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2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup

 

2005 Bellview Awards, Part II

1/2/06

Folks--

Let’s keep ridin’ it! 


Biggest Fucking Piece of Shit--"The Brothers Grimm"

I saw other bad films this year, but given a cast of Matt Damon, Monica Bellucci, Heath Ledger and Jonathan Pryce and a directorial effort by Terry Gilliam, "The Brothers Grimm" locked this up back in the summertime.  Bad in ways other films can only dream of, the plot sucks, the special effects suck, Bellucci is somehow made up to NOT BE HOT, and it is L O N G.  Even the love interest is pretty natty.  August is the new September, long since the dumping ground for Hollywood underachievers, and with "Stealth", "The Brothers Grimm" and other films being released around this timeframe in 2005, maybe I should start taking August off instead.  Wow, this was bad.

 

Most Overrated Flick--"Wedding Crashers"

Let's make sure we are clear:  The first 45 minutes of "Wedding Crashers" (right up until our two heroes, played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, go to visit the senator's house in Annapolis) is as hard as I can ever remember laughing during a film.  EVER.  But, in trying to give us a 120-minute sophomoric comedy, we've got more than half the movie to go at that critical juncture and I was swimming in pain as this thing finally came to a close.  Yet, I still hear people talk about it like it was the funniest movie of the year.  "Yeah," I respond, "if it was only an hour long."  It also features the worst Will Ferrell performance on record.  Sure, there are a few laughs as the family hangs out at the summer estate, but it just didn't match the intensity and the camaraderie of that first segment.

 

Most Disappointing Flick--"Shopgirl"

I blame myself for this one, but when I went to see "Shopgirl" I was certain that this was going to be a good, maybe great, movie.  Wow, was I wrong.  Martin is a bore and, worse, his character is the film's main love interest, so not only is he a bore but he is also onscreen for a lot of the time.  Claire Danes is also quite a bore; although I never thought I would say this, I actually wish the film had more of the Jason Schwartzman character because he is the only thing worth watching in this movie.  I got caught up in faux-indie hype and I lost; very disappointing.

 

Biggest Surprise Flick (tie)--"Hitch" & "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"

Certainly, "King Kong", "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "Hostage" were in the running here (most notably the latter, a strangely watchable Bruce Willis thriller), but my two winners surprised the hell out of me, for very different reasons.  For "Hitch", the trailer was great, Will Smith almost always makes fun flicks and Eva Mendes is...well, Eva Mendes.  The part that was so surprising?  How funny this pairing was, matched with great comic relief from Kevin James as the client that Smith's character tries to help.  In the case of "Episode III", I still think it is the best story and certainly has the best performances of the six films...a HUGE surprise for me, given how awful the acting is even in "Episode II" (I still have nightmares about that Anakin/Amadala scene in the field before they kiss; ugh).  The action isn't as good as it was in "Return of the Jedi", the romance isn't as sappy as it was in "Empire", and the ending--while great--doesn't match the Death Star getting all blow'd up in "Star Wars."  But from back to front, the final Jedi flick really is the kind of space opera you thought you were going to get all along when the prequels were announced.

 

The 20 Best Movie Moments of the Year:

A “movie moment” is essentially when you have a scene where everyone in the audience seems to have the same reaction—maybe it’s a big laugh, or an awe-inspiring stunt, or a moment where everyone in the audience, even “that guy that never cries”, cries.  Two recent examples:  maybe the most famous line about wine in the history of the movies from last year's "Sideways" ("I'm not drinking any fucking merlot!"), or the best moment from last year, the bag of weed dream sequence from "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."  And now, this year's list...

20--"Walk the Line":  The end Folsom Prison sequence.  I don't know why, just some powerful, powerful stuff

19--"March of the Penguins":  When that one unlucky penguin meets its demise.  Strangely, this is the most talked-about scene from this film

18--"Elizabethtown":  the home video featuring the construction guy that blows up houses.  This doesn't even belong in this movie, but man was it funny

17--"Coach Carter":  When Lyle (Channing Tatum) volunteers to do push-ups for Cruz (Rick Gonzalez) to get him eligible to play.  ManTears were shed

16--"The Upside of Anger":  "I would rather get dental work done every day by having someone reach up into my mouth through my ass then date someone like you!"

15--"Get Rich or Die Tryin'":  When Marcus (50 Cent) gets lit up about nine times.  Can you imagine that happening to you in real life...and surviving it?

14--"Kung Fu Hustle":  "DONUT!!!!!!!!!!"

13--"Syriana":  The torture scene.  The guy sitting next to me couldn't watch

12--"Transporter 2":  The ridiculous hook-on-the-bomb-on-the-bottom-of-the-Audi number.  An otherwise bad sequel did have silly bits like this to keep it watchable

11--"Hitch":  The dance training sequence.  Even featured in the trailer, this didn't get old in the actual movie

10--"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith":  when Yoda enters the Emperor's chambers and drops the Republic Guards with one wave of his hand.  Who doesn't love Yoda?

9--"The Aristocrats":  "And here's the kicker--Grandma's dead" and the Kevin Pollak as Christopher Walken bit

8--"Domino":  "Girl, you ain't nothin' but a chinegro!"

7--"A History of Violence":  The diner shootout, when that one guy gets it in the face.  You don't mess with Viggo!

6--"Oldboy":  The ending.  Wow!

5--"Ong-Bak--The Thai Warrior":  "Go...and...get...a good job!"

4--"Be Cool":  The Elliot Wilhelm (The Rock) rendition of "Bring It On" in his audition for Chili Palmer (John Travolta).  Absolutely hilarious

3--"Brokeback Mountain":  all three of the following--the cowboy sex scene, the moment when Ennis' wife (Michelle Williams) spies her husband's first meeting with an "old fishing buddy", and when Lureen (Anne Hathaway) takes off her shirt.  Sorry, but during that last one, there were audible gasps from other men in the audience, rare for a serious drama about gay cowboys!

2--"Hustle and Flow":  "WHOOP DAT TRICK!  WHOOP DAT TRICK!"

1--"Wedding Crashers":  The montage of crashed weddings.  As hard as I laughed all year at the movies

 

Best DVD Rental of the Year--TV Series:  "The Wire" (Season 1)

It was the first original TV series I watched in 2005 and it was far and away the best.  From smart writing to great acting to a storyline that felt as fresh as any cop drama I've seen, "The Wire" is excellent in its first season.  The second season was still strong, but the back-and-forth nature of cops and robbers in Season 1 just had me hooked from start to finish.  That, and all of the intense performances were awesome.

Honorable mention:  "Nip/Tuck" (Season 1 was wild); "The Shield" (Season 3 was even better than the stellar first two seasons)

 

Best DVD Rental of the Year--Movies:  "Amores Perros"

I could see where a lot of people took this to be a foreign version of "Pulp Fiction", but the wraparound plot goes much deeper than that, thanks to another incredible performance by Gael García Bernal and maybe the movie's best performance, by Emilio Echevarría as El Chivo.  Cool story matched with what I think is my first movie experience watching dogs chew the living hell out of each other.

Honorable mention:  "The Graduate" (the classic has aged well), "Eurotrip" (truly hilarious flick)

 

 

Ahh, just one more leg to go!  Part III

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09