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2001 Bellview Awards



The Drive for 75 was a success.  But, success is a relative issue, since I only saw about 1/4th of the national releases from last year.  This year:  The Drive for 100 will now begin!  But, enough about that:  on with the awards!

-->Best Flick--"Memento"

Unless this is your first Bellview, you already know how much I love this movie.  So, I won't bore you with further ass-kissing!

  1. "In the Bedroom"

  2. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"

  3. "A Beautiful Mind"

  4. "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"


-->Worst Flick--"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within"

Sure, the movie sucks...but, what sucks even more than the movie is the fact that this film cost $140 million to make, and it only grossed about $40 million of it back.  Thankfully, this means that we won't get a sequel.

  1. "The Tailor of Panama"

  2. "What's the Worst That Can Happen?"

  3. "Moulin Rouge"

  4. "Double Take"


-->Top Five Acting Performances, Female

  1. Angelina Jolie, "Tomb Raider"

  2. Sissy Spacek, "In the Bedroom"

  3. Naomi Watts, "Mulholland Drive"

  4. Audrey Tautou, "Amelie"

  5. Anais Reboux, "Fat Girl"


-->Top Five Acting Performances, Male

  1. Ben Kingsley, "Sexy Beast"

  2. Guy Pearce, "Memento"

  3. Denzel Washington, "Training Day"

  4. Paul Bettany, "A Knight's Tale"

  5. Tony Shalhoub, "The Man Who Wasn't There"

Ed Norton (playing two roles in "The Score") and Haley Joel Osment ("A.I.") just missed on this one.


-->Biggest Surprise Flick--"The Fast and the Furious"

I won't lie--even though I love Vin Diesel, I thought this movie wasn't going to be all that good from seeing previews.  Then, someone hit that little red NOS button on their steering wheel, and Michelle Rodriguez showed up, and every size, shape and color of hot woman sashayed onto the screen.  I can't wait for the sequel, which will start filming later this year.


-->Biggest Disappointment--"Tomb Raider", "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Ocean's Eleven" (tie)

"Ocean's Eleven" was hurt by too many stars and not enough excitement in a movie where the heist seems secondary to Brad Pitt on a cell phone.  Did you notice that the Eleven built a replica of the Bellagio's vault in about three days?  Ridiculous.  "The Royal Tenenbaums" was good, it just wasn't nearly what "Rushmore" was, and that is where my disappointment lies.  And, Angelina Jolie gives a surprisingly great performance and is perfectly cast as Lara Croft in "Tomb Raider" is just too bad that the movie surrounding her sucked to high heaven.  Big breasts and big guns do not a great film make.


-->Movie I Wish I Had Rated Differently--"Pearl Harbor"

Hey, everyone makes mistakes, right?  Well, after watching "Pearl Harbor" again over Christmas, I would probably drop it from a Matinee to a Rental.  The Pearl Harbor sequence in the middle of the film is still excellent, as is Alec Baldwin's performance as a hotshot over-the-hill flyboy.  But, the sappy romance that drives us through the first 90 minutes of the film is atrocious, and I almost fell asleep watching it again.  Horrible!!  Director Michael Bay is getting worse with every film:  after directing the entertaining "Bad Boys" and the more-entertaining "The Rock", he made the horrific "Armageddon" and now this film.  He is slated to direct "Bad Boys 2" in 2003 or 2004, and I am already worried about that one!


-->Best Flick Nobody Saw--"Calle 54"

I would have thrown in "Fat Girl" here, but "Fat Girl" is not showing in every city (and it never will) and isn't out on video quite yet.  I saw "Calle 54" with my friend Caitlin not necessarily because we wanted to but because it was one of the three films showing on the night that we wanted to see a flick at the DC Filmfest last year.  Man, did we get lucky.  An homage to Afro-Cuban jazz by a French filmmaker, this film is a joy to watch and features great performances by the profiled artists, a couple of whom you may have heard of before, including Tito Puente's last on-screen performance before his death last year.  And, like "Buena Vista Social Club", this is a soundtrack that you have to own in order to continue your rep as Coolest Guy in Town.


-->Top Ten Scenes from 2001:

  1. The audition scene (with Naomi Watts), "Mulholland Drive."  Mesmerizing, and far and away the best scene of the year.

  2. Chaucer's (Paul Bettany) first joust speech, "A Knight's Tale."  Hilarious.

  3. Opening shot of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), "Sexy Beast."  Frightening.

  4. End sequence, "Fat Girl."  Harrowing.

  5. The heist sequence, "The Score."  The way De Niro pops that safe is just plain cool.

  6. Final fight sequence (with Jet Li), "Kiss of the Dragon."  Bad movie with this one saving grace.

  7. The Don Cheadle outtake, "Rush Hour 2."  Again, hilarious.

  8. David Aames (Tom Cruise) running through an empty Times Square, "Vanilla Sky."  Surreal.

  9. Freddy (Tony Shalhoub) discusses options with Ed (Billy Bob Thornton), "The Man Who Wasn't There."  Hilarious.

  10. End fight sequence, "Iron Monkey."  In terms of filmmaking, this is as tricky as it gets.


Comments?  Drop me a line at


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09