Crash Landen’s Best 20 Of 2002

There were quite a few that I didn’t quite put on the list.  I thought The Sum Of All Fears was decent as were The Time Machine remake, the British suicide dramedy On The Edge, Imposter (with Gary Sinise), and We Were Soldiers… I also have to give an Honorable Mention to Bubba Ho-Tep. I REALLY enjoyed that one, but it had too many flaws to make the cut.

A special mention goes to the documentary Lost In La Mancha. It covers the travails and tribulations of director Terry Gilliam as he tries and fails to bring the story of Don Quixote to the big screen.

  The Truth About Charlie (Bumped but a fun breezy movie. Thandie Newton is great in this one along with Mark Wahlberg in this remake of the classic movie Charade by Jonathan Demme.)
#20 Dirty, Pretty Things (Not perfect, but entertaining about immigrants. Chiwetel Ejiofor is great in this along with Tautou. Tautou got top billing, though, because she was coming off the success of Amelie. Ejiofor was in the movie much more than Tautou was if I remember correctly.)
#19 The Pianist (Some may think this one’s too low, but as much as I liked it, the story is very straight forward and without a lot of complication. With one exception, the film is entirely predictable. That’s surprising considering the director. Still worth seeing, though.)
#18 Punch-Drunk Love (Adam Sandler’s Best Movie IMO. I loved the bizarre love story. Probably should be higher on my list. It’s a great movie if you don’t mind some of the harder edges…)
#17 Hero (Startlingly beautiful visuals. It makes up for a story that is told repeatedly within the story over and over, each time in a slightly different way before it reaches the climax. Story’s not terrible by any means; it just got a little repetitive.)
#16 Catch Me If You Can (Offbeat and Hanks is great in this, as is DeCraprio.)
#15 About Schmidt (A very un-Jack Nicholson-like Jack Nicholson role. It’s deals with some very serious true to life matters while retaining its sense of humor.)
#14 May (Very quirky horror comedy, that really makes you feel for the tragic anti-heroine May. There are some heart breaking moments towards the end and it does NOT shy away from the HORROR aspect. There’s one scene in particular that shuts one eye for me and turns my head from the screen. AWESOME movie! This like Punch-Drunk Love maybe should be a little higher.)
#13 Frailty (Very under-rated. Has several twists and one shot that alters how the movie is viewed. Worked a little better when McConaughey was less well known, though, I think.)
#12 28 Days Later (NOT A ZOMBIE MOVIE! But a really  fun infection movie.)
#11 Russian Ark (This would have been much higher if not for 2 things. It’s very, very slow and it kind of helps to have a good basis in Russian history to watch this movie, which I do not. All of the accolades it gets are well deserved, though, being filmed in one long continuous tracking shot through a Russian palace and through Russian history…. I repeat: In ONE SHOT. No edits. With the hundreds of actors involved, and the number of times where the whole thing could have been derailed… yikes.)
#10 Signs (One Of M. Night Shamalamadingdong’s better ones. Gets more guff than it deserves. MNS boils his movies down to the bare essentials, generally, so anyone expecting to get an alien invasion… if there is one in the movie… will be disappointed by the lack of FX scenes. He instead concentrates on story and Hitchcock-like suspense.)
#9 Spider-Man (Not perfect, but very enjoyable. Had been waiting to see this since I was a little kid.)
#8 Minority Report  (Great sci-fi/action  flick. First of 2 with Samantha Morton.)
#7 Road to Perdition (One of the better comic book movies… BesidesHanks, and Paul Newman;  Jude law makes for a creepy villain.)
#6 The Bourne Identity (Very exciting actioner which cemented Damon’s career and allowed me to see Franke Potente in a good film. Also features a mostly unknown Clive Owen in a small role and character actor greats Chris Cooper and Brian Cox….)
#5 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien/Peter Jackson’s epic continues.)
#4 The Ring (Was completely unprepared for this when it opened. Thought it was going to be yet ANOTHER crap teeny-bopper horror movie and it wasn’t. I still wouldn’t watch this on videotape.)
#3 In America (Jim Sheridan’s semi-autobiographical story of Irish Immigrants is just a beautiful movie. A lot of the movie is seen through the eyes of 2 children. Yet another great role for Morton.)
#2 Gangs of New York (Intense and well acted. 2nd of 2 with DiCaprio.)
#1 Adaptation (One of my favorite films. Works on several levels and the fact that it didn’t even get NOMINATED let alone win Best Picture that year is shocking to me. God rest Donald Kaufman’s soul.)

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