Not that anyone asked, but I make a point of doing this every year. I’m sure Alexander Payne will be very pleased to see that Sideways beat out Eternal Sunshine. But I’d like Mr. Gondry and Mr. Kaufman to know that it was very close.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Last Life in the Universe
Okay, you guys pick it apart or post your own. But none of the lightweight sissy lists like in that other thread: “I didn’t see that many movies this year, so I pick Spider-Man 2, Dawn of the Dead, and then Return of the Hobbits, the Extended Edition.” :)
I actually knew that, but my fingers didn’t know I knew it.
He’s one of your favorite directors? He’s a music video director whose only other feature film is Human Nature, which I thought was pretty awkward. I think he distinguished himself in Eternal Sunshine mainly by letting Kaufman’s script and Jim Carey’s performance do the bulk of the work.
He does seem to have a good eye for stagecraft. The crumbling house and some of the memory tricks in Eternal Sunshine were really good. Similarly, there’s a clever afterlife setting in Human Nature.
Interesting. Did you see A.O. Scott’s article on Sideways in this past Sunday’s NYT? (I can’t find a link for it.) He argued that this film is overrated because most critics see themselves in the main character and love to praise films that are so close to their own sentiment.
Agreed. A great, great film.
Really? #3??? I liked it, but liked it less.
Agreed, but I liked the Incredibles even more than you did. Pixar’s best in my mind.
Uhhh…did you see this at Sundance? I missed it.
A complete mystery to me. I didn’t hate it, but I’m not sure why anyone felt passionately enough to make it much less watch it. Just really boring to me.
Didn’t see it. Another Sundance film, perhaps?
Blech. I hate hacks, whether they are on my side of the fence or not.
I enjoyed this one as well; every generation needs to have The Graduate remade I suppose.
Damn, I missed it. I’ll rent it. Promise.
In the interest of fairness, here’s everyone’s chance to snicker at my poor taste.
3 Iron (Bin-Jip). Ok, this is an elitist pick of mine as this was a Korean film shown at the Toronto film festival that never got picked up for stateside release. But I really did love it.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Hotel Rwanda. Another Toronto Film Fest movie for me. Made all the more compelling when Paul Rusesabagina (the main portrayed by Don Cheadle) showed up for QA after the film.
The Machinist. I know a lot of people didn’t care for it, but Christian Bale’s skeletal appearance was so astonsishing that it bordered on the morally suspicious. The film itself is a raw, tabloid version of Notes from the Underground.
Finding Neverland. Yeah, it’s sugary. I saw it with my mom, what can I say?
Millions. Danny Boyle’s “kid” film. Yeah, I know, it’s unbearably sentimental too. I suck.
I posted my 5 favourite movies in another thread, but since this is the Official Tom Chick Movie Thread ™ I figured I should try to organize my thoughts and type out a whole ten movies. Here it goes:
2.) Napoleon Dynamite
3.) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4.) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5.) Garden State
6.) Kill Bill Vol.2
7.) The Incredibles
8.) Spider-Man 2
9.) Supersize Me
10.) Fahrenheit 9/11
I will admit that those last three could probably be changed out for something else but Im having a hard time thinking of other movies Ive watched this year. Though I’m sure I’ll remember more right after I post this and feel like an idiot.
Put me down in the Sideways is overrated column. The first 1/3 of that movie is extremely flat and quite bad. The rest of the film is okay, getting better as it goes, but it’s also making up for how shitty the first part is. I didn’t like the engaged character when he was on Wings, and I still don’t like him. He just can’t act that well.
2009 Lost Memories (a 2002 movie just released stateside this year)
Chronicles of Riddick
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Bourne Supremacy (would have been higher if the camera was less erratic)
The only film people here may not know is 2009 Lost Memories . It was an enjoyable high-budget Korean action movie with a solid storyline. It is definitely one of the best time travel movies I’ve ever seen. (which I guess isn’t saying much…) You can get a dubbed version at Blockbuster now.
Yep. Great article. He obviously liked the movie and seemed to be struggling to understand why it’s been so overwhelmingly praised. Ultimately, I think he’s incorrect – the appeal of the movie goes so far beyond what Scott calls Miles’ “mordbid sensitivity” – but it’s really nice to see a critic trying to interpret other perspectives rather than dismissing them. I know this is something we can all be guilty of.
As for Last Life in the Universe, I did indeed see it at Sundance as well as again when it was briefly released in the US. We had an interesting thread on it.
Young Adam wasn’t at Sundance, but Stefan heartily recommended it after he saw it at Toronto. It’s a really stark and disarming movie that I wouldn’t recommend to many people. You, however, should see it.
Finally, I’m not sure that I necessarily recommend Open Water. I included it on the list because of how it affected me when I saw it. I had this sense of revulsion and even disgust after it was over. I’m not sure I’d wish that on anyone, but I admire how well the movie created that visceral reaction.
Good list back at ya, BTW! But some obscure Korean film that wasn’t good enough to get into the US was your favorite? :)
Nice to see some props for The Machinist. I really like Brad Anderson and I wish he and Christian Bale had a better script for that movie. It wasn’t nearly as tightly wound as Session Nine, so it was kind of disappointing. Expectation management, I suppose.
Finding Neverland suffered a similar fate. All I knew going in was that it was from the director of Monster’s Ball. Whoa. Imagine my surprise…
But I really couldn’t stomach Finding Neverland any more than I could stomach Tim Burton’s Big Fish. I have a low tolerance for saccharine and blatant emotional manipulation, especially when such obvious cliches like dying parents are the subject matter. Maybe I just can’t resonate with that yet…ugh, there’s a thought…but I probably would have walked out of Finding Neverland if there hadn’t been a Q&A with the director afterwards.
I’m still behind on a few things such as Hotel Rwanda from your list and Motorcycle Diaries from Equis’ list.
I don’t think you’re trolling, but I could be wrong.
For me, The Incredibles was probably the most human cartoon I’ve ever seen, and one of the most impeccable scripts for an animated movie, maybe even better than Toy Story 2.
Not only that, but as someone who’s never understood the appeal of comics and superheroes, I found The Incredibles very instructive in terms of What The Big Deal Is. Superpowers are an extension of your identity, a sort of caricatured expression of where you fit in to the world and the people around you. Most of you are probably going, ‘Duh…’, but I don’t think I ever really understood this.
And the context was a story about family – we can all resonate on some level – that was allowed to develop slowly, even colorlessly, before busting loose with some really sweet payoff action and visuals.
As a semi-fan of comics and superheroes, this was actually one of the coolest things about The Incredibles and one of the reasons it’s such a good movie. Most superheroes, IMO, have powers that are just a bunch of tacked-on cool abilities, but that don’t really mesh with their personality (Spider-Man, Batman, etc.). TI did a great job of presenting heroes whose powers were not just a plot device / interesting hook, but also expository as to their characters. It’s like the way you view car chases–any chase can be exciting and technically cool, but the best ones are the ones that are exciting, technically cool, and also reflect the characters.
As a semi-fan of comics and superheroes, this was actually one of the coolest things about The Incredibles and one of the reasons it’s such a good movie. Most superheroes, IMO, have powers that are just a bunch of tacked-on cool abilities, but that don’t really mesh with their personality (Spider-Man, Batman, etc.). TI did a great job of presenting heroes whose powers were not just a plot device / interesting hook, but also expository as to their characters. It’s like the way you view car chases–any chase can be exciting and technically cool, but the best ones are the ones that are exciting, technically cool, and also reflect the characters.[/quote]
I would like to point out that while this is in fact the ideal when you think about any plot device, since i tend to be the kind of person who enjoys a more character driven piece of work than contrived externalities, It doesn’t have to be when you just making something fun enjoyable and totally brainless.