The end of one year and the beginning of another is a time of both reflection and excess. The former expressed by taking stock of what has transpired in the year just ended, and the latter, perhaps spurred a bit by the former, part of a greater biological imperative to stave off winter’s cold by consuming that which makes us feel warm and cozy, be it that extra helping of mince pie or third cup of eggnog. The same applies to reflecting on what appeared in cinema screens in 2005, though the drive to feel warm and cozy has more to do with wanting to forget, or at least assuage the melancholy, of time wasted and intelligence insulted.
Again, with the now traditional protest over the arbitrariness of the number 10, are the best of what 2005 had to offer.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, my pick so far for the best film of the decade.
The rest are presented in no particular order:
GRIZZLY MAN – the power of self-delusion
SYRIANA – what we don’t know WILL hurt us
GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK – who decides
what we know will also hurt us
THE WAR WITHIN – understanding the enemy is
the beginning of making peace
CRASH – human frailty with compassion, but no
BREAKFAST ON PLUTO – the power of self-
knowledge, and of a
killer fashion sense
BROKEN FLOWERS – an exquisite contemplation
of where the search for
happiness begins and ends
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE – stark, terrifying,
and achingly beautiful as
it examines the tyranny of
expectations, self- and
THE UPSIDE OF ANGER – Ditto.
SIN CITY – Visually arresting, emotionally
IRAQ: THE UNTOLD STORIES – lives up to its
LAND OF THE DEAD – the seemingly impossible: satire, social commentary, genuine scares, and a smart script
KISS KISS BANG BANG – the next step in the
evolution of noir
SERENITY – what Sci-Fi ought to be.
And the worst:
THE ADVENTURES OF SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL – a tedious vanity piece disguised as a father/son bonding experience.
ELIZABETHTOWN – self-indulgence disguised as revelation
THE CAVE – pointlessness without even the courtesy of a disguise
ALONE IN THE DARK – if only they hadn’t turned the light on at all
STAY – confusion disguised as cleverness
DERAILED – an obvious plot disguised as a mystery
STEALTH – not stealthy enough
A SOUND OF THUNDER – a sound of yawning
MONSTER IN LAW – to echo the general
sentiment, Jane came out of
retirement for this?
THE DUKES OF HAZZARD – so much for the New
FANTASTIC FOUR – do I really have to make the
remark about it being un-fantasitc?
RING II – a re-hash of the original, only this
time the characters don’t have the
sense that god gave geese.
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR – re-edited to remove
the gore and get that R rating
instead of an NC-17 left us with
nothing worth seeing except for
Ryan Reynold’s abs
HIDE AND SEEK – nothing worth looking for,
much less at
TWO FOR THE MONEY — when star vehicles