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The 7 - Random - Freeway420's Top 25 Films of 2003 Register and log in to post!
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#1 Posted on 31.12.03 0134.44
Reposted on: 31.12.10 0135.13
It's New Year's Eve and I won't see any movies today, so here's my Top 25 Films of 2003. Excluded for now are 21 Grams, Big Fish & In America, but I trust that if/when I see them, they would have qualified for some spot on the list.

JUST MISSED: The Hulk [Very good, if you came in not expecting anything at all resembling a comic book movie.]
JUST MISSED: Old School [Will Ferrell = HILARITY]
25. X2: X-Men United [Great comic book action movie, building on the last and expanding.]
24. Bruce Almighty [Jim Carrey is funny 95% of the time.]
23. The Matrix: Reloaded [The whole movie was "Hey, wait for the next one..." but did it well. Too bad the third one sucked...]
22. Elf [Will Ferrell has a helluva year.]
21. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [Long-ass title, long-ass movie, fun as hell thanks to Johnny Depp.]
20. The School of Rock [Rocking out with Golden Globe nominee Jack Black. Sounds eerie, don't it?]
19. Phone Booth [Premise sounded retarded, worked spectacularly well.]
18. Confidence [One of the small gems. Edward Burns was Edward Burns, Rachel Weisz was great.]
17. Runaway Jury [Ensemble cast worked well, Gene Hackman & Dustin Hoffman in same movie ruled.]
16. Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World [Longish, but built great relationships between characters.]
15. Love Actually [The most sentimental motion picture of 2003.]
14. Bend It Like Beckham [The little movie that could. This year's Big Fat Greek Wedding...only a better movie.]
13. 28 Days Later [The arrival of Cillian Murphy, and the most effective use of scoring this year.]
12. Dirty Pretty Things [Actors you've never heard of in a movie you should've seen.]
11. Kill Bill Vol. 1 [Now, the ending better be good!]

AND NOW, THE TOP 10 OF 2003:
10: FINDING NEMO [Animated gem from Pixar & director/writer Andrew Stanton. Voices are excellent, and the story is heartfelt and fun. Almost a shoo-in for Best Animated Feature Oscar.]
9: SEABISCUIT [The Great American Movie lives again, thanks to Gary Ross & his great cast. Chris Cooper & Tobey Maguire do well, but the real shining stars were Elizabeth Banks & Jeff Bridges. Plus, it's a true story!]
8: MATCHSTICK MEN [Just when I think Ridley Scott is just a great action director after Black Hawk Down & Gladiator, he manages to toss in a zany caper about grifter Nicolas Cage and the daughter he never knew he had. To say more would be a crime.]
7: OPEN RANGE [Filmed just outside my hometown, Kevin Costner's grippingly realistic Western wasn't just entertaining, it was almost beautifully shot. Robert Duvall is expectional, everyone else is just dandy.]
6: COLD MOUNTAIN [Civil War epic is both epic (long) and heartfelt. Great performances from the entire supporting cast, including Jack White in his first major role. Renee Zelweger should win an award for her role, as she anchors it all from falling into oblivion early on.]
5: HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG [Vadim Perelman's first feature is exceptional. Let me repeat...his first feature. This guy is only going to get better. Ben Kingsley & Jennifer Connelly are awesome.]
4: MYSTIC RIVER [Clint Eastwood wisely stays behind the camera and lets Sean Penn, Tim Robbins & Kevin Bacon do the talking with great performances...yes, even from Kevin Bacon. Great story, great acting, great movie.]
3: THE LAST SAMURAI [Tom Cruise gives the performance of his career in this story of a broken man sent to kill the Japanese after the American Civil War.]
2: LOST IN TRANSLATION [Sofia Coppola arrives directing this quirky, heartfelt film about two lost souls who find each other in (surprise) Japan. Scarlett Johansson is good, Bill Murray is as good as he will ever be.]
1: LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING [In the end, if 2003 is remembered for one film, this will be the one. Peter Jackson ends his epic trilogy with as much heart, style & flair as he began it with. Long live the king.]

AWARDS: The best of things in 2003.
ACTOR: (TIE) Bill Murray [Lost In Translation] & Sean Penn [Mystic River/21 Grams]; Murrray resurrects his career & Penn continues the ascension of his.
ACTRESS: Jennifer Connelly [House of Sand & Fog]
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ken Watanabe [Last Samurai]
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Renee Zelwegger [Cold Mountain]
BREAKTHROUGH MALE: Chiwetel Ejiofor [Dirty Pretty Things]
BREAKTHROUGH FEMALE: Scarlett Johansson [Lost In Translation/Girl With the Pearl Earring]
MOST SURPRISING NUDITY: Diane Keaton [Something's Gotta Give]...and no, it wasn't exactly welcome.
WORST FILM: Gigli. Yes, it was actually that bad.
WORST FILM THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD: (TIE) The Matrix: Reloaded & The Matrix: Revolutions
ANYBODY CLOSE TO THAT?: Uh...I think Billy Boyd was in Return of the King & Master & Commander. Does that count? ....No.

Thanks for reading. Feedback is appreciated. See you at the movies and have a safe & happy New Year all!
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#2 Posted on 31.12.03 1234.57
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1235.30
You liked X2? Maybe my expectations were too high but it did NOTHING for me.

I'd throw in an Honorable Mention to Bad Santa. Maybe even putting it in the place of School of Rock. Although that's probably a tainted opinion after seeing Jack Black bomb horribly on SNL and be totally uninspiring on the talk show circuit.
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#3 Posted on 31.12.03 1241.57
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1242.29
How depressing, I've only seen 3 of those movies this year :(
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#4 Posted on 31.12.03 1324.20
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1324.56
Even more depressing...I've only seen two of these!

edit: Those would be Kill Bill and Bruce Almighty, by the way. And now that the rip of the Battle Royale 2 DVD is online, that'll be it for my 2003 movies...

(edited by Bullitt on 31.12.03 1411)
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#5 Posted on 31.12.03 1358.16
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1358.37
Two for me as well. When you have a pack of little kids, you don't see many movies, what with the price of tickets and the prices of babysitters. Yikes.

I saw Return of the King and Matrix Reloaded out of that whole list.
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#6 Posted on 31.12.03 1418.09
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1419.50
Out of the list, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean (twice), Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 28 Days Later.

Honestly, looking at the rest of the list, the only ones that make me think "Gee, I wish I'd seen that" are Bend It Like Beckham and Finding Nemo, and maybe Lost In Translation. I could take a pass on most of the rest.

The Sham
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#7 Posted on 31.12.03 1533.35
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1534.22
Orlando Bloom had two movies on your list (Pirates and RotK) as did Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Love, Actually" and "Dirty Pretty Things") not just Billy Boyd. (And Jennifer Connelly and Will Farrell just missed.)

Keira Knightly is the breakout hot chick of the year, as far as I'm concerned. I saw "Love, Actually" before the other two, and I was a fan right away (try to watch the wedding montage of her in that movie and NOT believe she's one of the most beautiful women on earth).
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#8 Posted on 31.12.03 1559.41
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1559.42
Agreed. Keira Knightley was barely seen in Love Actually, and that was a damned shame...because she's unbelievably hot.
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#9 Posted on 31.12.03 1731.36
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1731.51
Not to be a shill but ROTK was incredible and I am not a huge Tolkein fan. I am old enough to have seen the animated traveties committed 20+ years ago. I loved Star Wars but his is the most consistently made near perfect set I have ever seen. And Finding Nemo was pretty damn good. As as stupid as it was I love Pirates and Depp's performance was off the charts.
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#10 Posted on 31.12.03 1731.39
Reposted on: 31.12.10 1732.38
    Originally posted by The Sham
    Keira Knightly is the breakout hot chick of the year, as far as I'm concerned.

She's the somewhat more obtainable Natalie Portman.
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#11 Posted on 1.1.04 1433.34
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1433.52
    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    You liked X2? Maybe my expectations were too high but it did NOTHING for me.

same here. to me the first one was all characterization and no plot. and the second one was all plot and no characterization.

can't wait for the second spider-man movie though =)
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#12 Posted on 1.1.04 1451.01
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1451.48
I've seen all but six of Freeway's top 25, and I'm seeing Cold Mountain tonight.

Here's my top ten for the year, which of course is subject to change....

10 (tie). Old School/Shanghai Knights
9. School of Rock
8. The Shape of Things
7. Elf
6. The Last Samurai
5. Mystic River
4. Return of the King
3. Finding Nemo
2. Kill Bill Volume 1
1. Love Actually
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#13 Posted on 1.1.04 1508.23
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1511.12
I LOATHED Love Actually. With a passion. As a Brit, it's depressing to see the only films from your country hitting it huge being Richard Curtis' bland-as-all-Hell, cheesy, totally sugar-coated rom-coms. Especially one as bloated and pretentious as LA. All the stories they had difficulty ending, they just ignored come the final twenty minutes. Where was Laura Linney in the big finale? How did Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman settle their marriage crisis? And the poorly-done Short Cuts Lite "connections" between the characters were just dumb. The most annoying thing is that, using a similar framework and some of the stories, there's an absolute humdinger of a film waiting to get out. But the good (Bill Nighy and Gregor Fisher's platonic love, the Rickman/Thompson story, Martin Freeman's porno stand-in romance, maybe even Liam Neeson's stuff) is so buried under all the faux sentimentality and crappy "Oooh look, Hugh Grant's PM....and he's DANCING!!" moments that the bad far far FAR outweighed the good. And don't EVEN get me started on the pointless and rather pathetic September 11th namedropping at the opening. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH THIS FILM SUCKED

End of rant. Freeway, In America is an absolutely amazing, beautiful film. First flick to make me cry at the cinema in about ten years. Catch it as soon as poss-you won't regret it.
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#14 Posted on 1.1.04 1627.31
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1629.01
Where is Bad Santa? WHERE IS BAD SANTA?

I only saw the three action blockbusters on the list (Matrix,KBI, and X-2, and I plan on seeing RotK). In my opinion, they're the only kind of movies where seeing it on the big screen makes a difference. Everything else I just wait for on HBO or Showtime.
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#15 Posted on 1.1.04 1815.54
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1816.10
As a movie year, this one has been pretty shit. I'll admit there were a few gems out there, but I had a difficult time coming up with a few of them. Still, here they are...

10) Matrix Revolutions
9) The Hulk
8) X2
7) Finding Nemo
6) Freddy v. Jason
5) The Last Samurai
4) Bad Santa
3) A Mighty Wind
2) Kill Bill Vol. 1
1) Return of the King

On a sidenote, Freeway420, Vadim Perelman's next film is one that I'm very torn about. It could turn out very, very good or very, very bad. I'm speaking of the movie version of the Stephen King & Peter Straub book, The Talisman.
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#16 Posted on 1.1.04 1928.09
Reposted on: 1.1.11 1928.47

1. Return of the King ~~~~~
2. Pirates of the Caribbean ~~~~~
3. X-Men 2 ~~~~~
4. Once Upon a Time in Mexico ~~~~~
5. A Mighty Wind ~~~~~
6. Lost in Translation ~~~~~
7. Love Actually ~~~~~
8. Matchstick Men ~~~~1/2
9. The Last Samurai ~~~~1/4
10. Terminator 3 ~~~~
Honorable Mention: Master and Commander (probably should be #10 but I had to make a statement by giving props to the wonderful T3)

Best Actor: 1) Johnny Depp (Pirates) 2) Johnny Depp (Mexico) 3) Bill Murray (Lost)
Best Actress: 1) Scarlett Johannson (Lost) 2) Alison Lohman (Matchstick) 3) uh ... Catherine O'Hara (Mighty)
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#17 Posted on 1.1.04 2201.13
Reposted on: 1.1.11 2202.47
Terminator 3 had to right to be as good as it really was. It just showed up outta nowhere & rocked. It was tied for 28th (with Bad Santa), just outta range.
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#18 Posted on 1.1.04 2235.28
Reposted on: 1.1.11 2236.31
I saw 15 of Freeway's 25, 37 overall.

Apparently my odd one out amongst Wienerboard members is "Daredevil". That was my favorite of the Marvel movies this year. "X2" was also one of my tops. While "Hulk" wasn't, I still enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

"Matrix Reloaded" may have been a boatload of special effects and little else to appease the first movie's fans, but I wasn't that big a fan of the first movie and I was giddy as hell throughout. My favorite movie of the year. "Kill Bill" was a very close second.

Most of what I liked this year was your typical big dumb movies. The smaller movies I saw for the most part disappointed, especially "Swimming Pool" and "May". Fucked-Up Movie of the Year definetely goes to "Irreversible".

I have three movies I liked a lot more than I expected to. "Gothika" was a lot better than it had any right to be (not enough for Top Ten, but still...) I really got a kick out of "Down with Love". I just saw "Peter Pan" this week basically because there was nothing else I wanted to see, and it just charmed the hell out of me.

I am not a Lord of the Rings fan, so I won't be seeing "Return of the King". I haven't seen the first one either. I did see about 30 minutes of "The Two Towers" before walking out.

My Top Ten (in order 1-10 because you didn't really care in the first place)

1. Matrix Reloaded
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Daredevil
4. Finding Nemo
5. X2 - X Men United
6. Seabiscuit
7. Peter Pan
8. Bad Santa
9. Down With Love
10. Once Upon A Time in Mexico
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#19 Posted on 2.1.04 0201.11
Reposted on: 2.1.11 0201.15
    Originally posted by pieman
    Two for me as well. When you have a pack of little kids, you don't see many movies, what with the price of tickets and the prices of babysitters. Yikes.

    I saw Return of the King and Matrix Reloaded out of that whole list.

Say it with me pieman... video store

I swear, I rent twice as much as I go to the theatres.
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#20 Posted on 2.1.04 0233.07
Reposted on: 2.1.11 0234.48
Wow, I don't know if I *saw* 25 movies in 2003, unfortunately.

Just over the last couple days, I managed to see X2 and The Hulk (that free PPV dealy I mentioned in my post about TNA; it's over tomorrow afternoon, though). X2 really impressed me. The Hulk wasn't all that good, I thought, but it had it's moments. Simple guide to Ang Lee movies: if you like all of the characters, it will be fantastic. If you don't like most of the characters, it's in trouble. The Hulk and The Ice Storm pretty much fall into the latter category (but The Hulk is the better of the two). Just about everything else is in the former.

My faves of the year (and there's still a lot I haven't seen):

1. Bend It Like Beckham. Best movie I've seen in the last couple of years. Very funny, terrific characters (with that same good-Ang-Lee movie feeling of *liking* everybody on the screen, even the antagonists), and a wonderful valentine to the beauty of athletic women. All this Kiera Knightly love is great, and Parminder Nagra is right up there with her.

2. Camp. Not too many people saw this, but it's a wonderful film about teens at a performing arts camp. Heart-wrenching in places, gut-busting in others, and filled with great production numbers too (including such canny choices as Victoria Williams' "Century Plant" and Todd Rundgren's "The Want Of A Nail").

3. Finding Nemo. You know about this.

4. Mystic River. Terrific performances and a gripping story.

Close behind are X2, Master And Commander, and Whale Rider, not necessarily in that order (i.e. I can't make up my mind which one is #5). Again, there are still things I haven't seen that may make the list at some point.

I thought Lost In Translation was the most overrated movie I saw. It had some very funny moments, but mostly I was watching people being bored, and I didn't find that fun.
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