While some outlets regard their year-end list as law, we like to think of this round-up as a casual look at what really caught our attention throughout the past year.
1. Kung Fu Hustle ^ Finally a film that answers the age old question: what do you get when you cross classic gangster films, kung fu mayhem and absurdust genius? Easily the most entertaining film of the year, that’s what. Although designed to lampoon the excesses of the martial arts movie, the film is so rich with inventive sight gags and so deep in the scope of its action sequences that it goes far beyond the restrictive limits of mere parody.
2. Batman Begins ^ No nipples? Check. No day-glo sets? Check. No one-liner spouting supervillians? Check. Thank you, Christopher Nolan, for giving us the Batman movie we’ve always been waiting for and exorcising the evil spirit of Joel Schumacher once and for all. This has the potential to be a great comic franchise, possibly the best so far.
3. Old Boy ^ Despite Andreas Neuenkirchen’s negative review that many fan boys felt compelled to write in and complain about, there are plenty of us here at FT who revere Chan-wook Park’s revenge epic as a masterpiece. The movie is such a blast of fresh air that it’s bound to throw some viewers for a loop, while instilling a sense of assurance in others that there are still filmmakers out there making real movies worth watching.
4. King Kong ^ Even at three hours this needlessly long computer generated monkey movie manages to make it onto our Best of 2005 list. What can we say? We’re suckers for a good monster movie. Now, if someone would just teach Peter Jackson the virtues of brevity…
5. Me and You and Everyone We Know – Acclaimed multimedia performance artist Miranda July makes a thoroughly assured debut as writer, director, and star of this uniquely sweet and often very funny confection of art, life, and love. It’s a film not to be missed by true lovers of contemporary American film.
6. A History of Violence ^ Some say Cronenberg went a little mainstream with this one, but this character study is a touch too quiet for that sort of label. Instead of focusing on plot, he crafted an interesting study of a family dealing with a newfound crisis in between spats of beautiful violence.
7. The Devil’s Rejects ^ We knew he could do it! And our faith paid off in Rob Zombie’s ultra-gritty mean machine of a flick that gave exploitation fans what they were all expecting out of his first movie making venture. Oh well, better late than never.
8. Godzilla: Final Wars ^ Too bad this movie didn’t get the release and media attention it so deserved as Ryuhei Kitamura (“Versus,” “Azumi”) has delivered the best Godzilla movie of all time. “Final Wars” is a Toho class reunion for some of Godzilla’s greatest (and in some cases not so great) foes from the last 50 years and it’s unique in that Kitamura’s human storyline, featuring a plot similar to “V”, is just as entertaining as the giant monster mash. We’re also proud that this year has allowed us to place both King Kong and Godzilla on our Best of list. We smell a rematch!
9. Breakfast on Pluto – Neil Jordan gives us another gender bending gem that plays something like “Velvet Goldmine” with guns and explosions. Definitely one of the most unique films of the year, one that will leave you in a dreamy state for hours, if not days, after seeing it.
10. Hellbent ^ Hyped as the first gay slasher, “Hellbent” should be more recognized as one of the best slasher movies of all time. Taking viewers on a wild, bloody ride through the Halloween carnival in West Hollywood, “Hellbent” never relies on moldy old slasher convention to tell its story, its only intention is to deliver the gruesome goods and it does so effectively and in great abundance. In “Hellbent,” we have a new Halloween season classic.
Something stinky this way comes! Check out our Worst of 2005 list>>>