Movie News

Moriarty Dissects 2004 And Picks The Best And The Worst!!

Published at: Oct. 15, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST

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

I love how Harry busts my balls about being “late” in publishing my Ten Favorites Of 2004 list, then tells me about films he’s just now getting around to watching like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Not that he’s alone. There’s such a rush to be the first to put up a list that I see people start at the beginning of December. I spent almost a month making sure that I’d seen as many of the eligible films released during 2004 as I could, and I feel pretty confident about my final list. Sure, I wish I had seen BIRTH or ENDURING LOVE or P.S. or PAPER CLIPS or GOODBYE, DRAGON INN, but no one sees everything. I’ll catch up with those films as soon as the opportunity presents itself, and I hope I enjoy them all. They’ve all got ardent supporters (and detractors), and it’s not like I missed them on purpose. I did much, much better this year, though, than last year. I saw a total of 170 films to prepare for the list, better than three a week on average. No shame in that. I count less than 60 films that I “missed,” and many of those are movies that I have no interest in ever seeing, like DANNY DECKCHAIR or Tim Story’s TAXI.

To prepare for writing the list, I broke the films down into five separate groups: EXCELLENT, VERY GOOD, GOOD, NOT-SO-GOOD, and FUCKING AWFUL. My entire top ten list, as well as my ten runners-up, come from the EXCELLENT category, which indicates to me that this was a wonderful year for film. What’s even better is how strange and varied the films in that category were for me. There was a fair amount of discovery in there, films that blindsided me. Some of the most hyped titles of the year just didn’t make it onto the list at all, even if they did end up in the VERY GOOD category. Which, might I add, is no slam on those films. If I had to put together a top ten list just from those, I’d still be very happy with it. It’d probably read something like RIDING GIANTS, COLLATERAL, PRIMER, HOTEL RWANDA, SILMIDO, HERO, ONG-BAK, LAYER CAKE, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT and TOUCHING THE VOID. Maybe. And I’d be very happy with that year. So you can imagine that I’m ecstatic with the list that I’m really publishing.

Let’s do this backwards, since that’s always more fun. I’ll start with my runners-up, the ten films that almost made the grade.

10. SIDEWAYS

Don’t read this film’s placement on this list as some sort of condemnation, because it’s not. I may not be head over heels goofy in love with the movie, but I certainly believe that Alexander Payne is a filmmaker who continues to refine his gifts each time out. He makes smart and funny films, and he does outstanding work with actors. Paul Giamatti’s been revving up for this movie his whole career, and he delivers tremendously, investing a real soul into this character that could easily have become a one-note joke. What makes this such a great surprise is the way Thomas Hayden-Church and Virginia Madsen both step up with mature and fully-formed characterizations. Add in the earthy, sexy work of Sandra Oh, and it’s really no wonder so many people have gotten so drunk off this particular vintage.

9. METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER

Even if you’ve never heard a single note of their music... even if you hate heavy metal... this is a remarkable study of the way inter-personal dynamics play a part in any successful venture, and what can be done to preserve a partnership once a friendship breaks down. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky are some of the best documentarians working, and they ended up making their most personal film here, healing their own creative partnership in the process. It’s a long film, around two and a half hours, but it’s absorbing for the full duration. Paramount’s new DVD edition is incredibly dense with extras, and I found the film just as fascinating the second time.

8. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Who knew? Here’s a case where I completely prejudged a film and skipped it in the theater. Sorry I did, too, because this is a piercing, honest look at the fanatical world of small town high school football. Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black, reunited for the first time since SLING BLADE, serve as the center of the film as the coach and the star quarterback of the team, but this is a true ensemble drama, and everyone gets a moment to shine. In particular, keep your eye on Derek Luke, who is absolutely incendiary as a player sure he is destined for great things. Director Peter Berg has finally stepped up to deliver on the promise of his earlier work. It may be a sports film, but it manages to avoid the clichés of the genre. Normally I wince when I hear someone say that a film’s got heart, but this one does, and I have a feeling people are going to be rediscovering this one for some time to come.

7. CODE 46

Michael Winterbottom has quietly matured into one of the most versatile and subtle filmmakers working. In the last few years, he’s made such remarkable films as 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE and IN THIS WORLD, movies that grown in the memory and get better with each viewing. This year, he tried his hand at science-fiction for the first time, and the result is absolutely hypnotic. It’s rare to see a SF film that isn’t actually an action film or a mystery or a horror film disguised as SF. Finding a genuine SF film is sort of like spotting Bigfoot at this point. This would make a great double-feature with ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, since they share some striking thematic similarities, but they end in very different ways. Samantha Morton and Tim Robbins are amazing here, and their work reminds us how important it is to hold on to the human soul in a world where technology increasingly rules our lives.

6. SPIDER-MAN 2

Whenever I hear people make sweeping generalizations about the death of the superhero genre, I just think about the pure sugar rush of this, the absolute best of the Marvel movies so far. They could have easily subtitled this THE PASSION OF PETER PARKER, as director Sam Raimi heaps misery after misery onto the head of our hero, testing him past the breaking point before finally giving him one of the most-deserved happy endings of the year. Even in those final moments, though, Raimi pushes it farther with a last shot that casts shadows over sunshine, and which proves that popcorn can be art, too.

5. I HEART HUCKABEES

I would never tell someone who didn’t like this film that they didn’t “get it,” so I’m surprised how quick people are to tell me that I’m wrong for liking it, and that there’s nothing there to understand. Screw ‘em. I HEART HUCKABEES is completely in love with itself, dizzy from all the ideas that David O. Russell packed into it, filled with crazy scenery-chewing performances, and I just plain love it. That Jon Brion score is ridiculously catchy, and the movie’s got a rich eye-popping cartoon palette that is a pleasure to look at. What I love most, though, is that brave go-for-broke quality to the work by all the actors. Whenever I watch this film, I feel like Mark Wahlberg’s character, dancing at the scene of the fire in a state of existential bliss.

4. Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

Xan Cassavettes made one of the best movies I’ve ever seen about what it is that drives the true film freak to spend endless hours in the dark, and if that’s all this movie about, it still might be enough to make it onto this list. But there’s also the true story of Jerry Harvey, the genius programmer who turned a local cable station into a sort of movie lover’s Mecca before his personal demons finally cut him down. One of the things that will make this worth revisiting is the wealth of tantalizing clips it contains from film that are currently unavailable on video. What makes it count is the human story at its heart.

3. THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU

I have to admit, I’m surprised by the chilly reception that Wes Anderson fans (and audiences at large) have given this daffy confection. It’s actually grown on me since I saw the rough cut this summer, and I found the final version to be utterly charming. All of Anderson’s fetishes from his previous films are on display – his tidy symmetrical composition, his impeccable taste in pop music, his eccentric ensemble casts, Bill Murray – but he’s picked up a few new ones as well. The way Henry Selick’s stop-motion animation is used to punctuated the film is a delight, and for the first time, Anderson seems willing to be silly without restriction. THE LIFE AQUATIC may not be a consequential film on its own, but taken as a step in the development of this singular artist, it’s very encouraging, indeed.

2. HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS

Pretty much pure cinema, this is certainly the more overtly melodramatic of Zhang Yimou’s two films to get a Stateside release this year, and that’s precisely what I like about it. The story of a doomed love triangle played out against the backdrop of espionage and revolution, this affords the newly rechristened Ziyi Zhang her best role since CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. She may well be the most beautiful actress working today, but that’s not what makes her so powerfully watchable. She gets better with each film, more in control of her considerable gifts, but she has something that no amount of technique can ever teach... her face is like a window directly into her soul. No director knows her better than Yimou, and this, their third collaboration, is easily their best.

1. HELLBOY

Hell, yes. Guillermo Del Toro’s long-harbored passion for this project paid off this year with a film that is deeply felt and willfully weird. Ron Perlman finally has a starring role worthy of his talent, and he proves once again that there’s no actor working today who can better project through make-up. And speaking of make-up, this is a monster lover’s dream, filled with all sorts of creepy crawlies that seem to have erupted onto the screen directly from the pencil of Mike Mignola. Del Toro assembled a solid supporting cast, and they all do nice work, but this is ultimately Hellboy’s show. Theatrical cut, director’s cut... doesn’t really matter to me. I can watch this one any time, and it just keeps getting better.

Wow. Again... if that was it, the final ten, I’d be delirious. What a range of experiences we’ve been offered in 2004 by filmmakers. What a wealth of characters we’ve been introduced to. And the top ten, for me, represents the very best that cinema had to offer this year. As always, I remind you... these are my favorite films of the year, not the “best” in any sort of authoritative definitive way. That’s so arrogant, trying to state that your taste supercedes everyone else’s. Of course it doesn’t. For me, these are the ten films I’ll revisit most frequently, the ten films that most deserve their moment in the sun.

10. I’M NOT SCARED

I feel like such a dunce. In the three weeks since I finally saw this film, I’ve been bubbling to anyone who will listen that director Gabriele Salvatores is a major find, a guy with an amazing natural sense of visual storytelling, a “young Spielberg.” Don’t ask me why I thought he was a young filmmaker. Maybe it’s because he seems to be so intuitively able to evoke the way a child sees the world. Maybe it’s just the energy of the filmmaking. Whatever the case, I am, as stated, a dunce. Salvatores was born in 1950, and he’s been making movies for 20 years. In fact, I’ve seen and admired several of his earlier movies like MEDITERRANEO and the deeply strange DENTI. Trust me... I won’t forget his name again, and neither will you after you see this beautiful, haunting little thriller about a young boy who uncovers a conspiracy that alters the way he sees the world. When he discovers a child chained up at the bottom of a hole like an animal, he can’t help but unravel the mystery of who put him there and why. It’s ugly stuff, and by the end of the film, he’s taken his first important steps towards adulthood and maturity, but at a terrible cost. The film is exquisitely crafted and shot with a painter’s eye, and Salvatores gets remarkable work out of his young leads. There was a time when Miramax would have worked tirelessly to get a film this good the attention it deserves. Their evident indifference to it suggests that it may well be time for Harvey Weinstein to pack it in and find something new to help him rediscover his love of films. Don’t let the mishandling of the film fool you, though. This is the kind of movie that will truly entertain any audience, young or old, so check it out.

9. IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL

Great cinema casts a spell over the viewer, and there are times when I’m sorry to see a film end. Jessica Yu, a documentarian who won an Oscar for an earlier short subject, has created the most impressive and affecting look inside the creative process since Terry Zwigoff’s CRUMB, and this film deserves the same sort of breakout success that Zwigoff’s movie enjoyed. Yu made this film because she became fascinated by the story of Henry Darger, an artist whose work is truly inseparable from his life story. He was orphaned young, raised in a home for mentally feeble children, and eventually settled into a solitary life as a janitor. What no one realized until Darger died in the early ‘70s was that he spent his private time creating a body of artistic work that is truly mind-boggling. Hundreds of paintings, a 15,000 page novel, and a memoir that is both blunt and brutal all combine to offer up a portrait of a man so disillusioned with the real world that the only rational response was to create his own. It wasn’t a peaceful retreat, though. His novel and his paintings detailed a surreal civil war led by a group of sexually ambiguous children, holy innocents. What Yu’s film does is bring Darger’s work to life, immersing the viewer in it, and the effect feels like taking a plunge down the rabbit hole. It would be easy to dismiss Darger as a crank, but Yu reaches deeper than that, and if there’s one word I would use to describe the film, it is “empathy.” Darger is as pure an artist as I’ve ever seen. He didn’t create his work for money or for fame or even for an audience. He created it to try and make sense of a hostile and disappointing world. He created it because, simply, he had to. The most haunting detail of his story is that there are only three photos of Darger from his entire life, as if he barely existed. But thanks to Yu’s extraordinary film, there is finally a portrait of this man that should stand the test of time.

8. BEFORE SUNSET

A film about optimism, pure and simple, and the restorative power of possibility, which may be what makes it such an effervescent rush. When Richard Linklater first announced that he was planning to make a sequel to BEFORE SUNRISE, part of me hoped that something would happen during pre-production and the whole thing would fall through. The original’s a gem, and it feels like a happy accident, something that would be impossible to reproduce. Amazingly, Linklater and his cast, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, got it exactly right, proving that sometimes a second chance can pay off. If you’ve ever wondered what might have happened if you had made a different choice in life, this film offers up the sweetest possible fantasy, tempered with the wisdom that comes from age and experience. Both Hawke and Delpy are as good as they’ve ever been, and the highest compliment I can pay the people who made this is that now I can’t wait for another installment in the story of Jesse and Celine.

7. THE AVIATOR

If 2004 was the year of the biopic, then two of them stood head and shoulders above the pack for me, but for very different reasons. Martin Scorsese’s big, beautiful version of the Howard Hughes myth (because no matter how “factual” anyone claims this is, Hughes was a privacy freak who knew full well how important it is to create your own story) is a tremendous piece of entertainment, an amazing example of filmcraft. Leonardo Di Caprio is at his very best when he plays damaged people, and Howard Hughes is the role of his lifetime. The entire supporting cast seems to have been chosen with care, and if there’s anyone who deserves movie star billing alongside Di Caprio, it’s Scorsese himself. His command of film language just plain frightens me. He is such a powerful cinematic wizard that there are things in this film that we’ll see ripped off and imitated, maybe even subconsciously, for decades, the same way we see directors still aping his fight scenes from RAGING BULL a quarter-century later. I don’t think there’s any larger social significance to the story of Hughes, since his is such a singular, unusual story, but I think this is the kind of big canvass storytelling that very few filmmakers could accomplish with this level of ease, and I was absorbed by every single frame.

6. KINSEY

This, on the other hand, is a socially significant film, and that’s what gives it the edge in the 2004 Biopic Derby. Liam Neeson rarely works with filmmakers who are as smart as he is, and he seems deeply engaged by the material here. Prok isn’t an easy character to like, and I’ve heard some people complain that they didn’t feel connected to him... but that’s the point. Prok was a man who felt more at home among insects than among people, a man who believed that the whole world could be boiled down to scientific data, even something as vague and difficult as the human heart. His research into the sexual habits of Americans continues to send shockwaves through our culture even today, and this film, directed and scripted with uncommon grace and humanity by Bill Condon, dares the viewer to acknowledge everyone, no matter what their particular tastes or desires, as equal and normal as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. It’s a message that this country continues to need to have reinforced for them, and when a film’s this exceptionally well-crafted, it’s a fairly easy thing to absorb.

5. KILL BILL VOL. 2

It was worth the wait. As much as I was irritated when Tarantino decided to split KILL BILL in half, it makes perfect sense when you finally see the second film. There’s such a sharp tonal shift between the two movies that they feel perfect as separate volumes. If the first film is the blood and guts, then this film is the heart and the soul. Uma Thurman’s work is even better in this film than in the first movie, and David Carradine should probably go ahead and retire, because no one’s ever going to get this good a performance out of him again. I love the House Of Blue Leaves and the anime sequence from the first film, but what I keep returning to with this one is the small moments, the character beats. I love Michael Madsen’s work. I love the interplay between Uma, Carradine, and their daughter. Which, of course, is not to say that this film doesn’t have its fair share of bad-assery. The Pei Mei training sequence, the showdown with Daryl Hannah, and the final moments between The Bride and Bill all remind you of the pulp roots of this whole enterprise. What could have easily been the most self-indulgent moment in Quentin Tarantino’s career instead confirmed him as a true artist, a magpie with a master plan, and he’s created one of the seminal works in exploitation cinema as a result.

4. SHAUN OF THE DEAD

The little film that could. I’ve seen this film with a half-dozen different audiences, and I’ve talked to people who love horror films, who hate horror films, and who simply don’t know horror films, and they all had the same reaction to Edgar Wright’s exceptional blend of blood bags and belly laughs... absolute delight. SHAUN OF THE DEAD is a major announcement for both Wright and his co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and the sky’s the limit for them after this. No matter what the film did in terms of actual dollars and cents, it put them on the map, and everyone I’ve talked to at every studio in town had the same sort of stunned “Who the hell are these guys?!” reaction. Add Nick Frost into the mix, and this is a team that I hope we see many, many more collaborations from in the years to come. In the meantime, they’ve set the bar pretty damn high for themselves with the best mix of humor and horror since Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE.

3. SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER... AND SPRING

Like Harry, I am very fond of the new wave of Korean cinema that we’ve seen in the last five or six years. There are several artists who just seem to be hitting their stride, and what makes me happiest is that they’re not rushing to leave Korea and move to Los Angeles, the exact thing that destroyed the Hong Kong film scene of the ‘90s. I liked both the films on Harry’s list very much, but for me, one movie transcended above all the sound and fury to stand out. You might describe this as the exact polar opposite of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, a film that is all about the internal voyage to enlightenment, following an old monk and his young student through their lives, using moments set in each of the five progressive seasons. It’s a beautiful film, unafraid to be harsh at times, and there are some very difficult moments in it. Ultimately, though, there is a feeling at the end of this film that you have experienced true change and spiritual growth, and no matter what your faith, this is an inclusive picture. When you can honestly say that you are better for having seen a film, that’s something to celebrate, and director Kim Ki Duk contines to get better every single time he rolls film.

2. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

I’ve written so much about this film so far this year that I’m almost at a loss for what more I can say. Jim Carrey has been working towards this film for his entire career, and he finally was handed a role that allowed him to drag out all the dark and damaged he carries around inside him, and he trusted a filmmaker to not burn his career down in the process. Michel Gondry’s work here is revelatory, genuine genius, and like Spike Jonze, he seems perfectly suited to bring Charlie Kaufman’s work to life. I wasn’t convinced with HUMAN NATURE, but he’s grown so much from that film to this that it’s hard to believe he’s the same filmmaker. What really makes this whole thing work is the fact that Kaufman doesn’t just tell one story about what happens when we try to forget those we love. The subplot involving Kirsten Dunst is just as important, and in fact drives the entire film. I love that people still argue about whether or not the film’s ending is about hope or despair, and I think what you believe says a lot about your own outlook on the world. I choose to believe in hope, and this film just about broke my heart, but only because it suddenly felt overfull.

And, after very little internal debate at all, my favorite film of 2004 is...

1. THE INCREDIBLES

I am humbled by Brad Bird’s first collaboration with Pixar, and at the same time, every bit of desire I’ve ever had to make movies has been rekindled in a major way. You want to see a great film about a man struggling with the compromises of middle age? Look no further. You want to see a film about trying to be special and stand out and wanting to excel about something? Here’s your best bet. Anything that any of the other possible candidates for this spot had on their minds, it seemed like Bird managed to do it better, and he also made a film that is so preposterously entertaining that it seems impossible. I went back four times to keep checking to see if it would have the same effect on me, and if anything, I became more and more entranced by the magic on display. I don’t know how any live-action filmmaker is going to hope to top this film’s superhero action scenes, and I don’t know how the makers of the Bond series are going to best what Bird has done. He had a lot of help, too, from some remarkable artists and performers, and as much as I was amazed to see Thomas Hayden-Church give a great performance in a real film this year, I’m doubly amazed at what Craig T. Nelson brought to the table using just his voice. I’ve never been a fan of his, per se, but I am now. In that first teaser trailer, Mr. Incredible was pretty much a sight gag. Sure, it was a great sight gag, but I had no idea how impressively nuanced the character would be in the final film. A reader wrote to us at the site a few weeks ago complaining about something that was bothering them, asking, “Doesn’t THE INCREDIBLES send the wrong message? How are normal people supposed to value themselves when the film says that only superpowered people are special?” But that’s not what the film says at all. Instead, this is a film that says that we are all special, and the key to understanding it is finding something in yourself that you can embrace. Syndrome didn’t have to become a superhero. It’s obvious if you look at all the technology he created that he was brilliant in his own way. That didn’t matter to him, though, and he spent his entire life trying to be someone else instead of celebrating what it was that made him unique. For a filmmaker working on a big giant Disney superhero movie to invest the film with the sort of subtext that Bird did is above and beyond the call of duty. The reason this film is number one on my list is because nothing else hit me dead center the way this one did. This is the sort of film that I know I’ll still be watching 20 years from now, and I look forward to that, and to whatever else Brad Bird’s cooking up.

Now, the other side of the coin... the ten films I most detested this year, or as I traditionally label this list, The 20 Hours I Want Back... is also not meant to be comprehensive. I avoided a lot of stuff that looked totally terrible this year, and I think I’m happier for having done so. Still, morbid curiosity got me a few times, and there’s also the sense of wanting to see for myself in a few cases. As a result, there were plenty of times I staggered out of a theater or shut off a DVD feeling like I just kicked in the store by a filmmaker, and I want to make sure to repay them in kind. In no particular order, since I can’t really qualify this sort of abject mental misery, dig it:

TORQUE

Joseph Kahn should be tried for war crimes against my eyes and the laws of physics. On the positive side, this may well be the highest-budget film ever directed by a retarded person.

BEYOND THE SEA

Bobby Darin’s dead, and now so is Kevin Spacey’s directing career.

KING ARTHUR

So, wait... the “real” story is that King Arthur was a black hole of charisma who did nothing exciting and who was surrounded by nondescript characters who you can’t remember even while you’re watching the film? No wonder we all like the legend better.

ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID

It makes the first one look like JAWS.

GODSEND

When future film historians look back and try to figure out the exact moment where Robert De Niro just completely gave up, this film will finally serve some purpose. Until then, it’s just pain wrapped in pain.

PAPARAZZI

I’m going to give this trash a special award below, but I’ll say this much: this is the most distasteful revenge fantasy I’ve seen in a long time.

GARFIELD

Speaking of revenge fantasies, I’d like to know when we decided to start making films out of fucking greeting card characters. GARFIELD was never funny. None of his four jokes are funny. THE FAMILY CIRCUS has more depth. And this film STILL manages to disgrace the source material. Absolutely the nadir of Bill Murray’s professional life.

HIGHWAYMEN

I know THE HITCHER, and you, sir, are no THE HITCHER.

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS

I really enjoyed the premiere of this film. Dreamworks turned Hollywood Boulevard and the Chinese Theater into Christmas in October. The afterparty was tremendous. And still, I can’t quite scour the unfunny from my brain pan. If you looked closely at Ben Affleck’s eyes, you could see him dying inside the whole time.

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR

Hey, remember what I said about TORQUE? Well, that’s only because I’m not sure how much this film cost. How can you take a movie with both Aliens and Predators in it and manage to not create a single compelling or exciting image in the entire running film? There’s exactly one good shot, and Paul “What Script?” Anderson ripped it off completely from JURASSIC PARK. A shocking waste of two of the great franchise resources that Fox owns. And yet, it’s Bryan Singer they locked off the lot. Go figure.

And we’re not finished yet! I also want to hand out some individual accomplishment awards, and I’d like to mention some of the many moments that made sitting in the dark such a pleasure this year. There are films that aren’t on any of these lists that nevertheless provided me with absolutely unforgettable highs and lows, and it would be a shame to neglect any of them. So sit back for the absolute most random list of things worth mentioning I can compile...

The “I’m Naked In Public” Award

MEL GIBSON was involved in two films released this year, and taken as a whole, they paint a picture of a deranged individual. I am genuinely afraid of Gibson at this point. All questions of anti-Semitism aside, his PASSION OF THE CHRIST is all suffering and no salvation, a spiritless snuff film that just plain pissed me off. Still, it’s his faith, and I’d be willing to just ignore it completely if not for the split personality it must have taken to also make a film in the same year about how the paparazzi are so annoying that movie stars should kill them. Hey, Mel... you remember that thing Christ said about turning the other cheek? Seriously... it’s called Paxil. Get some.

The BULLIT Car Chase Award

THE INCREDIBLES. It all starts with Dash by himself on Nomanisan Island, but by the time it builds to the entire family together, reunited, the adrenaline rush is almost impossible to take.

The “Envelope? What Envelope?” Award

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. Whatever you think it cost, you’re wrong. This was a low-budget film by any studio’s standards, and Kerry Conran’s labor of love was one of the most unique pieces of pop art all year. Love it or hate it, you’ve got to respect the fact that the industry is changing, and this is a signpost of things to come.

The Honorary “Mathilda May In LIFEFORCE” Award

Eva Green in THE DREAMERS. The girl’s a goddamn marvel of modern architecture, and Bernardo Bertolucci is just the perv to prove it. No one spent more time more gloriously naked this year, and I think we’re all better because of it.

The “Remake This!” Award

There was some stiff competition for this one this year, but in the end, it’s WALKING TALL that wins for the single worst remake of the year, mopping the floor with AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and THE STEPFORD WIVES. I liked Kevin Bray’s first film, but he was fighting a losing battle from the moment they decided to de-redneck Buford Pusser. And change his name. And the story. *sigh* What’s the point? Can anyone explain it to me?

The “Haley Joel Who?” Award

Freddie Highmore from FINDING NEVERLAND. The kid’s just plain spooky, so talented and natural that it seems like a special effect. I’m sure he’ll make a tremendous Charlie for Tim Burton this summer, and I’m equally sure that he’ll get overworked to the point where we’re all sick of seeing him, but for right now, his work in this and TWO BROTHERS was pure and powerful.

The “Did I Just See That?” Award

THE POLAR EXPRESS in 3-D IMAX. I don’t care for the film at all, but I’d say that anyone who missed the experience of seeing this thing in 3-D IMAX has done themselves a disservice. It’s truly amazing, and it’s no wonder other filmmakers are starting to consider 3-D as a genuine possibility. The process has finally been refined to a point where it’s not a novelty. I can’t imagine how anyone would even watch this film on a regular 2-D screen. It’s so obviously meant to engage you on a visceral level, pulling you in and making you part of the experience, that it simply wouldn’t work. Robert Zemeckis may not be making great films these days, but there’s no one alive who can use the toys with more confidence.

The “Somewhere, Gerry Anderson Is Crying” Award

TEAM AMERICA. If only for the scene where Gary vomits for what seems like a half-hour while the score swells heroically, this film was worth seeing. And no matter how much some people cried because they felt like it beat up liberals unfairly, the film made some great points in a year where the political discourse in our country hopped the track completely.

MORE PERFORMANCES WORTH WATCHING

Thomas Jane, STANDER

Gael Garcia Bernal, BAD EDUCATION

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, COLLATERAL

Daniel Craig, LAYER CAKE

Don Cheadle, HOTEL RWANDA

Rodney Bingenheimer, THE MAYOR OF THE SUNSET STRIP

Troy Duffy, OVERNIGHT

Natalie Portman, GARDEN STATE

Sean Penn, THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON

Takashi Kitano, ZATOICHI

Clive Owen, CLOSER

Javier Bardem, THE SEA INSIDE

Rodrigo De La Serna, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES

The entire cast of ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

Billy Connelly and Jim Carrey, LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger, A DOOR IN THE FLOOR

Clint Eastwood, MILLION DOLLAR BABY

Baby Godzilla, GODZILLA FINAL WARS (did I mention he drives a freakin’ car?!?)

Tony Jaa, ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR

Colm Meany, INTERMISSION and LAYER CAKE

Christian Bale, THE MACHINIST

Topher Grace, IN GOOD COMPANY, OCEAN’S 12, and WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON!

Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biehl, BLADE: TRINITY

Paz Vega and Adam Sandler, SPANGLISH

Kurt Russell, MIRACLE

Jamie Foxx and Curtis Armstrong, RAY

Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, MAN ON FIRE

The sharks, OPEN WATER

Catalina Sandino Moreno, MARIA FULL OF GRACE

Sarah Polley, DAWN OF THE DEAD

Mos Def and Hannah Pilkes, THE WOODSMAN

Timothy Olyphaunt, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

Jude Law, ALFIE

Antonio Banderas, SHREK 2

Alan Tudyk, I ROBOT

And with that, I can finally stick a fork in 2004 and turn it over. It’s done. Now I can look forward to a year that promises an amazing range of brand-new tastes and sensations for the film fan. I can hardly wait for long-anticipated events like THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and EPISODE III, seeing directors stretch with films like Sam Mendes’ JARHEAD and Chris Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS, the anthology film EROS and the oft-delayed 2046, Ridley Scott’s KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and Tony Scott’s DOMINO, personal projects like Crowe’s ELIZABETHTOWN or Malick’s THE NEW WORLD or Aronofsky’s THE FOUNTAIN, animated films like STEAMBOY and A SCANNER DARKLY and HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and OVER THE HEDGE, potential art house giants like Cronenberg’s THE HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and Zwigoff’s ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, crazy pulp like Harold Ramis’ THE ICE HARVEST or Rob Zombie’s THE DEVIL’S REJECTS or Shane Black’s KISS KISS, BANG BANG, stop-motion marvels like THE CORPSE BRIDE and WALLACE AND GROMIT, sci-fi like SERENITY and AEON FLUX, or new films from great directors like THE CONSTANT GARDENER, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, ASK THE DUST, ALL THE KING’S MEN, and KONG, glorious KONG. I’m sure I’m in for many surprises and my fair share of disappointments, and I know I’ve left off a bunch of other great stuff that I’m sure I’ll end up being excited by once I remember it, but one thing’s for sure... as always... I look forward to sharing it all with you guys. As AICN prepares to kick off our ninth year of existence, you continue to be a tremendous audience, and being able to groove with you on all the fun stuff we see and do is what makes it all worthwhile. Stay tuned. I hope we make it worth your time.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 17, 2005, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Best list

    by Sheeld

    Spring... and Spring, Eternal Sunshine, The Incredibles. My exact top 3 of the year, though not necessarily in that order. Mori once again proves he's got the best taste on AICN.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Mori's List

    by castaway

    Loved some of the put downs there Mori, but I cannot believe that Beyond the Sea is that bad. You don't know pain until you've watched Envy buddy, I felt nothing for that movie, just emptiness. Also, this red stater couldn't agree more with the last few lines in your summation of Kinsey. I have to wonder if Harry is green with envy himself seeing as how you got to see Realms of the Unreal before him. I myself am anxiously awaiting Primer with baited breath.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Two amusing mistakes...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    Hilariously, someone moved "Sky Craptain" and "Hellboy" from the "worst" list to the "best" one. Better correct this quickly.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:41 a.m. CST

    House of Flying Daggers is terribly overrated!

    by SirBiatchReturns

    Jesus... I can see why all the Chinese people i know think that Westerners have lame taste. Cmon. Rather than think you're so cool for watching decent Asian cinema, why not ask the people who are from that culture what they think? that is truly the way to get 'educated' on the so-called 'depth' in the movie. HOFD was a mediocre film. The visuals were of course quite good but then again, what else is new? We've seen this countless times before. or maybe i have. The plot in itself was somewhat ridiculous and the love story was lame, especially the ending. I was furious (as other Chinese people were) with the girl who 'fell' in love with a guy after meeting him for 3 days and ignored her engagement to her fiancee. That is not a moving love story. that is a mediocre tale of lust and stupidity. A friend of mine told me that in China, that shit just didn't happen back then! Back then, a girl guarded her virginity with her life. and also, a promise of engagement was taken very very seriously, not be to broken. Ziyi Zhang's acting chops are severly overrated. I guess fanboys were drooling to see her have sex in yet another movie. Conceptually, the film is weak. HERO was far better and that was the general concensus in China too, although the Chinese detested it for its "hollywood" approach. The philosophical/social concepts behind Hero made it acceptable though. but HOFD is just a pretty mediocre film. My advice: try making some new friends who are Asian and watching DECENT movies, not ones catered to the weak-minded outsiders.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:48 a.m. CST

    and please do not overrate the Incredibles

    by SirBiatchReturns

    it is a good fucking film, no doubt! i wont disagree. but its not like anything groundbreaking. I'd put it with Shrek 2 and I Robot, movies i very much enjoyed in theater, well worth my money, but aren't really so fresh. actually, of the three of these, i'd say i enjoyed the Incredibles least. There is a reason why Eternal Sunshine is the best movie to come out last year and one of the best movies to ever grace the screen in the drama/romance department. You know why? cuz its fresh. something that Hollywood forgot how to create decades ago.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 7:19 a.m. CST

    SirBiatch -- aren't you the guy who said he enjoyed "White Chick

    by SmarkJobber

    And now you're admitting that you liked "I, Robot" more than "Incredibles"? Slap your father for not injecting Mama with better taste when they were concocting Baby Biatch.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 7:45 a.m. CST

    i'm a chinese... and yes i think you westerners have lame tastes

    by DarthBakpao

    House of the flying Dagger is way too overrated... basically it have no real story, no meaning and just plain boring... nowhere near 'Hero'. You guys really need to see more movies... just because it was a martial art movie (read Kung Fu) doesn't mean it's good and exciting....-tsk-...you westerners

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    excellent list

    by Cottonwood

    Moriarty is a man of fine taste, great list and excellent commentary throughout, thanks man. And sharp for seeing THE ICE HARVEST coming, great book too.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 7:58 a.m. CST

    SmarkJobber, unlike most people on AICN,

    by SirBiatchReturns

    i actually watch a movie before giving an opinion, rather than talk about something i have never seen. I bet more than half of you have not actually seen "White Chicks", but since its cool (solely on AICN) to rag on it, u are doing so, in an effort to validate your lame existence. I thought White Chicks would be shit just like you guys. When i saw the trailers, i thought: "wow. what garbage. as a brotha, i'm offended that other brothas would make a movie like this." Trust me, i probably hated the trailers more than you did. I watched it and thought "this isn't half bad". i wont say i enjoyed it as much as the Incredibles for example, not even half as much. but it was watchable. can't people on AICN read? i already rated White Chicks a B-, although C+ is probably the best rating for it. Nothing lower than that. C+/B- means watchable, nothing special, few gold moments but not total garbage. jeez people, get a life. stop trying to attack me on this White Chicks thing. its getting old. i obviously know what i'm talking about. i think many of u hate the fact that i'm not a fanboy i.e. someone who doesn't have a mind of their own when it comes to media appreciation. I like to judge movies on their own merit, not on how 'representing to fanboys QT is'.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Hey Biatch, what are you still doing here, talking about lame ta

    by Windowlicker74

    White Chicks II: Black Whigga's won't be out until next year,so get the fuck out of here.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:07 a.m. CST

    DarthBakpao, forgive them. they know too little.

    by SirBiatchReturns

    if a movie doesn't have pop references to other fan-worshipping celebrities, or isn't 'different to the point where we will be cool for liking it', then the movie will pretty much fall flat to them.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Decent enough list, but instead of a top ten runners up list....

    by Otto Parts

    Why didn't you just do a top twenty fave films list? It seems suspiciously like you wanted to award more than one film first place, second place etc. O and Sir Biatch: you appear to claim that you are afro-american, yet at one point you said "I was furious (as other Chinese people were)", which of course would indicate that you are Chinese. Stop trying to be all things to all people, and stop your racist assertion that to really "get" a chinese/korean/black film, you need to gather the opinions of those various ethnicities. You don't, you simply need to understand movies per se. Remove those blinkers and join the film-fan community.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Of all the movies Moriarty listed in all the categories, I've se

    by rev_skarekroe

    I should really get out more.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:24 a.m. CST

    I just noticed this line:

    by rev_skarekroe

    "And no matter how much some people cried because they felt like it beat up liberals unfairly..." I wonder just who the "people" Mori's referring to are? We never did get a Harry Knowles review of that flick, did we?

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:27 a.m. CST

    for the sake of Otto Parts and other retards, i'll reply

    by SirBiatchReturns

    I am black. yes. very much so. I happen to have many friends, some black, some Asian, some Latin... etc. I chill with a lot of different people. i find 'foreign' people way more civil and open minded than a lot of people 'here'. there are of course cool people here. u just gotta dig to find them among the celebrity worship and alcohol. My point is that HOTD has a weak script. as a movie, it does not even work. not to talk about the fact that it does not even bother to be 'accurate'. so all of you who are moved by a 'brilliant moving Asian performance' should do like DarthBakpao suggested and sit down to watch some decent Asian movies. You may think "so what?", but i bet if it was the other way round, people would be flaming like: 'wtf?! thats not how America was/is or whatever', regardless of how shiny the picture is. Does anyone else have something dumb to say? its early in the morn, Monday morning. i've got time.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:30 a.m. CST

    why are so few people mentioning OldBoy this year?

    by BarrelRider

    Come on, don't try and pretend that you'd seen it before the end of last year. Sure, Harry had, but so what? Mori, your best of 2003 list appeared in FEBRUARY 2004 - OldBoy was in 10th place, but let's be honest, you saw it in 2004, didn't you? I find this assertion that because it was played at BNAT pre-2004, that you can just ignore it. That's a little arrogant, guys. It was eligible for Cannes, but not your end of year lists? That stinks, sorry, but it does, since it's only now that most people are discovering this magnificent movie.....

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:33 a.m. CST

    movies is a great way to show culture

    by SirBiatchReturns

    but for God's sake, if a large group of people from that culture say: 'this does not represent us', i think they have a very valid point that should be taken into consideration. and Otto Parts, it is people like you who are even more racist because u don't give a fuck: "as long as I'm entertained, thats it. fuck what they think." I am not racist, dont get it twisted. How is "take the time to find out other people's culture" a racist comment?! Some of you here really are stunted individuals.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Biatch

    by Otto Parts

    Don't call me a fucking retard, you cocksucker. If you could actually string a sentence together properly, I wouldn't have needed to even ask you anything, because I'm certainly not interested in your opinions. Love the way that you have subconsciously assumed that I'm white, by the way. That's real smart of you. Problem with black Yanks is, they think they've had some unbelievably hard ride compared to every other race on Earth. You haven't - get over yourself. And if you know even a quarter of the amount of Asian people I know, I'd be amazed. I'd seen films like Hero and HOTFD before they'd even appeared on your radar, fuckwit. By the way - HOTFD is an over-rated movie. Take it from someone who actually has a clue what he's on about.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:40 a.m. CST

    If HOFD was a revenge story like seemingly every other Aisian (o

    by FrankDrebin

    Something clever about the film I haven't seen mentioned in any review is how scenes occur twice, in a yin/yang way. Jin leads Mei through the forest, supposedly to safety, but actually to find her hideout; later Mei leads Jin to his execution, but actually plans to free him. In the wheat field, a hidden Leo saves Mei's life; later, in the same field, he cuts her down. Jin, who intends to betray Mei, makes a phoney attempt to rape her in the brothel; Leo, who supposedly loves her, later attempts a real assault. And Jin thinks he's keeping his real identity secret from Mei, but it's really Mei who's keeping her real identity secret from Jin.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9 a.m. CST

    I like that you use the word "favorite" instead of "best".

    by BigTuna

    After all, everyone's list is different and it's just an opinion.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:04 a.m. CST

    I don't get the fuss over the Incredibles...

    by BigTuna

    It was good, but not nearly as good as most of you are making it out to be. Too long and not enough laughs. Just not as much fun as Nemo or the Toy Story films. TS 2 is still the pixar masterpiece.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:18 a.m. CST

    OMG Lame: Incredibles sucked because it needed more laughs.

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    For the trillionth time, if you think the movie wasn't all that great, then fine, but why the fuck would you say it wasn't good because it didn't have enough laughs? This wasn't Shrek 2. The Incredibles wasn't a fucking comedy. And how in Sam Hill did Hellboy end up at the top of anyone's list? Even Harry didn't do that and he has his lips surgically attached to Del Toro's dimpled rim.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:19 a.m. CST

    What, I thought you said you had time, Biatch

    by Otto Parts

    Cat got your tongue? And I just read your ludicrous comment "if a large group of people from that culture say: 'this does not represent us', i think they have a very valid point that should be taken into consideration". So, erm, how large was this group of people, Biatch? And were they really Chinese, or were they Americans? Because frankly, some dude who was raised on Kool-Aid, Oreos and superbowls doesn't have any more right than anyone else to bang on about the authenticity of films made thousands of miles away from where he or she grew up. If you have spoken to a large number of Chinese Citizens who live in the People's Republic,(you may need to brush up on your Mandarin and Cantonese)and they all told you "yeah, that Hero was too Hollywood-like" and "House of flying daggers does not represent Chinese history, culture or people". If that is the kind of research you've done, then I take my hat off to you, and defer to your better knowledge. If not, try, every once in a while, engaging your brain before you let forth from your keyboard the kind of unmitigated drivel which you've been spouting on this TB. You're obviously fairly knew to AICN, so I'll cut you a break. But if I see you mashing out still more of your ill-informed, inarticulate guff in 6 months' time, you may not find me so forgiving.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Mori: How could you chose Hellboy? It had a fataly flawed ending

    by Easily Pleased

    The chief baddy suposedly split into two more creatures when it was killed. Split into loads of things, loads of times; then got totally killed. What a lame ending. Loads of good stuff in the movie, then that. More holes than a Swiss cheese!! Sheesh!!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Re:Laughs in the Increibles...

    by BigTuna

    I never said "the incredibles sucked because i didn't Laugh". The lack of laughs is just one of my many complaints and dissapointments in the film. It just didn't work for me as well as it did for most of you. And people expect laughs because it's a Pixar movie! Every film of theirs has a sharp, funny screenplay. This film did not. Too long, dull, cliched story (nothing original like all of you claim) Frozone was a great character, and he's in it what, 4 minutes?

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10:04 a.m. CST

    I'm still waiting for the rest of the 90's list.

    by TheButcher

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Otto Parts, don't make assumptions u can't back up

    by SirBiatchReturns

    I'm not a black Yank. I am black. there are many different black people in case that isn't obvious. Secondly, lets not argue on who saw the movie first. its irrelevant. I actually saw Hero WAY before people here in North America knew it existed. House of Flying Daggers on the other hand, i saw as of recent. And yes, i did do my research on it. I have many friends from mainland China, some who just came recently. I live in a city with a lot of immigrants. its nice. So i know what i'm talking about on this. sorry if that is painful to hear. I will now focus my attention on Big Tuna... this is a dick-worshipping website. You're not allowed to have an opinion different from the mass on "Incredibles". some of the people here still have it crammed in their ass. It will take them a while before they realize that while it is a good movie, its not "Allah/God/Buddha" worthy, mostly cuz of the reasons you already outlined: 'its a bit long and the story is cliched'. I agree with these reasons entirely. and i'm impressed that someone on this website actually has a reason why they didn't like/or liked a movie. Despite that though, i personally think the Incredibles was quite good.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10:18 a.m. CST

    LOL

    by ScaryJim

    sorry , i just end up laughing out loud when someone mentions i, robot . I really don't know why , it didn't offend me obscenely- it was ok for a film that you borrow off a friend who bought it for 3 quid down the local market . Yeah THAT good...Just waiting for someone to buy AVP so i can do the same .

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Big Tuna

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    You miss my point. It's obvious you had expectations about the movie before you went in. The mere fact that you are comparing it to Finding Nemo or Toy Story should give you an indication that you wanted something different out of it. No, I don't think the Incredibles is the greatest movie ever, but a) it is totally different than any other pixar movie and b) again, it isn't a comedy... it's an adventure. I said if you didn't like it, then fine, but your distaste for the film not being funny is just lame. Your other complaints: long, boring, cliche-ridden are fine really. I enjoyed the Incredibles because it was a solid adventure that built on some cliched super hero ideas. I typically dislike Pixar movies, so it was nice to see one that was so astoundingly done. And SirBiatch... you are all kinds of dumb.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Shaun of the Dead?

    by Garbageman33

    Hmm, I may have to see it again, because I honestly didn't think it was scary as a horror film and as a comedy, it wasn't as funny as things like Anchorman, Napoleon Dynamite or even Harold & Kumar. No, seriously, was there a better line all year than Harold muttering in disbelief, "Dude, did Doogie Howser just steal my fucking car?" Of course, I was baked when I saw it, but still.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Nice list Mori...

    by Gilkuliehe

    That was a nice piece of reading my friend, you have shown consistency and a fairly good taste. With Harry's list I felt some other guy was writing the damn thing. He praised many films all year but then came up with completely different movies for his list... With yours I truly felt I was living movie 2004 again... Congrats!!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 12:15 p.m. CST

    I Can't Friggen Believe "Hellboy " is on That List!!!!

    by SpazMatic

    "Hellboy" was the worst piece-of-crap turd of a film and an insult to the comic book genre of movies in general. It barely made it past a PG rating cause of it's lack of true depth and content in both characterisation and action sequences. If they ever made a GI-Joe movie based off the cartoon this would be it. The black-clad Snake-eyes wanna be Nazi wind-up toy with the dual blades that drew no blood was pathetic and retarted. I don't give two craps about the new DVD that came out because I wasted $10 and 2 hours of my life on this thing already and I wish I could buy it all back. Seriously. Blarp from "Lost in Space" looked better than Baby Hellboy and it was a far more entertaining to watch as well. I'm so friggen tired of the Nazi "occult" theme of villians. Hello "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Please! It's been DONE! I've seen Video Games with better story and characterization than this. Hell "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" had a better story abotu evil Nazis. The only reason why this movie made any money at ALL is cause Harry hyped it up so damned much. It tanked in the box office and only lasted like a month in the theatres. Oh yeah and notice there are NO Harry reviews on the site either. WTG for even letting us know it existed though I would much rather not have known.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 12:58 p.m. CST

    i hate to be a dick but geez can't he learn how to spell some of

    by BEARison Ford

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Topher Grace? Explain how

    by Tall_Boy

    I dug his Oceans 12 cameo too and sure, he does a nice "flustered" but all in all . . .wha huh?

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:03 p.m. CST

    a signpost?

    by LouGehrig

    I pray that skycaptain is not a signpost of movies to come. Bland and boring wastes of time and money are already with us anyway.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:17 p.m. CST

    More posts in defense of White Chicks! Go read now!

    by Tall_Boy

    Dude, you

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Topher Grace is a great young actor

    by BigTuna

    He's great in "In Good Company". Ashton kutcher is the guy who gets all the headlines on that 70's show because he's banging Demi moore, but Grace is the far better talent and his careeer will last much, much longer.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Just one mistake though

    by Pr_Frink

    Billy Bob Thornton directed Lucas Black in All The Pretty Horses.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Only ONE good shot in AVP? Mori, were you even watching the sam

    by Hammer2Fall

    So the Jurassic Park shot was the only one that excited you. What about the Predator shuriken tearing through that facehugger in slow-motion with a fantastic spray of acid? Or when the Scar Predator lopped off that Alien's head samurai style? How about the shots of Celtic Pred swinging the Grid Alien around by its foot and bashing its head against a few stone columns before tossing it down the corridor? What about when Scar catches the chestburster as it's hatching and snaps the little bastard's neck, fucking cold-blooded? Or when he leaps in from the side of the Queen's head and skewers her through the neck with his spear? Tell me you didn't at least smile just a little when Lance Henrikson stabbed at his hand with the pen just like in the knife trick in "Aliens"! ONE good shot in the whole movie? Be reasonable, man!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Who the flying fuck gives a fucking dead rat's ass if some dickw

    by FluffyUnbound

    Holy shit, what an asinine concept. Hey, "White Chicks" doesn't represent my culture properly, Biatch, you dumb cunt. Why? Because I say so. I'm American, so I guess my statement should be good enough for you. Guess you can't like it any more. "Represent my culture" - what a laugh. Since no one - NO ONE - in the United States or elsewhere, watches a movie made in the US and says, "Hmmmm...would my American friends feel that this movie properly and respectfully represents their culture?" before deciding if they like it or not, why would we ask that question about films made in Europe, India, or the Far East? Actually, for a Rainbow Coalition fuckwad, you're somewhat behind the times in terms of the "correct" buzz words and attitudes to be applied in these situations. Enjoying a cultural artifact from a "culture of color" on the basis of its authenticity or exotic nature is now frowned upon and discouraged, as an "act of appropriation" and also "fetishization and marginalization". You're now ideologically required to consider these artworks on the same terms you would consider a domestic product. That means talking about whether or not a film "represents Chinese culture" makes you a dilettante and an imperialist. Jesus Christ, can't you a-holes even keep track of the fashions in your own crappy worldview?

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 3:08 p.m. CST

    What, no Napolean Dynamite?

    by numberface

    Moriarty, you're worse than Hitler!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 3:35 p.m. CST

    I still don't get the grudge against the Incredibles.

    by minderbinder

    It came out months ago, yet some still feel the need to continue whining about it. I just don't get it. Did the movie rape your sister or something? Or are you really just that pathetic?

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Why I love AICN talkbacks

    by Garbageman33

    One jerk-off triumphantly tells another jerk-off he's lost all credibility, except he spells credibility wrong. This, after they both got all worked up over an animated children's film. Or was it the wire-fu movie? Either way, it's hilarious.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Excellent, thoughtful list, Mori.

    by DocPazuzu

    I'm most interested in seeing In The Realms Of The Unreal at this point. As for SirBiatch, I'm surprised that the normally well-functioning Talkbacker Troll Radar seems to be out of commission when it comes to this cretin. He's a race-baiting moron who is neither black nor anything else he claims to be. What's worse is he's not even an entertaining troll -- a cardinal sin in these circumstances if there ever was one.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 4:33 p.m. CST

    You my dog!!

    by Darth Thoth

    See, that's why you're my dog Mori. There were a lot of great films this year but none other just BLEW ME AWAY like The Incredibles. As I was watching I was thinking to myself- "this movie is perfect." Nuff said.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 5:59 p.m. CST

    It's about time

    by zer0cool2k2

    The greatness of Mathilda may in lifeforce was recognized with an honorary award.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:51 p.m. CST

    talkbackers should get off my nuts

    by SirBiatchReturns

    really... even if i'm an interesting 'troll', am i really worth all your posting time? especially when u guys aren't posting about anything? not one of u depraved morons can actually read. cuz if u could, u would see there is some definite truth to what i'm saying, even if u don't entirely agree with me. One dude on this talkback agreed with me. you can tell he read my post and can also read in general. Westerners do have lame taste. Not all of them, but a good number of them. and they end up here on AICN for some odd reason. I know how it is on AICN. its just entertaining to watch internet losers vilify another with random comments on 'you're not black', 'did the movies rape you' 'seduce high school girls' and other random shit, which i don't remember even mentioning. These random hateful internet comments have no evidence and could not possibly be backed up. For all u know, i may prefer to seduce your moms. How would u know? So don't come at me with these typical defensive lame ass comments. Try reading my shit and disagree/agree intelligently with what i wrote. Maybe watch the movies i'm talking about or read some other comments outside of AICN on them. No... but on AICN, if someone doesn't like a movie that is probably overrated anyway, its because 'he didn't get any superpowers at the end'. haha. what ridiculousness. or 'his mother and father are extra-terrestrial'. in fact, its only on AICN that people even make such ridiculous, irrelevant comments. This is a movie website for God's sake. We've come here to discuss our love for movies and learn more about movies, improving our tastes. If someone doesn't like a movie, even if u like it, u should at least read the guy's comments, think about it (this is an important step), maybe do a little 'homework', before deciding what u have to say. That being said, I understand that a number of u have nothing even semi-intelligent to say. thats alright. i've done my homework on what i'm talking about,thought about it, and now i speak my mind. love it or hate it. My time is up. if you want to play with me more, try getting a friend. Go somewhere else. I'm busy.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Danny Deckchair

    by BDT

    Saw DANNY DECKCHAIR last night. Not high art, not a great flick....small and like an indie Local Hero. BUT it had THE BEST romantic chemistry I have seen in ages. I thought it was well worth the rental and would recommend it as a light and very sweet movie. Just too many movies this year....it really becomes a matter of personal taste. I appreciate this group of writers putting up their lists and keeping us informed of their movie experiences. Between the group of you, I can usually pick a sure bet worth seeing. So, thanks!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:46 p.m. CST

    the incredibles is by far and away the best film of the year

    by speed

    for me anyway. i wasn:t a huge pixar fan up until this flick. they movies always had too much sugar and sentimentality. i thought nemo was garbage. but i sat on the edge of my seat the virtually the whole way thru the incredibles. something i can:t say i have done in a cynically long time. on further viewing i have found that the scenes of him at his normal job are a little to long but that is the only problem i can find with the flick. i didn:t want it to stop when the moleman came up. i want more!!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Sir Biatch, I hear you!

    by Barry Egan

    I have thought for a while now that there is a lot of hate being slung by talkbackers at films created by African Americans. There seems to be a disrespect of films created by black artists or films intended for black audiences. Tim Story is continually bashed here for directing "Barbershop," which I think is a really fine film.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Some stinkers...

    by BDT

    How could you put Surviving Christmas and not include probably the WORST movie I have paid good money to see: Christmas with the Kranks. PU! (I'll put Darkness in that category, too... is that a '04 or '05 movie? Who cares? Total garbage, that one) One of the frustrating things is the different release dates and times. Went to see Finding Neverland over Thanksgiving, was totally blown away by it, and then I saw nothing...no reviews, and it just disappeared from the theaters. Best Film of the year? My choice would be Shaun of the Dead! Yeah!!!!. I also agree with most of Mori's choices and thank him for introducing Layer Cake to the BNAT audience, 'cause it was FANTASTIC. Well, you folks can get back to your silly little White Chicks vs The Incredibles wars, it is most amusing.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:18 p.m. CST

    I have to defend Garfield... The cat, not the movie

    by TheGinger Twit

    Garfield is like star trek... Really only good when you keep up to date with the whole run. The comics are halarious, yet only when you read a whole years worth of strips in one sitting. He's a little cunt, and you just feel so sorry for Jon and Odie. The Movie was absolutely atrocious!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10 p.m. CST

    yeah Barry Egan, i realized that already

    by SirBiatchReturns

    there are a lot of racist trolls on here. they say "we're not racist" but yet bag every movie with a black guy in the lead or being produced by blacks. and its not like they've watched it to give an intelligent opinion. They can't tell the difference between trash, hype and quality.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Ah yes, the race card

    by Garbageman33

    By golly, you're right, Barry Egan. The only reason everyone here bashes White Chicks is because it was made by those damn blackity-black Wayans brothers. Otherwise, we'd surely recognize it for it was, the most insightful commentary on race relations since "In the Heat of the Night" or "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". So remind me, Barry, who's that black dude who directed "Alien vs. Predator"? Or the brother who did "The Stepford Wives"? Face it man, shitty movies are color-blind.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 10:36 p.m. CST

    You gotta be kidding.

    by deathstar73

    mrfantasto, I'll help you pack.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Garbagemen do what they're supposed to do...

    by SirBiatchReturns

    play with garbage. Your attempt to denounce my point is retarded. i'm not playing 'the race card'. Cant u fucking read? I never said White Chicks was a work of genius because you're not black. I rated it a B-/C+. fucking hell. what is wrong with you people. Yes, crap trascends race. a movie is shit whether race plays a factor or not. However, Barry Egan made the point that a lot of people on AICN throw dirt on 'black-oriented' movies without even giving them a chance. This is true, no matter how much u wanna believe it isn't. White Chicks is a perfect example. i'm not saying that everyone is going to think it is decent, but i'm betting that half of the people who talk about it haven't even seen it. But because the premise to them is fucking retarded and somewhat 'racial' (black people dressing up as white girls), they haven't even given it a chance. which is stupid. This is a movie website. we all love movies, supposedly. we should give movies a chance before we decide to pile hatred on them. Thats what i did with White Chicks, and it was a C+/B-. watchable! and as a rule, anyone who automatically starts to talk about 'the race card' is mostly in themselves, somewhat racist. It is true. The race card was created because of dumb white and black people who can't seem to get along. When black people or any other race use it, it is stupid. when a white man or any other race automatically judges a case as "playing the race card", before even looking into the real issues, he/she is dumb too.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Wait, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" wasn't an accurate portrayal

    by Garbageman33

    So you're saying not all Mexicans are ruthless gunslingers disguised as a mariachi band? Are you serious? Well, I guess that movie sucked then.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Garbagman33

    by SirBiatchReturns

    face it. u're a moron. so you now u've been reduced to few words of lame sarcasm. don't post unless u have something intelligent to say. until then, keep your empty cries of attention inside u. am i still playin the race card? hahaha. how ridiculous.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:35 p.m. CST

    SirBiatch, I wasn't talking to you

    by Garbageman33

    If I was, I would have used monosyllabic words, substitued u for you, skipped the apostrophes entirely and capitalizd with absolutely no rhyme or reason. But as long as I have your attention, perhaps you wouldn't mind ofering up a few examples of the rampant racism at work on the AICN talkbacks. I'm afraid we may have another Bensonhurst on our hands here.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Garbageman 33, this is a talkback, not an English essay

    by SirBiatchReturns

    what a tool. say something with some actual weight instead of making random lame jabs. u're feeling sad cuz you've said some dumb shit. thats fine. just forget about it and move on.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Thanks Sir, that was fun

    by Garbageman33

    And good luck with the "English for Beginners" classes at the local community college. Oh, and I'm still waiting for those examples of blatant AICN racism. Nighty-night u.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Yeah, c'mon Mori, there's more than just the JP Alien Queen shot

    by Tall_Boy

    Look, I didn't think the flick was all that great either, but it had teases of cool moments here and there, I think saying one good shot in the movie is being a little overly harsh.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:08 a.m. CST

    House of Flying Daggers

    by BillEmic

    I don't think "House of Flying Daggers" is over-rated per se but I was more conflicted over that film than any other I've seen in quite some time. Was anyone else put off by Andy Lau's sudden transformation into a sadistic rapist when his lover denies him? For the entirety of the film before that he was seen as a very strict, morally upstanding guy who was bound by duty. Yet just because he's denied love, he goes insane? It didn't work for me - but that may be because I'm such a huge fan of Andy Lau and I can't stand to see him try to rape a woman onscreen. Also, this conviently turned him into the "villain" of the movie. Suddenly the audience had someone to hate. To me it's much more interesting when the movie doesn't set up a clearly defined hero and villain (like "Infernal Affairs")...imagine how much more intense the ending fight scene would have been if Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro were fighting for the right to love Ziyi Zhang. Instead Andy Lau was reduced to being a pathetic villain. Oh well, maybe other people aren't as bothered as this...I'm curious as to what other fanboys think.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:31 a.m. CST

    re: 'Incredibles' backlash...

    by Ribbons

    ...I can't tell someone what to expect from a movie, but its not being funny enough doesn't seem like something you'd use on a movie unless it actually tried to be Funny Enough. Some people, like the person who wrote in on the movie mentioned in Moriarty's list, are uncomfortable with the movie because it's all well and good for someone who's clearly smart and successful to urge us all to find a use for ourselves in a world where many people end up collecting garbage and cleaning houses for rich douchebags for a living. There's a lot of stuff in that realization that would take a lot of re-education and possibly a study of Zen to accept without any form of indignation. Personally, I'm not quite sure that's what the movie is saying, but it makes about as much sense as anything else.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Pretty good lists, Mori

    by jules windex

    Props for mentioning Friday Night Lights, and Kurt Russell in Miracle(one of the great performances of the year, that sadly came early in the year). However, 2 quibbles. Shaun Of The Dead was exceedingly mediocre, and Life Aquatic just did not work.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 2:43 a.m. CST

    Ew Moriarty, that list is fatally flawed...

    by Flipao

    Sorry, but as much as I love GDT's films I couldn't help but finding Hellboy to be tad underwhelming. AvP was not that bad... the main problem with the film is the fact that the human characters sucked, and I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than I expected to. HoFD is way overrated, visually stunning and beautifully performed, yet there was something missing... the love triangle felt forced upon the audience like some sort of punishment... Kill Bill Vol2 was flawed, simply not as exciting as Vol1, or at least the sections of Vol1 that took place in Japan. Can't believe Zatoichi only got an acting nod, Takeshi Kitano rules. About retarded people... can't say who ends up tops, Joseph Kahn for making Torque, or you for actually watching it =)

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Better year next time!

    by Lord_Soth

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 4:02 a.m. CST

    HOFD and Chinese Opinions...

    by Ambient_Noise

    I'm ethnically Chinese and I think that House of Flying Daggers should be seen as what it is: an attempt at a comicbook movie, the way that The Stormriders was. Does HOFD represent my culture? Who gives a fuck - it was great fun.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 6:15 a.m. CST

    SirBiatch is right about House of Flying Daggers

    by Superpaddy

    Any movie that does not accurately portray the culture and era in which it is set should be vilified and destroyed. Burn them all, I say! I recently spent a few days in Paris, pleasant except that I was not once approached by a mysterious stranger carrying a package, did not become romantically involved with a beautiful woman (whose intent may be my assasination), nor was anyone shot by a sniper moments before imparting some piece of vital information to me. You can imagine my disappointment, the movies had not properly represented French culture at all. The first thing I did when I got home was throw out my copy of The Bourne Identity. And now that you have enlightened me as to the actual nature of socio-sexual relationships in ancient China (as taught to you by a few Chinese peasants recently arrived in the States, who are no doubt as deeply schooled in the history of their land as most Americans are in their own history) I will be sure to avoid House of Flying Daggers, which is clearly rife with historical inaccuracies. Why, next I will be told that not all black African Americans are dumb-as-fuck mysoginist crackaddict gangbangers, as I have long since assumed from the shitty movies that repeatedly portray them as such (most of which stare and are written and directed by black African Americans). And if you do not like cultures being misrepenented and stereotyped, perhaps a good start would be to avoid monikers with the word "Biatch" in them, you (sorry, "u") whining, incredibly stupid cunt.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 11:01 a.m. CST

    That crazy rapist in House of Flying Daggers

    by Garbageman33

    Hmm, I guess I didn't see him as wanting to have sex with her. It was more like he wanted to hurt her, degrade her, as she had just done to him. And the fact that he had been so buttoned-up the whole movie just made the end all the more shocking. As the old saying goes, love makes you do some crazy things. Like throw daggers at your girlfriend's chest and fight to the death with her new beau.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Interesting, thoughtful, well-developed reviews!

    by greatczersghost

    Thanks, Mori, I always enjoy reading your reviews. They don't fall into all the ridiculous hyperbole that Harry's (and most others on this site) do, and they're consistently thoughtful and well-written. I may not always agree with you, but I can always trust that your opinion is reasoned and real, rather than the "follow-the-masses" thinking that typically pervades AICN. Keep up the great work!

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 11:16 a.m. CST

    I'm Not Scared...

    by TonyRockyHorror

    Moriarty, I am very happy that you chose to include this wonderful little film in your list. It is actually the only film I've seen last year that made me fall utterly and desperately in love with it. However, marketing it as a thriller/mystery feels all wrong to me. It's primarily a joyous ode to childhood, a lyrical journay back to the days where summer seemed to last forever and adventure seemed to lie behind every corner. It captures the poetry of a hot, long summer during childhood so beautifully: from the lush, warm images to the constant presence of crickets on the soundtrack. I cannot recommend this film enough. As far as I'm concerned, it's hard not to shed a tear at the sheer beauty of it. It reminded me of why I love the movies so desperately.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Biatch: addendum

    by Otto Parts

    OK, so now you're asking us to believe that while being black and living in North America, you aren't American. Let's simplify things, since you so obviously need us to. Where were you born Biatch? If it was anywhere outside the USA, we can continue to discuss your nationality. If it wasn't - i'm afraid you're american in the eyes of your adopted country, so deal with it. Next, you say that you know loads of recently expatriated Chinese people. O yeah? Who are these people, biatch? I live in a massiva (and I mean massive) imigrant community, but you don't get that many Chinese people turning up, because apart from anything, they aren't actually allowed to emmigrate, on the say of their own government. So i'd certainly be fascinated to hear not only where this influx of Chinese people are coming from, and how the fuck you claim to be able to speak to them, since it's highly unlikely that they would have great English skills, even less likely that they would be in a position to critical appraise a movie using entirely english language. Even if we can all suspend disbelief long enough to accept all of this stuff - your original claim was that you knew a large enough bunch of native Chinese people to allow you to pass judgements on a film that are, in your opinion, somehow more "valid" than those of anyone else here. You don't, you can't, and they aren't. I think it's you who need to understand that you shouldn't make calims you can't back up, not me or anybody else here. And don't try to get yourself out of this hole by saying we should get off your nuts, are you really worth our posting time. This is AICN dude, and there are still some people here who, when they read a mind-bogglingly irresponsible and incompetent post, feel that it's their duty to try and put the poster right. Not for the sake of the TB, but for the sake of the poster's real life. We don't want you walking around in the world with your insanely ill-advised opinions, because you are at risk of horrifically embarrassing yourself or possibly worse. I know Asians who knock you out for some of the narrow minded, thinly veiled racist crap you've been spouting. Seriously, that's why i'm dubious as to how many ethnic friends you have, I'm even beginning to doubt whther you are black at all. When you've been reading these TBs as long as I have, certain words and phrases set alarm bells off. Obviously I can't tell you which ones ;-) Anyway, the best thing you can do at this point is apologise. To all of us. For distracting us from the business of talking about Mori's lists - with some incoherent crap, which is at least 75% lies. So a simple "sorry" will do. For the rest of ya, here is my favorite line from this TB: "I also have friends from Chile, Canada, Sri Lanka, Cuba, the Phillipines, Iceland, China, Japan, Uganda, Liberia, South Africa, Brazil and am tring to find someone to be friends with from France, but no luck yet" Dude, any self-respecting Frenchman or Woman would run a mile from your sorry excuse for an ass. Oh, and people you meet on penpals sites and chatrooms aren't really your friends, they're just lonely, lonely people like you.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Quentin and Paul Anderson

    by Knightmare187

    Plese explain to me why most of you on here hate Paul Anderson for ripping scense from other movies, granted they are very popular movies, but when Quentin does the same thing with more obscure movies, and he is loved by everyone. I don't understand it. If you call one plagiarism then both should be.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Mr fanfasto

    by Superpaddy

    Nice one, I thought your nubian buddy SirBiatch had some well-balanced and insightful views into world cultures, and was to be most highly praised for his ability to rate films (such as the dreadful House of Flying Daggers, or the surprisingly good White Chicks) in terms of the extent to which they properly reflected the mores and traditions of the ethnic group represented. HOFD is not a true account of ancient mythological China (SirBiatch's Asian emigrant buddies told him so) but White Chicks, appartently, does fairly characterise all modern day black Americans, according to SirBiatch's method of critique, and he must know, bein' a brotha' an' all. But now we have Fantasto, the ultimate defender of the small guy, who apparently consults his contacts in the relevant ethnic group before embarking on any enterprise, so that (and he really said this) "I know what my opinion should be". Do you phone up your Italian buddies before ordering a pizza, in case you should order one that is not proper Neapolitan cuisine? As for your following statement - "it's not that hard to get a minorities opinion, most are more than happy to tell you how and why thier culture is better than ours!" - does this apply to all minority's, everywhere? If I take a white, redneck Klan-head from Texas, and transplant him to Kenya, where he suddenly becomes the ethnic minority, then does his culture automatically become superior to those of all the tribal majorities? Tell you and SirBiatch what to do - take a break from watching those wonderful Wayans bros and MTV's Pimp My Ride, and check out these things called books; they're about the same size and shape as a video cassette, except you don't plug them into anything, and they're full of this dope shit called information.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:37 p.m. CST

    My TOP of the TOP TEN for the year=???

    by EatMyBrainstem

    HINT:Its a musical documentary video about The Bush Mafia done to the song by AC/DC "Big Balls" LINK = :::: =http://homepage.mac.com/kelstermcgil/iMovieTheater27.html

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:40 p.m. CST

    LINK to movie online

    by EatMyBrainstem

    http://homepage.mac.com/kelstermcgil/iMovieTheater27.html

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Torque: Subversive pop

    by Maniac Cop

    So Torque, the most unfairly derided, meticulously composed, culturally savvy, hilarious action film of 2004 is made by a retarded person? Sorry Moriarty. Most American audiences has trouble KEEPING UP with Kahn.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 3:10 p.m. CST

    I apologize for saying you were worse than Hitler

    by numberface

    For not including Napolean Dynamite. Here's my top ten for all who care. 1) Napolean Dynamite. 2) Shaun of the Dead 3) the first ten minutes of Dawn of the Dead (remake) 4) Garden State 5)... Okay, who cares about the rest. Now for the worst! 1) The Manchurian Candidate. Way to suck the life out of a can't-lose premise. Way to waste BOTH Denzel and Jeffery Wright. 2) The remaining hour and a half of Dawn of the Dead. Is it me or is Sarah Polley a real pig-dog? 3) The Bourne Supremacy. Yo, Guy Who Directed That, buy a fucking tripod!!! 4) Troy. First half hour was fun. But how could the Face That Launched a Thousand Ships be so lifeless and boring? Should have been Monica Belluci. Plus, Eric Bana is a closet case if I've ever seen one. Of course I haven't seen Chopper, so I don't know what the big deal is. 5) SpiderMan II - Why was Mary Jane so upset that Peter didn't come to see her in the Oscar Wilde play. She should admire a man who avoids Oscar Wilde. What, everyone has to drop everything to sit through a seventy-dollar a ticket broadway show starring her? Peter's a struggling student. She should have some consideration. "Go get 'em, Tiger?" Yeah, go get yourself some less self-absorbed poon-tang, Parker! 6) All the Ben Affleck movies I didn't see. Except Surviving Christmas because there's a scene where the fat guy with a beard hits Affleck with a shovel. Sweet. 7) Van Helsing. Actually I liked this movie. Especially all his gadgets. And all of Kate Beckinsale's "gadgets" as well. The only part I didn't like was how I kept having seizures during the action parts. But that's not the movie's fault. Or is it? 8) Closer. I didn't see this, but thought I'd put it on here to balance Natalie Portman movies with Garden State. I don't want her to get a swelled head. Especially with the new Star Wars movie coming out. 9) Saw. What the fuck was that? Why didn't he just kill the other guy when he heard the tape? 10) Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. This was supposed to be Cheech and Chong with an Indian guy and an Asian guy. Instead it was Road Trip with less characters and not enough boobies. Peace out.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I never said AICN was a racist site!

    by Barry Egan

    In fact, based on what I've read of Harry's politics, I would say that this site is very left leaning. However, I do think films made by black filmmakers and/or aimed at black audiences are often derrided by some talkbackers on this site. I remember, for examplpe, the outrage over Tim Story getting the FF gig and his being mocked by many talkbackers here for being the director of Barbershop. I know many people who visit this sight would love to work in the industry and I would be proud to have made a film as good as Barbershop.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 4:21 p.m. CST

    cool beanz

    by THEWANKER

    Thanks for the entertaining yearly-wrap up, Mor. Props for mentioning Wong Kar-Wai and Malick in your anticipated releases. But how could you forget A SCANNER DARKLY?

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Barry Egan

    by DocPazuzu

    This is AICN. There is not ONE SINGLE film by ANY director of ANY ethnic background that isn't reamed by a certain percentage of the talkbackers. The critics of Tim Story's FF gig are -- as far as I can tell -- ragging on the man for reasons of filmic and/or comedic sensibilities. You're reading racism into it because you WANT to. It is actually possible to criticize the work of individuals of varying ethnic backgrounds without being a racist. I know that must be hard to swallow, but the sooner you do, the sooner the world will seem less threatening to you. Furthermore, SirBiatch is a Scorched Planeteer who is trolling these boards for the sole purpose of causing idiotic racial arguments like the ones currently in session. You want to see real racism, Barry? Head on over to their site (if they still have one) and read their message boards. The sooner SirBiatch is ignored, the quicker he will go away.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I didn't even know Tim Story was black

    by Garbageman33

    The uneasiness with Tim Story as director of "Fantastic Four" has nothing to do with race. Absolutely nothing. It has to do with him being a director who has all of four movies on his resume, two of which are "Taxi" and "Barbershop". Granted, "Barbershop" wasn't a bad film. Not at all. But it's a small, urban comedy. Not exactly something that prepares you for doing a sprawling, superhero epic like "Fantastic Four". Believe me, talkbackers would have been just as pissed with Brian Robbins, Adam Shankman or Shawn Levy, white directors who boast the same basic resume (or lack thereof) of your beloved Tim Story.

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Passion of the Christ

    by sanderson

    Moriarty cooments that Passion of the Christ is "all suffering, no redemtion." WELL DUH!!! The suffering was HIS, the salvation was YOURS. All you God hating, baby killing, communist Hollywood liberals just refuse to accept it. Why is it someone can make a turd piece of distorted crap like un-Fairenheit 911 and you liberals treat it like Citizen-Freaking-Cain, yet a Christian like Mel Gibson makes a fantastic piece of work (even if you are not Christian, the history, cinematography, acting, and directing are AWESOME) and you liberal sore-looser democrats in Hollywood call it crap?!?! When will California just fall into the ocean and float over to North Korea where you belong!!!!!!

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Ultra-low budget films could imitate Sky Captain by putting acto

    by FrankDrebin

    Now that I think about it, those are called "plays".

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 3:03 a.m. CST

    ain't it cool?

    by DarthBakpao

    Pardon my English....not that i'm siding with SirBiatch or anything, but what he said regarding chinese culture portrayal was nailed on. Why? i don't give a damn if it was made by non-Chinese film makers, that some portrayals would stray far from reality like usual, but here you got Zhang Yi Mou, a Chinese himself. No matter how you defend it, in the end HOFD was just lame ass attempt which serve no purposes than to have another movie with Zhang Ziyi in it. It has beautiful look, great production design and great cinematography, but overall HOLLOW. Same goes with Harry by choosing TaeGukgi as No.1 on his Top 2004's list. I know it's a matter of personal taste and judgment, but fact is, while it made tons of money at the box office, TaeGukgi was deemed a failure and boring in terms of story and content by the majority of Asian audiences. It was just another

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 7:40 a.m. CST

    DarthBakpao

    by DocPazuzu

    You're missing the point -- and on purpose, I assume, as it gives you an excuse to bash westerners. This list is of Mori's FAVORITE films of the year, not what he objectively might call the BEST films of the year. So what it HOFD doesn't portray Chinese society "accurately"? For all intents and purposes it's no more than a larger than life action adventure. Equally stupid would be if a westerner piped up on a Chinese internet message board to declare how poorly X-Men depicted American society. Racism and ethnocentrism is no better than the western variety -- even if it comes from China.

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Fantasto

    by Otto Parts

    Dude, I apologise. The weird thing is, I fully knew your post was tongue-in-cheek, just somehow I thought that the quotation was from somebody else's post. Once again - sorry. It still made me laugh though, parody or not!

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 12:35 p.m. CST

    THE PASSION

    by Spike Fett

    "PASSION OF THE CHRIST is all suffering and no salvation, a spiritless snuff film" --- If that's what you think Mori, then you did just not fucking get it. Too bad.

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Napoleon Dynacrap

    by LordSoth

    How anyone could watch this whole boring film is beyond me. I turned it off after 40 minutes and I pretty much never do that! The only good thing about it was the trailer. I highly recommend the trailer. The actual film was like watching someone sitting on the couch staring back at you. That's my review, and I'm sticking with it.

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 1:08 p.m. CST

    AvP

    by LordSoth

    The fight scenes were pretty cool. However, the movie in between aliens fighting was a pain to sit through. More boring characters directed by someone not as good as most bad directors. Oh yeah, and cool slow down effects always make movies better. Ugh. Why couldn't we have gotten the director of Freddy vs. Jason? Bad movie but at least that was amusing with its B-grade film humor.

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 10:23 p.m. CST

    I gotta tell you...

    by MaulRat

    For your own benefit.. anyone who sits there and says he didn't like the Incredibles because it was (forgive me if I have this wrong, it's as near verbatim as I can recall at this point) 'too long and dull' cannot expect his or her opinion to be taken seriously.. I wont go into why, I don't have to.. I'm just letting you know.. Oh yeah and White Chicks ruled..... HAHAHAH I'm sorry I tried to keep a straight face when I said that... haha I'm sorry.... ahhhhhhahaa.. uhuh... hu.. huh.. Wooooo!..

  • Jan. 20, 2005, 12:57 a.m. CST

    "The suffering was HIS, the salvation was YOURS. All you God hat

    by Voice O. Reason

    The problems many had with the movie is not so much a liberal/conservative thing as it is a Protestant/Catholic thing. Catholics tend to focus on the suffering of Christ, whereas Protestant prefer to focus on the Resurrection (and hence redemption) itself. Since Communists are usually atheists, and therefore have nothing to do with this at all. So how about you drop the self-righteous bullshit and actually learn something about the nuances of the religion your trying to force on people.

  • Jan. 20, 2005, 12:58 a.m. CST

    "Napoleon Dynacrap"

    by Voice O. Reason

    Wow, such wit. No wonder you didn't get the movie.

  • Jan. 20, 2005, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Why not just make a top 20 list..

    by Jon E Cin

    Two top 10 lists..it makes my brain explode!

  • Jan. 20, 2005, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Mmmmmm, Top Ten Lists.

    by Tsunami3G

    Yum!