Posted: 01/10/2002

 

My 10 Best and Worst of 2001

by Hank Yuloff




Film Monthly Home
Archives
Wayne Case
Interviews
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Horror
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Television
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

I didn’t realize how many movies I saw this year before preparing this list. I so enjoy going to the movies and further enjoy sharing my biased opinions with all of you. Since I feel that part of the reason reviewers exist is to help other moviegoers decide what to see, I have given you some expanded lists so you can compare your opinions to mine. All the better to use my 2002 reviews to avoid that crap and enjoy the good stuff. So with apologies to my fellow reviewers…

First the good stuff: I liked a lot of movies this year. I laughed, cried and finished lots of films before I finished my popcorn and Diet Coke.

The Top Films of 2001

Here are my 5 Oscar Nominations as the Top 5:

Lord of the Rings—Not quite the book, but WOW!

Life as a House—This movie is why we sit through all of the movies like Tailor of Panama. Kevin Klein should be nominated for best actor. I wonder how the story would develop if Klein wasn’t dying.

Moulin Rouge—Dazzling Eye Candy.

Training Day—Powerful. Denzel and Hawke were awesome. With the turning of day into evening, this was two movies in one.

Memento—I need to see this again, re-cut in normal order.

Here are the rest of my favorite movies of the year (in approximate order):

Comedy:

#1 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back—Just Fucking Funny.

#2 Heartbreakers—Second best scene of the year: Kevin Nealon being used by Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Love Hewitt as a toy.

#3 Monsters Inc.—A great story about those monsters we all had in our closets.

#4 A Knight’s Tale—Modern Rock and Roll in a Medieval times setting.

#5 Skrek—Too cute for the room!

#6 Saving Silverman—Jack Black kills! Jason Biggs as a poor schmuck who’s too p-whipped to know any better.

#7 Bridget Jones Diary—The only problem is that Bridget was supposed to be unattractive. Renee Z is cute and Bridget is so sweet that we never what is supposed to be a girl that’s a 5.

#8 Not Another Teen Movie—It’s on this list because I was laughing the whole way through.

#9 America’s Sweethearts—John Cusak and Julia Roberts in a great love story choreographed by Billy Crystal.

#10 One Nite at McCool’s—Liv Tyler in shorts washing a car. Oh dear.

Drama:

#1 Tortilla Soup—Hector Alizondo in a wonderful “small” movie. A great movie about family relationships. And no one dies.

#2 (tie) KPAX—Kevin Spacey in another “out of this world” part.

#2 (tie) Vanilla Sky—I heard good, I heard bad. This is a freaky movie that never dragged and kept me constantly wondering where the line between reality and dreams was drawn. That feeling stayed with me when I left the theater. I’m still not sure.

#3 Blow—Depp, Cocaine, and the 70’s. Excellent. Almost as good as Traffic.

#4 American Rhapsody—How the cold war effected the child of an escaped family.

#6 Monster’s Ball—The best acting I’ve ever seen for Halle Berry. Billy Bob was excellent, as always.

#5 A Beautiful Mind—Russell Crowe was tremendous.

#6 Ocean’s 11—Elliot Gould is not getting the kudos he deserves. Much better than the original.

#7 Hannibal—Scene of the year: Having Ray Liotta for dinner.

#8 3000 Miles to Graceland—I will watch this one over and over.

#9 Enemy at the Gates—Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes and Rachael Weisz are small cogs in a huge war.

#10 The Pledge—Not one of Jack Nicholson’s best, but that’s still better than most everyone else.


Actors I hope get nominated:

Uma Thurman for Tape
Kevin Klein for Life as a House
Denzel Washington for Training Day
Ethan Hawke for Training Day and Tape
Guy Pearce for Memento
Hector Elizondro for Tortilla Soup
Tony Goldwyn for American Rhapsody
Ray Liotta in Hannibal
Russell Crowe for A Beautiful Mind
Cate Blanchett for either Bandits or Charlotte Gray
Tom Cruise for Vanilla Sky
Jason Lee for anything. He’s a great supporting actor in everything he’s in.
Worst Movies of 2001
So many to choose from this year, but here are the baddest of the bad.

#1 The American Astronaut—Worst piece of crap imaginable. People who make movies this bad should not be allowed to make any more.

#2 The Blair Witch Project—Yea, it came out in 1999 but I’m still pissed at how bad it was. Scariest movie ever, my ass.

#3 Planet of the Apes—the last 5 minutes did it. Would have been better with apes on the space station.

#4 A.I.—Artificial Intelligence—THE SECOND HALF. I liked the first half but as soon as the aliens showed up, I was done.

#5 Kill Me Later—Should have been killed before production began.

#6 Anti-trust—This is on the list because I was so disappointed in the movie vs. the trailer. Too many plot holes.

#7 Exit Wounds—Just bad action.

#8 The Mummy Returns—This one should be given back to the museum of bad flicks. The worst thing that can happen to an action film: It was slow.

# 9 Sugar and Spice—Anyone else remember that Bring It On was bad? This was worse. Cheerleaders go bad and we don’t even get a little T&A.

#10 Tailor of Panama—Most dreadful flick of the year that has a former Academy Award winner involved in the acting.

The rest of the putrid:

1. What’s The Worst That Could Happen?—This one. Or The American Astronaut

2. Tomb Raider—Hanging in my office is the 6’ by 15’ movie poster of Tomb Raider. You know, the one that shows Jolie all strapping and buff?. I wish the movie had lived up to the poster. It isn’t a bad movie, but it was my most disappointing film of the year. I wanted more than I got.

3. Driven—One of the funniest movies of the year. Oh wait… It wasn’t a comedy? Then it goes onto this list. BUT: There is a redeeming quality: One of the Best Trailers of the year was the first one for driven without any dialogue, just quick clips of action.

4. The Wedding Planner—See the trailer, avoid the movie: The guy gets the girl in the end.

5. Final Fantasy—Great technique and very stylish. But a bad, predictable story.


Worst Movies of the Year I actually did not see:

I know that at FilmMonthly our motto is “We see ‘em so you don’t have to,”

but sometimes I just can’t do it. There are some movies that are so bad, you should know it from the ads.

#1 Corky Romano—Chris Kattan is just too over the top. Not like Andy Kaufman over the top. But unfunny Carrot Top over the top. It MUST be me. Or not. I dared any of the other reviewers to do this one. No takers.

#2 Monkey Bone—Still sounds like a sly reference to a porno flick.

#3 The Animal—OK, like Deuce Bigelow, I will probably end up seeing this on cable and thinking it was mildly amusing.

#4 Black Knight—Oh, so bad an idea. If only it hadn’t come out in a year with three3 other Medieval times movies. Or if it had not come out at all.

#5 Bubble Boy—Even the trailer sucked.

#6 Freddie Got Fingered—Tom Greene. The rich man’s Chris Kattan. At least he gets to see Drew Barrymore naked every day. Oh, wait, he’s an idiot for divorcing her. Hey Drew…come on over!!!

#7 Out Cold—Oh, God. Please don’t make me see even the trailer again.

#8 The Royal Tennenbaums—I got taken in by Rushmore, and as The Who’s song says: “We won’t get fooled again.”

Hank Yuloff is an entertainment industry entrepreneur in Los Angeles.



Got a problem? E-mail us at filmmonthly@gmail.com