music...even if the screenplay could have been better, doesn't it deserve a certain level of acclaim? I doubt very much that with Moriarty's busy schedule he even bothered to see Gangs again. How dare you take one viewing at this artwork, and pass judgement on it? Aren't some of the best films ones that take a while to fully appreciate? Gangs of New York, more than any other film this year (not including the Lord of the Rings TRILOGY), will be studied and watched 20 years from now. Maybe it doesn't look like a masterpiece right now. Just wait.

  • First off, is there anyone out there besides darth norwalk who can give an opinion without resorting to name calling or swearing? So immature. Now, then- on to my thoughts: 1. The SUV argument will be null and void eventually. in 2004, Lexus will be releasing a full size SUV with V-8 power that gets 35 miles to the gallon. Definitely a step in the right direction. 2. Regarding Bush, Jr- maybe if he used some cash to help american companies develop ALTERNATIVES to a need for oil, we wouldn't be in this mess? Put some US money to CONSTRUCTIVE use, for a change. The path we are currently headed down kills us either way. Either we die in war, or we die from a polluted planet. Personally, I would take option C. Call me an environmentalist if you want. Whatever. If you think that word is an insult to me, your opinion doesn't really matter anyway. 3. So far, BOTH sides of this "discussion" have showed very narrow-minded opinions, and fail to do anything but quote a post and them call the poster names... 4. Random thoughts: I love living in America. I would much rather live here than many other places. I don't endorse everything America does. I don't KNOW about a lot of things America does. I hope other people of the world can not be stereotypical when thinking of Americans. This is widely not so, but it would be the wise thing to do. Canada is also a nice place, with many friendly people. I'm sure the middle east has some nice places with friendly people, but the media doesn't show them because it's a long way to travel if there's no violence to report. I'm sure Bush wants more oil. He has an oil background. He's from an oil state. I'm sure Sadaam wants oil. He has an oil background. I'm pretty sure if we did manage to oust him or kill him, his Psycho of a son would be even worse. I know violence has its place in the world, to a degree. It's the ol' yin-yang thing. ONE LAST THING- anyone who attacks this post or points out any inconsistancies in my opinions or thoughts is missing the point. If we're going to post off- topic, we can at least do it with some civility.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 6:39 a.m. CST

    OK, I'll stop arguing about P.T. Anderson, but I just want to sa

    by CoolDan989

    I saw something in Punch Drunk Love. Something deeply moving. And I can't be wrong about seeing something. I couldn't have seen something that wasn't there. I know for a fact it's there. But now I also know more people than I originally thought that didn't get it, even more people than Kubrick was used to. I mean, apparently even P.T. Anderson fans were turned off by this one! I have no idea how THAT happened. Punch Drunk Love is a controversial, polarizing film, something like Kubrick would make. And I don't blame anyone for not understanding the movie. I mean, even I was surprised when I realized I understood it, and it wasn't immediately I understood it, mind you. Maybe if you go over the movie in your head or see it again you might get it. And OK, maybe P.T. Anderson isn't QUITE up to Kubrick standards, and most likely it will not win Best Picture at the Oscars (even though controversial, polarizing films have won in the past), but I definetley think it at least deserves a Best Screenplay Oscar for offering such a rich reward for people who understand the movie.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:34 a.m. CST

    STORYTELLING IS EXCELLENT

    by Parla

    I have to say I agree with most of your list But strongly disagree on this one. It goes to show Americans aren't really ready to take a hard look at their society

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Iraq and Al-Queda can't be linked...

    by OK Then

    Saddam's not an Islamic fundamentalist and so he couldn't support Al-Queda's anti-Western violence. Just like the US, also not a nation of Islamic fundamentalists, could not have supported the Aghan mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. For that matter, the US had significant religious or philosophical differences with the South Vietnamese, the South Koreans, and the Contras in Nicaragua, and so could not have provided aid to any of those people. ***** Realpolitick results in some strange alliances, and allegiences shift over time. Saddam is certainly not a fundmentalist Islamic zealot, but the content of his national addresses and stories in Iraqi state media have taken a decidedly more Islamic tone in recent months. Everyone forms their own opinion, and my strongly-held perception is that Saddam would antagonize the US in the name of Islam, or in the name of Sammy Davis Jr. if he thought it would have an effect. A strong and active Al-Queda stings and demoralizes the West, and that's not inconsistent with Saddam's regionally-expansive aims. ***** Duke Ray, I appreciate the support. I'm not, though, going to claim a handle on truth. I believe what I say to be truth based on careful analysis of the facts I've been able to collect, filtered through my own understanding of history and psychology. Others might look at the same set of evidence and reach entirely different conclusions, and they should. Some people think that this whole thing is about grabbing oil, and I guess that's a reasonable position. It doesn't square with me, as I think the US could avail itself of much easier opportunities to gain control of oil and other resources if it chose to do so. Others, though, have expressed the opinion that this is all about the notion that Bush is inherently evil -- which I think is on a par with those on the right who say Dems are intentionally trying to push more Americans into poverty, drug abuse, and despair just to solidify their power base. ***** People on this board generally seem to be smarter than average, and most of this debate's been pretty fun to read. Thanks, everyone!

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Consider the source

    by OK Then

    Iraqi press secretaries are obviously paragons of credibility, but in this case I'd challenge his avowal. I can think of several states where citizens are armed and where there's not an imminent danger of revolution -- like the United States, or even Switzerland. Hussein, however, has always believed Iraq to be in imminent danger of revolution, which is why a guy who makes what might be construed to be a vaguely anti-Saddam statement at the barbershop comes home to an invitation to witness the beheading of his wife and children before he's sent off to prison. It's why, several years ago in a meeting where Saddam asked for total honesty from his cabinet, one of his advisers suggested he step down temporarily to defuse global opposition to the regime. Saddam thanked the guy, had him arrested, and that evening had the pieces of his corpse delivered to the guy's wife in a duffel bag. I'm sure Saddam has a pretty good idea of which civilians are armed, and that those civilians know exactly what their families are going to get if they try anything. And yet some of them will still try something. ***** CNN has just reported that inspectors have recovered 11 well-maintained, empty warheads designed specifically to deliver chemical weapons and another warhead that may not be empty (currently being tested). Inspectors today also went to other sites that were not on Iraq's declared list, suggesting they were following up on intelligence tips. Does anyone care to explain how this could conceivably be consistent with the notion that the Bush Administration "has no evidence?"

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Fettastic, I may have disagreed with you concerning Ghost in the

    by empyreal0

    Now I don't agree with political crap spilling into the TBs, but once it's here, what are you gonna do? Anyway, your analysis of the current tensions with Iraq versus WWII are absolutely correct. War causes more problems than it solves when used as a show of force to bully around the other nations of the world. It's insane how paranoia has become such a driving force behind US international relations since the Cold War. You'd think that we might have learned something after we got out alright through other means, but apparently not. I can't believe how people are just chomping at the bit to go thrash Saddam as if this was all just between us and him. Sorry, folks, but you've only got half the story of international politics. I am shocked that a nation that can make beautiful trailers to shitty movies has an image problem in international politics. Right now, the US looks to the rest of the world like a huge, dangerous, untamed beast ready to attack anything that comes near it. At least North Korea's backing down and Bush might have the sense to make peace with them. There are smarter ways of dealing with conflict. Non-aggression is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of intelligence.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Review cuts off

    by Kent Allard

    No matter what browser I use (Netscape or IE), the review cuts off at Lilo & Stitch. Anybody else having this problem?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Here's your evidence. Any more questions?

    by Kerrak

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1586-2003Jan16.html

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Panic Room" WAS a bad film, but Fincher had to make it

    by No. 41

    It racked up $100M + domestic, the kind of commercial success he hasn't had since "Seven." ( I absolutely REFUSE REFUSE REFUSE to call it "Se7en"). Although "The Game" was underrated and "Fight Club" will eventually go down as one of the most important films of the 90's, neither of them made the bux. "Panic Room" may have bought Fincher the clout he needs to make a few more "Fight Club"s. Which would be a good thing.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Another reason Fettastic's a useful idiot

    by Kerrak

    Hey Morgoth, don't you love the part where Fettastic says Somalia happened under Bush's watch? Clinton recalled the soldiers from Somalia, as even a cursory understanding of the facts would allow you to know (and as it states very clearly in the book version of Black Hawk Down that was referenced). Please, if you don't know what you're talking about, do the grown-ups here a favor: don't speak.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:34 p.m. CST

    The Curse of Butch Cassidey

    by slaterc3

    George Roy Hill (director) then Conrad L. Hall (cinematographer), now Paul Monash (producer(Butch, Carrie, Big Trouble in Little China). All three men, who worked on "Butch Cassidey and the Sundance Kid", have died within a very small window of time. Who will be next? If I were William Goldman, I'd go get a physical ASAP (although I wouldn't drive too fast!)

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 5:39 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by MJAYACE

    Fettastic must be a kid. I have never seen anyone with so much time to frigging post. Either that or he's unemployed on those welfare programs he loves to boost with his hate letters of conservatives. I do agree that the 90's were a prosperous decade, but I am truly beginning to believe it more because we had the wool pulled over our eyes (I.E. we ignored corporate fraud, ignored foreign policy, inflated stock prices, and rode the boom that happened after the gulf war). As usual a republican (I don't care what your political views are, if you believe Clinton was more honest then Bushie your insane) has to come in and clean up the mess. Do you people really think that Bush sits at his desk scheming how to make oil money? Come on (he is already rich from selling his share of the Rangers), I don't even believe Clinton schemed beyond how to get his next piece of ass. He just ignored everything, because he saw everyone was happy. He swept all the problems under the carpet for the next guy so to speak. Rag back if you want. Out here.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 5:53 p.m. CST

    fettastic

    by MJAYACE

    Maybe some of the others did, but I would never say shut up about your opinions. I completely respect your right to express them. But I don't have to agree with them. And just as I respect your opinions (even though I disagree with most of them), you could disagree without expressing that because some one is patriotic they are an idiot. Patriotism doesn't have to be linked to an ideology. It should be linked to a condition (I.E. we as Americans). I wouldn't expect our prideful Canadian to give a rats ass about a Lee Greenwood song, yet I would expect him to respect the fact that if Canada is attacked (not that it will ever happen) it will be the U.S. that comes to its aid. Your as bad at name calling as everyone else, you just tend to do it discretely, rather then just calling someone a "dumb ass" you digress into acts of "patriotism" as being idiotic. Out here for good this time.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Ok, maybe I spoke too soon...

    by empyreal0

    Fett, you started out pretty good there, but I think you've slipped just a little bit off the deep end. Bush as the Genghis Kahn of the 21st century? Gerald Ford responsible for terrorism? Sorry, but terrorism has been around for quite some time in one form or another. People have been using fear as a tactical advantage throughout all known history. The terrorist movement you're referring to has come about not because of the fault of any single person, but the steady rise of cheap and easily available technology, especially communications technology, and the growing power of non-state actors in world politics. Who needs an army when you can make your point with a knife, a few airplanes, and a plan prearranged by a highly decentralized network of people communicating with video tape? What you have is one cult (yes cult, Osama doesn't speak for Islam any more than Koresh spoke for Christianity) that decides it has an enemy it wants to get rid of, with the means and the technology to cause some serious shit. That's all it is - an empowerment of the masses. I agree that the answer isn't to restrict freedom. The answer, IMO, is diplomacy. Open democracy. Respect. Yes, I'm a softie, I admit it, but I believe there are alternatives to what we're already been presented.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Kent Allard, I'm having the same problem.

    by empyreal0

    Cuts right off at Lilo & Stich for me, too. Halfway through a sentence. It's a shame too because Mori's list is the only one I really cared to read. ** Now for everyone else: In regards to Fincher and Panic Room, personally, when I first saw it I thought it was hands down the best Hitchcockian suspense movie in quite a while. While Fincher went a little overboard using the same stuff he did in Fight Club, I think the only annoying bit was where he went into the keyhole. Stupid. Unnecessary. Sound effects and/or a visual through the window is fine. If you'd notice, Panic Room hasn't done so great in DVD sales, whereas Fight Club absolutely cleaned up. It took a while for word of mouth to hit: Fincher and Palahniuk are a winning combination. (Personally, I most want to see him do Lullaby, as it's Palahniuk's most original work thus far.) Anyway, So I don't have to devote another entire post to other stuff, my quick comments: Punch Drunk Love was sweet and strange, but not very deep, and featured what I still consider to be one of the most horrifyingly one-sided and potentially volatile relationships I've seen in a movie - passed off as love, no less! Trust me. I've had friends in the same fucked-up situation. It's not pretty. Lilo & Stitch was some of the best Disney in a long time. Two Towers kicked much ass, and notice that it appears on everyone's top 10. Also notice that AOTC isn't on anyone's top 10 list. Big surprise. Signs would have been a great movie, except for HUGE FUCKING GLARING PROBLEMS IN LOGIC. Great suspense, but frustratingly sloppy premise. Road To Perdition was excellent and should be up for a best picture oscar, I hope. Catch Me If You Can was loads of fun and a refreshing throwback to the charm of the early 80's Spielberg, and a model for all DiCaprio casting from now on. The kid can play charm, but as soon as he throws on a scowl and tries to be dramatic, I want to puke. Blade II was one big shitty fightscene from hell. Don't even get me started. Harry's a fucking scary pervert for his review of that movie, he's been without female love for too long, and I'm starting to wonder if it's affecting his judgement. Spiderman was half of a good movie, half B-movie camp, cemented together at the middle. Harry and Mori get HUGE TITLES FOR THEIR TOP TEN LISTS... Quint gets a tiny mention. ;) This website has way too many problems loading pages. And... even though Daredevil looks like it has massive potential to be schlock, it still looks like a helluva lot of fun, and the beginning of that second trailer gives me shivers. That's all on this for now.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:33 p.m. CST

    A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.

    by pizzatheface

    I never meant to try to change anyone's political view with my post, because it is impossible. People will just try to counter argue what I've written. I don't think war is a good thing, but I do believe it is nessesary for peace for the exact reason I stated above: people think differently. And when someone has the potential to kill members of one's nation, the leader has not only the right, but the responsibility, to protect his people; Saddam included. What I'm saying here is that Saddam is a threat to the US. We know he hates everything democracy stands for because it would then be impossible for his regime to exist. We know he has dangerous weapons, and if you need proof, I think logic should be enough, here. You can't tell me you honestly believe he's not hiding something. If you think the US is out to bully the world around, then I guess it would then make sense to compare this coming war to WWII. Germany is MUCH better off today because of the US's involvement in WWII. Neither does the US now occupy Germany as it's defeated foe, making it the 51st state and using up all of its resources (Iraq's oil, anyone?). I think it would have been great if fettastic were the president of the country years ago, because obviously he has a crystal ball that allows him to know the consequences of every action he does, including how people would respond to foreign aid, and we would today be a peaceful, happy nation with no worries at all, just like Canada, because of his wise decision making. And to whomever it was earlier who was complaining about the military and then saying we don't need to worry about our security because of all our weapons advancements, you are arguing with yourself, because you would not have those advancements and your secure home far away from the twin towers if it weren't for a US military presence. Bush may not be the most versed president in US history, but I trust that he is surrounded by many people with good advice and he has access to way more information than anyone in this forum concerning foreign affairs, myself included. I don't pretend to know everything, but I'm glad to know the US has intelligence agencies and advisors that allow our leaders to make decisions from that. This country is not governed by one man, remember. And if it turns out to be the wrong decision in the end, then I nominate fettastic as the next presidential candidate. Who will second that?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:39 p.m. CST

    I sure won't...

    by PJM

    his "grasp" of history and reality makes him sound like a loony. Please don't put him in charge!

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:44 p.m. CST

    fettastics comment

    by TELESCREEN

    "I use WWII as an example. I would have GLADLY given my life to stop Hitler. He is a true embodiment of evil. His beliefs were evil, everything he stood for was evil. We had PROOF of his evil acts. He invaded country after country without any resistance from the rest of the world. He showed no signs of stopping. He murdered millions of people for no reason other than to subjugate the populace and exploit their resources. Now THAT was a JUSTIFIED war! " Actually, (don't you love using that word when you want to correct someone) no one even knew about the holocaust until after the war. Besides, we only went to war in the first place because JAPAN attacked us. Of course you might be English in which case NEVER MIND. Anywho, I don't have the energy to engage in this whole Iraq debate, especially on a message board where it's not even supposed to be taking place, but I despise Bush and his bullshit. Have you ever noticed that in wars where we try to "pre-empt" (like say Vietnam, when the administration was feeding us a bunch of bullshit about how communism would spread if we didn't go to war) it ends up really badly for us, but when we retaliate after being attacked, or come to the aid of a power that needs our help, we kick ass? Guess what's going to happen here.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:38 a.m. CST

    TELESCREEN has a crystal ball too.

    by pizzatheface

    Hindsight is always 20/20, my friend. But I do agree that this should not be a political forum, even though almost every TB is, and I apologize for posting my views. Most importantly, I just want people to know that I don't desire war, either. It's just the way human nature is. By the way, TELE, what is your favorite movie of 2002? I would have to say, without analyzing too much, that I most enjoyed TTT. I think that's what movies are for: entertainment, not analysis.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Honestly, not enough PTA bashing...

    by MagnoliaFan2001

    everyone who is not on the PTA bandwagon must be ignorant. riiiiiiiiiiiighhhtt... PTA's films are insanely STUPID and IDIOTIC. Am i the only one who caught that in Boogie Nights? that almost every character was essentially an IDIOT? that it was melodramatic and contrived? oh, rollergirl just happened to be filming an experimental porno that night and just happened to run into an old high school bully that tormented her, all the while Dirk is waiting for Becky in front of a diner then just suddenly and out of the blue decides out of the blue to jack off for $10 and relive his hustling days, but instead runs into a group of Fag Bashing Nazis that kick the shit out of him, but oh it doesnt stop there. Buck goes into a Donut Shop on the very same street where Rollergirl was filming her porn, then while he's in the donut shop, there's a crossfire exchange of bullets where everyone in the store is killed except for buck. HOW MANY FUCKING DONUT SHOPS HAVE SAFES IN THEM ANYWAYS??? And then, buck is faced with the choice, "should i take the money? or should i not take the money? after all I was just denied a loan from the bank to start up "Buck's Stereo World". it's so fucking ridiculous.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Panic Room is Shit

    by Parla

    I liked 7 and almost liked Fight Club but PANIC ROOM hasn't got a single interesting idea. The whole movie is based on pretentious camera work which adds nothing to characers or suspense. To compare this bullshit to Hitchcock is frankly offensive. Not to mention the script with that disgusting ending were the bad guy turns out to be a good guy, it makes me want to vomit. Signs which useas the same clautrophobic atmosphere and much the same concept although flawed in many ways is a much more interesting movie. With this movie Mr Fincher has shown he should go back were he came from COOMERCIALS

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 5:46 a.m. CST

    my FAVOURITE movies of 2002

    by Erik_Richmond

    Some of these were out in the US in 2001 or haven't come out over there yet but these were my favourite films that i saw in the cinema here in Ireland this year. (10.)LOTR:The Two Towers, not as good as fellowship(less character work, visual variety) but still great. (9.)Monsters Ball, nice cinematography, great perf from BBT and the most realistic sex i've seen in an American movie. (8.)Read My Lips, great little gritty romance/thriller, Vincent Cassell is the new DeNiro. (7.)Training Day, outta nowhere a Hollywood movie with balls for once, reminded me of French Connection in parts. (6.)28 Days Later, quality, hardcore, low-budget horror at it's best, welcome back Mr. Boyle. (5.)24 Hour Party People, again more quality gritty but entertaining lowbudget filmmaking from England, very funny too. (4.)Minority Report, most fun i've had with a Spielberg movie in over a decade, pansy ending but the jetpack/car factory sequence did it for me. (3.)Y Tu Mama Tambien, and (2.) Sex And Lucia, two incredibly beautiful and heartwarming movies with incredibly naturalistic performances and great sex. (1.)Amelie, as close to cinematic perfection as you can get, if this movie doesn't make you feel good about life u'd be probably better shooting urself. Just realised that three of my top 10 were shot on digital, that's pretty interesting...

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 9 a.m. CST

    Why Iraq is NOT "all about oil."

    by the G-man

    If Bush simply lifted the sanctions all the Iraqi oil that currently can't be sold to the US (and Bush's alleged "oil buddies") could be sold. If this was about oil, lifting the sanctions would accomplish what his foes say is the goal of the war.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Iraq and bombs and stuff

    by :-o

    Let me ge this straight now... we need to protest these actions because Iraq and the whole Muslim world is, like, poor and frustrated and non-white (even though they are the largest oil producing nations have the most lucratively funded terrorist organizations on earth); we beat them once before so they are completely harmless even though they might build the A-bomb but thats ok because there's no way they could use it because it's, like, suicide--even though they're fascist martyrs who pay Palestinian Bomber families and fry children's testicles with electricity; and Iraq should be just left alone or else we're just going to hurt their civilians--even though those civilians have zero civil rights and are tortured regularly. But WE are tortured regularly right here in the U.S. when the so-called Justice Department taps our phones and hassles us at Phish concerts. Oh and we're not really, like, going over there for any reason but to steal their oil and make George Bush and his oil buddies rich--as if the second largest energy supplying nation on earth being run by an insane dictator isn't that big a deal--after all, we should have electric cars anyway. And we should have them tomorrow. Can we get them tomorrow? Never mind that if he burned his fields entire economies would crash overnight and 5 million people would probably starve. But thats ok 'cause the U.S.A. sure as hell better be there to feed them all if that happens--and they better do it right. And what does any of this have to do with Al Queda anyway? The CIA has even said--even though they have built their entire existance aroud incompetence and lies--but still they even said there is no, like, connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Its a big planet, though, with 6 billion people and possibly 19 or 20 of them might be in cahouts but how dangerous could they be? What's 9 or 20 people? Remember that in a Court-of-Law you need evidence of such conspiracies. After all that's how we put Hitler and Mussolini behind bars right? With, like, multiple U.N. resolutions over ten years and like photographs of actual people being gassed at Auschwitz. I just wish the U.S. would, like, stop trying to solve all the worlds problems with soldiers and bombs and fighting all the time. It's just so, like, not what we need to be worrying about on a Saturday night. Though the WTO protest marches were really cool and fun. Man, I hope there's no more terrorism. But there will be if we, like, keep doing all this war and stuff and making them all mad.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:06 a.m. CST

    i can't see past #8 lilo & stitch

    by trkane

    what are 7-1 on the top 10?

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:26 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by MJAYACE

    Smileyface said that we should stop trying to solve all of the worlds problems. Okay, frankly as a conservative--I agree!Yes, thats right I actually agree. But it will never happen because all of you pacifists well never agree with the requirements. The shit must fall both ways. If we are to adopt an isolationist stance again, then when all of the other countries come a calling on the U.S. to help them in their interests (I.E. money for schools, food, etc.) and all of the other foreign aid, guess what? No can do pal. See its always funny how very few step up to support the U.S. in ITS interests. What are our interests? World freedom through democracy. Yes it is hippocritical when sometimes we have to do it by force, but you know what. ALL of the countries that have switched away from extremist politics are far better off (yes even Russia for all you naysayers--although their pride may be a little stung). Oh well, this is a hopeless debate. Out here.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Um, yeah, where ARE 7-1?

    by BarrelRider

    Fucking hayseeds.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Here's what's going to happen in the next few years:

    by NeofromtheMatrix

    February or March 2003: Desert Storm- Episode II: Attack of the Clowns, Operation "Infinite Freedom", or "Eternal Glory" or whatever. Summer 2003: Ossama Ben Laden's next television project, which he has described as "quite spectacular", and is expected to be far more impressive than his "September 11th" project, which got a lukewarm reception from audiences worldwide, criticizing it as "sensationalistic trash". If Ossama doesn't watch out, he could easily become the Joel Schumacher of the terrorist community. Summer 2005: the Second Great Economic Depression. Seeing what Dubya has done to the stock market, the downward spiral might even hit theaters nationwide as early as Summer 2004. And finally, Summer 2006: The Third World War, which shall probably begin (SPOILERS) with a nuclear explosion annihilating the city of Jerusalem in the last week of July, detonated by Islamic Extremists having a "If we can't have it, NO ONE WILL!" sort of attitude. Sweet dreams!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:02 p.m. CST

    HARRY POTTER IS THE KING OF FANTASY FILMS!

    by POTTER1

    What's all this talk about the Two Towers? Harry Potter is the greatest fantasy epic of all time. Plus LOTR just copies HP! Gollum is a rip off of Dobby the elf! Gandalf is nowhere near Dumbledore! I even heard that LOTR will have a giant spider in the next film copying the spider in the Chamber of Secrets. I mean, can't Peter Jackson think of anything original? It's too bad critics are blind, 50 years from now the only movies that people will remember from this decade are the Harry Potter films. The greatest movies ever!!!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 3:57 p.m. CST

    fettastic amazes me.

    by pizzatheface

    No, really. Even though he has said he is done TWICE, he keeps telling us the way things REALLY are. There are always different ways of looking at things, my friend. There is no point in trying to convince someone otherwise, especially through argument. Didn't you take any speech classes back in college? Argument only creates antagonism, it is not intended to persuade. Next time you try telling us about the way things really are, die and be reincarnated so you really will have authority to speak for someone (Palestinians, for example). My Palestinian friend, Hamed, tells me that most of the blame is laid on Arafat's oppression, not Israel's. Oh well, he is one person, and that may not be everyone's opinion in Palestine, but I realize this, and don't go pointing fingers at people throwing blame. And I also know that there are many Democrats with much more info than we have who realize that this war is neccessary, but only wish for more UN backing before we do anything hasty. I think Bush has been biding his time well, unlike some presidents who feel an urgent need to send bombs out the day after a sex scandal comes out to take heat off. Think twice before you call anyone hasty. Oh, and again with the whole Bush sr. arming our enemies thing: they weren't enemies when he armed them, and there's no use in blaming Bush sr. for their decision to turn those weapons against us. That was entirely THEIR choice. Nobody forced them to do ANYTHING. Especially our country who was only trying to be the good guys and help an oppressed country, much like France did for us in our early days. You couldn't have known any better if you were in his shoes. Drop it, already. If you want to read the intelligent arguments that a democrat makes regarding this war, one who probably knows more military history and strategy than anyone I've ever read, check out Orson Scott Card's "War Watch" columns on ornery.org. This man knows his stuff. But all of this political shmidtt aside, you are a person who likes movies and so am I. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but at least we can both agree that Peter Jackson make a fine film. That makes you a friend of mine.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    blowby

    by defino

    enough with "democrats" this and "republicans" that! sorry all i seem to be is a mouthpiece for bill hicks soundbites, but here he is again: "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute! There's one guy holding up both puppets!"

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Bowling for Columbine is anti-gun

    by CuervoJones

    that

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Where's the rest of the list???

    by DLR

    Can someone please tell me how to get to the rest of the list.I don't see anything that indicates being able to connect to 7 thru 1. I really need to know,so can someone please throw me a bone here???

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Don't take any shit for Lilo & Stitch, Mori.

    by Vegas

    I loved that movie. Most fun I had watching a movie all year, except for maybe Star Wars. But then, I'm biased. Shame you didn't like Panic Room though Mori, I thought that one was a lot of fun. This post was solely to test out if my correct email addy comes up under my name.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Mrs Hussein:

    by PJM

    "Saddam, two packages arrived this morning. One is from George Bush, labelled "Anthrax". Maybe it's that cd you wanted. The other is 9 free months of AOL use." Fettastic, you crack me up.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 6:43 p.m. CST

    yeah! Where *is* the rest of the list!!

    by booface

    It finishes halfway through Lilo and Stitch. wtf is this! I want to see the rest of it!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 6:45 p.m. CST

    why don't we just take all the oil?

    by frank cotton

    because we are CIVILIZED. we BUY our oil from the mideast, in order that we might have some political influence in the area WITHOUT resorting to violence. if we stop buying, there is no one to pick up the slack, and our influence drops to nil. if we are hated as much there as we are now, how much more would we be hated then? IRAQ: when i was still in school, and a teacher had a bunch of screwups in the back of the room, what did that teacher do to maintain control? MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE (usually me). IRAQ is, for many reasons, the obvious choice. sure, that's the CLIFF NOTES version. makes more sense than the same old brainwashed, liberal, America=evil, oil=evil, Republicans=evil bullshit. i don't see any of you pukes making a mass exodus out of this country, so until you can come up with an intelligent, original idea of your own, as opposed to repeating the usual post-indoctination drivel (PC NEWSPEAK), just SHUT THE FUCK UP. (nothing personal, babe...)

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Commie Bastards

    by mrglory

    Democrats live in fantasy world where evil is just a product of Republicans and doesn't really exist, and that anything that might be evil is really just caused by guns and tax cuts. The American flag would be a Rainbow with the UN logo in the middle if it were up to them. Guns would only be in the hands of government (because the government is trustworthy) and criminals (because they don't obey the laws). The normal law abiding citizen just hopes neither gets out of hand. They shout that tax cuts only help the rich, when "the rich" equals anyone making more than $75k a year. They ignorantly overlook the fact that people are not taxed on wealth, they are taxed on income. They'd rather that the money went into schools so that it could disappear and produce no results. Or maybe welfare, so that it could disappear, and produce no results. They say things like "G Bush Sr. personally invaded the middle east and funded all the terrorist camps and regimes" without anyone in the country noticing, because it makes them feel better about Clinton ass-fucking our own military. They also spout off that Bush single handedly destroyed the stock market, because he is just that damn powerful. They MAKE UP about 95% of their rhetoric out of THIN AIR. And when called on it, blame you for coming down on the little guy for trying to make the world a more peaceful place instead of acknowledging that they don't really have a clue what they're talking about, have no experience with what they're talking about and could really care less except that they think it looks good and will win them chicks in the liberal colleges. They say that we're to blame for our oil crisis's and then won't allow bills to pass for our drilling of our own oil, and when called on it, divert attention with follow up ads blaming SUV drivers for producing Terrorists because that's the hip thing to do. They conveniently forget that it's the democrat leaders who want to ban violent movies and video games, censor music, and basically create a "Demolition Man" society. Or that the Democrats are the "richest" politicians in government. The difference between a Democrat and a Republican is that the Republicans on the majority have actually "been there and done that" the Democrats were told about it in school by the 95% democrat teachers, or read about it in some Liberal rag. The funniest part of all is that if there were ever a civil war between the two parties, the Democrats would have no weapons, no military backing, and all their buddies around the world would be too affraid to fight. But in a Democrat world, there's never a reason to fight, because there's nothing really to believe in, it's all subjective they just replaced the word "Coward" with "Activist". So wake up you potheads. You're screwing the country over and ruining the lives of the people that DO give a damn about it.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Michael Medved?!

    by slaterc3

    I don't know where you read this, but if it's true, I've lost what tiny, wiggling respect I had for the man. There is something so disgustingly presumptuous about saying that critics champion little known, often foreign, films simply because they are little-known and foreign. Do you have any idea how many fucking little-known (foreign and American) films come out every year? It's like the stars in the sky. And anyway, what is Michael Medved's evidence that any of these critics aren't completely sincere in their selections. His judgement? I wouldn't ask Michael Medveds advice if my pants caught on fire. Anyway, isn't it remarkable how often they are right about these "art" films? Do you think we would have been able to see Y Tu Mama Tambien or Atanarjuat, for example, if it weren't for some of these "pretentious" critics? If the critics are good for anything, it is to alert us movie lovers (if you think Ingmar Bergman is no big deal, I don't even want to know what you are) to some of the most thrilling movie-going experiences of our lives. If you don't have the taste to appreciate that, I feel bad for you (but not for Michael Medved; he should know better).

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 4:31 a.m. CST

    and where is #7-1?

    by Ioreth

    curious ...

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 5:42 a.m. CST

    WHERE THE FUCK IS 7-1?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by booface

    and the rest of 8!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Cool Movie News

    by Mr. Wensleydale

    I come to Aintitcool for movie news. I stay for the asinine rhetoric. The 14 year-olds who frequent this site should stop spouting their incoherent political babble, and get back to flaming each other in LOTR/SW forums. Please stop using these MOVIE talkbacks to vent the mindless drivel that you think is 'wit'. Here are a couple of quick hints for posting on aintitcool: -No one cares about YOUR OWN PERSONAL top ten list. -Words like 'Iraq', 'republican', and 'faggot' have little to no relevance around here. -Read your post over BEFORE clicking the button. The 'Engrish' around here is astounding. Oh, and by the way... Good list Moriarty. It's nice to read about movies from time to time.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 8:40 p.m. CST

    almost as much as you

    by booface

    i like ma poloticz they is good!

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Hey Towelie,

    by PJM

    you mentioned the Charlotte Church's ass debate before. Which talkback was that?

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 11:37 p.m. CST

    ASs

    by slaterc3

    Charlotte Church has a nice ass. Incidentally, Colonel Trautman died.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 11:02 a.m. CST

    to mr Wensleydale & Towelie

    by drjones

    as towelie already said it should be alright at the TBs to talk about everything concerning movies. no matter if politics or any other subject. well...and sometimes grammar just sucks because PEOPLE LIKE ME are no native speakers and just don`t know it better ;)sorry but i don`t know it better too

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Towelie

    by PJM

    I'm sure it won't disappoint. I'll go check it out now. To the smut depository!

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Why is Sandra Bullock still making Mark Lawrence films? Let's s

    by VoicesCarry

    Forces of Nature: $60 million Miss Congeniality: $107 million Two Weeks Notice: $85 million (and counting) I don't think she's there for the artistic enlightenment associated with the projects. Obviously, she's doing something right for the commercial filmgoing audience (cringe), and she'll keep doing it as long as the formula works.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Thank you

    by booface

    Now I can rest in peace... although I thought catch me if you can and road to perdition were a hellavalot better than TTT...

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    blade 2?

    by kicker_of_elves

    sorry i lost respect for him for liking that more then spiderman... the cgi fight scenes are the worst thing i ever seen in a movie..signs made money cuz it was good and people who didnt bring baggage to it got it and loved it to, wish i could have seen it in the theater instead of my big screen..moriaty sorry ur not cool anymore...snootch

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 11:56 p.m. CST

    More dogmatic bullshit

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    Do I really believe that the following are undebatable? No, of course not. But I'll go ahead and act like they are anyway, since I wouldn't want to interrupt the flow of the TalkBack. ------- (1) If there were no oil in Iraq, the Left would be just fine with invading it, since Hussein's behavior is the kind of atrocious nastiness they love to use as a way of saying Americans don't care. But if they can't have their dig at the Right, nobody gets to play. (2)MINORITY REPORT is a stupid film for stupid people. I suppose if you spend all day eating Doritos and listening to "The Wall," then it would seem intelligent, but I graduated from High School over a decade ago, 'kay? (3) 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE needed a bit of narrative underpinning. I already knew the stories going in, so I enjoyed it immensely, but unless you're an Anglophilic music geek, it's going to be like looking through the photo albums of people you don't know. (4) PT Anderson sucks. More smart films for stupid people, or stupid films for smart people. OK, PT, we get it: you paid attention in your film history class. (5) THE RULES OF ATTRACTION can only be praised by people who have never met (or behaved like) the type of people the film is about. Once you take away the titilation of the activities...OOO look, they're taking drugs!...there ain't a Goddamned thing there. Nothing like someone trying to tell me bad behavior is bad, while editing it together for blatant entertainment value. People who take drugs must look at TROT the same way French people look at Pepe LePew. (6) REIGN OF FIRE kicked ass, but only if you were willing to pay attention to the characters. No wonder so many people hate it. (7) CQ was annoying. All it did was fill me with the urge to watch MODESTY BLAIZE again, which is weird, since MODESTY BLAIZE is so astonishingly awful that it doesn't even work as camp. (8) Why, exactly, do Glass and Fettastic contiune to retain their ability to post here? ALL THEY DO is stir up shit. (9) There are too damned many political flamewars on here. Yes, I contributed with point number 1, but I didn't take up seven typewritten pages with it. That said, I would take an Irqa/North Korea flamewar over yet another 3500 word PT Anderson knob polish like that one up there.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 11:57 p.m. CST

    The Rest of Moriarty's list

    by ThePoleOfJustice

    Yup. Long, but can't be any longer than that damned PT Anderson loaf up there. ----------- 8. LILO & STITCH Walt Disney Feature Animation isn

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Lilio & Stitch

    by Kramer22

    Finally, someone acknowledges "Lilo & Stitch"--a movie with so much humor, so much heart and so much unexpected emotion. I'll never forget seeing it on opening day...the entire audience was so caught off gaurd by what they were seeing and how much they were enjoying it. Unfortunately, the movie hasn't gotten the credit it deserves since so many people have jumped on the Anti-Disney bandwagon, where any film that the studio makes is dead even while it is only just an idea that is only still in production, where you won't even rent one of their movies on DVD, God-forbid you might enjoy it, where everyone must spell "Disney" with a dollar-sign rather than an "s", therefore making some drastic and devestating point that the studio actually wants to (gasp!) make money...I mean, sure, the latest Disney films have been a bit formulatic ("Lilo" and PIXAR stuff excluded), but they were still entertaining, visually appealing and better than most of the awful "kid's movies" out there. People have just become to idignant in their movie viewing, where every film must be prestigious and life-changing, or else it MUST be garbage. It's entertainment, people--stop taking it so seriously.

  • Okay, I know I don't watch the same movies as you, nor do I watch as many, which right there is going to guarantee some difference of opinion. Still, Die Another Day was damn good, and the best Bond film to ever come out of the Brosnan run, and your dissing it for Bourne Identity and that peice of crap known as xXx is a sham! Blade 2 a better comic book movie than Spider-Man? Are you defining "comic book movie" as a bad thing then? Or are you just trying to be contrary to the public opinion? But it really gets me that you didn't like Signs. I should have known you wouldn't it was a little too deliberate to satisfy you. At least you wished you liked it better, but considering the company it's in, I'm disappointed. This was a real treasure of a film, and a huge step up from the bleak, unrelenting joylessness of Unbreakable.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 2:27 p.m. CST

    most over-looked movie of the year:

    by DancesWithWerewolves

    frailty.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Politics on this board/ TTT

    by Brian_De_Man

    I think its funny all of you can get so worked up over shit just because Moriarty Posted his review over TTT. Everyone slamming everyone who liked Bush or hates him..Who gives a shit. Guess what people 9/11 is over and has been over for a year. GET OVER IT! We kicked their ass and we can murder all the little camel jockeys we want. I don't agree doing the hate thing in the US... But if they wanna bomb IRAQ and Aphgan..let em. Shit we should take over the country and not have to worry about it any more. Would be a much simpler plan. Then we would have all the Oil we want, the anti-war faggots would stfu and our military would be stronger in the long run. Which I might add..if you democrates forgot..Clinton fucked over horribly. You never mention how badly Clinton crippled our military and thank god Bush was put in office because now we are in a more defensive mode like we should be. You should stop whining about it and let the man do his job. Your lives are being protected by the man whos spending the millions and billions to defend your weak sorry asses. Not to mention Gore was a weak ass pussy since he ran and was a weaker Vice President. I'm personally glad hes not in office..he could not have handled the situation we are in. I think its funny you all get worked over The Two Towers and I love that movie ever more for inspiring you political wankers to start crying like little bitches over spilled milk. 2,500 Americans dead..woopdy doo..we have a billion more were that came from and half cannot afford a house because Clinton fucked the economy. Cheers Bitches!

  • Jan. 22, 2003, 4:46 a.m. CST

    quick question

    by God Shamgodd

    If the coming war with Iraq is about oil, why don't we just invade Saudi Arabia instead? They've got lots more oil than the Iraqis, and a much less imposing military. That we're not going after the Saudis should tell you that the Bush administration's motives in Iraq are more complex than just oil.

  • Jan. 22, 2003, 10:50 a.m. CST

    lemmiwinks

    by defino

    gotta love that line "if you don't like america then leave!" why don't you just add "faggot" at the end of that sentence or some other enqually inane insult, just to prove you are a twelve year old boy. regardless, with your wisdom, we should be able to make a much happier america.