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

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Saturday, December 20, 2003

Brief Notes

* Cold Mountain -- Easily one of the best films of the year. It's hard to find any flaws in Minghella's stirring, eye-catching epic anti-war romance; and it's even harder to single out what the best thing about an across-the-board brilliant film is: is it John Seale's luxurious camerawork? The sharp, poignant, efficient use of dialogue? Or is it the veritable thundershower of exceptional performances? If it's the latter, then try to choose between Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman, Brendan Gleeson, Ray Winstone, Giovanni Ribisi, Phil Hoffman, Cillian Murphy, Melora Walters, and Kathy Baker. I dare you. Minghella has once again fused grand Hollywood storytelling with personal, intelligent artistry and made a movie that will please brows both high and middle. It's about what war does to cultures, to generations, to the soul, and most of all to love. Then it becomes about how much we can know each other, and what value ephemeral love has in a world threatened every second by the potential for violence and death. Tear-jerking, lavish, ultra-professional, and constantly gripping, Cold Mountain is the kind of big-budget prestige pic that would actually deserve its Oscars. [9/10]

* Gigli -- I'm really getting sick of the smug assholes blabbering on E! and the internet about how awful this film is, especially when they haven't even seen it. It's the film people love to slam because of their bias against the admittedly over-exposed and obnoxious couple of Affleck and Lopez. So I decided to give the film a chance based on hope that Martin Brest (director of the great Beverly Hills Cop and Midnight Run) had made a subersive picture worthy of intelligent analysis. Damn, was I wrong. It sucks ass. At least I took it seriously and stayed open-minded; but it's boring, flat, stupid, unfunny, poorly conceived, predictable, contrived, and irritating. It's a film that struggles to say something about masculinity, gender roles, and genre conventions, but fails so miserably that you feel more sorry for the film than anything. Christopher Walken has one great scene, and Lopez isn't too bad. The rest is crap. [3/10]

* Man on the Train -- Patrice Leconte bounces back from a couple of stumbles (Felix et Lola and The Widow of St. Pierre) with a film that finds the director on sure footing once again, creating deep, lovable characters on par with Monsieur Hire and Girl on the Bridge, while lacking the spark and ambition of his best work to date, Ridicule. A simple story about the friendship between a bank robber and a retired literature professor, the film earns its warm welcome from the terrific performance of Jean Rochefort as the professor. Johnny Hallyday fares less well as the crook, but the dialogue is fresh enough to sustain any flaws of acting. It's a quiet, understated dramedy that builds to a poetic, satisfying conclusion. [8/10]

* McCabe & Mrs. Miller -- My second viewing of this film, and the first in many years. It's clearly good, but I can't muster the kind of "it's an unbelievable masterpiece" enthusiasm that has galvanized film geeks for decades. Beatty's performance is too mannered, but I love Julie Christie as always. Interestingly, the climactic scene in the snow with Beatty in a gun-fight with Old West killers is directly quoted in Cold Mountain, but Minghella has the slight edge over Robert Altman. [8/10]

* The Dancer Upstairs -- John Malkovich's directorial debut is terribly boring for the first hour and a half or so, but it comes back big-time in the end. Javier Bardem is fine as an honest cop hunting a terrorist, but the procedural aspect of him getting clues while simultaneously falling in love with a ballet instructor grinds the film to a deadly halt. But then when betrayal and disaster strike at the end amidst an ostensibly happy conclusion, the film takes us to a surprisingly moving ballet performance (as Bardem must watch from behind a closed door) that beautifully encapsulates the underlying themes of the film. Intelligent, slow, and awkward, the film is still worth seeing for the impact of its final 20 minutes. [7/10]

* Together -- Has a great director ever fallen so hard so quickly? Putting Francis Ford Coppola to shame, Chen Kaige responds to his masterpieces Farewell My Concubine and The Emperor and the Assassin with the hilariously stupid erotic thriller Killing Me Softly and this maudlin, crowd-pleasing tear-jerker that basically pits the sensibilities of Chris Columbus, Steven Spielberg, and Jon Turtletaub into one Chinese version of Hollywood pablum. A few fair moments here and there, some good photography, but insipid characterization and a shamelessly manipulative climax. Poor Chen. Maybe he needs to get pissed at the government again. [4/10]

* The Hit -- This is a super-cool little crime drama from 1984 courtesy of High Fidelity's Stephen Frears. Obviously more like The Grifters than the Cusack comedy, this road picture about two hitmen bringing a rat ex-con and a female hostage through the Spain countryside is a bit thin on plot, but huge on atmosphere and philosophy. And how can you go wrong when you cast John Hurt, a bouyantly youthful Tim Roth, and the jaw-droppingly awesome Terence Stamp? Answer: you can't. [9/10]