Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai — This one is kinda out there, as it stars Forest Whitaker as a mob hitman who follows the samurai code of Bushido. Slower paced and off -beat, but I dug it.
Gladiator — Obvious.
Almost Famous — Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical story of a teenage music writer getting a writing gig for Rolling Stone and touring with fictional band Stillwater. A love letter to rock n’ roll.
Requiem for a Dream — Not really a "fun" movie to watch. Darren Aronofsky crafts a disturbing tale of drug addiction, misery, wretchedness, and despair. Perfect for Christmas!
The Gift — Sam Raimi directs this Southern Gothic quasi-supernatural tale of pshycic Kate Blanchett who is asked to find a missing woman played by Katie Holmes (who shows her boobies!) We have a red-neck wife beater played by Keanu Reeves (with nary a "whoa" to be heard,) his fem-mullet sporting victimized wife Hillary Swank, Giovanni Ribisi playing a disturbed young man (which, is just about every role he plays) tormented by a past he can’t remember, and Greg Kinnear as Katie’s boyfriend.
Shadow of the Vampire — Willem Dafoe plays Max Schreck, the star of F.W. Murnau’s (John Malkovitch) silent era masterpiece Nosferatu. The catch is, Schreck isn’t merely playing a vampire, he is one. Very atmospheric, very clever conceit.
Black Hawk Down — Gripping account of the battle in Mogadishu and gritty, realistic version of modern warfare.
Momento — already mentioned. Clever narrative device of unraveling the movie backwards chronologically. Twists and turns keep you glued to the screen as you watch a man with no short-tern memory try to hunt down the man who raped and killed his wife.
Donnie Darko — Pre -Brokeback (and post Bubbleboy) Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a troubled teenager who is warned of the end of the world by Frank, a man-sized, skull faced bunny rabbit. Off-beat, well-executed character study, way better than I’m making it sound.
Road to Perdition — Tom Hanks as a mob hitman whose wife and one son are murdered by the boss’s nutty son. Hanks and his surviving son hit the road to avoid other hired killers. Well done prohibition-era road-trip-mob movie.
Blade II— The best of the Blade movies sees Blade joining forces with a vampire clan to fight a newer, deadlier breed of vampire, the "Reaper."
We Were Soldiers — Mel Gibson stars in this harrowing true account of the Battle of Ia Drang in November of 1965, the first major engagment between U.S. and North Vietnamese forces of the war.
Super Troopers — There is no point watching a censored version of this movie. An instant classic.
Narc — Jason Patrick and Ray Liotta star in this hard-boiled look at the murder investigation of an undercover cop. Dark and gritty, more a character study than your buddy-cop actiona flick.
Next: 2003, 2004 and 2005
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