Off-Topic…

Another year-end-list, but this time, it’s the movies. I’m not only a music freak, but also a frequent guest at the local cinema. This year, I’ve seen 51 movies on the big screen, and a few more at home. So now is the time to look back on 2005, and what was hot and what not:

Top-5-Movies Of The Year:

1. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

A surprise hit! Have seen the trailer, thought it looked pretty good. I surely wasn’t expecting it to be that funny, hilarious and sharp-witted! Excellent story, great performances (I still think Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most underrated actors around!), cool optics, great soundtrack… I couldn’t find anything bad about this movie! It didn’t hit the box office that big, but I think this could be a cult movie for coming generations… I for myself can’t wait for the DVD release and watch it again!

2. Serenity

Another surprise, if you will. I knew that the director of this movie is the creator of TV series Buffy and Angel, but I’ve never liked those. So during my second trip to London this year, I just decided spontaneously to go and watch Serenity, because it got quite good reviews in the local papers. Not knowing much about the movie before, I was really taken in by the strong characters, the gripping story and excellent special effects. Being rather disappointed by the third Star Wars-saga this year, I knew that I had found my Science-Fiction-highlight of the year in Serenity.

3. Ray

Never a big fan of Ray Charles, I wasn’t too sure if a biopic about him could entertain me enough. But the brilliant performance by Jamie Foxx and the truthful narration of Ray’s life was just amazing! This is the way that movies about music legends should be made. It didn’t make me a bigger fan of Charles though, but I sure learned more about the man and see him in a different light today. Let’s see if Walk The Line, the forthcoming biopic about Johnny Cash, will be as good as this!

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Loved the books, and the fact that author Douglas Adams was working on the movie script himself until his death made me look forward to this movie. And it lived up to my expectations! They have kept the simple look of the original series for most of the movie, and have chosen just the perfect actors for all the roles. It surely wasn’t easy to create a movie out of a milestone book, but I think the result is as satisfying as it could be. With Adams no longer around, it remains uncertain if a possible sequel will be as good as this…

5. Sin City

Probably the No. 1-movie in lots of best-of-lists this year. I liked the movie, too, but for my taste, it was a good bit too long. Less would have been more. But visually, this really was the best movie of the year! I’ve never seen anything like that before, and the whole look and style of Sin City will go down as a great cinematic achievement in movie history. Add brilliant performances by all actors, and you have your instant classic. Expect a sequel soon!

Honorable Mentions:

Mein Name Ist Eugen (finally an entertaining and well-acted Swiss movie!)
Hotel Rwanda (a sad and tragic tale about a country that the world forgot)
Finding Neverland (a quiet and wonderful story with that magic touch)
Million Dollar Baby (not only a sports movie, but also a heartwarming human drama. Excellent!)
Closer (brilliant script and sharp dialogue; seldom verbal fights on the screen were so entertaining!)
Silentium (an Austrian crime comedy with lots of unexpected laughs; great fun!)
Kung Fu Hustle (over-the-top fight scenes and stupid jokes, but it works! Never laughed harder at the movies this year!)
Batman Begins (The Batman is back! The new look really brought the series back to the top. Let’s hope they don’t screw him up again too soon!)
Wallace & Gromit (The first big screen adventure of the lovely lads was a real good one! Love that English humour!)
Elizabethtown (Although a bit too long, I really enjoyed the story about two lovers who find and loose and find each other. Brilliant soundtrack!)
The Corpse Bride (I love the morbid humour of Tim Burton, and this movie is another example of his sheer talent!)
King Kong (The big ape is back on the big screen, and it is amazing to watch him destroy and being destroyed. Peter Jackson is a King himself!)

Rather disappointing:

The Aviator (although the movie was excellently made, the story itself didn’t do it for me…)
The Ring 2 (loved the first one, but they couldn’t create that special atmosphere in the sequel)
Fantastic 4 (good looking effects, but dumb story. Could have skipped this one…)
Chronicles Of Narnja (lacking the charm and magic of the books; better luck next time!)

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