January 9th, 2002


Top Eleven Films of 2001, and then some

The votes are in, the wait is over!

11. Zoolander
A guilty pleasure, but it kept me laughing all the way through. The fashion, the music, the break dancing, all entirely awesome.
Winner: Best David Bowie film.

10. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Even more guilt, this is really only for Kevin Smith fans. However, loaded with details and Kevin Smith's packed dialogue, this is a keeper.
Winner: Best cameos.

9. Ocean's Eleven
Attractive people wisecracking and committing crimes. Can't go wrong with well-dressed people being smarmy and smart.
Winner: Most Swank in a film not including Hillary Swank.

8. Snatch
More crime, only more British. The frenetic direction and pace carry this one and make it seem like it's only half an hour long. Ritchie may only do one thing, but he does it so, so well.
Winner: Best Brad Pitt movie.

7. Josie and the Pussycats
A rare treat, overlooked by audiences, but destined to be a cult favorite. Plus, Seth Green.
I also demand everyone who likes this film go rewatch Hudson Hawk. Exact same type of humor.
Winner: Best use of subliminal advertising.

6. Iron Monkey
Magnificent wire fu action. You know the plot in the first five minutes, and you just don't care. A treat to watch, with barely a scene where someone isn't getting hit with something. The paragon of kung fu movies, and in a good way.
Winner: Best monkey.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums
A huge cast of great actors make the latest selection by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson an oddly engaging comedy. A late addition to this list, but a worthy one.
Winner: Best Gwyneth Paltrow film like ever, except maybe Hook. No wait.

4. Moulin Rouge!
This narrowly edges out Tenenbaums, simply because I don't like musicals in general and this one won me over. Dazzling images that were simply astounding on the big screen
Winner: Best film with Kylie Monogue, an Unconscious Argentinian, and Toulouse-Lautrec.

3. Memento
The most amazing part of this film is that its true strengths lie in the writing and directing, not big-name stars or special effects. Tense and dramatic, it's intriguing from the first scene.
Winner: Best film with former Matrix stars.

2. Mulholland Drive
It appears the top of my list is stacked with the more surreal films of the year, but this was narrowly edged off the top slot. The more I think about this one, the more it stays with me. David Lynch re-establishes himself as God, Emperor of Dune.
Winner: Best Spanish cover of "Crying Over You."

1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Not much more to be said, really. Gets close to capturing the epic scope of the book, while not losing sight of the characters or the true mythology behind it all.
Winner: Best fantasy film, ever.


What Should Have Made the List, but Didn't:
a. AI - The best two-thirds of a movie this year. Damn you Steven Spielberg for ruining it. Go watch it, and when you think it's over, turn it off. Pretend the last third didn't happen. Seriously, had it not ended as it did, it would be vying for a top three spot.
b. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Again, narrowly edged out. Again I feel the need to point out that the child actors manage to outshine the seasoned adults on occasion. But no one can defeat Alan Rickman.

The Guilty Pleasure Award:
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars - Dude, it rules. Rent it tonight.

The I Don't Understand What They Were Thinking Award:
a. Shrek - I honestly don't understand why everyone is so impressed with this film. It wasn't that great, on any level.
b. 3000 Miles to Graceland - This movie, on the other hand, was impressive on *every* level. Can they make a film that wastes the acting talents of Howie Long? Yes! Can they get Ice-T and Courtney Cox in the same movie, focusing on Elvis impersonators (one good, one evil)? Yes! One day, I will write a book about this film and its terrible glory.

The Movies I Wanted to See, But Didn't, So They Might Belong Here Award:
Man Who Wasn't There, Blackhawk Down, Ghost World, and maybe Ali