Movies Seen in January/February 2004

  • 01/11/04- Big Fish- Wonderful, but not astonishingly great, which is wierd because I usually love Tim Burton. This film was well cast, and the story of the father and son was heartwarming, but I just couldn't get really excited about the film, overall. Great escapism. 7/10
  • 01/27/04- Love Actually- For the number of stories it juggled, it was well handled. However, because there were so many stories being told the movie jumped back and forth between stories which were moving and heartwarming, and stories which I could care less about. For example, I really enjoyed the romance involving Colin Firth and the woman he loved not even speaking the same language, and found the story of Alan Rickman cheating on his wife moving, and well handled by the actors, but I could care less about Hugh Grant's prime minister falling in love or Laura Linney's office crush. While many of the film's stories were wonderful and heartfelt the few that were dull dragged the entire film down. I should add that Bill Nighy's performance is a bit of genius. 7/10
  • 01/28/04- Lost in Translation- Beautifully shot, beautifully acted and directed. This film genuinely moved me. Bill Murray gives the performance of his career. Slow, and quiet and offbeat, this film is an absolute treasure. 9/10
  • 01/31/04- Bad Santa- There only two words I can use to describe this movie- fucking hysterical. Billy Bob Thornton's performance in this film blew my mind. His scenes with the kid, Thurman Merman, brought a grin to my face. But while funny, the movie is also unexpectedly sad at times. I almost wet myself laughing, and at the same time wanted to cry for the desperation of the characters. 9/10
  • 02/09/04- Kill Bill Volume 1- This is the second viewing for me. I love this movie. It's long on style, short on substance but that's really the brilliance of it. The use of music in this film blows my mind. Tarantino really has a great and distinctive style of directing which I love. Really enjoyable. 9/10
  • 02/17/04- School of Rock- Second viewing of this film and I must say, I love this movie! Love it, love it. I think that's mostly because I get what Dewey Finn is about. I know what he means about the power of rock, and I feel his enthusiasm for it, and what it can do. That's the great thing about this film. It's really not about Dewey molding or teaching the kids anything... it's about the power of rock to teach and mold those kids, and how music can influence peoples lives. That's a pretty cool message. Plus, Jack Black's was just so perfectly cast, and this is just such a funny, heartwarming film you can watch with your whole family... just so so great. I can't stress how much I love this film! 10/10
  • 02/20/04- What's Eating Gilbert Grape- I really enjoyed this film. Lasse Halstrom is always an interesting directing, even when his films aren't necessarily great, but this is definitely one of his best works. He always seems to lean towards stories that are quieter, and more messy than most movie plots. This film, in particular, features real, fully fleshed out characters whose lives don't neccessarily follow a certain path, but are complicated and uncertain. This is one of very few films I've seen where I've gone "Hey, life is actually like this." The only problem I really had with the film was that I wished the Juliette Lewis character would have been explored a little more. But otherwise, the performances in the film are great, especially Leonardo DiCaprio's performance. This film is heartbreaking in parts, and really very moving. I highly recommend it. 8/10
  • 02/21/04- 50 First Dates- This film certainly wasn't the greatest film I've seen recently. I wouldn't even say it was one of Adam Sandler's best. But it was interesting. It was sweeter, and gentler than most Sandler films. Ther romance was interesting. There was this kind of sadness that underlied the film. The character of Lucy effectively will never be able to lead a normal life, and the relationship will be an incredible amount of work every step of the way. And I liked that rather than sidestep this issue, the film kind of attacked it head on. Due to the nature of the relationship though, the romance is fairly bittersweet, and doesn't neccessarily end entirely happily... just better. In terms of romance, the film was very very romantic and sweet. Enjoyable, but not really as funny as it is heartwarming. Lacking the edge of some of Sandler's better works. 6/10
  • 02/22/04- Office Space This movie is excellent, and, in my opinion very undervalued. The story is well thought out, and the performances are wonderful. It's sort of a wierd movie, but it's very very funny. The direction is really great, actually. One scene in particular, where the main characters are destroying a photocopier, has a feel like a Tarantino film, this sort of violent urgency which is hysterical because of the ridiculousness of their act. The film plays like a serious crime film in some parts, when it's really just this petty, white collar sort of heist film. This movie is just great, and sort of offbeat and edgy. I would definitely reccomend this film. 8/10
  • 02/23/04- Benny and Joon- This is the umpteenth time I've seen this movie, and it never gets boring. This film is just sweet, and funny and wonderful. Johnny Depp steals the film. He absolutely steals the whole film. He plays the character of Sam with this amazing grace, and flair and quirkiness which just blows my mind. It's such a gentle and warm performance. And the silent film bits are so well-choreographed, and so funny. My only problem is that I wish there had been more information and depth to the characters. They only begin to sort of scratch the surface of them before the movie is over. Otherwise, an excellent film worth watching and very romantic. 8/10
  • 02/24/04- Pulp Fiction- This is actually my first viewing of this film, and I have to say that I didn't quite know what to make of it. I actually liked Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill much better than this film... however I must admit that I can see what all the hype was about. Tarantino's style as a director is very clear and is glorious with this film. The way he holds on his shots, and lets his dialogue continue off camera, the use of music... his sense of style and his vision are firmly established here. And the dialogue was certainly fresh and unique. Even now, after so many people have tried to copy it, the way this film is put together still feels new and exciting. However, for some reason, I just couldn't get into the plot and the characters of the film. Call me crazy, I don't know... I just wasn't blown away by it. 7/10
Author Comments: 

Wow! I feel tiny compared to reading other people's Seen in 2004 lists. I watch hardly any movies... I wish I watched more, reading the reccomendations from people on this site!

So I bet I'm not the only person here bummed that Kill Bill Vol. 2 was delayed until April! Man, and to do that to us with the cliffhanger ending on Vol. 1!

"Didja get that memo?" :-) Very fun movie. Have you seen the BBC series The Office? I think it's a natural addition to your "to see" list based on how much you liked Office Space.

I have seen the Office, and I really really enjoyed it. A very very funny show.

I loved 50 First Dates! I thought it was such a great movie. How could you not like this movie, yes it was a romantic movie but it was very good. I even cried at one point during this amazing movie!

I didn't say I didn't like it. I really did enjoy it. And I admit that it was sad in some parts. I just have a beef with the fact that while it was heartwarming and sweet, the humour just wasn't there for me. I don't think I really laughed hard once, but I smiled the whole way through and in a Sandler film, I expect a little more.

I understand... I guess we all have different views. I see were you are going though usually adam sandler has very funny movies! But i thought this was a funny movie.