Sunday, January 01, 2006


Before I list my top 5, I want to list some movies I really liked this year, but there just wasn't enough room for. Those are: ELIZABETHTOWN, NINE LIVES, OFF THE MAP, PALINDROMES, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, SIN CITY, GREENSTREET HOOLIGANS and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

Now, onto our regularly scheduled program...

Yeah, yeah….cheesy heavy handed dialogue does suck…but Episode Three is still a really good movie. I feel like the Star Wars films are going to be the last group of movies that sort of fit into some kind of American mythos. I love the Lord of the Rings, but those were books first. The 6 Star Wars movies are all George Lucas….for better or for worse. Seeing Annakin become Darth Vader was like finding a hidden treasure after years of looking. Then, they almost ruin it as he yells “NOOOooooo.” But still, a great end to a great group of films that have been with me my whole life. We finally see what happened to Darth Vader and how an epic trilogy started many years ago.

Awesome! Disturbing! Sad! Frustrating! Ridiculous! Those are just a few words to describe this incredible doc by one of my favorite filmmakers, Werner Herzog. GRIZZLY MAN is part an assembly of videos left behind by Grizzly bear enthusiast, Timothy Treadwell. This nut job would spend summer living and documenting Grizzly bears until one finally ate him and his girlfriend. Herzog compiles this footage with more current interviews with friends and colleagues of Treadwell and it’s just an amazing movie.

Plus, I love the way the film is totally a Werner Herzog movie! Herzog makes fiction films about men who are completely obsessed with achieving their goal. They stop at nothing…just like Treadwell. My favorite Herzog movie is AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD. Check out this picture and then rent the movie. It’s sooo weird and amazing!

This is where my list gets dicey. I genuinely LOVED this movie and thought it was my number one. Then I saw my #2 movie again and saw #1 and thus, THE WEATHER MAN got dropped. Still I loved this movie and it totally tanked. I don’t think the movie studios knew how to market this dark comedy. Ironic because a major theme of the film is about how contrite and lame the media can be.

Anyway, Nicolas Cage is a (you guessed it) weather man who has serious dad issues and even more serious identity issues. The movie is so funny and touching….I hope people rediscover it on DVD. I need to see it again because throughout the whole things I just kept thinking to myself how great I thought it was and I think I missed a few things.

I saw this again on Friday at the super duper movie theater George Lucas put together and man, what a great movie. I still haven’t been able to piece together the racial things that I touched on before, but even the second time through, KING KONG is just a blast! It still takes too long to get going, but once they hit Skull Island, it’s ON. And it doesn’t stop. Bar none one of the most fun popcorn movies of all time.

When I saw this, I really liked it and it made me think. Then I found myself thinking about it more…and more…and then some more. Then scenes from the movie were playing in my head and more thinking ensued. As the days went on, a movie I felt strongly about had really become much…better as it sank in.

I won’t get into the obvious message of the film (which is an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind) but DAMN Steven Spielberg can still bring it when he wants to. I need to see this again because there’s a lot going on on a lot of levels and nothing is too laid out. Great movie…great director.

So there ya go…my Top 10 for the year. I hope 2006 brings more excitement in the movies and I hope you get to see some great stuff.

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