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12 Monkeys: A very fine movie. Good script. Fine acting. Very fine directing.
13 Days: A very strong movie.
15 Minutes: I liked it quite a bit better than Natural Born Killers. There were a couple scenes that couldve used a bit more plausibility.
35 Up: A fine documentary/series following the lives of several actual people. It has spawned at least 2 imitators.
AI: The story of a robot searching for the meaning of human existence. Well done but played a bit too safe.
Almost Famous: A fine movie.
American Beauty: A fine movie.
American History X: A fine movie.
Movie: One of the funniest movies I have seen. I have an ethical quandary about
whether I should buy Coven.
American Pie: Porky's with a soul. Im not sure if this makes it more or less culpable. It was pretty funny.
American Psycho: Artsy but flat. I was not inspired.
Antz: classic Woody Allen. A fine show.
Appolo 13: A fine movie. Ron Howard deserves to be taken a bit more seriously.
Arlington Road: NO plausibility. I strongly recommend it so we can discuss how it aptly illustrates the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.
Atlantis: HEAVY mythology. It was odd to start a cartoon with sub titles.
Batman: A fine movie. My favorite Nicholson performance.
The Beach: Borrowed heavily from Lord of the Flies. It was ok.
Being John Malcovich: One of the most inventive movies I have ever seen.
Beloved: Oprah's 'gift to the world' (actual quote -- the world is so lucky to have her) Very powerful images, good acting metaphors on top of metaphors on top of metaphors. I hated it.
Best in Show: Very funny. The director has a keen wit.
Big Kahuna: Thought provoking. A little self righteous. I found it ironic that it ends with a famous quote that is falsely attributed to Kurt Vonnegut.
The Big Lebowski: I liked it. It inspired me to review Blood Simple and Barton Fink. The Coen brothers have a unique talent for being over the top and subtle at the same time. They took a cheap shot at christianity. I'm not sure why, but I considered the source. Hudsucker Proxy will remain my favorite Coen movie (and among my top 5 all time favorites)
Bitter Moon: A very fine film on the limits of human intimacy.
Bowfinger: One of the funniest scenes I have ever seen, however I find the director consistently annoying.
Boys Dont Cry: A fine performance. I didnt care for the movie though.
Bringing Out The Dead: Not quite as cheerful as the title led me to believe.
Buffalo 66: One of the funniest movies I have ever seen.
Cast Away: A fine movie.
Cavemans Valentine: Sam gave a fine performance and there were interesting bits throughout, but the script desperately needed a rewrite.
Celebrity: It was amusing to see Kenneth Branagh play Woody -- for about 5 minutes. After that there was still an hour and a half to sit through.
The Cell: A very strong visual movie. The hypnotic visuals carried the movie. The director tips his hat to David Lynch.
A Certain Sacrifice: The worst movie I have ever seen. To her credit, Madonna is embarrassed by it.
Citizen Ruth: A satire that manages to skewer both sides of the abortion debate equally. I'm not sure whether this is an accomplishment or an abomination.
I saw City of Angels tonight. The first half was almost great. The second half was almost horrible. It was a masterpiece trampled underfoot by a Hollywood formula.
A Civil Action: Ebert called it 'a John Grisham movie with a brain'. Close, but I would call it a Grisham movie based in reality.
A Clockwork Orange: Very fine movie.
Connections: A fine series on the history of science. Well written and well produced.
The Contender: This started out as an intelligent and well made movie about the Lewinski scandal. It ended as a cartoon.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Best movie of the year.
Cruising: Including myself there were 3 people in attendance. Half way through a third of the audience walked out. An outstanding film. This will make my top ten. I highly recommend this film (I don't know what that guy was thinking).
Curse of the Jade Scorpion: Several of the jokes were flat, still a solid movie.
I saw Dark City this weekend. It was a very enjoyable movie and has potential to become a classic. In the last ten minutes it crossed over into goofy a couple times, but other than that it was a solid cinematic experience.
Dial M for Murder: This is my favorite Hitchcock movie.
Dirty work: One of the better SNL movies. This is not high praise, but if you like norm, you will probably enjoy the movie.
Dogma: Very catholic. Teeters along the edge of blasphemy.
Dr T and the Women: Popular opinion has it that this is a movie about women. It is actually a movie about anxiety -- but I can see where the confusion could have come in.
Dumb and Dumber: The first time I saw it I was unimpressed, however it grew on me in subsequent viewings. For best results view late at night when very tired.
Election: A fine social satire similar to but better than Rushmore.
The End of Sexual Innocence: An art film from the man who brought you Leaving Las Vegas. Obtuse.
The End of Violence: This movie is a puzzle. I thought by the end it would make sense, but it didnt. I may watch it again, but it is kinda slow paced.
Enemy of the State: There were about 5 movies I wanted to see, but this was the only one showing. It was servicable.
Eraserhead: The most depressing movie I have ever seen. Very strange.
Erin Brockovitch: A solid Hollywood crowd pleaser.
Ever After: pretentious
Eyes Wide Shut: A story of sexual tension and underneath the sexual tension there is existential tension (as suggested by Freud). It is a solid 2nd best movie of the year (after A Simple Plan)
A Family Thing: A fine parable that could easily compliment Macolm X.
Fargo: Beautiful cinematography. Some interesting elements, but I never really got into it.
Fight Club: A fine movie. The ending was a bit over the top.
Finding Forrester: A fine movie. It has the ego stroking theme: 'Youre a genius, but you keep it a secret'
The Forbidden Dance: This is my favorite B-Movie.
Freeway: Based on the original Red Riding Hood fable. NOT for the innocent.
Frequency: A glaring example of movies as therapy. Fun convoluted story line.
Ghostworld: Vastly overrated. Pretentious. It had occasionally redeeming qualities.
The Gift: It is a tribute to his considerable directing talent that Sam was able to make something entertaining out of this R rated Murder She Wrote script. (He even made Keanu look good -- thats impressive)
Girl Interrupted: A chick movie that borrows from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. A fine movie, but a bit self indulgent at times.
Glengary Glenross: A fine movie.
Go: not quite Tarentiono, but still fairly competent.
I saw 'Great Expectations' on Valentines day. I knew going in that it would be an anti valentine movie (although I doubt several of my fellow patrons realized as much (which I found a bit amusing)) I did enjoy the movie quite a bit in spite of its tenuous grasp on reality and a somewhat disappointing ending.
The Green Mile: A solid movie. Im not sure I understand what it meant.
The Grinch: Ron always does a fine job. Jim apparently liked his Riddler performance so much that he decided to do it again.
The Hanging Garden: An exploration of how we are shaped in the confusion of our childhood. I didn't really care for it.
Happiness: A fine movie with some classic scenes. A bit graphic at times.
High Fidelity: Am almost too hip study of failed relationships.
I saw the Horse Whisperer tonight. It was pretty good (bob can definitely tell a story and the cinematography was exceptional) Still it seemed to be missing something and it was WAYYY to long.
The House of Jackie Oh: twisted.
Hurly Burly: The third most depressing movie I have seen. Sean Penn gives a fine performance.
The Ice Storm: A fine movie.
The Insider: A solid movie.
Instinct: Ebert said there were 4 incongruous themes. He was wrong. There was one theme with a VERY sloppy structure. This script should've gone straight to the trash can. Still the acting carried the movie. For a slightly better variation on the theme see Pushing Tin.
The Kings of Comedy: Some funny stuff. Not much.
Last Night: A well told story about the last day of human existence.
Last Resort: A very fine film.
The Last Seduction: Further evidence that women are evil. A fine movie.
The Legend of Bagger Vance: Bob can pull a lot of mileage out of a hokey story line.
The Legend of the Drunken Master: If you only see one Jackie Chan movie, this is the movie to see. There is nothing this man won't do to entertain you.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: This is some of Burtons Best work. It was creepy.
Life: A string of cliches. Tedious.
Lost Highway: One of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. I enjoyed the tailgating scene.
Lost in Space: Good action and special effects. The theme and its development were sadly amateurish. The pandering to every market was irritating.
Magnolia: A fine movie. If you are well versed in the Old Testament, the 'surprise' ending will not surprise you.
Malcolm X: A very fine movie. The only Spike Lee flik I have appreciated.
Man in the Iron Mask was pretty good. John Malkovich didn't seem to fit the period. It was heavily infused with pop psychology. Dicaprio had a better role than his generic Titanic character.
Man on the Moon: A fine performance. A fine movie. I will probably buy the video.
Matrix: Pretty good. Heavy special effects. Decent script.
Memento: A very fine film about epistemology.
Men of Honor: An inspirational movie on Steroids.
The Mexican: A mediocre star vehicle with a political agenda. The cinematography was exceptional.
Mifune: I didnt get it.
Mission Impossible II: Very similar to Face Off. A fine blockbuster although the first was probably better.
Moulin Rouge: The visual style is overpowering at first. The story about who we should love and why was told quite skillfully.
Mr Death: A fine character study by the man Ebert says is 'too brilliant to win an Academy'
The Mummy: You may have seen it before when it was called Indiana Jones. Its always fun to see the sacred and mysterious transformed into a cool ride at Disneyland.
Mystery Men: Funny, but not *that* funny. It was pretty good when it parodied the Batman movies, but it was a bit long.
The Negotiator: A standard paint by the numbers cop suspense thriller with occasionally refreshing hints of intelligence and a subversive racial theme.
Never Been Kissed: Therapy movie. The ending was a bit disappointing.
Nurse Betty: A movie that is very similar to Purple Rose of Cairo. It has a different style and slightly different structure.
O Brother: Some very entertaining elements. Did not work as a whole.
One Night At McCools: The script had some interesting ideas, but the director was not committed to the theme.
Open Your Eyes: The Matrix's smarter brother.
The Opposite of Sex: A philosophical exploration of a fascinating topic.
Pale Rider: A fine movie. I believe Eastwood may be Amillenial.
Patch Adams: It borrowed from two of my favorite movies (One Who Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Leap of Faith) It also borrowed from Dead Poets Society (most notably its star). The mellow drama was clumsy. I still liked it reasonably well.
Payback: Mel plays a bad guy -- sorta. (He kinda does to bad guys what disney does to historical accuracy) There were a couple memorable scenes. It worked reasonably well.
Pay It Forward: It had some schlock, but it had a good heart.
Peacemaker: I liked it. it wasnt a classic, but considering the fare thats been churned out lately it might as well be.
Pecker: I don't know why I watched another John Waters movie (other than it had Christina Ricci). The ongoing pecker joke wears thin. It is more amusing on 3rd rock from the sun.
A Perfect Murder: It was o.k., but fell short of the original. It threw in a couple nifty updates, but was missing the Hitchcock magic.
A Perfect Storm: Quite a rush.
Pleasantville: This movie owes a great deal to The Truman Show. I liked it better than The Truman Show but there are still points at which I would differ. It had the potential of being a classic, but failed to reach that potential.
The Pledge: Jack turns in a fine performance. Sean is a strong director, but the movie didnt really have much of a punch.
Pollock: One of my favorite artist. Ed Harris gives a virtuoso performance.
Primal Fear: A fine movie. Very fine performance by Ed Norton.
Primary Colors was well acted, decently scripted, and competently directed. No matter what you hear -- It *is* about the Clintons. The final shot elevated it from pretty good to very good.
Prince of Egypt: Very fine animation. The story walked the fence between biblical realism and popular story telling. Also there is a line between making characters human and identifiable AND making them chronologically realistic. SKG leaned heavily toward the former. I liked it -- almost as much as Lion King.
Private Eyes: Tim Conway and Don Knotts in their best work. A good script. I wish there were other movies that treated Tim as well.
The Purple Rose of Cairo: One of my favorite Woody Allen films.
Pushing Tin: Very strong characters with no place to go. The ending wasnt awful, but it wasnt worthy.
Quills: A sermon from the depraved perspective.
Requiem for a Dream: A fine movie on addictions (specifically drugs). The MPAA was loony.
Road Trip: Tried to be this years American Pie. Not worthy of the Something About Mary comparison.
Ronin: It was pretty good. A philosophical vigilante for hire movie.
Rules of Engagement: A solid diversion. It never quite made it to a climax.
Run Lola Run: a movie about chance. This is the 2nd best movie of the year. The subtitles complicate an already overwhelming visual style (most of the soundtrack was in english)
Rush Hour. A couple ripe cliches. Chris Tucker borrows a page from Eddie Murphy. Still it was reasonably entertaining.
Safe: A pretty good movie about modern anxiety.
Saving Private Ryan: A fine movie. I like it when Steven resorts to substance.
Schindlers List: (see Saving Private Ryan)
The Seige: the director bent over backwards to be politically correct, still there has been controversy. It was a thinking movie, not a deep thinking movie, but a thinking movie. It lacked a classic final showdown (alla a few good men) but it was also reasonably entertaining.
Shadow of the Vampire: It was ok.
Shakespeare in Love: The theme is 'Art imitates Life'. The form is a play within a play which renders the theme 'Art imitates Art'. It is customary to place the inferior play inside the superior. This is hardly the case with Shakespeare. It was done reasonably well, but did a disservice to the bard.
Noon: I think I liked Rush Hour better.
A Simple Plan: This covers many of the same themes as Unforgiven. The script was very good. The directing was also very good. Just when I thought Billy Bob had cashed in on every possible nuance of 'hick', he opens a whole new bag of tricks. This could very well make my top ten. I am a little wary now that I have seen two outstanding movies (Thin Red Line) back to back my expectations have been raised -- how will I survive the onslaught of Godzilla movies coming this summer? They should spread the good stuff out more.
The Sixth Sense: A movie you will not be able to watch just once. It has been a good year for movies.
Slums of Beverly Hills: Pretty good. I kept expecting slapstick and it never happened.
Small Time Crooks: A solid movie. Deserves more credit. It reminded me of Mighty Aphrodite.
Space Cowboys: Enjoyable.
I saw 'The Spanish Prisoner' this weekend. It was the best movie I have seen in quite some time.
The Stand: A reasonably well done TV miniseries. Overt christian themes.
Star Wars: Undeniably fine special effects. (I kept wondering why they hadnt developed more resilient paint in the future) Jar Jar Binks was annoying -- note to Lucas: If youre going to have a character only for comic relief (a bad idea) try to make him funny. Even if some 4 year old did like Jar Jar he didnt have to be in every scene. I am frequently astonished when a young actor turns in a fine performance -- that didnt happen here though.
State and Main: A fine movie. David Mamets wife has an interesting persona.
Swordfish: A pretty good popcorn movie.
Sugar and Spice: Consistently funny, occasionally irreverent.
The Talented Mr Ripley: An interesting character, but I wouldve enjoyed it more if he stayed in the closet.
The Tao of Steve: A study of the politics of attraction. It would have been better if it had not gone soft in the end.
Ten Things I Hate About You: Another movie with a schizophrenic director. Parts of the movie are almost as sorry as Good Burger. Parts are almost as good as Romeo and Juliet (better in some ways). I don't know how these things happen.
The Thin Red Line: Excellent cinematography. A war movie with a novel and refreshing approach. Beats Private Ryan except for the Normandy Invasion.
Theres Something About Mary: The zipper scene is one of the funniest ever made. The rest of the movie is reasonably entertaining.
Trekkies: A fine documentary, but I'm not sure it was worthy of the big screen.
The Trial: A very fine production. Welles said he chose Anthony Perkins for the starring role because he knew Perkins was a closet homosexual.
I went True Crime this weekend because I like Clint Eastwood movies -- he is a very mature director. I have a theory: Clint came across a hopelessly mediocre script and thought "I will turn this hopelessly mediocre material into a fine cinematic experience." The things he does with it are very interesting. I am still trying to interpret his point of view. Unfortunately there are places that seem a lot like a CBS Sunday Night Movie. I will probably see it again some time to try to make sense of it all.
The Truman Show: An illustration of Platos cave analogy. It was ok.
Twin Falls Idaho: Another outstanding film in what has been a vintage year.
Two Girls and A Guy: Lame.
U571: A very solid yet very predictable sub movie.
Unbreakable: Could not live up to the Sixth Sense. The style is familiar now and the story was weak.
Unforgiven: Very fine movie. Some christian themes.
Virgin Suicides: Intriguing story. An early, very important scene was completely botched in my opinion, but Ms Coppolla did a commendable job with most of the rest of the movie.
Wag the Dog: pretty good. Woody was hilarious.
What Dreams Are Made Of: On one level it can be interpreted as purely allegorical and here it is quite good. If you go beyond the allegory, the philosophy gets a little sloppy. Very creative cinematography.
Whats Eating Gilbert Grape: Dicaprios best performance. A fine movie.
Wild Man Blues: This is definitely worth a look if you are a Woody Allen fan. You get a sense of what he is like. He is a pretty good musician. He is also a dirty old man, and it was a bit unsettling seeing him together with Soon Yi.
Wild Things wasnt *that* wild. It has an interesting style but never really worked. It took quite a few turns, but left enough clues to be figured out. This is one movie that you definitely need to sit through the closing credits.
The Winslow Boy: You can always count on Mamet for a solid script. It was more of a play than a movie.
The World is Not Enough: Can you ever go wrong with Bond?
Zero Effect: A modern Sherlock Holmes with a bit of comedy/pop psychology thrown in. It was ok.
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