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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 2001


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The new millennium started rather inauspiciously with Monkeybone, a dark comedy with Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg.

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Say It Isn't So was another risque comedy again trying to shatter taboos.

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Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear starred in Someone Like You, a calmer sort of comedy then the other two.

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The comedies kept coming with Kingdom Come, a vehicle for African-American talent.

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And then, something notorious. Freddy Got Fingered was quickly slammed as being one of the worst movies ever made.

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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.

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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.

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So, Eddie Murphy one upped Rex Harrison, and was able to get a sequel out of Dr. Doolittle, something Rex never had.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Another misstep with Glitter, a would be starring vehicle for Mariah Carey, produced with Columbia Pictures handling overseas.

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Michael Douglas returned to Fox for a psycological thriller, Don't Say a Word.

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Joy Ride was a teenage take on the famed TV movie Duel.

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Waking Life, admired by many critics, was a surreal animated film from Richard Linklater meant for adults.

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From Hell had Johnny Depp and Heather Graham in a take-off on Jack the Ripper. Much gore involved.

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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.

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Black Knight was a comedy that came and went in a flash.

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Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman were the headliners for the war film Behind Enemy Lines

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And the year closed with another comedy: Tim Allen in Joe Somebody

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Someone Like You is one of my favorite modern rom-coms and Ashley Judd also became a personal favorite on the basis of this movie. Hugh Jackman makes a great irksome male, until he isn't. Tony Goldwyn, known more as an actor, really distinguished himself as the director, keeping the essentially feminist point of view intact while keeping the movie breezy and amusing. He had previously directed another favorite film, A Walk on the Moon, with standout performances by Diane Lane , Liev Schreiber and Viggo Mortensen. 

Glitter instantly entered the pantheon of all-time great bad showbiz movies. It's a totally fabricated showcase for Madame and joined over-inflated vanity projects like Mahogany and Streisand's A Star is Born as cautionary examples in the cinema firmament. I know Mariah can act; I saw Precious, but the self-aggrandizing humble brag that is Glitter piles cliché upon cliché in such a way that she's only required to be, the ultimate goal of these films. I had an inkling and raced to see it in its only theatrical showing in probably a hundred mile radius and was not disappointed. It's still a guilty pleasure when I've given up on the world and only the finest trash will do. 

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My top picks:

  1. Sexy Beast
  2. Joy Ride

I've also seen MonkeyboneSay It Isn't SoSomeone Like YouMoulin RougeDr. Dolittle 2Kiss of the DragonPlanet of the ApesThe Deep EndDon't Say a WordWaking LifeFrom HellShallow HalBlack KnightBehind Enemy Lines, and Joe Somebody.

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