Nate’s Abbreviated Round-Up of the Year 2005
Worst Film of 2005: Alone in the Dark
Runners up: 2) A Sound of Thunder, 3) Primer, 4) The Fog, 5) The Longest Yard, 6) Elektra, 7) Be Cool, 8) Flightplan, 9) Wolf Creek, 10) The New World
Titles that could be confused with porn: Grizzly Man, Happy Endings, The World’s Fastest Indian
The Best 10 Minutes of 2005: King Kong vs. T-Rex vs. T-Rex vs. T-Rex, King Kong. Runner’s-up: Assassination foreplay that literally brings down the house, Mr. and Mrs. Smith;
Best Film I Saw in 2005 (that wasn’t released in 2005): Howl’s Moving Castle
Most Romantic Moment of 2005: Me, and You, and Everyone We Know’s foot dance. Miranda July’s romantic ode to oddball and human connection is an acquired taste. Some will find it ridiculous and pompous, but I settled in on July’s weird wavelength and found the movie to, in parts since it is somewhat episodic, to be rapturous. This film just missed out on my top ten list. The most moving moment for me may have been the most simple. July videotapes her feet enacting a courtship dance; one shoe is labeled “Me” and another shoe is labeled “You.” It’s simple and yet entirely moving from a realistic human scale.
Thanks for the Ad, How About a Movie Award: Be Cool never should have existed in the first place. It’s a lousy sequel that has none of the swagger or behind-the-scenes satire that made 1995’s Get Shorty so enjoyable. Ten years later, this miscalculated movie was supposed to be an expose on the music industry, but instead it just felt like another batch of payola. The movie is one long commercial for recording artist/aspiring actress Christina Millian. The movie bends over backwards to cram in opportunities to get her to perform, and after five full singing performances my brain shut off from the not-so-hidden message, “Buy Christina Millian’s CD.”
Best Onscreen Death: Russian roulette gone wrong, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Runners-up: Marv’s exit, Sin City; Elijah Wood hacked to pieces, Sin City; the Yellow Bastard pummeled to a yellow stain, Sin City (this was a good movie for death, if you hadn’t noticed)
Best Villain: Cillian Murphy in Red Eye; Runners-up: Yellow Bastard, Sin City; the oil industry, Syriana
The Watching Pain Dry Award: Broken Flowers. This movie was so sparsely plotted that it was mostly spent watching characters look at walls. I like Bill Murray and his career renaissance as a sad lonely man, but this was just painful. The music was on a repetitive loop that made you feel like you were trapped in an elevator. Watching 90 minutes of Murray stare blankly is not a movie – it could be wallpaper. This movie was the perfect film to put on, leave the room, and do other things to. Runner-up: every excruciating minute of nature in Terrence Mallick’s The New World.
Most Preposterous Plot Turn in 2005: Flightplan’s money scheme. This was, without a doubt, the most contrived, convoluted, and just plain complicated scheme to ever fleece out money in the history of the world. What follows is a point-by-point analysis that is littered with spoilers. You’ve been warned.
The air marshal and the stewardess are the culprits behind the missing tyke. They want to squeeze 50 million dollars from the airline. This is the best way they propose to do so: First, they locate an airline engineer living abroad and kill her husband and make it look like suicide. Then they pay off the mortician so they can stash explosives in her husband’s security sealed coffin. Then apparently they know when Kyle (Jodie Foster) will want to fly again and it also happens to be a flight that the marshal and the stewardess will be scheduled aboard. Now, once the plane is in flight, the marshal somehow manages to steal the little girl, awakening no one, takes Kyle’s boarding pass and doesn’t awaken her, and stows the little girl away without being seen. They then let Kyle go nuts looking for her missing tyke so they can, get this, have a credible hijacker that they can accuse of plotting to blow up the plane unless … she gets 50 million wired into an account. Afterwards, the marshal will somehow get the Feds to kill Kyle and he’ll slip the detonator in her cold dead hand. Oh, and the stewardess changes the flight manifest twice too. What. The. Hell. Does this sound like the easiest way to make money? This plan also involves Kyle wiggling her way into the cargo hold and manually opening her hubby’s casket with the security code so that the marshal can get a hold of the hidden explosives. This entire tortuous plan revolves around a primary assumption that NO ONE will remember or interact with Kyle’s daughter the entire time. This assumes not a single person will remember little Julia, even though mother and daughter boarded first onto an empty plane. What would happen if Julia hit the call button for a pillow? Oops. What would happen if anyone next to them just said, “Hi”? Oops. What would happen if people on the plane contacted anyone at the airport? Oops. The entire conspiracy rests on 400 people’s bad memories. Those do not seem like good odds to me, but then again I’m not a movie villain.
Why Did We Remake This? Award: The Fog. The 1981 original wasn’t that good to begin with. Let me make this perfectly clear – FOG IS NOT SCARY. When the film goes into Fog POV then things get even sillier as we drift inward. Look out sexually promiscuous teens, because the moisture in the air and people within it are out to punish you.
Docs Rock: Documentary films have been increasing in stature amongst a more mainstream movie-going public. America fell in love with the adorable penguins in March of the Penguins, so much so you can probably expect penguin-themed family films for the next decade, though they might not all have Morgan Freeman involved in a God-like capacity. I enjoy the worlds documentaries can expose us to and ranked two amongst my top ten this year. This was an exciting and politics-free year for documentaries, a field normally dominated by agitprop. Murderball, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Grizzly Man were among the best films of the year.