Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Year in Paul: 2001

What I’ve Seen

A Beautiful Mind
A Knight’s Tale
American Pie 2
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
A Beautiful Mind
Black Hawk Down
Black Knight
Cats & Dogs
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Donnie Darko
Dr. Doolittle 2
Enemy at the Gates
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Legally Blonde
Millennium Actress
Monsters, Inc.
Not Another Tean Movie
Ocean’s 11
Pearl Harbor
Planet of the Ape
Recess: School’s Out
Rush Hour 2
Spirited Away
Spy Kids
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Mark of Cain
The One
The Princess Diaries
The Royal Tenenbaums
34 Total

The Best of What I’ve Seen

5. Moulin Rouge!—Though the film has its problems (as pointed out in one of the Nostalgia Critic’s best videos), the sheer artistic vision of Luhrman’s frenetic and opulent musical still never ceases to dazzle me. Visually stunning, musically pleasing, and surprisingly emotional, this is Lurhman’s best film to date a major reason why I have remained solidly on Team Baz.

4. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (Top 100)I’ve already gone into some detail about why I love this sadly overlooked Disney picture, but suffice it to say that if I were to make a list of the movies that I think are most critically and popularly underappreciated, this one would be pretty damn high.

3. Zoolander (Top 100)—And if I were to make that list, this one would be on there as well. One of my favorite comedies, this is one I’ve seen in full at least a dozen times, and it still completely holds up. Like The Emperor’s New Groove, this is one of those movies that almost no one I’ve met dislikes, and yet is somehow surprisingly lowly rated on IMDB and elsewhere. Maybe memories have been a little tainted for people a bit older than me—a major reason Zoolander was a disappointment at the box office was the fact that it was the first major release after 9/11.

2. Millennium Actress (Top 100)—Going from movies that are just underappreciated to one that is almost totally unknown, this animated Japanese gem from writer/director Satoshi Kon is a masterpiece of complex, interlaced storytelling (there’s a reason Inception is compared to Kon’s work). It’s fascinating and deeply engaging from a structural standpoint, and gorgeously animated, but its real strength is the genuinely deep emotional beats it hits. A movie that deserves a much larger audience than it has gotten thus far—though I suppose then I’d have to come up with another answer to the question “what’s the best movie I’ve never heard of?”

1. The Fellowship of the Ring (Top 10)—Time to end on a more conventional note. Though I usually think of The Lord of the Rings as one movie, for the purposes of this list I’ll split them up—after all, I suppose they did technically come out in different years. It’s a question that I’ve changed my mind one at least a half dozen times, but right now if you asked me which of the individual LotR films is my favorite, this one would probably be my answer. It (unsurprisingly, for a first installment) features a better self-contained story, has my favorite sequence of the trilogy (Moria), and the strength of the most Ian McKellan and Sean Bean screentime. Regardless, this is a brilliant movie, and pretty damn close to a perfect cinematic experience. 2001 was a strong year in film, but nothing came even close to approaching the first installment of Peter Jackson’s masterpiece.

What I Haven’t Seen

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Brotherhood of the Wolf
Ghost World
Gosford Park
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
I Am Sam
In the Bedroom
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
The Majestic
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Monster’s Ball
Mulholland Drive
No Man’s Land
Training Day
Vanilla Sky
Y tu mama tambien

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