Monday, December 19, 2005

My Movie-Going Year

Here's my year in film--the ones I remembered to jot down in my planner, anyway--with grades indicating how well I personally enjoyed each one:

"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster": Fantastic documentary, intimate insights into creativity and human nature. A

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Really liked. A

"Sideways": Quite enjoyed on many levels, both humorous and humanistic. Alexander Payne is perhaps my favorite director, because I also deeply enjoyed and related with "Election" and "About Schmidt." A

"Wit": An unusual film and an amazing performance by Emma Thompson sick with cancer. A

"Million Dollar Baby": Superb. A

"Rebecca": The old Hitchcock classic. A

"Vera Drake": Excellent performances and good story. A

"Ray": Fantastic. A

"New York Doll": Loved it. A

"God's Army 2: States of Grace": Very accomplished and satisfying. A

"Capote": Engrossing. A-

"The Hours": Quite enjoyed. A-

"Shawn of the Dead": Loved it. A-

"Super Size Me": Freaked me out, made me start taking stairs instead of elevator (but I still eat fast food 3-4 times a week). A-

"The Aviator": Liked better than expected. A-

"Terminator": Another one I hadn't ever seen before. B+

"War of the Worlds": Great first half, lost steam as it went. B+

"Maria Full of Grace": Engrossing foreign film about girl drawn into drug running. B+

"Bowling for Columbine": Thought-provoking. B+

"Garden State": Quirky love story yet deeply serious. B+

"In America": Engaging family drama. B+

"King Kong": Not perfect but quite a movie-going experience. B+

"Serenity": Very enjoyable sci-fi. Runs circles around Lucas. B+

"The 40-Year-Old Virgin": Raunchy but quite entertaining. B+

"Open Water": Unusual film about couple treading water. B+

"It Happened One Night": Entertaining classic. B+

"The Door in the Floor": A family drama, not too memorable. B

"Being Julia": OK, don't remember much of it. B

"Casablanca": It's fine, but I'm not a huge fan. It must have been groundbreaking in its time. B

"Things Behind the Sun": An unhappy woman faces trauma in her past; I remember some good performances. B

"Meet the Fockers": Really broad humor, but pretty funny and overall enjoyable, much more so than the first one. B

"Charlie & the Chocolate Factory": Enjoyable, but didn't like Depp. B

"The Witches": Fun adaptation of the Dahl book. B

"Alias Betty": European film about a lady who loses son and her mom kidnaps her another. B

"Wallace & Grommit: Were Rabbit": Fine. B

"Zathura": Liked it better than "Jumanji." B

"Identity": Kind of a fun, unusual murder movie with a great twist. B

"Secretary": Quite creepy show about S&M but sort of peters out at the end. B-

"Sin City": Interesting but didn't really engage me emotionally. B-

"Madagascar": First half better than second. B-

"Planet of the Apes": Loved as a kid, wanted to see again. B-

"The Village": Eh. Not as bad as I expected. B-

"The Shipping News": Kinda boring. B-

"Corpse Bride": Great visuals and music, story lacking. B-

"Soylent Green": Never saw before, so wanted to fill in this cultural gap. Kinda dumb. C+

"Birth": Not so good. C+

"Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire": Not as good as 3, and not very accessible to an adult who hasn't read the books. Felt like a waste of time. C+

"Hitch": Fluff. C-

"Book of Mormon Movie": Saw it with some fellow Sugar Beet writers, and we had fun doing an ongoing commentary/mockery. Pretty bad movie; I don't remember much. D

"Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy": Loved the old radio shows, absolutely hated this. Very obnoxious, couldn’t finish watching. F

"Fat Albert": Torture. Had to take 10-year-old and his friends for his birthday party. F

"Robots": Really disliked it. It tried way too hard and I rebelled by actually falling asleep, something I very rarely do in movies. F

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