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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

My 10 Favourite Films of 2004

Swifty's Top Ten Films of 2004

Here are my favourite movies that I saw on 2004, not in any particular order.

1. Spider-man 2

This is easily the best movie of summer, and the best superhero movie I've ever seen. I was already a fan of the first Spidey flick, but I sure as hell didn't expect this to be so much better. The characters here have remarkable depth not seen in your usual superhero movies, in fact, I do not even want to consider this a superhero movie, but merely a movie about a superhero. It's also entertaining.

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Most romantic comedies in Hollywood (and Korea these days) feature the following formula: boy meets girl, boy and girl bicker a lot, boy and girl realize they love each other, a MAJOR obstacle (tm) threatens to break them apart, boy declares everlasting love for girl in dramatic fashion, they live happily ever after.

This movie does not have this formula, and it's not everyone's cup of tea. But to me, this is one of the most romantic movies of 2004. After his ex-girlfriend had memories of him removed in a psychiatrist's experiment, a guy decides to do the same thing to himself. When the process begins, he realizes that he really doesn't want to forget her, and attempts to smuggle her to parts of his memory where she doesn't belong. Pretty deep stuff! Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet put up great performances (and will Jim FINALLY get an Oscar nomination???), and we get to see Elijah Wood as a conniving bastard. Fun!

3. Garden State

Also a rather unconventional romantic comedy (or dramedy?) with, BY FAR, my favourite movie soundtrack of the year. Zach Braff wrote, direct and starred in this film, and being an aspiring filmmaker, I sure as hell wish that my debut would be as good as this one!! Although Natalie Portman was the best thing in the shitty Star Wars prequels, this film reminded me what a good actress she really is. *sigh*

4. One Nite In Mongkok

2004 has not been a good year for Hong Kong movies, month after month, I'm treated with lame romantic comedies and any crap with Twins in it. This crime thriller/drama starring Daniel Wu, Alex Fong and Cecilia Cheung simply rocked. When I got the chance to watch it again, I immediately fastforwarded to the most memorable scene of the movie, where a guy was repeatedly bashed against a doorknob until blood and stuff were flying around. Intense stuff.

5. Kungfu Hustle

This long-awaited Stephen Chow flick is not as good as his previous work, Shaolin Soccer, but it leaves a deep impression with its impressive fighting scenes and colourful cast of characters. In terms of pure entertainment, no other 2004 Hong Kong movie came close.

6. Motorcycle Diaries

The very last film I saw in Sydney last year. A coming-to-age road movie based on a young Che Guevara's memoirs when he and his friend traveled through South America on a motorcycle. Very thought-provoking stuff. After seeing this movie, I repeatedly launch into dramatic speeches about the injustices of the world and the oppression of some people, leaving Alanded (who saw the movie with me) exasperated.

7. Old Boy

Like Hong Kong movies, most Korean movie I saw in 2004 were horrible and forgettable. My Tutor Friend was blah. Windstruck was good ONLY because of the ending that cause me to come up with a theory that it is a pseudo-prequel of My Sassy Gal... I can't remember what others have I watched. But Old Boy DEFINITELY rocks. A guy was imprisoned in a room for 15 years with only a TV for company, no sunlight, no human contact, nothing! When he was released back into the world, he plotted revenge. The shock ending blew me away.

8. Fahrenheit 9/11

Er, no, I'm not going to launch a long political rant with this pick. All I can say is, this is the first film I saw in Perth, the first documentary I've ever seen in a cinema, and it's definitely fun. Michael Moore said that he'll be making a sequel soon and I'm looking forward to it for more Bush-bashing.

9. 50 First Dates

Yes. I am a sucker for romantic comedies, and I like Adam Sandler. *cough*

10. Collateral

Tom Cruise as a bad guy. Badass.

(Note: I haven't got the chance to see the Oscar contenders such as Sideways, Ray, Million Dollar Baby. So I got increasingly desperate and tossed in 50 FIrst Dates and Collateral into the list.)

And these are the worst movies of 2004:

Protege La Rose

Any movie with both members of Twins in it surely sucks. That was a conclusion I came up with after watching Twins Effect 1. However, I had no idea what possessed me into watching this movie at the cinema. Probably cos' I liked the Black Rose movies that came out during the 90s (starring Tony Leung Kar Fai), so I was hoping that this would at least be a tenth as entertaining as those. I had no idea this movie was going to suck so much that it's not even A MILLIONTH as fun and campy as those old Black Rose movies. After I walked out of the cinema, I collapsed onto the ground and bawled pathetically for wasting 7 bucks for garbage like this. (Ekin Cheng should be shot as well) The Twins are seriously talented... never in my life have I seen people with so much talent in picking shitty screenplays and appearing in all kinds of shitty movies. I watched my Twins Effects 2 DVD on Christmas Day, predictably, it sucked, but it sucked so much that I laughed hysterically throughout the movie, I laughed until I wept, I wept until I continued laughing, I laughed and wept until blood poured forth from my eyes.

Damn you, Twins, damn you to the lowest depths of hell!!!

Van Helsing

I'm sure I've seen worse Hollywood films last year, but those were fortunate enough to be forgettable, so I couldn't remember them while writing this entry. This one is easily the worst movie of summer. (I didn't watch the entire Catwoman, so that doesn't count) This movie had so much potential to be better, but it screwed up. Sheesh.