My Year in Movies

Yes it is that time: the time of year-end lists. And who am I to decline participation in this joyous -though also oft-annoying - tradition?

So, below, find the films I've seen this year. Well, not all of them. First, only films I saw for the first time in 2005 count. Also, only those that came out in 2005...and in 2004. Let me explain: 2005 because that's traditional, and 2004 because, well, 16 films is not a whole lot. Thing is, I skip a lot of bad movies, and the good ones tend to come out near the end of the year - academy awards and all - meaning I usually don't see them until the year after.

Well, you ask, as soon as you're at it, why not do it about all films you've seen this year? Two good reasons for that: first, I don't remember all the films I've seen this year, there were so many, and I can't even guarantee this list is comprehensive. Most importantly, I took a film course this year, and while some beautiful films I've seen in that don't qualify as I'd seen them before (Citizen Kane, Casablance, the Godfather) I think this year's films would have had a hard time competing with the likes of Sunset Boulevard and Vertigo.

Enough talk. On with the list. An explanation for the thingies between brackets is below.

Top 4 (because I'm random that way. Also, in no particular order)

  • Serenity
  • A History of Violence [s] (the more I think about it, the more I like it. Read more.)
  • No Direction Home [t]
  • Sideways [2]

Admired, but did not love:

  • Hotel Rwanda [2]
  • Closer [2]

Flawed, but still worth seeing:

  • Le Temps Qui Reste (for cinematography, music, a gorgeous main character and mostly: Jeanne Moreau. The review I wrote for the Boomerang will be up soon)
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou[d] (for a near perfect first hour)
  • Lords of Dogtown [s] (for the exhilerated feeling, and Heath Ledger doing Val Kilmer. By which I mean doing his best impersonation of, of course.)
  • Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles (for reminding us that WWII wasn't the only horrific war)
  • Sin City (for style if nothing else. Watch out for your balls)

Succesful Action Spectacles:

  • Batman Begins
  • The Incredibles [2]
  • Hellboy [d]

Unsuccesful Action Spectacles

  • Kingdom of Heaven
  • Sahara [s](alright, alright, that one was kinda fun. In the way that only bad films can be fun. And well, I maintain that it had much to do with the way William H. Macy delivered the line "They did a Panama". Also, Lambert Wilson can do no wrong in my book.)
  • Constantine[s](but Tilda was cool in it, I have to admit)

Action Spectacle with the lamest dialogue: Star Wars (you know which one)

Action Spectable with the worst acting: Star Wars (explain again, how can you have Ewan McGregor do a pitch perfect impersonation of Alec Guiness....acting badly?)

Action Spectable with the most cop-out ending: War of the Worlds (Spielberg sometimes really is too much of a sap)

Sleekerst Action Spectacle: Collateral [d]

Most Fun Brainless Action Spectacle: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Most Fun Brainless Caper: Ocean's Twelve

Biopics (meaning taken loosely. From those I liked to those I liked less):

  • The Motorcycle Diaries [2] (made me want to pack up my bags and leave for South-America immediately. Definitely too positive about its subject, though)
  • Kinsey [2] (A lot of fun, maybe a little too positive)
  • The Aviator : (not that much fun, still maybe a little too positive)

Documentaries (same)

  • No Direction Home [t] (Home run by Scorsese. Among the best films of the year. Read more here)
  • Inside Deep Throat [s] (maybe not all that insightful, but boy did I laugh...Also, I now get why people went to see the movie. It's Linda Lovelace's "how the ... does she do that?!" factor)
  • Control Room [a] (Intriguing. Isn't that the best you can say abut a doc?)
  • Outfoxed [a] (way too polemic)

Mind-Fuck Movies (ditto)

  • Primer (shows time-travel movies are possible without Ah-nulds butt and/or eighties music. Or whirly effects, for that matter)
  • I {heart} Huckabees [d] (many interesting ideas, not always well exucuted, but some really cool moments)

Hilarious even if it shouldn't be: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

Not as hilarious as it should be: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (although the song at the beginning deserves an award of its own. And "Bless you" was brilliant)

Movies randomly not assigned to a specific category for being neither bad nor really good:

  • Broken Flowers [s] (works really only when the amazing Jeffrey Wright is onscreen)
  • Garden state [d] (I probably should have liked this more than I did, but only the music and Peter Sarsgaard's performance really stood out)
  • Team America [c] (funny enough. Not a standout)
  • Mean Girls [d] (ditto. The bus moment was the only thing that stayed with me)
  • Napoleon Dynamite [c] (same, again)
  • Criminal [d] (It has Westwood! And Diego Luna! And I can't remember much else...)
  • Anchorman [d] (Ok, ok, I did laugh. Especially when the different teams showed up. Still...)

Classics I saw for the first time this year and wanted to mention:

  • La Dolce Vita [d] (Wow. I'll have to watch that about 5 times more, I think)
  • 8 1/2 [d] (ehm, yeah. Ditto. Also, I want to look like Anouk Aimée)
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (loved it. How could I not?)
  • Sunset Boulevard (ditto, of course)
  • Vertigo (not as convinced about this one, but definitely a film I'm glad I finally saw)
  • Singin' in the Rain (it's official, I'm not the musical type)
  • The Terminator (how could I not mention the naked gubernator?)
  • Many, many more. Film classes rock.

2005 films I'd like to see in 2006, and maybe even sooner

  • Brokeback Mountain
  • King Kong
  • Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  • The Squid and the Whale
  • Match Point
  • The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
  • Last Days
  • Capote
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Walk the Line
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Grizzly man
  • The Upside of Anger
  • Nine Lives
  • Caché

Needless to say, that's not going to happen, but a girl can dream. The plan, in any case, is to make a page on this blog, somewhere back-dated, where I'll keep a list of the movies I'll see from january 1st onwards.

Outraged at some of my picks? Something I blatantly left out? Can't believe I didn't see insert-film-here yet? Leave your comments!


[a]: seen in class
[c]: downloaded (isn't it admirable how few those are?)
[d]: seen on DVD
[s]: sneak preview
[2]: 2 dollar movie at UCLA
Nothing: seen in theatres.

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