My Movie Year is a project started by Fandango Groovers Movie Blog where bloggers are to choose their favourite year in film, and five films that exemplify why. I thought it be fine so I’m giving it a shot.
The year I’m picking is 2004. Now I wanna make it clear that I don’t think this is the finest year in cinema history. Heck it might not even be my favourite. But it was a great year, and my five films are all very different from each other, and 2004 seemed a more unconventional pick. With that in mind, here are my five favourite films from 2004, from least favourite to favourite.
5. The Aviator
Running time: 2 hours and 49 minutes
Written by: John Logan
Based on: The novel “Howard Hughes: The Secret Life” by Charles Higham
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and Alan Alda
Biopics became extremely common in the last decade, but Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator is anything but common. The movie focuses on the life of Howard Hughes from 1927 to1947. Extensive focus is given to his success in film, his relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn, and the struggles he and his airline faced. The film is just shy of three hours, and yet never drags for a second. John Logan’s script is always interesting and features great dialogue. Scorsese also brings some great things to the film visually, and I especially love the colour scheme. In many ways, this is Scorsese’s biggest and most epic film. I also love the way Scorsese choose to portray Hughes’ OCD. Speaking of Hughes, I think Leonardo DiCaprio gives the best performance of his career as the brilliant but borderline insane Howard Hughes. I also think Cate Blanchett delivers her best performance as Katharine Hepburn.
4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Running time: 2 hours and 22 minutes
Written by: Steve Kloves
Based on: The novel of the same name by JK Rowling
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson
The first two Potter films are good movies, but they are a bit kiddish and have a lot of problems. Prisoner of Azkaban
really elevated the series. This is a film that is far darker than the previous installments, and eliminated all the major problems from the first two films. The three leads really step up their game, and Radcliffe especially really shines here. The film also has the added bonus of having Gary Oldman as Sirius Black. Not only was this film the darkest at the time, but it also stands out as being the most fun film of the series. It’s hard to imagine how director Alfonso Cuarón pulled such a feat off, but he did. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a great film and a definite highlight of the series, for my more detailed thoughts, click here.
Release date: August 5th, 2004
Running time: 120 minutes
Written by: Stuart Beattie, Michael Mann, and Frank Darabont
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, and Mark Ruffalo
Collateral is practically made of awesome. The basic premise is great. A cab driver has to drive an assassin around all night. Tom Cruise gives the coolest performance of his career, and one of his best for that matter, as the calculating and badass assassin Vincent. Jamie Foxx is also great as the cab driver tormented by Vincent. Stuart Beattie’s script is excellent, and Michael Mann gives the film a beautiful look. Collateral is one of those films that stays just as good every time I see it, for my full thoughts, click here.
2. Kill Bill Volume Two
Release date: April 16th, 2004
Running time: 136 minutes
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, and Michael Madsen
Quentin Tarantino’s first Kill Bill is an awesome film, but it wasn’t the deepest of stories. Or at least it appeared that way, until Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume Two came out and proved there was a lot more going on. The film studies revenge, death, and enemies in a fascinating way. Tarantino’s script is also excellent, featuring great dialogue and story structure. Tarantino also shows more style in Kill Bill than he does in any of his other films. The cast is also great. Uma Thurman creates one of the strongest action heroes of all time, and David Carradine and Michael Madsen are also excellent. Kill Bill Volume Two is an epic revenge film, for my full thoughts, click here.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Running time: 1 hour and 49 minutes
Written by: Charlie Kaufman
Directed by: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Tom Wilkinson
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love this movie. I think it’s one of the greatest films of all time. Everything from the acting, to the writing, to the directing is done flawlessly. I can’t think of another film so thought provoking while also being so emotionally stirring. It’s a film I think everyone should see. In truth, I don’t want to say too much about the film because it’s one I definitely want to talk about at length in future posts. So I’ll end with this; the first time I saw Eternal Sunshine, I was so blown away that I watched the film three more times that same week. I’ve never done that for any other film, before or since.