Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 2003

2003 was kind of a crummy year until summer hit. There's some big big movies and many people's all time faves within this year but overall it was pretty weak sauce.  I have some pretty notable omissions here, like Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl and the best movie in the Infernal Affairs Trilogy (part 2), but that's the way the cookie crumbled I suppose.  The Academy finally recognized a LOTR movie, but it felt as if the award was for the series as a whole, being that they waited til the final one for it to garner the Best Picture win.

Here's those Best Picture hopefuls

WINNER: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
Lost In Translation
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Mystic River

And here's my selections...sorry to The Matrix Reloaded (but give yourself another year or 2 and you're probably knocking something out of this list)

28 Days Later...

All you fans of the zombie craze taking us by storm the past few years, you have this movie to thank.  Yeah, i know people in this production have argued "It's not zombies, its INFECTED" but shut it, this is pretty much zombies.  Or else...knock off zombies.  Just be zombies.  This movie delighted me as there hadn't been any original zombie films (albeit any good ones or within my grasp) in a LONG DAMN TIME.  The scope of this one was tremendous.  Danny Boyle's style made this feel real as shit too.  It also introduced me to Cillian Murphy, an actor I've come to like a lot since this movie.  This also brought about the running zombies (although, there were running zombies in Return Of The Living Dead, but this is what set the standard for today's).  Granted the 3rd act doesn't really solve itself, it just brings about chaos...I'm fine with it.  It doesn't bug me in the slightest.

Freddy Vs Jason

Yeah, they probably could have flung shit into the theater and I probably would have been tickled just to see this long awaiting pairing.  The fact that they made a really enjoyable film?  Even better.  I've wrote about this one twice last year.  HERE and HERE.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

This is a really fun film.  Its a long film that really moves.  I dig all the different filmmaking styles incorporated into just this one film.  Also, this film was incredibly iconic right from the start.  I know QT is borrowing from many inspirations here, but he manages like always to make it fresh and original.  There are many awesome fight scenes here to boot.  Uma Thurman is killer here in what might have been her last big and great role (I can't think of anything notable she's done since).  This is one of those movies that you can just play or see it going in your head without having to put it in.  Also, the score by Rza is pretty awesome.


The 2nd in Chan Wook Park's Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy is one of the best and most memorable films you're ever going to see.  Its got a mystery that sucks you right in and has you perching on the edge of your seat trying to guess and watching it unfold.  Its also got one of the best action sequences of that decade.  Let's not mention its twist is one that will shake you at your core and is one of the greatest in film history.  PLEASE PLEASE whatever you do, do not watch the American remake instead.  Be an adult, don't be a wuss, read some damn subtitles.  I'm not going to discuss it anymore, because you really should watch this movie as fresh and as innocent as you can.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Of course it goes 3/3.  This is the 2nd trilogy to cap off with all 3 being in this series (the other is Back To The Future).  I don't know what more I can say about one of film history's greatest achievements.  Many complain about the abundance of endings this movie has, but honestly...don't you think they've earned it by this point?  Viggo Mortenson also gives a dynamite performance in this finale.  You truly see a full transformation of Aragorn from Ranger to King and its quite stunning.  And Viggo, a guy we all thought was just some pretty face back in the 90s.  WHOOPS!

X2: X-Men United

The 2nd X-Men film remains one of my favorite comic book-superhero movies ever.  It would eventually be surpassed as the best X-Men film by First Class many many years later, but this one is no slouch in itself.  This sequel is very much a tribute to Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan.  Every beat and many character journeys and actions from that movie is present here, but Bryan Singer makes it feel all so fresh and original.  It sucks that this was the only film to feature Nightcrawler as they took a character I didn't think much of in the comics and made his powers absolutely badass here.  There are many great action bits in this movie and such promise for the future or next installment of the series left on the table.  This is the case where the sequel outdoes the original easily and one that would start a trend of such a thing happening with more frequency (in the comic book movie world at least).

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