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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 20 Sep 2016 04:30
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35 From 3: My Favorite Films From 2003

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People who added this item 2799 Average listal rating (1897 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.3
Daredevil (2003)
I know that alot of people panned this flick, but as an old skool comicbook nerd, I found myself really liking this big screen adaptation of The Man Without Fear.
Now while I don't think it was the greatest superhero movie ever made (and watching Matt Damon's fighting scenes in the Bourne Identity series makes me think his look would've fit the Matt Murdock persona alot better that Affleck) but for me, it captured pretty well the feeling of the comicbook. Daredevil is a not a movie that I'll probably be recommending to any fellow comicbook aficiandos, but personally, I was very well entertained by it.

People who added this item 472 Average listal rating (345 ratings) 3.8 IMDB Rating 3.7
The Room (2004)
For me, The Room is the epitome of acting so SO bad, that it actually swings around to being not just good, but unforgettably classic.

It's a piece of cinematic crap-art that has been playing in theatres since it's initial release in 2003 and is still going. And the main reason for that is b'cuz it has developed a reputation as an audience-participating event.
It is now standard for movie-goers to quote or yell out responses to specific scenes,
or to even throw plastic spoons at the screen whenever a certain prop makes an appearance.
You will even spot a football being tossed back and forth from one side of the theatre to the other during certain intervals.
In other words,
it's the straight person's answer to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

And to be honest,
isn't it about time we got one?
People who added this item 4760 Average listal rating (3299 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Damn! Lookit all those freakin' mutants!
The students of Prof. Charles Xavier's School Of Gifted Youngsters return, more grander, more powerful and more "mutantly" varied. Considering that this is a movie that needs to handle as many characters as it does, each one with an already firmly established background in the pages of the comicbook universe, it's amazing that they were able pull this project off to the extent that they did. As an example of what happens when a qualified director is allowed more freedom and more money than in the initial film. For this sequel, X definitely seems to mark the spot.

Just when you thought it was safe to look forward to the future.
Next thing you know, you have an unfeeling female automation stalking you. Particularly, one who seems to possess a will to terminate you and with a tenacity that's so relentless, you'd almost swear she was an ex-girlfriend or somethin' (...that is, an ex-girlfriend who is as impervious to restraining orders as a Terminator robot who is impervious to bullets).

Personally speaking, I'm of the opinion that after a movie has been made by James Cameron, it's sequel should not be touched by any other director (with The Alien series providing as a good example).
In The Terminator "trilogy", while I believe that it's third installment didn't need to get made, it at least wasn't so bad that it completely ruined the franchise. As a stand alone sci-fi action flick, I thought it was able to hold it's own. As part of the franchise, though it is nowhere near as good as the first two, and depending on one's mood during it's viewing (it can easily be regarded as forgettable), it's story at least manages to run alongside with the that of it's predecessors, without diminishing their impact of greatness in the sci-fi world. It's serves it's purpose to just be a period at the end of a really great statement.
Which, As Terminator: Salvation proved, is where the series should've ended for good.
People who added this item 1809 Average listal rating (1134 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.9
Two of the most likeable actors in modern times, Bonnie Hunt and Steve Martin, play a couple of parents who've spawned twelve children and are trying to raise 'em right in the white bread portion of the American Dream.
Cheaper By The Dozen is a family formula flick with a heart that is down-to-earth enough that it avoids the typical sugary distance that has desensitized the genre in the last decade or so. IMO, it is a film that can almost be perceived as a poor man's Parenthood (another movie in Steve Martin's filmograhy where yet again, he plays the role of a good-natured dad).
Even though this is a subject matter that, since the dawn of cinema, has pretty much covered the same ground over a hundred times by now, I still was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this "story-straight out of Disney theme machine" flick.

BTW I should mention that I am very proud to declare that this is the only movie that I have ever watched that features Ashton Kutcher in it.
People who added this item 1365 Average listal rating (915 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Old School (2003)
A bunch of grown men acting like a buncha drunken college freshmen.
The success of this film is proof that there is a pretty good chunk of the male species for whom growing up is really hard to do.
And a role that always seems to fit Will Ferrell like a glove.

People who added this item 1798 Average listal rating (1072 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Monster (2004)
I remember once hearing a popular movie-reviewer starting his critique of this film as "Monster is based on a true story of a woman gone sociopath."
And when I heard that sentence, I realized that, the truth is, from whatever knowledge I've been able to gather in my experiences in the dating world, most horror flicks based of pycho-bitches can be said to be based on a true story.
When I recall the way some of my break-ups with previous girlfriends went, hell, I could say that the Exorcist was based on a true story.
So, as engaging as was the semi-autobiographical story tale of two murderous lesbians on the warpath, the truth is, it's probably too far from what most single people who are putting themselves "out there" have experienced.
Am I right guys?

It seems like these days, if the theatres aren't full of a slew of GCI-infested blockbusters, then they're trying to cash in on a flock of usually over-top horrors and/or comedies. Or they're trying to promote their every-day down-to-earth dramas.
And even if a buncha these flicks turn out to be pretty good, I usually start to feel the urge for something outside the realm of what is currently considered the standard genres that seem to occupy the majority of today's silverscreens. As I said with Open Range, Master And Commander is one of those films that came into my life just when I really needed a good "period" movie shot into my system and deliver to my move-enjoying ass a brief respite from the same ol' same ol'.

People who added this item 8238 Average listal rating (6108 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Finding Nemo (2003)
As good as the story was in this Finding Nemo (and a it was a story I did like) the world of the undersea looked just so beautiful in this flick, that it felt like this Nemo's story could've used more of an extra punch, just to meet the same high level of quality in the graphics.
And if it's seems like I'm being picky with this film, it's only because I think that while it's a solid feel-good family-fare that was very good, it's one that had the potential to have been great.

People who added this item 4275 Average listal rating (2909 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
Jack Black needs a paycheck.
So he decides to go to school and become both a teacher and the leader of the band. With a bunch of fourth graders.
Class is now in session.
Time to rock on.
And then to enjoy a fruit snack and a mid-afternoon nap time.

People who added this item 2408 Average listal rating (1481 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Okay, first there was Once Upon A Time In The West. Then there was Once Upon A Time In America. Now, in 2003, there's Once Upon A Time In Mexico. And what do these films have in common?
Absolutely nothing.

Now there really isn't all that much to the plot of this particular Once Upon A Time "saga" other than it's just abuncha good-looking people doing really bad-ass things (which, around the time of this movie, is when I first noticed that this a typical habit of most Robert Rodriguez films).
But in the stylish manner in which the characters are presented and in the way the action unfolds, along with it's connection to the El Mariachi Trilogy, on the surface level it does some times come off as if there was more to the story than first meets the eye. Which was enough for me to enjoy it as a solid, entertaining thrill-ride from just south of the border.
People who added this item 1377 Average listal rating (891 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3
A con movie about a con-man getting conned.
Matchstick Men is a decent movie that I thought had the potential to be a really great movie. Mostly because the father-daughter chemistry between Nicolaus Cage's and Alison Lohman's characters worked so well and on an emotional level, seemed to flow so naturally, that for me, it became a case of an onscreen father/daughter relationship that worked too well. I had a hard time buying that what eventually would happened to Nick's character would've been something that his character, as a seasoned confidence man, he would've fell for in the manner that he did (if this all sounds kinda vague, it's b'cuz I fear that if I mention too much more, I'll be unable to avoid a spoiler).
IMO, because of this, it made the jolt of the twist ending a bit too hard too swallow. At least, in a way that kept this otherwise worthy flim-flam effort from receiving a higher entry on this list.

People who added this item 2637 Average listal rating (1764 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7

Mark Wahlberg leads a kind of an all-star cast (I say "kind of" because I don't know how much weight Seth Green and Mos Def bring to this flick in terms of star power....) in this modern version of a classic heist film.
In a nutshell I guess I would describe this movie remake as the thief-world's version of Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch racing around in custom made Mini Coopers in some really cool chase scenes. And when you think about it, how hard is it to make a movie with that kind of a description and yet not have it end up being boss?
you guessed it...

it's pretty frikkin' hard.
People who added this item 202 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2

True love knows no bounds.
Even in the midst of an intergalactic war with a buncha Martians (in this case, they are particular type of Martian known as "Tarsians"),
this movie shows that as long as you've got a cell phone, a good distance carrier and a hell of alot patience,
long distance relationships can work.

And as most of us who've been stuck in a short distance relationship for awhile know,
sometimes, the idea of flyin' around in space in cool manga tech-gear and battling a buncha aliens, light years away from Earth, sounds alot like heaven.
People who added this item 240 Average listal rating (158 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.7
Confidence (2003)
Not the greatest Con movie ever produced, but since I'm a big fan of this genre, along with a plot that features a scam that was able to keep it's characters on it's toes, it all adds up into a film that's still solid enough to warrant a place on my list.
Plus, with its cast consisting of Dustin Hoffman, Ed Burns, the ever-so-beautiful Rachel Weisz, Andy Garcia, Luis Guzman & Paul Giamatti, it's a cadre of culprits who move through the caper with enough confidence to make it's complicated components colorfully convincing.

People who added this item 6143 Average listal rating (4387 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.2
After this movie came out, could you feel it?
Could you feel the idea and use of special effects in the entire sci-fi genre take a major step forward?
I know I did.

People who added this item 613 Average listal rating (415 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.7
Open Water (2004)
In certain spanish countries, this movie was called "Tiburones Muerden Buzos".
Which, literally, in the english language, translates into "Sharks Bite Divers".
Which in shark language probably translates into something more like "Om Nom Nom".

People who added this item 1980 Average listal rating (1302 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell fits very comfortably into the role of an elf who finds out that his elfin roots are alot shorter than even the height of his colleagues.
An engaging heartwarmer of a holiday tale as Santa's largest little helper journeys out to the big city to discover that as an elf in the North Pole, he might be unusually big, but out in the real world, he's still got alot of growing up to do.
A hell of alot.

People who added this item 263 Average listal rating (179 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Covering ground that hasn't yet been covered in the myriad of other Las Vegas casino flicks that came previous to this one, The Cooler is a story that shows that no matter how good his "roll" in the game of gambling, even a sad sack loser can get lucky sometimes and win over the heart a hot babe.

Starring an actor whom's body of work I really like, William H. Macy.
For me, he's one of those actors that seems to make more right decisions than bad when it comes to choosing a part in a film.
And while it's always cool to see him in any movie no matter how small the role, when he's the lead character, it's usually even cooler.
People who added this item 3188 Average listal rating (2060 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
Oldboy (2003)
A hard-bitten, no-holds barred tale of revenge that bites hard and holds no bars. And while I know that sentence is doubly redundant, it seems to fit the situation as far the level of emotional ravishing that this story leads it's characters up to. Brutal it may be, it's a film that depicts it story at an operatic level and with a refreshing energy to give the film a distinct life that widely separates it from the standard vengeance theme of traditional Hollywood-fare. I found Oldboy to be a great flick that is armed with an in-your-face type of plot twist and proves that the medium of the graphic novel and comic-book (of which this movie is based off) is a world full of potentially good cinema, if one is willing to shuffle passed the mainstream same old same old.

People who added this item 1774 Average listal rating (1116 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
Back during the tail end of the 80's, the Berlin Wall and all that it represented was crumblin'. Well, actually, the wall itself was still holding up pretty good, but the politics behind it was starting to come apart. Germany, after it's decades long history of turbulence and social strife which resulted in it's country being literally divided (by the wall) was ready to be unified and made whole again.

Goodbye Lenin! is the story of a young east German citizen who's mother, after suffering from a serious stroke, holds on to her fragile sanity with the delusional belief that East Germany is still separated from it's evil capitalistic western twin. And in order to spare her from any more emotional grief, her son, along with the daughter, finds himself performing daily acts of deceptions to keep her believing that.
A 2003 "tragicomedy" set in late 1989/early 1990 that skillfully dances twixt the tragedy and the comedy that gives the rarely used cinematic term it's name.
People who added this item 1338 Average listal rating (850 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Animatrix (2003)

Many years earlier, I watched a movie called Heavy Metal. And though it lacked the technical and story skills required to make it something really worth mentioning, I did see in it a potential for an interesting anthology series whose rock'roll/sci-fi/animated integrated format was bound by neither PC rules or those that result from the kid-targeted genre.
Then came the Animatrix and showed us (well...me, at least) what that potential could look like.

A movie about a famous fantasy novel series that I've never read. And even though, I felt a bit lost through out certain plot elements, there was enough in this thickly layered tale of wizards, faeries, hobbits and bug-eyed emo moppets to allow me to loosely fill in the blanks to make at least, an over-all blanketed sense out of the whole damn thing.
And even though this was a great series, for me, this series suffered from what I always thought the problem would be of trying to condense such a full and detailed storyline into three movies. The story left the alot areas for the viewer to fill in, certain ideas seem to almost come out of nowhere since there was almost no room to introduce them and there was quite a lack of hatable villians in these movies (Gollum seem to come closest in this trilogy). Now don't get me wrong, they're kick-ass looking villains and their concepts are great, but because so much is trying to be fit in the limited space of the running times, it doesn't feel to me like anyone one can really jump up and down when the good guys ultimately beat 'em.
However, all of that is still just a minor quibble. Seeing dragons and giant spiders come to life in the manner that they were always meant to, magic being blasted with the power to awe, not to mention, giant sword and sorcery war scenes with a sweeping and mythological epic quality that used to be incomprehensible for the cinema in earlier years make up for any sacrifice that was made in order to be able to fit all this stuff onto the silver screen.
Over-all, I was just really happy and satisfied that to finally see a series of the fantasy genre being adapted onto film with the respect and effort of the highest quality.

People who added this item 315 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
The "based-on-a-true-story" story of a journalist who, for the span of three years, made up stories for magazine that he wrote for, all for the sake of his career.
After watching how his downfall came about in this film,
I've decided to come clean now and admit to all of you reading this That I also have been making up everything that I've posted on this site.
Everything I've written is all a sham.
So, y'know....
There you go.

Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy years, explains "The Fog of War", a term which describes all the ingredients that result in why's, who's and whats of the political decisions involved.
And even though this is basically just a film about a guy talking, what he talks about is pretty damn fascinating. Covering everything from his years during the New Camelot presidency, moving into the Vietnam War, and eventually leading to his vision of enlightening philosophy and overall outlook on American politics.

People who added this item 250 Average listal rating (139 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
Two mountaineers decide to scale the wall of a South American mountain called Siula Grande, located in the Peruvian portion of the Andes. After successfully reaching the summit, one of the men is injured and breaks his leg during the descent. When his partner releases him, the crippled climber falls into a crevasse, thought for dead. However, he survives the fall and on one leg, must find a way to make it the base camp or perish in the icy bowels of the mountain. I won't spoil it for anyone out there reading this who hasn't seen this film by commenting on the outcome lest to say that when climbing the steep face of a huge, ice covered mountain, if there's one thing you don't wanna do, it's "touch the void".
Although, when you think about it, there aren't too many situations anywhere on Earth where "touching a void" would be considered recommendable.

People who added this item 329 Average listal rating (225 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
In America (2003)

Is it possible to watch a tale of a family that struggles to make their dreams come true without it seeming too corny? Or to watch 'em suffer personal traumas that bind 'em with friends from completely different worlds that doesn't come off as formulaic? Or is it possible to watch a film where they try to come to terms with life's hard curveballs in a manner that will make you laugh and cry but without having to worry about embarrassingly getting a face bloated with the snotty tears of over-sentimentality?
In a word,
But only In America.
People who added this item 388 Average listal rating (263 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Open Range (2003)
Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall make a partnership that is the center of Open Range. Just a good solid cowboy flick that feels like a genuine modern update of the genre that has become an American classic.
I remember that when I went to go see Open Range, after watching so many films at the time, which while on average were pretty good, were still of the standard genres that seem to occupy the majority of screens in theatres these days,
So when a "period piece" like a good solid western comes into my life, it tends to feel like a good shot into my movie-viewing system,

People who added this item 3683 Average listal rating (2458 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.7

The main reason I like this movie is because it's alot like Dances With Wolves.
Except, instead of wolves, it's with a buncha samurais.
And instead the ol' West, it's the ol' East.
Of course.

Sword infested back-in-the-day Feudal Japan versus the machine-gun laden power of the New World.
People who added this item 619 Average listal rating (410 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5

I had heard of Zatoichi, but never bothered looking up anything about this long-lasting character of the East. I stumbled on this DVD, and found myself enjoying it so much, that the end result was multiple viewings with no diminishment in enjoyment. The movie, just like the series of an earlier time, follows the latest adventure of a mystery traveler commonly referred to as the "blind masseuse", who in actuality is a gentle samurai warrior who's lone wolf journeys could've well been the inspiration of the Italian counter-part, "Man With No Name" of spaghetti western fame. Silent, noble and despite his blindness, the ability to see with more clarity, not just the world around him, but also the will and intentions contained within the hearts of all he encounters.
A great classic character of the Japanese tradition.

People who added this item 1365 Average listal rating (929 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7
Bad Santa (2003)

Old St. Nick as a drunken, thieving, waste of a man who has a thing for big booty babes.
In other words;
People who added this item 511 Average listal rating (311 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6

People who added this item 4738 Average listal rating (3099 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7

Directed by the daughter of a godfather of cinema, this movie is a perfect example of being able to do so much with so little.
The simple story of two lost souls from two different generations who's dashed hopes and aimless directions lead them to find within each other a quiet and shared longing for connection through acceptance, love and understanding.
Lost in Translation features one of my favorite endings of all time, not because it's a twist or any kind of explosive revelation, but simply because it relies one hundred percent on human emotion. An emotion that is evoked with a whisper so private and silent to the ears but oh so loud and clear to the heart.

Speaking as someone who has worked the majority of his life as an illustrator and cartoonist, I was surprised at how close this flick was to the specific style of drawing that got me interested in the field to begin with. Gritty yet beautifully rendered, cartoonishly exaggerated yet realistically animated. I could look at artwork like this all day.
Plus, even though it is a foreign film, it has no dialogue in it, at all. And therefore, no need for sub-titles. So if some bizarre accident occurs (heaven forbid, of course) whereby that part of your brain that's responsible for reading becomes inexplicably cancelled out, you'll still be able to watch and enjoy this flick.

People who added this item 7831 Average listal rating (5680 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1

"Here comes the Bride,
all dressed in white,
dum dee dee da dum,
here comes the Bride...."

You wanna know just how bad-ass Beatrice Kiddo, the Bride really is?
At her wedding, not only does she show up looking like she's late into her trimester of pregnancy, but also at the same time, she has enough balls to wear a wedding dress that is white, the traditional color that is supposed to symbolize virgincy.
So then, the question arises,
how does one stop such an act of blatant aborition towards such an endeared long-standing nuptial tradition?
Try sending her a Bill.

My favorite movies of 2003.

Swords, swords, swords.
With Kill Bill, Zatoichi, The Last Samurai, TRotK, Matrix Reloaded, followed along with The Animatrix,
the word for this year is swords.
Although, with films like return Of The King, Bourne and , it's also a year of threequels.

Updated Entries:
- Shade
- Zero Day
- 11:14

Films from this year that I have not seen but am interested in seeing:
- Ong-Bak
- Girl With a Pearl Earring
- 21 Grams
- House of Sand and Fog
- Big Fish
- Love Actually

Other Fave Movies Lists By Year:

Other lists by The Mighty Celestial:

My Top 20 Female Movie Bad-Asses www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-female

10 Movies That Feature A Dancin' Travolta In 'Em www.listal.com/list/my-list-9158

My Top 15 Guilty Pleasure Movies www.listal.com/list/guilty-pleasures-thecelestial

Can't We Be Dysfunctional Like A Normal Family? www.listal.com/list/dysfunctional-family-movies

A - Z

My Favorite Movies By Genre:

WAATAAAH!! My Top 10 Favorite Martial Arts Flix!

Science Fiction:
- When Aliens Attack ....Or At Least, Go Bad www.listal.com/list/aliens-attack-at-least-go
- Aliens Who Come In Peace www.listal.com/list/good-aliens
- Favorite Sci Fi's Of Like....Ever. www.listal.com/list/scifi-movies

- Run For Your Lives! My 25 Fave Giant Monster Films www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-favorite-giant

- Superhero Movies www.listal.com/list/yep-am-huge-comicbook
- Non-Superhero Movies www.listal.com/list/my-favorite-nonsuperhero-comicbook-movies

My Top Favorite Westerns, Pard'ner www.listal.com/list/westerns-thecelestial

- Romantic Comedies www.listal.com/list/my-top-30-romantic-comedies
- Straight-Up Romance www.listal.com/list/romance-movies

- 3D www.listal.com/list/animate-this-my-favorite-animated
- 2D www.listal.com/list/my-favorite-animated-movies-thecelestial

- From Around The World www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-favorite-foriegn

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