Movies Seen in 2005

  1. LOTR: the Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)
  2. La Mala educación (Pedro Almadovar, 2004)
  3. Jackie Brown+ (Quentin Tarantino, 1997) I've seen this umpteen times, and I still find new things in it. Maybe not Tarantino's best, but it's the most multifaceted.
  4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen, 1954) Proves a theory of mine: mispronunciation leads to a world of trouble.
  5. The Harvey Girls (George Sidney, 1946)
  6. Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985) Ah, much better.
  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton, 2005) The version with Gene Wilder invites (at least for me) whimsical allegorical takes; with this one, I was making stuff up just to get through it (W.W.=George Bush, Oompa Loompas=L.A. denizens, tanned and tiny).
  8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory+ (Mel Stuart, 1971) Anti-capitalist tale (chocolate=$), religious meditation (Wonka as deity) or just an ordinary kid's film on acid with great art direction? Trying to decide ups the rewatchability factor enormously for me. Amazingly, the commentary track actually enhances the sense of wonder as the actors relive the experience of filming as children.
  9. La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
  10. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari+ (Werner Kraus, 1921) Feels like a nightmare I never had, and it's still my favorite silent movie.
  11. Hauru no ugoku shiro (Hayao Miyazaki, 2004) Howl's [alleged?] heartlessness could also be a fable for the movie itself (not necessarily a criticism).
  12. The Sugarland Express (Steven Spielberg, 1974) The emotional nuance here surprised me, and even though it doesn't always work, I think it's my new favorite Spielberg movie (though Raiders makes it a close competition).
  13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Otis Turner, 1910) I think this is the delightfully amature movie I caught 3/4 of last weekend. Unfortunately, I was out of the room for the cyclone (represented by an actor in costume).
  14. In Good Company (Paul Weitz, 2004)
  15. Unzipped (Douglas Keeve, 1995) Because I'm a fan of Mizrahi, I enjoyed every bit of the movie, but it would have probably worked best as a short, starting with his mediocre reviews from 1993 and then moving to the brilliant and controversial idea for the much more successful 1994 fall show. Needs someone to help select music for his shows, though.
  16. Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (Hayao Miyazaki, 1986)
  17. Rowing With the Wind (Gonzalo Suárez, 1988) A beautiful mess. It's disappointing to see the Romantics portrayed as genteel and almost tame, but the movie looks great. A screen capture of the giraffe in the mansion is my new desktop.
  18. Italiensk for begyndere (Italian For Beginners) (Lone Scherfig, 2000) Unconventional romance, but not in an ironic way -- it just is. Hilariously misleading poster.
  19. Gas Food Lodging (Allison Anders, 1992) Who would have guessed a Richard Peck novel could have turned into such a good movie? Several critics, apparently, but not me.
  20. Look At Me (Agnès Jaoui, 2004)
  21. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Alex Gibney, 2005) Like its subject, the movie is fast and slick, but it manages to make an unwieldy and complicated scandal comprehensible.
  22. Veronika Voss (Rainer Fassbinder, 1982)
  23. Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980) Had anyone told me "it's a Woody Allen film with aliens," I would have seen this much earlier.
  24. The Company (Robert Altman, 2003) Equal parts satire and celebration, it's the best non-documentary ballet movie I've seen.
  25. Melinda and Melinda (Woody Allen, 2004)
  26. Twentynine Palms (Bruno Dumont, 2004) Judging from this and La Vie de Jesus, Dumont has an interesting habit of filming landscape more flatteringly than humans.
  27. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000) Great, but how exactly was the Millennium Reform School Act supposed to work?
  28. Love Me Tonight (Rouben Mamoulian, 1932)
  29. The Party (Blake Edwards, 1968) Peter Sellers doing the kind of comedy he does best – frantically maintaining dignity amid absurdity.
  30. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) Unlike the book, this was eerie rather than frightening. Jack Nicholson’s performance pretty well eclipses everything else.
  31. The Ten Commandments+ (De Mille, 1956) A five-cheese stuffed potato, but catching it on TV is a tradition. Trying to take it as seriously as when I was ten is good mental discipline.
  32. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983) A sci-fi wet dream plus intellect, like all Cronenberg movies (that I’ve seen, anyway). Still thinking about it.
  33. Groove+ (Greg Harrison, 2000) The only thing missing was morning after Teletubby-viewing.
  34. Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past) (Aki Kaurismäki, 2002) Enjoyable once I settled into its off-kilter tone of black comedy and social realism.
  35. Donnie Darko+ (Richard Kelly, 2001) Frequently teeters on the edge of brilliance.
  36. From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, 1953)
  37. Cry-Baby+ (John Waters, 1990)
  38. Party Girl+ (Daisy von Scherler Mayer, 1995) My favorite of that mini-genre of movies that feature a clueless young person finding salvation through work and love (a genre that begs to be parodied, if it hasn’t already).
  39. Heavenly Creatures+ (Peter Jackson, 1994)
  40. About Last Night (Edward Zwick, 1986) Gaping hole in my Mamet appreciation duly amended.
  41. Dazed and Confused+ (Richard Linklater, 1993)
  42. Slacker+ (Richard Linklater, 1991)
  43. Before Sunrise+ (Richard Linklater, 2004) Hadn’t seen this since the year it came out. Dialogue still fresh, romance still believable, still alternately want to crawl inside the screen and choke those characters for not staying together and congratulate them on their precocious wisdom.
  44. The Maltese Falcon+ (John Huston, 1941)
  45. Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch, 1991) The Roberto Benini segment had me on the floor.
  46. The King of Comedy+ (Martin Scorsese, 1983)
  47. Rushmore + (Wes Anderson, 1998)
  48. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004) Favorite parts: Angelica Huston’s wardrobe and the Bowie songs in Portuguese.
  49. Lilo and Stitch (Disney, 2002) Disney moves into the twenty-first century with realistically drawn bodies, some cultural consciousness, and a general dearth of princesses. That’s all fine, but I still prefer Beauty and the Beast.
  50. La Nuit américaine (François Truffaut, 1973)
  51. The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003) Much more profound than I was prepared for. Wonder if Colin Powell could be persuaded to do a similar documentary in a couple of decades?
  52. Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953) A reverse-Cinderella story that left me underwhelmed despite having all the ingredients of a movie I would like. A few rough edges might have helped.
Author Comments: 

+ = viewed before

on hiatus...

overall did you like life aqautic?, i think its Wes Andersons best.

Overall I prefer Rushmore, but I found enough to like about Life Aquatic that I can still look forward to The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

yeah Fantastic fox is going to very interesting! can't wait to see how it all works out

nice comments on donnie darko. there really is no film like it, i'm gonna have to rewatch it also! i remember the first tmie i saw it the bit where... Grethen got run over seriously shocked me, i was like "wow, didn't see that comming"

That also took me by surprise. I was less waylaid by what happened to Donnie--just seems too easy--but then in retrospect, the slacker vibe almost dictated that he cop out in some way (even if it might also be seen as heroic). Anyway, the movie's enough of a moebius strip that if you like it, you almost have to see it twice--hope you enjoy it!

I think you've mistaken Before Sunset (2004) for Before Sunrise (1995). :?

Apparently so--I'll have to fix that. Thanks for pointing it out.

It just occurred to me that the titles could also have worked if they were switched, if "sunset" referred to the looming end of youth and "sunrise" to the renewal of their relationship (or maybe just a new phase of their lives, depending on what you think happens after the end of the movie).

Recently watched on the top or bottom?

The bottom. And I just realized I need to slip one in that I somehow missed.