Thursday, August 9, 2007

2002 Movie choices

John Urbancich
The best

It's 'Heaven' sent
Douglas Sirk weepers such as "All That Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life" inspired director Todd Haynes to scramble 50 years of sensibilities in "Far From Heaven," a story he fuels with racism and social/sexual politics. The brilliance will be rewarded with a slew of Oscar nominations in February and some downright wins in March.

Next best
About Schmidt, Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The worst

Failing to scare
For three Halloweens in a row, Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis have slashed and cashed on garbage such as "Ghost Ship," a film whose most innovative moment occurs in the first five minutes. No one expects any of this ship to be good, but for upwards of $7 a pop, a scare or two might be nice. This one is just frighteningly awful.

Next worst
Clockstoppers, Full Frontal, Hollywood Ending, Windtalkers

Top acts
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Gangs of New York"
Julianne Moore, "Far From Heaven"
Jack Nicholson, "About Schmidt"
Renée Zellweger, "Chicago"

Big letdown

'Bowling' B.S.
Michael Moore's occasionally funny "Bowling for Columbine" was too much of a ramble — not to mention a wee bit disingenuous — to merit all the honors coming its way. Sure, its attitude toward guns hit the bull's-eye, but so did Dick Clark's quick dismissal of the almighty Moore. Talk about guys who overstay their welcome. Hey, only in America!

Guilt trip

A yes for 'Ya-Ya' If ever there was a chick flick, it's the one called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." So, how come its Bayou-flavored whimsy went down so well? Likely because writer/first-time director Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise") had some of it delivered by Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight, the glorious Fionnula Flanagan and man's man James Garner.

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