27 May 2011

Andy's Friday Five: 2000

Two weeks ago I began this expanded version of "A Life in Movies", a blogathon dedicated to listing your favorite movie of each year you've been alive. With this new spiffy feature here at the Rambling Minnesota Geek, I figured I would combine the two, and here we are. Expectantly, the second volume of this series would detail 1991, as I started off with good ol' 1990, but as I surfed through the Wikipedia page of 1991 releases, I came to realize I haven't seen even ten films that year! So, I'm gonna be dedicating some time to be seeing those flicks. Meanwhile, let's talk about another splendid year of film!

Previous Entries:
1990 | 2000

Like 1999, this year holds so many memories for me. For example - I was and still am a huge Godzilla fan, and luckily enough, in August 2000 I had my very first theatrical Godzilla experience with Godzilla 2000. It was nothing short of amazing. There I was in the theater, seeing the gorgeous 55-meter tall kaiju terrorizing Japan in a darkened room with a giant screen. And, to make the experience even more surreal, Sony went the extra mile to dub the film with a quasi-rubbish/quasi-not-bad script, boasting loads of chuckles, faceplam-worthy lines, and the (occasional) decent dub job. It was an experience I will never forget. Likewise, Digimon: The Movie blew my mind. The TV series was a huge FOX Kids hit, and I ate up every second of the show and movie. It was epic and absolutely amazing. With Digimon and Godzilla getting stateside releases, what more could there be for a 10 year old kid to want?

So here we are, and ultimately, I'm forced to narrow my decision of 2000 releases down to five. Thus, I'm gonna do a small honorable mentions type thingy before the Final Five. Hot damn, this was a great year!

Films I Really Ought to See
Me, Myself & Irene
Little Nicky
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Requiem for a Dream
American Psycho
Love & Basketball

Films Worth a Lovefest

Titan A.E. - As a 10 year old kid, I was awe-struck by the visuals and engulfed in the story. Matt Damon who? It was pure awesomeness, and unfortunately, since buying it on DVD a year ago, I haven't sat down to rewatch it. Consider it high on my To-Do list, now.

Final Destination - The first of a franchise that has recently begun to really, really suck. It's a clever idea and the kills are inventive and loads of fun.

Gladiator - One of the greatest and most epic revenge tragedies in a long, long time, the "I'm Maximus Decimus Meridius" exchange and amazing action scenes makes Gladiator definitely note-worthy. And all that stuff about Oscar awards, too.

Hollow Man - Scared the 'effing crap out of me. Haven't seen it in awhile, and probably should do so to face my fears, but hell if a invisible, sadistic Kevin Bacon didn't send chills up my spine when I first saw this.

Almost Famous - The most recent 2000 release I saw, Almost Famous was absolutely awesome. The writing, the story, the actors, the editing all came together to make a very entertaining film that I'm quite happy to have seen.

Andy's Favorite Five of 2000

5. Pitch Black
Vin Diesel is Riddick. I'm going to pretend those Fast & Furious movies simply don't exist, and Diesel is only Richard B. Riddick. Although my love fest with Pitch Black was a gradual process, my love for Riddick was instantaneous, and apparently, that holds true with many film bloggers. His humorous but direct one-liners, his appetite for ass kicking, his permanent night-time eyeballs, and his being a perfect antihero all make Riddick a awesome and interesting character. Add in the Creature Feature aspect of Pitch Black, and what you have here is a solid entertaining film. Unlike many film critics, however, I also really dig the sequel, but that's a love affair that will be written in full another year/day. For now, all I'm going to say is that if you haven't had the pleasure to experience some Pitch Black and wanna see some great action scenes and nifty creature designs, rent this flick pronto.

4. Dungeons & Dragons
I love this movie. It makes me happy. Jimmy Olsen from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is our protagonist Ridley, a thief with a heart of gold who ventures out with his bud Snails and hopeful booty-gal Marina to save all of Izmer from the sinister Profion, a deliciously insane Jeremy Irons. There is so much about this movie that is bad - Iron's over-the-top Adam West-y performance, the fake fest of CGI, the lousy and lazy script, and more (!) - but ironically, it's those elements that make this movie so damn fun. Dungeons & Dragons isn't on the list because it's one of those 'so bad it's good' films; nay, it's included here because I genuinely really do love it. I love the digital dragons and the battle royale in the climax; I love Jeremy Irons and his crackling evil voice; I love Justin Wahlin as Ridley, and I even love his bromate Snails. Basically, I love the whole damn movie from start to finish. It is (most likely) definitely not what fans of the game want by a long shot, but for a dude (aka me) who has no understanding of the RPG, this film is loads of fun and I quite enjoy watching it at least once a year. And yes, I didn't mind the sequel and am actually looking forward to movie three. But nothing can beat the awesomeness of the 2000 original! And I say that with a straight face...

3. Keeping the Faith
Yeah, this one is a bit of a odd choice, too, I confess. There's just something about this flick that *clicks* with me. The friendship between Stiller, Norton and Elfman feels genuine, and the onscreen chemistry really sells that. I love the script, which never seems to fall into the eye-rolling cliched dialogue of romantic dramedies, but instead is rather clever on how it presents the tight friendship of these three characters and the eventual romance that blossoms within it with Still and Elfman. Perhaps it deserves to be called a guilty pleasure, not entirely sure, but I just know that I love this damn movie, and if saying to my mum that I'll watch Keeping the Faith instead of actually going to church would save me from the hour and a half of boredom, the movie would reach a even higher level of awesomeness. It's a smart script with great actors, and it's one of the more appealing adult relationships I've seen in a while.

2. The Emperor's New Groove
Thank God for a free ticket. Zero interest. That was how much I wanted to see Emperor's New Groove. Looked stupid, and I was outgrowing Disney titles. Plus, Mom wasn't a fan of David Spade, and being around her a lot, that opinion sorta seeped its way into my brain and became my opinion of him. So we went to a special screening - beautifully free of charge for some reason - and the two of us hadn't laughed our asses off that hard in a long, loooonng time. This was and is just about as perfect representation of a 'me' movie as I can imagine. The animation is flawless, the jokes to this day continue to make me laugh outrageously (see: every scene with Kronk is utter perfection), Spade was fittingly cast, and above all, I enjoyed the hell out of every second. I laughed, I loved, and I watch it about once a year with the same amount of affection. Emperor's New Groove isn't a Disney film commonly loved, but for me, it works on every level.

1. Unbreakable
Shyamalan's best film, I initially hated it as a wee lad, but have grown to realize just how genius the whole enterprise is. From beginning to end, Unbreakable's hold on me is unbreakable (hehe, lame I know) as the writer/director is at his best on both fronts, delivering a visually gorgeous film to look at and giving us a superhero origin story masked under real, intense adult drama. There's the part of me that lusts for a sequel, to see how David's story continues, but simultaneously, this origin story is so magnificently done that I don't want Shyamalan to mess up a good thing. Bruce Willis owns the screen, and Sam Jackson beautifully works the mentor/nemesis approach as the comic book fan who seeks to steer David in the right direction. I love this movie, and I think it is absolutely perfect - Shyamalan's true triumph. Take a look at every shot, listen to every line of dialogue, and be consumed by Howard's beautiful score and Shyamalan's storytelling. A easy pick.


Real People said...

I loved Pitch Black! One of my favorite movies other. Though I do agree with the critics about the sequel, I really didn't like it as much as the Pitch Black.

Good list!

Dylan said...

Can you believe I've only seen 2/5 of your top five? Then again, I can't say that I've ever given thought to seeing D & D, and I was a bit old for Emperor. I do still want to see Pitch Black, though, which is funny considering how many times I've seen Chronicles (and no, it's not even that good).

Then again, I have seen just about every other movie you mentioned. Definitely get on Requiem and American Psycho.

LOL at you being scared of Hollow Man. I know, you were just a kid, but I still can't help but find that funny. I was so completely unscared by that...all I wanted was more naked Rhona Mitra. What a shitty movie...

Fitz said...

In total agreement with Dylan. Hollow Man was so bad. But when you're young it can still scare you.

Time Lord said...

Dylan - Eh, 2/5 ain't bad. However, a bit astounded you haven't seen PITCH BLACK yet. I thought Nick's mention of it over at his blog here and there would sorta entice you to see it PRONTO. For D & D, if you ever decide to take the plunge, just make sure to just sit back and relax and enjoy the awful goodness. You might even find yourself imitating Jeremy Irons on occasion (not like I did that, at all, me being far too mature...). Obviously I recommend EMPEROR, not just because I liked it, but I think it's one of those flicks all ages can enjoy. Sorta like KUNG FU PANDA, but without the Panda, and the kung fu...

As for HOLLOW MAN, I really need to see it again so I can actually watch the movie instead of having freaky images in my head. The only other flick that scared me as much was THE NEVER ENDING STORY, but that's basically because of the Wolf. Motherfrakking Terrifying. I've had a love/hate relationship with wolves/werewolves since.

...On another note: naked Rhona Mitra? In HOLLOW MAN? Um, consider rewatch of film imminent.