Posted: 02/01/2004


Hank’s Film Rant 2003

by Hank Yuloff

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Here’s my list, but first a rant:

This year Sharyn (beloved wife who puts up with my going to all of these flicks) and I rang up a near record amount of hours spent in the dark at the multi-plex. We saw 68 movies. This brings me to a couple of points:

Attention: The following movie chains owe me money (billed out at my usual $75/hour): Mann Theatres $300, Pacific $250, AMC $150, Laemmele $75. You made me sit through so many f-ing commercials before we even got to the trailers, I think the least you could do is lower the price of popcorn. C’mon, $6 for a large? Are you f-ing kidding me? And you keep showing the same commercials. Attention Los Angeles Times, Moviefone, Mazda, Levi’s, Master Card, and Sprite: fuck all of you for showing so many ads and not having the decency to change them. KCRW, you are off the hook because your ads are interesting. A special bottle of venom to the AMC Woodland Hills where they are showing video commercials for 20 minutes before the start of the movie.

And as to the fine folks at here is my message:

You are charging $9.75 for a movie. That’s TEN dollars. Are you f-ing kidding me? Just a couple of years ago it was $7.50 And judging by the movies I saw, they haven’t gotten 30% better. If you want people to get your movies “the old fashioned way,” lower the prices. And while I am at it, what’s with the first commercial you showed, with the Set Painter David Goldstein. Could you find a guy with a worse grasp of the English language to plead your case? By the way, where is he exactly on the IMDB? I could not find him. Is he… just an actor? Now fuck off and start the damn movie before I run out of $6 popcorn.

Bottom 12 For The Year 2003

We spent an average of $30 (tickets, soda, popcorn or M&Ms) for each of these pieces of shit. Learn from my mistakes and don’t see them on screen, don’t rent them and for god sake, don’t watch them on cable. This goes double for you if you are a Neilson family (that’s you, Bud!): Cat In The Hat—Tasteless garbage masquerading as a kid movie. The name is the only relation to the wonderful books.

Good Boy!- This wouldn’t even qualify as a bad after school special.

Le Divorce—Boooooooring. How can sex and a mistress be bad? Oh, yea… Bad storyline. While I am at it, Alex and Emma did nothing for Kate Hudson, either.

In The Cut- I LOVE Meg Ryan. I got to see her tits. The other 120 minutes were dreadfully bad. At the end of the movie I got that “Oh, no… They’re NOT ending it here are they? They never got to the point?”

The Battle of Shaker Heights- The HBO making of show was good. The Project Greenlight they turned out should have never made it out of the pitch stage.

Duplex- Love both leads but it was just to painful to watch them here.

Anger Management- If you only see one Jack Nicholson movie from 2003, don’t make it this one. It was Nicholson vs. Sandler. Sandler won. This one stunk.

Bringing Down The House/Cheaper By The Dozen- Dear Steve Martin, Please change agents. This one is killing my opinion of you.

The Core- Bad, bad, bad science fiction. With all those movie scripts floating around Hollywood that never get made, how did this one get through.

Elf- I promised my wife she would enjoy this. I hate breaking promises to her. Bored out of my mind.

The Triplets of Bellville- I heard a couple of our reviewers liked this boring piece of French animation trash. No accounting for taste. and as always…

Blair Witch Project- A couple of these were close, but this is still the worst movie in 5 years.

Bottom Of The Barrel Special Edition: Sequels That Should Not Have Been Made

Matrix Reloaded- Note to director XXXXX. If you are going to do a second and third movie continuing a storyline… Talk to Peter Jackson and ask how to do it.

X2 XMen United- 2nd time to the well was one time too many.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2- I have the movie poster for the first one in my office. I’d rather imagine this one never came out to ruin my image of the first.

American Wedding- Don’t get me wrong. I love tits and ass as much as anyone I know, but this was the third time to the well with these folk and Eugene Levy not withstanding, it was no where near as good as the first two instalments.

Worst Re-Make of the Year

The In Laws- I didn’t like the first one all that much. There was not reason to make this one, either. The story wasn’t any better. The acting wasn’t any better. What a waste of their time and my money.

Top 15 For 2003

If you read Editor Del’s review of this year, you might get the impression that there were not that many good movies that came out. Well, if you are NOT a writing snob teaching at a prestigious college in Chicago, you might have some other opinions. Here are my favorites of the year. The first 5 I would list as my choice for the Oscars:

Lord of the Rings, Return of the King- Cut off the last 10 minutes and this movie could have been down right perfect.

The Event- You never heard of this? I don’t doubt it. It’s a million $ budget movie that was incredible. Go find this one at the video store. It is completely worth the hunt.

Big Fish- I cried. I admit it. Albert Finney should be nominated for an Oscar.

Master and Commander- A big story about a small event. Wow! It completely filled the screen.

The Last Samurai- If M&C was a big story about a small event, then this one is a close look at a major event. Cruise and Watanabe carried this film for 2 ½ hours and I didn’t look at the watch once.

Finding Nemo- Fun. Funny. Cute story. Well done.

Secondhand Lions- Duval’s second appearance on my list. This was fun.

Thirteen- No one’s Junior High experience is complete without drugs, drinks, petty theft and sex.

Swimming Pool-. This movie’s story could have been interpreted several ways, that is why it is on my top of 2003 list

House of Fog and Sand- The feel good comedy of the year… Not. I needed a breather after this one. It really stayed with me. Nominations, please for Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly.

Stories about America Section of the Top 10 List:

In America- A beautiful story about a family coming to and beginning to make it In America.

Seabuscuit- A great story.

Monster—Theron’s performance alone brings this movie to the top of the 2003 class. Nomination please, for Charlize Theron.

Open Range- I love a good western. This one ranks with Silverado and Blazing Saddles.

Cold Mountain- I so wanted a Hollywood happy ending.

The Best Of The Rest

These are the movies that I find most people missed because they were busy going to the top grossing movie of what ever week this one came out. Here is your rental list for the year:

Shattered Glass- What a tragic story. What a great movie. If you missed this rent it right away.

Matchstick Men- Nicky Cage and Alison Lohman were great. Just enough twists!

Phone Booth- Different. Excellent.

Lost In Translation- This one just missed the best of the year. I’d give Murray a nod for best actor. I really liked this fish out of culture story.

A Mighty Wind- Not as good as Best in Show, but very much worth the rent if you like quirky humor.

The Guru- Quirky. Funny. And the dance numbers were great.

Bend It Like Beckham- Rent this one with The Guru for a an all Indian night of entertainment. I loved this movie.

Mystic River- I was a little disappointed in the story, but the acting was very solid.

Pirates of the Caribbean—Dear Disney, If you’re going to blow the remake, don’t bother making it.

Whale Rider- A movie critics are supposed to say they loved for the art.

People I Know—This is one I would love to see again on cable. No Pacino’s best of the year (see Angels in America), but very good none the less.

Movies That Appealed To My Sick Sense Of Humor

Bad Santa- Way too dark to amuse some folks. Luckily I love dark stuff. Nominations please, to Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox.

Final Destination 2- OK, so I was the only one in the theater laughing. This was one sequel I enjoyed as much as the original.

Old School- This was just funny enough. If Will Farrell had been this good in Elf…

Best Makeout Movies To Get You Horny

For the Guys:
Swimming Pool- OH… MY… GOD… Just look at her! Not to be confused with Swimfan, this movie is great in the water and on dry land.

For the Girls:
Love, Actually- Yea, I cried. BTW- I gave my wife the Joni Mitchell CD AND the sparkly thing. See the movie and you will understand.

An Independent Production Movie You Should Go Rent


Busiest Actor In Hollywood: Naomi Watts

Since the beginning of the decade she has starred in or is about to star in 15 movies.

And Finally—The I’ve Been Thinking Of Taking Prozac Section…

Dear Hollywood, we saw, in a period of a month, the following movies: 21 Grams, Mystic River, House of Sand and Fog, Cold Mountain, Monster, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, Osama, In America. Could you take a break on the depression-fest for a while? Good movies all but good gosh, take a pill for Christ sake.

Well, that’s my list for 2003. If you disagree with any of my picks, that’s OK…There is, after all, no accounting for taste… As you can see from MY picks.

Oscar Party at my house!

Hank Yuloff is a Hollywood entrepreneur who watches way too many films so he can impress his Hollywood insider friends.

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