And as we set fire to 2005, pushing it off on its Viking funeral, we look back just one last time to bring you more Best and Worst. Enjoy!
SHORTS THAT OWNED US!
1. Fuel – In spite of recycling a gag from “Twilight Zone” The Movie,” this ended up being the scariest thing onscreen in 2005. Absolutely terrifying in a way House of Wax and The Amityville Horror remake could never hope to be.
2. Nerd Hunter 3004 – Makin’ fun of nerds is always cool, especially when it’s done within a parody of “Blade Runner,” in which nerds of every species are hunted down like animals. Makes one nervous to go to the San Diego Comic-Con anymore…
3. Betrunner – A gambling casino has never looked so purty.
4. Run to Jay’s – “Run to Jay’s” is an engaging, wholly entertaining short documentary about a group of professional people vying to be number one in a sport recognized by their friends and few others.
5. Email to Mom – Rarely has someone taken us from harmless correspondence to black dread in a mere three minutes, but Gerardo Ruiz Miñán does a fine job here.
6. Lost in the Thinking – More Damon Packard weirdness featuring the filmmaker’s take on “Halloween 3 1/2.”
7. Average Joe – This short film by Jennifer Braddock shows us the advantages of live television (and the advantages of electric kitchen utensils).
8. Foxy and the Weight of the World – This Zellner short stars David as a dying man teaching his faithful companion about the evils of humanity. Like most Zellner pics, it’s brilliantly odd.
9. Drummer Wanted – Funk/Punk bands RULE!
10. Broadcast 23 – Bigfoot and a can of Crisco. Bend over!
INDIES TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2006
1. Hard Candy – Online dating is bad, mmmkay? After watching “Hard Candy”, you’ll more than likely sprint to your computer, delete all of your profiles on Matchmaker.com, LonelyHearts.com and AssSearch.com and learn to appreciate the virtues of masturbation. Coming to theaters in April.
2. Dark Arc – In 1998, Dan Zukovic gave us an alarmingly original and uncomfortably funny rip on popular culture and the people who live by it in The Last Big Thing. Now, with his latest film, “Dark Arc”, Zukovic takes us back to where he was seven years ago, teetering on the edge of a very strange cliff, and jumps right off that f****r.
3. The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things – While many have tried to tackle the idea that “growing up is hell” few have been as daring, effective or brutal as Asia Argento’s second feature film “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things”. Based upon the autobiographical short stories of J.T. LeRoy, Argento presents an uncompromising view of one boy being thrust into a world he (or anyone else for that matter) does not belong. Coming to theaters in March.
4. Four Eyed Monsters – “Four Eyed Monsters” is an uber-modern romance story that’s powered with raw honesty and coated with wild imagination that creates a kind of fairy tale world with consequences as these characters try to figure out just who the hell they are, what it is they’re doing and hoping to find a little love along the way.
5. Night of the Living Dorks – It’s the “Weird Science” of zombie movies and it’s gonna kick your a*s!
6. 212 – In Anthony Ng’s “212”, we witness the lives of several New Yorkers as they struggle through their loneliness, pining away for someone to share their lives with. We’re suckers for a good, quirky romantic comedy.
7. Americano – Beautifully shot and filled with lovable characters you could watch for hours, “Americano” is an amazing journey through Spain that makes one yearn for travel.
8. American Stag – Filmmaker Ben Meade returns with another interesting doc, this one focusing on the porn of yesteryear – stag films.
9. Puffy Chair – “The Puffy Chair” is a family drama meets comedy meets relationship story all crammed into a road trip movie and all done on the cheap with a Hi-Def video camera.
10. Reeker – Partiers on their way to a desert rave meet with a grisly and stinky end. Heh.
Four Brothers – An unapologetic throwback to the days of ‘70s blaxploitation and ‘80s action, “Four Brothers” is the most fun you’ll have this year watching someone get shot in the face, stomped in the nuts, or drowned in a lake.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Undeniably entertaining through and through no matter what the nerds say.
Red Eye – What could have been the year’s second crappy airborne suspense flick (behind “Flightplan”) actually turned out to be a well-constructed, tightly paced movie. Well, until the last act, but it was still much better than it had any right to be.
Sky High – How does a movie with 1/3 the budget of the much ballyhooed “Fantastic Four” end up being so much more entertaining? Give credit to proven comic actors like Kurt Russell and the “Kids in the Hall” crew, kids TV writers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, and the fact that Tim (“Barbershop”/”Taxi” remake) Story wasn’t allowed anywhere near it.
Transporter 2 – We like it when things get blown up real good.
Unleashed – “Unleashed” is one of the best Sunday Afternoon action flicks since the glory days of Schwarzenegger.
Waiting – Lacking plot, character development, or much of a soul, “Waiting…” performed a valuable public service in showing us all why we would be wise not to annoy our food servers.
Zathura – Everyone who kept repeating the “’Jumanji’ in space” mantra without seeing this are ordered to go back three spaces and get eaten by Zorgons.
MOST OVERHYPED FILMS OF THE YEAR:
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – Possibly the only third movie in a series to get rave reviews mostly because it didn’t suck as much as the first two.
Brokeback Mountain – A very good film, to be sure, but one of the best of the year? When half of Heath Ledger’s dialogue is unintelligible and Randy Quaid only has a dozen lines? Cowboy, please.
Wolf Creek – The gushing advance press for “Wolf Creek” distracts from what it is (a taut yet uneven horror movie) and tries to make it something it’s not (the scariest thing you’ve “EVER SEEN,” to quote Film Threat’s own review). It’s a decent film, but sitting through it is more akin to a physical ordeal than a transcendent experience.
TOP THREE REASONS JESSICA ALBA SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD
Fantastic Four, Sin City, Into the Blue
GREATEST CAREER RESURRECTION
Shane Black – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
THE STOP THE MUSIC AWARD
A tie between Rent and The Producers. Chicago allegedly revived the musical genre but these off-key flicks will bury it again.
ORLANDO BLOOM, WILL YOU PLEASE GO NOW?
Last year’s Troy started our suspicions, but Kingdom of Heaven and Elizabethtown proved you’re unable to carry a movie on your own. Luckily for your bank account, those Pirates of the Caribbean movies are just around the corner, and co-stars Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley are riding some good buzz right about now.
PROOF THAT HOLLYWOOD DIDN’T LOSE ALL THE MONEY WE WERE LEAD TO BELIEVE
Because someone had enough to throw away on Woody Allen and Match Point.
Check out our absolute Best picks of 2005>>>