I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Sunday, January 09, 2005

2004: The Year Without Elves  

A couple days late, but thought I'd get around to it today while I watch all the teams that won't make it to the Superbowl (go PA!). Special thanks to Box Office Mojo for their listing of the domestic grosses for 2004. Looking at that list, I caught 39 of the movies released in 2004. Not very impressive, and I haven't caught many of the Oscar-buzz flicks from December, but still, here's my top ten movies, as well as my bottom-five of the barrel.

My Favorite of the Year:

10) Spider-Man 2 - Being the comic fanboy I am, I expected this to rank much higher, but the truth is, I'm wary to even place it here. Sure, I really like the flick, and on second viewing, it still ranks high as a good comic film, but the problems are still there.

9) The Incredibles - While not as funny as all the other Pixar flicks, the action, story, and characters are just pitch perfect here, and I loved it. Brad Bird has now created two of my favorite animated movies of all time. I anxiously await whatever he's doing next.

8) Dawn of The Dead - Although not a huge zombie fan, I do appreciate the genre. That being said, this one totally had me enthralled the entire time. The baby zombie scene alone was enough for of admission. I may not like speedy-zombies, but damn if there weren't some jump-worthy moments.

7) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - While I found the ending a tad predictable, that is one of the only faults I could find in this mind-warp of a flick. The memory sequences (which basically make up more than 75% of the film) are impressively laid out and well acted. Plus, Kate Winslet has never looked better.

6) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - What can I say, I'm a sucker for crotch-shots.

5) Fahrenheit 9/11 - While upon first viewing, I loved nearly everything about this documentary, upon second viewing I was overwhelmed with a sense of anger. Not towards Moore. No, anger towards those who disregarded everything the movie said because of 2 or 3 questionable wordings of the facts. Now that the election is over, maybe those afraid to watch this because of the chance it may've changed their beliefs will catch it on DVD. But I doubt it.

4) Team America: World Police - If F9/11 attacked the right, it was this one that gave the left a good ass-whoopin'. And I still absolutely love it. After my first viewing, I left the theater in pain. The second viewing? Just as laughed out. Trey outdid himself here, the puppets, the songs, the satire. All worked amazingly.

3) I, Robot - While it doesn't hold up as well on the small screen, I was completely enthralled my this sci-fi flick, probably my favorite Will Smith movie ever. The special effects were jaw-dropping, the subtleties in the acting were surprising for an action movie, and the story - while, yes, predictable - was enthralling.

2) Shrek 2 - Funniest movie of the year, hands down, with Puss-In-Boots probably my favorite character of the year. As I said when I reviewed it before, I had serious problems with the message of the first film, but thankfully, nothing hindered my enjoyment of this one. Destined to be a classic.

1) Garden State - In August, I called it the Movie of the Year, and I've yet to be proven wrong. In a word, this movie was Flawless. Writing: perfect. Directing: perfect. Acting: perfect. Drama: perfect. Comedy: perfect. Story: perfect. I can't remember the last movie that affected me this much on a personal level. A must see, and a film I'm pissed isn't get more attention by critic's year-end lists.

Just missed the list: Outfoxed, Super Size Me, The Passion of the Christ, Troy, and Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Worst of Year:

5) The Forgotten - I could make some funny pun on how I've forgotten what this movie was like, but we all know I'm better than that. I'll just say that this might've made a good Twilight Zone episode, but even then, the excitement you had over watching the "on the next episode" preview than the actual episode itself.

4) Starsky & Hutch / Anchorman - Had to bunch these two together because they both failed in the same way: such comedic promise failing to pull out the laughs.

3) Van Helsing - Looking back, I may have been too hard on this movie, seeing as Hugh and Kate both did a good job, and the final fight scene was pretty cool. But then I remember Dracula. Fuck you, Richard Roxbourgh. And fuck you, Stephen Sommers, for birthing this monstrosity.

2) Hero - I've given up on the Japanese-fight movies already. When I watch a fight scene, I don't want to find it "beautiful", I want to find it brutal.

1) The Ladykillers - In a comedy, one assumes even if the movie sucks (re: #4), they'll be the occasional laugh. Sadly, I don't think I laughed once during this movie. Not one redeemable moment. Aside from The Big Lewbowski, I can officially say I've hated every movie from the Coen brothers I've seen.

posted by Holz | 11:01 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (6)

6 Comments:

Gotta admit, I'm a little surprised that Shaun of the Dead isn't in there. I thought that would be in everyone's top ten. :p

If you haven't seen it, you should.

By Blogger Manchild, at 1/10/2005 3:36 AM  


I gotta see Garden State. Have not seen it yet. I agree with most of your list here.

You didn't mention Napoleon Dynamite. Did you see it? What did you think of it?

By Blogger k Man, at 1/10/2005 6:55 AM  


As I told you over Thanksgiving, our tastes are just about opposite. Just as a bit of proof. I liked Van Helsing aside from one or two cheese factors. I will agree with the fact that Dawn of the Dead, I-Robot, Dodgeball, and Spiderman made it on the list. I wouldn't have put Shrek 2 on there since I just didn't think it was as good as the original. I did like Puss in Boots though. I haven't seen any of the others.

By Blogger Stan, at 1/10/2005 8:06 AM  


Interesting list, though I didn't see many of these films, so I can't comment on it as a whole. I wasn't all that impressed with Shrek 2. Definitely some funny moments (loved Puss), but like many sequels, it seemed a bit contrived. And I'd have to agree with Manchild: if you haven't seen Shaun of the Dead, you really should. Hardest I've laughed all year. Also, saw Napoleon Dynamite on Friday--still making up my mind about that one....
~Kate

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/10/2005 9:38 AM  


Movies I need to see on DVD toot-sweet: Napoleon Dynamite, Shaun of the Dead, and Chronicles of Riddick.

Tot see in theaters: Sideways, Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Closer

By Blogger Holz, at 1/10/2005 10:04 AM  


Spider Man 2- good, not great
Dodgeball- a few funny moments, but bad otherwise. Fuckin Chuck Norris
Fahrenheit 911- undermined by too much humor and not enough serious discussion. A little bit of humor isn't a bad thing, but I think he went overboard.
Team America- awesome. I love the ferocious panthers eating Samuel Jackson and Sean Penn
Thats all I saw, my movie going habits suck.
-Jay

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/10/2005 4:56 PM  


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