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  1. 2014 started with a horror film, Devil's Due. Fox teamed up with Columbia for the all-star The monuments Men, involving the saving of artwork during WWII Son of God brought the story of Jesus back to the big screen. The Grand Budapest Hotel was nothing less than one of the best films of the last 25 years. Mr Peabody and Sherman was a new take on supporting characters from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. Jude Law was a criminal in the dark comedy Don Hemingway. The talking birds now went to the Amazon jungle. The Other Woman followed in the footsteps of Outrageous Fortune by having multiple women discover they had all been seeing the same man and going for revenge. X-men: Days of Future Past just showed that they kept coming. Belle was the fascinating tale of the woman (well played by gugu Mbatha-Raw) who ended slavery in England. A fine supporting cast included Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, and Miranda Richardson. The Fault in Our Stars was the teen equivalent of Love Story: Terminal but cute. (Sorry couldn't resist that line from a 1973 Mary Tyler Moore Show episode) I Origins was sci-fi with a romantic twist. How to train Your Dragon 2 was a much acclaimed animated sequel to the 2010 fantasy. the apes were back again to claim their planet. DragonBall Z was handled by Fox in theatres only. Brendan Gleeson played a priest, an ordinary decent priest, who finds that for no reason related to his own conduct, but rather that of others, he will be murdered in a week. Since this was confided in the confessional, he cannot take it to the police, and so awaits his tragic fate. Gleeson received raves. Let's Be Cops was R-rated make-believe James Gandolfini's final performance was in the crime film The Drop. The Maze Runner started another series of apocalyptic tales for teens. Gone Girl was a superdark, violent, gritty thriller involving two veryunreliable narrators. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike starred. The Book of Life was animation inspired by the Day of the Dead. More animation was in store with The Penguins of Madagascar. Birdman won Best picture. The performances were good, but.... The Pyramid was a dive into horror. Reese Witherspoon was good in the gritty Wild, as a woman determined by hiking to turn her life around. Laura Dern appeared in flashbacks as her mother. Both were Oscar-nominated. Christian Bale was Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings. The year closed with Night in the Museum: Secret of the Tomb which closed the series, the year, and the careers of Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams.
  2. Well, this is it, the final installment. Thousands of films and it all leads here. Fox became part of Disney officially in march in 2019, much chaos has followed. Still, despite a rather sparse number of releases so far, there are many more Fox films waiting for their release dates, so I will include those too for a complete picture. So call it a preview of things to come. Again Fox handled an animated film overseas but not in the US. The Kid Who Would Be King mixed elements of the King Arthur legend into a modern setting. Alita: Battle Angel was meant to start a new fantasy series. Keira Knightley starred in The Aftermath, a love affair saga set during the years of World War II. It was released the week the Disney takeover was completed. Breakthrough was a religious film about a real-life miracle. Tolkein told of the early pre-writing years of the famed fantasy author. And Dark Phoenix was the latest X-Men saga, and seemingly the last for a while. So those are the releases so far this year. Also on the release docket with confirmed dates for 2019 are the following. Stuber is an action comedy. it will also be the first R rated film handled by Disney in 6 years. One little note is that mira Sorvino, who has a small part in it, is returning to a major studio film for the first time in 12 years. the Art of Racing in the Rain is another film with a talking dog (this time, a pooch with Kevin Costner's voice) ready of Not serves up horror mixed up with dark comedy Ad Astra is an outer space saga with Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland. The Woman in the window is a psychological drama that stars Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, and Julianne Moore. No official pictures yet though. Only ones of gaffes or set design. Jojo Rabbit is an audacious black satire set during the time of Nazi Germany. I have a feeling this will be highly controversial. After all this is the type of film where Hitler (played by Sam Rockwell) is portrayed as a boy's goofball imaginary friend. Scarlett Johansson also appears. Another long time action series returns with Terminator: Dark Fate. And Linda Hamilton is back. Ford v Ferrari is a saga of the race between the car companies to form an ideal race car. Spies in Disguise is an animated spy spoof for kids. And Terrence Malick returns with A Hidden Life, the true and tragic saga of a man who refused to join the Nazi army because of his pacifist, religious views as well as his feelings about Hitler. He was killed, and has since become a Blessed. Filmed and awaiting 2019 release dates are: Antlers, a supernatural horror film with Keri Russell. Lucy in the Sky, the saga of an astronaut whose life unravels when she comes back from a long voyage. Natalie Portman, Dan Stevens, and Ellen Burstyn star. And Nomadland, essentially a one woman show for Frances McDormand as a wanderer around the West. Also in the offing over the next few years either confirmed or in development) are all of the following: For the blockbuster crowd: 4 more Avatar films, followups to the Greatest Showman, Kingsman, Big Trouble in Little China, Alita: Battle Angel, the Simpsons movie, big screen spinoffs of the animated shows Family Guy and Bob's Burgers, a whole raft of new kids movies, more superhero films, horror titles, and action (even one on a submarine), and remakes of Death on the Nile (again with Kenneth Branagh), Clue, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, West Side Story (by Steven Spielberg, and Rita Moreno is back), Nightmare Alley (by Guillermo Del Toro, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio), and Escape from New York, a screen version of the Broadway musical Monty Python's Spamalot. Elsewhere: the French Dispatch (Wes Anderson's latest, a musical no less, with Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Benicio Del Toro, Christoph Waltz, Owen Wilson, Henry Winkler, Lois Smith, Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Bob Balaban, Griffin Dunne, Elisabeth Moss, and Kate Winslet), Wendy which is a new film from the maker of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Downhill a comedy drama remake of the Swedish film Force Majeure with Will Ferrell and Julia louis-Dreyfuss, biopics on Alvin Ailey, Tammy Faye Baker, and Otto Frank (Kenneth Branagh is attached to this one). So this is it for now, but hopefully there will be more in the future.
  3. The year opened with friends Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway at each other's throats in Bride Wars, after Candise Bergen scheduled their weddings on the same day. Notorious was about the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. not a remake of the Hitchcock classic. Liam Neeson started his action cycle in Taken. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was another video game film. Miss march was another comedy of raunch. 12 Rounds was another teamup with the WWE. Dragonball Evolution was based on Japanese manga action comics. Sure as the day is long, the X-Men returned.... er maybe just one of them.... Another sequel was in store with Night at the Museum; Battle of the Smithsonian. Nia Verdalos and Richard Dreyfuss were off to Greese in My Life in Ruins, essentially a variant on If Its Tuesday This Must be Belgium and The Love Boat. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was a pretty good kid's adventure, quite funny. I Love You beth Cooper was a teenage comedy of embarrassment. (5000 Days of Summer with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel was a sharp and quirky look at a relationship that did not work out. Adam had Hugh Dancy as a man with Asperger's who fell for Rose Byrne. Also with Mark Lynn-Baker and Amy Irving. Kids and Doris Roberts vs. Aliens in the Attic in the latest for kids. Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, and Carol Burnett were in the comedy Post Grad. Sandra Bullock turned stalker in All About Steve. Jennifer's Body was the saga of a teen vampire. Whip It had Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, and Drew Barrymore doing roller derby. Hilary Swank was Amelia Aerhart with Richard Gere as her husband in Amelia. Gentlemen Broncos was an independent youth comedy. Fantastic Mr. Fox was a delight and very funny. Another year, more chipmunks And Avatar was a big box office success, and sequels are expected. And Crazy Heart had sublime work from Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhall, and Bridges finally won his Oscar.
  4. 2008 began with the romantic comedy 27 Dresses. Meet the Spartans followed, another spoof of new releases. Jumper was a sci-fi film with the ability of very fast travel. Horton Hears a Who expanded a popular children's book. it had its moments. Back to horror with Shutter. Nim's Island was a pretty good children's adventure film with a plucky Abigail Breslin and Jodie Foster in a rare comic performance. Street Kings was a crime saga with Forrest Whitaker and Keanu Reeves. Young @ Heart was a documentary involving a senior rock group. Hugh Jackman, Ewan Mcgregor, Michelle Williams, and Charlotte Rampling were in the provocative thriller Deception. What Happens to Vegas was a rom-com set in Sin City. The Happening saw the world in an apocalyptic lens. Eddie Murphy was an alien spaceship in Meet Dave. Monkeys went to space in the kids film Space Chimps. 10 years after the first film, The X-Files returned to the big screen. Kiefer Sutherland then went into investigating paranormal horror. The Rocker was a comedy about a most unusual viral sensation.... Babylon AD was a sci-fi action thriller. Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston starred in the dark comedy Choke. Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Martin Landau, Mary Kay Place, and Tim Robbins appeared in the children's fantasy City of Ember. The Secret Life of Bees was very good with sterling work from all the women in its cast. Max Paine was a video game adaptation. Slumdog Millionaire, a pretty good and quite disturbing underdog tale, had a crazy journey. the film was almost put direct to DVD after Warner Independent Pictures closed, and then Fox Searchlight bought the rights. It won 8 Oscars including Best Picture and grossed over $100 million. It was Fox's first domestic release that was a Best Picture winner since 1971's The French Connection. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were teamed for the epic romance Australia. Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly hoped to fill the shoes of Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal in The Day the Earth Stood Still. The Wrestler gave Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei Oscar nominations. And 2008 closed with the slice of life Marley and Me, about a family and an ultimately loved (but quite destructive) dog. Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Alan Arkin, and Kathleen Turner starred.
  5. Grandma's Boy starting 2006 was going to be shocking for fans of Shirley Jones, Doris Roberts, and Shirley Knight. They were all much cast against type in a risque stoner comedy. James Franco appeared in a new version of the youthful tragedy Tristan and Isolde. Imagine Me and You was also an inversion and was in some ways a LGBT take (with different ending) on 1979's 10. Martin Lawrence donned the dress again for Big Momma's House 2. Night Watch was a supernatural horror film from Russia. Date Movie was a Scary Movie-esque lampoon of romances.... While Aquamarine was a film for young girls about two teens who befriended a mermaid. The Hills Have Eyes was an explicitly violent remake of the 1970s shocker. Kathleen Quinlan was the best known member of the cast. Thank You for Smoking was a scathing satire on big tobacco. The priased film featured Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Rob Lowe, William H Macy, Robert Duvall, Katie Holmes, and Sam Elliott. ice Age the Meltdown was the sequel to the hit family film of 2002. The most inspired scene had prehistoric vultures belting out "Food Glorious Food" Phat Girlz was a romantic comedy that did not think it was right that all women were supposed to look as thin as a rail... Michael Douglas was out to prove he wasn't a traitor in The Sentinal. Water was a much acclaimed film from India about the lives of several widows. Lidsay Lohan and Chris Pine appeared in Just My Luck, a comedy where their runs of luck (good and bad) swapped after a kiss. Don't believe the title. More X-Men movies would arrive after this. The Omen remade the famed 1976 horror film. Mia Farrow got all the praise the film received taking over the old Billie Whitelaw role. Comic strip feline Garfield then took a trip to England. One of the highlights of 2006 was The Devil Wears Prada, a comedy-drama with Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, and Emily Blunt. Everyone did well with their roles, but Meryl received one of her signature roles, was up for an Oscar, and had her biggest hit in 11 years. Uma Thurman had an axe to grind against Luke Wilson in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Revenge remained in the air in high school set John Tucker Must Die. Little Miss Sunshine headed off to Oscar glory winning for the script and for Alan Arkin, and also received a Best Picture nomination and much praise for its whole cast. trust the Man was a comedy-drama of two fraught relationships with Billy Crudup, Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eva Mendes, Ellen Barkin, and Garry Shandling Viggo Mortensen went to Spain for the expensive epic Alatriste Idio cracy imagined a dystopia that was terminally dense. Confetti was a British mockumentary involving three couples vying for the magazine title of the most original wedding: the tennis fans, the musical fans, and the nudists were all vying for it. Martin Freeman and Olivia Colman were among the gaggle. Everyone's Hero, a kid's baseball film, was clouded by tragedy because one of its makers Christopher Reeve died before it hit theaters. Forrest Whitaker gained an Oscar for playing Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, which also featured James McAvoy and Kerry Washington. Banditas had Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek as outlaws. The Marine was an action comedy courtesy of the WWE Flicka brought back the famed horse. This time her owner was a teenage girl, and the gentle film made for good family entertainment. the outrageous Borat became one of the biggest sleeper hits of the decade. Russell Crowe inherited a vinelard from a late relative (Albert Finney0 and found romance with Marion Cotilliard in Ridley Scott's A Good Year Fast Food Nation looked at restaurants' practices, and did not like what it found. The History Boys was the screen version of a Tony-Award Winning play. Deck the Halls found a neighborhood war occurring over Christmas lights. Turistas was a slasher film. The Fountain (with WB) was a unique blend of the past, present, and future, with the same two performers (Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz) at the center of it all. It has become greatly respected in the last few years. Eragon was the film version of a popular young adult fantasy. Jeremy Irons was in this. Ben Stiller scored a major family hit with Night at the museum, also with Robin Williams, Carla Guigino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, and Rami Malek. The year surged with a strone finale in Notes on a Scandal, a strong, disturbing film involving a bitter teacher's obsession with a younger teacher who had been seduced by one of her students. Pungent writing, and powerhouse work from Judi Dech (terrifying), Cate Blanchett, and Bill Nighy made this into one of the best films of the year.
  6. The number of films sagged in 2018, perhaps in part because of the Disney merger that was impending.... it started with Condorito, an animated film that Fox only handled in Latin America. The dystopian Maze Runner trilogy was finished off. Red Sparrow came next, a provocative spy film, with Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Egerton, Charlotte Rampling, and Mary-Louise Parker Love Simon told of a gay teen and his misadventures with friends, family, high school life, etc. Isle of Dogs was the latest from Wes Anderson, which meant that, like all of his films, it was fresh, entertaining, funny, and moving. Super Troopers 2 was a belated followup to the 2002 cult film. Deadpool 2 arrived, and like the firstwas a big success for Fox. A PG-13 edit appeared at year's end and brought in a tiny bit more. back to dystopia with The Darkest Minds. the Predator marked the latest in the horror series that stretched back to 1987. The Old man and the Gun was a wry crime comedy-drama involving an aging bank robber, played to perfection by Robert Redford. The film is unusual among crime films because its so low-key, which makes it fascinating. The supporting cast included Sissy Spacek (lovely and having great chemistry with Redford), Casey Affleck, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, and Keith Carradine. The Hate U Give was a saga based on a popular young adult book about a girl torn on what to do after seeing her childhood friend killed by a police officer. Sad note: script adaptor Audrey Wells died a day before this film's release. Bad Times at the El Royale was very impressive. The violent saga unexpectedly had loads of emotional depths and a strong undercurrent reserve of empathy, which was not expected. Jeff Bridges and newcomrs Cythia Erivo and Lewis Pullman all were brilliant, but all the cast members were great in their roles. Nice 1969 feeling to it all as well. The run of fine performances continued with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, with Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant as a duo who were into forgeries in the literary world in the early '90s. Rami Malek claimed an Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in the big hit Bohemian Rhapsody. And another prestige offering was in store with director Steve McQueen's first since 12 Years a Slave, Widows, a gritty crime saga with Viola Davis heading an all-star cast. 2018 closed with the saga of The Favourite, with Olivia Colman winning an Oscar, and flanked by nominated turns by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.
  7. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike started the year with A United Kingdom, the saga of a marriage facing opposition in both England and Africa. It was quite good. The offbeat horror film A Cure for Wellness came in right on its heels. Logan was Hugh Jackman's last turn as an X-Man. The Boss Baby was another serving of animation. The poster looks like an internet post, but Table 19 was an actual film, an offbeat comedy. Wilson with Woody harrellson and Laura Dern continued the offbeat trend. Gifted was a charmer, a moving comedy-drama over the ability to be a guardian of a child prodigy. Chris Evans made a good lead and Octavia Spenser is always welcome, but British actress Lindsay Duncan stole the film with a much more nuanced and warmer take on her unsympathetic character than might be expected. Snatched, an R rated cross between Romancing the Stone and outrageous Fortune just studded with more 4 letter words and violence, returned Goldie Hawn to the big screen. She was the best reason to watch it. Indeed it was only because of her and Joan Cusack (who has a small part as a mute) that I even watched it.... Fox tried to reboot the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series for families, but this didn't lead to more. Also trying to continue a series was the brooding Alien Covenant. Captain Underpants was another kid book series to film. It closed DreamWorks animated tenure at Fox. They have since moved to Universal. Rachel Weisz climbed into Olivia De Havilland's shoes in a remake of My Cousin Rachel. the apes continued on their path of world domination. Step was the saga of an inner city dancing team. And Patti Cake$ was the saga of an aspiring rapper, with Cathy Moriarty under heavy makeup as a 70-something grandmother. Battle of the Sexes was a dramatization of the famed 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Risebourough, Elisabeth Shue, and Bill Pullman starred. The tough, violent Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, again with Taron Egerton in the lead had a truly eclectic supporting cast: Colin Firth, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Elton John Although it was barely released and unfortunately only received mixed reviews, Goodbye Christopher Robin might just be one of the most interesting Fox films of recent years thanks to the Disney merger. Winnie the pooh is big business for Disney; this film tells the real life tale behind it all... very unflinchingly. This is a sad tale of neglect, of exploitation, of a lack of love. Sure it gets a bit soft at the end, but this is a very brave film to deconstruct something so beloved, and I have a feeling this film might become suppressed sometime.... Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, and Kelly mcDonald (especially good) starred. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell headed off to Oscar glory with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, missouri Meanwhile, Kate Winslet and Idris Elba were stranded on a mountaintop. Agatha christie returned to the big screen with Murder on the Orient Express. Not as effective as the 1974 film, but a solid effort with a much appreciated undercurrent of deep emotion, a handsome production (filmed completely on 70 MM film, Fox's first this way since Patton), and Michelle Pfeiffer's best performance in years, in the old Lauren Bacall role. The Shape of Water won Best Picture for the year. It was most distinguished by sterling work from Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins. A little late and a little loose, but the children's saga of Ferdinand the bull begcame a full-length film..... 79 years after Disney did a short. The Greatest Showman turned out to be that rarity of modern Hollywood: a word of mouth hit that started small, but held on as the weeks passed. The year closed with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, at the time of the Pentagon Papers.
  8. 2016 started with the final installment of DreamWorks' animated Kung Fu Panda series. Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds served up a massive hit to Fox and broke the mold for superhero movies by going for a hard R. Eddie the Eagle was a most enjoyable underdog story from the 1988 Olympics about a British ski jumper. Taron Edgerton was charming in the lead, and hugh Jackman made a fine coach. The Other Side of the Door served up supernatural horror. Fox only handled Florence Foster Jenkins in the UK, but even so, it ranks as one of Fox's best of the year with Meryl Streep's best performance of the decade and career best work from Hugh Grant. Demolition, about a widower that came undone, started out with promise, but..... It was summer again, so of course the X-Men dropped by. A Bigger Splash was a provocative dark drama. Aliens attacked earth again in Independence Day: Resurgence Back to risque comedy with Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates. Ice Age: Collision Course ended another animated series. The 90s cult series Absolutely Fabulous came to the big screen with its two leads on the run after accidentally causing Kate Moss to fall into the river. Morgan was a sci-fi horror film about a dangerous teen. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was the latest from Tim Burton, involving a whole place of eccentrics. Keeping Up with the Joneses was an action-comedy. The Birth of a Nation was about Nat Turner's rebellion. The film was much praised at Sundance Trolls was another animated musical. Rules Don't Apply disappeared quickly, but I felt that despite some issues, it was better than might be expected. Its a beautiful looking film, and by the end rather effecting as well. As Howard Hughes, Warren Beatty made his first appearance in 15 years. Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich made fine young leads, and Matthew Broderick (nicely understated), Annette Bening, Candise Bergen, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Alec Baldwin, and Oliver Platt were also featured. Assassin's Creed was another video game film And Why Him? was another R rated comedy. Natalie Portman was at her very best in Jackie, showing the First lady in mourning after that horrific 1963 day. This was the end of the line for John Hurt, playing a kindly priest. And Hidden Figures was another glorious film, filled with wonderful acting and an inspiring story. One of 2016's best, just like Florence Foster Jenkins and Jackie.
  9. 2015 started with the end of one action series.... Which was then followed by the start of another. An R-rated comedy was up next.... Followed by a winning sequel with a great cast. Home found an alien on earth. And The Longest Ride was a youthful romance. True Story told of the real life tale of a murderer who tried to hide under the identity of a reporter, and how the two ultimately became acquainted. Far from the Madding Crowd was a sumptuous new version of the Thomas Hardy classic, and was one of the year's best films. Poltergeist was a new take on the 80s horror series. Spy was a spoof of espionage films Direct from Japan, more Dragonball...... Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a quirky teen film that built to a touching and moving ending. Fantastic 4 was an one-off attempt to bring superheroes back to the screen. Paper Towns was another teen romance, from a book by the same author as Fox's 2014 film The Fault in Our Stars. Mistress America was an indie comedy with greta Gerwig that started almost like a modern-day screwball comedy before becoming a one-set chamber piece in its second act. Still, what was good was quite good, and there was strikingly effective use of the 80s OMD song "Souvenir" throughout the film. Hitman: Agent 47 was a followup to the action film of a few years earlier. Maze Runner: The Scorch trials was the middle part of the dystopian trilogy. he Named Me Malala was a documentary about the young girl who became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. it was then off to the Oscars three times in a row. First with the crisp Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies (with DreamWorks, and Touchstone/Disney) with fine work from Tom Hanks, and an Oscar winning performance from Mark Rylance. Matt Damon had one of his finest hours with his wonderful, enderaring full-throttle movie star performance in The Martian, a saga of survival that, despite being mainly set on the red planet, had some similarites to Robinson Crusoe. Ridley Scott directed well, and there was also room for Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, not to mention a great disco soundtrack (which Damon's character hated) This trio was completed by my personal favorite, and might just honestly be, in my opinion, one of the 5 best films made since 2000. Brooklyn might have been a simple romantic drama in form, but in execution, it was extraordinary. The 50s set tale felt almost like a film from the 50s as it was filled not just with a sublime star turn, but also an extraordinary supporting cast, all of whom enriched the film by their presence, all of them ideally suited for their roles. The script too was note perfect with many ironic delineations. When I saw this in the theatre in 2015, I knew i was witnessing a true rarity: a perfect film. The Peanuts Movie was charming. It might have been in CGI, but it had the same droll charm as the comic strip and TV specials, and made for a lovely throwback. James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe were unleashed on the Frankenstein saga. Youth was a sometimes surreal saga, quite provocative, which dealt with the lives of several around a home for retirees in Switzerland. Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano starred. And Jane Fonda got strong notices for her 7 minute bit. More chipmunks, and they haven't been back since. Joy was kind of treated badly at the time, even though Jennifer Lawrence was Oscar nominated. I personally found it to be a wonderful film, with a droll approach both comic and dramatic. It was Lawrence's best performance to date, and while the whole supporting cast was very good, Diane Ladd and Isabella Rossellini particularly shone. The Revenant closed the year with an austere wilderness saga that won oscars for Best Director and Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio). Aside from Domhnall Gleeson's excellent supporting turn, I don't want to talk any more about it......
  10. Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones started the year with a neo-noir. Bruce Willis returned to his signature role for the last time.... Stoker was a k.i.n.k.y variation on Shadow of a Doubt.... The original stoners turned to animation.... And speaking of animation, Fox started handling DreamWorks Animation for a few years, starting with the prehistoric set The Croods And on Animation went with the eco-tale Epic. James McAvoy, Vincent Cassell, and Rosario Dawson then joined Danny Boyle for a psychological thriller..... The East was a thriller involving a group of anarchists..... Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn went to go work for an internet company.... And Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy joined the cops. The Way Way Back was a completely charming and endearing comedy-drama and coming of age film that did everyone proud. Turbo told of a fast snail. And Hugh Jackman returned to superhero mode. And so too in the area of retreads was a romp back into mythological adventure for kids..... Julia Louis-Dreyfus was luminous in the wonderful Enough Said, and James Gandolfini was at his most endearing. unfortunately, he died before the film's release. Baggage Claim was romance at the airport. back to the world of crime went Runner Runner..... 12 Years a Slave, unflinching, horrific, a necessary film. It is one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen, but its also one that needed to be told. It is shattering in its impact. It won Best Picture. the Counselor was back into the world of lurid crime with an outrageous background. the Book Thief was a drama set during the darkest days of World War II, whern a young girl kept saving books from the bonfires of the Nazis. Black Nativity was inspired by a Langston Hughes play. Walking with Dinosaurs was a spectacle for families And 2013 closed with an in-name-only remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller, Kristin Wiig, Sean Penn, and Shirley MacLaine
  11. Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen, and starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Terrence Howard, began 2012. Chronicle was a superhero film done in the "found footage" style. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy both went after Reese Witherspoon in This Means War, costarring Angela Bassett and Rosemary Harris. Next was a modern take on The Three Stooges. Sound of My Voice was a film styled as an expose on the world of cults. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel took a well known British cast to India. A sequel would follow. Greta Gerwig was a young woman facing many personal crises in Lola Versus, co-starring Bill Pullman and Debra Winger. Ridley Scott returned to relaunch the Alien series with the prequel Prometheus. Then horror served up a surprise lead..... Quvenzhane Wallis, only 6 when this was filmed in 2009, was brilliant in Beats of the Southern Wild, a flavorful, moving Southern set tale. The Do-Deca-penthalon was an independent comedy that was barely released. Back to the Ice Age for another round.... Ruby Sparks was to fictional characters in books as Purple Rose of Cairo was to movies. The Watch had cops vs. aliens. More for the kids from a low-cost series.... Director Curtis Hanson (co-directing with Michael Apted) directed for the final time with Chasing Mavericks, a surfing film. Won't Back Down was made into an interesting film by the flavorful playing of Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Holly Hunter. The Pittsburgh set tale of teachers looking for reform also featured Oscar Issac, Rosie Perez, Bill Nunn, Ving Rhames, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. More action for Liam Neeson.... The Sessions involved the provocative relationship between a man in an iron lung and his therapist. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt starred. Life of Pi was the much praised film of an esteemed book, and was among the best regarded of the year. Lincoln was a tour-de-force for Daniel Day-Lewis, but Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones were also Oscar nominated, and the film also featured David Straithairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Gloria Ruben, Jackie Earle Hailey, Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes, and S. Epatha Merkerson, all with a literate script. The making of Psycho was the focus of the very enjoyable Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler finished the year by dealing with unruly grandchildren in Parential Guidence.
  12. Cedar Rapids was the saga of an immature insurance salesman. Big Mommas: Like Father like Son was the last in this particular series... Win win was a very good sports comedy about a put-upon man who takes in a high school wrestler just for funds, but grows to love the boy like a son. Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, and Burt Young starred. And then a quick followup to a kids film of the previous year.... The trend continued with Rio, an animated film involving talking birds. Dum Maaro Dum was a crime film from India. Water for Elephants involved an illicit affair under the big top. The Tree of Life was astonishingly beautiful. A meditation on growing up in a small town crossed with scenes dealing with the creation of the earth and eternity, it baffled some audiences, but it was one of the most Critically acclaimed films of the last 20 years and won the Palme D'Or. I thought it was excellent. More X-Men. This time set in the 1960s. The Art of Getting By was young romance with Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts. Mr. Popper's Penguins was a loose version of a 1930s children's classic. Jim Carrey starred, more restrained than usual, but the highpoint was the small supporting role for Angela Lansbury. Monte Carlo took teen romance to the Riviera. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was a saga of friendship set in China. Another Earth was very good. The independent production told of a young woman who discovered an earth-like planet, but, looking up at it one night while driving, caused an accident that claimed the life of a woman and child.... years later, she tries to apologize to the man whose life was changed in that accident..... The film was rich with emotion. Rise of the planet of the Apes reinvigorated a moribund series and spawned more gorilla-centric films. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie was a spinoff from the TV show. Margaret was a long time coming. It was filmed in 2005, but it wasn't released until 2011. The saga had Anna Paquin feeling responsible for a fatal bus accident, who wanted to see justice done. Although barely released and despite very polarized responces, it is one of the most critically admired films of the decade, that is if you take it as a 2011 film. Jeannie Berlin returned to film after a 21 (or is it 15?) year absence. What's Your Number was a risque rom-com. The Big Year was a comedy about birdwatching. Elizabeth Olson made a name for herself as an escapee from a dangerous cult in Martha Marcy May Marlene. Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried were In Time, a saga with echos of Logan's Run, only here people had the ability to buy extra time. George Clooney was at his best in The Decendents where he played a businessman now in charge of his children after his wife entered an irreversible coma following an accident. It was all well handled. Shame was the fourth and final X or NC-17 film financed by Fox. In this case, the explicit, dour saga of a man addicted to sex could not have received any other rating. Michael Fassbender played the addict, while Carey Mulligan was his sister. The Sitter was another R-rated comedy. Earth vs the aliens again in The Darkest Hour And chipmunks on an island also seemingly meant Christmas.... As did Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and a Zoo.
  13. 2010 began with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson becoming a Tooth Fairy. Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal, and Julie Andrews co-starred. My Name is Kahn was a drama about prejudice.... While Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Lightning Thief was a fantasy for youthful audiences, and is likely the only film where Uma Thurman has snakes for hair. Our Family Wedding was the story of a very mismanaged and chaotic wedding. Diary of a Wimpy Kid was based on a series of children's books, and spawned a few bread-and-butter followups Tina Fey and Steve Carell were in for a rough Date Night. Just Wright found Queen Latifah in love with Common's basketball player. Another decade, another film about a comic-strip talking animal. And another type of transfer was coming with The A-Team. Liam Neeson had the old George Peppard part. Jonah Hill was Cyrus, less than happy that John C Reilly was trying to date his mother, Marisa Tomei. Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Paul Dano, Peter Saarsgaard, and Viola Davis were in the large scale action thriller Knight and Day. predators with Adrien Brody was another attempt to extend the visage of the 1987 series. Ramona and Beezus was the film version of a series of children's books that started in the 1950s. it was likable, and the Ramona of the title is much like a female equivalent of Beaver Cleaver. Vampires Suck was a spoof of the Twilight series. Machete was a takeoff on 70s exploitation fare. Never Let Me Go was a powerhouse. It told of the sad, brief lives of several clones in an alternate version of the 70s,80s, and 90s. These clones' only purpose in life was to be as organ donors; after three removals, most were gone. Against this tragic backdrop, a heartbreaking love story takes place...... This is one of the best romances of recent times, and the cast is ideal. Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Domhnall Gleeson, Andrea Risebourough; all note perfect. Combine with sensitive writing and a beautiful Rachel Portman score and this is the type of tragic romance that recalls some of the best tearjerkers of decades past. Michael Doglas returned to his Oscar winning role in Wall Street: money Never Sleeps, where he was a bit wiser than he was in 1987. Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Eli Wallach (final film), Austin Pendleton, Charlie Sheen, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella, and Sylvia Miles (final film as well) co-starred. Hillary Swank was out to spring wrongfully accused brother Sam Rockwell out from jail in Conviction, also with Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo, and Peter Gallagher. The real life story was more tragic then might be expected. 127 Hours was the true story of the hiker who cut off his arm in order to escape from being traped next to a boulder. James Franco was very good in the lead, but the "big scene" was like this generation's equivalent to the dental scene in Marathon Man. Denzel Washington was out to stop an out of control train in Unstoppable. Love and Other Drugs was a throwback to very steamy films of the past, with much explicitness. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway starred, while Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Oliver Platt, George Segal, and Jill Clayburgh (who died before the film's release) co-starred. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the third film in the fantasy series started originally at Disney. The 4th film is still forthcoming....at TriStar. Black Swan was an alarming fever dream of a horror film as Natalie Portman seemingly was on the edge of losing her sanity. Vincent Cassell, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder co-starred. And the year closed with Jack Black in a postmodern spin on Gulliver's Travels.
  14. 2007 oped with the spoof Epic Movie. This was followed by another comedy Reno 911; Miami The Namesake from Mira Nair was a story of Indian heritage and romance. I Think I Love My Wife was actually a remake of Rohmer's Chloe in the Afternoon. The Hills Have Eyes II was a dive back into slasher territory. Firehouse Dog was exactly that, a film about a movie star dog in a firehouse. pathfinder was a remake of a Scandinavian fantasy from the 80s. The zombies returned in 28 Weeks Later. Once, a gentle Irish import, was one of the year's best surprise packages, a delicate touching almost love story. And Waitress supplied Keri Russell with a great role and a fine supporting role for Andy Griffith. Unfortunately, director and co-star Adrianne Shelley was murdered 7 months before the film's release, so she never got to see how well her film was received. It inspired a Broadway musical. Day Watch was another dark fantasy from Russia. While Fantastic 4; Rise of the Silver Surfer was the end of this incarnation of the heroes. Live Free or Die Hard was the only one of the series to be a PG-13, rather than R. Joshua was a dark film involving another demon seed. Danny Boyle made Susnshine, a popular cult film about an expedition to the sun. The Simpsons Movie brought the long running TV series to the big screen for a successful run. Kevin Bacon turned vigilante in Death Sentence. The Darjeeling Limited was the latest from Wes Anderson, and like all of his films, it was wistful and entertaining. The Seeker: The Dark is Rising was fantasy for kids. the Comebacks was a football parody. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium found Dustin Hoffman trying to channel Ed Wynn. back to gritty action with Hitman Alien vs Predator Requiem found a horror battle for the end of the year. Alvin and the Chipmunks found plenty of use for helium and spawned sequels Juno was endearing, and had a fine script, cast, and directing. And The Savages found great truth in a pair of siblings with a father losing his memory.
  15. 2005 opened with Jennifer Garner in Elektra, a superhero film. Hide and Seek, a violent thriller, with Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Sue, Amy Irving, and Melissa Leo soon followed. Because of Winn-Dixie was the sweet, simple tale of a girl and her dog, nothing more, but likable, with good support from Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, and Eva Marie Saint. Millions was another family film, this one about brothers finding a cache of stolen money that fell off a train, and how one wanted to do good things with it. Danny Boyle directed it. Robots was an animated film from the makers of ice Age, and, at the time at least, it was enjoyable. Melinda and Melinda was the latest Woody Allen a dissection of fiction showing a similar story through a comic and a tragic lens. Guess Who (with Columbia) was a broad comedy remake and inversion of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were in Fever Pitch, a rom com set against the Red Sox's winning season. Kingdom of Heaven was Ridley Scott's take on the Crusades. Star Wars Episode III was expected to be the end of the sci-fi series, but time would change that verdict. Successful though, and the last one of the series handled by Fox. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were a married pair of hit people in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Rebound was a youth oriented basketball comedy. Fantastic Four introduced another team of Marvel superheroes to Fox. Supercross was a motorcycle racing film. While Transporter 2 continued the action series that was popular in Europe Separite lives was a twisty British import involving a hit and run drunk driving accident, and how both the husband (Tom Wilkinson) and lover (Rupert Everett) of the guilty party (Emily Watson) were determined to make things appear differently so she would avoid prison. All three leads handled their roles well. Roll Bounce was a 70s set tale of Roller boogie. Little Manhattan was a New York set variation on 1979's A Little Romance, about very young love. Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine starred in In Her Shoes, a film dealing with trying to come to terms with the problems of the past. Ken Howard, Candice Azzara, Brooke Smith, and Norman Lloyd were all in the supporting cast. Stay was a brooding psycological thriller with Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Ryan Gosling, Janeane Garofalo, BD Wong, and Bob Hoskins Bee Season found Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche as the parents to a spirtually gifted daughter and champion speller. In the Mix was a crime comedy drama with a musical twist since it starred R & B singer Usher. More music, naturally, with Walk the Line, a much admired film that looked at the life of Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for playing him; Reese Witherspoon, playing his second wife, went a step farther and won the Oscar. The Family Stone was a comedy-drama involving a slightly awkward Christmas gathering between a large family and the new fiancee of one of the offspring, hardly more different from the family she was marrying into. Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Craig T Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, and Rachel McAdams were featured. A sequel came to the 2003 version of Cheaper by the Dozen.... And 2005 closed with somebody being The Ringer at the Special Olympics.
  16. 2004 opened boldly with the NC-17 rated Bernardo Bertolucci film The Dreamers. This was followed by Kristen Stewart as a teenage burgler in Catch That Kid. Jennifer Beals played her mother. Gene Hackman retired after the small town comedy Welcome to Mooseport with Ray Romano, Marcia Gay Harden, Fred Savage, Christine Baranski, Rip Torn, Maura Tierney, and June Squibb. Club Dread was a parody of slasher films and beach films. Never Die Alone was a gritty crime saga. While Johnson Family Vacation was a comedy of errors. The Girl Next Door essentially was a more risque update of the already provocative Risky Business. Denzel Washington was out to protect Dakota Fanning from dangerous men including Christopher Walken in Man on Fire. The earth faced grave weather threats in the eco-disaster film The Day After Tomorrow with Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhall, and Ian Holm. Napoleon Dynamite became a cult film of sorts for teens of the 2000s. The comic strip cat Garfield headed to the big screen voiced by Bill Murray. DodgeBall was a hit gross-out comedy. Robert Redford was kidnapped, Willem Dafoe was his captor, and Helen Mirren was his desperate wife in The Clearing, a dark, forbidding film. Will Smith was out to solve a murder in a futuristic society in I Robot, also with James Cromwell. Zach Braff starred and directed in the quirky Garden State (made with Miramax) a popular cult comedy romance with Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm, and Jean smart. Alien Vs. Predator hoped to merge two big horror series for Fox..... Paparazzi was a revenge film where a man saught to off some pesky photographers. First Daughter was kind of like a teen take on Roman Holiday. I Heart Huckabees, a surrealist comedy, turned up next starring Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Isabelle Huppert, mark Wahlberg, Tippi Henren, Shania Twain, Jonah Hill, Jean Smart, Isla Fisher, Richard Jenkins, and Talia Shire. Hoffman had one of his best roles in years, and he and Lily Tomlin stole all of the scenes they were on. The super-nutty film was enjoyable if you were in the mood for it. Taxi was a crime-firghting comedy with Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, and Ann-Margret Sideways was a major critical hit and gave Paul Giamatti a semi-star status. The sometimes outrageous, sometimes tender film also featured Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh. Kinsey had a self-explanatory title. Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard, Laura linney, Timothy Hutton, Oliver Platt, Lynn Redgrave, Veronica Cartwright, Chris O'Donnell, John Lithgow, and Tim Curry were featured. Flight of the Phoenix was a remake of the Jimmy Stewart adventure of 1965. And Fat Albert, based on the Saturday morning cartoon, closed 2004.
  17. 2003 opened with Just Married, a comedy of errors involving a young couple who ran into all sorts of misadventures. Daredevil was a superhero film with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Bend it Like Beckham was a charmer from England, a sunny sports comedy involving female soccer players and best friends Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, their mutual crush on coach Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and their offbeat families. L'Auberge Espagnole was a Spanish-French coproduction. Director Neil Jordan returned with Nick Nolte in The Good Thief, a remake of Bob Le Flambeur. phone Booth was a claustrophobic thriller involving a man trapped in just that while being menaced by the voice of a psychopath. Colin Farrell was the man in trouble, Keifer Sutherland voiced the psycho. Chasing Papi was a comedy involving three angry women all hoping to settle some score when they found out that the same boyfriend was dating all of them at the same time. John Malkovich directed Javier Bardem in The Dancer Upstairs, a South-American set thriller. The X-Men were back again in X2, more successful than the first one. Now it was time for a comedy with appeal for classic film fans. Down with Love, was, almost naturally, more provocative and explicit than the films it was being a spoof and homage to, the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedies of the late 50s-early 60s. But its to the filmakers' credits that it was just about as charming with two perfect leads, Renee Zelweger and Ewan McGregor, fine support from David Hyde Pierce and Sarah Paulson, and good cameos for Florence Stanley and Tony Randall (both of whom made their final appearances here) Capped with an appropriate 60s gloss and some delicious visual flourishes, it was a joy. But joy is not the emotion found in the slasher film Wrong Turn. Terror is the one there. From Justin to Kelly was at attempt to star two American Idol players in a Frankie and Annette style beach film. London was overrun by zombies in 28 Days Later, which spawned a sequel. Sean Connery made his last live-action appearance to date in the action film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Garage Days was an Australian film about a struggling amateur rock band. Lucia Lucia was a thriller involving a woman who found that her husband had been kidnapped. Le Divorce was a brittle comedy of manners from the Merchant Ivory team, a tale of divorce, infidelity, and strained family ties, with Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson, Leslie Caron, Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Matthew Modine, Bebe Neuwirth, Stephen Fry, and Stockard Channing. Thirteen was every mother's worst nightmare, a film where Holly Hunter, Oscar nominated here, found that 13-year-old daughter Evan Rachel Wood fell under a very bad peer influence. The Order was a horror film involving the supernatural. of which the same can be said for Hangman's Curse, only this one wasn't big budget. John Cusack was top-billed in the John Grisham adaptation Runaway Jury, but most attention at the time was focused on the two main supports, Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, and Jennifer Beals were also featured. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (done with Miramax, Universal, and the Samuel Goldwyn Company) was a major critical hit, a seafaring film with Russell Crowe and directed by Peter Weir. It was a Best Picture nominee. In America was one of the most deeply affecting films of the decade. The story of a poor Irish family (Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, and sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger) trying to start anew in New York and their fateful friendship with a man dying from a bad blood transfusion (Djimon Hounsou), the film was a soaring emotional triumph. The cast could not be bettered in any way, and the film never stepped a foot wrong in its moving journey. (well I do have one quibble, but its so tiny it doesn't matter) Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear were Siamese twins in Stuck on You, a comedy co-starring Cher. The year closed with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in Cheaper by the Dozen, which despite the title and the number of children was no relation to the 1950 film.
  18. 2002 had the highest attendence at the movies of any post 1970 movie year, and some of the releases went some way to aid that.... It started though quietly with Kung Pao! Enter the Fist!, a parody of Asian action films. this was followed by the cult comedy Super Troopers, which spawned a sequel 16 years later. Kissing Jessica Stein was a comedy for the independent crowds. Ice Age was a major animated hit, and spawned a whole series. Ashley Judd was determined to save husband Jim Cavietzel in the courtroom with the help of Morgan Freeman in High Crimes. Angelina Jolie starred in the romantic comedy Life or Something Like It. Then a superior thriller. Unfaithful was the film that put the same director's Fatal Attraction in the shade and featured a gripping performance from Diane Lane and fine work from Richard Gere. Star Wars again made big money, but this wasn't one of the more beloved films of the series...... Stephen Spielberg came through with a popular and critical hit with Minority Report (with DreamWorks) a futuristic thriller with Tom Cruise, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow, and Lois Smith. The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest came next, a comedy that was not seen in many theatres. in turn, this was followed by Like Mike, a basketball comedy for kids. Jennifer Aniston turned heads with her dark-hued performance in The Good Girl a dark comedy/tragedy, where an affair her character had led, in a roundabout way, to blackmail, robbery, murder, and a hazardous web of dark lies. Jake Gyllenhaal, John C Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson, and Ziooey Deschanel were also featured. In a word, Road to Perdition (made with DreamWorks) was astonishing. This deeply tragic film was one of the best mob films this side of The Godfather, and was a deeply satisfying modern masterpiece with one of Tom Hanks' best performances and the last big-screen triumph for Paul Newman, whose only work after this was on TV or in an animated voiceover. Tyler Hochilin also made a strong impact as Hanks' son. Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Daniel Craig, and Stanley Tucci were also featured, and the film was graced with incredible Oscar-winning cinematography from Conrad Hall (whose last film it was) and a gorgeous, heartbreaking score by Thomas Newman. Supposedly this film called I Love You Baby has ties to Fox. Its listed that way, but I don't see any other ties to the studio beyond mentions on IMDb and Wikipedia. I'll include it anyway. Tis the summer for turning heads. This time, Robin Williams shocked by playing an obsessive sociopath in One Hour Photo. SwimFan was Fatal Attraction for the teen crowd. Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon were aging groupies in The Banger Sisters, also co-starring Geoffrey Rush. Goldie would not appear in another film for 15 years after this. The Transporter was an action film that spawned a few sequels. Brown Sugar was a romantic comedy that featured Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan. Solaris was a remake of the 1970s Soviet Sci-Fi classic, this time made by Steven Soderberg, and starring George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, and Viola Davis. Drumline was a comedy that proved successful involving half-time entertainment The year closed with Denzel Washington making his directorial debut in Antwone Fisher. He also starred as a psychiatrist hoping to help the troubled youth of the title, played by Derek Luke. Viola Davis was featured.
  19. The new millennium started rather inauspiciously with Monkeybone, a dark comedy with Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg. Say It Isn't So was another risque comedy again trying to shatter taboos. Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear starred in Someone Like You, a calmer sort of comedy then the other two. The comedies kept coming with Kingdom Come, a vehicle for African-American talent. And then, something notorious. Freddy Got Fingered was quickly slammed as being one of the worst movies ever made. It could only be up from that, and Moulin Rouge was up to the task. A hyperkinetic, music video like film, it scored a Best Picture nomination and featured two perfect performances (and singing talents) in Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. Grit was back in style with Sexy Beast, a harsh British thriller, that received raves for Ben Kingsley's unhinged villain. Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, and James Fox were also featured. So, Eddie Murphy one upped Rex Harrison, and was able to get a sequel out of Dr. Doolittle, something Rex never had. Jet Li and Bridget Fonda were teamed for the martial arts thriller Kiss of the Dragon. This was Fonda's last major studio film to date. Planet of the Apes was resurrected, but it would be another decade until the reboots became successful. Charlton Heston had a cameo, and this was one of his last films. The Deep End had new trappings, the saga of a woman trying to hide a murder that she felt that her gay son had committed, but in actuality it was a loose remake of the 1949 noir The Reckless Moment. This time around, the Joan Bennett and James Mason roles were filled by Tilda Swinton (in a much praised performance) and Goran Visnjic. Another misstep with Glitter, a would be starring vehicle for Mariah Carey, produced with Columbia Pictures handling overseas. Michael Douglas returned to Fox for a psycological thriller, Don't Say a Word. Joy Ride was a teenage take on the famed TV movie Duel. Waking Life, admired by many critics, was a surreal animated film from Richard Linklater meant for adults. From Hell had Johnny Depp and Heather Graham in a take-off on Jack the Ripper. Much gore involved. The comedy Shallow Hal was supposed to be about inner beauty, but most magazines just kept talking up the point that Gweneth Paltrow was appearing in a body suit in part of the film. Black Knight was a comedy that came and went in a flash. Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman were the headliners for the war film Behind Enemy Lines And the year closed with another comedy: Tim Allen in Joe Somebody
  20. 2000 started with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton in the moody The Beach. Fox had big expectations for this that were not fulfilled. The Closer You Get was the raunchy tale of Irish men longing for women. So they put in a classifed for American women to visit. It didn't go well..... Soft Fruit was an Australian import involving several siblings who were trying to fulfill the dying wishes of their ailing mother. Here on Earth was a teenage romantic weepie. Where the Heart Is was one of those films that bit off more than it could chew: teen pregnancy, alcoholism, child abuse, kidnapping, tornadoes, train accidents, loss of limbs, ruthless agents, turncoat mothers.... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Natalie Portman, James Frain, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack, and Sally Field starred. Channing and Judd seemed to be the ones best suited to the material. Martin Lawrence donned a dress for Big Momma's House which spawned two sequels. Titan AE was a post-apocalyptic animated featured aimed at teens, and with the vocal cast including Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, Nathan Lane, and Jeanane Garofalo. The teens didn't want to see an animated film, so this quickly died, and took Fox's own animation studio with it. This is the last film to date to be shown in CinemaScope. Jim Carrey was a split personality of shocking extremes in Me, Myself, and Irene. Renee Zellweger, Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, and Richard Jenkins were along for the ride. So X-Men arrived on July 14 of 2000 and started this superhero film climate that is still so prevalent today. Michelle Pfeiffer was about to find some unsavory things about husband Harrison Ford in the supernaturally themed thriller What Lies Beneath, also with Diana Scarwid. Fox released this overseas, DreamWorks handled the US. Sunset Strip was a saga of young lives suddenly changing circa 1972. Woman on Top with Penelope Cruz was a comedy that started brightly, but the longer went on, it cracked under its weight. Digimon was an animated spinoff from a TV series for children. Bootmen was an Australian comedy, yet another to try to capture the underdog feel of The Full Monty. Colin Farrell headed to Hollywood for Tigerland, a film set in a training camp at the time of the Vietnam conflict. The newest remake coming to the fore was Bedazzled. In place of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, it was Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley. Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding Jr and Robert De Niro was the true story of a trailblazer in the Navy. Robert Redford returned to directing with The legend of Bagger Vance, which Fox did international work on (DreamWorks handled US). The mystical golfing saga starred Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron, and was the final film for Jack Lemmon. Things took a turn for the provocative with Quills, a saga of the Marquis De Sade. Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine, and Billie Whitelaw starred. Dude, Where's My Car was aimed at the stoner trade. And capping the year was another team up with DreamWorks, this time with Fox taking the domestic release: Cast Away, a survivalist drama with Tom Hanks in a much praised performance. Helen Hunt was also featured.
  21. 1999 started with Vince Vaughn starting over in A Cool,Dry Place This was followed by Simply Irresistible, a youth oriented comedy. Office Space became a popular cult film for disenchanted workers. 20 Dates was a faux documentary of a man's attempts to land a girlfriend and a movie career. Wing Commander was a quickly produced sci-fi film met with savage reviews. Ravenous meanwhile was a western horror film involving cannibals. Drew Barrymore was at her most charming in the lovely Never Been Kissed, which glowed with good-hearted humor. John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie, and Cate Blanchett formed a romantic square in the comedy-drama Pushing Tin. Among Giants told of a stormy romance between Pete Posteltwate and Rachel Griffiths. A Midsummer Night's Dream took the Shakespeare play to the 1800s. Michelle Pfeiffer was Titania, Rubert Everett was Oberon, Kevin Kline was Bottom, Stanley Tucci Puck. Seran Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones made an unlikely couple in the heist film Entrapment. Star Wars Episode I was the biggest box office hit of 1999 and opened to waves of press, but many were hostile to it. Bridget Fonda, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, and Meredith Salinger were trying to outwit a killer crocodile in the horror comedy Lake Placid, while foul-mouthed Betty White was trying to feed it. Brokedown Palace was to women and Thailand what Midnight Express was to men and Turkey. WhiteBoyz was a hip-hop spoof Best Laid Plans was a neo-noir that costarred Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin. Sex, Shame, and Tears was a super provocative film from Mexico. Drive Me Crazy was a teen romance. Hillary Swank won an Oscar for the unflinching Boys Don't Cry, the story of an actual murder case. Fight Club has become entrenched as some sort of modern classic, but at the time of its release, the box office wasn't that great and the reviews were mixed. Dreaming of Joseph Lees was a British romance with Rupert Graves and Samantha Morton. Light It Up was a teen hostage thriller Susan Sarandaon was a super flaky mother and Natalie Portman her frustrated, but more sensible daughter in the episodic but fascinating Anywhere but Here. Both ladies excelled. As 1999 closed, Fox turned to an old favroite for a new film. Jodie Foster and Chun Yow Fat appeared in a sumber but sumptuous Anna and the King. And the last Fox backed release of 1999 was Titus with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange in Shakespeare's most ruthless play.
  22. 1998 began with an action thriller, Firestorm. A postmodern spin on Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, now moved from England to Florida and New York was supposed to be released at the end of 1997 but was pushed back to late January 1998. Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke (back again so soon), Skeet Ulrich, and Vincent D'onifrio were a gang of vintage criminals in Richard Linklater's The Newton Boys. The affection here that Jennifer Aniston is hoping for isn't going to happen as she and Paul Rudd were platonic friends (he was gay) in this film, which costarred Nigel Hawthorne. Two Girls and a Guy with Robert Downey Jr, Heather Graham, and Natasha Gregson Wagner (Natalie Wood's daughter) was one of those rare studio films that received the notorious NC-17 rating. Shooting Fish was a British crime comedy. Warren Beatty's Bulworth started out as a strong and scathing satire, but lost its way as it progressed. Big cast though. Slums of Beverly Hills was an earthy, 70s set tale of a teenage girl obsessed with her body and her very eccentric relations and acquaintances. Natasha Lyonne, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, Rita Moreno, Carl Reiner, and Jessica Walter were featured. Hope Floats was an episodic comedy drama that gave Sandra Bullock a good chance to play a woman left a mess after her husband's admission that he was having an affair with her best friend --- on nationwide TV. Gena Rowlands provided fine support as her eccentric mother. Jessica Lange starred in the decadent adaptation of Balzac's Cousin Bette, but as a fast-living actress, Elisabeth Shue stole the show. The popular sci-fi series The X-Files headed for the big screen for the first time. Dr. Doolittle was back again. Not a musical this time. And with a vein of many **** jokes. Eddie Murphy starred, and the film succeeded. And speaking of ****, There's Something about Mary was like a bomb going off in the comedy world due to how outrageously vulgar it was by 1998 standards. As such, people went to it in droves. Continuing the earthy theme, Polish Wedding (a film with a misleading title) was about a flirty teenager who becomes pregnant and her attempts to lasso the reluctant father into marriage, while her force of nature mother was having an affair of her own. The film got better as it went along, and was helped tremendously by Lena Olin's flavorful performance as the mother. Drew Barrymore did a turn in a tale much like Cinderella in Ever After. Anjelica Huston was the stepmother, and even Jeanne Moreau appeared in it. Angela Basset starred in How Stella Gets Her Groove Back, the tale of a woman who fell into a relationship with a man half her age (Taye Diggs) Whoopi Goldberg played her dying friend. The Imposters was fun. Despite an R rating for some language, the film was a breezy farce and throwback to the screwball comedies of the 30s with mistaken identities and slamming doors. Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt, Lili Taylor, Isabella Rossellini, Billy Connelly, Woody Allen, Alison Janney, Alfred Molina, Steve Buscemi, and Richard Jenkins were all featured. Denzel Washington, Annette bening, and Bruce Willis were in The Siege, a film that was wildly controversial for its portrayal of Muslims. Waking Ned Devine was a wily Irish comedy involving a small town's scheme to cash in on a big lotto jackpot after the only person with a winning ticket died from a heart attack from the shock. Ian Bannen starred, and the film had one of the more outrageous death scenes in any film I can recall. 1998 closed with The Thin Red Line, a long war film that was very contemplative. Those contemplative passages were more interesting than the actual long battle scenes, where it seemed like many of the soldiers blended together.
  23. 1997 started with the dark, brooding neonoir, Blood and Wine, a good film with strong work from Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, and Judy Davis. Smilla's Sense of Snow had a preposterous sci-fi twist near the end of its main story, but don't let it stop you. the film was gripping, elegant, suspenseful, beautifully filmed and very well acted by Julia Ormond, Gabriel Byrne, Richard Harris, Robbert Loggia, Jim Broadbent, and Vanessa Redgrave. More Power Rangers for the kids, but they didn't budge from home. Love and Other Catastrophes was an Australian romantic comedy. Joaquin Phoenix, Liv Tyler, Billy Crudup, and Jennifer Connelly starred in Inventing the Abbotts, a more provocative take on all those Troy Donohue teen dramas of the late 50s-early 60s. Paradise Road was a fine film about female POWs. Many strong performances here; Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett (her big debut), Frances McDormand, and the glorious Pauline Collins. Back to disaster films with Volcano, the film where the La Brea Tar Pits were filled with lava. Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche spent their time dodging them. The Van was a quirky Irish comedy directed by Stephen Frears Rupert Graves and Julie Walters starred in the dark Intimate Relations, the film version of a real life murder case. Speed 2: Cruise Control was the second most hated sequel of 1997. The Sandra Bullock starrer disappeared quickly. Now it was time for an amiable comedy. Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Brent Spiner, Dyan Cannon, Gloria De Haven (final film), Elaine Stritch, Donold O'Connor, Edward Mulhare, and Rue McClanahan in the likable Out to Sea. Star Maps was essentially a California take on Midnight Cowboy. The Full Monty involving desperate unemployed men who agree to do a revealing night of exotic dancing was a surprise hit and a Best Picture nominee. It had its moments. Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin were trapped in the wild in The Edge. Ewean McGregor made his American debut in A Life Less Ordinary, an eccentric romantic crime fantasy with Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter, Ian Holm, and Stanley Tucci. The Ice Strom, a tale of dissolute amoral lives in the wealty Connecticut suburbs, was brilliant. One of 1997's best films. Fine, searing script, strong direction, powerful performances from Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Cristina Ricci. Fox took hold of the children's film The Wind and the Willows in Canada only. Cold Around the heart was a crime film barely released. Anastasia was an attempt to go after Disney's domination of animated musicals, and it was actually wonderful, and better than Disney's Aladdin that year. Good songs, fine vocal cast: Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Kelsey Grammer, Hank Azaria, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters. Sigourney Weaver returned to play an Ellen Ripley clone in Alien: Resurrection. Home Alone 3 was an attempted reboot of the slapstick series. Audiences didn't take it, perhaps do to the disconnect between how the crooks all seemed like they would be too clever and mean to fall for such painful booby traps and how they stupidly walked into all of them. Continuing with the kids, at least in Australia with The Wiggles Movie, a version of a preschool show for the big screen. Again Fox only had part of a Best Picture winner, again they didn't handle it in the US, but when it was as praised and as successful as Titanic, I don't think they were complaining. the year closed with Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett as two 19th century gamblers in love in the admired Oscar and Lucinda, directed by Gillian Armstrong.
  24. 1996 opened with a primate in a hotel in the kiddie film Dunston Checks In. Yes, Faye Dunaway was one of the supporting players. John Travolta and Christian Slater starred in the bombastic Broken Arrow, not to be confused with the 1950 Western. It was a success in revenue, not with critics. Down Periscope starred Kelsey Grammer in a spoof of sub films. Girl 6 was a provocative effort from Spike Lee involving those notorious 900 numbers. Janeane Garofalo scored a big hit as the lead in the romantic comedy The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Samuel L. Jackson and Jeff Goldblum starred in The Great White Hype, a sports comedy Bernardo Bertolucci was back with the steamy Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler and Jeremy Irons. Independence Day was the big hit of 1996, but it probably did lower the IQ of screen blockbusters to follow. Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan were the stars of the strongly received Courage Under Fire, which detailed the investigation looking to see if Ryan's character, killed in the first Gulf War, should posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman ,and Rachel Weisz starred in the thriller Chain Reaction. She's the One was from The Brothers McMullen team and had the law of diminishing returns, desite a bigger budget and some name players. John Mahoney had all the best moments. Tom Hanks directed for the first time with That Thing You Do, about a one-hit wonder band in the 1960s. Critics liked it. Al Pacino starred in Looking for Richard, a notable documentary of his attempts to stage Richard III. Shakespeare was then modernized in Romeo + Juliet, a flashy, popular teen film. Bob Hoskins, Patricia Arquette, Gerard Depardieu, Christian Bale, and Robin Williams then took a stab at joseph Conrad. The holiday toy mania was satirized in the manic Jingle All the Way. The Crucible should have been better than it was, but the whole thing was just too shrill. Paul Scofield was brilliant though as the judge presiding over the Salem Witch Trials, and Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen underplayed nicely. The year closed with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer in the pleasantly screwball One Fine Day, a modern set film but one with a 40s sensibility to it all. Cute.
  25. Well, this is where I came in. My birth year. And also a year that had one element that would ensure some interesting things from Fox in the future. Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog was a survival tale involving a boy and his dog lost in the wilderness. Bye Bye Love had Randy Quaid, Paul Reiser, and Matthew Modine as divorcees who had different feelings about the whole experience. Janeane Garofalo got what few good notices the film received for playing a catastrophic blind date. Another year, another remake of a 1947 film. This time it was Kiss of Death with Nicolas Cage trying on Richard Widmark's shoes..... French Kiss was an agreeable enough rom-com with two appealing leads in Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline and beautiful French scenery. Timothy Hutton had a thankless supporting role. Bruce Willis was fighting against terrorists again in Die Hard with a Vengeance. Jeremy Irons was the main scoundrel. Fox only handled Braveheart overseas, but by doing so, they had their first stake in a Best Picture winner since 1971. The film had beautiful cinematograhy, a stirring score, and good support from Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormick, and Brendan Gleeson. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was meant for the kids and they went for it. Star power can't disguise a subpar script. Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, and Joan Cusack, likable performers all, struggled with the messy script of Nine Months and came up short. Some scenes play well, while others are wincingly, painfully bad. Bushwacked was meant for kids. It got a PG-13 rating, and ever since, the home entertainment cuts of this film about a criminal turned leader for a scout troup have been edited down to PG. The Brothers McMullen was a shoestring-budgeted charmer that dealt with three brothers and their relationships. A small film, but one that announced a big change for 20th Century Fox. After several quite dire years, Fox decided to dip their toes into the more thoughtful waters of independent filmmaking, and founded Fox Searchlight Pictures, mostly dedicated to the cream of independent filmmaking. This was the division's first release and the only one for 1995. It would become much expanded after this, and provided Fox with many of its best titles from this point on. A Walk in the Clouds was a glorious throwback. It was swooningly romantic, thematically rich, a truely luxurious time, all done mostly in the style of a 50s romance (well, minus two raunchy scenes). In short it was a treat. Keanu Reeves had his best part in the lead, and Anthony Quinn had one of his last appearances here. Ralph Fiennes, Angela Basset, and Juliette Lewis navigated a dystopian version of 199 in the disturbing Strange Days. Basset was back again in the year's final film, Waiting to Exhale, a popular release with many women that came with a hit soundtrack and also starred Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon.
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