I thought I'd catch up with y'all and respond to the last several of your posts individually...
Great 2003 list--all good films. And I know because I've seen all of them! In fact, of the four lists (including honorable mentions) I've only not seen 5 films. I like it when we get on a trend of discussing more modern films because then I feel less like a chump for not having seen more than maybe one film on someone's list from anything before 1970. Sigh. I really just love color films. What can I say? Too bad more people aren't interested in the eighties and early nineties, when I was a young adolescent myself. In 2003, I was working exactly where I am now. Ha! I feel old. We should all do a post on the top 10 films from the year we were 14.
The Oldboy hallway hammer scene made an incredible impression on me as one of the most raw and real fight scenes I've ever witnessed in a film (that line makes it sound like I've witnessed some more intense ones in real life, but I haven't. Or have I?) before or since. The ending was a bit unbelievable, even fanciful, but the film was still epic--not just because of what it was about, but how it presented itself. It's a film with balls. And a great soundtrack as well. I keep meaning to see the other films in Park's revenge trilogy but haven't thus far.
I was suprised and pleased to see Cabin Fever on yours and Jeffrey's lists. Brandon and I have championed that film for some time now (Adrienne is a fan as well), so it's nice to see non-horror-fans giving it props.
I only have one point of rebuttal to your response to my Ink post. I know it's not a great film. And I may have misrepresented myself by speaking of giving a films points for trying. It is more specific than that. I will give a film extra points for having good ideas, even if they're not executed well. So it's not a simple matter of understanding what a director is trying to say and going the rest of the way for him; it's recognizing when a filmmaker has an idea that is too big for him to execute well--and yet he/she tries anyway. That takes guts and I admire it. Because if the quality of SFX these days, it's harder and harder for a low budget filmmaker to get away with cheesy SFX. The low budget films that are the most successful are ones that aren't so ambitious as Ink. But it's not just the ambition, as I've said. Winans presented a fictional universe that really captured my imagination. It wasn't something I'd seen before, and I liked it. I've seen plenty of low budget sci-fi movies that tried hard; I mean, on some level, don't they all? But I'm less interested in someone trying hard as I am in someone who has good ideas who doesn't necessarily express them as effectively as they could. Sure, there's a line at which something is so bad that it doesn't matter, but I don't think Ink fits into that category. In Ink's case, the the sum of its better parts is greater than the whole, and maybe that's how I draw the line.
P.S. I wasn't offended at your strong words at all, Chris, but it was honestly sweet of you to be concerned. Which is more than I can say for others (take the bait, John! Do it!) in film club.
I liked War Horse! I was conceding Adrienne's points, but I was completely taken in by the emotion and drama of the film. I still think the WWI war scenes (particularly in the trenches) were expertly filmed.
I also really liked Elf. I'm a Will Ferrell fan, for better or for worse. It's the same with Adam Sandler. I get some kind of perverse pelasure out of watching the same film and watching Sandler play the same character over and over again. Don't ask me why. I did draw the line at Jack & Jill, though. That movies looks horrible. Anyway, the combo of Ferrell and Deschanel (<3 <3) is more than enough to make Elf watchable for me.
I was surprised to see 28 Days Later on your list (like Cabin Fever). I suppose it's a testament to the quality of the film that someone who doesn't necessarily gravitate towards horror would appreciate its excellence. Don't forget the killer soundtrack, either! John Murphy's "In the House-In a Heartbeat" is one of the most effective pieces of film music I've experienced.
I just noticed the Guttenberg quote on your blog--gnarly! Bonus points!
I liked Thirteen, but don't remember enough to comment intelligently on it. I would wager that you and I are drawn to similar aspects of the film due to our girlish natures. It is a bit like an after school special, but its largely because of its subject matter. I think its emotions are meant to be exaggerated to some degree.
I have enjoyed all of Guest's mockumentaries, but I think I still like Waiting for Guffman the best. I saw it after I saw the others and how funny it was surprised me. Best in Show didn't do much for me, but I'm not really a dog person, so maybe that's it. I think I probably need to see it again. A Mighty Wind was also fantastic. For Your Consideration sucked, and I stopped paying attention to what Guest is doing after that.
The main reason I liked Dogville nobody has really talked about yet. Wasn't it totally cool the way he filmed it as if on a stage? I thought it was freaking brilliant. Creative, original, presumptuous...fantastic!