Movies of 2004 by Chris Morin
Well, another year at the movies has come and gone and with it a few
dozen empty tubs of popcorn. I'm not sure how many trees I cost the
Earth's forests each year but I hope they recycle those things.
Fortunately I have figured out the trick to eating movie popcorn.
First you must go to a theater that offers you free
refills on your popcorn. Anything else just won't do. Second, you must
arrive to the theater at least fifteen minutes prior to the film. I
usually go to the movies very early in the morning to miss the rush.
Next you have to eat as much popcorn as you can before the previews
start. Just as they start those pre-show commercials run don't walk to
the concession stand and ask to have your popcorn topped off. This
should give you enough popcorn to make it though the first hour of the
film. On the way back, don't forget to make one last potty run and
you're good to go! If you've timed everything perfectly, the previews
should be starting just as you make it back to your seat.
I saw a lot of good movies this year. So many so
that a lot of quality films didn't make the lists this year. The Best Of
2004 list is dominated by
martial arts and a lot of independant films. My favorite movie of the
was Zhang Yimou's House Of Flying
Daggers. It was beautifully shot and sad but at the same time it
was fun and exciting to watch. Another of Zhang Yimou's films Hero came in at number two.
Making a "Best
Of" movie list is very difficult because many studios release
potentially Oscar worthy films very late in the year in hope that the
Academy and its short attention span might remember only the most
recent movie releases. I have dealt with this problem the same way as I
did last year. First there's my Best Of
2004 list. It is a top
ten list of
movies that were released in 2004 that I actually got a chance to see
calendar year. The second list is called
This is a
list of movies that were either not released in 2004, movies that were
either leftovers from the previous year or movies that I got to see for
the first time despite the movie's release year. Then there's the ever
popular Worst Piece Of Junk Award. I think you can
figure out what that's all about.
So have a look at my lists and remember, when you go
to the movies, turn your cell phone off and SHUT THE HELL UP! Others
may be trying to enjoy the film. Thank you.
Best Of 2004:
1. House Of Flying Daggers - Another
Zhang Yimou classic. In a way I like this film a lot more than Hero. I think it's a more powerful
and personal movie than Hero.
Hero - Great storytelling and
Zhang Yimou truly outdoes himself this time. A spectacular looking film.
3. Sideways - A quirky and
funny movie. I loved the way it ended and I'm curious as to how the
characters lives would have played out had the film continued.
4. The Passion Of The Christ -
A truly disturbing and haunting film. It was brutal but necessary to
tell the story. I will never forget the powerful scene towards the end
film as the camera pulls away from Mary holding her dead son in her
5. Finding Neverland - I love
going to the movies not expecting much from a film and then being
totally blown away. My pleasant surprise of 2004.
- I found the movie to be quite depressing. How can four people be so
mean to each other? Excellent performances by Clive Owen, Julia
Roberts, Jude Law and Natalie Portman. Natalie should win a bunch of
awards for her role.
7. Kill Bill Vol 2 - A great way to end
the Kill Bill films. One of
these days I'll have to watch the two volumes back-to-back.
Something The Lord Made - An HBO film that I felt should make
the list. True it's a feel good kind of film but I think it offsets Closer rather nicely.
Super Size Me - This was great! I had so much fun watching
Morgan Spurlock gourge himself with all that crappy food.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
- Another movie that I was surprised by. I think Jim Carrey is a great
actor when he plays it straight. This one is in the same league as The Truman Show and The Majestic.
1. City Of God - Wow! A truly
awesome film about gangs in Brazil.
2. Threads - I got to see a lot of
doomsday movies in 2004 such as The
Day After, By Dawn's Early
Light and The Day After
Tomorrow. Threads was
and is by far the best of all end of the world films. The BBC drama
about World War III is bleak and depressing. I suppose the end of the
world is not supposed to be bright and cheery.
3. The Station Agent - Great
little movie about a dwarf moving into an old railway station.
4. Open Water - A wonderful
psychological thriller about being left at sea. Never saw that end
5. Japanese Story - What a little
beauty! This Aussie film starring Sixth Sense's Toni Collette is
Rabbit Proof Fence - A movie about three aboriginal
girls taken against their will from their home.
7. And Starring
As Himself - Antonio Banderas stars as Pancho Villa, the Mexican
8. The Triplets Of Belleville
- I couldn't have a Best Of edition without an animated movie. The Incredibles just missed the top
ten but The Triplets make up
Touching The Void - A true story about two mountain climbers
caught in a worse case scenario on a mountain in South America.
10. Monster - Charlize Theron
is mesmerizing as the serial killer Aileen Wurnos. One of the greatest
performances by a woman in the history of cinema. I also recommend the documentary Aileen: Life and Death Of A Serial Killer.
Zhang Yimou - This guy is such a great director. His two films Hero and House Of Flying Daggers were
released in the United States this year and they're at the top of my
top ten list. Zhang Yimou is
slowly becoming one of my favorite film makers. His movie "The Road Home" is one of my all
time favorite films. At some point I must find a copy of Raise The Red Lantern.
2. Ziyi Zhang - This girl rocks!
Her roles in Hero and House Of Flying Daggers puts her
near the top of the list.
3. Mel Gibson - I respect people that
stand up for what they believe in. Mel hit a home run with Passion this year. I saw this movie
in the theater by myself. I noticed a woman in front of me who had
brought her 11 year old daughter to see the film. I'm not quite sure
that was such a good thing to do. An hour into the film the girl was
4. Natalie Portman - An Oscar
nomination for her role in Closer? I'd be surprised if she wasn't.
5. Leonardo DiCaprio - Leo is
one of the best actors in the business. Check out The Basketball Diaries to see
another side if Leo's greatness.
6. Johnny Depp - Johnny's a great actor
and Finding Neverland was a
surprise hit of 2004.
7. Emmy Rossum - This girl
will be a huge star. Emmy was excellent in Passionada and The Day
After Tomorrow. I did not get to see Phantom Of The Opera but I hear she
was great in it.
8. Mos Def - Does anyone know
this guy's real name? Great performance in Something The Lord Made.
9. Jim Carrey
- I love to watch Jim Carrey act when he's not acting like an idiot.
His comedy grows old real fast. He's a better actor when he does
10. Tom Cruise - Tom's been on
a role as of late. I loved his performance in Minority Report, The Last Samurai and now Collateral.
Worst Piece Of Junk Award:
Dogville - About fifteen minutes
into this film I was wondering when it was going to be over. It was a
hateful story with no redeeming qualities. Save yourself two hours of
your life and avoid this film like the plague.
Movies I Saw In 2004:
5 - Excellent
4 - Good
3 - Fair
1 - Terrible
0 - What In God's Name Were They Thinking? - (No longer used. Created
and used in 2001 only for A.I.)
The Christ - 2004 - 5
Capturing The Friedmans - 2003 - 4
Triplets Of Belleville - 2003 - 4
Thirteen - 2003 - 3
House Of Sand And Fog - 2003 - 4
Big Fish - 2003 - 4
Something's Gotta Give
- 2003 - 3
Paycheck 2003 - 4
In America - 2003 - 3
Igby Goes Down - 2002 - 3
Rabbit Proof Fence - 2002 - 4
Out Of Time - 2003 - 3
Monster - 2003 - 4
Cabin Fever - 2002 - 2
Frida - 2002 - 3
Touching The Void - 2003 - 4
Twisted - 2004 - 3
Cold Mountain - 2003 - 3
Hidalgo - 2004 - 4
Spartan - 2004 - 4
Taking Lives - 2004 - 4
Secret Window - 2004 - 3
Gothica - 2003 - 3
Dawn Of The Dead - 2004 - 3
Goodbye Lenin! - 2003 - 3
21 Grams - 2003 - 3
Full Metal Jacket - 1987 - 3
Hell Boy - 2004 - 3
Threads - 1984 - 5
The Day After - 1983 - 4
The Alamo - 2004 - 4
Kill Bill Vol 2 - 2004 - 5
By Dawn's Early Light - 1990 - 3
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 2003 - 3
The Cooler - 2003 - 4
Dirty Pretty Things - 2002 - 4
Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind - 2002 - 3
Van Helsing - 2004 - 2
Queen Of The Damned - 2002 - 2
The Punisher - 2004 - 4
Man On Fire - 2004 - 4
Still We Believe The Boston Red Sox Movie - 2004 - 4
Troy - 2004 - 2
The Day After Tomorrow - 2004 - 3
Something The Lord Made - 2004 - 5
Super Size Me - 2004 - 5
Shrek 2 - 2004 - 4
The Cronicles of Riddick - 2004 - 3
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 2004 - 4
Bad Santa - 2003 - 3
Stuck On You - 2003 - 3
Passionada - 2002 - 3
In America - 2002 - 4
The Rundown - 2003 - 3
The Station Agent - 2003 - 4
Spider-Man 2 - 2004 - 4
Bull Durham - 1988 - 3
King Arthur - 2004 - 3
Heir To An Execution - 2004 - 3
And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself - 2003 - 4
I,Robot - 2004 - 4
The Bourne Supremecy - 2004 - 4
To the Roof of Africa - 2002 - 4
Ocean Wonderland - 2003 - 2
The Village - 2004 - 4
The Manchurian Candidate - 2004 - 3
Collateral - 2004 - 4
AVP - 2004 - 3
Open Water - 2003 - 4
Suspect Zero - 2004 - 3
Hero - Ying Xiong - 2002 - 5
Cellular - 2004 - 4
Intolerable Cruelty - 2003 - 2
Chernobyl Heart - 2003 - 4
Resident Evil 2 - 2004 - 3
Natural Disasters: Forces Of Nature - 2003 - 3
The Forgotten - 2004 - 4
Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow - 2004 - 3
Ladder 49 - 2004 - 4
Walking Tall - 2004 - 3
The Butterfly Effect - 2004 - 3
Beyond Borders - 2003 - 4
Godsend - 2004 - 3
Saw - 2004 - 4
The Human Stain - 2003 - 3
Cheaper By The Dozen - 2003 - 3
The Grudge - 2004 - 4
The Polar Express - 2004 - 4
Gu-On - 2003 - 4
Wonderland - 2003 - 3
Triggermen - 2002 - 3
Aileen: Life and Death Of A Serial Killer - 2003 - 4
Sasquatch The Legend Of Bigfoot - 1977 - 1000! ;)
Dark Night Of The Scarecrow - 1981 - 4
The Untold AKA Sasquatch - 2002 - 1
National Treasure - 2004 - 4
A Slipping-Down Life - 1999 - 3
Japanese Story - 2003 - 4
Species 3 - 2004 - 2
Alexander - 2004 - 3
The Incredibles - 2004 - 5
Closer - 2004 - 4
Elf - 2003 - 3
Sideways - 2004 - 5
Visitors - 2003 - 2
Blade Trinity - 2004 - 3
Dogville - 2003 - 1
Oceans 12 - 2004 - 4
Dodgeball - 2004 - 3
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - 2004 - 5
City Of God - 2002 - 5
The Aviator - 2004 - 4
Finding Neverland - 2004 - 5
House Of Flying Daggers - 2004 - 5