I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Holz's Obligatory Top Ten Movie List of 2002

Sadly I missed alot of movies this year (Adaptation, Bowling for Columbine, Rules of Attraction, Catch Me If You Can), but of the ones I did see, here's my thoughts on my 10 favorite, plus a few others I had to comment on...

10) Jackass: The Movie - I'm really not surprised I haven't seen this on any other's 'best of' lists. It's definately not a safe pick. But I don't think I have laughed so hard at a movie since South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and that's saying something. This movie (which, can you imagine if it gets nominated for best documentary?) succeeded in every aspect it set out to do. It was rude, crude, lewd, and many times, in the nude. Many elitists shun this flick and label it as the downfall of society... and you know what... they may be right, but I'll be laughing the entire time.

9) The Ring - A damn scary thriller, with hardly any blood or gore. Sure, it suffers from the 'little kids can be so scary' cliche that's permeated Hollywood since The 6th Sense, but there are numerous jump out of your seat moments. Plus, the horse scene still scares the crap outta me, but that's mainly because I have hippophobia.

8) Star Wars: Attack of the Clones - Despite this movies faults (of which there are many), I still absolutely love it, and not only because of the Yoda fight. To see the arrogance of the all-powerful Jedi council, the manipulation one man can have on entire civilization, the realization that Anakin didn't suddenly become Darth Vader - he always was... and okay, the kick ass Yoda fight, this movie is awesome. I was one of the apologists of The Phantom Menace, but when it comes to Episode 2, I am a staunch defender

7) Blade 2 - Hot damn, does this flick just rule all balls. Nonstop action from start to finish, probably the scariest (i.e. most disgusting) villains since The Thing, crack-me-up throwaway lines, and a visual style that makes me physically drool in anticipation of del Toro's Hellboy, in a word this movie is gorgeous. Easily surpassed the original in terms of out and out fun, destined to be remembered as one of the greatest comic book movies ever. Marvel rules AOLWBDC's ass...

6) The Road to Perdition - It's been a while since I caught this, but I still remember how much I fell in love with Sam Mendes' directing skills. He doesn't employ any fancy techiniques, his camera is incredibly static, but his eye is pitch perfect in finding the perfect space to place his shot. It's almost like your a fly on the wall experiencing everything that happens. The scene from Hanks and Newman in the basement is destined to be shown over and over again at awards shows for 50 years, it is that damn good. The kid gives good performance, and Jude Law freaks me out... a predictable ending, both otherwise a great film

5) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - What can I say that hasn't already been said? In a word, this movie is breathtaking. The tracking shots, the effects, the acting, the costumes. I could go on, but everyone on every other site already has. Now, the reason I don't have this higher is that I just wasn't as enthralled in the story as I was with Fellowship. I understand that the story is that they are broken, but many times I caught myself sighing to myself 'god, enough with the trees, get back to the fighting'. Maybe on a second (or third) viewing this may change...

4) Signs - This is a first... a Shyamalan flick isn't number one for the year. Both The 6th Sense and Unbreakable topped my lists in the year they were released. Oh well, this is still a great film. The thing I like about Night's films is that he never takes the easy road. Instead of focusing on how the government, military, or cable repairmen deal with an alien invasion, he focuses on one single family. Are there problems? Of course, the end is hamfisted religious, the cupboard scene is scary but in reality silly, and the weakness revelation is unbelievable, but you know what, I go to movies with a suspension of disbelief firmly entrenched... I also have to give props for Night's acting scene, which he did to perfection.

3) Y Tu Mama Tambien - I'm usually not a fan of foreign flicks, mainly because I rarely have the time to invest to see them, but this movie was perfect. On the surface, a simple road-sex comedy, but underneath a story about the differences in class, age, and gender. Sure, there are sex scenes, but none of them are highly erotic, they're real - intimate, awkward, and fast. There is love, fun and happiness throughout, but there's also an undercurrent of pain that you can see in the camera styles of CuarĂ³n. He sticks with a scene for a good long time, long after other directors would switch to something more exciting. I'm interested to see what he'll do with the hext two Harry Potter flicks.

2) Punch-Drunk Love - For the second time, Paul Thomas Anderson has broken my top three of the year (previously with Magnolia). What makes this movie so great is the sheer anger that is released throughout. Is it scary that I relate with this character so much? I may not have as much rage in me Barry Egan, but I can't tell you how many times I've felt like lashing out as he does. The love story is sublime, as a viewer, you try to understand what exactly Lena sees in Barry, and what kind of pillow talk involves the phrases "I love you so much I want to smash your face in with a sledgehammer" and "I love you so much I want to rip out your eyeballs and suck on them and then punch you in the nuts.". Easily destined to go on my DVD shelf forever.

1) Spider-Man - In 2000 I raved at how X-Men and Unbreakable were quite possibly the greatest comic book movies of all time, and they would be hard to top. Sam Raimi answered that challenge and succeeded in spades. I never thought Spiderman would work as a movie. The rich backstory was needed, the corny one liners would come off lame, the costume would look incredibly stupid. Idiot me, in just over two hours, we were given everything Spider-man was, is, and forever will be. Just a kid trying to do right in the world. From the initial trailers, tv spots, and music videos, this had me hooked. This was the ultimate fanboy hero, the underdog, the geek, who sacrifices happiness not because he wants to, but because he has a calling that cannot be ignored. Please let this franchise never die...

Honorable Mentions
*About Schimdt - great acting, funny at parts, but overall very depressing

*Chicago - loved the whole experience, but afterwards I had forgotten most of it. Doesn't really resinate as much as Moulin Rouge did

*Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets - The Star Wars of our time, a fun romp, tis' just too bad these kids are growing up so fast.

*Minority Report - visually mesmermizing, surprsingly cool acitng, but otherwise fairly bland. Was the end a dream? Do I care?

*Star Trek: Nemesis - This was supposed to be great. It came out average. Nowhere near First Contact, Voyage Home, or Wrath of Khan.

*xXx - exciting and fun and all, but was hoping for more than the usual. I found Richard Grieco's If Looks Could Kill more enjoyable than this.

posted by Holz | 8:10 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)


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"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"

"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"

"You took mine."

Wesley and Angel, Angel: After The Fall #15

Who Am I?
Name: Holz
Home: Sonoma County, California
About Me: I'm a comfortador.
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Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely
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"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole."
100 Bullets #42