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Harry's Top Ten Films Of 2002

Hey folks, Harry here… Here’s my top ten films of 2002. I’m not going to do a runner-ups or any other special list, because for me, these are the 10 best movies of 2002. The 10 films that led their genres, thrilled me the most and got me to thinking. The films are filled with characters that touched me, that I connected with and in the end of thinking about this list I can say… there are tons of great movies that I’m not mentioning in this list. However, Moriarty, Father Geek, Quint and Mr Beaks have all done such an exceptional job of giving you such a grand list of films for you to consider from 2002.

In making this list I made very hard decisions, brutal really. I was choosing the films that I couldn’t look myself in a mirror 10 years from now if I didn’t mention. These are those films for me. The ranking. Well the ranking was the order of importance that I felt each film had to me. The quality of the 10 are all exceptional and exemplary… each and every one. In truth, I favor none higher than the other, but there are subtle things that made me place one over the other. This first film, my TOP film of 2002, is there because it is simply the best film of type that I believe I’ve ever seen.

What I hope you get out this list is a picture of how this year went for me. Personally, I feel this is the best year of new cinema that I’ve ever had pleasure to enjoy. To a large degree that feeling comes from attending Sitges, where I saw a good 66 films or so that I loved – and in the past month and a half – the films hitting the ‘award season’ have been exceptional, and at worst – VERY GOOD. I feel lucky to have lived and viewed the film season of 2002. These are the jewels in my crown of the year…


The Second Great film from a Filmmaker you’ve probably never heard of. Chan-Wook Park. I first heard of Chan-Wook Park through his direction of JOINT SECURITY AREA – an absolute masterpiece of real filmmaking. He isn’t the showy shoot out type of guy… His films hurt, they’re brutal and absolutely unquestionably brilliant.

I first heard about SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE while I was in Sitges. Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse and Eli Roth, director of CABIN FEVER, came back from the screening with an absolute dazed touched by God look on their faces. Eli said that it was the strongest emotional reaction he has had to a film in terms of perfect filmmaking sense he walked out of RESERVOIR DOGS. As a judge at the festival, my duties kept me from being able to see the film.

Eventually, I finally tracked the film down. Never giving up. When I catch the scent of a great film, I don’t give up the trail till it is in my hands. This movie does not have American Distribution. This movie isn’t coming to a theater near you. This movie won’t be on Cable late at night and most likely will never see a shelf of fucking BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO. Why will you not be seeing this film? Because most likely when the studio folks see this film hitting at the Number 1 spot on my list, they’ll desperately track down a copy of the film. Buy the remake rights. Bury the original in a shallow unmarked grave, forever hidden by the eyes of man, forcing you… the avid filmlover to track down region-less DVD copies online via E-Bay and what not, just to sate your desire for brilliance.

What is the film like?

Remember the original INSOMNIA (1997) from Norway? It was remade last year by Christopher Nolan into a pretty darn good American version of a Perfect Foreign Film. If you saw the original, you probably remember how REAL the movie felt. How, it didn’t really have a movie feeling. It felt dangerous. It felt like that bad alley you once walked down when the rustling quickened your pace and that adrenal rush charged your every move. There was an air of authenticity to that movie and that is here in SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE.

Everything is set in motion by one character needing a kidney transplant quickly, her deaf mute out of work brother trying everything he can do to give her life, and the prices that get paid for just trying to give life to your nearest and dearest.

The film is astonishing. About 30 minutes before the end, I said to Father Geek – “Well, this in number 3,” then as I watched the final 30 minutes in complete and utter shock… Agog at the story work, character work, film work and how completely tragic it is that this movie hasn’t been mentioned by a single other critic in the United States – simply because they didn’t seek to find it. Absolutely Criminal.

People look to find what happened to the nerve of Seventies films – well, it apparently moved overseas, because this movie. This story. This is simply one of the great films that nobody has ever seen. The acting work is superior. There’s so much in this movie that I’ve never seen in anything before – the film goes further than I would have imagined and as a result… Well, it became my favorite film of 2002, as well as my pick for number 1. It is perfect.


I stand by my statement that this is the best film that Roman Polanski has ever made. The best Holocaust film ever made and perhaps the best struggling artist tale ever told. The journey we are taken on, the perspective that is given us, the focus on one survivor’s story makes this so much more intimate than most of the Holocaust stories we’ve seen, because in a way – it has that structure from THE PREDATOR – where you have many characters – ending with one survivor – and what he survives is so much uglier than that sonuvabitch from Stan Winston’s studio!

Adrien Brody is second only to Jack Nicholson’s Schmidt performance as the best performance I’ve seen this past year. His situations, his emotions, his physicality… all brilliant. The way Polanski reveals and uncovers the ugly side of human nature be it Nazi, Jew, Pole or otherwise is just so even handed, so brutally spread about that it is hard to believe that there was any other way this story could be told. This film is so much more heroic than that inflated load of shit that the Weinsteins conned into Oscar glory with that pathetic excuse for dead silence comedy (Roberto Benigni) with LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. The film is so much more involving and cinematically told than SCHINDLER’S LIST. If this film goes unrewarded in the Oscars this year with at least the nominations, then to hell with them.

Lastly – watching a great filmmaker from yesteryear rise through all the travails and troubles that keep these guys from getting their hands on great material without Patron Saint executives like Robert Evans offering them the projects that dreams are made of… With current executives completely unaware of their filmographies and the faith that great material can be made great by filmmakers from yesteryear when given the support that they have ceased to be given. THAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE!

THE PIANIST is the truth. Instead of constantly handing material to flavor A, B or C… Give it to people like Polanski, Friedkin or Bogdanovich. They haven’t lost their eyes, ears or skills… They’ve lost the support that was given to them to be the filmmakers they were. The trust and lastly the nerve of a studio to stand behind them and present the world with a film that truly shakes one to the core.

I love storytelling, and this is a yarn, a true yarn, of one man’s life – As ugly as the world around him can be, his life was so beautiful - his strength so powerful – that against all the ugliest obstacles and brutalities – on the other end of it, there he was… creating beauty again, unmarred by the horrors of war, starvation, poverty, the elements, disease and time. Art endures, this film triumphs.


I’ll watch this film more than any other that came out in 2002. Given time – it will grow to be part of two other films which as a whole will stand to be recognized as one of the greatest achievements of personal filmmaking by a storyteller unparalleled in our times as a bringer of fantasies and visions we’ve never seen before.

This is epic filmmaking at an entirely different level of accomplishment from any that has come before. What these three films will inspire, give birth to and open the doors for will be seen in the future – and we and future generations will point to these films and they’ll say, that this was when the time of fantasy came to cinema. Much like in the Seventies – the time of the Crime film took new meaning.

The importance of these films, the inspiration that they’re giving- only future generations of filmmakers will one day attest to. This is what happens when you fully finance and support a visionary filmmaker and allow him to make his dreams a cinematic reality.

The first two films on my list here are deeply intimate stories set in a grander palette. At the end of RETURN OF THE KING, we’ll look back and realize just how intimate this story really was. How a story of friends can be taken to the grandest scale imaginable and endure for all time. Beyond just being great films.

Also – the work with Gollum is simply astonishingly human. Gollum is a miracle, a revelation and will be a landmark character in the history of Animation. Like Gertie, Mickey Mouse, King Kong before him… Gollum is an accomplishment of historic permanence.

These films reach the dreams of a child, the hopes of the man and become part of my own personal realm of cinematic worship. I love no films before these as much as these. These films are what is precious.

4. 800 BALAS (aka 800 BULLETS)

Here again is a film that you’re likely to never see at a theater near you. Many lists carry Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN or HABLE CON ELLA. Not enough carry SEXO Y LUCIA and none carry 800 BALAS. Here is a film that I saw in another language, not my own, and with no subtitles. I saw it twice and the film touched me and involved me at such a massive level that – it pains me to report what I know in my heart… that this is another film that won’t be playing as a release in the United States.

On Internet Movie Database the film is described as a Comedy Western. It is so much more. Not that there is anything wrong with that genre sandwich. CAT BALLOU and BLAZING SADDLES or GO WEST – but frankly this is a comedy in the way that ABOUT SCHMIDT was a comedy. Yes, it is funny, but it is filled with meaning, poignancy and weight. This film is simply great.

It is a story about a boy that sets out to find the story of who his father was and to meet his grandfather. His grandfather was one of those men that played as stand-ins and misc. characters and stuntmen in the classic Spaghetti Westerns. His son, the boy’s father, died in a stunt gone terribly wrong. This ‘abuelo’/ ‘grandfather’ as played by Sancho Gracia – was the single best character on film this year for me.

Like the WILD BUNCH this is a story about men out of their time. Like TIME TRAVELERS that can never go back, they’re completely out of place in 2002. As if Dinosaurs and Mastodons began to once again roam the Earth – these “MEN” and their profession… THE WESTERN… has died.

This is one of those movies with a cast of characters that instantly live inside your mind… I understood enough of the dialogue to laugh, cry and completely follow the plot. This film is the product of genius filmmaker, yet to really be discovered by the west… ALEX DE LA IGLESIA. His movies: ACTION MUTANTE, DIA DE LA BESTIA, PERDITA DURANGO and LA COMUNIDAD are all simply fantastic films. He’s flirted with making a film in the West, but thankfully has stayed true to his roots and has made great SPANISH cinema.

Alex De La Iglesia is very much to Spain what Peter Jackson is to New Zealand. Whomever finances Iglesia’s dream project fully… will be rewarded by greatness. This film works at every conceivable level – even if I didn’t fully understand the language.


Finally a film about the blank page. The untyped words we seek. The struggle, skirmishes, battles and desperate last stands against the internal fears of personal mediocrity, worth and inadequacies.

This is a film that perfectly portrays the neurotic nature of a writer that doesn’t have a pattern or an agenda other than to stay true to the toughest critic one has, the one between the ears. In a way, I’m reminded of Kirk Douglas’ Jonathan Shields in THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL - At one point he says, “Don’t Worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other’s guts.” While that may certainly be true, the reality of this film is some of the best writing comes from a writer that hates himself, but simply can’t get a divorce.

The character of Charlie Kaufman in this film is incredibly self-loathing – and in that, he finds his answers – the exploitation of self, to dissect and humiliate himself, while at the same time showing the nobility of his aspirations and the desperate journey it takes to reach an end which’ll simply signal the beginning of a new struggle. He’s never truly free of the war, he only wins the fight of skirmishes and battles, but a writer’s war is never done.

Having said all that, a film that brings Cage back to life for me is something to celebrate. A film that is as breathlessly creative as this is a pure joy. This movie will join THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, 8 1/2, THE BIG KNIFE, BLOW OUT, ED WOOD, THE GLASS WEB, GODS & MONSTERS, PEEPING TOM, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS, SUNSET BLVD, TARGETS and WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT as the great films about the myth of filmmaking and the dream behind it all. Breaking the reality, making it a genre all its own. Whether based on reality of the dream of what it is, these films enter and remain in a special place all their own. They are the geek’s geek films, the movies made by people that love film, filmmaking and the dream of what goes into it and the sadness, hurt, tears, joy, pain and even insanity that comes with it.


The best science fiction film of 2002 is so much more than the whiz and bang that has come to define the genre. A film completely uninterested with the technology, the travel or the future, but only the question that if you could make your dreams come true, would they want you?

The film may not be great for everyone, I truly believe this feature will mean different things to different people at different periods in their lives. As relationships fail, people die and the contemplation of eternal loneliness sinks in, the film will have a different level of personal poignancy on each of us.

For many the film was boring and tedious, for me, it was a film where one sacrifices everything for the illusion and dream of life. It isn’t even a decision, it is actually the only thing George’s character could do. A film about the fragile nature of passionate romance and how like an eggshell it takes one wrong move to crack it all leaving the yoke of your heart on the floor forever.

A film about the guilt one feels when a love ends, the eternal nature of that regret and the hopeless quest to end that regret and replace it with “the way things were”. This is the sort of film I love seeing Soderbergh make. The best and most textured performance we’ve yet seen from George Clooney. I dream of a supporting actor nomination for Jeremy Davies – but given… that hasn’t shown up as being on anybody else’s list, I understand how utterly hopeless that prayer is.


Another perfectly complex story of love, this one far more hopeful than the delusional SOLARIS, but equally poignant. A film about the power of love as told in a completely non-cliched manner. Not only a good film featuring Adam Sandler, but a great one. A film that I love. A film that makes me drunk on love. A film that makes me scream and shout and stomp my feet till somebody rigs the Oscars so Emily Watson can win.

This film justifies Adam Sandler’s successful birth and doesn’t make it a dark day in history, because if nothing else… he brought this character to life. He performed in this film. And he did great. I’ve seen this film, many many many times… I just can’t help it. I love it so.


This is a perfect musical. The adaptation process made it different enough from the stage version that while I was watching it, I wasn’t spending time remembering Bebe Neuwirth’s incredible stage performance, but rather… I could feel that this was a different and separate work.

When I finally got around to seeing the film, the audience I saw it with applauded at the end of every musical number, exactly like you would at a live production. This is because of the energy, vitality and audacity of the numbers. The choreography is stunning, the cinematic devices used to convey the themes and ideas are delicious and the design for the film is supreme.

Bill Condon’s screenplay isn’t just an adaptation, it is a reinvention of CHICAGO. As the play became the Broadway show, so has it been reinvented for the screen. The cast for this film are universally to be praised, however my stand-out is John C Reilly, who this year has just, as usual, been exceptional. Watching him become invisible in a series of expressions, glances and movements… the folding in of his spirit, the disintegration and emasculation his character endures… painful and true. In many ways this year – he’s reinvented the put-upon man with his work in this and THE GOOD GIRL, which he was also excellent in.

In the end, this film embodies Lights, Camera and Action!


This is a film to be scared of. This isn’t a sexy erotic film. This isn’t a movie to wank to as you look at Monica Bellucci. This movie is about the weight of actions and how those actions can change lives for all times.

Rape – Sexual Crimes and Violence are not reversible events in one’s life. One can never take back a hit, take back a forced advance and especially a rape. The utter brilliance of Gaspar Noe’s film is the sheer cinema of it.

His camera sways out of control like we’re a fly witnessing history in reverse… We begin at the ends and weep to the beginnings. There is a vicious murder at the beginning of this film that is simply the sheerest most shockingly captured moment of violence I’ve ever seen. I’m still not entirely sure of what I saw, thus the impact, only that I believed that what I was watching was happening. And I’ve never seen that anger, that sort of vicious retribution. As the first sequence comes to the police – we spin back to the past – maybe 30 minutes before – and so on through the film. The notorious rape isn’t focused on the rapist, isn’t shot from an ‘erotic’ angle, the rape is shot for us to witness the humiliation, degradation and the agony of what Monica Bellucci’s character is going through. The brutality of her assailant and the destruction of everything beautiful about her… physically and emotionally. On the gurney – she’s red meat shivering. It is coldly and brutally repugnant.

This all happens fairly quickly – and you’re left wondering what is left to tell. We’ve seen revenge and the act… What is Gaspar going to show us for the remaining hour?

He shows us what will never be restored. The innocent arguments, the casual morning romance, and company of idyllic friends. A day in the grass, children laughing and the feeling of security, trust and peace.

Doing this in reverse chronology powers the film to be something beyond what it otherwise would’ve been. Had the vengeance been the exclamation, there would have been cheers. Instead, because we see that for the act that it is… A brutal act with no reason at the time we see it. We’re left wondering who is being killed? Why are they killing him? What is happening, dear God that’s Horrible! And that feeling is the right feeling, not clapping. It is a life on screen coming to an end.

The film is an examination of a terrible brutal reality that we live in and it is fantastically told and performed by Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci and Albert Dupontel. They are wonderful in this film, and everybody else that appears here… brutally real.

LionsGate has the film – let’s pray that they handle its release perfectly and that the film gets seen. They’re treatment of it begins this coming week at Sundance – However, for me, this was a 2002 film.

10. MAY

As with the film above, this is also a LionsGate film and like the film above a marketing challenge. The movie, the first film by a director that we will definitely be hearing a great deal more from named Lucky McKee, is simply the best horror genre film of 2002. The film premiered at Sundance last year, and on January 31st, 2003 it will be test marketed in Austin, Dallas and Fresno. If, for one reason or another, this film doesn’t perform in those markets – this will only be seen on DVD and HOME VIDEO and that would be a damn shame.

I first saw this movie with an audience of over 1500 Catalonians and Spaniards at the Sitges Film Festival. Next I saw the film at Butt-Numb-A-Thon this year. The reaction from both screenings was electric.

This is a painful film about a curious girl named MAY – She’s been raised to aspire to being perfect – and given her lazy eye, that isn’t as easy as her mother would make her think it would be. Striving for perfection has amounted in isolation and social dysfunction. As she tries to break out of her shell you can see the pain of being a social misfit.

To be in your late twenties and to have never known a kiss, a caress, a date… She is terrified of every move. Her only constant companion has been a doll that was made by her mother and encased in a glass coffin to protect her… the doll is special, perfect, you can’t ruin her. The doll became May’s imaginary friend. She hears the doll, though we never do.

For about 80% of this film, it is not a horror film, but something very similar to ADAPTATION. A portrait of a self-tortured insecure character striving to express themselves. Her end solution isn’t so-much horrific as it is horrifying. In many ways this film reminds me of movies like CARRIE, SUNSET BLVD and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABYJANE? It stands as one of the great awkward Actress performances. Had LionsGate released this film in for Oscar qualification and then pushed Angela Bettis – she could easily get nominated. This film and her performance are that good.

For those that have seen MAY, the movie is a revelation and a highlight of their year. Support the film if you get a chance. This is one of those films that seems doomed by the dim-witted dullness of marketers that don’t know how to market new talent, new ideas and a film that isn’t like a movie earlier that year. MAY is Great!

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:49 a.m. CST

    No way

    by Jaymin Pepper

    I ain't gonna say it....

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:53 a.m. CST

    What? No Bodily Function Analogies?!?!?

    by TechLord


  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Not a bad list..

    by OKSurya

    ...but where is "The Hot Chick"??

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Good call on SFMV Harry!

    by Argento101

    I loved loved LOVED this movie! As slick a picture as JSA was, SYMPATHY is miles ahead in terms of substance. An R3 DVD can be picked up at for a decent price. South Korean continues to impress!!!

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Nic Cage

    by jimmychitwood

    I'm sick of all this praise being thrown at Nic Cage for Adaptation. He sucks!! Always has!! He only got this role 'cause his cousin is dating the director!! Holy Crap! Please Harry, STOP THE MADDNESS!

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:30 a.m. CST


    by thingywhorowitz2

    that two of the best films of last year haven't been mentioned. Secretary was a great love story and far more moving than Solaris was. And The Happiness of the Katakuris was the funniest film I saw all last year (ok, technically this was a 2001 film, but it didn't make it to Austin until 2002).

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Now, finish your 2003 preview, Harry

    by MrPickles

    ...since you've gotten the 2002 review out of the way. You've left me hanging for 2 weeks since posting G - J.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Fantasy came to cinema in 1988...thanks to Lucas

    by Moriarity Report

    With WILLOW. Harry, can you ever review a LOTR film on it's own? From what I've seen, no, you can't. Most people can't seem to judge TTT on it's own. They always have to fall into this same old speil about how this is the most "epic-est" thing ever accomplished by human hands, yada, yada, yoda. People seem to be able to have no problem reviewing The Empire Strikes Back on its own. Or A New Hope. Or even Phantom Menace. Know why? Because those are all distinct works of art. In the end, they all succeed and fail on their own merits. And they are all far better films. If these are the greatest fantasy films ever, then explain to me why you think they are, really; I honestly do value your opinion a lot. We'll all see how "visionary" Jackson is once he tackles other non-Middle Earth projects. Lucas at least was able to create one other great franchise in Indiana Jones. And for the TBers...I did like Two Towers quite a bit, just not half as much as any Lucas production. Im not saying it was a bad film at all, its just not the greatness some make it out to be. Gollum really *was* amazing, truly awesome. FOTR, is another story though.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, noon CST

    If SFMV is so good, why not talk about it before?

    by pavemental

    SFMV has only been mentioned on this site twice before (Cannes and Sitges) and neither time reviewed by Harry. If it is really as good as he claims it to be, shouldn't he have been shouting it from the rooftops? Or was he saving it for the end of year poll just to throw us all a curve ball. Everyone expected him to pick LOTR: TTT, but oh no, Harry's just so crazy and cool and such a cineaste that he doesn't do that. You haven't heard of SFMV? Well, you're not as cool as Mr Knowles! Or as knowledgable about film! While this film sounds excellent, and Harry's opinion may be genuine, his presentation of his opinion smacks of egotism and smug superiority. Someone give me a shout when it turns up on the file sharing networks. And to point out that I'm not some bitter LOTR fanboy, Punch-Drunk Love was the film of the year, with THE HOURS coming a close second. The Hours hasn't had much play on this site, but that's not surprising: its far more mature, insightful and intellectual than most fanboys care for. PS Anyone know what happened to that Chinese film that somebody slipped Harry a DVD of when he was on the Kill Bill set? Chinese subway, kinda Chungking Express vibe I think? I still wanna see that.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, noon CST

    My List...

    by Truman_Burbank

    Begins and ends with Human Nature. This movie needs to get WAY more credit and support for having the most to say and saying it in such a funny, intelligent way. Charlie Kaufman is clearly a genius, and geniuses often go misunderstood on their best works until it's too late. Do the man a favor and support Human Nature! Trust me! Way more ballsy and out there than anything else I've seen this year, and that's saying something. Tim Robbins should win an Oscar for that movie. Seriously.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    "To be in your late twenties and to have never known a kiss, a c

    by Moriarity Report

    Wow, finally a film that us Talkbackers can relate too, bout time! Angela Bettis was great in the Carrie TV remake. Apparently the producers saw her performance in MAY and then cast her in that. She actually over did it at times, but it's still neat to see a babe like this get all ugly and freaky. Hopefully she won't get typecast now.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    About Schmidt?

    by Hurricane Andrew

    You know, after seeing About Schmidt myself the other night and hearing you comparing it to two of your top 5 movies on this list, I'm rather surprised that you did not include it ON your list. While my fiancee didn't appreciate the movie much, I was deeply moved by the film and Nicholson's performance was superb. I could see myself in him 30 years down the road, lost without a wife, unhappy with a life's worth of work, living like a slob and grabbing Red Barons out of the grocer's freezer just to have something easy to cook and eat. He was so self-absorbed and believable in his pitiful selfishness that to create a character with any audience sympathy within that audacious framework is extremely difficult. Easily the best performance by an actor I've seen all year, it's rather surprising that A.S. didn't make your Top 10. At any rate, I hope to see those currently undistributed films so I can have an experience similar to yours, Harry. Keep up the good work.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    "To be in your late twenties and to have never known a kiss, a c

    by Moriarity Report

    Wow, finally a film that us Talkbackers can relate too, bout time! Angela Bettis was great in the Carrie TV remake. Apparently the producers saw her performance in MAY and then cast her in that. She actually over did it at times, but it's still neat to see a babe like this get all ugly and freaky. Hopefully she won't get typecast now.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:24 p.m. CST

    For Your Consideration...

    by The_Tao_of_Eric

    Harry Knowles, for managing to simply get to the point. No pussy analogies, no dead mamma stories, no pathetic love dreams. Kudos. Still have yet to see a whole lot of movies this year so I can't say what's good and what's bad. Whatever happened to the script synopsis with Grando? I should've printed out that one and held onto it forever. Yep, yep. Forever.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Why in the hell do you make your lists backwards like that, Harr

    by Shabbadoo

    Why put the best right in front like that? After the first five or so, why would we want to read your favorites in DESCENDING order? You save the best for last so the reader doesn't skip out after reading about the first 3 or 5 picks...people lose interest if they have to read best to least-best.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by walnutr113

    Am I the only one who thought this was one of the top 10 of the year? How come it is getting no love?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Wooo-eee! Them's some films!

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Hey name 9 movies I haven't seen! Nice list - the first one sounds wonderful, albeit not too shocking that it staggered Harry - he strikes me as staggerable. I agree 100% with the synopsis of Irreversible - easily the most distressing, yet worthwhile, movie experience I saw since Trouble Every Day - from the violence perspective. No glory, no honor, and justice that will right nothing, and bring no relief. Something to be learned there, me thinks.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Willow stinks worse than rancid pussy

    by The_Tao_of_Eric

    I had a friend who said he enjoyed it more than LOTR. I don't care if he didn't like LOTR, but to say something as booty as Willow was worth watching? Lucas is a smart guy, he just makes bad movies. Some of them are enjoyable, but even he knows he makes mediocre movies. All of his characters are one-dimensional, with a few exceptions.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:01 p.m. CST

    I'm not saying it's impossible for some of those choices to be g

    by Shabbadoo

    It sure does seem like the more obscure a film is, the better it is in Harry's eyes. Read through those picks of Harry's one more time: "The Second Great film from a Filmmaker you

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:03 p.m. CST

    "Because most likely when the studio folks see this film hitting

    by IAmJacksUserID

    Nothing needs to be said about this quote. I will allow it's pure, intolerable smugness speak for itself.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:11 p.m. CST


    by Glass

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about Cage, with the exception of Adaptation. I think he stinks. The fact that he was lauded for his performance in Leaving Las Vegas makes me sick. That movie is so terrible, so melodramatic and unrealistic, Elizabeth Shue is an awful actress, so aware of the camera. I think Cage's only good movies are ones that have great writing, such as Raising Arizona and Peggy Sue Got Married, but that has nothing to do with him. However, even though my initial reaction to Cage's starring in Adaptation was one of revulsion, after seeing it, I think whatever skill he has was finally married to something: the genius of the Jonze/Kaufmann team. I give him credit where credit is due, in other words.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:12 p.m. CST

    where the fudge is AOTC?

    by jules windex

    You raved and raved and raved, yet it is nowhere to be found.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:17 p.m. CST


    by fromano28

    Typical list, same as everyone else in the world, TWIN TOWERS?? Stop being such a geek, that is the biggest crap since, well attack of the CLONES.. show some balls and put 25th hour in your top 3 where is belongs! And if Gangs of New York was called "Gangs of Elderon" it would probably be number 1 on your list you film GEEK..

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by Glass

    You know, I realize I'll get flamed for this, but I really wasn't that impressed with Nicholson's performance in About Schmidt. I was more impressed with the woman who played his wife. At times, he just overdid it, plain and simple. Example? When he was in the grocery store getting the frozen food. Nobody with his personality would act like that, flailing their arms about and running through the place. I know someone will have an analysis of why he did that and how deep it was, but frankly, I think he was given too much freedom in that particular scene. I think The Pledge had the same problem. Penn gave his actors WAY too much freedom, and as a result, Nicholson went over-board, especially in the last scene. Back to his performance in About Schmidt - I also found him to be shallow at times. At other times I was moved and felt a lump in my throat, but those moments were scarce and overridden by the fact that there were many moments when it felt like a sledgehammer was hitting me on the head and pulling me out of the moment. The scene in the trailer with the woman next door is an example. I didn't feel sorry for him or understand what the scene was getting at in the least. I felt like I was watching Jack Nicholson with his head on a woman's shoulder. Anyway, that was my opinion, and now I await the beating I will take.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 1:55 p.m. CST

    AICN vs. Gangs of New York

    by Lazarus Long

    I won't stop beating this horse. Hmmm. NOT ONE "critic" from this website chose Gangs of New York. Not one. I commend Harry's list for being a lot more daring than anyone else, although I'm still finding it hard to believe he actually lowered The Two Towers to #3 without pointing out any flaws in the film. Once again, I'm getting the feeling people aren't seeing Gangs more than once. IT'S FUCKING SCORSESE. Let it sink in. Give it another chance, watch it when your expectations aren't so high. This film contains more art, more beauty, more real violence, than any other this year. And WHY, WHY have we yet to see EVEN A REVIEW from any of the AICN big wigs? Are they that upset at what they've seen they can't even write about it? If they need to see it again before critiquing it, maybe they should have waited to make a Top Ten list. I hope Gangs takes more awards than expected, and rams it down all of your fucking throats.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:06 p.m. CST

    breakin some glass

    by maxwell's hammer

    Glass, if you think the performance in Raising Arizona had nothing to do with Nicolas Cage, you must have been watching the Korear version of the movie that Harry saw and no one else will ever be allowed to see. Sure, the Cohens' writing was great, but Cage brought it to life with one of the best and most memorable physical performances in the last 30 years.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by Glass

    Yeah, I suppose you're right. Cage's performance did go way beyond a good script. But that's a rarity for him! Usually he's just smarmy and smug.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I liked Adaptation better 10 years ago

    by Buck_Turgidson

    When it was called Barton Fink. Seriously, what issues and themes did Adaptation cover that Fink did not, and more brilliantly? It's definitely time to deflate Charlie Kaufman's bubble a little. Just adapt the Orchid Thief, already.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:15 p.m. CST

    In "Punck Drunk Love" there is a scene where Sandler violently s

    by Philippines

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Great list, Harry.

    by Nordling

    That's why I go here. I find out about good films that may never see the light of day here. Then I maniacally search and search until I track them down and see them. People, he ain't shitting you about MAY. It's gonna kick your ass, if you see it. It's the best horror film I saw in 2002. If you're complaining that you havent seen half of these films, well, now's your impetus to find them. I'll be sure to look for SYMPATHY now. Thanks again, Harry.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:29 p.m. CST

    i always like those inconsequential lists as mori did

    by drjones

    harry`s list is just too strict: i mean it`s only 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 aaaaaaargh! your taste harry is just your own thing...everyone`s own thing as we all know (otherwise we wouldn`t come here) but *sigh* we`ve been talking very often about how STUPID those damn strict top ten lists are an now... though on the other hand you justified it so i can nearly understand it;) one thing that really bothered me is the bashing of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!!(i`ve always searched for any reviews of this IMHO WONDERFUL flick on aicn and never found anyone!!!) "an inflated load of shit"????? i dunno why. you will have your reasons... just one QUESTION TO YOU HARRY!!! >> WHY IS THERE NO REVIEW UP FOR CATCH ME OR GONY FROM YOU???????????????????????????

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Why no one is giving love to Gangs of New York, Lazurus...

    by Vegas

    Perhaps it's because it's just not very GOOD. I'm sorry, I wanted to like it just as much as anyone, but it was the most disappointing movie of the year for me. Using rock music and electric guitars to score a mid nineteenth century gang battle just took me right the fuck out of the movie, and had me looking at my watch with TWO HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES TO GO. Cameron Diaz's caricature was just yet another happy hooker with a heart of gold. Leonardo DiCaprio was Catch Me If You Can, but in Gangs of New York, he wore one expression throughout the whole film. The movie didn't look like Scorsese had anything to do with it. It was like watching "GANGS OF NEW YORK...a Michael Bay film." It had that fucking "chop it all to hell so they won't notice we didn't bother to choreograph the battle scenes" style of editing that I loathe. Really. I can see why some people can see past the flaws enough to like Gangs of New York. But if someone didn't see ten movies better than that this year, then they don't see enough movies to be a critic in the first place. (but Daniel Day Lewis was really good though).

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Preach it Lazarus.

    by crimsonrage

    Oh and Vegas, ever see a film called "Once Upon a Time in the West"? As I recall it took place in the 19th century and had electric guitars blaring on the soundtrack every time Henry Fonda's character showed up. And we all know how that movie sucked. Riiiiiiight. Quite simply, it is terrible to see Harry completely ignoring a film from a MASTER. He's said three lines about "Gangs of New York". "Sorry, no review. Liked Daniel Day Lewis. Didn't like Di Caprio." What great fucking insight. At least Moriarty discussed his problems with the film (even if most were unfounded and can be remedied with a subsequent viewing). Unfortunately, Moriarty is the ONLY person on this site to review the film while we get 15 reviews of fucking "Lilo & Stitch". And frankly, the inclusion of that film along with "Unfaithful" in Moriarty's list has forced me to question the sanity of the person who was once my favorite reviewer on this site. P.S. Sorry if this gets posted more than once, this site is screwing up on me.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by jimmychitwood

    Cage was good in Raising Arizona, true. However, there must be 10-12 actors who could have played this role as well, or better.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:31 p.m. CST

    what a list

    by ZO

    of unimportant and forgettable flicks. you haven't even talked about half of them here harrys lost it

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Please delete moviefreak.

    by Nordling

    Thank you.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:12 p.m. CST

    "This site attracts idiots like flies to shit."

    by Nordling

    I agree with that, godley. By the way, you misspelled "Uh oh." Moron.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    AOTC is growing on me with every viewing - "Well then, they SHOU

    by togmeister

    Think about that line. I would say this is the first moment in the prequels that we see Darth Vader, even though Anakin himself doesn't know it yet. I'm not going to say AOTC is the BEST film of the year (because this ain't mathematics or sports, no one can say for sure what the BEST film of any year is), but i will say AOTC is the film i will watch most often. No soul or character in the film? Check out the look of disgust on Obi-Wan's face as he checks the pulse of that fallen Jedi in the arena. AOTC is fantastic, as good as the original trilogy.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:25 p.m. CST

    AOTC is growing on me with every viewing - "Well then, they SHOU

    by togmeister

    Think about that line. I would say this is the first moment in the prequels that we see Darth Vader, even though Anakin himself doesn't know it yet. I'm not going to say AOTC is the BEST film of the year (because this ain't mathematics or sports, no one can say for sure what the BEST film of any year is), but i will say AOTC is the film i will watch most often. No soul or character in the film? Check out the look of disgust on Obi-Wan's face as he checks the pulse of that fallen Jedi in the arena. AOTC is fantastic, as good as the original trilogy.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Well, godley, if that works for you...

    by Nordling

    but we all know it's because you didn't make your "Hooked on Phonics" payment this month. Sucks being a fry cook, huh? Well, I hope the dicksucking thing works out for you. I've heard that those without front teeth do especially well, so good luck with that. By the way, you ever go to a doctor about that? I've never heard of someone's baby teeth falling out and not replaced with grownup teeth before. Or is it because you're only 10?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:37 p.m. CST

    800 Balas

    by CuervoJones

    one of the greatest movies of the year, and sad but true, a few people went to see it.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Why be so petty?

    by CountVonGroovy

    Want to know why Signs and Gangs of NY are getting the short end of the best-of-list stick? It's because being given a powerful, rewarding, thoroughly involving cinematic entertainment experience is less important to many people than whether water would really hurt aliens or whether there's electric guitar in the score during a battle or whether the CGI looks "real" or "fake". Both these films, which become richer, more affecting and simply better on repeated viewings (unlike a certain misguided second installment of a sci-fi franchise that rhymes with "bar whores") have been summarily hijacked by petty nitpicking that has little or nothing to do with their actual quality as film experiences (especially Signs; I am willing to admit several flaws in Gangs). Details are important, I agree, but I think these films absolutely nail the important ones. Oh, and Willow is befuddled, refried trash fantasy. Lucas had been a hack for 20 years now. Accept it...

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:47 p.m. CST

    I admire what SIGNS was going for

    by Nordling

    and maybe it is nitpicking, but I can't get past the water thing. I mean, I wouldn't exactly land on a planet that rains battery acid for some food, especially since approaching the planet I could look out the window and say "Hmm. This planet has battery acid for an ocean. Maybe we better rethink this thing." Unless of course the aliens were dying out and had no other viable option but to come here in a last attempt to save themselves from starving to death. Having said that there really aren't enough films that try to tackle issues of faith and spirituality like SIGNS does and I admire that. I hope Mel's Jesus Project and Doug Tennapel's CREATURE TECH go that route as well. And SIGNS had scenes of genuine suspense and wit. The "last supper" scene was terrific. I'll give SIGNS another go.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Well got that personal quick.

    by Vegas

    Odd, considering from your posts Godley, that you know nothing about me personally. And now you've put me in the position where I have two options: ignore you, or validate. Ignoring is definitely the more mature and noble option. But, on the net, maturity and nobility register as acceptance of defeat. So allow me to clarify. I love the Last Temptation of Christ. I think it's the most pro-faith movie ever made. I love The Last Waltz. I think it's the best concert film of all time, and one of the most important works in any visual medium of all time. I think Scorsese knows more about film than any other director out there. HOWEVER, I think he fell short of the mark with Gangs of New York. He's not Christ, he just made a movie about him. Therefore, he's not perfect. The man can make a mistake, and I can still admire the work he's done without just blindly spouting off about how just because his name's on the picture, that it must be good. Ask yourself: if Gangs of New York screened EXACTLY as it did, but with one minor change, that being the change of the name Martin Scorsese on the director's credit, would you still rate it as highly? You, on the defensive as you are, will surely say yes, but MOST viewers would probably disagree with you. His name carries weight, and that weight would suggest to some that his movies must be watched over and over until they are loved by the viewer. I don't take with that however. Movies are expensive to go to, especially with one seven year old to take care of and another infant on the way in March. I don't have time to just watch these things over and over until I like them as you suggest. For me, you get one shot. And it's not like I can't get a difficult work of art on the first try. My favorite films of last year weren't THE ANIMAL and PEARL HARBOR, they were THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, DONNIE DARKO, and IN THE BEDROOM. Not universally loved films, perhaps, not the most indie films out there, certainly, but not your typical popcorn fare either. My most loved film this year was in fact CHICAGO. Because I enjoyed it. I had fun watching it. I thought it achieved its aims. I did not think Gangs of New York achieved its aims. This is not going to in any way diminish my enjoyment of Scorsese's earlier work, but unlike so many of the fanboys on this site, I don't judge a film solely by its credits. For me it's about the content itself, not who supplies the content. Now. You see how I managed to lay all of that out without saying "Fuck you Godley," or making insulting remarks? See if you can reply in kind. If you can't, don't expect me to level a modicum of thought upon your reply. I'm just too fucking tired right now to trade with assholes.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Well, godley

    by Nordling

    You could always take A Trip To The Moon, you Crazy Bug.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Oh, and regarding my intelligence, Godley...

    by Vegas

    I took my fucking SAT's already. I got into the honors program at the University of Texas, and now I work as a designer of telecommunications systems for SBC communications. I'm not Einstein, but I think I'm doing all right in that department, and I don't see how agreeing with YOUR SPECIFIC tastes in as arbitrary a medium as the movies has any bearing on my intelligence. Now, getting the words in my previous topic in the wrong order was somewhat of a fuckup. But we all make those, even Scorsese. Besides, I'm operating on four hours sleep over the last three days. Let's see how anyone else does under similar conditions.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 5:30 p.m. CST

    godley: thanks for your informative posts about GONY. Thanks t

    by minderbinder

  • I didn't catch all of it, but were they trailing a new film review program or something in the commercial break ? Come on, fess up what have you been up to ? Incidentally, a pretty esoteric list. I never even heard of a third of these.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Where the hell is "The Master of Disguise"

    by Shagrat999

    Accept the fact that to many of us, George Lucas has so totally fucked up Star Wars that even this waste of film would beat it head to head. Episodes IV through VI were based on the mythic structures of all humanity, as defined in Joseph Campbell's "Hero of a Thousand Faces". Episodes I and II appear to be based on city council meetings, CSPAN and daytime soap operas. Lucas is a pathetic joke/hack, accept it.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Harry's top ten

    by NubtheSquirrel

    Everybody who loves to talk shit about Harry's list can go fuck themselves. Harry is trying to give us movies that some of us have never heard of. Y'all are stupid if you think your lists are better than Harry's. Harry is simply giving us his opinion. His list is not the be all end all of anything. Hell, not even my list is the be all end all of anything! I happen to think that Harry's list fuckin rocks and I look forward to seeing all of the movies that I have yet to see that were on Harry's list. (Those and Bubba Ho Tep! Campbell rocks!)

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles...

    by Grando_Rules

    Harry's completely out-of-touch with reality. I started coming to this site because it was supposed to be for movie lovers, by movie lovers with elitism, spin, and studio BS checked at the door. Instead, it's turned into a soap opera about a weird man, his weird family (the line 'my nephew Kublikahn' serves as sad proof of that fact), their massive egos and desire to drop names at the end of ever sentence. How do I know a sentence ends on AICN? Well, there's either an ellipses or 40 exclamation points. Harry Knowles: Josh Harnet was over cleaning my pool this week blah blah blah Quentin Tarantino Called me to ask if I thought he should get his chin smallered blah blah blah Robert Rodriguez called to say he loved me blah blah blah Here's an email from a fictional character... isn't it funny? Whatever.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:31 p.m. CST


    by PeanutGallery

    Why would any movie outside of porn qualify to wank off too? Wanking off to anything other than porn is wrong. You don't wank off to Cosmo or FHM or Seventeen. Jesus this site scares me.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:31 p.m. CST


    by PeanutGallery

    Why would any movie outside of porn qualify to wank off too? Wanking off to anything other than porn is wrong. You don't wank off to Cosmo or FHM or Seventeen. Jesus this site scares me.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Yet another list lacks AUTO FOCUS



  • Jan. 16, 2003, 7:47 p.m. CST

    There was ROCK music in "Gangs Of New York"???

    by IAmLegolas

    I hope that poster was kidding. Sounds like "A Knight's Tale : Part 2"

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by PumpyMcAss

    Go see "Gangs" regardless of what Godley says b/c it honestly is worth a look. Not great and Scorsese has certainly done better but it is still worth supporting. Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic and at least Scorsese is swinging for the fences as usual.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Life Is Beautiful wasn't supposed to be realistic...

    by Fatal Discharge was a fable about how on the one hand there's love and humor in the world while also humanity is capable of hate and genocide. It really moved me so I don't understand some people's hatred of it. The Pianist is a great film but totally different in that it aims for the horror and reality of the holocaust told through a personal true story of one man's survival. The scene where he plays that beatiful piano piece for the German officer showing his humanity even though he is a starving wreck is powerful beyond words. I love both films so sue me.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 8:17 p.m. CST


    by WayOutWest

    Grando - good call on Harry. He's sold his soul for movie freebies and plane tickets. This list reads like one from that other morbidly obese reviewer - Roger Ebert. In their insecurity they try too hard to impress us with the 'breadth' of their knowledge. The only reason remaining to come to this site is to read the witty Talkback comments.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 8:22 p.m. CST

    It's nice to see such friendly discussion

    by TwilightSpider

    Wow. This has been some of the most interesting TB I've ever read. For awhile I thought this was a round of intellectual WWF Smackdown. Doesn't anybody just enjoy movies anymore? Can't anyone just hear someone else's opinion, think about it, then go back on their merry way? I mean shit guys, I have some opinions on GONY too, but I don't think I need to engage in verbal warfare to get my point across. Of course this statement will probably start just that... Finally, with the last few entries, I remembered that we were actuallyl supposed to be talking about Harry's top 10 list. So, about that, I agree with some of the sentiments expressed above: you should have done ascending order, it's more fun; I don't think you should consider a film that has an actual relase date, but it's not until next year; and hey, it's your Top 10 list Harry, you should feel free to put as many obscure films on it as you please, but why wouldn't you post a review of a film you saw if it was The Best Film of the Year. Anyway, I'd like to see the films on the list that I haven't - and enjoyed those I have, even if they're not on my own list. And what IS going on with this site? I seem only to be able to get on at certain times of day... bandwidth anyone?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:05 p.m. CST

    GONY ruled.

    by sparticusmaximus

    But I'll admit ADAPTATION and THE PIANIST are up there. TTT was *good*, but sucked in comparison to the masterpiece that was FOTR. And I think Harry and Moriarty KNOW this deep down, but will never admit. Part of that has to do with the goodwill FOTR fostered, preventing them from badmouthing this "weak" middle chapter (especially when all hope is for ROTK to return the series to glory). I too hope ROTK is equal or better than FOTR. But that still doesn't change the fact that TTT is an inferior sequel that only ups the ante in terms of fantasy spectacle. Only Gollum's execution matches the tour-de-force of FOTR from beginning to end. Emotionally, TTT was just average. FOTR was FAR FROM AVERAGE, in the emotional department. People will realize this when it comes out on video.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Lot of hatred out there...

    by jackburtonlives

    Man, what has happened to you people? I log on to this site to check out the news and talk about movies. this site is great in that it unites people from various countries/cultures. thanks to various talkbacks, i correspond with various people from asia/europe/south america. it's nice to open my email and get a letter from a Paraguayan or Portuguese, asking me about this or that. **********What sort of email do you people get after talkbacks? hatemail? viruses? what's the point in coming at all if it's just to hurl abuse at Harry and others?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:19 p.m. CST


    by SilentType

    I saw SOLARIS yesterday (I live in Sydney) and the only thing I HATED about the film was Jeremy Davies' irritating performance. Have you seen MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL??? He just does the same thing again. Bloody annoying is all that was!!!

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Harry's Sincerity

    by jackburtonlives

    i think that most of us who are regular visitors to this site know that this site is more than just an "e-business" for harry.... that's what makes it special... that's why we come here.... Harry lays it on the line, shows his feelings and yeah okay, he often gushes and gets abused for it. but the fact is that he is honest in his emotions and lets the chips fall where they may. **********So I think it's safe to assume that his list of favorite films is just that: his favorite films. he is not morphing into Ebert or trying to impress anyone: he just compiled an honest list of what films were most meaningful for him. is that so hard to believe? ********I don't know what else i can write to convince you people... captain lou albano was going to ghostwrite in a cameo in my talkback to support me... but well... it didn't come off... i think he got snowed in or something.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Attack Of The Clones

    by Indiana Clones

    Attack Of The Clones was the best movie of last year by a mile. The failure of any of this site's reviewers to put it on their list tells you all you need to know. Fuck this lotr propanganda machine. Fuck it up it's stupid ass.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Interesting list, but come on, Solaris and PunchDrunk Love in th

    by a goonie

    It's nice to see so many movies I haven't heard of, cuz despite the suckiness of that, it goes to show Harry's incredible dedication to cinema. Unfortunately, though, Harry isn't as good a movie reviewer as say... me. Solaris had four characters in it, essentially. Four. And Soderbergh managed to successfully develop one of them. Clooney. McElhone's character could get a half point, but there's too much left on the floor with her too to claim that her's was a well-developed character. Davies and and Davis both very poor in this film. There is no development with their characters whatsoever. Even considering the most basic role of the supporting character (essentially to divulge expository information regarding the protagonist, antagonist, or plot), these two characters are a complete waste. Davis has nothing to do at all. And Jeremy Davies apparently has one reason for his existence: to serve as the central point of a specific plot twist unveiled at the end of the movie. Unfortunately, the plot twist is relatively silly and uninteresting. And Davies' scene near the end where he begins to ramble on like a madman is one of the most pathetic depictions of a crazy person I have ever seen on-screen. I love a lot of the shots in Solaris, simply because it is so inspired by the silent, ponderous beauty of my favourite movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey" (okay, so it's tied with "magnolia"). And Clooney does a fine job as a man still trying to pick up the pieces to his damaged life. But Solaris fails as an "art film," and in the end appears as a more vacuous, transparent version of Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece. As for "Punch-Drunk Love," well, I enjoyed this movie a lot more. And you have to understand that I had great expectations for this film. The greatest, actually. "magnolia" is, as I mentioned before, tied with "2001" as my favourite movie ever. I love Boogie Nights, and thoroughly enjoy Hard Eight. I also am a hopeless romantic nut. I love romantic comedies. I love love stories. I love motion picture romances. I love Emily Watson. Putting this altogether, I was profoundly disappointed by Punch-Drunk Love. The interesting thing about the movie is that PT Anderson has a penchant for making big, long movies. magnolia was originally supposed to be a lot shorter, lighter. And it became his biggest movie, by far. Punch-Drunk Love represents PT's first stab at a light comedy. A 90-minute movie. And by the time the end credits begin to roll, it's obvious why he hasn't done this in the past. He apparently can't work within such a confined framework. Consider the character development work on every single character in magnolia. It's brilliant. Completely rounded characters the whole way through. And here, in Punch-Drunk Love, Sandler's Barry Egan is the only character given the right amount of attention and time. I understand it is his movie, but the lack of development found in Watson's character and Hoffman's character and in Barry's sisters is ridiculous. In the end, we know NOTHING about Hoffman or his band of blonde minions. Beyond that, another unfortunate shortcoming is the love story itself. There are three incredible romantic moments in the movie: the first kiss at Lena's apartment door, the silhouette kiss in Hawaii, and the initial hand-holding scene (also in Hawaii). I love those three moments. But the thing is, the love story is ultimately far too simple. We are given no reason to believe that Lena would ever really fall for this Barry guy. It doesn't feel like her character IS actually attracted to him so much as her character is being made to be attracted to him. At the end of the movie, Barry has fucked up the relationship ever way he possibly can. Then he goes to Lena's door and says sorry and everything's great and forgiven. The thing about the great movie love stories (The Apartment, It Happened One Night, Gone With the Wind) is that the writer provides conflict that allows us, the viewer, to see how these relationships CANNOT work out. Then in the end, they usually do (but not in Gone With the Wind). But that's the beauty. Most audience members want to believe in the fantastic romance seen in romantic comedies, and therefore we want the lovers to have a happy ending, because that is hopeful. But the MAGIC of movie love stories lies in the conflict. We get to see how and why this relationship can't work, and then the lovers overcome their problems and manage to be together in the end. In Punch-Drunk Love, the magic is missing, because Anderson has created a world for Barry (with Lena at the centre) where he can fuck up all he wants, over and over again, but no matter, because Lena will always be happy to forgive him. It is a very childish love story. The same problem can be witnessed in the resolution of the conflict Barry has with Hoffman's character. Hoffman is essentially there to fill up space, to be the basic antagonist. He provides some conflict, but then in the end, PT resolves the conflict in the simplest, laziest way possible: Barry tells the guy off, and everything's okay. This approach could be mistaken for optimism, but sadly, it really is just laziness. If screenwriters could normally get away with this kind of thing, then every screenplay would take about a week to write. Because then the writer could introduce any number of conflicts, only to simply resolve each one with an apology. Don't get me wrong here. There's a lot of good stuff in Punch-Drunk Love. I am just specifically focusing on its faults here, because they are what prevents this from being a great film. Now go check out my Top Ten best and worst lists (over at the TB for Mori's lists), because mine really do kick ass.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:55 p.m. CST

    What about ROAD TO PERDITION!

    by booface

    Best film of the year.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    A couple things. To Moriarity Report and all those talking about

    by a goonie

    To Moriarity Report: I respect what you're saying, but I had to mention that I can speak of The Two Towers as a singular film without continually resorting to comments about the trilogy as a whole. I had mega-problems with Fellowship (though still enjoyed it), but am absolutely head-over-heels in love with The Two Towers. I truly believe it is one of the best epic motion pictures ever made. You can see it's placement on my Top Ten list over at the Mori's lists talkback. For me, The Two Towers exists as a grand work of cinema, a triumph of writing, direction, editing, and effects work, on it's own. And as for Willow... first off, I saw Willow as a child on the big screen and loved it. I still hold the memory of that film dear and therefore still very much enjoy the picture. Being a very young kid in the 80s was wonderful, because the fantasy flicks of the 80s (Willow, Neverending Story, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal) made such a huge impression on me that I continue to carry with me to this day. But of course, it IS a gigantic, shameless rip-off of LOTR. There just happens to be a female Gandalf and a baby instead of a ring. I mean, seriously, the midgets? Was it necessary to so blatantly rip off Tolkien's visions of not only hobbits, but Hobbiton as well? Anyways, what I find odd here is how everyone mentioning Willow keeps blabbing about Lucas's suckiness, yet no one has mentioned Ron Howard. Unless I missed that. Sorry if I did. But I mean, Ron Howard DID direct the movie. Lucas merely provided the "story" (which he obviously stole from Tolkien), then he slapped his name on as an "executive producer." Bob Dolman is credited as having written the screenplay. So I just wanted to make sure everyone is pointing their insults in the right direction. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the Lucas-bashing. I hate Attack of the Clones as much as anyone else on here, and truly believe Lucas has lost his fucking brain. I'm looking forward to Episode III if for no better reason than it will add healthy fuel to the fire.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:04 p.m. CST

    I can't fuckin' believe this...

    by Robert Blake

    Nobody's list has TREASURE PLANET. What the hell? It was awesome, the best Disney movie ever. A friend of mine could not believe when I told him that it looked even better than TITAN AE.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:24 p.m. CST

    HEY SHADE, where'd you come up with that water theory?

    by The Dude Abides

    Is that a fact, you think? Because if so that might actually help me like the movie, 'cause I enjoyed it, just thought the same thing as Nordling about the aliens landing on a planet that is 75% water as being a bit preposterous.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:26 p.m. CST

    gangs of ny

    by Captain Katanga

    I totally agree with the poster above that pointed out that Scorsese's use of Layla in goodfellas was absolutely perfect. This is in marked contrast to his use of music in the opening fight scene of gangs of new york. It was totally jarring and out of place, especially when it following the weird and incredibly atmospheric drums and pipes as they were walking through the tunnels. I'm baffled that the music made it to the final cut. If anything that scene didnt need any music. I still thought it was a brilliant film though.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by Captain Katanga

    for gods sake, the idea of aliens landing at all is preposterous! This water thing is the most bizarre bit of film criticism i've heard, or should i say film nitpicking. Who knows why the aliens picked a planet with a lot of water, maybe they didnt realise the effect it would have, maybe they thought they could avoid it, maybe they are sado-masochists, WHO FUCKING CARES???? Its a great film.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Jeremy Davies=Fake Corey Feldman

    by choonie

    All Jeremy Davies did in SOLARIS was a bad impersonation of Corey Feldman. Most annoying character of the Year. If Corey was in it, it would have been the same movie, but he would have been a more believable character because he would be himself.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:41 p.m. CST

    two things

    by SmartAss


  • Jan. 16, 2003, 10:44 p.m. CST

    if you want to know my Top 1 List for Jarring Musical Scores....

    by jackburtonlives

    Die Another Die... what the hell was that crap???? i used to love the opening bond sequences... this one i just fast-forwarded through----- i thought the machine was broken. and then it happened again... LONDON CALLING!!! starts blaring from nowhere as the 49-year old fogey turned Bond is landing in London. what the hell? i thought i was in the movie FREQUENCY and my DVD player was picking up some bizarre transmission from the past. WTF was that?

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:06 p.m. CST

    i know we all have different lots in life...

    by jackburtonlives

    But why does the hand I was dealt involve me slaving over a plastic keyboard all day, so my boss can retire in the caymans, while fat braindead coked-up execs sit in boardrooms mulling over weighty questions like the bounce of Halle Berry's jugs??? **********It's just not fair!******* BY virtue of the fact that some twat was born with the ridiculous last name of Broccoli or something, he can sit with his snobbish schoolboy chums and listen to Madonna's chant/rant bile and chuckle, saying "hey, that's phat! ho ho ho... hip! this is really CUTTING EDGE... yep... that's why they pay us the big bucks...". something in this world is just not right. ahem... sorry. that's my rant. as you were.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Gangs of NY was the greatest...

    by Sith Witch

    along with AOTC.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Fantasy vs sci fi

    by Indiana Clones

    Fantasy sucks. Sci fi rocks.

  • To reiterate what many have said already: if we're too stupid to figure out what Scorsese means by his use of rock music or his editing in the opening scene of GONY, why don't you enlighten us? I mean, you obviously know, don't you? Even though you haven't been able to put this knowledge into words? Here, I'll start for you: I agree with Katanga, the opening fight in GONY didn't NEED any music. I'm sure the rock music was put in as a way of saying "Look, the violence of the mid-nineteenth century greatly parallels the violence of our times," but that's where he loses me. Modern gang warfare isn't anything like it was in Gangs of New York. It's a drive-by shooting mentality where you never see the face of your killer, as opposed to melee fighting in close quarters with a hundred or so of your buddies. That just doesn't happen anymore. He's trying to make evident a similarity where one doesn't actually exist. Or else he just wanted to use the rock guitar to evoke the chaos and violence of the scene, but the imagery would have accomplished this on its own. That is, if it hadn't been cut up into an incoherent mess without any clear geography or choreography. Care to reply to my claim that Cameron Diaz doesn't have a fully developed character to play? All I saw of her was "she's a hooker, she's tied to Bill, he loves Amsterdam, but he pushes her away because she fucked Bill." Not much else there, other than she's also a thief. Not that her thievery factors in any way into the plot. It's just a little added touch meant to give her character, when it in fact just makes her less sympathetic. It's "cute" thievery. She's already a hooker. Making her a pickpocket on top of that for no apparent narrative reason just felt a little unnecessary. Any other issues you'd like to bring up, I'd be happy to hear them. Except I have little faith that you'll be able to without resorting to personal attacks. Proove me wrong, if you like.

  • Jan. 16, 2003, 11:37 p.m. CST

    What??? No Spidey!!??

    by Xorply

    I can't believe Spider-Man is not in the top ten!! Should be right behind The Two Towers at number two! Who cares about all that foreign film crap? There's a reason nobody watches it. (and to that guy who wondered why Minority Report wasn't included.... was because it sucked ass)

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:05 a.m. CST

    THANKS SHADE, that actually helps clear some things up for me

    by The Dude Abides

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:43 a.m. CST


    by _Kayser_

    WHy don't you sicophants pay respects to the REAL father of fantasy... ROBERT E HOWARD! Conan is the original fantasy and Conan the Barbarian is STILL the best fantasy film ever made! I'm tired of hearing the whole "Tolkien created an originial world! Tolkien is amazing!" BS! 99% of LOTR is taken (i said taken not inspired by) from Celtic and Norse lore. Not go to college and get some education!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Fantasy came to cinema in the 19th century

    by ellid

    Just take a look at Georges Melies's astonishing moon voyage, German Expressionist works like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Alexander Korda's magnificent The Thief of Baghdad, and you'll see that fantasy has been part of cinema from the get-go. All that Willow did was rip off Tolkien just enough to prevent Lucasfilm from being sued by the Tolkien estate. It wasn't even the first fantasy film of the 80s - Legend came out in 1985 and Labyrinth came out in 1986. Willow was about as groundbreaking as Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Some things about "Gangs of New York"...

    by crimsonrage

    ...Scorsese has said that he wanted the film to feel like a Western on Mars. For this reason he put in modern music to purposely jar the audience. Also because the opening scenes are not supposed to evoke the feeling of ANY given time period. They're supposed to be weird and disorienting what with the Medievel dress and weapons juxtaposed with top-hats and a 19th Century town. For all we're supposed to know this could be a post-apocalyptic world we're seeing. The "title card" that says New York 18?? (can't remember the date) is also supposed to shock since most of us never thought anything of this sort has ever happened in New York. Scorsese uses anachronistic elements to disorient the audience and then establish this surreal and overlooked chapter in American history. Now you may not have liked this choice of music (I must admit I too was initially jarred by the music) but it does serve a very important purpose. If we wanted to get nitpicky than films like "Gladiator" or "Spartacus" must suck since big orchestras didn't exist back in the Roman times. I think it's time we stop imposing limits on filmmakers (i.e. "It's not period sucks!") That's not to say someone is wrong for disliking the music but insulting it on the aesthetic basis that it is anachronistic is an unstable and unfounded argument.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Say what you will about AICN, no other single site introduces me

    by Nocturnaloner

    Or old film, as with your list of essential noir. Thanks again, Harry et. al.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:30 a.m. CST


    by WayOutWest

    jackburtonlives - I enjoyed your rant and agree that Madonna's contributions to Die Another Day do rate as Crimes Against Humanity. But one little tidbit: Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli died a few years ago. Now his wife Barbara co-produces the Bond flicks. And to the person who took exception to my inferernce that Harry tries to impress people with his reviews: let's get serious. Harry has given some glowing reviews to horrific movies and his hobnobbing with the movie elite has been documented in the press. And please don't come back with something lame like "you would too if you were in his place".

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Femme Fatale?

    by Roger Thornhill

    What about Femme Fatale? I know that Brian De Palma's latest film has received decidely mixed notices, however, I found it to be one of the more interesting films released this year. Incredibly erotic, gorgeously shot, superb acting (Rebecca Stamos is terrific), and a wonderfully absurd plot. To me it's a return to form for De Palma. I've read very few positive reviews for the film except in Film Comment and a nice review by Roger Ebert. It was in the theatres for literally 3 weeks I think. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything. Kudos to Harry for putting Solaris on his list, it was one of my favs this year as well. The Criterion DVD of the Tarkovsky original is fantastic, a must buy for cinephiles and sci-fi buffs. I may get slammed for this, but I really enjoyed the rather conventional Transporter. The action sequences were terrfic. It ain't high art by any means, but is wonderful escapist entertainment. No one ever talks about it, I guess because the storyline is nothing new. My top six (since I haven't seen most of what was released in 2002 yet) are as follows: 1.) Solaris 2.) Femme Fatale 3.) Bowling for Columbine 4.) The Two Towers 5.) Gangs of New York 6.) Minority Report Best Cinematography: Road to Perdition Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis Best Actress: Meryl Streep Best Director: Brian De Palma Best Original Screenplay: Brian De Palma Best Score: Gangs of New York Best VFX: Attack of the Clones Honorable mentions for me are: Attack of the Clones, Adaptation, We Were Soldiers (damn cliches hurt this one), and Chicago

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Clooney wasn't very good in solaris

    by mindKMST

    I didn't really think that Clooney brought much to the part in Solaris. I felt that Solaris was a good movie. When I left the theatre I wasn't sure if I liked it or if the movie even had a point. I thought about that movie for about two hours. At the end of that time, I thought to myself, "Self, that was a good movie if it made you think about it for two hours and it was also a great advertisement for the book". Jeremy Davies and Viola Davis were very good in their supporting roles. Clooney, on the other hand, looked like he was just going through the motions.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 3:43 a.m. CST

    SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE is pure crap, harry

    by utalonghorn

    ...and you know it, but it's your pretentious side that refuses to accept it. You probably thinks its the best thing since sliced bread only because you haven't seen nearly enough South Korean films, because if you had you would realize that SFMV is THE SAME OLD TIRED CRAP THAT S.K. HAS BEEN MAKING FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS. It's nothing new, bub, and sorry that you thought it was. Grab any 10 S.K. films and you'll find that at least 6 of them is in the same vein as SFMV: slow, laboriously paced, and completely detached from the action. That's the new S.K. style of filmmaking, Harry, it ain't nothing new. I can only excuse your decision on the basis that you don't know very much about S.K. films. I recommend seeing more of it first, because if you do, you'll know that SFMV is a dime a dozen.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 3:45 a.m. CST

    'Adaptation' Fucked Me Over With That Ending

    by Easy Rider

    Honestly, what a horrible ending. What the fuck was Charlie Kaufmann thinking? You suck us into this story for two hours, giving us extremely interesting characters and then present us with a denoutment that reeks of the work of some goofy community college kid that excelled in creative writing class and thinks he's clever. Alligators? Meryl Streep wanting to kill Cage? I get the joke, as convuluted as it was. I'm just not laughing. I never thought I would be able to say a movie raped me, but Charlie Kaufman bent me over the barrel.

  • I am so dissappointed at your list Harry... looking at your top movie, and reading the diatribe you wrote, it is becoming increasingly clear -at least to me, that you are becoming another Roger Ebert... so self-involved and completely out of touch with the world outside. It's sad man... Frank

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:20 a.m. CST

    JackBurtonLives..It wasn't Bond who was parachuting while London

    by NoOpinion

    ..It was Gustav Graves.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Back on the "Gangs" chain

    by Lazarus Long

    Yeah, that subject line was a little tacky. Anyway, since I started this mess, I thought I'd chime in again. I understand the problems that Vegas and others have with GONY. But the previous poster made a good point saying that orchestras weren't around in the days of the Gladiators, and Strauss wasn't around at the Dawn of Man either. The electric guitar and programmed beats surely sound out of place, but you're only okay with the previous examples of film scoring because you've been conditioned to. Someone also pointed out that Morricone used electric guitar in his Western scores. Scorsese took a ballsy chance (or Robbie Robertson's advice). Have the decency to give him credit for trying something different. And without sounding like an apologist, it is clear that Scorsese DOESN'T want you to know the year until after the opening sequence. The "western on Mars" thing is a direct quote from Marty. At the end of the day, it's a matter of Does It Work or Not? Okay, it didn't work for a lot of people. That's fair. The second time I watched it, it just didn't bother me as much. It's not like Jar Jar Binks (who admittedly isn't QUITE as terrible with repeat viewings, but is still VERY bad). As for the battle at the beginning not having any sense of geography--IT'S A STREET FIGHT! Ever think that it's SUPPOSED to be confusing? Like it would be if you were in the middle of that mess? I'm not going to argue about the screenplay's flaws. We all know this film was hacked to hell, and I'm sure Cameron Diaz, John C. Reilly, and Brendan Gleeson's characters all had more material in the longer cut. Jenny still had more depth than Billy Zane in Titanic (or anyone other than Kate Winslet). Scorsese bit off more than he could chew here, that's clear. He tried to make a personal revenge story, paint an accurate portrait of living conditions in those times, and show the politics and the effect of war and racism on it. That's a lot. I think he should be given a lot of credit for even turning out a watchable film with all that ambition. Is it a mess? Yeah. So is Apocalypse Now. That doesn't mean it doesn't have a MULTITUDE of fantastic things about it. And I still feel that films by great directors like Scorsese deserve a second look. If you don't have the time or money to see it again, fine. But don't be so bitter about it, and give it a second chance on video or something. It's not SUPPOSED to be easily digested. Spielberg takes a 15 page Philip K. Dick story and makes a cool film, but still manages to fuck it up and betray the tone of the story. Then he nearly turns a breezy and entertaining romp into a sentimental downer by making it 30 minutes too long (can the man make a film 2 hours anymore). Either way, he gets credit for slumming it, and it pisses me off because Scorsese takes a HUGE chance, with studio money, and still can't get a break from you people. Show some fucking respect, take another look.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:47 a.m. CST


    by DukeTheBastard

    Because Cameron had a beer and cheated on his wife......

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 5:35 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, 7:06 a.m. CST

    issues much?

    by darth sars

    jesus bullshitner, think you've got many issues? people are entitled to their opinions... true, harry was pretty harsh, but still. grow the fuck up.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 8:31 a.m. CST

    GONY ruled, but so did TTT

    by Chemicalfreek

    I agree with many of you out there about how great GONY was. Yeah, Leo and Cameron were a little weak, but the acting from Day-Lewis was amazing. The sets were great and the movie gave you that feel of really being there in the 1860's. I also thought the side stories were great about the draft and all. Especially the sequence when the Irish get off the boat, become US citizens, then are told to sign up to serve their country in the war, then put on a boat again. Then, they show the coffins of the boys who died at war. That was damn amazing!! The whole sequence showed the eventual outcome for these boys. It would suck when you don't even know what your fighting for. Oh, who gives a shit about the little rock sound at the beginning. Did none of you hear the rest of the music? The woman on the street singing about find herself a man to marry and the guy singing in the bar around all the chaos. The music was very good. TTT was also very amazing, but if I write about it, I'll have the same shit to say that everyone else did. The first time I saw it was the night before it came out. I hyped the movie up too much, so I was a little disappointed when I came out. It's one of those movies that you have to see again (which I did) to really appreciate it. It is still fucking amazing!! I still liked FOTR better. Oh, if you haven't seen Equilibrium, check it out. It's pretty good. Especially the way they fight.

  • I don't care if Harvey fucked Scorsese in the editing room. Marty's the one who decided to release what got released. His finger was on the trigger, and his indications that we won't see that magical 3 hour cut you speak of on any dvd don't indicate that he felt any better about that version than about the one I saw. The Jenny character is lame. She's two-dimensional, uninteresting, and just unnecessary. She reeks of "let's add a love interest where one isn't necessary." As for the opening score, I guess you're right. It DID jar me. It DID make me feel uncomfortable. It did all the things you say it's supposed to, so "well" in fact that it took me right out of the fucking movie. I'm not saying he has to use orchestral scores, that he can't use rock scores...I'm saying that he needed to use that score BETTER than he did. I'm saying that regardless of his intentions, that his choices took me out of the movie, made me like the movie less, dampened my enthusiasm with two hours and twenty minutes left to go. I'm saying that maybe if you consciously try to fuck with your audience, that maybe you shouldn't be surprised if some of them say "fuck you" in return. I'm saying I think he made a mistake. I'm saying that although I like some of his other work, and that although I even lik some elements of Gangs of New York (Daniel Day-Lewis, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, the sets), that I still think he made some critical mistakes. And guess what? No one said you have to agree with me. You think what you want. But with regards to the question posed by Lazurus Long that started this whole debate: the critics on this site don't have to agree with YOU either. Godley (and I'm singling you out now because everyone else is at least trying to discuss this like an adult, whereas you can't let go of the childish personal insults that undercut your argument and probably make people like Lazurus Long wish you'd stop sticking up for them), like whatever you want, but allow Harry, Mori, Quint, MrBeaks, and the other critics on this site to like whatever THEY want.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 9:04 a.m. CST

    "But that still doesn't change the fact that TTT is an inferior

    by minderbinder

    Many people (myself included) like TTT better, although PJ deserves some credit for taking an incredibly boring book and turning it into a movie as good as FotR.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I had a really funny "Top Ten Movies" post ready...

    by rev_skarekroe

    But I forgot to enter my password, and when I hit the back button my text was gone! And if you think I'm going to go back and re-write that kind of quality comedy again, you've got another thing coming mister! As for the REAL best films of the year, I'm sure they were all flicks I didn't see, so who cares? sk

  • Harry has become a cinematic snob. He's now like those music elitist snobs who proclaim a group is the best because "no one knows them." I mean, he's even putting films in his top 10 that were in another language that he doesn't know...and without subtitles!! Who knows what the characters were talking about Harry. They could have been discussing the finer points of manlove with little boys. You'll never know though, will you. If you proudly choose a movie because no one has seen it, then there is a definite problem. "Here's a movie from Uganada that showed once in the basement of a 7-11. I followed the trail of Beef Jerky and slurpees until my back gave out. That is when I saw the film. It was in another language, but I don't care. It still made me cry. You'll never see it though." Its your top 10 list though dude. So, whatever. All I know is, you don't have Far From Heaven on your list. You don't have Spirited Away either. Or Minority Report. Whatever.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Harry, for putting Solaris on there.

    by GrandoCalrissian

    What you understand (that most people don't) is that the first version of a film is not necessarily the definitive version of it, or more to the point, the only version that should be made. Sure, there have been some crappy remakes made over the years but the first problem with most of them (Gus Van Sant's Psycho being the greatest offender) was that they try to make carbon copies of the original instead of reinterpreting the story to better fit their method of storytelling. Soderbergh did an excellent job of fashioning the story in his own particular idiom, separating himself from the equally brilliant Tarkovsky version. So thank you, Harry. I'm glad that someone else noticed. Because the "DOOD! That movie put me to sleep" talk is putting me to sleep.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:02 a.m. CST

    IGBY GOES DOWN?????????

    by fromano28

    Not even a FREAKIN mention???? PUT DOWN THE PIZZA, turn off STAR TREK and go back and see this movie u GEEK...Get a hooker while your at it..

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:08 a.m. CST

    gangs music

    by Captain Katanga

    Lazarus Long that was a very good post, but I dont think anyone is suggesting the music was wrong because they werent period instruments. I also think that youre giving Scorsese far too much credit if you say that the music was chosen to be deliberately jarring... I mean, he could have chosen the Jackson five, that would have been especially jarring. Its a jarring CHOICE of music, but I dont think the music itself is especially jarring... if anything to me it sounds as though the music is an attempt to soften the hardcore violence on screen. The problem is that for a lot of people it takes you out of the film. Because its just a shit piece of music. Anyway i guess we are being remarkably geeky by talking about such a little thing for so long!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:16 a.m. CST

    How could any film-lover hate "Life Is Beautiful"?

    by elrobbo

    Sometimes Harry blows me away with such bizarre remarks. Then again, he lost my respect as a reviewer way back with "Starship Troopers", when he somehow completely missed the Nazi propaganda...

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Another "movie movie" (not a "movie-movie")

    by Gristle

    Truffaut's "Day For Night"! I can forgive you for not listing it, Harry. You had a long list and simply forgot it.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Aliens in Signs.

    by Wee Willie

    Isn't the question of what the aliens wanted with earth kind of irrelevant. It's like asking what caused the dead to rise from the grave in Night of the Living Dead. What they want isn't important. What happens to the characters as a result is the important thing.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    You know what Godley?

    by Vegas

    Fuck you. You're a fucking insignificant little cunt on the fucking internet. You want to fucking EDUCATE me? As if you've demonstrated any fucking intellectual ability of your own. The only points you've raised are, curiously enough, almost word for word reiterations of posts made right before yours. You've demonstrated nothing more intelligent than an ability to copy what other people write. You want to make fucking childish assumptions about my intelligence on the net without even knowing me? What are you, in high school? You can't talk about movies without resorting to playground taunts about a person? You're like a little fucking child Godley. You don't exhibit a single fucking quality that would make anyone of any substance want to be your friend. You come on here, and instead of talking movies, you talk shit about other people. As if you're so great. As if you exhibit one single fucking solitary positive attribute of your own in here. All you show yourself off to be is an elitist fucking prick who thinks your own taste is somehow worthier than anybody elses. You're a fucking cunt, Godley, I can't stress that enough. I tried to be mature with you, but apparently such a concept is completely fucking foreign to you. You can't handle a civilized conversation on something as trivial as a fucking MOVIE. How do you survive in the real world? Are you this anti-social? Do you have any friends? Perhaps your time would be better spent cultivating meaningful relationships with them than just bashing people online for not liking the same movies you like. But you don't. You're always in here. I see you on so many fucking talkbacks, saying the same things over and over. You exist only to ruin the days of others. You're just a little asshole, you know that Godley? Why don't you go back to that fucking website and be an asshole over there? What, you think no one can put together who you are when you keep coming in under different names? Maybe if you weren't such an asshole, Godley/George Melius/whatever you'll be next week, you wouldn't have to change your name constantly to avoid the negativity that you seem to so wantonly cultivate in others. You just come in here, piss people off til you get banned or ignored, then when nobody wants to play your game anymore, you cry and make a new name and start all over. JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER TROLL ON THE NET. You're not special, you're not unique, you're just another fucking anonymous link in the chain of shitheads that's done everything it can to strangle all of the enjoyment out of this site. This site used to be great, before assholes like you took over, and turned what used to be a forum for movie lovers to talk about MOVIES into a forum for assholes like you to talk shit out their fucking rectums about people THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. Do you have any idea what you sound like? Do you even read your own posts? You read like a pissed off little seventh grader that doesn't get enough attention from mommy and gets too much attention from the bullies on the kickball field. I'm not saying that's what you are, just that you sound like someone who'd fit that description. Grow up Godley, and maybe you'll find the world a brighter and more interesting place, because I don't think making an ass out of yourself can make for a fulfilling existence forever.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:10 a.m. CST


    by Gristle

    "Solaris" was simply the most devastating movie of the year for me. (Second was "The Hours", not the bore-o-rama other talkbackers have claimed it to be, but a complex and textured masterpiece that shares some of the same themes with "Solaris"; i.e., wanting happiness and not finding it, not because it's not there, but because you're not ready to accept it, and the possibilities of the future vs. the happiness of the past, and how choosing the latter over the former can destroy you.) "Solaris" came at a time in my life in which my relationship with a girl had recently dissolved and I wanted nothing else than to be with that girl again, to hold her again, like those nights before, all those nights that I took for granted. "Solaris" was about making the decision to give up your future to live in the past, even though you know it's just a shadow of a happier time, and you've made a decision to give up on your life. The film was sci-fi the way sci-fi is in literature; not whiz-bang action, but using the genre as a means to ask questions about human nature. This story couldn't have been told without the planet Solaris, because it was a plot device to create a situation for the characters that wasn't possible any other way. Harry's right: this film will mean different things for you at different points in your life. If I had seen it before I lost that girl, I might have been bored by it because I didn't fully understand the pain. I'm just grateful it came along at that time in my life. Bravo 20th Century Fox and Section 8. I saw the movie at the Ziegfeld Theatre with about ten other people in the house in the film's second week. I couldn't say which was sadder: the pain in the film or the fact that the most daring studio film of the year was ignored by all audiences. I don't think you should be allowed to complain about the state of the film industry in America if you didn't put up your money to see "Solaris" when it came out.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Godley, Vegas....

    by BarrelRider

    You are both imbeciles. Hope that cleared stuff up for you. Godley, Vegas has explained fairly long-windedly why you are a moron, and vice versa for you, Vegas. GONY was a flawed masterpiece, just like Taxi Driver and a whole bunch of Scorsese movies. But what Harry chooses to put in his list is, surely, his own business. Certainly, no movie should be included simply on the strength of its director, or you may as well put Swept Away in there too. Vegas: in the postmodern age, complaining about being "taken out" of a movie is about as inconsequential as it gets...films aren't always there to hold your hand and make sure you're OK. My 2 cents.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:31 a.m. CST

    CHICAGO!!! WHY?? WHY?? WHY?!!!!!

    by Neil MacAuley

    Earlier this week I saw a screening of "Chicago" -- afterward Richard Gere, Renee Zellwegger, Queen Latifah, and director Rob Marshall spoke on a panel. It illuminated a lot for me -- a lot of confirmations on why I couldn't stand this movie. Or more specifically, was completely bored by it. Firstly, IT'S A FILMED BROADWAY PLAY. It's not a FILM. It doesn't work within its own world, the 'film' world it's created; it feels too much like a play, especially when you have dancers ON A STAGE using obviously phony props and speaking to the camera (like the number in the women's prison where all the cons are talking about how they killed their husbands; clever on a Broadway stage, on film it's death). At this panel, Richard Gere was so happy to point out the "brilliance" of Marshall and Condon, by finding "a way in" to the material -- by putting all the musical numbers in Roxie's head. Huh? Firstly, this is one of the most basic solutions a film can use, and one of the easiest EXCUSES to fall back on when something isn't working. And it definitely never worked, save maybe a few moments. And the only clue we get to this "it's all in Roxie's head" technique is a quick shot in the opening of the film in which she imagines herself on the caberet stage, which makes sense at the time because she's a normal girl in a Chicago club watching a cabaret show. But that's it -- then the film continues on, AS A FILMED BROADWAY MUSICAL, skirting logic completely and never impressing us. I mean come on -- was anyone really BLOWN AWAY by the dancing and singing in this film? I mean, there's definitely blow you away visual moments in Moulin Rouge, even though I think that film's also uneven. But here, the whole time, we the audience, or at least myself, can't speak for all the jackasses who proclaim to have loved this -- we watch and think "OH LOOK, MAJOR STARS SINGING AND DANCING! OH WAIT, WILL CATHERINE ZETA JONES TRIP? IS SHE REALLY SINGING? DID RICHARD GERE HAVE TAP EXPERIENCE BEFORE THIS FILM? ARE THEY USING BODY DOUBLES? IS CATHERINE Z PREGNANT, BECAUSE SHE DEFINITELY LOOKS HEAVIER THAN USUAL? and last but not least: WHY DOES RENEE ZELWEGGER LOOK SO AWFUL? Her face is lumpy, puffy, looks to be broken out; she looks horrible, not cute at all. And I point this out because she spoke on this panel after the film, then when that ended I walked up next to her as she was signing autographs -- I was two feet away from her, people -- SHE'S GORGEOUS. Cute as a button, perfect skin. Sure, she's got a unique face, quirky, not a cover model, but why does she have to look so bad in the movie? To give her 'edge'? Well, considering there's no edge whatsover in the film because nothing is REAL, well then I 'd say that was a dumb move to ugly her up. But I don't mean to sound like a petty makeup artist in my critique -- again, my main point is that I just cannot fathom how people could see this as "working" as a film musical; it just doesn't play as anything but odd dance numbers inserted into a rough story. It's a jarring experience to watch this film -- and it's NOT FUNNY and it's BORING. "Moulin Rouge" made sense in its own world -- "Grease" plays 'realistically,' you believe it within its parameters -- "The Sound of Music" and "The Wizard of Oz" make sense, there's a sense of continuity and tone. But this is a hodgepodge, it's egos on screen, it's a forced attempt to get another musical out there by a studio that wanted to cash in on a perceived revitalization of a genre. Total bullshit. And I'd venture to say that most of these critics, Harry and Moriarty included, who are proclaiming this "pure cinematic joy" and other generic warm fuzzies, are mostly doing this because THEY WANT TO LIKE IT. THEY WANT TO GET BEHIND THE BIG PUSH TO BRING BACK MUSICALS. God knows why. Ever try to watch "Singin' in the Rain"? Ka-rist, it's dated. Wizard of Oz, not dated, it's genius. And it's not going to happen again; let's leave it alone. This genre's dead; it's classics have been made. I'm out.

  • Except maybe a fucking brick in the face. You know what, you're right. I do fucking hate you Godley. And I stand by my claim that you're a childish little shit, because I tried to have a discussion about movies in a civilized manner for the lion's share of this talkback, but you came out with the personal insults from the get go. And I know why you did it. BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING ARGUMENT OF YOUR OWN. You're just not SMART enough, Godley. You're not SMART enough to talk about movies without lowering yourself to the level of a SW/LOTR troll. All you know how to do is pick fights. I don't consider myself "schooled" (that term brings back memories of Mercier, a far more entertaining troll than you), I consider myself "bored." With you. And everyone else out there like you. Anyway, I'm done with this thread. Lazurus, sorry you didn't get a review of GONY on this site, for what it's worth, I do think the film deserved one, and I don't think it's a complete failure by any means, certainly I see elements in it that can cause some to forgive the flaws that I couldn't. Kudos on being an adult throughout this thread.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:02 p.m. CST

    A question

    by Gristle

    With all this talk about Nicolas Cage's return as a quirky and "serious" actor, I have to ask: did anyone see "Bringing Out the Dead"? There was Scorsese's last masterpiece, not the uneven, though sometimes brilliant, "Gangs of New York". But no one ever mentions it. Years from now, people are going to realize what a great movie it is, and how great all the actors in it, especially Mr. Cage, are. And when you do realize, remember that I told you so.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Neil McAuley

    by Gristle

    Neil McAuley, I don't know who your review of "Chicago" is for. I guess for people who can't stand musicals. You should have started your review with your statement that "Singin' In The Rain" is unwatchable.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Having finally seen ADAPTATION

    by Nordling

    I have to revise my list now. The film's WETA for the mind. And the third act is the point to the movie. You don't have to like it. In a way, I don't think you'r supposed to. It was ***SPOILER*** just fun to watch Donald rip the movie out of Charlie's hands and make the ultimate Bruckheimer. The only thing that would have made it perfect is having a meteor fall from the sky. Cage was perfect, Cooper was perfect, Streep was perfect. "Catherine Keener is in my house?" "Yeah, we're playing Boggle." Hehehehee...

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Oh, I can't resist one last dig...

    by Vegas

    From Godley's first response, under the subject "Vegas the idiot" : "Oh, and the so-called "MTV style" editing (which it isn't) serves a particular purpose as well. Again, maybe you can figure it out on your own (doubtful)." Now, go back up to my original post, regarding the editing. The term MTV style is never once mentioned. Apparently, even Godley's subconscious equates the editing of that first battle with the "MTV style" on some level. I mean, it's his term, not mine. Also, note that he harps on how I don't understand the purpose of that editing style, yet he evades the task of explaining it for me! Then, after not explaining it for me, he claims that he was trying to educate me. I see, educate us poor souls who don't get not telling us a single fucking thing about what there is to get! Godley's all just screams and yells and hot air, but see how he managed to get through this entire thread without saying a single thing that a poster didn't put up on the site BEFORE him? He's a better tapdancer than ol' Billy Flynn.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Aint it cool

    by nomadic

    Ok, everybody who keeps ranting on about "this website is so crap" and "it aint what it used to be" and "oh my god... Harrys sold out". Tell me something: Where is the competition? What is the "next big thing"? Really, tell me. Ok, so the news section is a little quiet at the moment, but at least the Star Wars script thing was entertaining and gave good Talkback. It seems we are in a dry time of the year. The Two Towers and the LOTR trilogy is great moviemaking, it captivates, its imaginitive godammit! Let Harry write a gushing review. Then have your opinion in the talk back. But above all if there is another, better, bigger, more underground (sic) alternative then give me the link. Because, I don't have one. If you don't like it.... MOVE ALONG GEEKS!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:20 p.m. CST


    by Glass

    You are so right about Adaptation. It really is WETA for the mind. The whole movie is absolute perfection. I love the closing scene with the speed forward and the flowers. Fuck, that movie is absolutely my number 2 of the year, beat only by TTT.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Chicago and Opie

    by CountVonGroovy

    I agree with much of what Mr. MacAuley said about Chicago. It's a decidedly alright musical, but a barely functioning movie. Since it plays exactly like a stage musical, the "it's all in Roxie's head" conceit doesn't hold water, and becomes more galling every time they resort to it (and frankly, it's not even clear that's what's happening). Pissed me off a lot. On top of that, Zellweger (sp?) is horrible, on top of being sickly-skinny-looking. Reilly is wonderful, and Gere steals a few scenes, but the basic problem with the characters is not that they aren't likable (which is maybe the most audacious thing about this breathtakingly conventional film), it's that they have no depth. The most baffling thing to me is that this film is the closest thing to an Oscar frontrunner there is right now. I understand that the Two Towers and Peter Jackson must continue to be ignored and marginalized by the very people he's making a fortune for (Hollywood can't go encouraging real artists to take their money, leave the country and make better films than they're capable of anymore), but can't they pick better films to rob him at the Oscars? A Beautiful Mind? Chicago? Seriously, now. I'm all for Scorsese finally getting his due, if Jackson has to be robbed again. Anyway... woah, that was a tangent if I ever saw one. Oh, yeah, and thanks for reminding me of Ron Howard's complicity in the fanciful train wreck that was Willow. Almost forgot. Did anyone else think that when he won Best Director last year, the guy should've said, "and the Oscar goes to... Opie..." That would have been dang funnay...

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:37 p.m. CST

    800 Callas

    by AlyFox

    Just a question for clarification: Harry says he saw 800 Callas in the original language which was not English, and with no subtitles. So, what language was it, can Harry speak/understand this language, and if he CAN'T, how can he say he understood it enough to put it on his top ten? I phrase this so if he can undertand foreign languages, that's fine. But I swear to god, if he says he just felt it or something, I'll go insane . . .

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Mispelled, sorry, 800 BALAS

    by AlyFox

    In case I just offended another culture, I meant BALAS, not CALLAS.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by NeofromtheMatrix

    What about REIGN OF FIRE?! And what about SIGNS?! Harry, you hailed these great films as some of your most favorite EVER! And they don't even show up on your top ten list?! Not even an honorable mention?! Well, anyway, here's my SCI-FI/FANTASY top FIVE list: 5- Signs; 4- LOTR: The Two Towers; 3- Episode II: Attack of the Clones (yeah, you heard me, and I can't wait for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith); 2- Reign of Fire; and finally, 1- Spider-man. And now, here are the nominations for the 2003 sci-fi/fantasy top five list: Daredevil, X2, Matrix: Reloaded, The Hulk, Matrix: Revolutions and LOTR: Return of the King. My money's on Matrix: Revolutions and LOTR: Return of the King at a TIE for the FIRST POSITION. And I think that it could even be a THREE-WAY tie including the awesome greatness of Ang Lee's THE HULK!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I'm with Vegas on this one...

    by Captain Katanga

    Theres no doubt that Godley is very good at arguing, put downs and making people feel small. But for what its worth Godley, you sound like a revolting little prick.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 1:50 p.m. CST

    I like the part...

    by maxwell's hammer

    ...where Godley made fun of Vegas for quoting prior posts, and then he quoted a prior post. That was funny. Despite his breakdown, i was really agreeing with Vegas on the inadaquacy of Godley's "points." Its unfortunate that he snapped and provided Godley with so much fodder to continue his school yard put-downs. And for the record, I think the electric guitar was a terrible piece of scoring. There is a huge difference between "Wow, I'm so disoriented by the chaotic ensemble of sights and sounds" and "So is the fight taking place at a Poison concert?" At least the Jackson Five would have made me laugh.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2 p.m. CST


    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, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by rorschach16

    Sympathy for Mister Vengeance? That movie reeked!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by Toilet Bug

    That was HANDS DOWN the best film of 2000, creatively, artistically and financially! I laugh when I hear all the keyhole-peeping ECTOMORPHS who post here salivating over the same old pretentious TRIPE while ignoring the one film that SHAMES everything else. I know all of you phys-ed LAUGHINGSTOCKS like to think you're a bunch of film scholars, but the truth is, if you don't think AOTC was the most creative, innovative and well-acted movie of the year, then you DO NOT KNOW FILM. Period. End of discussion. Feel free to lick your wounds after I've left the building. The sight would disgust me.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:24 p.m. CST

    My Top 100 "Top 10 Movie Lists of 2002 " list

    by rorschach16

    Harry, I have to admit I was eagerly awaiting your "Top 10 movies of 2002" list. But when I read it this morning, I was sorely disappointed. 800 Bullets? In the immortal words of Fenster: "Whadafug?" Therefore, your list of top 10 movies goes to slot 100 of my Top 100 "Top 10 Movie Lists of 2002" list. Better luck next year, m' boy!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:32 p.m. CST

    For Gods sake help me

    by Eggshell3

    I keep getting these irrational urges every time Nordling weighs in with his "I love Harry" bits. Please N, you've thanked Harry tons of times in the past for his contributions to Cinema now leave it will you. PLEASE !! Harry you are on Sky Movies plus tomorrow in the UK..the advert the are running shows you gleefully holding up a photograph to camera and saying "and this is me with Quentin Tarantino" or some such. Anyway, after Buffy, I am sure this is going to be my tv highlight of the week.You may actually be the new David Brent !

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Chance to see MAY in RTP, NC

    by cakewalk_123

    If you live in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, "May" will be one of the centerpiece films at the NEVERMORE Horror and Gothic Film Festival January 24-26. That, and "The Happiness of The Katakuris". More info is at:

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    re: irrational urges - Yeah, I get that a lot.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 3:09 p.m. CST

    SIGNS is a pretentious piece of shit!!!

    by Jon Zuckerman

    Id burn every copy in existance if I could.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Personal Attacks

    by TwilightSpider

    Wow, it's a good thing there are rules against "being a bastard" "blatant abuse" "personal attacks" and "hate speech" Otherwise things might get really out of hand... Wait a minute...

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by scythe1138

    When the hell did boring=masterpiece? I wish these Herrenvolk critics would enlighten us mere urchins to entertainment on what makes a good film. Solaris was a jumbled train wreck of a film and deserves no acclaim from anyone. Its a good thing that the critics that count-the audience-utterly despised it and all most other "critically acclaimed" films of the year. Give me The Two Towers. Theres a reason most of these didn't make any money.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Is it true Harry's #1 movie of 2003 will have the AFLAC duck in

    by TheAFLACDuck

    What Insurance should I buy in case of dismemberment by Orc, Legolas? ...... AFLAC!!!!

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Godley and Toilet Bug

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Godley - how do you keep your brain in shape? Reading? I think you must read books - big books, with lots of pages and no pictures. I get dizzy when I read your posts, but sometimes it takes me two or three tries........... Toilet Bug - AOTC did have a lot of whizz-bang stuff in it! I like the part with the lightsabers! And the robots. I think the next one should have robots with lightsabers. Do you?

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Thanks Stan Gable

    by TwilightSpider

    I was feeling left out. You just made my day.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I'm Bored.

    by Nice Marmot

    Can anyone tell me when Dragonslayer or Popeye come out on DVD? Lets see who can respond 1st w/ a legitimate answer. Damn I don't get out of work for another 40 minutes!!! Why am I back at this site again?!?!?

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and BrassMonkey...

    by TwilightSpider

    You're right, you have no life. On the other hand, when there have been NO NEW ARTICLES all day... what the hell else are you supposed to do!?

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Okay, I give up.

    by Clara Bow

    What the hell is "AOTC"? And will you people please stop using anagrams? I'm so confused.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 6:14 p.m. CST

    SFMV, number 1? Give me a break!

    by Spider99

    Harry has definitely gone off the deep end. I've seen the SFMV, with subtitles, and I can tell you with 99.9% certainty that it is NOT very good. First, let me preface by saying the director is definitely talented. But the story is friggin dark and depressing. That doesn't mean it's bad, but Harry is mistaking the movie's shock value for greatness. And this movie is VIOLENT. You see heads getting bashed in with bats, throats cut, and achilles tendons being sliced. There's even a scene where a guy is whacking off to his neighbors cries of pain from cancer, thinking his neighbor is having sex. If this isn't sadistic, I don't know what is. I guess Harry gets off on that kind of stuff, I don't know. But overall, the movie BLOWS.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 6:26 p.m. CST

    i haven't seen any of these

    by PajamaSam

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 7:13 p.m. CST


    by writegod

    Harry, here's the scoop on the really important flicks that escaped your notice for 2002, given to me by the intrepid locator of the obscure and the recondite, Tony Daley. 1) THE RUSSO TAPES After John Russo's debacle of the 30th Anniversary NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake, he decided to opt out of American life and went to Sweden, where he volunteered for human medical experiments that eventually left him a dope-addicted, crazed, hermaphroditic shell. These taped interviews cover John's incredible and emotionally powerful journey to a size 10 woman's dress. 2) HOW ARE YOU, XI-LU? Want the kind of action and cinematic poetry of John Woo in a Godzilla flick? This is it, Chang Quan's thrilling FOUR HOUR combo samurai and guy-in-a-rubber-suit extravaganza, with Lucy Liu making an uncredited appearance as Show-Xing, a Catonese hooker who goes on a blowjob binge that lasts for almost the entire second reel. MUST VIEWING. 3) LIPS ON FIRE Forget ersatz Doug Sirk postmodernist b.s. and earnest Holocaust dramas by Polanski

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Harry should have just put Kill Bill as #1 this year too

    by Moriarity Report

    Since we're going to be hearing about it all year, and if anyone thinks there is a chance in hell that any big Tarantino junkie is going to publicly diss this...But you know when he writes his review he's just going to write about how he enjoyed being on the sets, just like he did with FOTR. To me, Harry's opinions on these films are invalid because he was on the set.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 9:42 p.m. CST


    by Glawen

    No matter if the films are liked or not, your constant slagging off of LotR/TTT is getting *really* tedious with lots of sloppy repetition and it means that anything interesting you have to say is overlooked. Though I disagree with your opinion of LotR/TTT, I'm tolerant, and I have to agree with you that Dragonslayer is a good and, in my opinion, disgracefully overlooked fantasy film. As you say, people can make their own lists and though I like your top 5, I'd be personally tempted to swap 1 and 4 around.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:28 p.m. CST

    To those who bash the bashers...

    by Grando_Rules

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:28 p.m. CST


    by maxwell's hammer

    While i agree that movies can double as entertainment and art (and last i checked, Harry agrees, re: his Argameddon review [nailed to the cross indeed]) I find it difficult to piss on Big Red just because he discusses obscure art house movies. See Stan Gable's post above about how what fills the cineplexes is mostly crap, and how there's a lot of other stuff out there that is excellent cinema but does not emit the scent of 'mass appeal'. Ths sight is where i go to find out about the movies that are ignored by the generally apathetic public, who by the way are really good at pumping up the good and not so good entertainment films, but let the artistic stuff rot out back in the dumpster. This site offers up some insight into that hidden world of cinema that would otherwise elude me. So serve up as much of the obscure stuff as you see fit Harry.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:33 p.m. CST

    To those who bash the bashers...

    by Grando_Rules

    Darn enter key! To those who bash us who bash Harry: This website is falling apart. The only interesting thing left is the very smart, very funny talkbackers who 'keep the lights on' here by volunteering their time and talents as writers. Case in point: Drudge linked to a story today talking about the announcement of a Rambo 4 - penned by the great script himself, Sly Stallone. Now, once-upon-a-time Harry might have mentioned this as a remote possibility (or, then again, I might have read it on drudge too) but I see nothing, absolutely NOTHING now about the apparent confirmation of this big (and cheesy) film project on this so-called MOVIE NEWS website. Seriously, that is dropping the ball BIG TIME. Harry was probably to busy reading and re-reading that HI-laroius email from Sauron to notice some real Geek news come across the wire.

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 10:40 p.m. CST

    I've only seen 1 of those (guess) and want to see 2-3 of the res

    by IAmLegolas

    Has anyone actually SEEN Chicago? I've seen all these award nominations and hype, but I can't find a person whose actually seen it or even gives a rat's @ss about it. *** Top 10 Movies That I Liked And Deemed Worth Seeing In A Movie Theatre : 1. The Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers (twice) 2. Spirited Away (twice) 3. Spider-Man 4. Signs 5. Dog Soldiers 6. Bowling For Columbine 7. Austin Powers 3 8. Blade 2 9. Lost In La Mancha 10. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets <--- and I struggled with that list, I'll probably only end up buying 8 of those on DVD, so many sh*tty movies out as usual. *** Top 10 Movies That I Want To See, (but either it wasn't out in proper circulation or I was too lazy to go out and see it) And Will Probably Wait For The DVD : 1. Bubba Ho-Tep 2. Adaptation 3. One Hour Photo 4. Punch-Drunk Love 5. Happiness Of The Katakuris 6. The Hours 7. Road To Perdition 8. Insomnia 9. Lilo & Stitch 10. About A Boy ***

  • Jan. 17, 2003, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Supertroll ...

    by Glawen

    Okay. We agree to disagree about FotR, though I was highly amused by the comparison with Diana's funeral. I managed to miss it myself on the selfish pretext that I really couldn't give a toss about the woman. And imagine how much more Tarzan would have sucked if they'd actually kept Andie MacDowell's voice. Speaking of Peter McNicol - the lead in Dragonslayer - he's done much worse than Ally McAnorexia. He was in Bean: The Movie. Not sure I agree with you about Ralph vs Ian. I like Ian's Gandalf. It all boils down to the fact that anyone who's read the book or looked at John Howe's pictures has an image of what Gandalf "should look like" (my quotes) And, as Howe's pictures go, he does a good job. As for comparison with the book. Well, you can't have everything, but there's no marks lost for trying. Not in my book. Anyway, that's another topic. Funny you should mention Greystoke, as I'll never forget Ralph Richardson's slide down the stairs on the tray. Poignant, all things considered. Conan was, frankly, dull and uninspired, though I can't comment on the quality of the DVD transfer. Excalibur is one of those films that you REALLY have to be in the mood for. The acting is great, though. Willow is fantasy-lite, though enjoyable for all that. The original Star Wars WAS fun because, as you say, it didn't take itself seriously. That's a big flaw in the new films, in that there's no *real* humour or sense of fun. It's all so ... mechanical. Sad. Really sad. As for other fantasy films, there's so many, City of Lost Children, Fantasia, Brazil, etc etc. However, I also have a real soft spot for The Princess Bride and find Harvey superb. In fact, it was the best use of a rabbit for almost 30 years until Holy Grail. I'm also well impressed by Nightmare before Christmas. And how can we have a talk about fantasy films without mentioning Hawk the Slayer? On a complete tangent, I'm also looking forward to (cough) Edward Scissorhands II: Edward IceCreamScoopNuts, but that's also another matter.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 12:29 a.m. CST

    did you knock Life Is Beautiful?

    by KONG33

    Why you whore, you! And you put up those other films above it! euh!

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 12:31 a.m. CST

    In America, there's hardly any way to rent those films

    by KONG33

    you can't rent them in the US or Canada... only through webpages! It's kind of sad when you hear critics talk about these films and fans express wanting to see them, but no company has ever really enabled this. SAD.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 12:46 a.m. CST my comments

    by TheManWithNoName

    Punck Drunk Love ? are you fucking kidding me? LMFAO ROFL was it just me of did the punch drunk love have some of the shittest lighting i've ever seen in a movie in the first 30 minutes and then sprinkled thru out the rest of the film. AND WHAT THE FUCK does PTanderson think showing a bunch of fucking stupid colors on the screen for 2 minutes does. Fucking stupid movie. Good for a nap i says. I like PT Anderson alot. Magnolia was nice but no big deal to me. Boogie night was excellent, Hard Eight is good when i need to fall asleep for a nap.Give me Wes Anderson anyday over PT Anderson. Best movie i've seen this year.. well it didn't come out this year but in 1999 and i saw it on opening day 1999 and forgot about it. wasn't impressed with a first viewing.. So for some reason i became obsessed with this film about and week ago and rented it. Its a FUCKING MASTERPIECE. its called EYES WIDE SHUT directed by stanley kubrick. a real overlooked gem i think. Gangs of New York was very good but let me tell you.. If Sergio Leone had directed it with Ennio Morricone doing the score and had complete control it would have been another masterpiece. Daniel Day Lewis should win the oscar. Scorsese SHOULD not get a pity oscar like Paul Newman did for Color of Money. I think The Aviator will be a much better movie and i say that from just what i've heard about the subject. Why it will cost 100million is beyond me.. He better stay away from the randolph scott gay affair with howard hughes .. thats not what i wanna see. and shut up about the music in the opening gang fight.. Leone did the same thing in Once Upon a Time in The West.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 2:24 a.m. CST


    by Much Too Tall

    What, you need more?

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 3:04 a.m. CST

    things we can acctualy see

    by ertyui

    ...nice list, but I wish you had two of them. One for you and one for us. You see I use your opinion to help me with my cinema choices, so it would help if you made also a list of things ordinary moviegoer can see... Thanx J.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 6:14 a.m. CST

    harry, you sure know how to surprise people

    by voider23

    At least you did surprise me with your #1. First thing I thought was: why on earth didn't he mention this one before if he was so excited about this movie? I've seen SFMV about 1/2year ago and I wasn't nearly as excited. Did you see other S.K. movies like "Public Enemy" or "Failan"? Sure, SFMV is better than these two, but IMO they are quite similar in style. What I don't like about many S.K. films is, that they often put "picture" (or you might say "style") above everything else. (Warning, spoilers, don't read on if you want to watch SFMV). For example the scene were the father watches the autopy of his little daughter. Sure, the sound fx are incredible and the acting is superb. But am I the only one who finds it ridiculous that a father actually watches the autopsy of his own little daughter? Why on earth should he do this? It is already clear that he would try to pursue (and kill) the ones responsible, it just wasn't necessary to let him watch the autopsy. But the director just wanted another gut wrenching scene, so he put it in the script, whether it is believable or not. There are several other scenes like this in the movie, mostly with very graphic violence, which don't make any sense in terms of character development and plot. Also, the common practice in S.K. drama to let just EVERYONE die in the end is just mind numbing after you've seen it in 15 other SK films. A forced "anti-happy-end" is just as bad as a forced happy-end. This is so unfortunate, because the production, direction, acting and score is often very, very good in SK films, but I have yet to see one with a really convincing script. Sure, JSA was OK, but it was a bit too pedestrian for my taste. But don't get me wrong, SFMV is a very good film, there are scenes that are simply fantastic (e.g. the elevator scene where Ryu grasps the hand of his dead girl-friend), but I just whish they could integrate these scenes in a more believable story.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 7:35 a.m. CST


    by Everborn

    You fucking idiot. Its clear to anyone who was bored enough to read your statements, that you havent got a clue what on earth you are talking about. Lucas is 200 % retarded... and Peter Jackson is not. That shouldnt be that hard to see...

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 1:29 p.m. CST

    my TOP 4 list

    by frank cotton

    1) BLADE 2 2) MINORITY REPORT 3) GOLDMEMBER 4) DOG SOLDIERS yup, that's it. the only films i saw this year that were worth mentioning (and not repeats).

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 2:32 p.m. CST

    I still need an answer to my question...

    by Moonwatcher

    What the heck is a REGION COPY? I know, I know - I'm out of touch, I have no business cluttering up this talkback, so please don't flame me! P.S. Harry, I think you meant to say BLOW UP instead of BLOW OUT.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Harry, It's a REMAKE!

    by stacergirl77

    Harry, how could you possible put a remake in your top ten? Solaris! I mean come on! What the entertainment industry needs to do is create new ideas instead of recycling old ones.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 4:17 p.m. CST


    by Swithin

    I've been avoiding this movie like the plague. Because I love the book. What I want to know is how Harry can mention the american version without drawing proper attention to Tarkovsky's working of the tale... tell us it's to par with that (or better) and I might watch it, but I'm so afraid the Clooney version has messed with *way* too much of the story to make it 'passable as a date movie'...

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Re: Solaris

    by slaterc3

    Something that was never made abundantly clear about Soderbergh's "Solaris" is that it is based solely on Lem's novel. It neither based on, nor is it a remake of, Tarkovsky's film.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Bastard Ass Sons of Bitches

    by ZooTrain

    Yes, Adaptation was essentially the same movie as Barton Fink. I can't believe any other critics have mentioned this. Albeit entertaining, Adaptation wasn't all that original.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Willow vs. LOTR

    by Oompacabra

    As a kid who grew up playing D&D and such, I still was never satisfied with the feel of fantasy films. When Willow came out, I didn't even go see it. Here's why: It was the first movie I ever noticed selling the toys so far ahead of the film's releae. For a kid who was at an age appropriate to buying toys, I somehow found it disturbing that people would even want to purchase these figures of characters they had yet to meet. I finally saw the movie in 1990, with what i was sure was an open mind, and literally fell asleep. The LOTR films, above the story and characters, are gorgeous and rich. A delight to watch, hugely fantastic, and still able to allow me to suspend my disbelief.

  • Jan. 18, 2003, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Was it a bad year for movies?

    by Vieri

    Its become conventional wisdom that the year 2002 was a bad year for movies. In many ways, I agree. Despite a strong ending and a couple of solid entries, my most common reaction to films in the year 2002 was one of profound indifference. Mediocrity was rampant in 2002, and I am finding it very difficult to choose the 10 best because there were so few truly great films this year.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 12:32 a.m. CST


    by Everborn

    ... Am I really the ONLY one that thought Austin Powers sucked beyond the limits of suckness? Please stop mention it again as if it was one of the wonders of this world. Mike Meyers should be executed before making one more of them. (Though he should be allowed to make Shrek 2). I only laughed 3 times in that movie, and two of them was in disbelief. This CANT be happening I thought... But it did, sadly.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 12:49 a.m. CST

    One final note on "Solaris":

    by Gristle

    Believe the hype: George Clooney has the best ass I've seen on the screen all year. i love women and try not to be sexually attracted to men, but I've gotta give the man props; his ass is beautiful. Another reason to kick yourself in your (inferior) ass for missing "Solaris" in theaters.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 6:50 p.m. CST

    If you look at the calendar year, then yes, 2002 was a terribly

    by hktelemacher

    But the last 8 weeks has got to be the best movie-going season in a long, long time. Prior to that, I only liked a handful of films. But, only half of my 2002 top ten was from those 8 weeks. My Top Ten List of 2002, in ascending order, is thus: 10)Human Nature (will grow in stature and popularity, mark my words); 9)Bowling for Columbine (the most important American movie in a few years); 8) CQ (a gift for anyone who really loves movies) 7)Y Tu Mama Tambien; 6) Igby Goes Down (I related to this one big time, it will be a cult classic); 5) Gangs of New York (it worked for me on every level, even the Peter Gabriel guitars in the opening and the lack of satisfaction in the closing); 4) Solaris; 3) Punch-Drunk Love; 2) Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (I knew I would dig it, didn't know I would love it, and who knew Clooney was, if he wanted, on his way to being a great filmmaker?) and my # 1 spot is a tie between the two Spikes, Jonze and Lee. Adaptation and 25th Hour were both superb and by far the best times I've had at the movies all year. They're both absolutely amazing films. I still haven't seen The Pianist or Spirited Away though, so things may change. But overall, because of this great output in the last three months, 2002 was the best year for film since 1999 - and 2003 doesn't look like a slouch either.

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Donnie darko in best of 2002

    by hannrob

    How can you leave out donnie darko, but have The Two Towers at number 3 in your top 10 of 2002? The originality, direction, cinematography and acting of Donnie Darko are leagues ahead of a bloated, over-hyped, cgi-dependant blockbuster, with all the charm and style of Episode 1. Did anyone actually see Donnie Darko in the states? Oh no I forgot, it took more money in the UK than in the US (thats got to be a first!).

  • Jan. 19, 2003, 11 p.m. CST

    SOLARIS put me to sleep ZZZzzzzz....

    by mooncake

    that was the most boring *ss movie i've seen this year. it sucked donkey *ss!

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Top Ten Sentences I'd Be Embarrased to Show Anyone if I'd Writte

    by VeeKaChu

    10: "The ranking." What about it? An utter non-sequitar. 9: "To a large degree that feeling comes from attending Sitges, where I saw a good 66 films or so that I loved

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 6:42 a.m. CST


    by Parla

    I agree with most of the list including 800 balas which I have seen. I am surprised however that nobody is including ABOUT A BOY one of the best recent comedies. Also nobody is mentioning Hugh Grant's great performance. In a somewhat bad year for cinema this movie was refreshing to say the least

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Frank Cotton: I could not imagine a worse top 4 of 2002!

    by BarrelRider

    ok, Dog Soldiers had a couple scares, but it was basically badly produced drivel. Goldmember ws the worst film of the Austin Powers series, Minority Report was decent-ish Spielberg fare, good effects and a fairly engaging storyline, but hardly a film that can be enjoyed more than twice. And Blade 2 was film of the year. Come on, be honest, these are the ONLY films you saw last year, aren't they? You didn't see anything else, except perhaps a couple of kid's films.

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Just another fan now dying to see Sympathy

    by coldcreator

    I'm still working out my own top ten list, I know that The Two Towers is hands down number one, but seriously, there were so many other great films this year that it is very difficult. There were great ones all across the board. Mainstream had Minority Report, Signs, Die Another Day, Spider Man, Foreign films like Y tu Mamma Tambien, Small films like Igby Goes Down (which I can't believe no one on this site has mentioned,) Awards monsters Adaptation and The Pianist and all out extravagandas like Spirited Away and Chicago. So the fact that theres a film out there that a geek like Harry (I mean that as a compliment) thinks is better than ANY of these makes me very very excited. So, other people have said this, but please, TELL US WHERE TO FIND IT! You could singlehandedly turn this into a cult hit by telling your legions where we can get our hands on this baby. We promise to show our friends, who will show our friends.....

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 11:30 a.m. CST

    2002 just seemed like a boring year in film... to me anyway.

    by ObiWannaGetHigh

    Boring. Are my eyes red?

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Why are any of you surprised at his list?

    by BatVomit

    This is a guy who gave good reviews to the likes of Jurassic Park 3 and said that he liked the Green Goblin's costume in Spider-Man.

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Supertroll! and Godley

    by Panzerbjorn

    Ahhhhh Yeah! I'm back to call out all the motha fucking trolls. Everyone in this talkback should completely ignore Supertroll! Know why? Me think's this is the same person who wen't by Supertroll2. That's right baby, if my guess is right then you the same sucka! I called you out and finally you stopped responding. You still ain't the orginal Supertroll and I don't want to hear nothing from your unoriginal ass. Ahhhhhh Yeah! Godley, unless the fluffy guy was lying in his last post you got torched motha fucka! You ain't responded since and it seems like you chained to your computer 'cause you 'bout 17 years old. Now Vegas, don't let this supersucker bait you my man. He using the ancient method of passive-aggressive posts to rile folks up. But that won't happen with this bad ass mediating, trollstomping MACHINE! Ahhhhh Yeah. I ain't seen GONY yet 'cause everyone I've talked to said it ain't worth $8 of their money and two and half or three hours of their lives. That don't mean it bad but coming from such cold ass discerning tastes of my crowd it certainly says something! Sounds to me like either he 1. Fucked it up with his over-budget, delayed release prissy "genius" attitude. or 2. Failed to achieve his goals by provoking a reaction with his audience, but then throwing them totally out of the movie. That's not supposed to happen especially in an epic. You may be able to get away with that in a smaller film but not in a god damned historical epic! Also, you CAN use rock in an essentially period piece. It was done with great effect in Dead Man. (Although the music was mixed a bit loud.) So chew on that Godley and see what you can regurgitate (sp?) for us. Over and motha fucking OUT!!!!

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by Jack Burton

    I actually saw a preview for this before some bad Lion's Gate movie I rented. I'll be damned if I can remember which one it was. Anyway, it looked interesting. It looked like a bad horror movie mainly so seeing it on a Top 10 list kinda threw me. I would have seen it anyway, mainly because I am inexplicably drawn to mediocre Lion's Gate horror films, but now I HAVE to see it if for no other reason then to determine how it is considered a better film then most everything else this year by Harry. I can't comment too much on the list. Since moving back to the midwest I don't have access to the "art house" movies I once did. But I've read multiple reviews for "Irreversable" and it sounds pointless and terrible. Murder and acts of violence are irreversable? Revenge has no meaning? WOW, these are deep themes. Sounds pretty damn unwatchable.

  • Jan. 20, 2003, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Grow up people...........

    by ShooterMctanktop

    Harry's top ten is different than my top ten, therefore he is an idiot!! Ummm It's an opinion people, damn. Just cause you haven't seen the movies doesn't mean the guy can't put them on his top 10 list. If we only put movies everbody had seen on these lists it would look like this... "and the #1 movie of the year is..KANGAROO JACK!!!!" get a clue people.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 12:36 a.m. CST

    auteur middle finger

    by Black TARDIS

    Soderbergh and PT Anderson are the best student filmakers pretending to be real directors out there. Damn harmonium!

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 1:20 a.m. CST

    In Hong Kong, looking for MR VENGEANCE

    by Marshy

    Saw Harry's list and I can again offer my services as I have done in the past with Shaolin Soccer. I live in Hong Kong and can get region free dvds out to you of whatever you like. Eg:SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE, JSA or whatever else takes your fancy. Drop me a line at

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 10:40 a.m. CST

    harry's top 10

    by nathanielfischer

    congratulations harry on your list, very individual, but that's the point, it's your list, your choices, what you liked. looking at some of the angry idiots that have responded, they don't seem to get that. being english a lot of the films haven't opened here yet, but i look forward to them, and i'll try and track down the ones that won't open here at all. good pickings harry

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Al Hirschfeld id dead....

    by jesuschrist

    Just thought I would note it. Harry, you should do an article on him. If you folks don't know who he is, you should. One of the great artists of the 20th century.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Water in Signs

    by The Sapient

    While I don't think Signs is Top Ten material, those who are bothered by the water aspect of the film are missing a subtle point. What is it that drives the Aliens away? We are never told, other than that it is an "ancient method from the Middle east". That does not sound much like nothing more than an allergy to water. So what hurts the alien in the house? Well, it is glasses of water. Water that has been touched by a little girl. A little girl that has premonitions and was born with eyes wide with understanding. A little girl described as an angel. It is not mystery why these aliens look just like demons from popular mythology. This was a casting out of demons using HOLY water.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 2:40 p.m. CST

    not that anyone should care, but here's my best and worst of the

    by DancesWithWerewolves

    Best, in order: 25th Hour, Insomnia, Minority Report, Gangs of New York, The Two Towers, Spirited Away, Road to Perdition, Spider-man, Signs, and Frailty. Worst: My big fat greek wedding, Resident Evil, They, Scooby-fucking-doo, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter, Fear Dot Com, XXX, Life or Something Like it, and Bad Company. Over-rated: The Hours, Chicago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Under-rated: Death to Smoochy and Jason X (nothing but pure dumb-fun that meant to be nothing but dumb-fun),.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 6:44 p.m. CST

    No shit, Sherlock.

    by Mieskie

    Harry said: "Given time

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Yo, Harry, can't believe...

    by Mieskie

    You didn't throw in Maid in Manhatten while you were at it.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 7:56 p.m. CST

    You had me until Solaris...

    by Heckles

    Well, I didn't recognize a few of the foreign films on there, so I gave Harry the benefit of the doubt. I knew LOTR would make it, that was a gimmie. But Solaris? I mean, liking it is one thing, but actually calling it one of the best movies of the year? Big stretch, in my opinion of course. Your wafer thin credibility just went down the pooper, Harry.

  • Jan. 21, 2003, 9:52 p.m. CST



  • Jan. 28, 2003, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by Amber Waves

    I thought Harry made a great review of Irreversible. It is one of the best French movie I have seen in the past years and i hope a lot of people will see it.

  • Jan. 29, 2003, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Solaris- - - Cool!

    by JohnWesleyWalsh

    Being a parent of a 4 year-old without a reliable babysitter makes leisure time to see a movie in the theatre a very precious commidity and therefore when my wife and I choose a movie to see it is with great care. I am so glad we chose Solaris. I have been hooked on Soderberg's (sic)work since "The Limey" and absolutely does not let me down here. The best part is that my wife enjoyed the movie also. We actually TALKED about what we saw during our ride to the restaurant and over the entire dinner that followed. Solaris is a beautiful minimilist work with characters, issues, and ideals that possibly every person can interpret differently. Excellent Choice!

  • Feb. 1, 2003, 2:11 a.m. CST

    chicago was fucking horrible.

    by soteotw

    I wish I was a movie critic for a big newspaper because I know what my headline would read for my review for "chicago" it would read "all that puke". Moulin Rouge was ten times the film that chicago was. Rob Marshall was just showing off his choreography skills, and to be honest they weren't that great. There were only two good musical numbers in that whole mind numbing film. If Rene Zellweger actually sung those songs I am the son of jesus. I saw "Funny Face" not to long ago for the first that was something special. Chicago was just 7.50 I could have given to a bum and felt better about myself. Miramax's money machine must have mailed a check to harry cause I was hard pressed to find anything resembling a friggin plot..just a bunch of dance numbers to compensate for a bad script..yes I am saying your proposed god bill condon is not perfect..the books of blood are what he should be working on. and yes harry...MOULIN ROUGE IS THE MOVIE THAT SHOULD HAVE WON ALL THE AWARDS..CHICAGO IS JUST CASHING IN ON THE SUCCESS OF THAT FILM..ban me if you want to, but you would just be saying you don't believe in free speech......all that jazz my azz. oh, and if I see the preview for "view from the top" one more time I might just snap....skynet should just send 2 t-1000's back in time to kill his mother because he is not funny at all.....AT ALL. the cat in the hat is nothing but a plain ripoff of the grinch..put a well known comic into a bunch of makeup...fuck - the movie industry is sucking these days...sorry about my long rant people but if harry bans me i want to have said my peace.

  • Feb. 1, 2003, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Ugh - praising Polanski? How quick we forget..

    by Lawyer of Doom

    I don't care if The Pianist is good film, it's dispicable to heap praise on that child molester Polanski. How quickly we forget his statutory rape of that poor 13 year old - his defense was that "her mother said it was OK". He's marked for arrest the first time he even sets foot on US soil. I think it'd be sweet justice if his film wins a ton of awards and he can't come to get them because he's avoiding prosecution.

  • Feb. 2, 2003, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Top 10

    by tom_joad

    Here are the my 10 most favorite movies I have seen for 2002. 1. Two Towers 2. The Pianist 3. About Schmidt 4. Y Tu Mama Tambien 5. About a Boy 6. Talk to Her 7. Catch Me If You Can 8. Adaptation 9. Secretary 10. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

  • Feb. 3, 2003, 5:33 p.m. CST

    800 bullets SUUUCKS

    by malfollado

    No, really. DON

  • Feb. 8, 2003, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Vegas is an asshole, vegas is an asshole! HEE HEE!

    by Satipo

  • Feb. 8, 2003, 11:12 p.m. CST

    godley is an asshole, godley is an asshole! WEEEE!

    by Satipo

  • Feb. 8, 2003, 11:15 p.m. CST

    seriously though, godley is a much bigger fuckhead

    by Satipo


  • Feb. 8, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Godley: small brain, smaller penis. (ask me how i know!!)

    by Satipo

  • Feb. 8, 2003, 11:27 p.m. CST

    The actual top three films of the year - I HAVE SPOKEN!

    by Satipo

    Punch Drunk Love; Secretary; Unfaithful

  • Feb. 10, 2003, midnight CST

    fun times

    by Calavera

    Godly and Vegas sound like they could be lovers. Godly is pretty witty. He should be on Frasier. What an arrogent prick. I think he must be an asshole in real life and needs sex. Vegas sounds like the hot head. Like the unappreciated wife who doesn't like taking the abuse. They should get a marriage counselor. And who says "Lewis out"? Does he think that's cool?

  • Feb. 10, 2003, 5:44 p.m. CST

    One of my faves

    by TheLastSkeptic

    "Bowling for Columbine" was the most affecting movie I saw in 2002.

  • Feb. 10, 2003, 5:45 p.m. CST


    by TheLastSkeptic

    Jimmychitwood writes: "[Nic Cage] only got this role 'cause his cousin is dating the director!!"--------Actually, Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola are married. Have been since 1999.

  • Feb. 10, 2003, 5:45 p.m. CST


    by TheLastSkeptic

    Lastly, I wouldn't put much stock in what Harry says one way or the other. Either you agree with his choices are you don't. Remember, this is the guy who gave positive reviews to both "Attack of the Clones" and "Shaolin Soccer."

  • Feb. 11, 2003, 2:04 p.m. CST

    My Top Four list (I couldn't find six other films released in 20

    by Uncle Sam

    1)Spider-Man (so what if the visual effects are somewhat cartoonish at times? the movie is simply GREAT!); 2)Reign of Fire; 3)Signs (yeah, I know, the "alien in the pantry" thing was pretty retarded, but the film is still pretty damn good); 4)Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ("Fellowship of the Ring" was glorious and breathtaking, I consider it to be the second greatest film of all time. "The Two Towers" left me lukewarm, I didn't even see it more than once at the movie theater. I don't really know why, Gandalf the Grey is a probably a lot more fun than Galdalf the White). That's it. - I WANT YOU, but not in that way.

  • Feb. 11, 2003, 2:04 p.m. CST

    My Top Four list (I couldn't find six other films released in 20

    by Uncle Sam

    1)Spider-Man (so what if the visual effects are somewhat cartoonish at times? the movie is simply GREAT!); 2)Reign of Fire; 3)Signs (yeah, I know, the "alien in the pantry" thing was pretty retarded, but the film is still pretty damn good); 4)Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ("Fellowship of the Ring" was glorious and breathtaking, I consider it to be the second greatest film of all time. "The Two Towers" left me lukewarm, I didn't even see it more than once at the movie theater. I don't really know why, Gandalf the Grey is a probably a lot more fun than Galdalf the White). That's it. - I WANT YOU, but not in that way.

  • Feb. 15, 2003, 10:10 a.m. CST

    harrys an IDIOT!!!!

    by jonleeus

    I'm quite sure that someone else has already chastised you for the gangs of new york omission[the best movie of 2002]but I have to wonder, does your succsess as an internet critic give you the balls to be so pretentios[sp]? Even if I can't spell I do know what makes a quality movie,and your reviews grow more padantic and tiresome with age.growup!

  • Feb. 15, 2003, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Tolkien's influences


    The actual first real fantasy novel when you think about it was Mort D'Arthur. Also Tolkien was influenced by the work of Lord Dunsany who also influenced HP Lovecraft. His novels were fantasy back in the late 1800s!

  • Feb. 16, 2003, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage

    by LossieBoy

    Leave him alone, he can eat a peach for hours.

  • Feb. 18, 2003, 11:15 p.m. CST

    the hours?

    by girlinterruptyd

    to be honest. i think that list is a good representation of the top films put out last year. i am very surprised, though, not to see "the hours" up there. i'm not sure if it's just a girl thing, i don't think so, but that film was incredible. the acting was superb, not only in regards to nicole kidman, julianne moore and the extremely poignant meryl streep, but to the sleeper talent of ed harris among the otherwise mainly female cast. the editing was amazing, overlapping periods as it did. the story was perfectly woven. it was a movie that left me pondering for weeks afterwards, and rushing to the bookstore to buy mrs. dalloway. now, THAT is what a great film does to a person.

  • March 3, 2003, 9:44 p.m. CST

    "Finally a film about the blank page"

    by Andy_Christ


  • March 13, 2003, 10:17 p.m. CST


    by Twinkle

    I saw this pic three days ago and it is still bothering me. I am not sure why, because violence depicted is not in itself so much worse than in other movies I have seen. I suspect the floating camera, very disorienting, combined with a sound track that seems intent on driving you insane must have a lot to do with effect it has had on me. It is almost as though Gasper Noe, the director, had consulted with the French Secret Service to find out how to use visuals and audio to break a prisoner. I felt like I had been raped emotionally after seeing it and would not recommend it to anyone who suffers from motion sickness of any kind, who is in an emotionally fragile state or who cannot bear brutal, ugly acts filmed graphically and compulsively. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart. It is Blair Witch on a steadycam plus jarring, blasting technorock shrieks. The story is trite, actually, and the acting mediocre. There wasn't much for the actors to do to develop character, so this is a cartoon of sorts. Lots of physical acting, action, loud noise and slow, loopy camerawork. If you can make it through the first thirty minutes, you can handle the rest of it, too. Extreme film or like an extreme ride on a roller coaster. This movie implants images in your mind that are hard to shake out - the long anal rape, for instance. Not pretty. Can leave females feeling anything but sexy for days. Lots of very troubling portrayals of gay life style - gay bars, gay pimp, gay brutality to other gays, all anal. Club is called The Rectum. Nope, not pretty at all. For those of us who believe Hobbes was right - human life in its natural state is nasty, brutal and short - this film will not be a big surprise, The core idea - Time destroys all things - is as true as its contrary idea - Time creates all things. But the glass is completely empty here, so happy thoughs will only be found in the paradise that was lost, too late to do much good since we all know what will happen in the next 24 hours. I could go on about this pic and have, actually. Very disturbing but not because of story or characters or ideas. Very disturbing because of the way the story is told -- so it does resemble Blair Witch in that respect. I would never have seen it if someone had been able to tell me what it was like. Ugly, sick and powerful.

  • April 18, 2003, 12:26 a.m. CST

    For me and, it seems, most of you, IRREVERSIBLE is a 2003 film

    by Ronnie_Dobbs

    And the best one I've seen so far. Okay, so the rest of that list is only: PHONE BOOTH, OLD SCHOOL, WILLARD and DAREDEVIL. The point is, IRREVERSIBLE is an utterly unique, disturbing and excellent film. I know the MEMENTO comparisons will be flying soon enough (though I doubt this will reach as large an audience), but MEMENTO's effect was much more gimmicky and less fascinating than IRREVERSIBLE's. As far as Nolan's filmsgo, I think FOLLOWING is the best, anyway. Also, a few quick responses to the talkbacks: yes, BARTON FINK is brilliant and should be extolled by all; ADAPTATION is still the best film of the year. And AOTC sucks horribly ---- I'm glad to see it is nowhere near any intelligent critic's top ten list (yes, I'm including Harry in that category).

  • May 6, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST


    by AgentCole

    Another shitty list from Harry!

  • May 29, 2003, 10:41 p.m. CST

    about harry

    by talkbacker01

    1) harry is the biggest loser 2) sympathy for mr. vengeance is for cool people to watch, cool people like the rest of everybody else in this world....EXCEPT HIM 3) 800 Balas sucks 800 BALLS! 4) harry doesn't know anything 5) harry is the biggest loser of life 6) he like CHICAGO that mean he a fruit 7) 99% of Irreversible sucks but i got boner during rape 8) this site has the worst layout design of any site.....EVER. i throw up when i visit

  • March 6, 2010, 2:51 a.m. CST

    abbreviation for symptom

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