Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

My 2004 Top Ten Best Movies!!

Well, 2004 was a pretty interesting year, don't you think? I mean money-wise it wasn't as good to me as last year, but there were some really neat things that kept me going and got me occupied for the past year (Not having a girlfriend sucks).

Anyways what have you been watching? I can say that this past year has been a milestone in my movie watching activities. I have never been so exposed to different kinds of cinema in my life! I have developed a taste for foreign language films and it shows in my blogs what has been playing in my DVD box. (Geek! Geek! pointing finger.)

Anyways, its the season for giving, now I offer you, possible the biggest blog I have ever made. This should make for good reading during your midnight Christmas post Noche Buena get togethers when your Grampa starts to tell stories about how he fought in the war or when your auntie starts to make a scene because she had too much Sangria and tells everybody that your Tito is having an affair because they weren't the same 'wavelength' anymore and that she caught them one time in... Ok I, better shut up now.

Here it is My Top Ten Movies for the Year 2004!! Drumroll!

Joshua Hess and Jerusha Hess were virtually unknown when they came out with this quirky tale of a teenager named Napoleon Dynamite and his continuing fight to feel good about being different. Possibly derived from the true life experiences of the Hess brothers (I know this american guy who has a girlfriend who is a cousin of Joshua Hess, ha ha, name dropper) who were deviants themselves, they take us along with Napoleon into their world of quirky weirdness until we get so accustomed to it, the normal people start to look weird.
The fact thet these kids, along with lead actor John Heder, are Mormons makes me extra proud of this phenomenal accomplishment of a hip movie with no sex ( or even sexy clothes for that matter ) drugs or cussing. Just steaks, tots and Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat"!

Kang JegYu is Korea's Speilberg or James Cameron. Whoever he is being compared to, he makes that everybody, even the most jaded film critics want to watch. His first big breakthrough Shiri back in 2000 changed the face of Korean film history from it's dying state to the new phenomenon known as the 'Korean Wave'.
The story of two brothers drafted into the korean war devastates their mother and the only way for the younger brother, in the eyes of the older one is to request for the younger one to be sent back. To do this he has to do several heroic feats in the war campaign to win a medal of honor to make his request valid. The process brings about changes in the boys. The younger becoming braver and more headstrong with his determination to continue fighting the war, while the older one slowly descending into the depths of moral ambiguity, turning him into a heartless killing machine. The consequences and, of course the virtual outcome and climax are devastating.

Animation is always fun to watch. Dreamworks has come up with an even funnier follow up to the already funny Shrek. Shrek gets into more funny situations as he gets himself into a scenario where a lot of hilarious stuff can get to happen..meeting Fiona's human parents. We get to meet a more sinister Fairy Godmother who controls everyone like Vito Corleone. We also get to see Eddie Murphy , always the scene stealer, as a sexy stallion and Shrek as a human being. My favorite part is the "Cops" parody "Knights". Oh, and we also get to See Antonio Banderas as the Puss in Boots lick his crotch.

Jason Bourne still cant remember who he is. His mother must be very worried .
He gets to escape his spy/assasin profile this time and drag his girlfriend all the way to India where they are tracked down by counter spies out to frame him and kill his identity. We get so see lots of car and hand to hand combat ( or is it knife vs. magazine) action and a lot of intelligent spy dialogue. The shaky cam technique was a bit of a distraction in some parts but relatively delivered the needed adrenaline rush in some key scenes. We get to know his real name in the end, too. Which is , of course, another story....

Pixar 's most ambitious and creative project to date is also their most critically acclaimed with a line of 9 rating at, this CG animated work of cartoon genius Brad Bird has managed to mix the appeal of the monotonous suburban family life a la "American Beauty"of the Parr family and their swashbuckling high adventures as the Incredibles. Real issues, real problems and comic book-style superpowers blend in this more-for-adults childrens cartoon.

This was a good year for sequels. Very rarely is a sequel done better than the original. Shrek 2 and Before Sunset are examples such sequels that not only lived up to their predecessors but surpassed them in many ways. It's amazing that two sequels can pull up the same success in the same year, but none have surpassed the success of the destiny/superhero neoclassic that was Spiderman 2.
Spiderman gets another headache with his Spider Senses in the form of Doc Ock. the bespectacled, be-tentacled former nuclear physics scientist gone mad. A series of events lead Spidey's alter ego Peter Parker to give up his super hero-ing for the love of his beloved MJ. But things aren't so simple as that MJ is engaged. Boiling in the background is Doc Ock 's sinister plan to create a new energy source that is self preserving and indestructible..of course, at the expense of everyone else.
Yes you will most likely see Spiderman 2 in the malls' appliance centers in the DVD and flatscreen displays and yes , eventually we will all get a Spiderman asphyxiation once the DVD comes out. But , hasn't it already happened? Weren't we all bitten by the bug when we saw it? I won't lie. I am a mere movie goer and am not immune to corporate marketing. I'm actually looking forward to the next Batman. I'm looking forward to sitting in the front row for Spiderman 3 with all the noisy kids asking their mom for popcorn or to go to the bathroom. Movies were meant to dazzle and amaze. Such is the destiny of the Amazing Spiderman.

Check out my review here.

Possibly the funniest movie this year. Non-stop laughter from beginning to end, quotable quotes up the yin yang, funny accents and classic Ben Stiller silliness all encapsulated in a 'true underdog story'. This time, Stiller gets to be the bad guy. The guy who has it all. The guy who looks down on our hero and mocks him and gives him a hard time.
Peter La Fleur(Vince Vaughan) is a happy-go-lucky and irresponsible owner of an obscure finess gym called " Average Joe's". The gym is under threat of foreclosure and sale to White Goodman's (Stiller) franchise Globo Gym. To stop this Peter needs to get $50,000 to save his gym, and his dignity.

(Hey, that sounded cool. You think I can write DVD blurbs of a living, or be a movie voice over guy? Huh? No.? OK , I'll shut up now...)

Make sure you have this in your DVD collection. I assure you, you will watch it over and over until the lens burns through.

You have to have seen the original Before Sunrise to get the full impact and verve of the most unexpected sequel this year.
The story of Jessie and Celine continues nine years after they meet in a train bound for Vienna and spend just one evening and early morning together in a whirlwind romance that they decided should be saved in their memories in time by not calling or writing each other after they parted ways. They dont know what to say to each other aside from some polite hi's and hello's. The whole movie, rich with writer/ director Richard Linklater 's witty, intelligent dialogue turns into a myriad of thoughts, recollections and regrets borne of years of wondering of "what could have been" between these two lovelorn protagonists. In other words. Its 80 minutes of college student talk.
One of the unique characteristics of this movie is its ability to look into the
thoughts of the couple in the past (and possibly, the director) and actualyy give a perspective on how naive and silly they were for deciding on certain things. It's as if they 'grew' with the audience.

check out my review here.

Charlie Kaufmann is either a genius or a lunatic. His previous screenplays such as Being John Malkovic and Adaptation are a window into the obsurdly interesting. Considering his previous works, "Eternal.." is very mellow, but nonethelless quirky and unapologetically intelligent. The premise of a company in the business of erasing selected memories is so intriguing that a million different scenarios can be derived from it. Jim Carrey is not his usual in your face obnoxious self in this movie for good reason. The story becomes the star in his low key portrayal of Joel. Kate Winslet 's Clementine reminds me of the charater in the Flaming Lips song :"She Don't Use Jelly" here's how the lines go:
"I know a girl who/reminds me of Cher/ she's always changing the color of her hair/ She dont use nothin that you buy at the store. She likes her hair to be real Orange/ she uses Tangerines".

From its neo-retro fashion statements to the grainy film stock and the witty dialogue (also the fantastic acting of Kirsten Dunst) oscar buzz is permeating through our ears like a flickering flourescent lamp.
It has been refered to as a "mind%@#^" and a "headtrip", all of which are very colorful accurate descriptions, but in the core, it is all about a man who can't forget his love in his heart even if his mind does.

Check out my review here.

To those who haven't seen OldBoy, the less you know about it the better.

All you need to know that it has a great lead actor (Choi Minshik), a fascinating story (based on a Japanese Manga), a charismatic antagonist (Yu JiTae), great visuals (reminiscent of Fight Club and other works by David Fincher), quotable quotes and a shocking surprise ending.

Overated?? In the asian movie message boards, yes. But in global cinema there is a reason why this was picked Cannes Grand Prix winner for this year and there is very little talk about it simply because the theme is very unpopular for the moment. Director Park Chan Wook hasn't made a bad film, (yet) and is the kind of director that would challenge the typical storytelling template. Believe me, youre in for a headtrip that transcends the screen!

If you dare know more about this movie..well at least get a synopsis
click here.

OK, that's it for my count down! Thanks for visiting...

But wait....

Here are some movies I haven't seen yet but haven't hhad the time or are simply just not available yet. I'm recommending these just by the reviews..I'm' watching Garden State this evening...yipeeee!!!

Also check out my own personal list of great films in my own personal categories.

Garden State
The Machinist

House of Flying Daggers
The Forgotten

Napoleon Dynamite
Its All About Love

Napoleon Dynamite "Kip vs. Rex" and "Napoleon vs. Uncle Rico"
Taegukgi the whole movie
OldBoy Oh Daesu with a hammer vs. 20 dudes with knives and sticks in a narrow corridor

Dawn of the Dead
The Isle

Saw Hacksaw
Oldboy Hammer
Audition Cutting Wire
Dawn of the Dead Chainsaw

My Wife is a Gangster The peeping tom novice guy gets smacked by Eun Jin's right hand man.
Lover's Concerto Random movie viewer smacks his friend sitting behind the main characters while watching Il Postino.
Please Teach Me English Elvis's mom smacks him for making a scene while practicing his English with a mannequin.
My Sassy Girl The gangster leader in jail repeatedly smacks his minion multiple times in the ear.

OldBoy Oh Daesu's brand new duds.
Starsky and Hutch Huggy Bear's golf clothes.
Napoleon Dynamite The awesome prom suit.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Ron Burgundy's workclothes

Failan Choi MinShik and Cecillia Cheung
Garden State Zack Braff and Natalie Portman
The Human Stain Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman
2046 Tony Leung Chiu Wai and all those girls.

Oldboy Oh Daesu (Choi Minshik)
Napoleon Dynamite Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)
DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story White Goodman (Ben Stiller)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)

Ok. Have a Happy Holi DAZE everyone!!!! Easy on the cheese!!!


Blogger drei said...

i love this entry!! nawalan na tuloy ako ng gana gumawa ng top list for 2004. hehe.

at hindi disappointment ang house of flying daggers!! i didn't watch forgotten kasi pangit daw, and i love julianne moore a lot! i also missed dogville sa 2003 cinemanila. here's to more great films!! :D

happy holidays rocketboy!!

1:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Xmas!!! :Wylmer

10:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Outstanding Performance by a Hardware Tool in a Supporting Role" - LOL.

you have cool categories, ah! i luv it! hehehehehe.


10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen Kim Ki-Duk's Samaritan Girl?

7:31 PM

Blogger the rocketboy said...

Sadly, I haven't seen a single Kim Ki Duk movie. You are refering to that movie also called "Samaria" about a teenage prostitute, right? I am intending to make up for lost time now that I have my own DVD player in my room.(I only dare show family and blockbuster films in the community DVD player in our house) I can watch all the movies I want now.

8:02 AM

Blogger the rocketboy said...

Sadly, I haven't seen a single Kim Ki Duk movie. You are refering to that movie also called "Samaria" about a teenage prostitute, right? I am intending to make up for lost time now that I have my own DVD player in my room.(I only dare show family and blockbuster films in the community DVD player in our house) I can watch all the movies I want now.

8:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Top 10 Best Movies of 2004:

10. (TIE) The Polar Express & Kill Bill Vol. 2 & Hotel Rwanda
9. The Terminal
8. The Aviator
7. Kinsey
6. Sideways
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
4. The Phantom of the Opera
3. I Heart Huckabees
2. Vera Drake
1. The Butterfly Effect
- Stanley Kubrick

1:37 AM


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