Posted: 01/15/2003


At the Movies 2002

by D. Patrick Seitz

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Top Ten Movies of 2002
#1 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

#2 The Count of Monte Cristo

#3 Frailty

#4 Insomnia

#5 The Ring

#6 The Mothman Prophecies

#7 The Man From Elysian Fields

#8 Solaris

#9 Chicago

#10 Jackass: The Movie

Note: While I feel that the other titles on this list speak for themselves, I feel compelled to defend my decision to include Jackass: The Movie on my list of the best films of 2002. The show upon which this movie was based has been much maligned for the injuries sustained by dozens of idiotic teenagers, hurt while trying to emulate the featured stunts. From where I’m sitting, having dumb teens try to jump over moving cars is Darwinism at its finest. Who knows what inestimable good was done to the gene pool in the weeks and months following the release of this film, what with certain teens taking themselves out of the reproductive running? Thank you, Johnny Knoxville, on behalf of guerilla eugenicists everywhere.

Honorable Mentions

Panic Room

Spirited Away


Worst Ten Movies of 2002

#1 Slackers
I was watching this for free on cable, and actually appeared in a scene or two of it myself, and still couldn’t be convinced to watch for more than two minutes. The singing penis/sock puppet was just about all I needed to see, and hearing Jason Schwartzman cackle “I’m bad…I’m bad!” while giving the chronically underfed James King a poster of a monkey was probably about as good for my brain as huffing rubber cement fumes.

#2 Reign of Fire
I hope Matthew McConaughey thought “I shaved my head for this?” when he saw the final product. The coolest part of this movie was the dragons vs. helicopters battle royal over London depicted in the poster—which never occurs in the movie. The poster was based on a photo that one of the characters finds in a magazine. Wankers, all. Christian Bale is better than this. They all are.

#3 Fear dot com
This movie was all the worse for having to try and hold up to retroactive comparisons to last year’s film The Ring, which covered similar topics much more adroitly. My personal favorite part of this movie was when a character matter-of-factly tells investigators that she let her young hemophiliac daughter play unattended in the local abandoned steel mill. But for the popcorn salt and grease on my fingers, I would have just buried my face in my hands for having shelled out $6 for such tripe.

#4 They
I saw this for $2.50 as part of a drive-in double-feature, and still felt cheated. You don’t give a damn about any of the characters, you know they’re going to all get eaten/killed/whatever by the dark ghouls that you never quite get to see…need I say more? Ethan Embry needs work, folks, and if we don’t get it for him, he’ll just keep whoring himself out in crap like this. Please help.

#5 Brotherhood of the Wolf
Good thing the Nazis weren’t werewolves, ‘cause the French don’t seem to know how to deal with either one. Actually, that’s misleading; there aren’t any werewolves in Brotherhood of the Wolf…just some stupid lion in a wicker basket. Yeah, a wicker basket. And you’d like to think that I’m kidding about that, right? If only it were that simple…

#6 Kung Pow! Enter the Fist
See my review.

#7 Eight-Legged Freaks
See my review.

#8 XXX
See my review.

#9 Queen of the Damned
You have to work hard to make vampires boring subject material for a film. Obviously, all parties involved with Queen of the Damned worked very hard.

#10 Kate and Leopold
I didn’t actually see this movie, but I’m sure it would have made the list if I had. At a higher spot on the list, doubtlessly. The studios tweaked the film when somebody pointed out that time-travel within the film may have led to unexplained theoretical incest between a character and their own child (who grew up in the same period, and were contemporaries, until one goes back in time to marry the other’s great-grandfather). I’m sure we have some fundamentalist group to thank for figuring that one out. Besides, even if the studio hadn’t lacked the cajones to withstand external pressure, how is this film any different than countless historical romance novels? How many women left the theater, wishing for their own trip back to a time before they had any sort of legal rights?

D. Patrick Seitz is a teacher and a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.

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