Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Decade of Movie Memories: 2005


Bring on 2005! Now we are getting to films being on the list and that I've actually reviewed! How exciting is that, I find it very exciting. I didn't start writing online until 2006 but 2 of the films of 2005 made various lists of mine therefore ended up being written about after the fact. Looking at the memories from 2005, it looks like an even split between genre films and dramas and I think as we continue into the second half of the decade the scales will tip to favour genre over drama by far.

As with previous years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 the parameters or the list are films seen theatrically, no series included and films are listed in the chronological order in which I saw them. This is a list of favourite movie memories, not a best of list.

Huge hit when it hit TIFF, where it was recommended to me and later went on to sweep the Genies winning 11 awards. Was a shoe in for my first 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen list for all that and just general Canadianness. And it's absolutely fantastic coming of age film.

The Squid and the Whale
Seeing this was a memorable experience for two reasons. First - one lady in the audience just couldn't handle was the youngest character was doing at times, and kept sighing and snickering with a "This isn't appropriate!" tone. She might have even said "Oh, dear." or "Heavens to Betsy", and it was partly annoying but partly funny. The second reason I found it memorable was it felt so familiar - set in early 80's revolving around a family that is breaking apart and usually I'd feel distanced with a story about a family with 2 sons (and no daughters) but it was completely accessible regardless of gender. How refreshing!

I've praised Constantine before and I'll praise it again and again. What pulls me right into this film is the innovative, clever and rich design of the film from ideas to costuming. For that it made my The most influential films to me list and Tilda Swinton's fantastic performance as Gabriel made my Favourite Film Characters list. It's listy goodness! I often watch this one around Halloween and it's great on repeat viewings.

Sin City
I was hesitant to see Sin City, the uber violence and harsh characters didn't draw me in but the unique visual style piqued my interest to get me to the theatre. But once I was there? Oh boy. So bored. I think it's the only time in my adult life I left the theatre and didn't care if I missed anything while I was gone. I used to describe it jokingly that the best part about it was Mickey Rourke, which doesn't make much sense now that we've had the release of The Wrestler.

The Interpreter
This one is a bit of an anomaly for me. I saw it in the theatre with my Mom, we both thought it was okay but not stellar but it really stuck with me. In years since then I always get caught by it if it's on TV and can't turn away - which is something usually reserved for dance films or silly comedies, not international crime thrillers about relationships and... language. Mystifying.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Another film I saw with my Mom - this time at the Bloor after theatrical release but before DVD. I remember it opening to only lukewarm reviews, not a huge surprize given it's cult-like fandom and obvious book to film adaptations challenges. Due to those lukewarm review, expectations were really low and as a result I ended up loving the film! Mos Def and Sam Rockwell cracked me up, and a great small role played by Bill Nighy. I thought it did a lovely job incorporating the spirit of the book in these crazy unbelievable moments. I do wish I had liked the main character a bit more but other than that - it was completely fun!

Another choice that had a huge cult following, this movie is based on the characters and world of the too short lived TV series "Firefly". Being a fan of the series I knew I had to see it but wasn't sure if my sister Jamie who hadn't watched it would be willing to come - but she was (thank you Jamie!) and boy did we have a good time. The theatre was full of fans who welcomed the film like an old friend. Shiny.

King Kong (2005)
Like The Interpreter, this is a film that I'm a little torn on but in this case I know the why. There are lots of little moments in King Kong (2005) that I love, they capture a certain idea, beauty, decision, emotion or realization. And they are all in the first section of the mammoth 3hr + film. I could watch the beginning of this film again and again, but the rest of it is so long and leaves me tired - not from watching a long film, but what we see people go through actually makes me weary. But my goodness I love the beginning, and almost all the scenes with Naomi Watts, both her and Adrien Brody have lovely performances here.

Walk the Line
Because, it's The Man in Black. Gotta love Johnny Cash biopic, especially when it is done this well. Heartbreaking & inspiring all at once.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Looking back 2005 had an odd number of nostalgic type films, and this one felt familiar but in a different way than The Squid and the Whale did which isn't surprizing as Narnia is fantasy, or magical realism if you prefer. Why The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is familiar is because it's about the adventures of four siblings and being someone who comes from a family of four siblings it's really nice to see this on screen. It's a unique bond, rarely do we see relationships of more than two siblings, let alone four! And I love the magic of it, and am thankful that the religious overtones were toned down for the film.


Univarn said...

Love Serenity, didn't know of Firefly until it came out, and have been fans of every cast member since. I've also been a big proponent of Jackson's King Kong, which I know is a rather polarizing film. I also enjoy Sin City on occasion but it's very much a mood film, and extremely polarizing.

Andrew James said...

Squid and the Whale!! Still in my top 10 of the decade!

And I need to revisit Walk the Line. Loved the shit out of it that year, then I had sort of an internal backlash against it for some reason. Maybe because I'm Not There is infinitely better in the creativity and interesting department.

But I shouldn't judge a movie based solely on other movies. Witherspoon is awesome in that movie and I love the music. Have to rewatch soon. Hey get rhythm.

The Mad Hatter said...

Ah KING KONG...another moment of opening night magic. It's been too long since I've watched this, but I was really impressed by it. It seemed to build on the soul of the original and give it a louder voice.

Not an easy trick to pull when you're talking about a remake!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Oh, surprized to see the King Kong love! There is something quite amazing about it but man, it makes me tired.

That's wild you saw Serenity before Firefly Univarn! I hope you've had a chance to enjoy the series.

Squid and the Whale worked for you to Andrew? That's awesome. It feels pretty underseen but wow it's a powerful film. Wonder what is with Walk the Line there, I know there was some tension around during the Oscar show, I can't remember exactly what it was - maybe Reese didn't thank Joaquim .. something like that. I still love it though, can't go wrong with Johnny Cash in any format.

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