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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A look at 2005’s films

With 2005 coming to a close after a soft year at the box office, much good still came from Hollywood. Much good and a whole lot of bad. 




The Daily Cardinal takes a look back at the films of 2005. 








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Best Superhero Movie: 'Batman Begins' 




In June of 2005, our hero in black returned after a long hiatus from the big screen. 'Batman Begins' was a massive hit with a different take on the Dark Knight's tale.  




Under the direction of Chris Nolan, the movie depicts the evolution of Bruce Wayne into Batman. It not only displayed the events in Bruce Wayne's life, but delved into the psychological turmoil in his quest to do what is right. He was constantly put in situations where he had to choose to either castigate wrongdoers or grant them mercy.  




Batman's revamped persona broke the cookie-cutter, infallible image of a typical superhero. Batman is human. He feels pain. He deals with raw emotion. 'Batman Begins' reintroduced the famed Batman in a deeper, darker, yet more endearing manner. And it put the year's other big time superhero fest, 'Fantastic Four,' to shame. 








Best use of non-respected production methods: Stop-Motion Animation 




Whenever a stop-motion animation movie hits, it always seems to get a lot of praise. However, due to their complex nature, stop-animation movies seem to only come out once every decade. 




This year stands as an outlier, because not one but two hits came from the world of stop-motion''Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit' and Tim Burton's 'Corpse Bride.' 




Not only did these films feature animation infinitely better than anything Gumby could ever dream of, the films were both incredibly imaginative and a whole lot of fun to boot. Plus, oddly enough, they both featured the voice of Helena Bonham Carter. 




It might be another decade before stop-motion animation as fine as 'Were-Rabbit' or 'Corpse Bride' come again, but for the time being, they more than quenched anyone's thirst for moving, talking clay and metal. 








Biggest Disappointment: Cameron Crowe for 'Elizabethtown' 




Previously, Cameron Crowe could do no wrong. 'Almost Famous' earned him enough credibility that he could create the most horrendous movie in the history of film and he would still have respect. The good tidings from 'Almost Famous' even weathered him through 'Vanilla Sky.' 




Then he created 'Elizabethtown.' 




Almost all the goodwill from 'Almost Famous,' 'Jerry Maguire' and 'Say Anything' went out the window.  




'Elizabethtown' disappointed solely because of Crowe's flawed writing and directing. His characters were not compelling and his direction seemed like he just wanted to create a long drawn-out music video that did not make much sense. 




With the talent displayed in his previous endeavors, 'Elizabethtown' was a massive disappointment for any Cameron Crowe fan. 








Most Surprisingly Good Remake: 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' 




Many view the concept of a remake as blasphemous in the first place. Usually fans argue that if the original was great, why bother trying to recreate the same magic? Well, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' did not need to recreate magic'it manufactured its own. 




Drawing on the combined talents of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, 'Charlie' instilled the sense of wonder from the Roald Dahl books while retaining the dark edge of the previous film.  




Depp's depiction of Willy Wonka as 'part Howard Hughes reclusive, part '70s glamorous rock star' made for an offsetting, yet hilarious performance and goes down in Depp's list of great characters. 




With 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' Burton finally nailed the remake process that he so thoroughly failed on when he made 'Planet of the Apes.' 








Worst Third Act in an otherwise good film: 'Wedding Crashers' 




The first two acts of 'Wedding Crashers' featured hilarious chemistry between Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. The fast-paced comedy kept hitting fast and strong'when the actual wedding crashing occurred, the film was comedic gold. 




But then something happened' not only did the crashing stop, but Vince Vaughn all but disappeared from the picture. Sure, he made a cameo every so often, but never for long enough to make an impact. 




This left the audience with only Wilson and Will Ferrell trying desperately to be funny, but failing miserably. This then led up to an exceedingly improbable ending'one which was even out of place in the world of romantic comedy.

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