332. (29 Dec) Cast Away (2000, Robert Zemeckis) [A] Simply put, the best Hollywood movie since 12 Monkeys. Zemeckis puts on a bravura show of direction that's at times surprisingly highbrow -- the mise-en-scene at Hanks' reunion with his former endodontist could have come straight out of Egoyan -- and Hanks turns in his best performance ever; here's hoping he finally wins an Oscar for work that deserves it.
331. (27 Dec) *The Opportunists (2000, Myles Connell) [B]
Easy winner of the 2000 "Most Low-Key Movie" award, The Opportunists features a quietly assured performance from Christopher Walken that mantains interest even when much of the film feels underfed.
330. (26 Dec) *The Misadventures of Margaret (1998, Brian Skeet) [C-]
Well, now I know why this Parker Posey vehicle never got a U.S. distributor: like a bad Woody Allen movie, its New York neurotic tone wears out fast.
329. (26 Dec) Miss Congeniality (2000, Douglas Petrie) [B-] Pleasant, but forgettable, timekiller.
328. (25 Dec) *Gone in 60 Seconds (2000, Dominic Sena) [C]
Better than the usual Bruckheimer fare, if for no other reason than it doesn't try to go for emotional moments. (There's also lots of cool vroom-vrooms on the soundtrack.) Otherwise the typical amounts of stylish "attitude" taking the place of plot, characterization, and competent action direction.
327. (25 Dec) *A Christmas Story (1983, Bob Clark) [B]
Easy to see why this broadly comic rememberance of Christmases past has become a holiday staple; its episodic structure makes for great television and its lack of saccharine sentimentality makes it ideal holiday viewing for those of us who can't stand the usual Christmas homilies.
326. (24 Dec) *Love & Sex (2000, Valerie Brienan) [B-]
The perfect mate to fit a double bill with High Fidelity, this flips the gender of its protagonist (Janssen) as she reflects on her miserable relationships after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend. What makes it inferior to Fidelity is that it lacks the knowing details of Hornby's indie-music milleu; it has a twentysomething setting as generic as its title.
325. (24 Dec) *Where the Money Is (2000, Marek Kanievska) [B-]
Slight and insubstantial caper film that coasts on the unforced charm of Paul Newman and Linda Fiorentino's sexiest, funniest performance since The Last Seduction. Sometimes, that's enough.
324. (23 Dec) *Pitch Black (2000, David Twohy) [B]
If you can ignore the glaring holes in the film's setup, this is as tight and well-directed a sf-action film as one could ask for. Vin Diesel makes for a magnetic and morally ambiguous antihero, and the rest of the cast does a good job of making the diverse lot of survivors more two-dimensional than the norm for this type of genre exercise. A niftily done job of cinematography makes me kick myself for waiting to catch this on video.
323. (17 Dec) Quills (2000, Phillip Kaufman) [C]
I don't care if this is a misguided take on the Marquis de Sade or a brave defense of the freedom of expression; on purely "entertainment" levels, it's such a failure that its thematic virtues/flaws are a moot point to me.
322. (17 Dec) The Emperor's New Groove (2000, Mark Dindal) [B+]
Lousy trailer almost convinced me to skip this; glad I didn't as this is the most consistently entertaining Disney flick in recent years. (I like Tarzan a bit more, but ENG doesn't have Tarzan's rather massive flaws..) A slapstick free-for-all, anchored by some dizzy comic vocal performances (Patrick Warburton, as the genial henchman Kronk, is a stitch.)
321. (17 Dec) Dude, Where's My Car? (2000, Danny Lenier) [B-]
Scattershot, but likably silly Bill & Ted riff that works when you realize that it comes across like a 12-year old boy's view of what the adult world looks like.
320. (16 Dec) Pollock (2000, Ed Harris) [C]
Ed Harris starts his bio of Jackson Pollock playing the man as a moody, withdrawn drunk and ends it playing him as a moody, withdrawn drunk corpse. Besides his generally lethargic performance, his pic is saddled with all the rote problems of screen bios: jarring scene transitions marked with "X years later", an overreverence of its subject (I lost count of how many times someone exclaims how great an artist Jackson Pollock is), and a lack of solid narrative arc. About the only time the film comes alive is when it shows the creation of Jackson Pollock's paintings;; then there's a raw physicality and emotion that's missing from the rest of the film.
319. (16 Dec) What Women Want (2000, Nancy Meyers) [C-]
In Mel Gibson's world, apparently Mel Gibson who mugs in a massive ego trip of a performance. Never mind that this is right up there with You've Got Mail in having a woman fall in love with the guy stabbing her in the back.
318. (10 Dec) Spring Forward (2000, Tom Gilroy) [B-]
Finely acted, but highly uneven; for every scene such as the opening encounter of Beatty and Schrieber's city employees with a mindgames-playing yuppie, there's a clunky scene sunk by faux-proletarian polemics.
317. (10 Dec) Vertical Limit (2000, Martin Campbell) [D]
Where in God's name did Martin Campbell get the reputation of being a good action director? Mask of Zorro was an overrated trifle, and the stuntwork here is lazily directed; all the good moments appeared in the trailer. This allows us plenty of time to luxuriate in the wretched script, written by rote from Screenwriting for Dummies where every character has to have a fucking "poignant" arc, a one-dimensional human villain has to appear, and a new crisis has to appear every 10 minutes, even when it makes zero sense. This makes The (Not) Perfect Storm look like a masterpiece in comparison..
316. (09 Dec) Tess (1979, Roman Polanski) [C] Hard to get emotionally involved in a film whose central performance melts into the background, and given Hardy's tendency toward ludicrous melodrama the result is invariably a failure.
315. (09 Dec) Proof of Life (2000, Taylor Hackford) [B] Fairly obvious the Ryan/Crowe romance that should have provided the emotional center was gutted to the core and the concurrent plotline with hubby David Morse's ordeal in captivity takes too much screen time. But Crowe's work as a Kidnap & Rescue negotiator gives the film the testorone-fueled suspense of a high-stakes poker game, all tied up with a satisfying adrenaline-laced climax.
314. (09 Dec) Dungeons & Dragons (2000, Courtney Solomon) [C-] It's crap, certainly, but there is some perverse entertainment value in watching fine British thespians like Jeremy Irons (who must really need the money) and Bruce Payne chew the scenery with lip-smacking relish. Out of respect for Thora Birch's fine American Beauty performance, you may want to avert your eyes during her scenes; talk about your public humiliations...
313. (02 Dec) /You Can Count on Me/ (2000, Kenneth Lonergan) [A-]
312. (28 Nov) *Rules of Engagement (2000, William Friedkin) [C]
311. (25 Nov) What's Cooking? (2000, Gurinder Chadha) [C] In this American melting pot, a lot of heavy handed melodrama.
310. (25 Nov) Billy Liar (1963, John Schlesinger) [B+]
309. (25 Nov) Venus Beauty Institute (2000, Tonie Marshall) [B] Thoroughly pleasant, if unexceptional; Audrey Tautau is further proof that there is a secret breeding program funded by the French film industry to produce gorgeous brunettes by the truckload.
308. (24 Nov) /Wonder Boys/ (2000, Curtis Hanson) [B+]
307. (24 Nov) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, Ron Howard) [C+] Jim Carrey pretty much the only reason to see this; when he's allowed comic room film is effortlessly diverting. Otherwise calculatedly commercial fare with hypocritical "anti-commercialism" message, all set in The World's Tackiest Christmas Store Display.
306. (24 Nov) Unbreakable (2000, M. Night Shyamalan) [C] Highly ambitious take on superhero mythology, and graced with some fine scenes ... but also the worst scene of the year, and a . twist ending that while logical, torpedoes the film's emotional tone. Somber atmospherics from The Sixth Sense also carried into the realm of self-parody.
305. (21 Nov) *The Patriot (2000, Roland Emmerich) [C+] If you can ignore the ludicrous historical simplification and whitewashing, there's some rousing battle scenes.
304. (18 Nov) Best in Show (2000, Christopher Guest) [C+] Surprisingly enjoyable, given how overrated I think Waiting for Guffman is. While there's still more condescending, contemptuous humor than I care for, Guest and crew have slackened off on it and to their credit, never apply that to the characters' dreams of dog show glory. However, it's still nowhere near as funny as Guest thinks it is. (Who on earth thinks that bit about two left feet is remotely funny?)
303. (18 Nov) Bounce (2000, Dan Roos) [B] Wants to be as emotionally truthful and direct as You Can Count on Me but despite the best efforts of Paltrow and Affleck, it's hamstrung by the generic Hollywood romance plot with "when-will-he" suspense that saps much of the film's power.
302. (18 Nov) The 6th Day (2000, Roger Spottiswoode) [B] A formulaic Ahnuld thriller, but one with clever satirical bits (the SimCindy doll is the year's best creepy/funny gag) reminiscent of Verhoeven's best work throughout, a fairly complex take on the ethics of cloning (you gotta like a movie where the villain, despite being a homicidal and ruthless SOB, makes really good points), and competently directed action setpieces. Somebody really should have jettisoned a couple of the patented Ahnuld "quips", though.
301. (11 Nov) Non-Stop (1996, Sabu) [C+] Dug the playful structure, but it's really hard to give a fuck about the three nitwits chasing each other through Tokyo -- especially given the generally lousy acting throughout.
300. (11 Nov) Red Planet (2000, Antony Hoffman) [D] A script as blindingly stupid as Mission to Mars, and without the saving grace of DePalma's ability to craft a fine suspense setpiece.
299. (11 Nov) You Can Count on Me (2000, Kenneth Logernan) [A-]
298. (07 Nov) *Gossip (2000, Davis Guggenheim) [C]
297. (04 Nov) The Yards (2000, James Gray) [A] Effortlessly displays the brooding intensity of a Michael Mann film without the bullshit macho theatrics. I was captivated by the strong chiaroscuro compositions, Howard Shore's epic score, and the uniformly incredible performances, especially career-best work from Wahlberg as ex-con Leo.
296. (04 Nov) Charlie's Angels (2000, McG) [B] The grade should probably be quite a bit lower, given the numerous and obvious flaws (a flat script, an underutilized Bill Murray); but darn if I wasn't sucked in by the sheer joy of Diaz's, Liu's, and Barrymore's performances -- they're clearly having more fun than should be legally allowed -- and the frequent bursts of Hark-like direction, such as the slo-mo replay of a shooting.
295. (02 Nov) *Waking the Dead (2000, Keith Gordon) [B-]
294. (01 Nov) *Here on Earth (2000, Mark Pizlinak) [C+]
293. (29 Oct) George Washington (2000, David Gordon Green) [B]
292. (29 Oct) Billy Elliot (2000, Stephen Daldry) [C+]
291. (27 Oct) *The Last September (2000, Deborah Warner) [C] Some lovely imagery courtesy of Slawomir Idziak, but this film is about little more than a dull romantic triangle during the Irish Troubles that's so flattened by its obvious symbolic significance (an Anglo-Irish lass loved by both a British Army captain and an IRA soldier) that it can't find room to breathe.
290. (22 Oct) /*Toy Story 2/ (1999, John Lasseter) [B+]
289. (21 Oct) The Legend of Drunken Master (aka Drunken Master II) (1994, Kal Pa Leung) [A-] Ignore the hole-ridden box-swapping plot. Glory in the numerous and breathtaking martial-arts fights, all of which top everything in Chan's recent output (save for the final fight in Who Am I?). Throw in an entertaingly hammy performance from Anita Mui as Chan's stepmother, and you have the best Chan film of the Nineties.
288. (21 Oct) Girlfight (2000, Karyn Kusama) [B]i Has virtually the same virtues and flaws as Love & Basketball: an earnest sincerity, a commanding performance from its lead, an oddly touching romance, and reams of clunky dialogue.
287. (21 Oct) Bedazzled (2000, Harold Ramis) [C] I think Fraser is an underrated comic actor, but he can't salvage much from this parade of overextended one-note sketches.
286. (15 Oct) *Final Destination (2000, James Wong) [B] Get someone other than the bland and lifeless Devon Sawa into the lead, and this well-directed creepfest might have attained the status of a minor genre masterpiece. Starts with a bang with one of the few truly terrifying sequences in recent US horror movies, an inside view of a plane crash, and then continues with expert jolts and elaborate set pieces that posit Death as the world's most inventive practical joker -- one with the kind of bad taste chutzpah to have John Denver as the soundtrack to the death of a plane crash survivor.
285. (14 Oct) Meet the Parents (2000, Jay Roach) [B] Nice to know Hollywood hasn't completely forgotten how to make a solid traditional farce.
284. (14 Oct) Dr. T and the Women (2000, Robert Altman) [B-] Altman's best film since Short Cuts, though given his abysmal batting average since then that's not saying much. Like Cookie's Fortune (also written by Anne Rapp), the film feels more like a sketchy, unfocused idea for a sitcom than a proper movie. Unlike Cookie it features generally fine acting, esp. from Gere as a man with a serious case of knight-errancy, and benefits greatly from Altman's unquestioned skill with chaotic multi-character scenes.
283. (14 Oct) The Contender (2000, Rod Lurie) [C-] Finely-acted piece of hypocritical, spineless rubbish.
282. (10 Oct) *The Beach (2000, Danny Boyle) [C-] A weird-assed combination of Edenic allegory and a comment on America's fascination with Vietnam. (I think; it seems to be more about Boyle's fascination with Apocalypse Now). Smart enough to realize that its protagonist Richard (a posturing DiCaprio) is a pretentious bullshitter; not smart enough to realize it itself is pretentious bullshit.
281. (08 Oct) /*Return to Oz/ (1986, Walter Murch) [B-] Fairly typical mid-80s blockbuster-wannabe; wonderfully done effects -- I especially liked the Claymation for the Gnomes and their king -- but emotionally uninvolving. Repeats the same major mistake of The Wizard of Oz in making Dorothy a simpering twit.
280. (07 Oct) The Taste of Others (2000, Agnes Jaoui) [B-]
s26. (07 Oct) Move It, Girl (1999, Caroline Vignet) [B-]
279. (07 Oct) Requiem for a Dream (2000, Darren Aronofsky) [A-]
278. (07 Oct) Eureka (2000, Shinji Aoyama) [A]
277. (06 Oct) Yi Yi (2000, Edward Yang) [A-]
276. (30 Sep) Way of the Gun (2000, Christopher McQuarrie) [F] Absolutely loathsome movie proves without a shadow of a doubt McQuarrie's total lack of talent. Instead of characterization, we get philosphical posturing that makes Jack Handey seem like Plato. Instead of any human feeling, we get lots of stomach-curdling homophobia and misogyny masquerading as attitude. Add in the sadistic glee with which McQuarrie films his more gruesome tableaux and you get as repellent and anti-entertaining a film experience as any I've ever had. And the truly big sin -- it's boring as hell. In the words of Roger Ebert, I hated, hated, hated, HATED this movie. The previous contender for Worst Film of the Year, the In Crowd, was merely inept; this one is just wrong.
275. (30 Sep) Seven Men from Now (1956, Budd Boetticher) [A-]
s25. (30 Sep) Forgotten Pilots (1999, Cairo Cannon) [C]
274. (30 Sep) Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine (2000, Bahman Farmanara) [B]
s24. (30 Sep) Motorcycle (2000, Aditya Assarat) [C]
273. (30 Sep) Taboo (2000, Nagisa Oshima) [B-]
s23. (30 Sep) Every Day Here (1999, Frazer Bradshaw) [C]
272. (28 Sep) *Harold and Maude (1972, Hal Ashby) [A-]
271. (25 Sep) *Me Myself I (2000, Pip Karmel) [C+]
m06. (24 Sep) Krapp's Last Tape (2000, Atom Egoyan) [D+]
s22. (24 Sep) Not I (2000, Neil Jordan) [C+] The human mouth is one really repulsive/fascinating surreal image when shot in extreme closeup and divorced from the context of the human face. But 14 minutes of it is a bit much, especially combined with Beckett's repetitive monologue.
270. (24 Sep) Almost Famous (2000, Cameron Crowe) [B+]
269. (24 Sep) The House of Mirth (2000, Terrence Davies) [A-]
268. (23 Sep) Nurse Betty (2000, Neil LaBute) [B+]
267. (23 Sep) Chunhyang (2000, Im Kwontaek) [B]
266. (23 Sep) Dancer in the Dark (2000, Lars von Trier) [B]
265. (22 Sep) *Black Tight Killers (1966, Yasuharu Hasebe) [B] Actually a step down from the psychotic brilliance of Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 or Seijun Suzuki, since once you ignore the oddity of its all-girl mod ninja attack squad, it's a fairly conventional treasure hunt movie. Still quite a lot of fun, and features some fine expressionistic use of color (a trait that seems de rigeur for Japanese B-movies of this period.)
264. (22 Sep) *Reindeer Games (2000, John Frankenheimer) [C] Reasonable enough time-killer despite an inability to decide whether it wants to be a lighthearted Leonard crime caper or something more hard-boiled. That is, until the last reel when it features the most ludicrous plot twist of the year.
263. (17 Sep) Wild Zero (2000, Tetsuro Takeuchi) [B] Highly entertaining pastiche of zombie flicks, loud and fast rock 'n roll, and flying saucers. Occasionally sluggish, but peppered with many moments of wonderful outrageousness. Guitar Wolf, BTW, makes a strong claim for being the coolest man alive.
262. (16 Sep) The King is Alive (2000, Kristian Levring) [D]
261. (16 Sep) Werckmeister Harmonies (2000, Bela Tarr) [C+]
260. (16 Sep) Nightcap (2000, Claude Chabrol) [C]
259. (16 Sep) Scout Man (2000, Masato Ishioka) [B-]
258. (15 Sep) Songs from the Second Floor (2000, Roy Andersson) [B+] A fascinating and startingly original combination of Gilliamesque black comedy, stunning deep focus tableaux that are unlike anything I've ever seen in a film (though do they remind me of Renaissance painting's concern with perspective), and an Ikea design scheme (all muted yellows and browns), all set up to create a convincing portrait of Limbo.
257. (15 Sep) Code Unknown (2000, Michael Haneke) [B-]
256. (15 Sep) Sentimental Destiny (2000, Oliver Assayas) [B+] Sweeping and beautiful epic, hampered only by the inherent problems in adapting what would appear to be a sprawling, mammoth novel into a mere three-hour movie.
255. (15 Sep) The Widow of St. Pierre (2000, Patrice Leconte) [B]
254. (14 Sep) Little Cheung (1999, Fruit Chan) [B-]
253. (14 Sep) The Town is Quiet (2000, Robert Guedegenin) [B]
252. (14 Sep) Born Romantic (2000, David Kane) [C-]
251. (14 Sep) Scarlet Diva (2000, Asia Argento) [D]
s21. (14 Sep) Foxy Lady, Wild Cherry (2000, Ines Buchli) [B]
s20. (14 Sep) Passengers (2000, Francine Zuckerman) [C]
m05. (14 Sep) Atomic Sake (2000, Louise Archambault) [B]
s19. (14 Sep) The Basement Girl (2000, Midi Onodera) [D]
250. (13 Sep) The Price of Milk (2000, Harry Sinclair) [C-] It's *quirky*!
s18. (13 Sep) The Line (2000, Atom Egoyan) [C-]
249. (13 Sep) The Monkey's Mask (2000, Samantha Lang) [C] I'm not sure what the virtues of Dorothy Pearson's detective novel in verse that this was based on were, but judging by the film translation it certainly wasn't the plot. Susie Porter does make an appealing heroine, both in and out of her clothes.
s17. (13 Sep) Legs Apart (2000, Anne Wheeler) [B-]
248. (13 Sep) Thomas in Love (2000, Pierre Paul Renders) [B+]
247. (13 Sep) Beautiful (2000, Sally Field) [B-] Now that this has opened in the US to generally terrible reviews, the B- above might seem a bit odd. All I can say is that it didn't seem that bad, and in the context of all the heavy-duty art films I was seeing, its lightweight and breezy nature seemed refreshing. And there's enough hints that with a couple of rewrites a smart Election-esque comedy could have been made with this raw material. Mind you, that film would also not ignore the obvious question about a relationship where a devoted best friend/roommate is raising her friend's daughter as her own! Especially in a film whose conclusion is a pretty blatant metaphor for coming out.
246. (13 Sep) Signs and Wonders (2000, Jonathan Nossiter) [C+] Well, you can't fault this film for lacking ambition. Among the various subtexts roaming around this fascinating mess are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the effect of American foreign policy on Greek history, the growing tide of multinational corporatism homogenizing the world, and the use of superstition as an excuse for life-altering decisions. Now if only the *text* made any goddamn emotional sense.
245. (12 Sep) Harry, He's Here to Help (2000, Dominik Moll) [B]
s16. (12 Sep) Prelude (2000, Michael Snow) [B]
244. (12 Sep) Two Family House (2000, Raymond De Fellita) [C]
s15. (12 Sep) See You In Toronto (2000, Jean-Pierre Lefebvere) [D]
243. (12 Sep) Attraction (2000, Russell de Grazier) [C+]
242. (12 Sep) Gojoe (2000, Sogo Ishii) [B]
241. (11 Sep) Under the Sand (2000, Francois Ozon) [N/A] Grade is N/A because I spent most of the film dozing in and out of consciousness. Though every time I woke up, Charlotte Rampling was still registering massive denial over her husband's death.
s14. (11 Sep) This Might Be Good (2000, Patricia Rozema) [C]
240. (11 Sep) Seance (2000, Kiyoshi Kurosawa) [C]
239. (11 Sep) The Isle (2000, Kim Kiduk) [B]
238. (11 Sep) Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (2000, Hong Sangsoo) [C]
237. (11 Sep) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee) [A-]
s13. (11 Sep) Camera (2000, David Cronenberg) [A]
236. (10 Sep) Ginger Snaps (2000, John Fawcett) [B+] Sharply-written and directed (especially in its tense climax) take on lycanthropy as metaphor for female adolescence.
235. (10 Sep) Time and Tide (2000, Tsui Hark) [B+] Yep, it's as incoherent as my Internet colleauges says it is. Do I care? No, not when it features a last half of nonstop demented action.
234. (10 Sep) Faithless (2000, Liv Ullman) [B]
233. (10 Sep) The Vertical Ray of Summer (2000, Tran Anh Hung) [B] Extremely confusing plotwise (only near the end, did I get a grasp on all of the film's complex relationships), but an absolute stunner to just look at; this is easily one of the most gorgeous films ever made. Nice assist from Lou Reed.
232. (09 Sep) Suspicious River (2000, Lynne Stopkewich) [C-]
s12. (09 Sep) Heart of the World (2000, Guy Maddin) [A]
231. (09 Sep) Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan) [A]
230. (09 Sep) The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz (2000, Ben Hopkins) [B-] A Monty Python movie without any of the Pythons, Katz is an uneven absurdist sci-fi apocalypse whose title hero emerges from the sewer to declare war on Gongwyndonland over fishing rights to a cutout Parliament, take over the Underground, and convince a dimwit security guard to negate the Universe.
s11. (09 Sep) 24fps (2000, Jeremy Podeswa) [C] Would only deserve an A in Podeswa's 8th-grade English class. From an adult, it's embarrassingly trite.
229. (09 Sep) Face (2000, Junji Sakamoto) [C+]
228. (09 Sep) To Die (or Not) (2000, Ventura Pons) [B]
227. (08 Sep) State and Main (2000, David Mamet) [B]
226. (08 Sep) Shadow Magic (2000, Ann Hu) [C]
s10. (08 Sep) A Word from the Management (2000, Don McKellar) [B-]
225. (08 Sep) The Legends of Rita (2000, Volker Schlondorff) [B]
224. (08 Sep) Blackboards (2000, Samira Makhmalbaf) [C+]
s09. (08 Sep) Congratulations (2000, Mike Jones) [F] Easily the most hated film of the festival, Jones' prelude is a disgusting display of self-promotion masquerading itself as self-deprecating irony.
223. (08 Sep) My Beautiful Laundrette (1985, Stephen Frears) [B]
222. (07 Sep) Kippur (2000, Amos Gitai) [D+] I suppose a film whose basic message is that war is really, really boring has got some moral merit. Just don't make me sit through it.
221. (07 Sep) Sade (2000, Benoit Jacquot) [B]
220. (07 Sep) The Terrorist (2000, Shanosh Sivan) [C] Exactly how many damn shots of fucking water does one film need?
219. (06 Sep) /A Pornographic Affair/ (2000, Frederick Fontayne) [B]
218. (05 Sep) The In Crowd (2000, Mary Lambert) [F] The most thoroughly inept Hollywood film I've ever seen.
217. (03 Sep) Madadayo (1993, Akira Kurosawa) [A] "Minor" Kurosawa, indeed -- the Japanese master's last film is a riveting, emotionally rich study of one man's twilight years and the relationship with his former students, who quite clearly revere him for his innate goodness. Can't say much actually *happens* (the film's big plot point is a lost cat), but I was enthralled by Kurosawa's precise framing and lighting.
216. (26 Aug) Bring It On (2000, Peyton Reed) [B] A movie that is simultaneously much better than anyone could have expected and not as good as it could have been. Amidst its generic sports-movie/teen comedy plotline are strewed some of the most entertaining and affecting scenes of the summer such as when Dunst's cheerleader silently watches the good-hearted Bradford lose himself to the joyful anarchy of playing punk guitar. Also, note should be made of Ian Roberts' extremely funny bit as a dance choreographer. I really could have done without the more obviously leering bits, though.
215. (21 Aug) *A Couch in New York (1996, Chantal Akerman) [B]
Don't you just love it when French intellectuals try to resurrect old-fashioned Hollywood films? Here, Akerman is clearly trying to emulate a romantic comedy of the late 50's starring Audrey Hepburn (Juliette Binoche) and William Holden (William Hurt). Of course, it doesn't entirely work, but the thing has its own peculiar charm.
214. (19 Aug) Godzilla 2000 (2000, Takao Okanawa) [B-]
Not as much fun as the recent Gamera movies and the dubbing is pitiful; if the film had been subtitled, I suspect the grade above would be a solid B. Great final shot, though -- after an insipidly sentimental line about a little Godzilla in each of us, Godzilla torches Tokyo for the hell of it, as if to say "Fuck you, man. I'm a badass fire-breathing giant lizard and don't you forget it." Vern would approve.
213. (19 Aug) The Cell (2000, Tarsem Singh) [B]
The grade above was actually a bit higher on exiting the theatre; my opinion of the film has dropped since then as I realized that its magnificent, if secondhand, visuals and deft deployment of Jungian archetypes isn't connected to anything resembling plot or character.
212. (17 Aug) /*Sleepy Hollow/ (1999, Tim Burton) [B+]
211. (13 Aug) The Adjuster (1991, Atom Egoyan) [B-]
210. (13 Aug) Speaking Parts (1989, Atom Egoyan) [B+]
209. (13 Aug) /Family Viewing/ (1987, Atom Egoyan) [A]
208. (13 Aug) The Kid (2000, Jon Turteltaub) [C]
207. (12 Aug) Psycho Beach Party (2000, Robert Lee King) [B+]
206. (12 Aug) Cecil B. Demented (2000, John Waters) [B]
205. (12 Aug) The Tao of Steve (2000, Jenniphr Goodman) [C+]
204. (05 Aug) Alice and Martin (2000, Andre Techine) [C+]
203. (05 Aug) Space Cowboys (2000, Clint Eastwood) [B+]
202. (05 Aug) Hollow Man (2000, Paul Verhoeven) [B]
201. (05 Aug) *What About Bob? (1991, Frank Oz) [B]
200. (03 Aug) *Nadja (1994, Michael Almareyda) [B-]
199. (29 Jul) Rififi (1954, Jules Dassin) [A]
198. (29 Jul) The Girl on the Bridge (2000, Patrice Leconte) [D+]
197. (29 Jul) Chuck & Buck (2000, Miguel Artera) [B-]
196. (27 Jul) /Hamlet/ (2000, Michael Almareyda) [A]
195. (27 Jul) East-West (2000, Regis Wargenier) [C]
194. (27 Jul) /The Big Blue/ (1988, Luc Besson) [C+]
193. (26 Jul) *The Train (1964, John Frankenheimer) [B+]
192. (22 Jul) Loser (2000, Amy Heckerling) [B]
191. (22 Jul) /Blood Simple/ (1984, Joel Coen) [A-]
190. (22 Jul) What Lies Beneath (2000, Robert Zemeckis) [C+]
189. (20 Jul) /*Stargate/ (1994, Roland Emmerich) [B]
188. (18 Jul) *The Other Side of Sunday (1996, Berit Nesheim) [B]
187. (16 Jul) Cold Water (1994, Oliver Assayas) [A]
186. (16 Jul) The Wisdom of Crocodiles (2000, Chin Ho Leung) [C-]
185. (16 Jul) The Five Senses (2000, Jeremy Podeswa) [C+]
184. (15 Jul) Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000, Francois Ozon) [B-]
183. (15 Jul) But I'm a Cheerleader (2000, Jamie Babbitt) [B-]
182. (15 Jul) X-Men (2000, Bryan Singer) [C+]
181. (15 Jul) /*The Mummy/ (1999, Stephen Sommers) [B]
180. (08 Jul) *Outside Providence (1999, Michael Corrente) [C+]
179. (08 Jul) *Stripes (1981, Ivan Reitman) [B-l]
178. (07 Jul) *Blue Streak (1999, Les Mayfield) [C]
177. (04 Jul) No Smoking (1993, Alain Resnais) [B-]
176. (04 Jul) Life is a Bed of Roses (1983, Alain Resnais) [B+]
175. (03 Jul) Nashville (1975, Robert Altman) [A-]
174. (03 Jul) Trixie (2000, Alan Rudolph) [C]
s08. (02 Jul) Guernica (1950, Alain Resnais) [C]
m03. (02 Jul) Night and Fog (1955, Alain Resnais) [A]
m02. (02 Jul) Statues Also Weep (1953, Alain Resnais) [A-]
s07. (02 Jul) Toute la memorie de monde (1956, Alain Resnais) [B-]
s06. (02 Jul) Van Gogh (1948, Alain Resnais) [D]
s05. (02 Jul) Gaugin (1950, Alain Resnais) [C]
s04. (02 Jul) The Song of Styrene (1958, Alain Resnais) [C+]
173. (02 Jul) A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) [A]
172. (02 Jul) The Perfect Storm (2000, Wolfgang Pedersen) [C-]
171. (01 Jul) Praise (2000, John Curran) [C]
170. (01 Jul) Getting to Know You (2000, Lisanne Skyler) [B]
169. (30 Jun) Smoking (1993, Alain Resnais) [B+]
168. (30 Jun) The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000, Des McAnuff) [B]
167. (29 Jun) *Dead Calm (1988, Phillip Noyce) [B]
166. (26 Jun) *Drive Me Crazy (1999, ) [C+]
165. (24 Jun) Me, Myself, & Irene (2000, Farrelly Bros.) [B]
164. (24 Jun) Chicken Run (2000, Peter Lord & Nick Park) [B+]
163. (19 Jun) The Filth and the Fury (2000, Julien Temple) [B]
162. (18 Jun) /L'Humanite/ (2000, Bruno Dumont) [C+]
161. (18 Jun) Shaft (2000, John Singleton) [B]
160. (16 Jun) Boys & Girls (2000, Robert Iscove) [C]
159. (16 Jun) Titan A.E. (2000, Don Bluth & Gary Goldman) [B-]
158. (16 Jun) Maedchen in Uniform (1931, Leontine Sager) [A-]
157. (12 Jun) /*The Opposite of Sex/ (1998, Dan Roos) [B+]
156. (11 Jun) Love's Labour's Lost (2000, Kenneth Branagh) [B-]
155. (10 Jun) *The Crossing Guard (1995, Sean Penn) [B-]
154. (08 Jun) *Cannibal! The Musical (1993, Trey Parker) [C]
153. (04 Jun) /*Who Framed Roger Rabbit?/ (1988, Robert Zemeckis) [A-]
152. (04 Jun) *Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999, Michael Patrick Jann) [C]
151. (03 Jun) Frequency (2000, Gregory Hoblit) [C]
150. (03 Jun) Walk on the Wild Side (1962, Edward Dmytryk) [C-]
149. (03 Jun) Caged (1950, John Cromwell) [B+]
148. (31 May) *Tumbleweeds (1999, Gavin O'Connor) [B]
147. (30 May) *Bastard Out of Carolina (1996-TV, Anjelica Huston) [B]
146. (28 May) Croupier (2000, Mike Hodges) [C]
145. (28 May) Dinosaur (2000, Does it matter?) [C+]
144. (27 May) Road Trip (2000, Todd Phillips) [B]
143. (27 May) Center Stage (2000, Nicholas Hyntner) [B]
142. (27 May) Mission: Impossible II (2000, John Woo) [C]
141. (27 May) Shanghai Noon (2000, Tom Dey) [B-]
140. (23 May) *The General's Daughter (1999, Simon West) [D+]
139. (23 May) *The Haunting (1999, Jan de Bont) [C-]
138. (20 May) Small Time Crooks (2000, Woody Allen) [C]
137. (18 May) *Reality Bites (1994, Ben Stiller) [C]
136. (14 May) Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972, Shunyi Ito) [A-]
135. (14 May) Dream of Light (1992, Victor Erice) [B]
134. (13 May) Adrenaline Drive (2000, Shinobi Yaguchi) [B]
133. (13 May) The Sweet Smell of Success (1957, Alexander Mackendrick) [A]
132. (13 May) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, Luis Bunuel) [B]
131. (13 May) Hamlet (2000, Michael Alameydra) [A]
130. (12 May) *Mystery, Alaska (1999, Jay Roach) [B-]
129. (09 May) *Three to Tango (1999, Damon Santostefano) [C-]
128. (06 May) His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks) [A]
127. (06 May) Twentieth Century (1934, Howard Hawks) [A-]
126. (06 May) Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott) [B+]
125. (05 May) *Virtual Sexuality (1999, Nick Hurran) [C]
124. (02 May) /*GalaxyQuest/ (1999, Dean Parisot) [B+]
123. (30 Apr) /*Romancing the Stone/ (1984, Robert Zemeckis) [B-]
122. (30 Apr) /*Diner/ (1982, Barry Levinson) [A-]
121. (29 Apr) The Guns of Navarone (1961, J. Lee Thompson) [B]
120. (29 Apr) A Clockwork Orange (1971, Stanley Kubrick) [C]
119. (29 Apr) Timecode (2000, Mike Figgis) [C-]
118. (23 Apr) Mission to Mars (2000, Brian DePalma) [C+]
117. (23 Apr) 42nd Street (1933, Lloyd Bacon) [B+]
116. (23 Apr) Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick) [A]
115. (22 Apr) Where the Heart Is (2000, Matt Williams) [D+]
114. (22 Apr) A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson) [A]
113. (22 Apr) Love and Basketball (2000, Gina Prince-Blythewood) [B]
112. (21 Apr) The Virgin Suicides (2000, Sofia Coppola) [C+]
111. (21 Apr) American Psycho (2000, Mary Harron) [B-]
110. (21 Apr) U-571 (2000, Jonathan Mostow) [C+]
109. (19 Apr) Calendar (1993, Atom Egoyan) [A-]
108. (17 Apr) *Stigmata (1999, Rupert Wainwright) [B-]
107. (15 Apr) Top of the Food Chain (2000, John Paizs) [B+]
s03. (15 Apr) Springtime in Greenland (1981, John Paizs) [C+]
106. (15 Apr) New Waterford Girl (2000, Allan Moyle) [B]
s02. (15 Apr) Phil Touches Flo (1998, David Blidsett) [B-]
105. (15 Apr) 28 Days (2000, Betty Thomas) [C+]
104. (15 Apr) Keeping the Faith (2000, Edward Norton) [C+]
103. (12 Apr) *For Love of the Game (1999, Sam Raimi) [B-]
102. (11 Apr) *Persuasion (1995, Roger Michell) [A]
101. (09 Apr) *The Accompanist (1992, Claude Miller) [B-]
100. (09 Apr) *The Two Jakes (1990, Jack Nicholson) [C+]
099. (08 Apr) Joe Gould's Secret (2000, Stanley Tucci) [C+]
098. (08 Apr) Return to Me (2000, Bonnie Hunt) [C]
097. (04 Apr) /*In the Line of Fire/ (1993, Wolfgang Petersen) [B]
096. (03 Apr) *Double Jeopardy (1999, Bruce Beresford) [C-]
095. (02 Apr) Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski) [A]
094. (02 Apr) Beau Travail (2000, Claire Denis) [B]
093. (01 Apr) Point Blank (1967, John Boorman) [A-]
092. (01 Apr) Le Samourai (1967, Jean-Pierre Melville) [B+]
091. (01 Apr) High Fidelity (2000, Stephen Frears) [B]
090. (29 Mar) /*Pleasantville/ (1998, Dave Ross) [A-]
089. (28 Mar) *The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988, Philip Kaufman) [B+]
088. (25 Mar) The Ninth Gate (2000, Roman Polanski) [C]
087. (25 Mar) Sonatine (1995, Takeshi Kitano) [B]
086. (25 Mar) All I Wanna Do (2000, Sarah Kernochan) [B-]
085. (25 Mar) *Village of the Damned (1995, John Carpenter) [C]
084. (24 Mar) /*Hudson Hawk/ (1991, Michael Lehmann) [B]
083. (22 Mar) /*The Abyss/ (1989, James Cameron) [A]
m01. (19 Mar) La Puce (1999, Emmanuelle Bercot) [B]
s01. (19 Mar) Les Vacances (1999, Emmanuelle Bercot) [B]
082. (19 Mar) Erin Brockovich (2000, Steven Soderbergh) [B]
081. (18 Mar) Skin of Man, Heart of Beast (1999, Helene Angel) [no grade]
080. (18 Mar) Orphans (2000, Peter Mullan) [B+]
079. (18 Mar) /*Jerry Maguire/ (1996, Cameron Crowe) [A]
078. (16 Mar) *The Astronaut's Wife (1999, Rand Ravich) [D+]
077. (15 Mar) /*Election/ (1999, Alexander Payne) [B+]
076. (13 Mar) /*Alien: Resurrection/ (1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet) [B+]
075. (12 Mar) I'm Not Afraid of Life (1999, Noemie Lvovsky) [B-]
074. (12 Mar) La Buche (1999, Daniele Thompson) [C]
073. (12 Mar) Perhaps (1999, Cedric Klapisch) [C-]
072. (11 Mar) My Little Business (1999, Pierre Jollivet) [B-]
071. (11 Mar) Chin Up (1999, Solveig Anspach) [B+]
070. (09 Mar) *Bullets Over Broadway (1994, Woody Allen) [A-]
069. (09 Mar) /*Alien/ (1979, Ridley Scott) [A-]
068. (08 Mar) *Starman (1984, John Carpenter) [C+]
067. (07 Mar) *To Die For (1995, Gus van Sant) [C]
066. (05 Mar) The Idiots (1998, Lars von Trier) [A-]
065. (05 Mar) Drowning Mona (2000, Nick Gomez) [C-]
064. (05 Mar) Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2000, Jim Jarmusch) [C+]
063. (04 Mar) The Wind Will Carry Us (2000, Abbas Kiarostami) [C]
062. (04 Mar) Wonder Boys (2000, Curtis Hanson) [B+]
061. (04 Mar) What Planet Are You From? (2000, Mike Nichols) [B]
060. (01 Mar) *Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, John Carpenter) [B]
059. (26 Feb) Judy Berlin (2000, Eric Mendelsohn) [C]
058. (26 Feb) Claire Dolan (2000, Lodge Kerrigan) [B-]
057. (26 Feb) Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch) [A]
056. (26 Feb) */The Music Man/ (1962, Morton da Costa) [A]
055. (24 Feb) *Quatermass and the Pit (1967, Roy Ward Baker) [B]
054. (24 Feb) *The Thing (1982, John Carpenter) [A-]
053. (22 Feb) *The Lickerish Quartet (1970, Radley Metzger) [B+]
052. (21 Feb) *Killer's Kiss (1955, Stanley Kubrick) [B-]
051. (20 Feb) Boiler Room (2000, Ben Younger) [B]
050. (20 Feb) Not One Less (2000, Zhang Yimou) [B+]
049. (20 Feb) The Whole Nine Yards (2000, Jonathan Lynn) [B-]
048. (19 Feb) *Thelma and Louise (1991, Ridley Scott) [B]
047. (18 Feb) *The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston) [A-]
046. (16 Feb) *Nothing Sacred (1937, William Wellman) [A-]
045. (15 Feb) */The Mask/ (1994, Charles Russell) [B+]
044. (13 Feb) *Seven Chances (1925, Buster Keaton) [B+]
043. (14 Feb) *Lair of the White Worm (1988, Ken Russell) [B]
042. (12 Feb) /Flirting/ (1990, John Duigan) [A-]
041. (12 Feb) The Rapture (1991, Michael Tolkin) [A]
040. (12 Feb) *My Son the Fanatic (1999, Ubayan Prasad) [C+]
039. (11 Feb) *Stir of Echoes (1999, David Koepp) [B]
038. (09 Feb) *The 13th Warrior (1999, John McTiernan) [C]
037. (08 Feb) *Monkey Business (1931, Norman McLeod) [A-]
036. (07 Feb) *Funny Face (1957, Stanley Donen) [A-]
035. (07 Feb) *Dirty Harry (1972, Don Siegel) [B]
034. (06 Feb) The Indian Runner (1991, Sean Penn) [B-]
033. (06 Feb) /Fallen Angels/ (1995, Wong Kar-wai) [B-]
032. (06 Feb) *Capricorn One (1978, Peter Hyams) [B-]
031. (05 Feb) Gun Shy (2000, Eric Blakeley) [B]
030. (05 Feb) Scream 3 (2000, Wes Craven) [C+]
029. (04 Feb) *An American in Paris (1951, Vincente Minnelli) [B+]
028. (02 Feb) *Fitzcarraldo (1982, Werner Herzog) [B+]
027. (29 Jan) The Cup (2000, Khyentse Norbu) [C-]
026. (29 Jan) /Rear Window/ (1954, Alfred Hitchcock) [A]
025. (29 Jan) Kestrel's Eye (2000, Mikael Kristersson) [B+]
024. (28 Jan) *Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, Monte Hellman) [B+]
023. (26 Jan) *The Red Violin (1999, Francois Girard) [B]
022. (25 Jan) *The 39 Steps (1935, Alfred Hitchcock) [A-]
021. (25 Jan) /*West Side Story/ (1961, Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise) [A]
020. (24 Jan) /*Singin' in the Rain/ (1952, Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen) [A]
019. (22 Jan) *To Catch a Thief (1954, Alfred Hitchcock) [B]
018. (22 Jan) *The Gay Divorcee (1934, Mark Sandrich) [B+]
017. (21 Jan) *Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock) [A-]
016. (19 Jan) /*Rushmore/ (1998, Wes Anderson) [A]
015. (17 Jan) *Animal Crackers (1930, Victor Heerman) [A-]
014. (16 Jan) /*Charade/ (1963, Stanley Donen) [A-]
013. (15 Jan) The Edge of the World (1937, Michael Powell) [B+]
012. (15 Jan) Fantasia 2000 (2000, A veritable Board of Directors) [B-]
011. (13 Jan) *Home Fries (1998, Dean Parisot) [B-]
010. (09 Jan) Titus (1999, Julie Taymor) [B]
009. (08 Jan) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936, Frank Capra) [B]
008. (08 Jan) It Happened One Night (1934, Frank Capra) [A]
007. (07 Jan) *Yojimbo (1961, Akira Kurosawa) [A]
006. (04 Jan) *Branded to Kill (1967, Seijun Suzuki) [A-]
005. (03 Jan) /*Everyone Says I Love You/ (1996, Woody Allen) [B]
004. (02 Jan) *Only Angels Have Wings (1939, Howard Hawks) [A]
003. (02 Jan) /*Ferris Bueller's Day Off/ (1986, John Hughes) [B+]
002. (01 Jan) Girl, Interrupted (1999, James Mangold) [B]
001. (01 Jan) Galaxy Quest (1999, Dean Parisot) [B+]