||5 January 2002
|Pretty good Las Vegas casino heist movie starring
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia.
A clever plot smoothly executed by director Steven Soderbergh.
An enjoyable movie.
||12 January 2002
|This movie stretches the mind, imagination, and emotions.
It is beautiful, stunning, and thrilling. Vanilla Sky is a must-see
||Behind Enemy Lines
||13 January 2002
|Owen Wilson plays Lt. Chris Burnett, a disillusioned
Navy flight navigator who gets shot down over enemy air space. He's
been a thorn in the side of his commanding officers, but when this
event takes place, career Navy commander Adm. Leslie Reigart (Gene
Hackman) goes above and beyond the call of duty to get Burnett back.
It's Wilson's first action movie, but Hackman's an old hand at the
high-ranking military officer jaunt. Wilson pulls it off surprisingly
well, and the movie is quite enjoyable.
||Black Hawk Down
||22 January 2002
|This war (or perhaps I should say "military action")
movie is based on activities of US troops in Somalia. It centers
around an operation gone horribly wrong in Mogadishu. It is less
centered around a plot and more aimed at giving an experience as
close as possible to the reality of war. When things get hot,
confusion reigns, people get left behind, everything goes horribly
wrong. Even good commanders can be caught in a situation they can't
deal with, and this movie gives us situations like that which leave
the soldiers in them at the point of desperation and breakdown.
Whether it is strictly factual or not (and I really don't know how
factual it is) is really beside the point. It does give a pretty
harrowing experience, and that seems to be what director Ridley
Scott set out to do. My only criticism is that at some points it
seems like it could have been less drawn out, and the movie could
have been shorter, but perhaps this was necessary to carry across
the emotions which are experienced by the soldiers involved.
||The Royal Tenenbaums
||26 January 2002
|I was really expecting more from Wes Anderson (director
of Rushmore). This movie manages to be about
a whole lot of things but really about absolutely nothing. I found it
pretty vacuous on the whole. There were rare occasions for small
amounts of laughter, but it was never particularly hillarious. Not a
particularly recommendable movie.
||Kate & Leopold
||27 January 2002
|Kate & Leopold is an absolutely charming romantic comedy
starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman. Director James Mangold really hit
the nail on the head with this movie, spot on. Wonderful!
||16 March 2002
|This movie will have you rolling in the aisles (or, as
the case may be, on the floor in front of your sofa) laughing. It's
not quite up to the standards of Pixar in terms of CGI or in terms of
rewatchability, however it is very very good fun.
||23 March 2002
|Blade II is a worthy follow-up to its predecessor,
Blade. It's got astoundingly good fight
choreography, flawless effects, and a good story to boot.
||29 March 2002
|Panic Room is a thriller with a very large amount of
intelligence. Where in your typical suspense thriller, you find yourself
going, "No! Don't open that door!" ... and, of course, they do... in
this movie, every time you find yourself thinking they should do something,
they do, and when you think they shouldn't do something because it's stupid
and going to get them killed, they don't. Very refreshing indeed. Great
suspense and a clever plot. This movie takes what would seem a very limiting
idea and expounds wonderfully on it, resulting in a rivetting film.
||The Sweetest Thing
||20 April 2002
|Very funny in places, but kind of forgettable.
||20 April 2002
|An arrogant lawyer, Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck), flees the
scene of an accident where he collided with the car of an insurance
salesman, Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson), because he has to get to a
court appointment in a big hurry. This event throws Gipson's life into
utter chaos when he misses a court appointment of his own because of
this, and results in a very high stakes game of legal finagling and
shady illegal acts when Gipson realises that he is in posession of a
very important file that Banek dropped at the scene. The plot is fairly
simple, but the story is told well.
||Murder by Numbers
||20 April 2002
|Cleverly styled and slick thriller with some nice twists,
starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin as homicide detectives Cassie
Mayweather and Sam Kennedy, pitted against two highly intelligent but
slightly over-cocky teens; the bookish Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling)
and the popular, bored rich kid, Justin Pendleton (Michael Pitt (II)).
The tale is very well told, the acting is excellent, and it's overall
a very worthwhile thriller. I saw it a second time, with friends who
had not seen it, on 2002.05.17.
||28 April 2002
|The Rookie is a charming drama suitable for all the family.
Despite it being a G-rated (General Admission) movie, it really is an
engaging, heart-warming film. It's a rare occasion indeed that I go to a
Disney movie (especially a non-animated one) at the cinema, but this was
||The Scorpion King
||29 April 2002
|This prequel to the Mummy [Returns] series was pretty thin
on plot, and not exactly high on acting, but was fun and action-filled.
If you go in looking for a fun, action-packed movie, and are not looking
for depth, you'll be rewarded. It was enjoyable. Really, what were you
expecting? If your expectations were wrong, you will be disappointed.
||Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (DLP)
||20 May 2002
|After the travesty that was Episode
I, it was extremely refreshing to see Episode II. This movie is truly
a movie deserving of the Star Wars moniker. While dialogue is often
cheesy as hell (that'll teach them; don't let George Lucas write
dialogue!), the plot is quite intricate, things actually happen, it's
actually relevant in the overall 9-movie scheme of things, and the action
and effects are just wonderful. If you can ignore the cheesy candle-lit
love scene (which was unintentionally hillarious), the giant rabbit-cows
and rolling in the grass spouting cliches, this movie really is fun.
It's well worth seeing, and it's a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours.
Oh, by the way. You really do want to see this on a DLP (digital) screen
if at all humanly possible. If you've missed your chance to do that, a
good home DVD/Audio system should do a reasonable job.
||7 June 2002
|When Jake Hayes' brother is killed during a crucial CIA
operation, he is recruited by the agency to take his brother's place.
He doesn't fit in at all, but he's intelligent, catches on, and starts
to fit in better than he or anyone else would ever have suspected in
this alternative CIA spy movie. Enjoyable and rather clever.
||20 June 2002
|Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe and Kirsten Dunst star in this
very nicely produced super-hero movie. The effects are nicely done, the
action sequences wonderful, and the story engaging. It was far better than
the trailers lead me to believe it would be.
||The Bourne Identity
||22 June 2002
|The Bourne Identity is a typical Robert Ludlum book (Ludlum's
books are generally entertaining spy novels which don't require a lot of
effort to read, often read in airports and on planes and so on) which has
been rather surprisingly well rendered into movie form. I was impressed. It
was indeed entertaining, full of action, and a fun couple of hours.
||Men in Black II (MIIB)
||4 July 2002
|The sequel to Men in Black is a
worthy sequel. It could have been a pale immitation with all the same
jokes, delivered badly, and no originality... but it's not! The same team
of actors (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rip Torn, et al.) team up for
another hillarious intergalactic romp. Men in Black II (also advertised as
MIB 2 and MIIB) is worthy of your movie-going dollars.
||5 July 2002
|Based on a typically intelligent and dystopian Philip K. Dick
short story, Minority Report is an intricate and twisted sci-fi thriller.
Extremely enjoyable movie. The only bad bit is the nauseating fridge scene.
If you've seen it, you know what I mean, and if you haven't, you will when
you see it. Went to see it a second time on 2002.07.27.
||The Sum of All Fears
||9 July 2002
|The movie was fairly nicely translated from the book,
with minor modifications to bring it a little more in line with current
affairs... however the one big problem is Ryan! In the book, Ryan's been
with the CIA and around the block and had adventures. In the movie, they
depict him as totally wet-behind-the-ears and socially inept and a bit of
a dork. What we know from the books and from movies like The Hunt for Red
October (the one truly great rendering of a Tom Clancy novel into movie
form) is that while Ryan may be thrown into a situation he wasn't
expecting, asked to do something way outside the scope of what he signed
up for, he is extremely intelligent, and he falls on his feet through
quickly working out all the angles, thinking 10 moves ahead. In The Sum
of All Fears, Ryan (played by Affleck) seems to be thrown into situations
where he's out of his element, and he gets out of them by dumb luck. He
goes through the movie seemingly bemused, confused, in over his head, and
just lucky to survive. Ryan should be thrown out of his element, but
should never be in over his head. It just doesn't ring true.
Truly, the only film which depicts him at all properly is the
aforementioned The Hunt for Red October. Alec Baldwin is the perfect
Jack Ryan. He looks the part, he's the right age, and he plays the part
in such a way that the character truly seems intelligent as he should.
Harrison Ford, while I think he is a wonderful actor, just isn't suited
to playing Ryan, at least not at the ages at which he played him. Affleck
might be able to pull it off, but we will probably never know if it was
bad directing or bad acting that caused him to fail so abysmally at being Ryan. I rather suspect it was bad directing. All that said, however, the
movie was quite entertaining and I don't feel cheated out of the price of
||Lilo & Stitch
||12 July 2002
|The best animated film to come out of Disney (directly) in
... well, ever! Hillariously funny, wonderfully endearing, and with jokes
for children and adults alike, this movie is brilliant. I loved it!
||Reign of Fire
||14 July 2002
|Reign of Fire is an action-packed, special-effects fest about
a post-apocalyptic world in which dragons have risen from their place in
mythology, taken over and scarred the planet. A bunch of gung-ho Americans
team up with down-trodden English people to battle the dragons and end their
tyranical reign of terror. The movie is packed with fire and explosions,
and is really rather fun, despite having acting of somewhat questional
quality and questionable science too. It does do one or two slightly
unexpected things, which is good, and it's actually quite funny in a couple
of places. Not a bad couple of hours at the movies at all.
||K-19: The Widowmaker
||2 August 2002
|This tense thriller is yet another great submarine movie.
It is not the easiest movie to watch. It is somewhat draining, however it
really is very good indeed. Harrison Ford is excellent indeed as the
brooding Russian sub captain.
||25 August 2002
|This movie is pretty much one big adrenaline rush. See it
expecting an action movie with loads of cool stunts, cool effects, corny
jokes, and a fun story, and you won't be disappointed. Vin Diesel fits
the part just right. He even manages to pull it off while wearing an
amazingly poncy coat. I mean, really. If you want a brain-relaxing
action-fest, this is perfect. I definitely enjoyed it.
||3 October 2002
|M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth
Sense, Unbreakable) has written and
directed another really good movie and, like in his other movies
(although I had not previously realised this), he plays a character
in the movie also. Signs is a suspense thriller, and it's a good
one. It is a little slow at times, but it is nonetheless engaging.
Definitely worth seeing.
||6 October 2002
|The prequel to the The Silence of the Lambs and
Hannibal, this is really very well done, and with stars Edward
Norton, Anthony Hopkins, and Ralph Fiennes how could it not be
good? Well, it is good. Very. It's cleverly written and has a
few nice twists. It's occasionally really nasty, but one kind
of has to expect that with this subject matter. If you can
stomach it, you should see this movie.
||Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
||12 October 2002
|Hayao Miyazaki has produced another masterpiece. Sen is
visually beautiful and enchanting, with an engaging story which will
pull you in, child or adult alike. Disney's English dub is really not
too bad, surprisingly, and so kids or people who aren't used to subtitles
may get to appreciate the movie better (not miss the beautiful animation)
if they see it dubbed, but obviously for the true afficionado, you'll
want to see it in the original Japanese and subtitled if you can.
||Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
||13 October 2002
|Total mindless action flick. Lots and lots and lots of
action and explosions and gun battles. Sometimes going way off the deep
end and turning utterly ridiculous with slow-me close-ups of people
firing guns (but thankfully not too often). It is, nonetheless, amusing,
and if you want to turn off your brain, sit back, and relax for a while,
it's really not a bad option at all. I needed precisely that on the
evening I saw it, and so it fit the bill nicely!
||My Big Fat Greek Wedding
||15 October 2002
|It's a tad slow at times, but My Big Fat Greek Wedding
has good characters, an amusing story, and funny situational humour. It
is a very character-driven story, and the characters and the actors
playing them are excellent. Well worth seeing.
||19 October 2002
|This is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen.
It moves a little slowly at times, but I believe that that was very
deliberate; part of constructing the atmosphere. The premise of this
movie is that there is an urban legend that has been going around
about a video tape where if you watch it, as soon as you finish watching
it, you get a phone call and a voice tells you that you're going to die
in seven days... and you do. The only thing is, the urban legend is
frighteningly true. This movie is as much about what it doesn't tell you
as about what it does tell you. It will have you hanging on the edge of
your seat, crawling back into it, and leaping out of it. When you think
it's over, it isn't. The effects are disturbingly realistic. This movie
should probably have a warning from the Surgeon General... but if you
like being scared, this movie will blow your mind.