catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Best of 2004


Mar 07 2005
11:12 pm

I am curious as to what films everyone saw for the first time in 2004 and really enjoyed, whether they be films that had their theatrical release in 2004 (even if you didn’t actually see them til 2005), or ones that are really old but you finally got around to seeing for the first time.

Discuss. :)


Mar 08 2005
01:07 am

For me, it was The Station Agent, partly because it’s such a delightful film, partly because it was such a delightful surprise—one of those movies you’ve heard of but have never had recommended to you. I rented it on a whim and was baffled that no one had recommended it to me. I like those surprises.


Mar 08 2005
10:45 am

“Man with a Camera”. A Russian silent film now on DVD with a great score. It is one of the greatest experimental films of all time—the kind that defines film. But it’s much better than any artsy fartsy analysis. It will make you look at motion in a new way. And you might not be so impressed with MTV after watching this film (if you ever were in the first place). It was doing much more interesting things then, things that are still really entertaining and amazing today.


Mar 08 2005
10:52 am

Oh, also W.C. Fields’ “You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man”. It’s hilarious in an odd way. The ping pong scene is great. I’ve been trying to figure out Fields’ comic style because it is so strange. No one seems to be doing anything quite like it today. In fact, Fields’ films make me feel like comedy has become very narrow in our society today. After watching Fields, I realize that one thing, maybe anything, can be really quite funny if you repeat it over and over again. I’ve been repeating a phrase from one of his short films— “Outside, it’s not fit for man or beast”— over and over again at home and, although it may not be funny to anyone around me, its charm continues to delight me. Maybe it’s all in his delievery. He’s got a very catchy sounding voice.


Mar 10 2005
11:16 am

I mentioned it in another thread, but I thought that “The Five Obstructions” was one of the most fascinating films of 2004 that I’ve seen.

I also loved “Sideways.” It makes me want to be a better actor.

By the way, please avoid the film “Be Cool” at all costs. [/i]


Mar 10 2005
11:25 am

I just saw Sideways too. It made me wish I was able to drink wine. It’s hard to see Sideways outside of the perspective presented by Chris Rock at the Oscars, now. Many of the best movies of 2004 were not seen or appreciated by most of America and particularly by certain races in America. The issue of taste is so well articulated in “Sideways” in such a simple wine-like story. The Hollywood marketing personality and the good taste of the writer-artist are in such a difficult and unlikely relationship. It strikes me that choosing the best of 2004 is very much what “Sideways” is all about.


Mar 18 2005
03:18 pm

The year started out slow, but I thought 2004 was a great year for movies. Here were som of my favorites.

The Aviator – A definite positive on Scorsese’s resume.

Sideways – What’s not to love. It’s so human, compassionate and funny.

The Machinist – A vastly underseen and underappreciated movie about sin the power of guilt.

Before Sunset – Just a beautiful movie.

Undertow – Another underseen masterpiece. Haunting and beautiful.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – A complex and powerful love film. Jim Carrey’s performance is worth the price of admission alone.

Collateral – Michael Mann’s gritty chastisement of moral relativity.

Million Dollar Baby – Controversial and powerful. The religious subtext is intriguing.

I Heart Huckabee’s – It doesn’t quite work, but its thrilling to see a movie explicitly explore philosphy this way.

Maria Full of Grace – A superb debut film by Joshua Marston

Dogville – An infuriating mixture of childish politics and powerful parable. Von Trier’s audacity is magnetic.

The Five Obstructions – Another von Trier movie. I love the exploration of how restrictions can improve art.

The Passion of the Christ – After all the hoopla dies down this will be regarded as a great, great film.

The Life Aquatic – Another movie that doesn’t really work, but has its great moments.

Donnie Darko: Director’s Cut – A vastly improved cut of a mysterious and original film.


Mar 22 2005
10:39 am

Wasn’t “The Incredibles” a 2004 movie? I just saw it yesterday and I believe it might be the best film of the year, not just animated film, but best film. I was on the point of tears several times because the heart, ambition and message of the film is so rare and so wonderful. I think it does what George Lucas tried to do with the new Star Wars trilogy even better than Lucas himself! I wish our former drummer could see this movie and be moved like I was by the “use your superpowers” message. This film is exactly what is needed right now to respond to Hollywood and the current spirits of our age!


Mar 23 2005
07:37 pm

My favorites:

Sunshine of the Spotless Mind[/i:b5babb1d70] Rwanda[/i:b5babb1d70] Sunset[/i:b5babb1d70]

[i:b5babb1d70]Maria Full of Grace[/i:b5babb1d70]
[i:b5babb1d70]Mean Creek[/i:b5babb1d70]
[i:b5babb1d70]The Corporation[/i:b5babb1d70]
[i:b5babb1d70]Control Room[/i:b5babb1d70]
[i:b5babb1d70]The Passion of the Christ[/i:b5babb1d70]

Not a very good year imo. Hopefully we’ll have a better year. So far, there looks to be some worthy films for 2005.


Mar 24 2005
12:06 am

I am listing only one film “To End All Wars” directed by David Cunningham.
Wow, one of the most powerful movies I have seen in a long time. The power of forgiveness and love, true justice, and not revenge and violence form the back bone of this movie. Watch it now! Maybe, Pres Bush should have watched this movie after 9/11?!


Mar 24 2005
04:57 pm

Has anyone else seen The City of God? I thought that was really great.