Jan. 23rd, 2010

clauditorium: (Default)
(click on any title to see an excerpt of it)

1. Charlie’s Angels
(2000) It did well at the box office, but it's hard for a movie based on a cheesy tv show, directed by someone who calls himself "McG", to get any respect. And yet, this was a pure jolt of joyous, energetic fun. McG skillfully walks a thin line, staying just this side of parody.

2. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) I have my own reservations (that ending needs some work), but I don't get the outright hate directed at this film. Some of the haters are Stanley Kubrick fans who are under the mistaken impression Steven Spielberg turned Kubrick's vision to mush. Fact is, neither filmmaker could have made this spooky, moving, bracingly harsh film alone.

3. The Hulk (2003) I can see why it didn't do well - director Ang Lee's attempt to intellectualize a comic book movie did not work. But there's still plenty here to like - the characters and relationships have depth, and the visuals are dynamic and fun.

4. Superman Returns (2006) This was seen as a failure, but to my mind, it's a much better superhero movie than director Bryan Singer's two X-Men films. A lot of love went into this one, and Singer makes plain his reverence for the first two Christopher Reeve films. The tone is perfect – old-fashioned, with just the right amount of humour. Brandon Routh does a commendable job of retaining Reeve’s sense of humour about the role.

5. What Lies Beneath (2000) This thriller was overlooked or dismissed as silly, but it's gripping and scary, with perfect, creepy cinematography. It also makes excellent use of sound.

6. Hannibal (2001) Apparently, some were expecting more of the same from this sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, but it's simply a different type of film. In lieu of depth, you will find quality black humour and Grand Gignol gore and violence. In other words, it's lots of fun.

7. Nurse Betty
(2000) This bombed, but it's not surprising that audiences didn't know what to make of this unique, uncategorizable film.

8. Dawn of the Dead (2004) No one ever cuts much slack to remakes of classics. But this one thankfully avoids the jokey tone that plagues many post-eighties horror movies, and this allows it to be truly scary and intense.

9. Hollow Man
(2000) I don't understand why this supernatural thriller is so universally hated. Whether Paul Verhoeven's movies are great or horrible, they're always melodramatic workouts. This one follows suit, enjoyably going to extremes of sex and violence.

10. King Kong
(2005) It brought in a lot of money, but people who worshipped director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films saw this as a disappointment. I say, anything but. The effects are astounding, and the adventure thrilling.

Other movie lists:
most disappointing
most pleasant surprises
most overrated
the worst

Best of the decade lists:
music from 60 to 46
music from 45 to 31
music from 30 to 16
music top 15

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