A Year in Review – 2004

As I begin the insurmountable task of recording what I think will be a document of great importance to the archives for films of the year 2004 I think first, am I the right person for this task? I have thought hard of other people with surpassing wisdom and a more equipped language, but they have shown little or no interest. So I take it upon myself to give to you the best, most entertaining, most important and most forgettable films of 2004.

 

“You’re coming to see this movie whether you like it or not!”

If you ask a person which they’d like to hear about first, the good news or the bad, 9 times out of ten they’ll say “Who the fuck are you?” But that one other time they’ll say, “Gimme the bad news and then get the fuck outta here.” So here’s the bad news. My most loyal readers will have no trouble guessing my pick for worst film of 2004, being that I reference it in several reviews using it as the benchmark for cinematic syphilis. That film is The Bourne Supremacy. This film shows us several things. First and most important is that not everyone should be making movies. Second that most people don’t really watch movies. And Third those of us who actually do make movies should try watching movies a bit more closely, especially our own. In regards to the second observation I sincerely believe that when the lights go off in the movie house people are doing something different than what I am doing, which is, believe it or not, watching the movie. People go to movies for different reason than I do. That is why when someone tells me that the Matrix Reloaded sucked while the Bourne Supremacy rocked I simply say “Go fuck yourself.” When I was watching Reloaded those 9 times at the IMAX I wasn’t thinking about how to get cum stains out of my father’s new Jetta. I wish I was, but I wasn’t. I also wasn’t thinking up ways in which I could lose 10 pounds and remember all seven new ways to satisfy “My Man” in the bedroom. Maybe if I had things like that on my mind The Matrix would blow and The Supremacy would rock and maybe I’d have a girlfriend or at least know seven ways to please myself in the bedroom.

 

For those of you who were watching movies this year you might have regretted these other skid marks of celluloid.

 

  1. De-Lovely
  2. Alien Versus Predator
  3. Little Black Book
  4. First Daughter
  5. The Exorcist: The Beginning
  6. Christmas With the Kranks

 

There are countless more no doubt, but these are the ones that I actually sat through and remembered to write down.

If you were to ask someone why they go to the movies they would most likely respond something to the tune of “You again, I thought I told you to fuck off.” Then if you were insistent he or she would probably say “Entertainment.” These are what we call popcorn films. Films that sell popcorn. Films that don’t really require a lot of thought on your end. The films we acknowledge here are those popcorn films that actually made you glad you spent fifty dollars on a movie and snacks. Spiderman 2, I’ve already said, is one of the best comic book movies ever made. It’s not easy to make an action film where I actually care about the characters, but putting poor old Peter Parker through every fucking trial and tribulation, from losing his job, his best friend, his scholastic aptitude and the love of his life, I couldn’t help but empathize the shit out of this character. The Village was another that made a simple story with simple characters and simple motives something special. But where Spiderman 2 was one of the highest grossing films of the year, no one seemed to give a shit about the Village. I’ve seen this film a few times now and I understand that it was just marketed incorrectly.

It was marketed as a M. Night film, which will tend to heighten expectations and make you think you’re going to see a fright show. The Village is a love story. As innocent as the blind heroine this story has one destination and that is through the woods and into city, where the “surprise” let down a lot of people. I’ll admit that the surprise didn’t really impact me very strongly, but everything leading me there to the last shot where Ivy returns to her recovering Lucious left a strong and lasting impression that this was a masterfully made film. Rich character work, funny and intelligent dialogue, genuine scares and just complete attention to the story. A lot of films service different strengths they are working with, be it a “star” or a visual style, M. Night’s films service the story. Everything begins and ends with story, which is the foundation and half of the fucking word, “Storytelling.”

Finally if you were to ask me what I thought to be the best and most important films of 2004 I’d probably say, “Are you the asshole going around asking weird questions?” But then I’d probably tell you that there was no film more original, more intelligent and personal than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Charlie Kaufman is the most talented writer working in Hollywood today. Never before have I seen the dream state and confusion of the subconscious captured so realistically. I also believe this film to be one of the most originally romantic films I’ve ever seen. It’s a story about a girl who deletes her ex-boyfriend from her memory. For spite the guy decides to delete her as well from his own memory, but somewhere in the middle of the night during the procedure he has a change of heart or a realization that it is better to have loved and lost than loved lost and then deleted the whole thing from your memory. Thus begins his quest to hide the memory of the girl he loved in his subconscious. They journey through his most private and humiliating memories until there is nowhere else to hide. This is a brilliant concept and the fact that it was executed so flawlessly makes me believe that this art form truly is here so that we may learn from ourselves and better our situations and relationships by sharing all of the deep human truths that we all experience.

 

Charlie’s Top Ten Films of 2004

 

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Spiderman 2
  3. Closer
  4. Kill Bill Volume Two
  5. Before Sunset
  6. The Village
  7. Spartan
  8. I Heart Huckabees
  9. Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  10. The Dreamers
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~ by fumikaelson on January 7, 2005.

3 Responses to “A Year in Review – 2004”

  1. Dear Mr Zero:

    Great year end wrap-up! I think you said almost everything I was thinking, well almost everything. I love you Stacey! There now everything has been said.

    Do you have to curse so much?

  2. Charlie, your year in rear-view of cinema is so true! Perhaps something that would be seen in “The Bucket of Truth”! If you do not get my “Bucket of Truth” reference then perhaps you should go fuck yourself! I also admire that you use disgusting amounts of profanity in your reviews. If anyone has any questions about the “Bucket of Truth” please feel free to ask me for a semi-private viewing. Have a super day!

    Rem

  3. Shit I don’t what to say. For the first time I can actually agree with what you picked. You still are a Ebert Watanabe.

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