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Top 10 for 2002

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What were you top 10 movies of 2002?

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      09.03.2009 03:31
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      ...Was 2002 really that bad?=/

      Well this is going back and shall be my random article for the month (I was looking for random movie articles, this ones an archive as opposed to speakers corner, so I thought id do this). 2002 in my life was erm...*counts* 7 years ago when i was *counts again* 14 (I turned 15 a week before the year ended) so I'm gonna have to use some sources here to remind me what the hell came out all them years ago.

      2002 was the year of the Sequel part I with no less than 11 major sequels, from Harry Potter to Jason X, from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars we were re-fed the same pithy story lines as previous, though notably the book's of magic seemed to do rather well (somehow I've thankfully avoided both like the plague, from the time they were out to now, not bad huh?)

      Turns out Ive not actually seen many movies from '02, so to list the lot wouldn't take very long: (beware list)
      8 Mile
      28 Days later
      40 Days and 40 Nights
      Analyze That (which coincidentally I've just recently re-watched)
      Austin Powers: Goldmember
      Bend It Like Beckham
      Bowling for Columbine
      Die Another Day
      Ghost Ship
      Guru
      Ice Age
      Insomnia
      Mr Deeds
      Orange County
      Reign Of Fire
      Spiderman
      Undercover Brother
      XXX (Oddly the only one I actually saw in the Cinema)

      There are a few I should have watched but havent, most noticeably Bourne Identity; Gangs of New York; The Pianist; Phone Booth and as a boxing fan Undisputed. And I swear I will sometime.

      Anyway the original list is what is now my Short-list (as it's unfair to comment on things I've never watched). So my short-list of 18 (I cant believe I only saw 18 movies from 2002 looking back at it) has to be witled down to 10 and then (as a bonus for you readers a "Bottom 3 of 2002" (probably an easier list to be honest).

      ###Mr Deeds###
      My favourite movie (and there fore #1) from 2002 is Probably Mr Deeds, In what must be described as one of the last definitively funny Sandler movies (Id say better than 50 First Dates which was a 2004 release, which is Sandlers last good movie imo). Mr Deeds is Sandler doing what Sandler does well, in playing the innocent hero in a nasty world, the sort of role he became known for from Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore roles. The movie has a feel good charm to it, as a nice guy succeeds, but also a completely unbelievable (as in "one cannot find this plausible" not "MAN that is un-be-****-ing-leeeeave-able") which may ruin it for some viewers.

      Summary- Sandlers last great stand out movie, with similar under-tones to hisvery

      **Note** I've yet to see Anger Management (2003) which may very well invalidate my summary.

      ###Undercover Brother###
      Now this was a bt of an oddity to me I can't fathom where I purchased it, but it was whilst I was living in Paisley drinking nightly and hating my days at university, in which I was pretty much buying DVDs every night as I'd made no friends at the place after 7 months. I was feeling pretty low, and overall wanted to just disintegrate into a whole. This movie however did make many a night bearable, with it's quirky, funky throw back setting and Dave Chapelle (who Ill admit is a lot better than Ive given him credit for in the past).

      The best way to explain the movie is to compare it to another movie, if you close your eyes (after reading this bit obviously...) imagine in your mind Austin Powers, in a stereo-typical black funky world of the '70's. Thats what this movie is about, with very dark (punny huh;-)) humour, a racist under-tone set out in a very tongue in cheek way by director Malcolm D. Lee. The movie's star is Eddie Griffin but to be honest (as brilliant as he is) the supporting cast is really the foil that works so well to the story, mainly through Chris Kattan, Denise Richards, Neil Patrick Harris and Dave Chappelle.

      Summary- Funky fun with the BROTHERHOOD.

      ###Austin Powers in Goldmember###
      Sadly I've not seen this since just before the Christmas following it's release as we sampled the presents we'd gotten for my then 9 year old cousin. This is the third and final (barring any future sequels) movie in the Austin Powers franchise that had taken the late '90's by storm in regards to the spoof. Based loosely around James Bond, Power's is a secret agent stuck in the 60's and still thinks things are "Groovy baby...yeh".

      The movie, much like it's prequels, is fun and easy to follow, whilst the movie is highlighted acting wise by the excellent Michael Caine. Though it's probably not the best in the series it's really enjoyable and you can't really complain overly about it.

      Summary- Goldmember is shaggable baby.

      ###Bowling for Columbine##
      Some will call this the definitive documentary, others will call it Michael Moores defining piece, many will call it political drivel from a fat bearded yank wanting to make money from suffering an death. I'd go with a middle view of it's a good documentary on a terrible tragedy that should never have been repeated (but sadly, as I'm sure we're all aware it has happened since).

      The documentary is based primarily around the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 by 2 of the students as I'm sure we are all aware of the tragedy. Moore also looks at the USA's gun culture and crime rates, and as he always does, he manages to come across looking a bit like a...well a prick to be honest. Sadly taking what should have been a brilliant documentary about a terrible tragedy and lowering it to more self promotion and cheap shots. If you can ignore this typical Moore trait you will really love the movie and the depth he goes into, sadly if you can't see past the self promotion you may end up turning it off after just 30 mins.

      Summary- A slight waste of what could have potentially been the best movie of the year, had Michael Moore's ego been kept in check.

      ###Reign of Fire###
      I watched this on the BBC late last year, at my grandparents and despite it not being something I'd typically choose to watch I was sold by seeing Christian Bale's name in the TV guide. For those who've not read my excellent (a lil self promotion never harmed...ask Moore ;-)) review on Equilibrium, you won't know about my slightly worrying fantasies of Christian Bale...man that guy could bend me over a couch and have his way for me any day...

      ...Ahem, back to the job at hand *lets go of the stiff thing in his hands*, Reign of Fire is about Dragons taking over the world thats now in a mess with civilisation broken down as the Dragons take over...and some thing else happened Whilst Christian was talking and fight Dragons and some American bloke with muscles and guns... The film often feels like its a bit of a cheap flick, a bit independent feeling, but yet it's brilliant if you can get into it (if not, just stare longingly at Mr Bale's perfect features).

      Summary- Dragons...and a bit of hot stuff.

      ###Analyze that###
      I'm a lil biased as this is by far the most recent one I've seen, and also that I have DeNiro on a pedestal that even Bale's good looks alone can't emulate. Analyze that is the sequel to Analyze this, That sadly doesn't come close to emulating the brilliance of This (confused yet?).

      DeNiro reprises his role as Paul Vitti the mafia man, with his trusty sidekick from the first more Jelly (played wonderfully by the late Joe Viterelli) and the psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). The trio at the centre of the movie do have some brilliant chemistry but the movie lacks the spark of the original and seems like the personalities of some of the characters has changed too much. Though there is humour through out the movie comes across as being darker and not at humorous as the original. However seeing DeNiro singing "I Feel Pretty" is up there with the ending of The Usual Suspects as one of my favourite moments in Cinema.

      ###Orange County###
      This will probably have passed under most people's radar way back when and infact had it not come with School Rock when I opened my presents as I turned 17 I probably would have never heard of it. The main role of Shaun Brumder is played by Colin Hanks (who's most famous as being tom Hanks son) and playing along side him as his girlfriend is Schuyler Fisk (best known as being the daughter of Sissy Spacek). The most notable names in the movie are Jack Black (the reason it was packaged with School Of Rock) as Shauns stoner brother, Ben Still as a fireman in a cameo part, and Mike White (most famous as Ned Schneebly in School of Rock).

      The movie is about young Shaun finding his way after the death of his best friend, though really this is a lame storyline for what is an eclectic laugh a minute movie with Shaun's self absorption and his flat out unluckiness making the brunt of the humour. A really likeable movie which out the fireworks of many of it's contemporaries set in a wonderful part of California where all the people (except for Shauns paraplegic step father) are pretty.

      Summary- The hidden gem of 2002

      ###Ice Age###
      This may seem quite low on my list (which I'll admit isn't really based that much on order really as many of them could swap positions) as it was by far the animated movie of 2002. Unlike many of the movies on this list, this was a start of a franchise as opposed to a follow up, with sequels Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) and a mooted future release of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009).

      Ice age is odd in one respect as from the animation you'd almost expect it to be Pixar but it's actually done by Blue Sky Studios who have only really released Robots since.
      The cast of the movie is pretty threadbare with notable names really limited to Jack Black, Ray Romano (from Everybody Loves Raymond fame), Denis Leary (probably most famous for his song Asshole from his No Cure for Cancer album...which I've reviewed on this very site).
      The plot is easy to follow as it's aimed at kids and yet it also keeps the attention of those who should "know better" such as myself when I watched it with my sister.

      Summary- An animation for he whole family.

      ###Spiderman###
      I didn't expect to like this at all, but I stole my brothers DVD wanged it on and genuinely enjoyed it, with Toby Maguire's portrayal of Peter Parker maybe not suiting some of the hardcore Spidey fans (I'm not sure I've not asked them) I liked it and with the always brilliant (and frankly gorgeous) Kirsten Dunst taking the role of Mary Jane there is eye candy for both the male and female viewers.

      The movie (the first in 3 so far) features around Peter coming to terms with and realising his powers, his love of the pretty girl he thinks he can't have (guy's haven't we all been there), and his ability to shoot white stuff (shooting white stuff over girls you like, often means you don't get them...). The movie had massive appeal making it the biggest smash of the year, out doing the Potter and LOTR's sequels in monetary terms. A victory for the geeks!
      The movies baddy (The Green Goblin) is wonderfully played by the evil looking Williem Dafoe who suits the role perfectly, and whether your a nerdy comic book fan or just wanting to see a bit of good v bad this movie is definitely up there with the must watch ones.

      Summary- Brilliant and unexpectedly not all hype.

      Note-Shooting a guys white stuff over a girl may result in her ripping off your gun, so don't take the spidey approach to girls.

      The final movie on my top 10 list is ###Ghost Ship###
      This just pips 8 mile and The Guru to the 10th position as I wouldn't choose to watch the other two again and I've seen this one twice thus it wins by default. Ghost Ship is your typical middle of the sea horror in which some salvage people find a missing boat where a giant set of mass murders took place many years earlier. The movie then zooms to the current day when the salvage folk find it and go aboard expecting treasure but finding a nightmare.

      Sadly this is the 10th best movie of 2002 that I saw which really shows how few movies I've seen from the year, the cast is nothing spectacular (in fact I'd never heard of any of the cast previously) the story is nothing new or exciting, the dialogue works but again seems like nothing special. Just a very very very average horror flick.

      Summary- I didn't see enough good movies from the year.

      ***Bonus Feature***
      These are maybe not the flat out "Worst" I've seen but more the "Most disappointing" in some cases.

      ###Die Another Day###
      I am a huge Bond fan, though thankfully I never saw this at the cinema (instead paying £1.99 for the DVD at GAME) as I'd have been rather pissed off. The movie takes everything that makes a Bond movie (a good storyline, some gadgets a good bad guy and a sense of plausibility) and craps all over it. There are a few saving graces Pierce is brilliant as Bond as always, Dame Judi Dench is fantastic as she can be given the crap script she was given, and Rosamund Pike who surely has a future on the big screen after her role here.
      The key problem with the movie isn't the plot or even the script, or the acting (which Halle Berry does as woodenly as ever) but the over usage of CGI, CGI in a Bond movie for every single set piece. Whatever happened to live action, a sense of danger and the risk of stunts going wrong (For example the parachute stunt in The Spy Who Loved Me, or the crocodiles in Live and Let Die), the sense that this could be real. Instead we get a glorified Hollywood special effects fest to suck on Lee Tamahori's ego. Whats worse yet is the almost beck and crawling nature of sucking up to America, with the use of Madonna and the always brilliant but pointless addition of Michael Madsen. The movie that Lee Tamahori should have done is also featured on this list oddly enough...

      Summary- XXX wannabe...

      ###XXX###
      ...This is where Tamahori should have done the directing, where explosions and silliness whilst bending over backwards for America to shove their long hard dollar up your ass. An American take on the action genre that fails to deliver anything but a Vin Diesel yank-a-thon, if you like your pointless explosions and poor story (i.e. If your a Vin Diesel fan) you'll probably love this. Sadly I need substance to my action, I need a reason to blowing the crap out of things, not more pointless CGI and explosions than in a video game. If I want to watch things get blown up I'll play games, if I want a cinematic experience I'll watch movies.

      Apparently this was to be the Bond for America a role that was beaten out of them by the much better Bourne trilogy. This would compare more favourable the male orientated action movies of the 80's than the Bond movies of old (though it goes hand in hand almost with Die another Day).

      The thing is with the budget they must have had, why did they have so much of it spent on effects and so little spent on acting and writing talent? The only genuinely good actor in the movie is Samuel L Jackson, and the only other name that stands out is Eve (as well as Diesel), so you spend all your money on effects, hire 1 brilliant actor, 1 brainless wooden goon and what do you have? A giant steaming turd of a movie.

      Summary- ...Bond Wannabe

      ###Insomnia###
      Al Pacino...now just bare with me a moment, Al Pacino...what does that name mean to you? To me anyway it means one of the greatest actors of all time, and regularly a reason to buy movies. The guy is up there with DeNiro as guy's who can do no wrong, from Heat, Scarface, Godfather, Carlito's Way, Serpico, donnie Brasco you all know the guy. He's a bit like Elvis of the movie, even if you don't like the movies you respect him because of who he is and how good he is.

      So seeing his name on the box of this DVD basically said "Scott...buy me", foolishly I did and the movie seemed to be a cure for insomnia. It's about some detective investigating something and not sleeping so he goes crazy or something, I could hardly keep my eyes open to actually work out what it was about or why Pacino put his name to it.

      The other staring roles are Hilary Swank and Robin Williams...the same bloke as from Flubber and Mrs Doubtfire seminal movies of my childhood and yet some how he doesn't seem to have the sparkle he had.

      Summary- A cure for Insomnia

      All in all I would say it was a pretty crappy year from what I've seen, though I do accept theres a lot of good (or at least highly spoken of) movies from the year that I should try and watch some time soon. However as I've not seen them, it would be unfair for me to count them.

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