rick & 1j13
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I don't know if I've even seen ten movies this year. In past years, I've been able to keep up with the latest "good movies" during the summer months when my wife and kids head off to the beach or mountains, but they mostly stayed home this year. Not that I'm complaining, of course - just that it put a damper on some of my movie-going rituals.

10. Matrix: Reloaded
Too muh action, too much dialogue (later found to be fairly meaningless in Revolutions), and not enough story. I would've liked this story better if it had been continued like the XMEN series - give a single plotline in each sequel, with an undercurrent that progresses the big picture. Great scenes and effects in both of these movies this year, but lame on most of the rest.

9. Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
Probably the last in the series unless it's renamed "Spy Teens". I thought it was cute, and the 3D-glasses didn't give us much of a headache. Surprise: I really thought Sylvester Stallone did a decent job as a maniacal villian.

8. Matrix: Revolutions
I wanted this one to be "higher ranked" - but as a finale for a trilogy it sucked. If it stood on its own as a story, maybe I would've had lower expectations. I spent a week going back over the dialogue in Reloaded so I wouldn't be in the dark with Revolutions - only to find that Revolutions had no decent dialogue and that you could've skipped the second one entirely. At least, it could've been one follow-up movie, not two.

7. Looney Tunes: Back In Action
My son and I caught this one during a wedding weekend for my wife and daughter. Great "guy" movie - I don't know if the girls would've liked it as much. But we enjoyed it. Pay attention to the little things around the screen and away from the main characters. There's lots of stuff thrown into the scenery and the dialogue that'll make you laugh and go "oh yeah".

6. Brother Bear
Good movie, good music, gotta love the moose... er mooses... meese?

5. Hulk
Bad reviews led me to walk into this one with very low expectations. But I thought it did a good job with the tension and the plotline balancing out the effects and computer animated Hulk.

4. X2
I thought this was a decent sequel, carrying it's own weight in the stand-alone plot, while still carrying the mythology through the series (Wolverine and Jane, Jane to Phoenix, showing "kids" in the school who figure prominently as heroes in the comic, etc). And Nightcrawler was Alan Cummings' greatest role since Floop.

3. Finding Nemo
This movie was just fun. I expected it to be pretty good, and was really surprised that it was *very* good. We have it on DVD now, and it's still funny listening to the banter between the fish. And being a dad, I know - I'd swim the ocean to find my children, too.

2. LOTR: Return of the King
This one will be number one on most people's lists. The only reason it wasn't for me: I knew the ending. Other than that, fantastic adventure - and finally wrapping up for us a three-year adventure (only took them "thirteen months to the day" to return to the Shire, didn't it?). Intense battle scenes - notice how the score would rise to a crescendo and then go silent to let you hear the crushing bones and chain mail? Way cool. And the story of course transcends all three films in the series, with the triumph of good over evil in the midst of real pain, suffering and loss.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean
This one was fun, story-driven, and twisty enough to keep me and everyone else interested. Johnny Depp shined, deserving of his Golden Globe nomination, and it was fun to see Orlando Bloom/Legolas using a sword instead of a bow & arrow.

Disclaimer - There have been a few movies I didn't get to see yet that would've probably made this list. Hopefully I'll see some of them before they leave theaters, or at least catch them on DVD:
  • Master & Commander
  • Bruce Almighty (got it in from Netflix right now)
  • The Last Samurai
  • Lost In Translation

    UPDATE: Good call, Joshua - can't believe I forgot about HOLES. Great movie there, too.

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