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Overrated and underrated films of 2002

 
 
couzz
 
Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 08:41 am
Now that film critics have completed their top ten lists for 2002, what are the most overrated and underrated films of last year?

My overrated pick is "Far From Heaven". I guess most of the critics never viewed a Douglas Sirk film. "Far From Heaven" is a weak imitation of the past.

Two exceptional films that were hardly acknowledged were "Read My Kips" and "How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog".
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 08:53 am
Man, I wish I could help you, but I only saw a couple movies last year.
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bree
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jan, 2003 01:12 pm
Of the movies I saw last year, I thought the most overrated were Road to Perdition and Punch-Drunk Love. Road to Perdition had beautiful cinematography by Conrad Hall (whose death is reported in the New York Times today), and a great performance by Paul Newman, but all the fancy talk about fathers and sons couldn't disguise the fact that it was basically a comic book in which all that happened was that a lot of people got shot.

Somewhat to my surprise, I thought Adam Sandler gave a fine performance in Punch-Drunk Love, but I also thought that the characters were just too weird to care about (or, as David Denby said in The New Yorker, the characters were "mysterious without ever becoming interesting").

I thought the most under-rated film of the year was Sunshine State. John Sayles makes movies about grown-ups with grown-up problems, which is probably why he's one of our most under-appreciated filmmakers. Admittedly, he doesn't have the flashiest visual style around, and his films tend to be slow and talky, but when the talk is as good as it is in Sunshine State, I think that's a good thing.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 11:33 am
I really wish I had seen more movies last year. I liked Monsoon Wedding but I thought it was over-rated and felt I could have done without the child sexual abuse subplot. I thought Salma Hayek was a little wooden in Frida but then again biopics are often wooden, verging on hagiography. I did enjoy the French film Brotherhood of the Wolf which I found much better than American films of the action sort. But it was neither an action film nor a costume drama. Like Amalie, another film that gave me great pleasure, it showed the French adopting magical realism to the screen and doing it well. Speaking of French films, while 8 Women was fun, it needed an ending: perhaps it was one of those things that suffers from beginning with a concept rather than a script.
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couzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 09:25 pm
Overrated and underrated films of 2003
bree: John Sales "Sunshine State" was underrated. Edie Falco's performance was perfection.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 02:47 pm
Brotherhood of the Wolfe..we saw that one k Smile

It was alright, it worked, good action/horror flick type of which it really didnt fall into...I agree...a period piece perhaps??? Laughing
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 02:54 pm
I saw Brotherhood of the Wolf, too. It had a little bit of everything! Thoroughly enjoyable.

I'm a big John Sayles fan. Sunshine State was one of his best. What a great ensemble cast! But the critics don't seem to like Sayles much.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 03:46 pm
"The Fast Runner" may not have been underrated, but I doubt many people saw it. Which is a shame, because it's remarkable. Based on Inuit myth, starring Inuit people, directed by same. A modern epic!
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Lash Goth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 08:12 pm
Who mentioned "How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog"? I thought I was the only person In North America to find this gem. YOU MUST SEE, I SAY.

I know it was a pop movie, but THE ROYAL TANNENBAUMS elicits pathos ( Crying or Very sad Surprised ), a three pee alert ( Laughing Laughing Laughing Embarrassed ), and a cool soundtrack. I MUST INSIST YOU ALL SEE THIS, AS WELL.

That is all. Over and out.
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couzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 06:06 am
Lash Goth:

Glad you appreciated "How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog". Intelligent comedies are hard to come by.
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LarryBS
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 02:15 pm
I'm glad I didn't pay $7 to see it in a theater, but if you like Ben Stiller, "Zoolander" was worth the rent at Lackluster Video - its a good dvd. Tenenbaums is a very enjoyable dvd too.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 10:19 pm
25TH HOUR seemed underrated to me. I think Spike Lee has a hard time getting a fair shake from the movie critics. It was a brilliantly made film in spots, the acting was uniformly excellent, and the cinematography captured NYC post-9/11 to a tee. I suspect if some first time director had signed 25TH GOUR he would have been hailed as a bright young genius, but since Spike Lee has stirred up so much controversy for so many years he just couldn't get the praise that he deserved. He suffred the same fate with the even stronger SUMMER OF SAM, one of the most remarkable American movies in years...a critical shrug when there should have been shouts of excitement.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 10:19 pm
25TH HOUR seemed underrated to me. I think Spike Lee has a hard time getting a fair shake from the movie critics. It was a brilliantly made film in spots, the acting was uniformly excellent, and the cinematography captured NYC post-9/11 to a tee. I suspect if some first time director had signed 25TH HOUR he would have been hailed as a bright young genius, but since Spike Lee has stirred up so much controversy for so many years he just couldn't get the praise that he deserved. He suffred the same fate with the even stronger SUMMER OF SAM, one of the most remarkable American movies in years...a critical shrug when there should have been shouts of excitement.
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Lash Goth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 10:42 pm
couzz--
Kenneth Branaugh is a favorite of mine. His delivery, his character and the nutty doppelganger/cop scenes were great. The MotherIn Law stuff, too. "I AM your son in law, Edna."

Like Robin Wright Penn, too.

We taped it.

Now, you're making me want to see it again.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 11:36 am
Another underrated movie was INSOMNIA. Pacino did some of his best work in years, the Alaska atmosphere was brilliantly filmed, and even though I am no Robin Williams fan he was very effective.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 02:16 pm
Hey, another agreement, Larry (we'll have to cut that out or someone will think we've been drinking) -- a remake of a foreign film that was actually as good if not better than the original. Robin Williams was eerily into his persona and it was even more chilling because one doesn't expect it (and he turns around and does it again in "One Hour Photo"). I guess it's because we haven't seen him really act with the affectations since "Moscow on the Hudson." A lot of the Alaskan footage came from a documentary project, "Over Alaska" and it was worked seemlessly into the film. It did take one to the locale and the psychological banter rang true for a change. A great coda is the mark of a great symphony and this film ended in a crescendo. I vacillated on putting it on my top ten list and still would probably tie it with the number ten spot (I think this years, one could easily come up with a list of 25 3-l/2 to 4 star films).
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flyboy804
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 02:21 pm
Larry R- Did you also see the original with Stellan Skarsgaard? Although I liked the remake, I preferred the original. I believe it gained from it's greater bleakness and by having a stronger emphasis on the inspector.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2003 11:27 am
No, I didn't see the original movie INSOMNIA was based on. Skaarsgard strikes me as a monotonous actor, no way in Pacino's class.

Another underrated movie was ROGER DODGER which had, hands down, the best original screenplay of ther year--the only really witty script by an American all year. It wasn't that well directed visually, but Campbell Scott gave a stunning performance and Isabella Rossellini was wonderful. Misogyny was never so much fun.
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larry richette
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2003 10:38 pm
I regret to say that I just saw THE QUIET AMERICAN and it is vastly overrated. I love the Graham Greene novel and the movie doesn't come close to doing it justice. Michael Caine has some nice moments but in general he is too old and and too weary for the role. (Michael Redgrave, Vanessa's Dad, shone in the original movie version.) Brendan Fraser is an embarassment as the CIA "quiet American"--maybe the worst performance I've seen all year. Why the critics are praising this movie is a mystery-- perhaps it is their way of opposing US foreign policy.
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