Most & Least of
by Tony Medley
Here’s my list of the most
enjoyable and least enjoyable/most disappointing/most overrated films I
saw during 2004. I’ve changed the negative category to include some
films that, while not the worst, were overrated.
- Hotel Rwanda: A nail-biting story about
one man’s ordeal to save his family and others during history’s
fastest genocide that Bill Clinton, the U.N., and major U.S. media
ignored; keeps you on the edge of your seat and has the added
advantage of being true.
- The Notebook: A poignant, moving,
tear-jerking, old fashioned love story with a terrific performance by
- Miracle: The best sports film ever, with
real hockey players as actors, resulting in the most realistic action
you’ll ever see in a sports film.
- Passion of the Christ: This is what it
probably really was like to be scourged and crucified. It’s about time
we saw what Jesus actually went through. Not for faint of heart or
- Ray: The best musical biopic ever and
Jamie Foxx wins the Oscar
- Meet the Fockers: I laughed every minute,
if not more.
- Mean Girls: I’m supposed to be interested
in a story about high school girls? Against all odds, this delightful
comedy enchanted me.
- Touching the Void: The true story of a
mountain climber, who fell into a crevasse, broke his leg, was
abandoned by his climbing companion, and lived to tell the tale.
- The Bourne Supremacy: As good a chase
film as you’ll ever see; for me to praise a Matt Damon film, well, it
had to be terrific.
- Stage Beauty: The story of the end of the
line for Shakespearean male actors portraying females in
post-Elizabethan England with bravura performances by Billy Crudup and
- Motorcycle Diaries: Two young guys take
the trip of a lifetime riding their motorcycle through South America.
One turns out to be vicious Communist revolutionary Ernesto “Ché”
Guevara. Too bad Producer Robert Redford couldn’t resist foisting his
factually incorrect doctrinaire political opinion on the audience at
- Sacred Planet: I’ve never seen more
magnificent shots of the earth we inhabit. The music is wonderful.
There’s one song with drums beating jungle rhythms that is worth
buying the CD by itself. My only criticism, at 45 minutes, it’s too
- Birth: Compelling atmospheric mystery
about a 10 year old boy claiming he’s Nicole Kidman’s husband who died
10 years previously. Don’t like Nicole in a bathtub with a
prepubescent boy? It was an essential part of the plot, grow up!
- Beyond the Sea: I loved the music, even
though I deplored the absence of Bobby Darin’s voice and did not like
Kate Bosworth as Sandra Dee.
- Riding Giants: The best surfing movie
- The Big Bounce: An Elmore
Leonard-inspired caper film set in Hawaii with a charming Owen Wilson;
I liked it even though it went almost straight to oblivion.
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: If
all movies were this bad, my job would be a lot more fun.
- Million Dollar Baby: A dark, depressing
movie celebrating negativity, lack of hope, and giving up.
- I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: Shot in low
light, the big problem was that you could actually see and hear
- Every Dennis Quaid movie: To be specific:
“The Alamo,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Flight of the Phoenix.”
- Fahrenheit 9/11: Lies elevated to art by
leftwing media and Hollywood pseudo intellectuals.
- The Aviator: A long, appallingly
superficial reductio ad absurdum of Howard Hughes, showing him
as a lovesick oddball, and bordering on defaming Katharine Hepburn and
her parents. Did I mention that it was long? Very long. Very, very
- Alexander/Troy: Hahahaha. Oh, you mean
you were serious?
- Kinsey: A story about sex that’s…boring.
- Against the Ropes: Meg Ryan (the
aforementioned Mr. Quaid’s ex) attempts to resurrect her career in a
dismal boxing biopic that grossly distorts reality.
- Spanglish: To call it ignorant and naive
would be giving it too much credit.
- Alfie: A vapid remake of a mediocre
- Anchorman: So dumb it’s insulting.
- Before Sunset (or Ethan Hawke Needs a
Chemistry Lesson): We’re supposed to be sympathetic to a creep
who’s ready to dump his wife and four year old son back home in
America for a Parisian floozy he’s known less than 12 hours. The only
things worse than the premise are the acting and the script, which was
written by the actors, so that should explain something.