|DAN'S 2000 MOVIE LIST|
|by Dan R.|
Yet another year has passed and there were plenty of films to see. By the way, if I had happened to have seen Hurricane in the theaters last year, it would have been the worst movie I saw all year, but instead Any Given Sunday keeps the crown for that honor.
Anyhoo… Here's the list from worst to best of films released in 2000 that I saw in the theaters.
75. Sunshine- This movie is a perfect example of how bad a movie can be. Terrible pacing, overwrought performances (Ralph Fiennes in the worst acting job of the year), and moronic dialogue masquerading as deep thought, this movie takes the cake for the worst of the year. Fiennes plays 3 different characters in the same family spanning three generations. The movie takes place over one hundred years and the three hours spent in the theater felt almost that long. The woman behind me cried throughout the whole film and I could feel her pain. I came pretty close to making this the first film I've walked out of since Mallrats but I was unfortunately in the middle of a crowded aisle. Jim -"I will forever grieve for the three hours of my life wasted on this crap."
74. Gladiator- Joaquin Phoenix is the only reason to see this crappy excuse for a film. He plays it as camp in much the same way Billy Zane does in Titantic, but he can't save this sinking ship. I don't care what anyone says, digital graphics suck. As Chris Lawrence says, "Kirk Douglas at the age of 90 could do a better job than Russell Crowe." I don't have that many problems with Crowe other than his choice of bad movies since L.A. Confidential (don't get me started on The Insider) but this movie is horrible, horrible, horrible. If this movie gets nominated for Best Picture, I'm moving out of the country.
73. Mission Impossible 2- John Woo has lost his mind.
72. Aimee and Jaguar- I'm usually a sucker for love stories set during World War II (End of the Affair), movies about lesbians (Show Me Love), and stories about Jews and Germans dating (see my personal life circa 96-97) but this pretentious piece of crap made me want to take a big ol' nap.
71. Getting to Know You- Starring Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse) and based on a Joyce Carol Oates story, this movie shouldn't have been such a yawnfest.
70. Keeping the Faith- The rabbi trading cards were pretty funny but damn this movie was long.
69. La Buche- Billed as the French Hannah and Her Sisters, whatever.
68. Benjamin Smoke- Documentary by Jem Cohen (Fugazi-Instrument) about the transvestite AIDS riddled singer of the Atlanta band Smoke. Set in the interesting poor neighborhood called Cabbagetown. Fascinating subject, boring movie.
67. Vertical Limit- This movie is nestled comfortably between Cliffhanger and the heinous IMAX movie Everest on the K2 movie pantheon. Jason Curtis-"Damn, I hate digital mountains."
66. U-571- If Das Boot is the Babe Ruth of submarine movies, this movie is Rey Ordonez (slick but absolutely no heart).
65. Unbreakable- Built up to something that it never delivered. Matt Raphael- "I miss the smart ass, wisecracking, smirking, devil may care, Moonlighting era Bruce Willis. Who needs this I never smile and I talk real slow Bruce. What a bum!"
64. Thirteen Days- Little known fact: Star Bruce Greenwood has a hair stylist named Lincoln, Co-star Kevin Costner has a hair stylist named Kennedy.
63. Life Is to Whistle- Cuban? love story, "wacky". Josh Granger misled me on this one.
62. Nowhere to Hide- Korean shoot em up. Kinda silly, but there are some interesting moments.
61. Two Family House- Jersey 1950's, Italian wannabe bar owner cheats on his obnoxious wife with a woman of ill repute. Ya da Ya da Ya da.
60. Ratcatcher- Scottish film, life is hard, rats are dirty, retarded kids do dumb things, garbage needs to be collected, all around boring.
59. Chicken Run- I'm so sick of socialist animation.
58. House of Mirth- You have to ask yourself why I would go see a movie like this when I never ever like movies like this. Gillian Anderson was good though. Edith Wharton is so Twentieth Century anyway.
57. Dude, Where's My Car- The most subversive film of the year: getting straight suburban kids into the theaters to watch this homoerotic lovefest is quite a feat. Sweeet.
56. Set Me Free- Teenage girl coming of age in some foreign country 1963. Since it was a foreign film, I was spared the plot device of JFK's assasination helping the girl grow up and how the country's innocence as well as the girl's innocence had forever been lost.
55. State and Main- David Mamet is a jerk. He's so utterly pleased with himself and his "smartness". This movie treads very similar territory- making a movie. Bowfinger was 100 times better.
54. Nurse Betty- Neil Labute is better when he's mean.
53. Criminal Lovers- Francois Ozon's ridiculous movie starts as a Natural Born Killers type gorearama and turns into a gay Hansel and Gretel with the man witch seducing Hansel. I kid you not.
52. Adrenaline Drive- Japanese crime caper but done real silly like.
51. Erin Brockovich- Enough of Julia Roberts' breasts already.
50. Human Resources- I never realized how controversial the 35 hour work week in France is. Decent, but definitely no "On the Waterfront".
49. The Tao of Steve- The dude's smokes a bowl before heading to his job as a preschool teacher- man I should have thought of that, it might have helped.
48. The Trench- Kinda dull film set during World War I, but the last scene of the troops getting shot as they advanced on the enemy across No Man's Land might have been one of my favorite scenes this year.
47. Mifune- Swedish Dogme film done all light and stuff. Starring the chick who caused so much hatred in the High Fidelity email wars last spring for being too boring. She's better in this one.
46. X Men- Almost as good as the late great Crispis Attucks' version of "Wolverine".
45. Little Thief- From the director of last year's The Dreamlife of Angels about a darling French twentysomething down on his luck.
44. Charlie's Angels- The sunglasses, the split screen dynamics, and most importantly Crispin Glover!
43. Bring It On- Half of this film seemed like it was trying to make some really intelligent comments on how black culture gets co-opted by white suburbanites- the other half was a typical teen fest of lameness. Still it does include one of the best lines of any movie all year- "This isn't a democracy, it's a cheeracracy."
42. Almost Famous- Good, but it just lacked that little something something. Crowe should have made this film fifteen years ago. It's almost like he was trying to gloss over too much of the story to please the Jerry Maguire crowd but instead he alienated everyone (well at least me). Now if he would make a whole movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs, that would be exciting.
41. Pola X- From Leos Carax, director of Lovers on the Bridge (that film with the amazing fireworks scene on the Seine). Looks amazing, kinda slow.
40. Suzhou River- The Asian Vertigo!
39. Water Drops on Burning Rocks- Ozon's film taken from a Fassbinder script. Features the best dance scene of the year, must be seen!
38. New Waterford Girl- Teen girl just can't buy a break in her small Canadian town. Marks the triumphant return of Andrew McCarthy to the big screen.
37. The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg- For those who don't know, Hank was a great Jewish home run hitter back in the day. Charming documentary.
36. My Best Friend's House- Iranian boy wanders around town looking desperately for his school notebook so he won't get into trouble. Better than it sounds.
35. Dark Days- Documentary about people living in the subway tunnels under Penn Station. Funnier than you'd think.
34. Small Time Crooks- Woody Allen's latest was minor, but funny nonetheless.
33. Black and White- This movie has a lot wrong with it, but the scene with Robert Downey hitting on Mike Tyson has to rank with the year's best.
32. Meet the Parents- Marc once shared an elevator with Robert De Niro. Or was it Jon Stewart? Or was it Harvey Keitel? Well, whoever he shared an elevator with, this movie was good.
31. Cast Away- This movie takes the insidious Hollywood practice of product placement to a new low.
30. High Fidelity- People who make lists are losers.
29. Best in Show- Not ha ha funny, but smile a lot funny instead.
28.Requiem For a Dream- All style but oh how stylish. Long live the Thunderbolt!
27. Judy Berlin- The suburbs have gotten a bad rap in film recently (all Hal Hartley, The Ice Storm, Happiness, American Overrated Beauty) but this film is a sweet love letter to the Long Island suburbs. Great black and white cinematography, low key, Edie Falco, good.
26. Trans- Juvenile delinquent escapes, wanders around, does stuff.
25. Spring Forward- My Dinner With Andre for the Ned Beatty set. One of the few films this year that made me tear up.
24. A Time For Drunken Horses- Kurdish refugees making a go of it in the rough rough rough world. The bandit raids make for some of the most chilling moments of any movie this year.
23. You Can Count on Me- You can talk all you want about Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney, but hot damn give it up for Rory Culkin!
22. The Beaver Trilogy- Videos from the 80's put together for the first time. The first one is a documentary about a wannabe transvestite in a small town who organizes a talent show so he can dress up like Olivia Newton John and lip sync to her songs. The second one recreates the reality with a young Sean Penn. The third one is another remake with Crispin Glover as the Olivia Neutron Bomb.
21. O Brother, Where Art Thou- More like a parody of a Coen Brothers movie than a real Coen Brothers effort, but still quite enjoyable.
20. Ghost Dog- Forest Whitaker is so bad ass in this movie! Great cartoon like violence, wonderful RZA soundtrack, fun loving gangsters who love Public Enemy, and kick ass carrier pigeons.
19. Traffic- Goes down just a little too easy, but any movie that ends with a baseball game symbolizing eternal hope can't be too bad. Don Cheadle is up there in Philip Seymour Hoffman territory these days.
18. Before Night Falls- Dazzling filmmaking. Just your typical gay Cuban writer makes good story.
17. Jesus' Son- Blissed out love-in of a drug movie. Billy Crudup is great and Jack Black is stupendous.
16. The Virgin Suicides- Funny, captivating, alluring and the perfect floating-like soundtrack by Air.
15. Wonderland- Small British drama that revolves around three sisters. Believable, touching, great. Gina Mckee is amazing in this and Croupier.
14. Final Destination- Scoff if you'd like, but I defy you to find a creepier or more fun film from the past year than this one. Begins with a plane crash, ends with a bang, and all the rest is fun too. It's so nerve-wracking knowing a character is going to die somehow, but you're not sure how the death will occur. You'll find yourself giggling with glee and fright. Would fit well on a double bill with Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" cuz you can't cheat death, yo.
13. Dancer in the Dark- Who knew Bjork could act? The best part of this movie is it is purely enjoyable whether you buy it as sincere or whether you think it is a big joke. Personally, I think it's a joke, but it's a work of genius to be able to pull off both at the same time. That last shot is pretty tough, ain't it?
12. Croupier- The closest thing to film noir released this year and oh how I love film noir. Screw Pierce Brosnan, I do believe we have found the next James Bond! Dark, cunning, fun.
11. Wonder Boys- Wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did, but Wow! Robert Downey and his libido, the 3000 page opus Michael Douglas is working on, the Little Richard like bowler, the dead dog, the Katie Holmes mystique… what a fun movie. Pittsburgh looks like the best city in the world in this film.
10. East- West- Devastating film about a family torn apart during Stalin's post-World War II reign. Familiar territory here, but when it's done well like it is here, it's quite powerful to watch.
9. Winter Sleepers- From the director of Run Lola Run, this film was actually made before Lola, but it wasn't released here until 2000. The first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes are unbelievable!!!!!! The last scene has to be seen to be believed. Let's just say, you might think twice about skiing after seeing this movie. Probably the best scene of the year. Josh steered me right on this one.
8. Yi Yi (A One and a Two)- Three hour drama about a Taiwanese family. This is a great film and the 8 year old boy in it is the best movie character of the year. Sweet like a good Truffaut film.
7. Kippur- Set during the 1973 Israeli- Syrian War. I have never seen a war film quite like this one. Excitement at first followed by misery, weariness, drudgery, horror. The enemy is never seen. The sound effects are the key. Claustrophobic, beautiful, scary as hell. It puts you into a trance from beginning to end.
6. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- The non fight scenes are sort of clunky, but hot damn, how 'bout dem fight scenes? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
5. Pups- Two 13 year olds find a gun, decide to rob a bank on the way to school, take hostages, the fun ensues. Instead of chanting "Attica" the kids ask for MTV to come and interview them live. The pasty white Kurt Loder stars as himself and Burt Reynolds stars as the Fbi agent trying to coax the kids out. Smart, hilarious.
4. Chuck and Buck- Written by and starring Mike White, one of the creators of the best television show ever, "Freaks and Geeks". One of those movies where you want to beg the character not to do what he's about to do. Awkward, hard to watch, utterly hilarious. White stars as Buck who moves to LA to stalk his childhood friend Chuck who he has been in love with for years. The problem is Chuck wants to have nothing to do with Buck. The best theme song of the year and the best catchphrase of the year (unfortunately censored because per my father's wishes, I'm trying to clean up my act in this year's list so you'll just have to go see it yourself, punk).
3. American Psycho- Christian Bale is unbelievable in this movie. Scathingly funny and creepy at the same time. Chloe Sevigny is great, the ending cracks me up. Between this and Duets, it was a banner year for Huey Lewis at the movies.
2. Beau Travail- Claire Denis' beautiful film based on Melville's "Billy Budd". I don't know Billy Budd, but I do know this- this movie made me weak at the knees. Very little plot or dialogue, just gorgeous French legionnaires training on the coast of Africa. There are many long sequences of the soldiers training and it is completely captivating. Like ballet I tell you! Super tight close ups, I love this film. If you have the patience, check this film out.
1. George Washington- Debut film from director David Gordon Green. Shot in Kernersville, North Carolina in three weeks with a cast of non-actors. Most of the characters are black teenagers, but the film refuses to fall into black teenager film cliché. No hip hop, no cursing. The only clue as to when this movie takes place is a poster of George Bush on the wall of one of the boys. Set in the early 90's? but it feels more like the 1940's. There is a timeless quality to this movie, almost a dream like feel to it. It captures the boredom, confusion, and excitement of adolescence, but there is so much more to this movie than just that. Vibrant colors, a slow Southern pace, incredible dialogue, this movie is hard to describe. Make sure that you see it at some point so you can see what the hell I'm talking about.