This year, I'm going to try something new: Some kind of meaningful statement about the movies I see. We'll see how this works.
(This will be newest to oldest.)
SPOILERS???: I like superheroes, and this origin story worked for me. Great camerawork throughout (the train dialogue and birth scene stand are examples), and good mystery.
Requiem for a Dream:
Drugs are bad. But this movie is incredibly inventive (killer refrigerators) and compulsively watchable (the final montage is extremely well done), even as you are dragged straight to hell with the junkies. Very bleak.
Suffers because the killer robot is named AMEE (just like the stupid gorilla in Congo). The computer pads are cool, and the crash landing on Mars is exciting, but other than that, blah. Do we need killer robots AND killer bugs AND various technical impediments? I think not. Should have kept it to psychological problems of the long trip.
Just a fun movie. Ludicrous (but cool-looking) fight scenes a'la the Matrix. McG brings his style from videos like "Fly", "Every Morning", "One Week", and "Walking on the Sun", and it's fun throughout. Especially liked the opening pan past the Columbia torch-holder through clouds through an airplane, and the editing in the car chase. Again, fun, even if silly.
Liked the use of color filters, liked the incredibly twisted scenario the characters are thrown into. Didn't care too much for the characters, and the whole set-up (both the planet and the monsters) is a little too non-believable though.
Liked the opening credit montage of sins, and several of the wish worlds. Enjoyable, but not noteworthy.
It's good, it's funny, what more can I say?
So it's a little slow starting off, but damn is that charity event scene hilarious! Renee Zellweger is great as an oblivious head case. (If you are wondering "where have I seen these people before?": Betty's friend who tapes the show for her was Susan's sister Zoe on ER; the bartender was Eve on X-Files.)
The Way of the Gun:
Maybe I'm just a sucker for spot-the-connection convoluted plots, but I liked it more than the people I saw it with did. You have to love the line "A plan is just stuff that doesn't happen.", and it really emphasizes that old standby "look before you leap". I liked how action would occur offscreen, like in The Mission (the hospital shootout).
Some great visuals, some really disturbing ones (a la Seven). Lots of tension. (Unanswered questions: Why didn't any of the other cops go with Vince at the end? How did Vincent get the hooks in and out? What's the deal with the horse machine?)
Fun "getting the band back together" and training sequence in the beginning. (You have to love Donald Sutherland's dirty old man.) James Garner didn't do a whole lot.
Great special effects. Suffers from "Unkillable Movie Villain Syndrome" (UMVS). Loved the elevator scene at the end. Would Kevin Bacon really go evil as early as he did?
Me, Myself, and Irene:
Not nearly as funny as There's Something About Mary. Yes, the cow was funny, and the sons were for a while (but got old), but I just didn't think the "thriller" plot worked at all.
What Lies Beneath:
Let me first say this: No, you haven't seen the _entire_ movie if you've seen the trailer. There's a Rear Window plot for the first third of the film that's not in the trailer. And the ending is not enitrely given away. There's a lot of tension in the way Zemekis will keep the camera steady, waiting (and waiting) for something bad to happen. The final bathtub scene is very well done. It does suffer from UMVS, though.
I'm glad they treated the subject matter seriously (unlike the last few Batmans); in some ways it reminded me of Kurk Busiek's Astro City. Good central performance by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Special effects work, don't overwhelm.
A word to the wise: Don't piss off Mel Gibson. He brings his Lethal Weapon playfulness and insanity to the American Revolution, and it works. Gotta love the interlude with the ink.
Nice interpretation, I liked how they emphasized the Hamlet/Ophelia relationship. Some original choices (monologues delivered as taped videos, conversations over answering machines) that really worked.
Sam Jackson is the man. The villians were not all that interesting to me. Entertaining though.
Funniest movie I've seen to date this year. Loved Owen Wilson. Jackie was Jackie. "So the sick prisoner trick, that still works in China?"
Mission: Impossible 2:
I like John Woo flicks, and this is one: doves, flowing cloth, fire, it's all good. Nice dilemma the heroine put the hero and villain into halfway. I liked Thandie Newton, and it's too bad Ving Rhames wasn't around for all that much.
(I don't know if this is really a 2000 film, but what the hey.) Slow to start (for me), but it definitely grew on me. I didn't really care until the shootout in the mall, but from then on I was into it. (I especially liked the way the cameras stayed still for the shots, and the action was almost all out of the frame.) Gotta love the guy who ate peanuts for the whole film (sorry, I've forgotten names since it's been too long since I've updated.
I'm a sucker for time travel movies, and this was a good one. Even if nobody really traveled in time. We really didn't need the song at the end though (I mean really didn't need.).
Saw this at the Cinerama, so of course the visuals were amazing, particularly the emperor's view from the hill in the war and shots of the coliseum and Rome. And I still need to use the word "vexed" in a sentence or two. Editing a bit too Michael Bay at times, but damn it's a fun movie. **New comments from second viewing: What's the deal with the snake crawling into a bed, anyway?
The Ninth Gate:
It's not that the movie is bad, because it's not. It's just that it really didn't make any sense. Who's the chick? Why is Johnny Depp allowed to succeed? So then, it's entertaining for the most part but just makes no sense to me.
It's a submarine movie, much like any other sumbarine movie. Although the crew did make some stupid mistakes (especially regarding a prisoner; he kills a guy and they still leave him alone to wreak havok? Come on.).
High Fidelity: Fun movie, which has been described by some as a chick flick for guys. You have to love Tim Robbins, and some people heartily endorse Catherine Zeta-Jones as the ideal woman. "So shall we leave it at that?"
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai:
The rap soundtrack is balanced out by Simpsons clips. Funny stuff, especially when the three head gangsters are there. Parts of it seemed a little aimless (how many scenes of GD playing his CD in a stolen car do we need?)
The ominous signs prior to the plane were a little silly, but I enjoyed it from there out. Love those Rube Golberg deathtraps (similar to those in the XFiles Lucky Guy episode.)
Mission to Mars:
Yes, the alien is cheesy, and yes, the story is not exactly new, and yes, the DNA bit is ridiculous, but I thought all the space stuff was really cool, and appreciated the effects throughout.
"I need you to back up your hard drive to a floppy." Also, the rap soundtrack is always a big minus for me. And really: "I think the Notorious BIG said it best..."
Not as good as the first two. Although I liked Parker Posey's logic: "I'm playing you and they're trying to kill me because they think I'm you, so I'll stay by you and they can kill you instead of me, the fake you."