2002 Film Journal[Return to Film Reviews Main]
Buckaroo Banzai(1/5/02) DVD (***) Lots of extra goodies on the DVD. I hadnít seen this movie for a long, long time. I do like it, but at times it isnít all it could be, somehow.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1/5/02) DVD (***1/2) I got this box set of Woody Allen movies for Christmas from Mom and Rob and Syd. I hadnít watched "Purple Rose" for a long time. I like the magical touch Woody Allen was able to inject.
The Majestic. (1/6/02) Century Cinema 16 (***1/2) I reckon the 3.5-star rating is due to my personal enjoyment of it. Sure it was schmaltzy and Jim Carey ain't exactly Jimmy Stewart, but I sure did like it.
A Beautiful Mind (1/12/02) Century Cinema 16 (***) Hmmm. It just wasnít all it could have been, somehow. I donít know how to explain it. I was very interested in the premise, and I was kind of drawn in, but it didnít take me all the way.
Zelig (1/12/02) DVD (***1/2) The 2nd from my X-mas gift box set. I canít believe Zelig came out in 1983. It seems like so long ago. Oh well. A little goofy at parts, but still very, very fun.
Head (1/??/02) DVD (***Ĺ) Good midfuck movie. Too bad it wasnít close-captioned. I hate it when movies do that.
Vanilla Sky (1/19/02) Century Cinema 16 (***) Not a bad mind-fuck movie. It was cool hearing the "Porpoise Song" from Head.
Jimmy Neutron. (1/22/02) Park Screening Room, PDI (***) I actually enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. It was fun and pretty well done for what it was. Of course it never peaked above a certain point, but it was what it was.
Broadway Danny Rose (1/26/02) DVD (***) This is one of those movies I got for Christmas. I watched it in several sittings over the course of a couple of days. It's a damn fine movie.
Pearl Harbor (2/1/02) DVD (***) Better than I expected, actually, although I didnít expect much, huh? I watched it on the day I got my "surprise" root canal.
Dogma (2/2/02) DVD (***Ĺ) Probably my favorite Kevin Smith movie, I guess.
ET (3/23/02) Century Cinema 16 (****) It was great seeing ET on the big screen again. I thought the new stuff was well-integrated. There are probably some who will bitch about it, but not me. Also, I got to see the new Spider-Man trailer, and boy am I looking forward to that one!
Primal Fear (3/23/02) DVD (***1/2) Tanya and I watched this together. She borrowed the DVD from her boyfriend Jim, who's a lawyer. I thought it was a pretty good movie.
Fiddler on the Roof (3/23/02) DVD (****) Yeah, I know, three movies in one day. I'm trying to catch up, I guess. Incredible film. This is what a "Best Picture" is supposed to be. Wow. Watching it with the 2:1 Cinemascope aspect ratio was great. The Patriot (3/26/02) DVD (***) I stayed at home and watched movies because I was sick. I thought Patriot was okay but pretty predictable at times. It was just formulaic and lacked a sense of honesty in the writing.
American Pie 2 (3/26/02) DVD (***) Enjoyable. Mindless. Nothing more.
The Insider (3/26/02) DVD (***1/2) Pretty good. I guess I like Russell Crowe a little more.
The Lost Weekend (4/5/02) DVD (***) Yeah, I know it won best picture and everything, and I bought the damn thing on DVD, but the fact of the matter is I thought it was a little too over the top and preachy. Sorry, Charlie.
The Usual Suspects (4/6/02) DVD (***1/2) Pretty dang good.
Almost Famous (4/7/02) DVD (***1/2) I really like this movie. It's just so damn warm and gentle and makes me feel good!
Runaway Bride (4/8/02) DVD (***1/2) I hesitate somewhat to give this movie the full 3.5 stars. Why? Well, because although I really did like this film, there were a lot of romantic comedy genre elements to it. Ah, hell.
The Red Violin (4/10/02) DVD (***1/2) I watched this with Tanya. She'd seen it a couple of times before and recommended it. It was pretty darn good and I liked the seamless flow of time in the film. Nice.
Donnie Darko (4/13/02) DVD (***1/2) Really good, fun movie. I was surprised by the quality of the direction and cinematography for what was essentially a low-budget independent film.
They Might Be Giants (4/18/02) DVD (****) Watched it with Tanya.
Shadowlands (4/28/02) DVD (***) The last time I watched this was with Meg and she hated it. Having read "Mere Christianity" I have more of an appreciation for it.
Ali (5/13/02) DVD (***) I thought it was pretty good, especially the punching.
Eat Drink Man Woman (5/17/02) DVD (***Ĺ) Great fun.
Ocean's Eleven (5/19/02) DVD (***) Likeable. Simple fun.
Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone (5/29/02) DVD (***Ĺ)
Time Bandits (6/1/02) DVD (***) Half-watched while going through old magazines.
Insomnia (6/1/02) Century Cinema 16 (***) Well-done, intelligent, well-acted.
Lost in Space (6/1/02) DVD (***) Half-watched while going through magazines.
About a Boy (6/2/02) Century Cinema 16 (***1/2) Good. Real laugh out loud funny.
Sum of all Fears (6/2/02) Century Cinema 16 (***) Yeah, I know. Going to THREE movies in one weekend. What the hell am I thinking? I saw the Ebert & Roeper review and they said Baltimore got nuked and I decided I wanted to see that. It was okay, I guess, but I have a hard time buying Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan.
Life as a House (6/5/02) DVD (***) I had heard bad things about this movie but for whatever reason I really kind of liked it. I think in general I like movies with life-affirming messages.
UHF (6/7/02) DVD (***) Goofy but fun. It was on sale at Fryís for $9.99. Do I still look like Weird Al? I wonderÖ
Double Indemnity (6/19/02) Stanford Theater (***) I snuck out of work early and went to a double feature with Phil Garret and Hannibal. I hadn't been to the Stanford theater in a long time. As for Double Indemnity, I liked it okay, I suppose, but don't think Fred MacMurray was a very good actor.
Sunset Boulevard (6/19/02) Stanford Theater (****) Wow. Holy Cow, but Gloria Swanson had a helluva lotta guts!
Minority Report (6/20/01) Century Cinema 16 (***Ĺ) PDI screening. Went with Amy. CAFÉís final film effects. It was the best-attended PDI screening Iíve been to.
High Fidelity (6/27/02) DVD (***1/2) Home sick for the day. Rented movies. I absolutely love this movie, even if it does have the F word in it an awful lot.
The Shipping News (6/27/02) DVD (***) I missed seeing this in the theater and it was okay but somehow didn't go all the way for me. I was honestly surprised when I realized it was ending.
Kate and Leopold (6/27/02) DVD (***1/2) The third movie on a day of movie-watching. I enjoyed this far more than I expected to. I thought the love story part of it worked pretty well but the time-travel aspect was fun as well.
Wonder Boys (6/28/02) DVD (***Ĺ) I am in the process of reading the book and thought it would be fun to watch the movie again. I really like the characters and I thought Michael Douglas did a great job.
Mister Deeds (6/29/02) Century Cinema 16 (**) Just to prove Iím capable of utter idiocity, I paid six bucks for this crap. There were one or two funny bits, but I knew a couple of minutes into the movie that Iíd made a terrible, terrible mistake. Why did I go in the first place? I wanted to see Star Wars again and it was sold out!
Mister Deeds Goes to Town (7/2/02) DVD (***1/2) Back in Omaha, Robin happened to rent the original. After seeing the Adam Sandler remake a few days before it was interesting to see what was lifted from the original.
Superman II (7/4/02) Cable (***) God, I can't believe a man can fly. It had been so long since I watched this. The best part of the whole movie was probably Gene Hackman as "Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mastermind of our age."
Gosford Park (7/5/02) DVD (***) I liked it but didn't love it. I didn't hate it, though. I think it helped being able to watch this confusing movie with subtitles on.
Lilo and Stitch (7/6/02) Century Cinema 16 (***1/2) Probably the best Disney movie I've seen in a long time. The most fun, anyhow.
Waking Life (7/6/02) DVD (***1/2) Really great. I have to get a copy of this.
Men in Black II (7/7/02) Century Cinema 16 (**1/2) Likeable, mindless, okay.
Monster's Ball (7/7/02) DVD (***1/2) Smart, interesting, real.
Road to Perdition (7/10/02) Century Cinema 16 (***1/2) Free PDI screening. I went with Amy. It was good. Real good.
The Royal Tannenbaums (7/13/02) DVD (***Ĺ) Quirky and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Royal Tannenbaums (7/16/02) DVD (***1/2) I watched this for a second time within a week because Tanya hadn't seen it yet. It really held up to a second viewing. For some reason I feel a weird connection between this movie and "Harold and Maude."
Austin Powers: Gold member (7/27/02) (***) Kinda lame at times, funny at others.
Signs (8/4/02) Century Cinema 16 (***Ĺ) It was good. It had me jumping out of my seat at times. Unfortunately some couple decided to bring 3 little kids and they were right in my view the whole time.
Shallow Hal (8/15/02) DVD (***) Enjoyable. Made me think a little, which is probably intentional. Nice idea. Predictable at times.
In the Bedroom (8/21/02) DVD (***1/2) Pretty damn good. I know I probably say that a lot and it's not very descriptive, huh? It wasn't completely what I expected. The pacing was interesting. At times it felt very "real."
Evita (9/1/02) DVD (****) Great damn film.
Yellow Submarine (9/2/02) DVD (***) Not perfect, but fun. Made me think about producing animation again.
Flubber (9/12/02) DVD (***) This was one of Mom's picks. Not too bad. Not the original, but okay.
Little Shop of Horrors (9/14/02) DVD (***) Mom's pick. I hadn't watched it in a long time. I was a little more forgiving of Rick Moranis' singing this time around. Also, having watched the original I think I liked it a bit more for some reason.
Kate and Leopold (9/15/02) DVD (***1/2) I know I just watched this a couple of weeks ago, but hey!
Monsters, Inc. (9/17/02) DVD (***) Pretty damn good, but still not as satisfying as Shrek or Toy Story 2. It's almost like all the emotional "chords" are there but not quite in the right places.
The Rookie (9/20/02) DVD (***Ĺ) I really enjoyed this G-rated Disney movie. It made me think about The Straight Story and made me wonder if thereís kind of a deliberate strategy to make good, intelligent G-rated movies.
One Hour Photo (9/22/02) Cinema Center 16 (***) I went to this with Mom and kind of regretted the decision a few minutes into the movie. Afterwards I told her we probably could have found a creepier movie to go to but it would have been hard.
Forrest Gump (9/23/02) DVD (****) Mom's pick for the night. This is just a thoroughly enjoyable movie.
The Tuxedo (9/25/02) Century Cinema 16 (**1/2) Not a very good movie, but at least it was free (PDI screening). Mom liked it. Amy thought it was so-so. It was one of those movies that was kind of out-of-phase with mainstream Hollywood. Odd.
Doctor Doolittle 2 (10/20/02) DVD (**1/2) Mom sure likes those little talking animals.
Cabin in the Sky (11/16/02) Stanford Theater (***) Vincent Minelli's first movie. It's an all-black morality play of sorts. Playing for a predominantly white audience, there was a black family seated behind me that laughed at the racial stereotypes in the movie more than anybody else.
The Band Wagon (11/16/02) Stanford Theater (****) Man, they really knew how to make movies at one point, didn't they? Shit. It was such a damn pleasure to see it on the big screen too.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings -- The Extended Edition (11/23/02) DVD (****) Really good. The extra 30 minutes was great to watch.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (11/23/02) Century Cinema 12 (***Ĺ) You know, I think I liked this one even better than the first one. It was a delight from beginning to end. Itís sad to think that Richard Harris is dead now.
Frida (11/25/02) Century Cinema 12 (***Ĺ) Inspiring story of Frida Kahlo. You also get to see Selma Hayakís breasts a lot. I was wondering how they talked her into doing that until I saw in the credits she was one of the producers.
The Emperorís Club (11/28/02) Century Cinema 12 (***) Iím a sucker for movies about schoolteachers. This one didnít quite have the same magic and depth as some of the movies itís been compared to: Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Dead Poetís Society.
Solaris (11/29/02) Century Cinema 12 (***) Went to it with Mom. I tried to watch the original version with Dan Mundt a long time ago and wasnít able to sit through it. This version is beautifully filmed and there were a lot of smart directorial decisions made. However, it seems like a very little amount of story stretched out over almost two hours.
The Ring (11/30/02) Century Cinema 12 (***) I passed up an opportunity to see for free back on Momís birthday. It was scary and I donít know how I feel about the ending.
Spirit (12/03/02) DVD (***1/2) Watched my free copy with Mom and Tanya. It's really too bad that it didn't do better business. They really did do a good job on it.
Princess Mononoke (12/5/02) DVD (***) I watched this as part of a "movie night" at Joyce Fan's place in San Jose. I'm hard-pressed to say whether or not I liked the movie, honestly. I had a hard time following it at times. It was also hard to tell who to root for.
Austin Powers: Gold member (12/6/02) DVD (***) Watched this on DVD with Mom. I still think this is definitely the least funny of the Austin Powers movies. Still watchable.
Treasure Planet (12/7/02) Century 12 (***1/2) I can't believe this movie is tanking at the box office. Really well written, really well executed. What the hell happened?
Singiní in the Rain (12/8/02) Stanford Theater (****) It's so nice to see an honest-to-God four-star movie! I went to SITR with Mom and Kevin Rodgers. It was a "new" print, but somehow it seemed really constrasty to me. I wonder why? Am I a "film print" snob? Perhaps.
Singin' in the Rain (12/14/02) Stanford Theater (****) Went with Mom and Candy.
Catch Me If You Can (12/19/02) Century 12 (***) Free PDI screening. Went with Mom. Pretty okay movie. Kind of slow, though. I'm almost tempted to give it **1/2 rating.
Ice Age (12/20/02) DVD (***) Pretty damn good effort by those guys at Blue Sky. Iím glad I ended up at PDI and not there.
Far From Heaven (12/21/02) Guild Theater, Menlo Park (***Ĺ) What an incredible film. Now the thing is, I donít know that it was the story so much as the incredible technical achievement. I mean, it was just like a film from the late 1950ís. It managed to capture something really remarkable. Very thought provoking.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (12/24/02) DVD (**1/2) I don't think I've seen this movie since I was a young kid. It was a lot better then, I think. The movie is actually really long and a lot of it doesn't make too much sense. The kids are annoying and the songs and dance numbers don't do anything to advance the plot. I remember the "childcatcher" character really disturbed me as a kid. I think he gave me nightmares.
Gangs of New York (12/27/02) (Century 12) (***) Pretty amazing and bloody movie. Martin Scorcese is really a master. The performances were great, and yet I didn't personally love it. Maybe I just couldn't ultimately relate to the story.
Hollywood Ending (12/27/02) DVD (***) Every Woody Allen movie is different. Hollywood Ending was well shot and looked pretty professional, compared to "Small Time Crooks," for instance. A lot of Woody Allen's humor seemed kind of rehashed and a lot of it didn't work. Not bad, though.
Mouse Hunt (12/28/02) DVD (**Ĺ) Somehow better than trash. Almost likeable. But is there anything in the film by which I could really recommend it? I think not.