Year in Movie Review:

  1. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. B - Imaginative and droll, but not as good as Rushmore/Tenenbaums
  2. Napoleon Dynamite. A - Friendlier version of Welcome to the Dollhouse
  3. In Good Company. F - Please fire me
  4. Fear and Trembling. A - Whimsical, masochistic, twisted, and hilarious
  5. Shark Tale. A - Even if the plot was mediocre, the jokes and pop culture references were great
  6. Sideways. C - Pretentious meandering flick with hints of strawberry cliches and oaky lameness
  7. Million Dollar Baby. A - Poignant, violent, and sweet; what more could you ask for?
  8. Donnie Darko, Director's Cut. A - Cult classic still as bizarre but much more accessible especially with the commentary
  9. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring. A - Lyrical storyline and lovely imagery
  10. Vanity Fair. D - Stick to Bollywood with an English slants rather than the other way around
  11. The Canary. B - Heavy-handed view of palestine via typical iranian storytelling (children, metaphors, striking images)
  12. Hamoon. C - Atypical Iranian film with grating Felliniesque dream sequences and uninteresting characters
  13. Maria Full of Grace. B - Glorified after-school special but with realistic plot and good acting
  14. Battle of Algiers. B – Jarring but realistic
  15. The Grudge. D - Liked it better the first time I saw it when it was called The Ring
  16. Wimbeldon. C - meh
  17. You Got Served. B - Good dance sequences but I liked it better the first time I saw it when it was called Bring It On
  18. The Motorcycle Diaries. B - Road trip movie of a hisotrical figure with scenery so beautiful it makes me want to get a ticket and go.
  19. Dodgeball. D - Might have worked as a half-hour short, but feature length underdogs-fighting-to-win-children's-sport just didn't cut it.
  20. Monseiur Ibrahim. C - Teenaged Jewish boy befriends older Muslim man and several French hookers with the cliched hearts of gold; could have been so much better.
  21. Big Fish. C - Much as I like Tim Burton and Ewan McGregor, this was just a string of not-so-tall-tales with no real substance or lesson.
  22. The Yes Men. B - Fearless activists impersonate WTO members in international conferences with hilarious speeches and shocking behavior; more hands-on but less serious than Farenheit 9/11.
  23. Manhattan. B - Woody Allen doing that thing he does in portraying the fast-talking, free-thinking, radical New Yorkers.
  24. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A - I saw this one year ago today and the second viewing of Charlie Kaufman's maze of wonders is even better than the first.
  25. Eurotrip. D - The things we watch while waiting for the laundry to be done; only funny scene was the slo-mo kung-fu robot fight.
  26. The Big Tease. D - Silly story of an underdog Scottish hairdresser trying to make it big in the L.A. Platinum Scissors Competition; only thing saving it from an F was Craig Ferguson's accent.
  27. Closer. C - Shallow examination of the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to decieve; plus, Clive Owen.
  28. Sin City. C - Stylish, shocking, and stunning in all of its over-the-top, graphically violent, film noir glory (how many mutilations can one movie hold?); fascinating at first, then repetitive gore. Can't say I know anyone to whom I recommend it.
  29. Control Room. B - A vivid, eye-opening documentary of the people and events linked to Al-Jazeera's control room during 2 months of the Iraqi war.
  30. Lavendar Hill Mob. B - Alec Guiness = Genuine Class - especially when he plays the upright, meticulous, genteel, nerdy mob boss.
  31. Rabbit Proof Fence. A - A true account of the harrowing journey three "half-caste" Aboriginal orphans made across Australia to return home.
  32. Solaris. C - More like Snorealis.
  33. Taste of Cherry. A - Slow-moving, thoughtful Iranian movie about a man contemplating, and looking for someone to assist him in, suicide.
  34. Hotel Rwanda. A
  35. House of Flying Daggers. A - Swords and ballet, flying sleeves and daggers, love triangles and beautiful scenery.
  36. Assassination of Richard Nixon. B Based on a true story, Sean Penn does a good impression of a browbeaten Lundegaardesque (Fargo) shlub who just can't stand The Man bringing him down.
  37. Life and Death of Peter Sellers. C - I'll stick to the real Sellers material even though I do like Geoffery Rush.
  38. Bad Education. A - Gordian, graphic, and Gael Garcia = interesting mix.
  39. Goodbye Lenin. C
  40. Word Wars. B Documentary on the quixotic world of Scrabble competitions.
  41. Burn to Shine. A - Cool compilation of DC rock performers (Q and not U, Bob Mould, The Evens, etc.) performing in a house that will be burned down and demolished.
  42. The Russains Are Coming. C - Don't know how this won some Oscars, but it wasn't nearly as amazing as 'Dr. Strangelove'.
  43. Kontroll. A - Brilliant and innovative drama of the lives of the Hungarian underground metro ticket inspectors; funny, dramatic, and clever with a pulsing, throbbing soundtrack.
  44. National Treasure. C - Adult version of School House Rock without the catchy tunes.
  45. Batman Begins. B - Darker, better installment that explains the history behind the 'hero'.
  46. Dirty Pretty Things. C - Good beginning but then slipped into the contrived.
  47. Veer Zara. B - Interesting take on the youth of Indo-Pak not holding their ancestor's grudges but dang, that's a long flick.
  48. Kung-fu Hustle. A - Loved it in all its hi-yah, slap-sticky, outrageous, over-the-top, silly, cartoony goodness.
  49. Rashoman. A
  50. Metropolis. B
  51. A Very Long Engagement. B
  52. Devdas. C
  53. Lolita. B
  54. Broken Flowers. B - Lost in Translation in middle America.
  55. Macbeth. A/B - Ian and Judi are brilliant in this film version of their RSC stage production but I don't think I could sit through another viewing anytime soon.
  56. Taming of the Shrew. C - John Cleese was excellent in his role but everyone else was not.
  57. Layer Cake. B - British gangster movie with a little bit of "Lock Stock" and a little bit of "Sexy Beast".
  58. Born Into Brothels. A - Child photographers use the streets of an Indian red light district as their amazing canvas.
  59. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. C - Although I only saw 4 of the 6 installments, even Alec Guiness's melodious voice could not convince me to sit through the rest of the plodding plot.
  60. Crash. A - Despite the cliches (yes, we are all complicated and have a little bit of bad and a little bit of good in us - but mostly bad), it was an arresting, disturbing, upsetting film about relations: race, gender, political, you name it.
  61. Mighty Aphrodite. C - Not one of Woody Allen's best attempts.
  62. Throne of Blood. A - Great take on "MacBeth" but I still like the "Scotland, PA" version best.
  63. Superman. D - I had no idea how horrible this movie was until I heard Margot Kidder's voice-over poetry.
  64. Triplets of Belleville. A - Despite some of the gross frog-cuisine scenes, quite enjoyable.
  65. Fog of War. A - Educational and eye-opening.
  66. Central Station. A - Interesting Brazilian movie with unlikeable characters that still get you to root for them.
  67. Freaks & Geeks. A - Can't believe I never watched this show when it was on TV.
  68. Fantastic Four. C - Not the best of the Marvel comics genre flicks but better than Daredevil.
  69. Sky High. B - Kinda cute
  70. Serenity. A - Oh, how I miss Joss
  71. Nobody Knows. B - Insider's view of the poor side of Tokyo and quite upsetting. *shakes fist at gojira*
  72. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. B - Good empty-headed summer flick.
  73. Dot the I. D - Incredibly predictable and poorly done.
  74. Capturing the Friedmans. B - Bizarre documentary about a father-and-son molestation scandal in NY.
  75. Ray. B - Gotta say, Jamie can sing.
  76. Mad Hot Ballroom. A - Heart-warming documentary about inner city children learning to move gracefully across the dance floor in high competition.
  77. The Wicker Man. D - Freaky freaky movie. *shakes fist at upyernoz*
  78. Constantine. B - Matrix + Dogma = not too shabby
  79. All Quiet on the Western Front. D - So quiet that I fell asleep. *shakes fist at TP*
  80. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. C - Not as good as the book; meh.
  81. Story of the Weeping Camel. A - Adorable story about the ugly duckling . . . er . . . baby camel. awwww.
  82. Trekkies. B - Scary that I actually recognized the actors, characters, and plots discussed by the avid AVID Star Trek fans. Black Clustah.
  83. Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Wererabbit. A - Cheese! I love cheese!

I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them now. Will update. Some day. Happy New Year, Y'all!

No comments: