So every year, my buddies back in Macon, Georgia get their hands on the list of films from the previous year and create a list of categories. Then they get together and read their answers aloud. It’s a fun and opionionated party, with my opinion sometimes being named the Voice of Dissent (because I love the smaller independent films). I left Georgia in 1997, but I still participate via e’mail every year. This year’s party will be on Sunday, but to help the hosts prepare, all email lists were due today. And as this is the first year of my blog, I’m posting my preamble and list.
When it comes to numbers, I did better than last year (thanks to Netflix). I saw 29 movies of the 334 on the list (plus one from 2004 which was nominated for several 2005 Oscars even though it did go into wide release in 2004, I don’t understand those rules).
Movies in queue which I hope to see before Sunday: Dear Frankie, The Upside of Anger, Mad Hot Ballroom, Corpse Bride, and Ladies in Lavender.
Movies not on DVD yet which I REALLY wanted to see include Transamerica, Casanova, Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana, Shop Girl, and Proof.
Oh and to get the gasps of astonishment out of the way now: I didn’t bother seeing Episode 3 which is why it is conspicuously absent from my list–sorry Lucas, but Joss Whedon is my master now.
Oh and as I much prefer the book, I did not see The Chronicles of Narnia.
So without further ado, here’s my list:
Movie Show 2005
Best Looking Female: Aishwarya Rai, Bride and Prejudice (is there a more beautiful woman on the planet?)
Best Looking Male: tie between Naveen Andrews in Bride and Prejudice & Matthew Macfadyen in Pride and Prejudice (are you sensing a Jane Austen theme here?)
Coolest Female: Summer Glau, Serenity
Coolest Male: Don Cheadle in both Hotel Rwanda (2004 release that somehow qualified for the 2005 Academy Awards so I’m including it) and Crash
Best Villain: The Operative, Serenity
Worst Villain (and Worst Henchman): Sean Bean and Djimon Hounsou, The Island (it wasn’t that they were bad, it’s that they were boring which is, perhaps, the greatest sin of any villain)
Best Sidekick/Henchman: Adrian Alonso (Joaquin, son of Zorro and Elena), The Legend of Zorro
Best FX: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (even if the dragon chase was way too long)
Best Shot: Broken Flowers is filled with just gorgeous frames. I’m so happy I saw it at my neighbor’s house on their huge screen. I wanted to pause it and print the frame so often.
Best Chase: the Reavers chasing Serenity to Mr. Universe’s station in Serenity
Most Unique “Romantic Pairing”: Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tom Arnold in Happy Endings, you would think gross, but it really works
Best Sequel: Serenity (a sequel to the television show Firefly)
Worst Sequel: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
****SPOILER ALERT: MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE HAS SEEN SERENITY BEFORE READING THIS ONE ALOUD****
Best Death: best in that is was the most emotionally devastating and surprising: Wash. best in that it was the most satisfying and well choreographed: die Reavers die at the hands, feet and brain of River Tam both in Serenity
****END SPOILER ALERT****
Best Action Star: Jason Statham, Transporter 2 (a sad sad day for Antonio [my favorite action hero of many past years], but the Zorro sequel just wasn’t up to snuff stunt wise)
“You’ll never believe me, but this is great” Film: My Date with Drew, a documentary with heart and nerdiness
“I can’t believe it didn’t suck” Film: Fever Pitch, remakes are dicey but this one delighted me probably because I’m a sucker for baseball movies and the fact that it was filmed during the Red Sox’s amazing win at the Series, that makes it magical
Biggest Disappointment: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (so much potential)
Weirdest Darn Movie: Broken Flowers (Bill Murray’s performance is haunting and I love the ending but not sure what the point was)
Absurdity Award: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the audacity of these guys continues to floor me. Even as the company fell down around them, they thought they could get away with it–that is the very definition of absurdity.
Most Overrated: The Exorcism of Emily Rose (not very scary and not very interesting either)
Guilty Pleasure: Sahara (what can I say Matthew McConaughey is some truly fabulous eye candy)
Feel-Good Scene: Naveen Andrews becoming the Indian MC Hammer in Bride and Prejudice, heck the whole movie makes me stupidly happy for days after each viewing
Feel-Bad Movie: Crash, but in a good way…it’s dark, depressing and challenging
“You can’t pay me to see this” movie: Doom (with a dishonorable mention to Son of the Mask)
Best Line: “No, you may only call me Mrs. Darcy when you’re completely, perfectly and incandesantly happy.” Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice
Essay: ONE TIME AWARD-Best Movie Score Ever:
Do I dare confess that I’m not very familiar with scores these days? Sure, I know the famous John Williams scores, the Lord of the Rings music, and of course all the Jane Austen ones, but when forced to chose, I’m gonna go with a classic: Doctor Zhivago. This is a score one can listen to repeatedly and find new moments in. It’s staggeringly dramatic yet bittersweet in its romanticism. More than a score, but also perfectly suited to the film. Maurice Jarre has written some truly noteworthy scores such as Lawrence of Arabia, Witness, Dead Poets’ Society, Ghost, A Passage to India, A Walk in the Clouds (so-so movie, wonderful score), and (oddly enough) Fatal Attraction, but Doctor Zhivago surpasses them all.
Jen’s Additional Category
Best Film(s) from the previous year you discovered too late to make last year’s list: Shaun of the Dead and Napolean Dynamite–loved ’em loved ’em loved ’em!
TOP TEN MOVIES
1. Bride and Prejudice
3. Hotel Rwanda
4. Pride and Prejudice
6. Walk the Line
8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
9. My Date with Drew
10. Fever Pitch
BOTTOM FIVE MOVIES
1: Constantine (A film about works-based deism & not a good film at that. Cheesy effects, but surprisingly decent acting. Still, I want my 2 hours back!)
2: The Island (Love Scarlett. Love Ewan. I love smart sci-fi. I even like blow ’em-up actions flicks. This couldn’t decide which it should be and sucked as a result.)
3: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (so not fun…so glad I didn’t pay for this one)
4: Kingdom of Heaven (to quote my friend Brandon, “Not quite Jedi, not quite Batman, not quite Pirates, not quite Legolas, but tries to get all four into one movie…sad.”)
5: Sin City (ok, so I haven’t seen this yet–I’m gonna borrow it from my brother tonight, but I suspect it will suck)