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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #404

THE INCREDIBLES (2004)

Directed and Written by: Brad Bird

Music by: Michael Giacchino

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Wallace Shawn, Brad Bird, John Ratzenberger

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SAW (2004)

Directed by: James Wan

Written by: Leigh Whannell

Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Michael Emerson, Tobin Bell, Ned Bellamy, Shawnee Smith

Talk about knocking it out of the park on your first try. James Wan and Leigh Whannell have now had a pretty steady, if slightly uneven, career thanks to their pet project in Saw. It’s a film that still surprises me that it was ever made to begin with. For one thing the subject matter is so dark and we are witnessing such gruesome deaths on screen. The way horror as a genre has gone is fascinating as we have replaced terror with buckets of blood. But give Wan a lot of credit for turning what should have been a B-film into something atmospheric to watch. In the scene above Wan could have easily have gone right into the stabbing but instead he takes his time and even does inserts of the clock to raise the tension. That and a good chunk of the movie does deal with nothing but two dudes in a small room chained to the floor and he also manages to make that appealing as well. What’s funny is that this film barely shows us the mastermind that is the Jigsaw Killer and we wouldn’t get a better tasting of how great of an actor Tobin Bell is until the sequels. Even though the film goes Sixth Sense at the end with a twist this still holds up in my opinion and while it lost control turning into a franchise it still can be a lot of fun watching the twisted imagination each filmmaker had to kill people.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #403

SAW (2004)

Directed by: James Wan

Written by: Leigh Whannell

Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Michael Emerson, Tobin Bell, Ned Bellamy, Shawnee Smith

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ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (2004)

Directed by: Adam McKay

Written by: Adam McKay & Will Ferrell

Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson

(Favorite Film: #17)

A new syndrome occurred with the release of the first Anchorman aptly called “The Anchorman Syndrome”. Definition: A movie that needs to be rewatched a second time because you didn’t fully appreciate it and then find yourself loving it. That’s what happened to me because watching Anchorman for the first time doesn’t mean you’re going to to like it and in fact you’ll be a bit bewildered. The plot itself is very strange and it doesn’t help that there’s literally a joke every five seconds. So you need to watch it a second time, or even more, to get it all through your head.

This has turned into one of my favorite films though because it is a pleasure to watch each visit. Even to this day, with this film celebrating its tenth anniversary, there are jokes that I didn’t realize were there from a previous viewing. In general though there are so many lines in here worth repeating that this post will degenerate into nothing but quotes. To this day though one of my all time favorite jokes occur with Ron and Veronica arguing:

Ron Burgandy: Why don’t you go back to your home on Whore Island?

The delivery of that line cracks me up. Not a day goes by where it doesn’t bring a smile to my face. There are a lot of more quotes and scenes that do the same trick but not quite as frequently as that.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #402

ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (2004)

Directed by: Adam McKay

Written by: Adam McKay & Will Ferrell

Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson

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SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Written by: Alvin Sargent

Music by: Danny Elfman

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons

I love that scene posted above because it fits so well with Sam Raimi’s sensibilities. You got crazy camera angles, people screaming like they’re in a cheesy horror movie, and a ridiculous set of props. For all of the big budget scenes that occur in this film it is nice to see Raimi still make a film on a DIY scale. Of course those tentacles are probably more expensive to make than the majority of the Evil Dead franchise!

It might not be the best superhero film now but Spider-Man 2 certainly is the most balanced. It has a great story, some wonderful performances, and a good sense of putting an effort with the villain. At this point superhero films were just starting to throw anything up against the wall in terms of antagonists. Just like the first entry, the writer (Alvin Sargent) took care in crafting a believable and terrifying villain to go against Spider-Man. It certainly helps that Alfred Molina is playing Doc Ock as he can bring a certain amount of credibility and mania on screen. The only thing wrong with this movie in my opinion is how the train scene ends. I’m sorry but if a major superhero was outed without his mask on there would be no way anyone would keep that a secret. This is New York City for crying out loud! A congressman can’t send a picture of his penis or his secret online username without anyone putting two and two together. Despite that, Spider-Man 2 is still entertaining and I’ll take it any day over the reboot nonsense we’re getting today.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #401
SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Alvin Sargent
Music by: Danny Elfman
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons

OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #401

SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Written by: Alvin Sargent

Music by: Danny Elfman

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons

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FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (2004)

Directed and Written by: Michael Moore

You know when someone is passionate about a subject when you hear anger in their voice. At times Michael Moore comes across very angry in Fahrenheit 9/11 and for good cause. He was one of the first major voices to come out and say something was wrong with the Iraq War and how President Bush handled the situation. Now there have been more than enough sensible and unbiased commentary to corroborate with Moore’s viewpoint. Having said that there are a few things that rub me the wrong way despite me agreeing with most of the film. I find it totally unfair how he treats the way Bush handled himself during the WTC attacks. What was the man suppose to do? Scream that we’re at war and scare the shit out of little kids? But the message itself before and after are clear with Moore carefully explaining just why Bush was scared shitless during the attacks. There are a few instances where good insights are hampered by Moore being too aggressive with his criticism. It’s still a very important film though and it’s funny how, once again, Moore was able to start discussing topics that would impact the country a few years later.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #400

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (2004)

Directed and Written by: Michael Moore

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NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)

Directed by: Jared Hess

Written by: Jared Hess & Jerusha Hess

Starring: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez, Diedrich Bader

True story: Me and my sister are totally convinced that we were the only people in our school to see this in theaters. NO ONE was in it when we went and by the start of the school year no one had any idea what we’re talking about. Come around the DVD release though and no one, and I mean NO ONE, can shut the fuck up about it. People are quoting it like crazy and mimicking Jon Heder’s totally bizarre concept of Napoleon. It got so aggravating at times I wound up yelling at people to stop quoting the movie. But thanks to Middle School Logic it made the bullys and idiots wanting to quote the movie even more.

So because of that and how it became a cultural icon I have grown to hate this movie. Maybe ‘hate’ is a strong word as it is a funny despite being overplayed. It’s strange from start to finish filled with many non-sequitors and has a population with bizarre occupants. Napoleon and Pedro are typical students in my eyes but nothing can explain a man like Kip. At this point it feels like Jared and Jerusha Hess are one-hit wonders as their future endeavors never came close to matching the phenomenon that was this film. But give them this: they will be forever ingrained in my generation thanks to this this movie and (annoyingly) many will continue to quote this once we show the future our bizarre choices on what was popular.