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Obligatory "Best Of 2003" List

Favorite Movies Seen In The Theater: Return Of The King (Review pending, honest), The Station Agent (ditto), Talk To Her, The Pianist, Kill Bill Vol. 1.

  • Caveat 1: I somehow never got around to seeing Lost In Translation, but I have a hunch that it might have been up there.
  • Caveat 2: Only an exceptional year in fictional movies could keep documentaries off my Top 5. That said, a Top 10 probably would have had Capturing The Friendmans and Spellbound in the 6 and 7 positions.
Most Disappointing Movie Seen In The Theater: The Matrix Reloaded, duh.

Movie That, Had I Seen It In The Theater, Might Have Challenged The Matrix Reloaded For The Title Of 'Most Disappointing Movie Seen In The Theater': That would be The Hulk.

Favorite Movies Seen On DVD: About Schmidt, Y Tu Mama Tambien, About A Boy (yeah, I was surprised too).

Worst Movie I Watched The First 20 Minutes Of On DVD: xXx.

Favorite Fiction Books Read: The Hours, Empire Falls, Look At Me.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book Read: The Armchair Economist.

Favorite Album: Give Up by The Postal Service. Predictable but true.

Favorite Game: Age Of Steam.

Stupidest New Trend Witnessed: Drivers talking on their cell phones via "hands-free headsets" while still holding the cell phone in their hand. I have not the words.

Posted on December 31, 2003 to Misc


If Lost In Translation reprises in the theater around Oscar time, try to see it in the theater. The film's vision of pastel neon Tokyo has sort of a hallucinatory feel to it that I don't think would come across on DVD.

Posted by: alkali on December 31, 2003 3:27 PM

Lost in Translation was great - well written, well acted, well filmed, and alkalai is right about the hallucinatory feel of Tokyo. But it is extremely depressing - I wanted to slit my wrists on the way out of the theatre.

Posted by: Jennifer on December 31, 2003 4:23 PM

Lost in Translation is the winner hands down for best movie of 2003, torsion-boy. I didn't find it depressing at all. Uplifting actually. The soundtrack is pretty durned good as well.

Posted by: Ray on December 31, 2003 4:45 PM

'Talk To Her' was a 2002 release

Posted by: ho-bag gyppo on January 1, 2004 3:50 AM

So was The Pianist. These were films I saw in 2003.

Posted by: Matthew on January 1, 2004 10:57 AM

I think Lost in Translation is fucking badass.

Hardly ever has a movie haunted me so much--even several hours after stepping out of the theatre. It is, seriously, one of the best films I have ever seen.

Posted by: brittney on January 1, 2004 2:22 PM

Auuuugh, the Pianist! How anything could be more grindingly depressing than that I don't know. What a brutal film to watch. Maybe because the bad guys lose in the end...

Posted by: Windopaene on January 1, 2004 11:26 PM

Two of my friends from Japan were talking about Lost in Translation and said it was so good that it made him cry he was so homesick. He said you could smell Japan.

I haven't seen it but that seems like a pretty good endorsement to me.

Posted by: Duane on January 2, 2004 9:16 AM

If Japan smells like stale popcorn, then I definitely agree with that.

I liked Lost in Translation very much, although I didn't have quite the reaction to it that others here apparently did... I would describe it as "bittersweet" rather than "depressing," for example.

Posted by: Tool on January 2, 2004 9:58 AM

"Give Up" is an incredible album, just snagged it yesterday. Check out "O" by Damien Rice (my favorite album of 2003) or "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab For Cutie - also great.

Posted by: greg on January 2, 2004 10:47 AM

The Postal Service was tops on my list too. Ben Gibbard is so dreamy.

Posted by: katie kate on January 2, 2004 11:19 AM

Matrix: Revolutions was 10 times worse than Reloaded.

Posted by: Sonic Death Monkey on January 3, 2004 1:45 PM

I just saw The Hulk on pay-per-view and I didn't think it sucked. I also saw About a Boy on disc and was mightily, mightily surprised at how good it was. I saw it with my wife and another (female) friend and when I started busting a gut over the Grant character's fundamental shamelessness, I got the double fish eye. A wildly mismarketed movie.

Strangely, the Weitzes took their money and cred from the film and approached Michael Moorcock about an Elric movie, and that project is in play.

Posted by: mike whybark on January 3, 2004 6:39 PM

Re: rhetoric

Does anyone know what it's called when person A says "I think I'll have a cup of chai" and person B menaces with "I'll chai you!" It's been bothering me for years.

Yes, I am the sort of person to be bothered by this.

Posted by: Keith S. on January 5, 2004 8:18 AM

I occasionally hold my cellphone in my hand in an effort to improve reception--they're radios, remember. If I'm in an area with poor coverage, holding one upright and facing an antenna can make a difference.

Oh, and Master and Commander was good, too.

Posted by: Allan on January 5, 2004 6:58 PM