I Am John's Stomach Pains.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Movies of 2005: Return of the R  

As always, here's my annual list of favorite flicks of 2005, along with some of my hated. Sadly, this year was even worse for me than last year, as I saw only 32 of the movies released this year. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch a few of the late arrivals soon (really need to see Rent), but seeing as there's nearly 40 movies released last year that I wanted to see and didn't, I doubt it. Thanks to The Numbers for the list of movies released. If I had to point out the best thing of the year it would be the return of the R-rating, both to comedy and to action flicks. While I've got some PG flicks here, the R's easily entertained the most (aside from the worst movie of the year).

My Favorite of the Year

10) Sky High - This kid's movie flew under alot of people's radars, and I went to see it only because it starred two of the Kids in the Hall. Glad I did, as it was a damn fun movie, celebrating the idea of a live-action comic book world without getting too cheesy. The plot may be a bit predictable (it is a kid's movie) but the performances are fun and the special effects surprisingly good.

9) The Aristocrats - The one-trick pony of comedy movies, a documentary following the telling of the same joke by 100 comedians. You would think it would get old after a while. You would be wrong. Each comedian brings their own style to the joke, whether it be the sheer raunchiness of Bob Saget, the exuberant audacity of Gilbert Godfried, or the dead-pan personal anecdote of Sarah Silverman. It takes a lot for comedy to cross the line these days, but this movie does it in spades. Not for the squeamish, but also not to be missed.

8) Brokeback Mountain - Already gave my thoughts on the flick below, but it says alot when a love-story makes my top ten list (I think Punch-Drunk Love may've been my last one). I'm DeadInside and this flick got to me. Heart-wrenching and powerful, with a mix of subtle and explosive performances.

7) Munich - I honestly don't know where I fall when it comes to Israel. I could debate for yeas, and still not come to a solid understanding. But I do know a great film when I see it, and this is it. This could've come off preachy, but instead it tries to place the concept of revenge under a bright spotlight and asks the viewer to face the consequences head on. Eric Bana's performance is showcase in the evolution of character. His determination, his bravery, and his fear permeates from the screen. Easily Spielberg's best movie in years.

6) The Weather Man -I'm a big fan of dark comedy character pieces (see last year's #1 flick, Garden State and the aforementioned Punch-Drunk Love), and this one was my favorite of the year. Not on many people's favorite lists, but Nic Cage does a great job creating David Spritz as a believable, flawed man who is trying to find some order to his life.

5) Serenity - Even with the flaws in the movie (annoying deaths, a bit too tailor-made for the fans), I still love this flick with a passion. Hilarious, action-packed, great dialogue, smart plot, impressive FX, Joss Whedon's Firefly universe may be gone, but Serenity made sure it can never be forgotten.

4) Wedding Crashers - Yes, the flick falls into schmaltz levels in the final 30 minutes. That can be forgiven, though, as the rest of the time is non-stop hilarity. Every cast member gets a chance to shine (even my boy, the Willage Idiot), and Vince Vaughn has completely perfected his asshole-with-a-heart character. Plus, after a year off, The Walken returns to the list... I missed ya' last year Chris.

3) The 40-Year Old Virgin - Even funnier than Wedding Crashers, this movie had me cracking up the entire movie, plus it had a great story to boot. Steve Carrell is a comic genius, with impeccable reaction shots that are the key for any great funny-man. Plus, for as good as he was, he had a great supporting cast that almost stole the movie from him. A classic.

2) Sin City - You wanna know how great this movie is? I'm not even a fan of the Sin City books, and this flick kicked my ass three ways from Sunday. I never thought I'd see a comic book literally come to life on screen... this isn't an adaptation, this is pure magic. An almost seamless collection of great noir stories, under the eyes of some of the greatest creators of our generation, Rodriguez, Tarantino, and most importantly, Frank Miller. Make no mistake, this is Frank's movie. All the actors and actresses work their asses off, but it's the visual style that was transplanted from the books that makes this movie work so well.

1) Batman Begins - Say five years ago, someone told you one of the best films in years would not only be a comic book movie, but a Batman comic book movie. I think the first thing that'd come to your mind would be three little words: "Freeze in Hell." Yeah, Ah-nold and company nearly killed the franchise, but when Nolan took the reins and decided to treat it with the utmost respect, bring in one of the greatest actor's of his generation to play the title role, and surround him with half-a-dozen Oscar-worthy actors, he made everything I could dream of. This movie had my all-time favorite Batman villain, Ra's Al Ghul, lifted dialogue from one of my favorite Bat-stories ever, Batman: Year One (written by the aforementioned rank Miller), and had Michael-Fucking-Caine as Alfred. This was the perfect Batman movie, from the extended origin scenes, to the final scene promising a great villain tease.

Movies that Almost made the list: Fantastic Four, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, Domino, Jesus is Magic, Derailed

The Worst of the Year

6) Star Wars Ep. 3: Revenge of the Sith - My thoughts on this can be found here. Suffice to say, this movie annoyed me on more than one occasion, and while others consider it the best of the three, the weaknesses far outweighed the positive aspects.

5) The Longest Yard - Damn did this flick suck. I mean, the original isn't really a classic, but at least it had emotional resonance. When all your best jokes are in the preview, and even half of those fall flat, you know you're in trouble. I was more impressed with Necessary Roughness, and that movie had Kathy Ireland in it.

4) Must Love Dogs - I have no problem with chick flicks, they can be disposable and fun, but this was horrendous. Not even John Cusack could save this flick. Could have been a bit better if Diane Lane did a nude scene (hey, I need something, come on!), but even then it would have the worst cliched ending ever, so it would still suck beyond belief.

3) Dukes of Hazard - The best thing I can say about this movie is that I saw it for free. Okay, that's a bit unfair... there is one highlight in the flick, and that's when the Super Troopers make a cameo. That's pretty much the only funny part. Even the Daisy Dukes and car jumps did nothing for me. And don't even get me started on Willie Nelson's horrible joke-filled character.

2) Chicken Little - Unfunny. Boring. Stretched out. Just pathetic.

1) A History of Violence - The movie that's topping a bunch of people's list, and I found it just bad. It's gratuitous for the sake of gratuity, and while I usually like that, in this film is didn't work for me at all. And I know I'm not the only one, nearly everyone in the theater was complaining once the credits started rolling.

Movies that I wnted to see and missed, that could go on either of these lists: Crash, Rent, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Rent, Syriana, Jarhead, Capote, The Island, Match Point...

posted by Holz | 1:51 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (8)


I've said it before, but you and I just don't have the same taste in movies. Which is cool at times because I can still use you as a gauge to figure out what I want to see. I'm either not interested in or didn't like a good number of the movies in your top 10, but I do want to see the comedies...and Serenity. Aristocrats sounds interesting even though I'm not a huge fan of raunchy comedians. Wedding Crashers and 40-year-old Virgin look good. Batman, was awesome aside from the scientific flaw of the plot. Sin City wasn't all that good overall, but the effects and artistic style rocked. And I'm looking forward to seeing Longest yard and Dukes of Hazzard. We'll see. Thanks for the reviews at least. I know they take time and I always enjoy them even if I don't always agree.

By Blogger Stan, at 1/17/2006 6:42 AM  

how much of a role does bruce campbell have in sky high?

can't wait to see weather man

serenity... we're all gonna die.... well i might live.

hmmm wedding crashers wouldnt have rated so high for me.

40 yr old virgin was awesome!

have to agree with sin city and batman

ugg i'm not even starting on ep3. what a let down for me.

i kind of enjoyed longest yard. and liked most of dukes.

By Blogger daveT, at 1/18/2006 4:27 AM  

but I do want to see the comedies...and Serenity

While not required, I highly recommend picking up the Firefly DVD set before watching Serenity, as you'll not only get to watch a stellar TV show, but you'll be able to enjoy the movie tenfold

Aristocrats sounds interesting even though I'm not a huge fan of raunchy comedians.

If you don't like raunch, you won't like this. The joke can entail incest, rape, water-sports, shit-play, bestiality... not for the squeamish.

how much of a role does bruce campbell have in sky high?

Not huge, he's got one big scene early on, and 2 or 3 subsequent funny scenes. He, of cours,e rules in all of them.

By Blogger Holz, at 1/18/2006 9:18 AM  

stan i have the firefly set and serenity dvd if you want to borrow them

By Blogger daveT, at 1/18/2006 10:20 AM  

i really liked the island. i cant remember seeing one preview for it ever. i bought and am glad i did. just the right mix of action/comedy/drama/sci-fi for me. only thing that could have made it better would have been some gratuitous scarlett nekkidness.

By Blogger daveT, at 1/18/2006 11:21 AM  

did you hear about the new pirate movie?


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