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The Best and Worst Movies of 2003? 1093

Posted by Cliff
from the jackson-and-company-will-dominate-this-one dept.
rufey asks: "As 2003 comes to a close, I thought it would be interesting to ask Slashdot what they thought the best and worst movie of 2003 was, and why. At the beginning of the year there was excitement about parts 2 and 3 of The Matrix triology, X-Men 2, and of course, LOTR: Return of the King. In Slashdot's opinion, what did and didn't live up to the hype and expectations, and were there any surprises?"
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2003?

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  • The Hulk (Score:5, Funny)

    by qewl (671495) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:01AM (#7760499)
    The Hulk. Need I say more? I wanted to throw something heavy at the screen during most of the showing.
    • Re:The Hulk (Score:5, Funny)

      by merphant (672048) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:05AM (#7760541)
      Seriously. This movie was horrible, and long. Near the end of the film, one of the characters said "I'm sorry" and someone in the theater shouted back, "Not as sorry as this movie!"
    • Re:The Hulk (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Brandybuck (704397) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:44AM (#7760852) Homepage Journal
      Ditto. I rented it a couple of weeks ago. I was expecting "dumb and fun". What I got was "stupid and excruciating."
    • Re:The Hulk (Score:5, Insightful)

      by laxcat (600727) on Friday December 19, 2003 @01:31AM (#7761232) Homepage
      The Hulk was made by an accomplished film maker [imdb.com] that made one of my (and probably one of your) favorite films of all time [imdb.com] . Visually and artistically, Hulk (while not the BEST movie ever) was not nearly as bad as everyone pretends. I think the problem was everyone was expecting "fun but dumb" and when they received something that was a little more experimental in style and truer to the tortured character from the comic books (especially the later ones), everyone felt cheated that they didn't get a "real" comic book movie. Maybe it wasn't Lee's best decision to try passing off something so different to a summer movie audience, but in a purely academic sense it really wasn't that bad. I would even say it was good.

      (Revoutions, of the other hand... I've seen better writing on a cereal box. I think they really phoned that one in.)
      • Re:The Hulk (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cgenman (325138) on Friday December 19, 2003 @10:33AM (#7763725) Homepage
        It wasn't the first time that a legendary asian filmmaker [imdb.com] has made [imdb.com] a dud [imdb.com]. In fact, it's not ang lee's first [imdb.com] dud [imdb.com] either.

        Everyone is entitled to half of their films being well-intentioned failures... that shouldn't tarnish a reputation too much. Ang Lee is floating on the upper half of that equation, and is successful overall. The Wachowskis are two and two. Personally I feel Revolutions received a lot of the venom that should have been directed towards Reloaded. Forcing Keanu to act without his eyes was a stroke of brilliance, and really helped his performance.

    • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Friday December 19, 2003 @02:01AM (#7761423) Journal

      I made the mistake of renting Hulk on DVD. Well, at least that wouldn't have been as big a mistake as watching it in the theater. I was pretty stunned at how terrible the CGI was. Sure, I had seen the TV commericals but I naively figured that those commericals had been thrown together before the complete rendering had been completed and that the CGI in the final product would be much better than the trailers. Nope. I was really surprised.

      But in watching the DVD extras my surprise turned to bewilderment and a little anger. While there was an entertaining featurette on the history of The Hulk from early comic books to TV to movies, most of the extras consisted of the movie makers going on and on about how incredible their CGI effects were and how they were doing something at a level of realism that no one else had ever tried. Now, I'll accept that perhaps what they had tried to do might have been quite ambitious but to suggest that they succeeded admirably was just too much to take. Quite frankly, I don't care how difficult the CGI technical problems are. If some average moviegoer like myself cringes at the poor quality of the effects, then you haven't succeeded at shit. It was really impossible to feel any kind of emotion because every time you saw that green bunch of silly puddy bounce around the screen you were instanteously "taken out of the movie". The poor quality of the CGI completely ruined whatever effect the director tried to accomplish.

      Here on slashdot we oftentimes like to point to the extras on DVDs as a model for the RIAA to follow in terms of adding value to their product. But the more of these extras I watch, the more I'm really doubting whether they add any value. Most of these extras are simply interviews with the cast and crew gushing over what a great job they've done and how thankful they are to work with such a talented group of individuals and so on. It's really just a bunch of self-serving, back-slapping crap. The 'deleted scenes' featured on many disks are really awful to watch -- there's no wonder they were deleted! In times I've come away from a movie having a lower opinion of the film after watching these extras. Attack of the Clones is a prime example. Now, I certainly wasn't under the impression that this was some kind of masterpiece originally. But after watching the featurettes where Lucas agonizes over minute, insignificant details of the CGI characters yet doesn't seem to give a shit about the awful acting and gaping plot holes, I found myself feeling more negative about the film!

      CGI has its place but it's clear that Hulk suffered tremendously because clearly the technology isn't there yet. And filmakers, make those DVD extras something worthwhile for a change, please.

      GMD

      • Re:Hulk, CGI (Score:5, Insightful)

        by adrianbaugh (696007) on Friday December 19, 2003 @08:43AM (#7762927) Homepage Journal
        A whole CGI character seems pretty ambitious, but hey - WETA Digital got it right with Gollum three years ago, which is an eternity in the digital FX business. There's no excuse for shoddy CGI now.
      • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmai l . c om> on Friday December 19, 2003 @08:45AM (#7762937) Homepage
        Now, I'll accept that perhaps what they had tried to do might have been quite ambitious but to suggest that they succeeded admirably was just too much to take.

        I dunno. I submit that maybe if the Hulk had moved like a real human it might have worked better. Consider, the 'hulk dogs' - did they look convincing to you?

        Human brains have some highly refined hardware for recognizing and predicting human movement. (Humans have been way more likely to fight other humans than animals throughout our history.) We're not as finely tuned to pick up on, say, quadruped motion.

        Now (faithfully to the comics, I'll note) the Hulk did some things which just aren't physically possible. Tossing tanks the way he did would require him to be absurdly dense and heavy, even if his muscles were made of diamond nanofibers. If he were that heavy, he couldn't bounce around the way he did at other times. Mass, inertia, and balance didn't add up.

        The point is, I think people pick up on this much faster with an anthropomorphic character than with a dinosaur, or a dragon, or a CGI cat, or what-have-you. The close-up scenes of the Hulk's face worked quite well for me, actually. I think he looked much more realistic than the people in "Final Fantasy", and I don't think the effects guys need to hang their heads in shame. I believe the technology is more "there" than you do, but that there's no amount of technology that can make an utterly impossible movement look 'real'.

        Aside from that, there were other real triumphs. The multi-panel scenes took some getting used to, but really worked most of the time. The bit where Talbot is walking away from Bruce as Betty looks on, and for a moment you can see all three of their faces, tells you all about their relationships in a couple seconds.

        Some of the plot was, well, problematic. The dialogue could have used polishing in places. I agree that its flaws keep it from being one of the "best" movies of the year. But where it works, it works very well, and some of the problems with it have been very overblown.

  • Surprises (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawkin (165588) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760509)
    Lost in Translation
    American Splendor
    • Re:Surprises (Score:5, Interesting)

      by The Only Druid (587299) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:11AM (#7760607)
      Frankly, American Splendor was utterly uniteresting to me. Lost in Translation, however, was brilliant. I dont think I ever respected Murray as an actor before - though I've thought him to be a fantastic comedian - but this movie showed that he actually had the ability to evoke complex emotion. Scarlett similarly was impressive. The two of them are the movie, and I'd be shocked if they're utterly excluded from the Oscars.
      • Re:Surprises (Score:4, Informative)

        by danmitchell (691749) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:27AM (#7760731)

        I dont think I ever respected Murray as an actor before - though I've thought him to be a fantastic comedian - but this movie showed that he actually had the ability to evoke complex emotion.

        What, you've never seen Rushmore? Murray won several awards [imdb.com] for his performance in that wonderful film.

    • Re:Surprises (Score:3, Informative)

      by gladbach (527602)
      One movie I walked into thinking it was going to suck, was last samurai. I walked out having thoroughly enjoyed it.

      Go figure.
    • Re:Surprises (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kirkjobsluder (520465) <kirk@NOSpaM.jobsluder.net> on Friday December 19, 2003 @01:03AM (#7761027) Homepage
      Lost in Translation is my pick with Bill Murray as the best male actor performance of the year. One of the best defining scenes has Murray as the aging unknown actor with the brief 70s moment of glory doing a photo shoot to hawk whiskey. The photographer fires off a series of thickly accented names, "Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, Roger Moore" and with each name Murray with just a subtle shift in position, a slight change in the angle of his eyes and his body becomes a characature of Sinatra, Connery and Moore. The scene is both funny and pathetic at the same time. Murray's character riffs on all of these icons, softly cracking one-liners at the expense of his audience of very professional Japanese advertising photographers, while the eyes reveal that this is a washed-up over-the-hill actor who is being paid a million dollars to sit in a chair with a glass of ice tea and pretend to be Sinatra hawking whiskey.

      And while Murray is pulling off the acting job of his career, Sophia Coppola earns a name for herself as a director by keeping the entire thing hanging together, and delivering an astonishing romance without sentiment. Johannsen does an excellent job paired with Murray. Of the movies I've seen this year, this one sticks with me the most.
    • Re:Surprises (Score:4, Interesting)

      by xTown (94562) on Friday December 19, 2003 @02:08AM (#7761471)
      The script for "Lost In Translation" was pure genius. If there was ever a movie that deserved a screenwriting award, it's this one--just for what he tells her at the end. (Yes, I'm trying desperately to avoid a spoiler.) That was certainly one of the greatest moments in movies this year.

      Sofia Coppola deserves an Oscar for the script, and a nomination for Best Director. I'm not so sure she deserves to win, though; there were some problems with the flow and pacing, and definitely some scenes that didn't need to be there. (For example, after the nth long sequence of Scarlett Johansson wandering around, I was thinking "We get the message, already.") On the other hand, the performance that she got from Bill Murray was just incredible, so it could go either way.

      It will be a shame when Bill Murray doesn't win the Oscar, because his was literally the performance of a lifetime. I was overwhelmed. There were so many moments when he could have spilled over into being "that Bill Murray character", and didn't. He showed remarkable restraint that I didn't think he was capable of. He deserves the award. I doubt he'll get it.
  • pfftt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frequanaut (135988) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760510)
    LoTR...meh..Go check out Bubba HoTep [slashdot.org]
  • poll... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webtre (717698) <webtre.hotmail@com> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760513) Homepage Journal
    shouldn't this be a poll?
  • Hello, Mummy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ironclad2 (697456) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760518)
    3 words:

    Bubba. Ho. Tep.
  • by cOdEgUru (181536) <cherian...abraham@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760519) Homepage Journal
    I dont know which were the best ones..

    But Gigli and Kangaroo Jack takes the cake for the worst ones..
    • by AEton (654737) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:54AM (#7760951)

      But Gigli and Kangaroo Jack takes the cake for the worst ones..

      Not exactly. Actually, according to the IMDB bottom 100 films [imdb.com] listing, From Justin to Kelly [imdb.com] (the American Idol movie) is the #1 hands-down worst movie of all time. AND IT DESERVES IT. cf. review [everything2.com] here or on IMDB. Or..wow.

      I am proud to have fought hard to get low votes for that movie. It was like Mary Poppins without Mary (or popping); like The Sound of Music without any Sound or Music worth re-hearing; like Oklahoma! only set on a god-awful Florida beach.

      That said, if you want something to laugh at and have a friend who was foolish enough to pay for a copy of this tripe and you have free time and want to stare off into space for a while, From Justin to Kelly is the movie for you.

  • by clifgriffin (676199) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:02AM (#7760520) Homepage
    really sucked.

    I mean it did.

    Put that in the bad list please.

    Thanks.

    • by M. Silver (141590)
      It got moderated funny, but I'm the parent of a toddler and: that's exactly right. It was a lame tacking-together of a bunch of older footage that didn't even hold my three-year-old's interest.

      On the other hand, he likes Kiki's Delivery Service a whole lot (but that wasn't 2003, so it doesn't count).
  • School of Rock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ghoser777 (113623) <fahrenba AT mac DOT com> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:03AM (#7760521) Homepage
    This movie was much better than I thought it was going to be. It was fun to watch and see how Jack Black interact with a bunch of high class elemtary school students.

    Not an award winner, or even close, but still a lot better than I was anticipating.

    Matt Fahrenbacher
  • Best I've seen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MikeCapone (693319) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <llehretleks>> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:03AM (#7760523) Homepage Journal
    Mystic River was pretty good.

    Les Invasions Barbares (transl. to The Barbarian Invasions) was excellent.

    I still haven't seen Lost in Translation. I hear it's great. 21 Grams seems really good too.

    Pirates of the Carribean was surprisingly fun. A mix between The Princess Bride (but not as good story) and old computer game Monkey Island.

    I can't think of anything else right now. Haven't seen RotK yet. Hopefully it'll be better than The Two Towers.
    • Two that I forgot (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MikeCapone (693319) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <llehretleks>> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:26AM (#7760720) Homepage Journal
      Finding Nemo was really fun and Kill Bill Vol.1 was very entertaining. I can't wait for volume 2.
    • Re:Best I've seen (Score:5, Informative)

      by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Friday December 19, 2003 @03:01AM (#7761747)
      Haven't seen RotK yet. Hopefully it'll be better than The Two Towers.

      I went to see RoTK yesterday. Not knowing what sort of crowd to expect, my wife and I arrived 90 mins early for a 3:15 showing, and traded tickets for the 2:15 showing once we noticed (at 2 PM) that the 3:15 line was longer than the 2:15 line!

      I was waiting for it to start, and remember some guy two rows behind me muttering about third movies sucking. "I hope it doesn't suck, because it's the third movie, and the third Matrix movie sucked. So this is probably going to suck." Heh heh, dumbass.

      I liked the Two Towers more than FoTR, and I liked this even better. It has everything in it that made the Two Towers enjoyable, plus more stuff. I don't consider myself a Tolkien weenie, since I've only read the book once and that was ten years ago when I was in college. So I can sometimes remember something not being in the book, and it irks me when I see deviations from the book, but if they work in the movie then I don't care.

      PRO:
      • The battle scenes. The battle for Minas Tirith in RoTK makes the battle for Helm's Deep in the Two Towers look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The orc army has new beasts and bigger war machines. More varied creatures and men take part in the fighting. More vehicles are used to get there. More people are killed by being carried into the air and dropped from great heights. Larger objects are smashed into castle doors. The Minas Tirith scene is the most amazing battle scene in the history of cinema. (Its only rival is Spartacus, since Kubrick didn't have CGI.) It is a triumph of production design. See it in the theater if you don't have a sixty inch screen.
      • Gollum continues to become more of a conniving rat bastard. You get to see Andy Serkis in person as Smeagol (with Deagol) at the beginning of the movie, and you see his deterioration into Gollum explained without the need for any cringe-inducing narration. Although it seemed a bit hurried and I have a vague feeling that the Extended Edition DVD will contain a lot of scenes that were cut from here.
      • Shelob is well done, exactly as I remember picturing her from the book. Jackson could have really messed this one up, too, as do many attempts at giant spiders in movies. Shelob was a mere highlight here, but that alone could have been enough material for a movie. Just think of all the stupid movies devoted to a single special effect like Godzilla.
      • The signal fire scene. Watch a single bit of information travel across mountaintops all the way from Gondor to Rohan. Remarkably well filmed, and will surely help New Zealand's tourism industry.
      • The volcano scene. I know the lava is all CGI, who cares. The atmosphere here and in the rest of Mordor is spot on. (Although I was bothered by the way [a certain major character] sinks into the lava. I'm pretty sure he would float. And show signs of being affected by the heat.) But it was really touching, seeing Gollum briefly reunited with his precious. I've never seen such a happy face in my whole life. It gives me the creeps now just remembering that happy face.

      CON:

      • The Aragorn/Arwen/Elrond subplot continues on its course as a slow motion train wreck through all three films. These include the Liv Tyler scenes that you use to check your watch.
      • Legolas's required stunt scene retains the pornographic character it has in every movie. While they are extremely enjoyable, after you see them you feel stupid for having enjoyed them so much. But I have to admit that this movie has by far the best Legolas stunt scene of all three movies.
      • Sauraman is already dead. He died an implied death in the movie you already saw last year. Put him out of your mind. Unless, that is, greedy executives at New Line Cinema apply pressure on Jackson to make a Scouring of the Shire "wedge sequel". You could fit the whole thing right in there as
      • Re:Best I've seen (Score:4, Insightful)

        by the gnat (153162) on Friday December 19, 2003 @04:28AM (#7762096)
        Hmmmm, I saw it last night and thought it was thoroughly BADASS, but I have a few quibbles or additions:

        The battle scenes.

        I disagree. I would place the opening of "Saving Private Ryan", the first Coliseum scene in "Gladiator", or the massacre in "Last of the Mohicans" well above this. I'm probably forgetting something too. I would also rank the final fight in "Fellowship" above all the fights in the trilogy. It's important to note that these are all done on a smaller scale (even "Ryan" focuses on a small piece of beach) and with much less CG work. The CG work was excellent in RotK, but my suspension of disbelief only goes so far. The "Fellowship" fight, on the other hand, looked brutal and realistic.

        Shelob

        I didn't think Jackson could make a giant spider frighten me after at least ten viewings of "Aliens". I was wrong. Major, major props.

        The signal fire scene.

        I agree, but I doubt this was undiluted New Zealand. . . Jackson said very plainly at one point that while NZ was ideal for them, they did some doctoring to get it to look just right. Personally, after repeated viewings I still can't quite tell what shots that aren't immediately obvious as CG are manipulated, and what are original, but I doubt the signal fire scene was all natural. Still, very impressive.

        Legolas's required stunt scene

        I'm sorry, but the horse mounting in Two Towers fucking rocked, even if every female in the audience simultaneously climaxed. What made it so cool was the whole slo-mo lead-in from Legolas shooting arrows, and that what happens next is totally unexpected. When I watch the movies I keep rewinding that part (no, I'm not gay): I think it's the most impressively directed/coreographed scene in the trilogy. Just eye candy, yes, and nothing to do with the books, but utterly effective.

        On that note, I was disappointed that they left out the part of "Fellowship" where Legolas shoots down one of the winged steeds at night (from a boat!). None of the elf stunts in the movies seemed out of place because I remembered reading that, but I wish they'd left it in - it really establishes that Elves are bad motherfuckers.
  • Matrix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thesupermikey (220055) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:03AM (#7760527) Homepage Journal
    I really really like the 3rd Matrix film. I'm a sucker for Dragonball Z fights.

    It gets my award for best ever.
  • nemo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cheeze (12756) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:04AM (#7760531) Homepage
    nemo was pretty darn good for a major released cartoon.

    The matrixes were ok, but didn't live up to the hype the first one caused.

    i personally though 28 days later was a good movie.
  • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:04AM (#7760533)


    "What about all of us who don't go to the movies or buy dvds, etc. and practice what we preach you insensitive clod!"
  • I'd have to say (Score:4, Informative)

    by mOoZik (698544) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:04AM (#7760534) Homepage
    Master and commander!

    • Re:I'd have to say (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fjordboy (169716)
      I agree. That was fantastic. I saw that on Wednesday night and then saw RoTK today. I'd have to say that those two along with "Finding Nemo" are the best of this year.

      For movies that were absolutely terrible I vote: "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "Anger Management" and "American Wedding" (I didn't bother finishing that even).
  • by Quobobo (709437) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:04AM (#7760537)
    Yes, it was totally predictable, and standard.. but even so, it was awesome. If this is an indication of what Disney might make more of in the future, than I'm glad.
  • by tanveer1979 (530624) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:05AM (#7760543) Homepage Journal
    Kill Bill was a surprise. But on second thoughts you never expect the Pulp fiction chap to churn out shoddy things. Though it was too violent for some people's taste, the action scenes are choreographed to perfection. No CGI etc and pure raw martal arts and it beats matrix hands down in the fights. The volume one of Kill Bill was released this year. Check out IMDB [imdb.com]
    • by laxcat (600727) on Friday December 19, 2003 @01:57AM (#7761402) Homepage
      I guess I'll have to comment on the general negativity being expressed by people who didn't like this film, both here in this thread and elsewhere.

      Most of the complaints seem to stem from a general misunderstanding of QT's intentions and motivations for this film. The film's main motifs are ACTION and REVENGE. There is nothing particularly deep or difficult to comprehend in either of these themes. Action is Hollywood's favorite device. Revenge is something that is very close to the human heart. There is no need to really look for any meaning further than this. If you do you risk missing the simplicity of this film. (And then you may not like it.)

      We complain about Hollywood films being too predicable and shallow, but there is something noble in QT's quest to make a movie DELIBERATELY simple. Action is its purpose, not a device. Its plot can be implied to: Injustice, then revenge. If poetry is minimalist communication, then well... far be it from me to say spring-loaded decapitations are poetic... but it looks like I just said it anyway.

      To sum up, you are DEFINEATLY allowed to not like the very graphic nature of this film. I can respect that. But otherwise you may have missed the fact that this move is intentionally simple.

      One of the years best for sure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:06AM (#7760552)
    Britney Spears in Crossroads.

    Very touchy and intellectual.

    I cried all night.
  • by PseudoThink (576121) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:06AM (#7760554)
    With regard to these movies, Slashdot doesn't have opinions. It has geekloads of rock-solid, indisputable facts. Though these facts might vary and occasionally even conflict, they are all absolutely true, from a certain point of view.
  • by fetta (141344) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:06AM (#7760558)
    28 Days Later may be the best horror movie that I've seen since the original alien. An amazing amount of tension - but what really got me was that it didn't rely on special effects. From an effects perspective, you could have made the same movie in 1970.

    Watch this movie and realize that you can do sci-fi and horror without relying on the crutch of CGI effects.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:08AM (#7760575)
    I've got this Paris Hilton mpeg, see, and...
  • new concept (Score:5, Funny)

    by slunk1 (694204) * on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:08AM (#7760578)
    wow. a thread designed just for trolling. interesting concept.
  • Bad Santa (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crispy1083 (636320) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:10AM (#7760594)

    A truly hilarious film. There was some controversy that people might have confused it for a lighter Christmas parody, but it was an excellent dark farce.

    Best quote from Billy Bob Thorton, while in a Santa suit, while having anal sex with a woman: "You're not going to shit right for a week."

  • The Ring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:12AM (#7760609) Homepage Journal
    This is probably the scariest movie I've ever seen. It was released in 2003, right? If not, it's *still* my pick of 2003.

    At first it looks like a juvenile cross between "Conspiracy Theory" and "The Net", but then it shifts gears and scares the living shit out of you.

    I'm still freaked (can you tell?), and I only saw it once.

    • Re:The Ring (Score:3, Insightful)

      by malkavian (9512)
      That one gets my vote. :) Quietly, unassumingly scary.
      Not many movies get me on the edge of my seat, but The Ring did just that. :)
      I was pondering not seeing it, as I thought it'd be a standard 'blood and guts' horror, which I find both boring, and irritating.
      It's anything but. True psychological horror. :)
    • Re:The Ring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Geeyzus (99967) <`mark_madej' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday December 19, 2003 @04:03AM (#7762007)
      The Ring came out in 2002 [imdb.com], actually.

      However I agree, this was an EXCELLENT horror film. I think 28 Days Later might edge it out, but as far as pure FEAR, this one is much scarier.

      I'm trying to get a friend of mine to come over and watch it with me. Of course, in my opinion, if you want to watch it, you have to rent a VHS tape, NOT a DVD. You'd have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

      Then in your pocket, have your cell phone (in silent mode) pre-dialed to your friend's cell... after the movie, push the "Send" button as you walk up to the VCR to push rewind or get the tape. Sure to ruin a perfectly good pair of pants. :-)

      Mark
    • Re:The Ring (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ragnar (3268) on Friday December 19, 2003 @09:33AM (#7763197) Homepage
      My fiance doesn't go for scary movies, so I watched this one myself on DVD (I know VHS would be more apropos, but I'm hooked on the fidelity). I like to think I have a pretty firm grip on reality and have rarely seen a good horror film.

      In a word, The Ring kicked my ass. Let me just say I watched it with the lights on. ;)
  • by UnderScan (470605) <jjp6893@@@netscape...net> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:12AM (#7760618)
    Kludge of a story that was hacked together to sell tickets. Inclusion of a new stronger, faster, & harder to kill Terminator that also oozes with sexual energy & is not scary or intimidating. Film score that didn't use the Terminator2 theme to inspire awe & fear.

    T2: "Hasta la vista, baby!"
    T3: "Talk to the hand."

    eww. I feel dirty just thinking about that film.
  • ROTK BAD. (Score:3, Funny)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:13AM (#7760622) Journal
    I mean the already published the book for the 3rd movie! How much does that suck? And don't get me started on how much it stole from that satanic game D&D! I mean anyone who has anything to do with D&D is evil and should be shot!
  • Kill Bill Volume 1++ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wackybrit (321117) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:13AM (#7760623) Homepage Journal
    Went into Kill Bill without really knowing anything about it, and enjoyed myself as much as when I saw Clockwork Orange at the theater after it was unbanned (I'm from the UK).

    Why? Because of the fighting. I'm not really into violent movies or the whole escapism thing, but seeing Uma Thurmann kick some major ass was almost sexual. A nice pastiche of the last 50 years of kung-fu cinema.
  • by PovRayMan (31900) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:13AM (#7760627) Homepage
    When I found out I was going to conclude The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings in 2003 all within months of each other, I was jittered with excitement. Both movie series filled in two seperate geek aspects; computers and epic fantasy. Some say The Matrix fell short with the sequels, but I won't get into the argument. I for one enjoyed all three Matrix films, and that's that. The ending of Revolutions left me somewhat satisfied, but not filled with joy knowing and seeing the end. Now just the other night I watched Return of the King and that void of emotion has been completely filled. Not only did The Lord of the Rings movie series end, it gave a full out conclusion. Most people not familiar with the books (That's me until I saw FOTR and then read the books for the first time) would assume that when the ring is destroyed the movie would end. Instead we're returned to the purity of Middle Earth as it once was before the corruption of the ring where the king of men rules once more, and the Hobbits drink, dance and sing joyfull songs. Unlike Matrix Revolutions we just get the idea that the Matrix lives on, but those who want out are freed and the machines no longer go off patrolling and killing humans from Zion (Assuming the humans don't go off killing the machines). That ending is nice and non-conventional, but it leaves an emotional gap. Return of the King fills the void, and even overflows it.

    "You bow to no one..."

    :'-(

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:17AM (#7760653) Homepage
    OK, so I never saw it, but I'd like to nominate a movie from January 17th. That instant horror classic (the horror being what you expiriance at even having to watch the commercials for it)...

    Kangaroo Jack [rottentomatoes.com]

    Best movie? Pirates of the Carabian was good, I haven't watched Seabiscuit yet (I've got it on DVD near me right now), I liked X-2, and I thought that The Matrix: Reloaded was entertaining, Nemo was fantastic, I loved A Mighty Wind, and those are the only 2k3 movies that I've seen (that I can think of) as I only watch DVDs.

    Does Chicago count? It came out Dec 25th of last year, so that's within the last year (not last calender year though).

  • Dogville (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shipud (685171) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:20AM (#7760671)
    No doubt. Powerful stuff. Too bad Kidman won't be there for the rest of the trilogy, but I don't think von Trier will disappoint... 'nuff said. Wouldn't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it [tvropa.com].
  • by tstoneman (589372) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:23AM (#7760691)
    Who would have guessed the X-men 2 would be so great?

    I literally shed tears when I saw the way they did Nightcrawler... it was perfect. The attack at the beginning of the movie was perfect... I just wish that I hadn't seen the previews so that I would have been completely caught offguard.

    The portrayal especially his religiousness was amazing.

    The only minor problems that I overlooked:

    1) He wasn't fuzzy (ie. Fuzzy Elf)
    2) In the attack scene, he was clearly teleporting behind walls and such, something that he wouldn't be able to do properly. The only reason that I could think of that he would do that was because he was under the mind control and that forced him to do crazy things.
  • Bad Santa (Score:5, Insightful)

    by foo fighter (151863) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:24AM (#7760700) Homepage
    Bad Santa was as close to a perfect movie as I've seen in a long time. It stayed true to itself, managed to be funny, thoughtful, and obscene all at once, and the characters and plot developed while still having plenty of action and slapstick.

    LotR: RotK was second in my book. I'm a geek who reads the book every year. Yet somehow I don't hold the book or its author up as holy items beyond reproach or critique. Peter Jackson has done a marvelous, magnificent thing with these three movies and I hope he wins some awards this year (best director, screenplay, and/or movie) from the big shows like Oscar and Globe. I find the nitpicks humorous and interesting as pieces of trivia, but feel sad about and pity towards those who get up in a bunch about minor inconsistencies, mistakes, and additions/omissions in such a masterpiece.

    My guilty pleasure this year was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It was much better than all the reviews led me to believe. I actually enjoyed it more than X2 by a large margin. It was a fun action movie with really cool steam-punk technology and "magical" mythical heroes. What's not to like?

    My biggest disappointments were the Matrix sequals. WTF happened? Jackson did it right and the Wachowskis did not. My personal theory is that if the Wachowskis had been given the opporunity to shoot the three all at once The Matrix would be held up as a peer to LotR. The huge delay between The Matrix and Reloaded caused all kinds of subtle problems and gave the brothers too much time to think about the screenplay. Sometimes less is more.

    My happiest moment was when I discovered how to rip DVDs I rent to my hard disk. Then I burn those rips onto SVCDs to pass around to my friends as cheap Christmas presents.

    God bless us, every pirate!
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday December 19, 2003 @05:53AM (#7762393)


      > My guilty pleasure this year was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It was much better than all the reviews led me to believe. I actually enjoyed it more than X2 by a large margin. It was a fun action movie with really cool steam-punk technology and "magical" mythical heroes. What's not to like?

      A more formulaic movie was never made.

  • The Matrix v. LOTR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by boobox (673856) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:27AM (#7760730)
    The story's the thing. The Matrix started strongly, with enough subtlety and interesting ideas paired with killer wire fights and excellent effects to capture the public eye; the 2nd film, however, floundered on screen (though I thought it was still worth the price of admission) with less story and more special effects and CGI. By the end of the third film, It was like watching a hurricane, that once was beautifully coiled, rippling with power and newness, dissipate into just another tropical storm named Huey, or something similar. I still thought the third flick was worth my ten bucks but was let down, ultimately with the 2nd and 3rd, because the beginning was so strong. With the LOTR, the story's already there and strong. Tolkien knew more world mythology by rote than most people have ever heard or read. I remember in college chuckling when coming upon certain dwarf names in some obscure book of the Dead Sea Scrolls. With that background and perspicuity already in the work, Jackson had to "merely" transfer one great media work to another format (and I applaud his efforts). Did he also make use of the best CGI available? Certainly. Did it work? Yes. Of course not everyone is pleased with casting, cuts, etc., but I've found the three Tolkien films a much more pleasing crescendo when compared with the Matrix.
  • by Peganthyrus (713645) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:28AM (#7760734) Homepage
    Also known as "Belleville Rendez-Vous".

    French animated feature, very bizarre and entertaining. Lots more fun to look at than any American feature cartoon in recent memory. It reminded me why I got into animation in the first place.
  • 28 Days Later (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:28AM (#7760740) Homepage Journal
    End of story!

    Seriously though, it was the best horror/sci fi movie that I have seen in at least a decade.

    The night that I saw it, I stopped to pee outside in a wooded area and every time I heard ANY sound I would spin around to make sure that it wasn't an infected coming for me.

    No movie has made me get up and check to make sure my doors were locked like 28 Days Later.

    I've seen more movies this year than I did since I was about 9, and there have been some real Gems. Like X2 & Underworld, but 28 Days Later really spoke to me.
  • by phorm (591458) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:41AM (#7760836) Journal
    Maybe it's just my penchant for Japan-themed movies, but I found this one to be excellent. Great acting, good plot... and somehow they managed to pull it off without gobs of arterial spray (yes, there is blood, but for the concept of the movie it is limited) and/or gratuitous sex.

    In fact... it's the first movie I've seen in a long time that pulled the romance theme without a down-and-dirty-sheets moment. Imagine that.

    It also reminded me of Shogun... for any that remember the old miniseries (recently re-released on DVD) with Richard Chamberlain as a European naval pilot stranded in Japan. Could just be that Cruise resembled Blackthorne in this one, but man the guy had style! In fact... not normally being much of a Cruise fan myself, I'd recommend this movie all the movie because he really did do a good job of it.
  • by PSaltyDS (467134) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:50AM (#7760922) Journal
    Just got back from seeing LOTR-ROTK, it simply IS the winner. As a 40-something who read LOTR first at about 12, I can only say WOW! To see a story I love dealt with so well by artists who seemed to also love the story... well, they win.

    Like every year, there were so many losers it is hard to pick, but Timeline gets the nod for the same reason LOTR did - how they handled a book I had read. I really liked Timeline when I read it about 4 years ago, but the hollywood hacks (no artists involved) thought all that boring history stuff would just get in the way of the big yellow fireballs. They seem to say "The book you read didn't have enough explosions, we know you'd rather have explosions than any respect for the story."

    Since it inevitably came up - The Matrix finale was a disappointment, but not anywhere near the worst of the year. Seeing it in IMAX made the explosions and big yellow fireballs kind of mesmerising...

  • by mwigmani (558450) on Friday December 19, 2003 @12:57AM (#7760977)
    Here are my top 10 of 2003 (IMDB ratings in parentheses):

    10). School of Rock [imdb.com] (7.7)
    9). Kill Bill [imdb.com] (8.2)
    8). Mystic River [imdb.com] (8.1)
    7). 21 Grams [imdb.com] (7.9)
    6). Elephant [imdb.com] (7.6)
    5). Talk to Her [imdb.com] (8.2)
    4). American Splendor [imdb.com] (8.1)
    3). Gerry [imdb.com] (6.2)
    2). Spellbound [imdb.com] (8.5)
    1). Lost in Translation [imdb.com] (8.2)

    A few movies that I've heard good things about that haven't reached us yet in Boston that may end up displacing some of the above are:

    - House of Sand and Fog [imdb.com] (?)
    - Girl with the Pearl Earring [imdb.com] (7.2)
    - Japanese Story [imdb.com] (6.5)
    - The Triplets of Belleville [imdb.com] (7.2)

    Movies that I can't fathom why everyone liked:

    3). Better Luck Tomorrow [imdb.com] (7.6)
    2). Swimming Pool [imdb.com] (7.1) (I didn't understand this movie until about a week after seeing it, so maybe it is good and I'm just an idiot).
    1). Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [imdb.com] (7.5)
  • KILL BILL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by soundofthemoon (623369) on Friday December 19, 2003 @01:13AM (#7761110)
    The movie I thought was the best of the year was the one I least expected to like. Kill Bill (Vol 1) was just astounding. The sense of style, the attention to detail, the outright chutzpah, the buckets of blood... Usually I hate bloodfests, but this movie was just so well executed that I got over the blood and just loved it to pieces. I guess his goal was to make a live-action anime, and as far as I'm concerned it was perfection, even down to all the names being like stupid translations from Japanese.

    And you have to give QT props for dressing Uma up like Bruce for half the movie!
  • by cjsnell (5825) on Friday December 19, 2003 @01:17AM (#7761147) Journal
    I'm absolutely shocked that nobody mentioned this movie. This film is destined for the AFI's Top 250 Movies of All Time. Just you want and see!.

    What film am I talking about? You'll just have to see for yourself! [imdb.com].
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Friday December 19, 2003 @02:40AM (#7761645)
    I'm just wondering. Why is there such a..well..harsh retribution on the movie equilivient of a hard sci-fi movie?

    Why was everybody turned off by the philosophy and world building in Reloaded/Revolutions? I thought that was the best thing about the movies. Forget the fight sequences, I want more thought, more detail, more technology.

    The ONLY thing that disappointed me (on an intellectual basis. On an emotional basis it made me giddy) about Revolutions, is that now after seeing the ending, and looking back on it, the story was actually written as a homage to the Final Fantasy series.

    Nothing-hero is the chosen one to take command and lead the battle against multiple enemies, only to join forces with one, to fight against an even greater threat to them both.

    Then take the music during the battle between Smith/Neo, and the music during the final credits (the underbeat is the same as the Boss music from FF9).

    Too easy.

    But still a great movie.

    Why don't people get giddy about detail like I do?
  • by Quizo69 (659678) on Friday December 19, 2003 @06:07AM (#7762431) Homepage
    Kill Bill Volume 1 - Beautiful art cinema
    Lilja 4-Ever - Harrowing and one of the few movies to make me cry
    28 Days Later - Brilliant low budget horror
    Terminator 3 - A sequel that lived up to its predecessors
    The Return Of The King - The entire trilogy is a masterpiece of modern cinema

    As for the rest.... well I was severely disappointed by the Matrix sequels more than anything else. Those who respond that I "just don't get it" are missing the fact that while the IDEAS were sound, the EXECUTION left everything to be desired. A movie needs STORY, PLOT and AUDIENCE EMPATHY to be successful, not just eye candy, which while great doesn't keep you coming back over and over again.

    Let's hope there's better fare in 2004.
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday December 19, 2003 @02:12PM (#7766507) Homepage
    Does anyone else think it's interesting how films seem to be getting much, much longer? There have been numerous 2+ hour films in the last year or two, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Kill Bill (vol 1), the second two Matrix films, all three LotR films, and seemably a couple others. Are people's attention spans getting longer again (due to the internet vs. TV, maybe?), or is this just a trend of a series of 3 3-hour 'compilation' stories?

    At any rate, I'm not sure if I like it or dislike it. Part of me enjoys being able to have 3 hours of film to properly tell a story; another part of me thinks that they intentionally pad the films to make them longer (as with LotR and the overly-emotional and excessive dialog at times); yet a third part of me wonders, "Where's the goddamn intermission, I've got to piss!" - they did have intermissions back in the day for really long films. Why not now? It's painful to sit there with a full bladder, but more often than not, it's preferable to missing 5+ minutes of a film you paid $7+ to see (more if you're on a date).

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