This is my year-end review that I did for http://socius.or.kr/
I do the movie reviews and this 5 part was the final look at last years films.
2005 was a very interesting year for movies, we said good-bye to Star Wars, said hello to Narnia and observed a boy wizard begin to grow into a man.
This list will have 5 main things, the best film, the worst films, the surprises of 2005, the major disappointments and the final list that I call WTF, What were they thinking when they made this film... The plot outlines are from IMDB.
Plot Outline: Several characters of different racial backgrounds collide in one incident, the different stereotypes society has created for those backgrounds affect their judgment, beliefs and actions, and this in turn causes problems for each of them. The film has been nominated for Best Picture of 2005 by the Academy Awards.
The film takes a look at one incident and how a lot of different people looked at it.
The film has an all star cast with Matt Dillon receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film is first rate and is out on DVD. Please watch for the end of the film that is real snow falling in LA. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0375679
Plot Outline. After causing the Oregon Shoe Company he works for to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, Drew Baylor is fired for his mistake, and promptly also dumped by his girlfriend, Ellen. On the verge of suicide, Drew is oddly given a new purpose in life when he is brought back to his family's small Kentucky hometown of Elizabethtown following the death of his father, Mitch, as it falls to him to make sure that his dying wishes are fulfilled. On the way home, Drew meets a flight attendant, Claire Colburn (Dunst), with whom he falls in love, in a romance that helps his life get back on track.
Their have been 2 school of reviews for this film, you love it or you have hated it, I loved the film, as you can see in my earlier review of the film. The film bombed at the box office but to me it told of a mans path to redemption. See it on DVD when you can.
8. King Kong
Plot Outline: Set in the 1930s, this is the story of a young and beautiful actress Ann Darrow from the world of vaudeville who finds herself lost in depression-era New York and her luck changes when she meets an over-ambitious filmmaker Carl Denham who brings her on an exploratory expedition to a remote island where she finds compassion and the true meaning of humanity with an ape Kong. The beauty and the beast finally meet their fate back in the city of New York where the filmmaker takes and displays the ape in quest of his fame by commercial exploitation which ultimately leads to catastrophe for everyone including a playwright Jack Driscoll who falls in love with Ann and plays an unlikely hero by trying to save her from Kong and her destiny.
When you remake a film you will either have a huge hit or a huge mess on your hands. With Kong you had a hit. World wide it has done great business with South Korea helping to add 22 million to the total. It will recover its cost but will this be a one shot wonder or do we get, "The Son of Kong" in a few years.
7. A History of Violence.
Plot Outline. Based on the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, A History of Violence is the tale of Tom Stall. Tom is a loving family man and well-respected citizen of a small Indiana town. But when two savage criminals show up at his diner, Tom is forced to take action and thwart the robbery attempt. Suddenly heralded as a hero who took the courage to stand up to crime, people look up to Tom as a man of high moral regard. But all that media attention has the likes of mobsters showing up at his doorstep, charging that Tom is someone else they've been looking for. Is it a case of mistaken identity or does Tom have a history that no one knows about? Either way, someone's about to find out if there's a history of violence.
Wow, what a film and it was so wierd when you see that his wife is attracted to the beast more than the husband that she has loved for the past 10+ years. A very hard film to watch but one that wil be enjoyed when you go see it.
Plot Outline. During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation, the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack.
The film starts in Korea on February 9th. Please see my review of the film of the site. The film is worth a look and has been nominated for Best Picture. Please see review of film on the site.
5. Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
Plot Outline: Lee Geum-Ja, at the age of 19, goes to prison for the murder and abduction of a child on behalf of her accomplice Mr. Baek, only to find out that she is betrayed. While in prison, she carefully prepares for her revenge by winning the hearts of her fellow inmates with her kindness, thus earning herself the nickname 'kind Ms. Geum-Ja'. Upon her release from prison after 13 years, she finally sets out to seek revenge on Baek, with the help of her former prison mates.
The general thought of this film has been either you loved it or you have hated it. I loved it! As I said in my earlier review of the film, “It was like watching a chess match with all of the pawns being set in their place and at the perfect time, Hell was unleashed.”
It will have a release date in the USA in March 2006 and is on region 3 DVD for rent or purchase.
Plot Outline: In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Halcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction.
The film has been nominated for Best Picture, Achievement in Directing , Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
This film will be hard to watch because you start to see inside of why they did the crime that they will die for. Please see it when it comes to Korea or please get a copy of it where you can here in Korea, This is not a film that needs to be missed.
3. Walk the Line.
Plot Outline. A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. You also see where he meets the love of his life, June Carter Cash.
The biggest surprise was when Oscar announced the Best Film prize, this was not on the list and I could not believe it. Nominated for Oscars were For Best Actor, (Joaquin Phoenix) and For Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon). My only complaint about the film was that it ended in 1968, when there is so much more to tell of his story. I do hope that soon they film Part 2.
2. Sin City.
Plot Outline: Sin City is a violent city where the police department is as corrupt as the streets are deadly. In this movie, we follow three stories, the central of which is Marv, a tough-as-nails and nearly impossible to kill street fighter who goes on a rampage of vengeance when a beautiful woman, Goldie (King), he sleeps with for only one night is killed while lying in bed with him. Walk down the right back alley in Sin City and you can find anything.
Certain films need to be seen on the big screen so that you can really see what a film has to offer and this one did not disappoint. With Mickey Rourke’s showing of what Marv could do when he goes to war. With Bruce Willis acting as a man who needs to save one more soul from hell and with Clive Owen showing us as, Dwight, that a man can find true love once again.
Please watch the Directors cut of this movie, it adds about 15 minutes and fills in a few blanks from the film. Sin City 2 hopefully will be out in 2006.
And the Number 1# Film of the Year…
1. Joyeux Noel.
Plot Outline: On Christmas Eve, 1914 during World War I, the Germans, French, and Scottish are trying to make peace, so they bury their dead and play football.
For those who know me you have hear me very loudly tell of my hatred for the French. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this film and it shook me like no other film did in the year 2005. Please see my rather long review on the site. I will add this, after 90+ years of this event happening, the French Generals refused to give permission to film on the site where this cry for peace happened, they told the director that the men were traitors and did not deserve on the field of honor. Please see this film when you get the chance.
Now in the next list, the worst films of the year 2005.