2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

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The Blog:
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
I'll join Shroom and post a little random wrap-up on some recent films I've seen. I rented five 2002 movies to catch up on, and aside from Owning Mahowny I also saw Identity in the theater (and on Thursday I'm seeing Neil Labute's new film with Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz, The Shape of Things). So here goes:

IDENTITY: It's pretty dumb. Watchable for the entire running time thanks to some nice performances (especially the always likable and consistently overachieving Amanda Peet) and a few genuinely suspenseful sequences, but the script is retarded and by the end you're just pissed off. Wait for video.

THE CRIME OF FATHER AMARO: A letdown. The worst of the three recent Gael Garcia Bernal hits (the others being, of course, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Amores Perros), it's a contrived and predictable melodrama that suffers from crappy storytelling and a bogus ending. I was never that involved, and while it looks nice there really isn't much there. Garcia gives a great performance as usual, however, so it's not a total loss.

THE TRANSPORTER: Easily the most pleasant surprise lately. An awesomely paced action film starring the charming Jason Statham. The story is absurd and thin, but who cares? Every action scene (and the 92-minute movie has about 70 minutes of them) is more creative and thrilling than the last. A hearty recommended DVD rental. The best thing about it is it's light on its feet and the tone is perfect -- funny, swift, inventive, and never bogged down by exposition or serious drama (thanks to a script co-written by producer Luc Besson). Hot Asian chick too.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF: Insipid, offensive trash. The most difficult sit I've had in years; nearly impossible to wade through the whole 150-minute thing, since it's senseless and boring and remarkably violent. I wrote a review on my website so just go there for the rest. Ugh. Fucking awful.

TWO WEEKS NOTICE: Surprisingly non-shitty romantic comedy, saved by the wonderful Hugh Grant performance. Here's an actor who has hit it out of the park in his last several roles -- Notting Hill (pitch-perfect), Bridget Jones (smarmy and funny), and About a Boy (the most range and best acting). This is no different; the guy just knows how to underplay a role and spit out brilliant one-liners. Sandra Bullock is annoying as always, but not painfully so. Movie loses points for its overly direct use of music -- the most egregious example being a sequence where Bullock has to take a shit during a traffic jam, and races around looking for an RV with a bathroom while holding a newspaper over her ass. The soundtrack plays, I'm serious about this, "Taking Care of Business."

I SPY: Supremely lame buddy comedy, but how many buddy comedies have been saved by Owen Wilson's presence? All of them. Wilson is consistently watchable and amusing, and even Eddie Murphy rises into mediocre territory as opposed to his general diarrhea. How far the mighty has fallen -- Beverly Hills Cop is still one of the great comedic performances ever, and now the asshole is doing Daddy Day Care, Showtime, Pluto Nash, and Shrek. Murphy needs help. Big time. Don't waste your time sitting through I Spy, but it's not as bad as it could have been. Better than Brotherhood of the Wolf, at least.