CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Films in Review 2004

Losing Fay Wray and Ronald Reagan was hard enough, but, 2004 will go down as the worst year in the motion picture industry. The box office gross has been record breaking, but that has more to do with the rise of ticket prices. Actually less people have gone to the movies. On a Saturday night, many local theaters have looked like hollow caves. Beyond special effects and marketing synergy, a good film comes down the basic rules of drama -a well told story and vibrant characters. With some leftover movies from 2003, here is a top ten list in reverse alphabetical order:

Spider-Man 2
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The Passion of the Christ
The Polar Express (at the IMAX)
Open Range
In America
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban
Dawn of the Dead
Big Fish

Honorable mention "Team America: World Police" "Stander" "Scooby Doo2:Monsters Unleashed" "Raising Helen" "The Notebook" "Man on Fire" "Hero" "50 First Dates" "Finding Neverland" "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind" Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" It has been a year in which some movies were critically harassed, but the film has shown to be entertaining as a guilty pleasure; "The Stepford Wives" "Paparazzi" "Catwomen" "Aliens vs. Predator"

Documentaries made their biggest gross of the year, sparked by Michael Moore's calculated marketing for "Fahrenheit 9/11." It is interesting to note that most of the critically acclaimed documentaries contained a definite blue state bias. Most notably "The Hunting of the President," a film that made excuses for Bill Clinton's impeachment. Sadly the historically fun documentary "Broadway the Golden Age from the Legends who were There" was overlooked by the mainstream media from 2003. Actually the best documentary of the 2004 contained no political bias, but was actually an out of world experience with the search for truth, IMAX's "Space Station 3-D"

2004 has shown the importance of South Florida to the motion picture industry. The worst national box office figures coincides with the annoyance of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Hopefully there will not be a sequel to those days of reality programming. Instead we look forward to the 10th Annual Palm Beach Film Festival, the Miami Film Festival, the 20th Annual Fort Lauderdale Film Festival and largest Horror convention in South Florida, Screamfest 2005. The Broward County Libraries Division will continue "Literary Cinema,' which spotlight the literate movies of
Harper Lee, Ian Fleming, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury and Mary W. Shelley.

In terms of a literary future, 2005 does offer more hope. Tom Hanks and Director Ron Howard reunite to unravel **The DaVinci Code. With the success of "Holes" and "The Polar Express," motion pictures executives plan to bring forth more young adult novels. "Because of Winn Dixie" will be cross promoted between private industry and public education.

The 6th Harry Potter book will be released in July, but in November Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rubert Gint return in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the 4th story of the series. Jenifer Garner returns as "Elektra," a spin off of her movie "Daredevil." Marvel comics introduces a new franchise of an old favorite, "Fantastic 4" featuring Michael Chiklis as the Thing.

George Lucas concludes his second "Star Wars" trilogy with "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" in which we see the creation of the monstrous
Darth Vader. Hopefully Christopher Lee will receive a better exit in this movie than he did with "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Christopher Lee will costar with Johnny Depp in Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Lucas' buddy, Steven Spielberg, plans a remake of the 1950's version of **The War of the Worlds.** Based on the book from H.G. Wells, this earth vs. flying saucers epic stars Tom Cruise.

Last but not least, 2005 will conclude with Peter Jackson's remake of the original "King Kong" with Oscar Winner Adrien Brody. It is interesting to note that Fay Wray and Arien Brody met while claiming awards at the 8th Annual Palm Beach Film Festival. It just goes to show that the motion picture industry relies on the behavior of the South Florida Consumer.
Dear Reader - choose GOOD movies in 2005!
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