Sunday, March 6, 2011

Top Movies 2004

            Bucking the trend of writing lists that have easy to digest and follow numbering systems, in place of a top 5 for this year (and since I did 10-4 in my last top movies deal) this is the three best movies of 2004.  They won't surprise most people who know me or those who see eye to eye with me, though I imagine a good number of people will say something to the effect of, "yeah, they're all pretty good.  But the best?"  With that in mind here are what I consider to be some of my absolute favorite films of the last 10 years.

            While it is more and more a product of the experimental, let's see how true to the comics we can be, "Spiderman 2" was the best of its trilogy with 4.5 out of 5.  Doctor Octopus is a really cool classic villain and he is realized on screen very well.  Peter's decision to stop being Spiderman encapsulates a huge number of stories written about the character and it is well done.  The universe is really fleshed out and a lot of characters that could have been used in future movies are introduced with Doctor Connors (the Lizard) and John Jameson (Man-Wolf) both being huge wasted characters in the third installment.  Is it cheesy and over acted?  Little bit.  But that is sort of what makes it fun.
Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Dumbest Spiderman Moments

            #2 movie of the year is another superhero movie, but was original to the film, it is my favorite animated film of all time "The Incredibles" with 5 out of 5, the first movie of the decade to get that title.  This movie touches on numerous issues concerning family, career, school, and is possibly the most clearly illustrated Objectivist Aesop that I have ever seen (give good people the freedom to explore and use their talents and they will save the world).  The characters are all complex, with possibly the exception of Syndrome who is just a bastard through and through, even extending to the supporting cast with Fro-Zone getting some great scenes.  I love this movie.
Confused Matthew Reviews "The Incredibles"

            My number one movie of the year is "Shaun of the Dead" with 5 out of 5.  This movie introduced me to Edgar Wright who is currently boxing Christopher Nolan as my favorite writer-director.  This movie defies genre in that it has comedy, drama, and horror elements.  Some memorable scenes are improv showing that Wright lets his cast throw out creative and interesting ideas, making him leaps beyond George Lucas (James Cameron more and more) and other directors who can't coax creative spark from their actors in genre films.  This movie is so good, if you haven't seen it, go watch it today.  Or since it isn't an instant stream movie I suppose you can wait for Netflix to send it to you, but watch it the day you get it.

For the Awards of 2004
Best Actor/Actress Nominees:
Simon Pegg ("Shaun of the Dead")
Matt Damon ("Bourne Supremacy")
Jim Carrey ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind")
Lindsay Lohan ("Mean Girls")
Rob Lowe ("Salem's Lot")
I think she is just happy to be here.
             The Winner is Jim Carrey.  The entire movie pivots on his performance which is really restrained for him.  It allows him to be intense but not in a comedic fashion.  I really think that Carrey doesn't get the respect he deserves in Hollywood, and this movie displays what he can do when he is put into a role he can act in.
You deserve it Jim

Best Special Effects Nominees:
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
"Spiderman 2"
"The Bourne Supremacy"
            The winner is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" which does well blending dreamscape to make emotional impact with the audience, "Spiderman 2" has stellar special effects but they look like special effects by today's standards, "Sunshine" is more subtle.

Best Small Role
Dylan Baker ("Spiderman 2")
Bill Nighy ("Shaun of the Dead")
Julia Stiles ("The Bourne Supremacy")
Brad Bird and Pixar ("The Incredibles")
            This one was harder for me, but I'm going to give it to Brad Bird and Pixar for their creation of the superhero uniform designer Edna.  She has huge comedic weight in the movie and even though she doesn't have a single action scene and her part is limited to outfits and one pep-talk she is still incredibly memorable.  Bill Nighy has the most pathos driven seen in "Shaun of the Dead" and considering how much drama that scene has in a comedy it deserves some recognition.
Very memorable

Best Premise
"Shaun of the Dead"
"The Incredibles"
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
"Harold and Kumar go to White Castle"
            "The Incredibles" takes it.  While "Shaun" defies genre it was a zombie movie made in the context of the zombie deluge of... well it is still going on.  "The Incredibles" was an original take on the super hero genre in that it was a family and an original Intellectual property in an era of no original IP's everywhere, which is still going on today.

Best Quote
"Oh, ho ho! You sly dog! You got me monologuing! I can't believe it..."
-Syndrome "The Incredibles"
God, you are such an asshole.

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