March 26th, 2006

...such a lovely color for you.

Alex's Ten Favorite Films of The Year

And so, 2005 has come to an end. There was quite the abundance of shitty movies and found myself wanting to cry in agony after watching most of the trailers for Hollywood’s latest. That being said though - Who were the few, the proud? I give you, my ten favorite movies of 2005:

10. Good Night and Good Luck
Yes, it’s somewhat of a monotone film with very little action, especially for American audiences. Chances are you’ll probably experience a little action withdrawal while watching this, but it really is a well-done movie. I enjoyed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Clooney has proved himself once again as a capable director. This time, he does so with a political drama about a few men who put their necks out on the line for the sake of doing what they felt in their hearts to be the right thing. Based on true events, this pretty picture is worth a thousand words.

9. Oldboy
This movie actually came out in Korea, in 2003, but was only just released to the States this year. And goddamn, I couldn’t have been more pleased. I decided to rent the film after hearing good things. Oldboy is a wild and original story that thrills you from start to finish. I was a little concerned that its being foreign would leave me feeling a little alienated, but take my word for it, folks – it’s the shit, hands down.

8. Brokeback Mountain
Yes, yes. It’s the movie that every teenage girl is raving about (“Ahhh, cute boys making out! Ahhh!”). Suffice to say, I enjoyed the movie as well. Wasn’t necessarily turned on by the whole Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger doing it thing, but I thought it was a touching movie. A love between two people that no one else can seem to understand or touch. They try to live their lives, but their hearts keep scratching away at their spirits as they yearn for each other more each day. Plus, Heath Ledger was frickin’ awesome surprisingly.

7. Lord of War
Now, here was a film that came of nowhere. It hasn’t riled up too much hype for itself yet and it wasn’t advertised very heavily so I’m not surprised. This one totally caught me off guard though. It’s one of those cool educational dramas a la Blow. Nicholas Cage is usually hit or miss with his roles and this time, it was a hit. He plays the ambitious and confident Yuri Orlov, arms dealer extraordinaire. We are also treated with great performances from Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke, and Eamonn Walker. It’s also got one of the nicest soundtracks of the year. With yet another awesome movie added to his small resume, Andrew Niccol is definitely proving himself to be a force to look out for from now on.

6. Howl’s Moving Castle
So very few movies are just nice stories to experience anymore. Even someone like me who adores movies for their lessons and morals and expressions can appreciate a wonderful film like this. There are wonderful characters like the goofy, living scarecrow who repeatedly caught me off guard with his out of nowhere-ness and the wheezing dog and the charming Howl (voiced by the equally charming Christian Bale). Oh and let’s not forget the castle fire, Calcifer, who is voiced by none other than Billy Crystal. Again, it’s a fun story about a group of people that become friends through a bizarre and original set of events. Each frame of this movie is like a work of art.

5. Elizabethtown
This is Cameron Crowe’s latest piece of yummy (yeah, I’m secure in my manhood enough that I can say something like that). It’s just a very heartwarming and delightful movie about a young man coming to grips with the world through a strange series of events, starting with a “fiasco” involving a shoe. Cameron Crowe reminds me once again why he is one of my favorite filmmakers.

4. The Squid and the Whale
This was the top favorite of 05 for a lot of critics. While I don’t feel it was deserving of this rank, I did feel like it was still a pretty damn neat and interesting movie. It reminded me a lot of Wes Anderson’s films (actually, Anderson was a producer for the picture), only with more emotion - not everyone acts like they're kiddy rape victims or something. The characters aren’t perfect just like real people aren’t perfect in real life. Also, we witness some disturbing moments that not everyone cares to watch for entertainment. It’s at about that time that we realize this movie is more than just entertainment and that kind of movie is the kind that really stands out in the end. It’s a story about growing up, a study of human nature done with heart.

3. War of The Worlds
I’ve heard mixed opinions about Spielberg’s latest epic sci-fi thriller, but Jesus folks…c’mon. There’s just no denying that this film was a thriller of thrillers. Those were the most badass special effects and action sequences I’ve seen in a long time (see ‘Huge Effin Alien Machine Rising out of the Ground and Killing Everyone in Sight’). Not to mention, we get a nice little family values underlying message. Everyone has been on Tom Cruise’s ass about his erratic behavior lately and he might deserve it, but I still love the guy as an actor. And I loved War of The Worlds. Even Tim Robbins’s creepy lil cameo.

2. Batman Begins
It feels so weird putting a Batman movie towards the top of my list, but damn it…it’s a good movie. Batman’s dignity has finally been returned to him. Christian Bale is an actor finally getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight and he certainly didn’t waste my time, playing the darkest and most badass Batman to date. It’s a beautiful film laced with moral delight. Christopher Nolan, thank you for giving me a reason to live and see another day.

1. Munich
Spielberg made two films this year and, wouldn’t ya know it, both were great. Munich was a heavy, dark, action-filled drama. Actually, this has gotta be Spielberg’s darkest film to date… next to Schindler’s List anyway; dealing with the events that followed after the Munich Olympics terrorist incident. This movie had some breathtakingly beautiful cinematography and don’t even get me started on the nerve-jolting action scenes. Great, great stuff. The man has been on fire ever since Saving Private Ryan. How does he do it?

(taken from my site:
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