Films seen 2005

"~" after title indicates at-home viewing
"/" before and after title indicates a repeat viewing
"sXX" in place of number indicates short films (fewer than 45 minutes long), although I doubt I'll see many, if any, of those


001. (1 Jan) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004) ***1/2
002. (2 Jan) /Kill Bill: Volume 2/ (Quentin Tarantino, 2004)~ ****
003. (4 Jan) /State and Main/ (David Mamet, 2000)~ ***1/2
004. (6 Jan) /Spider-Man 2/ (Sam Raimi, 2004)~ ***1/2
005. (7 Jan ) Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne, 1996)~ ***1/2
006. (9 Jan) Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood, 2004) ****
007. (15 Jan) In Good Company (Paul Weitz, 2004) ***
008. (15 Jan) The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997)~ ****
009. (16 Jan) The Assassination of Richard Nixon (Niels Mueller, 2004) ***
010. (17 Jan) The Woodsman (Nicole Kassell, 2004) ***
011. (23 Jan) Hotel Rwanda (Terry George, 2004) ***
012. (29 Jan) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2004)~ ***1/2
013. (30 Jan) Hide and Seek (John Polson, 2005) **
014. (4 Feb) Good Bye, Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003)~ **
Would've taken my leave of this one after the awkward and painfully unfunny first two reels if I could have thought of anything else I would have done with my time. Nearly redeems itself with a pretty good - and thankfully jokeless - second half.

015. (4 Feb) sex, lies, and videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989)~ ***1/2
016. (12 Feb) The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, 1999) ****
017. (13 Feb) /Million Dollar Baby/ (Clint Eastwood, 2004) ****
018. (20 Feb) Being Julia (István Szabó, 2004) **1/2
Bening terrific, the movie not so much.

019. (21 Feb) Exotica (Atom Egoyan, 1995)~ ****
020. (22 Feb) The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenábar, 2004) ***
021. (23 Feb) Constantine (Francis Lawrence, 2005) **1/2
022. (24 Feb) /I ♥ Huckabees/ (David O. Russell, 2004)~ ***1/2
023. (25 Feb) Boys Don't Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999)~ ***1/2
024. (11 Mar) Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)~ ****
025. (12 Mar) Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)~ ****
024. (18 Mar) /The Incredibles/ (Brad Bird, 2004)~ ***1/2
025. (20 Mar) The Ring Two (Hideo Nakata, 2005) **
W/O (26 Mar) The Door in the Floor (Tod Williams, 2004)~
Jeff Bridges is superb, and made me want to stick around, but every time Kim Basinger walked into the frame and started talking, the urge to quit was even stronger. So I did.

027. (2 Apr) Sin City (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, 2005) ***1/2
028. (3 Apr) The Upside of Anger (Mike Binder, 2005) ***
029. (3 Apr) Bride and Prejudice (Gurinder Chadha, 2004) **
030. (4 Apr) Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, 2004)~ ***1/2
Stuff added to 2004 retrospective.

031. (6 Apr) Millions (Danny Boyle, 2005) ***
032. (6 Apr) /Goodfellas/ (Martin Scorsese, 1990)~ ****
033. (10 Apr) Fever Pitch (Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, 2005) ***
034. (11 Apr) "The Office" Special (Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, 2003)~ ****
No, it's not technically a film, since it was only aired on TV, but screw you. You ain't my mother.

035. (23 Apr) The Interpreter (Sydney Pollack, 2005) ***
036. (24 Apr) /Primer/ (Shane Carruth, 2004)~ ****
037. (30 Apr) /Sideways/ (Alexander Payne, 2004)~ ***1/2
038. (1 May) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Garth Jennings, 2005) ***
039. (2 May) /Memento/ (Christopher Nolan, 2001)~ ****
040. (7 May) The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)~ ****
041. (7 May) Happiness (Todd Solondz, 1998)~ **
This movie really pissed me off. Acting is generally superb - Dylan Baker and Jane Adams in particular - and certain scenes are quite effective, but the film's tone - so miserable, so fucking smug - and stillborn attempts at dark humor that only serve to despicably undercut its character's emotional crises made me sick to my stomach. And Solondz really can't direct; the scene in which Baker admits his pedophilia to his son, which would have been devastating if filmed from a distance with both characters in frame, is almost completely sabatoged by Solondz's shot-reaction shot style.

042. (8 May) Crash (Paul Haggis, 2005) ***
043. (10 May) /Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb/ (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)~ ****
044. (14 May) Melinda and Melinda (Woody Allen, 2005) **1/2
045. (15 May) In the Bedroom (Todd Field, 2001)~ ***1/2
046. (19 May) /The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou/ (Wes Anderson, 2004)~ **** [Up from ***1/2 on first viewing.]
047. (20 May) Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (George Lucas, 2005) ***
048. (20 May) /Team America: World Police/ (Trey Parker, 2004)~ ***1/2
049. (22 May) Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005) **1/2
050. (29 May) Cinderella Man (Ron Howard, 2005) ***1/2
051. (30 May) /Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith/ (George Lucas, 2005) ***
052. (31 May) Fiddler on the Roof (Alfred Jewison, 1972)~ **1/2
053. (4 Jun) Il Postino (Michael Radford, 1994)~ ***
054. (4 Jun) Haute tension (Alexandre Aja, 2003) **1/2
Cut, dubbed American theatrical release. So technically High Tension, I guess.

055. (5 Jun) Layer Cake (Matthew Vaughn, 2005) ***
056. (6 Jun) 3-iron (Kim Ki-duk, 2004) ***1/2
057. (9 Jun) Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)~ ****
058. (10 Jun) The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2003)~ ****
Yes, that Brown Bunny, the shorter theatrical cut. Haunting in the truest since of the word, and now added to the 2003 retrospective.

059. (11 Jun) 8 1/2 (Frederico Fellini, 1963)~ ****
060. (13 Jun) Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001) ***
061. (14 Jun) /Ghost World/ (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)~ ****
062. (17 Jun) Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2005) ***1/2
063. (17 Jun) /The Sweet Hereafter/ (Atom Egoyan, 1997)~ ****
Even better the second time, which is saying something. Easily one of the finest films I've ever seen; four stars seems painfully inadequate.
064. (18 Jun) /Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery/ (Jay Roach, 1997)~ **1/2
Hey, it was on VH1 and I was bored. The same as it ever was: Powers tiresome, Dr. Evil a work of fucking genius, "All I want is sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!"
065. (19 Jun) Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Doug Liman, 2005) ***
066. (21 Jun) Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004)~ ***
067. (25 Jun) The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, 1992)~ ***1/2
068. (26 Jun) Land of the Dead (George A. Romero, 2005) ***
069. (26 Jun) Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff, 2003)~ ***1/2
070. (28 Jun) In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2001)~ ****
071. (29 Jun) War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg, 2005) ***
But it could very well go up on a second viewing - and I won't review it until then - due to unfortunate circumstances in the theater. Behind me sat a father and his young - maybe eight years old - son. War of the Worlds is an intense, frightning film, and this kid was terrified, probably almost in tears for much of the first hour, and the dad would not fucking leave. So the kid was muttering, the dad was trying - poorly - to console and I was pissed off. This is clearly a very fine motion picture, but I wasn't able to concentrate as well as I would have liked, so a middle-of-the-road *** for now, assuming that I missed some great stuff, with the consideration that I may have also missed some weak stuff. We'll see.
072. (30 Jun) /Toy Story/ (John Lasseter, 1995)~ ***1/2
Third viewing, I think; first in God knows how long.
s01. (30 Jun) Misfortune Cookie (Jack Paccione Jr., 2005)~
Yeah, it's about as bad as the title makes it sound.

s02. (30 Jun) Rachel's Challenge (?, 2005)~
Through a cheap, manipulative recreation of Rachel Scott's death, it trivializes Columbine to the point that this is easily the most morally repugnant film of any sort that I've ever seen. Movies have made me cry before, but never out of disgust; so thanks, director, whoever you are. I fucking hate you.

s03. (30 Jun) Geoff, World Destroyer (Phil Hall, 2002)~

073. (1 Jul) /War of the Worlds/ (Steven Spielberg, 2005) ***1/2 [Up from *** on first viewing.]
074. (2 Jul) My Summer of Love (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2004) **1/2
075. (3 Jul) Irreversible (Gaspar Noé, 2002) ***1/2
076. (5 Jul) All the Real Girls (David Gordon Green, 2003)~ ***1/2
077. (7 Jul) Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (Danny Leiner, 2004)~ ***
The rare multiplex comedy that actually has something to say about something - in this case, the experience of being a minority in white-dominated America. It's also just pretty damn funny, even with the bits that fall flat; John Cho and Kal Penn make a great couple - Penn especially needs to get more work right now - and there's absolutely nothing I can say about Neil Patrick Harris that hasn't already been said. Hopefully the set-up for a sequel is actually delivered upon; this is a team that deserves a few more outings.
078. (9 Jul) Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)~ ****
079. (10 Jul) Dark Water (Walter Salles, 2005) ***
080. (11 Jul) Fantastic Four (Tim Story, 2005) **
081. (11 Jul) Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983)~ ***1/2

s04. (12 Jul) A Trip to the Orphanage (Guy Maddin, 2004)~
s05. (12 Jul) Sissy-Boy Slap-Fight (Guy Maddin, 1995)~
s06. (12 Jul) Sombra dolorosa (Guy Maddin, 2004)~
082. (13 Jul) The Saddest Music in the World (Guy Maddin, 2003)~ ***1/2
083. (14 Jul) Bewitched (Nora Ephron, 2005) **
084. (15 Jul) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton, 2005) ***
085. (17 Jul) Happy Endings (Don Roos, 2005) ***
086. (19 Jul) /Monster/ (Patty Jenkins, 2003)~ ***1/2
087. (21 Jul) /21 Grams/ (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2003)~ ****
088. (22 Jul) Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004) ***
089. (23 Jul) Hustle & Flow (Craig Brewer, 2005) ***
090. (23 Jul) Wedding Crashers (David Dobkin, 2005) ***
091. (25 Jul) The Machinist (Brad Anderson, 2004)~ **1/2
092. (26 Jul) /Cinderella Man/ (Ron Howard, 2005) *** [Down from ***1/2]

093. (27 Jul) Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005) ***1/2
094. (7 Aug) Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005) ***1/2
095. (12 Aug) /2001: A Space Oddyssey/ (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)~ ****
096. (20 Aug) The 40 Year-Old Virgin (Judd Apatow, 2005) ***1/2
097. (21 Aug) Red Eye (Wes Craven, 2005) ***
098. (24 Aug) Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen, 1990) ***
Could very well go up on subsequent viewings and once I get a firmer grasp on exactly what the Coens have got going on here.

s04. (27 Aug) "Wake Me Up When September Ends" [music video for Green Day] (Samuel Bayer, 2005)
This may be the film that causes me to revise my "no shorts in a year-end top ten" rule. Casting Even Rachel Wood, my choice for the best young actress working, and Jamie Bell certainly helps, but more important is how Bayer largely discards the medium's usual rules. Green Day often show up only in brief shots, usually in close-up or shadow; if I recall the song correctly, the whole thing isn't even in here. It's all used to punctuate and enhance the core story, one of two young lovers (Bell and Wood) separated by George W. Bush's war. The key, I think, is that the video never becomes didactic or preachily anti-war; instead, like much of American Idiot, it takes the conflict and makes it deeply personal, showing its effects on the individual. War is nasty and brutish, and it tears people apart - through this film, which may change how we look at the capabilites of the music video, Bayer brings it all powerfully close to home.
099. (2 Sep) /Thirteen/ (Catherine Hardwicke, 2003)~ ***1/2
Added/upgraded to 2003 Top Ten. Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter upgraded, and Nikki Reed added, to 2003 Award Ballot.

100. (3 Sep) The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles, 2005) **1/2
101. (3 Sep) Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995)~ ***1/2
102. (4 Sep) Pretty Persuasion (Marcos Siega, 2005) ****
103. (5 Sep) Last Days (Gus Van Sant, 2005) ***
104. (9 Sep) /Sin City/ (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, 2005)~ ***1/2
105. (17 Sep) Lord of War (Andrew Niccol, 2005) ***
106. (18 Sep) Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005) ***1/2
107. (19 Sep) Barton Fink (Joel Coen, 1991)~ ****
108. (24 Sep) Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)~ ***1/2
109. (27 Sep) Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (Tim Burton & Mike Johnson, 2005) ***
110. (29 Sep) You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan, 2000)~ ***1/2
Remember how, in You Can Count on Me, no character ever once says the title, and it just sort of hangs underneath the action as an unspoken pledge? That was awesome. Remember when Mark Ruffalo was supposed to be the next Brando and actually looked like he was gonna do it with incredible performances like this? That was awesome too.
111. (30 Sep) Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993)~ ****
s05. (30 Sep) The Short & Curlies (Mike Leigh, 1987)~
112. (1 Oct) A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005) ***1/2
113. (1 Oct) 2046 (Wong Kar-wai, 2004) ***1/2
114. (4 Oct) Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg, 1991)~ ***, I guess.
115. (7 Oct) The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)~ ***1/2
116. (9 Oct) /The 40 Year-Old Virgin/ (Judd Apatow, 2005) ***1/2
117. (14 Oct) Dallas 362 (Scott Caan, 2003)~ ***1/2
118. (14 Oct) Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park & Steve Box, 2005) **1/2
119. (16 Oct) Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005) ***1/2
120. (16 Oct) Proof (John Madden, 2005) ***
121. (19 Oct) Cowards Bend the Knee (Guy Maddin, 2003)~ ***
122. (21 Oct) Elizabethtown (Cameron Crowe, 2005) ***
123. (21 Oct) /The Big Lebowski/ (Joel Coen, 1999)~ ***1/2
124. (22 Oct) Gerry (Gus Van Sant, 2002)~ ****
Added to 2003 Top Ten, Award Ballot.
125. (23 Oct) North Country (Niki Caro, 2005) **1/2
126. (29 Oct) The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, 2004)~ ***
127. (29 Oct) Palindromes (Todd Solondz, 2004)~ *
128. (30 Oct) Capote (Benett Miller, 2005) ***
129. (30 Oct) Saw II (Darren Lynn Bousman, 2005) **
130. (4 Oct) Leaving Las Vegas (Mike Figgis, 1995)~ ***1/2

131. (5 Nov) Jarhead (Sam Mendes, 2005) ***1/2
132. (11 Nov) Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)~ ***1/2
Man, I wish I could've seen this in a theater. Damn Atlanta film scene.

133. (13 Nov) The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005) ***1/2
134. (19 Nov) Walk the Line (James Mangold) ***
134. (20 Nov) /Jarhead/ (Sam Mendes, 2005) *** [Down from ***1/2]
135. (20 Nov) /Videodrome/ (David Cronenberg, 1983)~ **** [Up from ***1/2]
s06. (20 Nov) Camera (David Cronenberg, 2000)~
136. (21 Nov) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell, 2005) **1/2
137. (21 Nov) Not on the Lips (Alain Resnais, 2003)~ ***1/2
138. (23 Nov) Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005) ***
139. (23 Nov) The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, 1976)~ ***1/2
140. (25 Nov) Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)~ ***1/2
141. (27 Nov) Rent (Chris Columbus, 2005) **1/2
142. (3 Dec) The Son (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2002)~ ***1/2
143. (4 Dec) The Aristocrats (Paul Provenza, 2005) **1/2
144. (10 Dec) Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky, 1996)~ ****
145. (11 Dec) Syriana (Stephen Gaghan, 2005) ***
146. (15 Dec) /A History of Violence/ (David Cronenberg, 2005) ***1/2
147. (15 Dec) King Kong (Peter Jackson, 2005) ***1/2
148. (16 Dec) /Pretty Persuasion/ (Marcos Siega, 2005)~ ****
149. (16 Dec) The White Diamond (Werner Herzog, 2004)~ ***
150. (20 Dec) The Man Who Wasn't There (Joel Coen, 2001)~ ****
151. (20 Dec) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005) ***1/2

152. (21 Dec) /Adaptation/ (Spike Jonze, 2002)~ ****
153. (22 Dec) After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1983)~ ***
154. (22 Dec) Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2004)~ ***
155. (23 Dec) Munich (Stephen Spielberg, 2005) ***
156. (25 Dec) Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) ****
157. (27 Dec) Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)~ ***1/2
158. (27 Dec) /Grizzly Man/ (Werner Herzog, 2005)~ ***1/2
s07. (28 Dec) Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955)~
159. (28 Dec) Wolf Creek (Greg McLean, 2005) **1/2
160. (30 Dec) /King Kong/ (Peter Jackson, 2005) ***1/2
161. (31 Dec) The Family Stone (Thomas Bezucha, 2005) **1/2