Hello, everyone! Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good and restful holiday season. Mine was good. I hung out with Peggy a lot, saw a bunch of movies, helped my folks pack up their house so they could make their big move to the country, read graphic novels, finished a big chunk of rewriting, and played Splinter Cell on my aging XBox (I say aging because in recent months it's stopped recognizing discs I put into it -- even brand new ones). Anyway, I've had good times.
Because it's the beginning of a new year, and this is generally the time for year-end lists, I thought I'd put up my own list of best and worst films of 2005. Not a top ten list but rather a list of The Best Movies I Saw in 2005 (in order of viewing). I saw 45 movies in the theater this year (Batman Begins and Sin City twice) and a whole passel on DVD, but I haven't seen all the "important" movies of 2005 yet. Movies like Match Point, Junebug, You, Me, And Everyone I Know, The Squid and the Whale, or The New World, for example, and I likely won't get to these for a few weeks or, possibly, at all. So if I do a traditional top ten list, it'll have to be after I've seen some of those. So, without further preamble:
The Best Movies I Saw in 2005 (in order of viewing, not goodness):
2) Sin City
3) Kingdom of Heaven
4) Batman Begins
5) War of the Worlds
6) 40-Year Old Virgin
8) Walk the Line
9) King Kong
10) Brokeback Mountain
And now for...
The Worst Movies I saw in 2005 (in order of awfulness)
4) Bad News Bears
5) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6) Brothers Grimm
7) Corpse Bride
8) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe
Bewitched was actually the worst movie I've seen since The Stepford Wives. That these two milestones of filmic terribleness came just one year apart is probably one of the best clues our Lord Jesus will give us that the End Times are coming. These two films together represent a one-two punch of awfulness that might inspire some deranged nut to round up Frank Oz, Nora Ephron, and Nicole Kidman and burn them at the stake. I usually avoid the truly awful movies because the critics are pretty good at clueing me in to their badness, but we rented this one because I was curious what people hated about it. It didn't seem so awful. From the trailers it seemed an innocuous adaptation of an old TV show -- maybe it was just boring, I thought.
It was not just boring -- it was as bad as you've heard. Nicole Kidman is physically incapable of doing comedy. No matter how she contorts her face or tilts her head, she can't make comedy work. The people she decides to make comedies with cannot make comedy work with her. There are scenes between Will Farrell and Nicole Kidman in this film that were as deeply embarrassing as the animal cracker scene in Armageddon. Scenes that made me feel sorry for these movie stars because these excruciating moments, imprinted on millions of DVDs, will exist forever in order to embarrass future generations of hapless DVD renters. These moments will outlive them.
Also a big disappointment for me was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This movie was going really great right up until the moment Johnny Depp showed up as the Michael Jackson version of Willy Wonka to ruin the entire movie. I can't think of the last time an actor made such bad foundational choices in a performance. A lot of the other films on my Worst list aren't spectacularly awful movies like Bewitched, just sad disappointments (Hitchhiker's Guide, Charlie), or crushingly boring (Bad News Bears, Corpse Bride, Brothers Grimm).
Anyway. Totally unrelated to movies, I wanted to leave you with a cool photo I found on the internet. This is a picture of the space shuttle at the very moment it creates a sonic boom. I can't guarantee its veracity, it could be awesome Photoshop, but it looks pretty real. Think of it what you will.