January 2, 2006

Movie Recap for December 2005: King Kong

This is my final monthly recap for the year. The month of December saw the good, the bad, and the ugly in the span of 31 days and 10 films. This is the last month for Oscar hopefuls to throw their hats in the ring, and also a time for the holiday family film to rear its ugly head. Enough of the useless opening banter, as I am sure you are all just interested in exactly what I saw to close out my year.

Best of the Month: King Kong
Worst of the Month: Aeon Flux

In sequential order by date:
  1. Aeon Flux. Simply awful. This would have been better served as a Sci-Fi Original. Poor acting, effects, writing, simply one of the worst of the year. *
  2. Rent. Mediocre to poor musical. I did not care for any of the characters. I was hoping to like this, but it was just too long and dull. **
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Very good film. I never read the book, but the film seemed to capture the magic that fans of the book have talked about. A good family alternative to Potter. ***
  4. Syriana. This is a densely plotted film with a ton of information, all which I believe will play better upon a second and third viewing. George Clooney leads a strong cast in this political oil thriller. ***
  5. The Family Stone. Better than I expected, but still a little cliché. Luke Wilson and Rachel McAdams steal all of the scenes they are in. **.5
  6. King Kong. Wow! It may be a tad to the long side, but Peter Jackson really nailed this. The Naomi Watts/Giant Ape connection really struck a chord in me. It also features some of the best action sequences this year, not to mention the fact that Kong may be the single greatest CGI creation ever for a film. It is also interesting to note that Kong's performance was based on the great work of Andy Serkis (who was Gollum in the LOTR films). ****
  7. Wolf Creek. It takes a little while to get going, but there is a palpable atmosphere of dread that builds until all hell breaks loose. We get a crazy bad guy who knows his way around implements of torture. ***
  8. The Ringer. Johnny Knoxville plays a convincing mentally disabled person, but he cannot fool everyone, as is evidenced in this film. This is laugh out loud funny and very respectful around its subject matter. ***
  9. Fun with Dick and Jane. Sadly, not so fun. Most of the funny stuff was in the trailer. This movie took a little too long to get to the fun part. There were some good ideas here, but the trailer was half baked and could have used a major rewrite. **
  10. The Producers. I had never seen the original, nor the play, prior to seeing this. I thought it was hilarious, yet a little to the long side. Lane and Broderick take their roles way over the top and never look back. Will Ferrell is another big reason to see this, and then the is Ulla, uh, Uma Thurman.

Here's to hoping for a great 2006!


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