Top 10 of 2003

It hasn’t been a bad year for movies. I will admit that. We had a couple of stinker years there. But I think we’re on our way back to producing some good, quality pictures. Whilst a lot of the big blockbusters like “The Hulk” and “The Matrix Revolutions” thwarted the bejesus out of most of us, some, like “X-Men 2”, “Cabin Fever”, heck, even the “Freaky Friday” remake flabbergasted us with just how good they were. Some of the films we’d been waiting years for, didn’t disappoint either. “Terminator 3” was good, “Freddy vs. Jason” was an absolute hoot, and “The Country Bears” was, well…Anyway, it’s been an eventful year. I now present to you my Top 10 films of 2003.

Clint’s Top 10 of 2003

10.Cabin Fever
Was horror back in a big way this year or what? Freddy was back, Chucky got a new deal, Leatherface made a comeback…but best of all, Eli Roth got his mitts on the genre. The result? The insanely smart, absolutely sensational horror flick “Cabin Fever”. At least there’s now one Roth in town who can get stuff right.

9.Finding Nemo
We’re beginning to expect every Pixar film to be an absolute ripper. Thankfully, “Nemo” was no exception. Granted, we did get a little sick of seeing the wee fish’s mug everywhere, but the publicity was well deserved. Story, Laughs, Drama, Adventure and Rove McManus as a crab. Is there a better combination? [Ok, one where talk-show hosts don’t get big-time film cameos sounds a better deal].

8.Pirates of the Caribbean
What sounded like one of the most substandard ideas in recent years – turning a theme-park attraction into a movie – ended up being one of the year’s big hits, not to mention, movie highlights. On top of the great effects, backdrop and fabulous Johnny Depp there was Keira Knightley. Man…has she got spunk!…I’m booking my flight to the Caribbean as we speak!

7.Freddy vs. Jason
Having waited about ten years for this one to get made, I was more than prepared to be a little dissatisfied. Thankfully, I wasn’t. In fact, Director Ronny Yu did about as good a job as one could imagine on a film that’s born to be just a little tired, not to mention corny. The perfect popcorn flick of 2003! [Our condolences do go out to Kane Hodder though. You were jibbed man].

6.White Oleander
Knowing just how evil some Ma’s can be, Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance as the manipulative overawe from Hell rang truer than anything this year. She was a knockout – almost bloodcurdling. Even better though was young Alison Lohmann as her resigned doormat, I mean daughter. Touching Stuff – nothing to do with flowers either.

5.X-Men 2
Out of all the comic book movies we’ve seen, the first “X-Men” is one of the better. What made it better was that it had story and some much-welcomed character detail. The sequel was even better. Less exposition, more action. The order of the day indeed! Bring on Part 3…

4.Kill Bill – Volume 1
Quentin Tarantino’s films a worth waiting for. That’s what someone recently told me. And she was right. They are. Tarantino makes a movie he would like to see. Definitely the same old thing, that’s for sure. “Kill Bill” may have been chopped in half but it was such a hoot, everyone forgot to complain. And how was Uma! Wowie!

3.Big Fish
One of the late additions to the Top 10 was this miraculous little movie from Tim Burton. Yep, that Tim Burton. Meshing his trademark effects and wackiness with a “Forrest Gump” like tissue-tale “Big Fish” was a cheering, heartbreaking and extraordinary delight. I salute you Mr Burton! [Hang on, I take that back, you left the “Batman” franchise when it most needed you!]. Oh, Ok….it’s the holiday season.

2.In America
Frankly, couldn’t have given two hoots about this film when it was announced that I’d be sitting through it at a Convention earlier this year. And you know what? It was the best film of all shown that week! If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you don’t shed a tear, you’re a callous dragon of malevolence.

1. Lost in Translation
Bill Murray in best film of the year shock! Murray knocks our socks off, as does Scarlett Johansson, in this heart-warming story of two lost souls who hook up in a Japanese hotel. If they’d done the dirty, it would have been bankrupt – but they kept it real – and you know I’m likin’ that. A Must see.

Clint’s Worst 10 of 2003

10. Dumb and Dumberer : When Harry Met Lloyd
This was going to be a stinker from the start. After all, take Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels out of the first “Dumb and Dumber” and you’ve got a pretty terrible flick. Now imagine, replacing them with a couple of unknowns, and adding Cheri Oteri. Wake me up from this Nightmare!

9. The Wannabes
Writer/Director/Star/Publicist Nick Giannopoulis told me recently that this film is actually getting better reviews than [his debut] “The Wog Boy”. What? Where? Um, How? Is it because it gave folks a nice hour and a half nap? I must say though, that the Premiere party was pretty good. Beer always helps…

8. Alex and Emma
What the heck was this? The usually good Rob Reiner, with Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson? Great mix of talent there- pity they didn’t deliver anything but a feature-length sleeping pill. I’ve been to children’s birthday parties that have been more exciting than this.

7.A View from the Top
This was the year I came to the realisation that no longer could I be entertained by simply great pop tunes and pretty chicks. I mean, Kelly Preston had a role, and Belinda Carisle did some of the music! What more could an 80’s kid want!? Um, for starters – a script, and a pitchfork so he can chisel Mike Myer’s dud eye out of its socket.

6. Lara Croft : Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life
Another film shown at the film convention this year. Why? I have no idea to this date why the studio decided to show this film to everyone. Didn’t they have anything better than this to show us? Heck, even a rough cut of “American Wedding” would have been better. Very amusing to see half the cinema walk out before the film even started rolling.

Saw this at a special screening. Very special. So special in fact, that the ten or so people that were there are now getting help. If someone wants to point the finger at why no one has gone to see Australian films this year, maybe they should take a look at this blunder of a flick – released pretty much at the start of the year.

Quite an anticipated little flick actually. After all, it was the film to reunite “Pulp Fiction” buddies, John Travolta and Samuel L.Jackson. But that’s all it was. Director John McTiernan decided people would go and see it even if it didn’t have a script, plot or realistic ending. They didn’t. McTiernan’s now on the run.

3. The Haunted Mansion
This is quite funny actually – this film, like “Pirates of the Caribbean” – is based on a Disney theme park attraction, but while “Pirates” earned a spot as one of the years best, this one garners up a ladder spot as one of the worst. So bloody sad to see what’s happened to Eddie Murphy.

2. Gigli
Needs no introduction. Ok, a watchable film, but for something with such apparently good-talent as Bennifer and Director Martin Brest, “Gigli” was a disaster of gigantic proportions. It just didn’t seem to have a storyline at all. This could be the one to ruin both their careers ultimately.

1.The Cat in the Hat
Remember how great “The Grinch” was? Now pretend they did that, but with Mike Myers in the Grinch suit, shouting ‘Yeah Baby Yeah’. Scary huh? That’s pretty much what you got with the shocking “Cat in the Hat”. One-trick pony Mike Myers has finally lost it. Still praying the sequel announcement was premature.

Other Goodies, worth a mention: “Willard”, “The Night We Called it a Day”, “In the Cut”, “Identity”, “Seabiscuit”, “The 25th Hour”, “Auto Focus”, “Alexandra’s Project”, “Freaky Friday”. Oh, and some other movie about Hobbits and Wizards wasn’t too bad either.

Best DVD of the year : “Alien Quadrilogy” [In my bedroom, no one can hear me screen!]

Best New star of the year : Alison Lohmann. [One day she’s even going to admit she’s 23]

Most annoying star of the year : Paris Hilton [And did you see her movie? Pitiful]

Best TV Show of the year : “Angel” [and a special shout-out to the late “Buffy”]

Worst TV Show of the year : Reality TV. Over it. All of them.

Funniest thing I saw this year : Garth Franklin, at a film convention with me, proving $1 can get you a ton of fun : roll-out the horseracing computer game!

Weirdest thing I saw this year : A semi-drunk TV host trying to convince me he’s the next big thing in movies.

Final words for 2003 : It’s been an interesting one. Once again folks, I thank you for reading. See you in the NY. I hope you have a safe and happy New Years Eve.

Hopefully its a Straight Jacket

It's bug squashing time again!