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2005 Bellview Awards--The Mid-Year Edition!



Right on track--51 theater flicks by the mid-year mark, with another 90 Video Composite Units (explained below) as well.  I'm sure I've never watched this much DVD content in one's looking like I will be caught up on almost everything I need to see soon!  It's time for the Mid-Year Awards...enjoy!

Video Composite Units--this number combines films and TV shows that I have watched by breaking them down into total hours.  For standalone films, those count as one VCU; for TV content, they are broken down into total minutes so that they fall within a 90-to-120-minute range and then are referred to as a unit.  For example, the first season of "Deadwood" had 12 60-minute episodes, so that breaks down into 6 VCUs, since it is 12 hours of footage.

Best Flick--"Sin City"

So far this year, the Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller thriller is the easy choice, thanks to cool storytelling, a true comic book feel, an atmosphere that isn't watered down at all and, well, Mickey Rourke

  1. "Oldboy"

  2. "Layer Cake"

  3. "Downfall"

  4. "Coach Carter"

Best Actress--Joan Allen, "The Upside of Anger"

She's always great, but she comes through here in a movie that should have been a dog

  1. Thandie Newton, "Crash."  First significant work since "M:I-2" was fantastic

  2. Angelina Jolie, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."  What can I say?  She's simply a great screen presence and she's funnier in this flick than I can remember her being in the past.  Yeah, those lips help too

  3. Qiu Huen, "Kung Fu Hustle."  As the chain-smoking Landlady, she's a ton of fun

  4. Debra Messing, "The Wedding Date."  No, the flick's not great, but I really can imagine Messing having a Bullock-esque movie career if she plays her cards right

Best Actor--Mickey Rourke, "Sin City"

It might sound strange, but Marv is the role Rourke was born to play

  1. Daniel Craig, "Layer Cake."  Having a sneaky feeling he's going to be the next Bond

  2. Min-sik Choi, "Oldboy."  Awesome role, awesome performance

  3. Russell Crowe, "Cinderella Man."  Too bad nobody saw it

  4. Tony Jaa, "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior."  He'll never be a leading man here in the US, but man, this guy is a physical specimen!

Best Supporting Actress--Cheryl Underwood, "Beauty Shop"

The only thing I liked about this Queen Latifah comedy was Underwood, playing the ridiculous Catfish Rita with the same kind of charm you could see showing up in a Keenan Ivory Wayans flick

  1. Jessica Alba, "Sin City."  Doesn't seem destined to be confused with real actresses, but she is great in this part

  2. Emily Blunt, "My Summer of Love."  Spooky, sexy, scary.  Like a Spice Girl!

  3. Rachel Weisz, "Constantine."  She must have known that she was working with crap but she at least looks like she is giving it her all

  4. Five?  Are you kidding me?  There were that many good female parts?

Best Supporting Actor--The Rock, "Be Cool"

You can actually believe that The Rock will be a good actor one day with his turn as gay bodyguard Elliot Wilhelm; he just couldn't be any funnier

  1. Cedric the Entertainer, "Be Cool."  Along with Vince Vaughn, Ced and The Rock make this flick somewhat watchable

  2. Larenz Tate, "Crash."  Still don't know why he's not a Denzel/Will Smith-quality star yet, but he shows you again here why everyone had so much hope for him...

  3. Winn-Dixie, "Because of Winn-Dixie."  The dog from that movie really was good.  Still wondering if the smile effect was the dog's natural grin or a special effect, but either way this is the Old Yeller of our generation!

  4. Steve Zahn, "Sahara."  Do one thing and do it well--Zahn excels at these bit parts

Biggest Fucking Piece of Shit--"Assault on Precinct 13"

Given the actors that appeared in this film--former Oscar nominees Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne lead the cast--and the sheer lack of good action (not to mention the dogshit ending), this one is the easy far

Ten Great Scenes of the First Half of 2005 (not necessarily in order, and it will be changed before the end of the year!):

  1. "Be Cool"--Elliot's rendition of "Bring It On" for his audition with Chili

  2. "Oldboy"--the ending.  Whoa!

  3. "Kung Fu Hustle"--"DONUT!!!!!!!"

  4. "Kicking & Screaming"--when Phil (Will Ferrell) rushes onto the field and runs over a little kid

  5. "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

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

  7. "Hitch":  The dance training sequence

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

  9. "Sin City":  although the whole movie is one great scene, the scene where Hartigan pulls off Yellow Bastard's johnson always gets the audience

  10. "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!"

Best TV Show I Watched on DVD--"The Wire" (Season 1)

This one was a dead heat between the third season of "The Shield" and the first season of "The Wire", but each time I compared the two I just couldn't get past the solid storytelling of the first season and just how well all of the actors perform on "The Wire", whereas there are really only two great actors on "The Shield", Michael Chiklis and Benito Martinez.  The thing about both shows is that there aren't any shows out there like either one, cop shows at heart but reimagined in terms of execution to the point that they are true originals.  But, "The Wire" is a great adult cop drama, with zero action to's just a great group of performers to watch.  I've been lucky; of the six shows that I watched through at least a season on DVD this year ("24" Season 3, "Alias" Season 3, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Season 1, "Deadwood" Season 1 and the two above), only "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fell below my high standards.


Click here to see all of the films of 2005 reviewed and rated.  Since movies go from theater to DVD kicky-fast these days, many of these flicks are already out on video.  Have a good one...


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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