Feature Blogs

The Best, Worst & Strangest Of 2002

Created on Tuesday, 07 January 2003 21:00
Written by Matthew Toomey


So to kick off the new year, I was going to reflect back on last year and some of the memories that made it worth remembering.


Total Movies Seen in 2002:


158. Insert joke here.


Most Talked About Films:


Mulholland Drive and Crackerjack. No one saw Mulholland Drive at the cinemas but thanks to many recommendations by myself, they’ve seen it on video. No one has a clue but then again, neither do I. It’s fantastic to have one film gather so much conversation – it gives people something to talk about after a movie has ended (very rare). It’s certainly a quirky film and deserves to be the best of the year. The trailer for Crackerjack sucked and I had no expectations. I should have trusted my faith in Mick Malloy because not only was it one of the wittiest Australian comedies ever, it had people talking too. Everyone came up to me and said “have you seen Crackerjack yet?” There were seemingly no bad reports and despite the film being in release for over 2.5 months, you can still find it in a few cinemas across Brisbane. An impressive effort.


Film With The Best Quotes:


Ghost World. Every minute I was chuckling and if you haven’t seen this black comedy with Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi and Scarlett Johansson, it’s on video very soon. So here are some quick samples:


Alcoholic Customer: Do you serve beer or any alcohol?
Enid: I wish! Actually you wish... after about five minutes of this movie, you're gonna wish you had ten beers.


Rebecca: This is so bad it's almost good.
Enid: This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again.


Seymour: I can't relate to 99% of humanity.


Enid: I liked her so much better when she was an alcoholic crack addict. She gets in one little car wreck and all of a sudden she's Little Miss Perfect and everyone loves her.


Enid: I think only stupid people have good relationships.
Seymour: That's the spirit.


Enid: We need to find a place where you can go to meet women who share your interests.
Seymour: Maybe
I don't want to meet someone who shares my interests. I hate my interests.


Seymour: Well, I have to admit that things are really starting to look up for me since my life turned to shit.


Freakiest Film:


Donnie Darko. I’d ordinarily name Mulholland Drive here but since I discussed it up above, Donnie Darko gets the nod. It’s on video in a few weeks and hell, it’s as freaky as Mulholland Drive. There’s some amazing camera work, an eerie soundtrack and a key scene with star Jake Gyllenhaal and Patrick Swayze in a school auditorium. Make sure you see it.


BIFF’s Best:


Y Tu Mama Tambien. It’ll only get better with age. The highlight of this year’s Brisbane International Film Festival and appears on a large slice of top 10 lists around the world.


Most Important Film Of Year:


Bowling For Columbine. No issues there since I think it was the only documentary I saw all year. I don’t care because it was the most important film I’ve seen in year. It had me thinking long and hard about my own beliefs and values. It’s the highest grossing documentary in U.S. box-office history and must be seen by everyone in the world as soon as possible.


Eating My Words:


Halle Berry. Up until the start of the year, I hated Halle Berry. She had done nothing as an actress up until the start of the year and I considered her an “award show darling” who has milked her way to the top. Well, having seen Monster’s Ball, I was proven wrong. To spice it up, I won $700 on her at the Academy Awards after snatching 9-2 odds and placing a tidy $200 wager. So from the bottom to the top of the list she goes.


Throwing Up My Words:


Reese Witherspoon. Up until the start of the year, she was my favourite actress. Now I’m revaluating in the light of this new “commercial” version of Reese. Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama were big box-office wise but certainly not worthy of her talents in my eyes. The Importance Of Being Earnest showed there’s still hope but with a sequel to Blonde due this year, I’m holding grave fears for poor Reese.


Most Memorable Cinema Experience:


Dalkeith. A digitally made Australian film which was pathetic. It wasn’t released anywhere but I had the chance to see it at a Queensland Greyhound Authority night at the Palace Centro. The film is about a group of elderly residents who own a greyhound and race it and win millions. It’s so bad, I could not control my laughter for the last 45 minutes. I tried to hold it in, especially with the producer in the cinema, but it was all too much. It was the hardest I have laughed in any circumstance, all year. So how bad was it? Well for the last 15 minutes of the film, the audio and video were out of sinc by at least 2 seconds. Does it get any worse?


Worst Trailer Experience:


Before The Two Towers, they played the trailer for the upcoming Analyse This. A few people chuckled at a small number of jokes. But then, they incorrectly played the trailer for a second time. No one laughed. Not only was it a stupid mistake, it left quite an impression at how bad the film will be when released on Thursday week.


Spookiest Statistic:


Traditionally, the nominees for best director usually mirror the best picture nominees at the Oscars but each year, there’s usually one exception. Well it seems the exception to the rule is usually the key to predicting my favourite film for the year. Here’s the bizarre trend: In 2002, my favourite film of the year, Mulholland Drive, was nominated for best director and not best picture. In 2001, my favourite film of the year, Billy Elliot, was nominated for best director and not best picture. In 1999, my favourite film of the year, Being John Malkovich, was nominated for best director and not best picture. That’s pretty spooky, don’t you think? I wonder if the trend will continue this year?


Unluckiest Number:


8. During the last 3 months of the year, 3 films were released starting with Eight. Eight Legged Freaks, Eight Crazy Nights and Eight Women. The problem was, none of these films were much good.