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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 7 Nov 2017 11:19
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35 From 4: My Favorite Films From 2004

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People who added this item 215 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.2
  The years that made up the 70's made it the "decade of deliverance}. What I mean by that is that, when it comes to "hillbilly horror", that was the era that started it all. Films like The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and of course, Deliverance, introduced the idea of what kind really REALLY bad things can happen to someone who might find themselves inadvertantly lost in the backwards of the darkest areas of hill country.
  Calvaire is the Belgium equivalent of this type of inbred of scare-fare, using the hills of Hautes Fagnes as the source of their inbred antagonists, The highly stilted lanhuage may be different, but it still contains the same variety of bone-chilling dread that such a scenario would invoke.

 Since Calvaire was a film that I had stumbled upon while journeying through the internet, I had no clue of what it was about. After watching, I was pleasantly surprised at much I liked it in terms of being a disturbing psychological thriller. So, I went onto the internet to see if anyone else had heard about this French speaking indie-import, and to my dismay, saw just how middling its reviews were. I have watched a couple of times more since then, and TBH, I honestly don't why this movie is ranked the way it is. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is a psych-thrilling classic that will stand up through the ages, but I also beleve that it's definitely worth a watch or two for anyone who likes their nightmares of wandering in dark woods at the center of their escapist viewing pleasure.
People who added this item 3171 Average listal rating (2149 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Hellboy (2004)
   I was a big fan of comic book artist Mike Mignola’s art almost from the beginning. His unique and simple style had him as the next step of evolution from the legendary Alex Toth (most famous for Space Ghost). When Mike became a big enough name in the comic industry to spawn off into his own, Hellboy was the result. I read Hellboy when it first came out, and use the term “read” loosely here. Because the truth is, there really wasn’t all that much to Hellboy as a comic book. The character looked great, the art was great , the basic concept was great, but when it came to story, it was about as skeletal as one of mythic creatures that Hellboy tended go shoot through with his massive gun.

Which is why this celluloid version of the deviled dude is such a joyful watch. With little to work with, Hellboy the movie has no choice but to “flesh” the character out, literally and literarily.

  A demon that was summoned for evil purposes, but instead, decides to work on the side of the angels, Hellboy joins a governmental bureau for defense against paranormal stuff that is bad, and along with a couple of other superpowered misfits, goes around the world fighting against, well, y’know… paranormal stuff that’s bad.

  Written and directed by the always talented Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy may not be the greatest comic book movie ever, but boy, it’s still a hell of a good one.

What's the best way to follow up a movie based on the good deeds from a spawn from hell? How about at a movie about the "hell" suffered from a Son from Heaven?
A biblical depiction that helps to reveal the ugly truth (a truth that many God fearing movie producers probably already knew, but didn't want to any of their Jesus themed films to look at too closely) about the level of severity and brutality that resulted in the passion of the Christ.

Now I don't think it's a sin admitting this, but I can't tell you how many times while watching this movie that I found myself saying out loud "Ouch!!.... now that has really gotta hurt....!"
To be dreadfully honest here, I was kinda hoping that this story would have gone beyond the crucifixion scene, to the part when Jesus rose up from the grave.
Because if it had, then between this movie, They Came Back, and the two Dead flicks (Shaun and Dawn), I would have been able to proclaim 2004 as the year for zombie cinema.
People who added this item 476 Average listal rating (255 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
   Dead Man's Shoes is one those  British films that is usually made exclusively for movie fans from across the pond, and as is most often the case from those types of motion pictures, is one that only got so-so reviews.  However from my point of view, I think it’s a little above that.  Now, I’m not saying that it’s one of the years best (otherwise, it would have a much higher spot on this list), but I do think it's an entertaining revenge movie that's worth giving a looksee and then some.  

  After a soldier returns from his military duty, he learns that three years earlier, a small gang of drug dealers had bullied his younger. Now, if this situation ended here, then it still would've made for a tale about a vet's vicious quest for vengeance that is fueled by the power of brotherly love. But add to the fact that the younger brother suffers from a mental disability, (not to mention that the script of this movie hints that the older soldier sibling also might not be in the best of health upstairs), now you've got a story that you know will end really bad for the bad guys. In short, those dope-pushers have pushed their last dope. For each of them are now running on borrowed time. Each of them are now running in dead man's shoes.
   (Y'know, after penning that last sentence, I'm wondering if maybe I should look into perhaps getting a job writing movie poster blurbs or somethin'....)
People who added this item 4355 Average listal rating (3027 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
I, Robot (2004)
  Will Smith in yet another big-budget, fast-paced, action-packed, science fiction movie. But this time, without the inept script of Independence Day or the goofy weightlessness of Men In Black.
And, of course, instead of a myriad multitude of aliens trying to assimilate into human society, the former artist known as the Fresh Prince finds hisself surrounded by a whole buncha of individually challenged robots whose "soul" purpose is to serve humanity.
That is, unless the classically "Conversed" Will Smith can stop them. 

  I’ve mentioned this in other entries for Will Smith movies that, at the height of his career, when he was the biggest star in Hollywood, I personally was never that impressed with the big budget blockbusters that were being cranked out with his name on ‘em. I think Smith did have the talent and potential to be an A lister, it’s just that the film projects he being put in never managed to raise him to the heights that everyone thought he was destined for.

 I, Robot is my favorite from his filmography and I think it’s one of the best that he starred in, but just like the actor himself, the movie didn’t meet the potential that the subject matter of the story had  laying within. The idea of delving into sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics is one that could make a motion picture as classic as Asimov’s work, but this aptly named movie isn’t it.

  Is it an entertaining piece of cinema with a good story and top notch special effects? Yes. But is a one that will be categorized as one of the best of the genre? Sadly, no. It’s over reliance on trying to fit its big name star in a the typical formula of a blockbuster prevents I, Robot from reaching the heights of the name that has been put upon it.

People who added this item 579 Average listal rating (394 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
District 13 (2004)
Six years into the future, gangs have taken over a ghetto just outside of Paris France (I know what you're thinking..."Wait... France has ghettos?!). One gang in particular has stolen a very powerful bomb and have unwittingly activated its countdown sequence.
Now one cop must go undercover and team up with a criminal to get passed the ghetto walls and passed the gangs in order to deactivate the bomb before it goes off and takes the ghetto with it.

After honing his skills behind the camera as a cinematographer, Pierre Moral is still behind the camera, but this time he's sitting in the director's chair. Teaming up with writer and producer Luc Besson (also known for his director skills on such films as Le Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional). The end result of their collaboration is District B13, a frenzied French film in which parkour is the main driving force of the action scenes.
For those of you who don't know what parkour is, it's the act of moving forward by running, jumping, or climbing over whatever obstacles are in your path. Even if it's something as big as a building, the object is get through it by leaping stairwells, climbing through windows, flipping over walls and fences, etc (you can probably get a better description or definition of parkour if you look it up on wikipedia or just google it.... or better yet, look up a video of it in the ol' youtube).
Now while the act of parkour is utilized as a plot device in this story and helps to give the film a distinctive nature, the truth is, in future films, it might be good it was used sparingly.
After watching District B13, it's easy to see that this is a style of action that easily become tired pretty quickly (and not just as a plot device, but even more-so for the actors).
People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.9
  The dead have come back to life. But this time, they're not out for blood, brains or body parts. They just want to live amongst the living.
  Thus begins the process of re-integration and healing.
  But if anyone thinks that people can just go on to the other side, and then just come right back, they're wrong. Dead wrong.
  Oh, okay, maybe that makes this movie sound a bit more cryptic than it really is, but still, the message of "you just can't go home again" still applies.

   They Came Back is most likely the least scary zombie flick ever made. Not because it’s “so bad” that it’s just not scary. That’s a description for the vast majority of other non-scary zombie films out there. This one doesn’t instill fear in viewers because isn’t its purpose. They Came Back is about introspection. Not just about us, but also about society. And if that sentence makes you think “Oh, it one of those types of movies “, then you’re right. And if “one of those types of movies “ is the kind that turns you off, well then, that means that this isn’t the type of zombie flick for you. But worry not. There are plenty, and I mean plenty, of the other types of zombie movies out that are shambling out of the big movie making machine that is Hollywood. 

People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (122 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8

Most sports teams are known to have hardcore fans. But the truth is, football (soccer to those who live in the United States) is a sport whose fans take the concept of hardcore to the level of the extreme. Known as hooligans, to them, you're not a hardcore fan unless you're willing to spend the weekend bashing in the faces of fans of the opposing team.
The Football Factory is a tale that shows that being a part of a firm (the term used to describe gangs of hooligans) is not just an obsession with the home team, but even more so, it is a way of life.
A lifestyle in which, from an outside point of view, may seem chaotic and pointlessly violent, but to those within a firm, it is a way for the disenfranchised man's man to let off some team and feel a sense of direction, a sense of purpose. And provides the kind of kick that addicts yearn for. Except, instead of a needle or a bong, the fix comes from using one's fists.
People who added this item 1346 Average listal rating (937 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7

  At the height of his career, Bruce Lee was an action star who tried to bring some legitimacy to the genre of martial arts movies in order to allow it to gain a wider audience. However, after he passed away, filmmakers from that part of the world from which he was born began taking the path of least resistance when creating these kinds of “kung fu flix”. Known commonly as “chopsocky”, these fight films reached a the point that they were being released very quickly en masse, and at such a cheap rate that any respectability that was achieved during the Young Dragon’s time, quickly dissipated within a few short years.

However, by the 90’s, martial artist actor Jackie Chan, who started out at a young age as a contemporary of Bruce’s, had become a star in his own right, and instead of “fighting” against the absurdity that the genre, he worked with it, to give chopsocky a comedic kick that stuck. This caused Chan’s movies to evolve into his own particular brand of action flick, and, at the same time, other similar manic martial arts motion pictures to change into something else. Sort of a kung fu fighting farce, it spawned a type of genre that mixed high level Eastern style combat with absurdist action sequences along with likeminded storylines to fit the format. For me personally, I like to think of them almost as being a Bruce Lee film in which Lee was replaced by Bugs Bunny. And when it comes to these “kartoon karate” features, probably my favorite is this one, Kung Fu Hustle.


 Two buddies, Sing and Bone, try to advance their criminal careers from petty crooks to members of the number crime organization of the neighborhood. And then a buncha stuff happens (too much to go into here), but,let's face it, the important part in this story is the manner in which 
the absurdity of both the humor and the high kicks are cranked up a notch. 
Because this a movie that demonstarted that the only way that the genre of chopsocky was gonna still be able to stand on it's own legs during  these days of the modern, more discriminate mainstream audience, is that 
when it comes taking Kung Fu to the next level, ya gotta be willing to do the Hustle.
People who added this item 497 Average listal rating (275 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8

  When it comes to anime, even though I do like watching a couple of’ em, I wouldn’t say that I was an avid fan. As any true follower of that form of animation will tell you, it’s an acquired taste. In Japan, they have always had their own unique way of telling a story and for anyone who is not familiar with it, it a kind of storytelling that can be a bit jarring and even confusing at first.

  For me, the transition wasn’t took difficult since I grew watching certain anime TV cartoons like Speed Racer and Prince Planet. When you’re a kid, and your head is filled with wonder and enthusiasm for any new thing that comes into your life, your mind is much open to different kinds of entertainment . As I grew older, I began to tire of the disjointed interplay that often shown in these kinds of cartoons, but luckily, every once in a while, there would be a stray series that come along and keep the toes of my interest in the pool ( Battle of the Planets, for example).

   Fortunately, as with most things, as time went on, the genre of anime grew as access to a worldwide audience expanded. As a result, some of the stilted manners of their storytelling were intentionally “smoothed” out in order to facilitate a more broad brand of taste of entertainment. This resulted in global smash popularity for groundbreaking anime film projects such as Akira, a 1988 big screen adaptation of a manga series by well known artist, Katsuhiro Ōtomo, and which had taken Japanese readers by storm.
   After a decade and a half of Akira being cemented as a classic iconic piece of cinema for anima, a long awaited follow-up to his landmark feature, Ōtomo released Steamboy. Moving from a the cyberpunk future dystopia to a 19th century steampunk setting, this was a manga motion picture that featured some of the tightest integration between CGI and 2-D animation ever put on film up to that point in the history of movie making.

  The painstaking details in thevisuals were a marvel to behold, and it's English language was treated with a much respective effort towards making the dialogue flows much more smoothly than the translations that hindered its appeared to more mainstream audiences.
   I personally find that multiple viewings are required just to be able to capture appreciate all the beautifully intricate designs and how the animated artistry is absorbed into its story of an alternate history wherein hydropower is the king of all fuels and a leading scientist and his boy struggle to make sure that it all just keeps moving full steam ahead.
People who added this item 2753 Average listal rating (1844 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
As anyone of color knows, the scariest and most dangerous thing to a black man is an emotionless white man with alot of money and who expects someone else to drive him around.
And as Jamie Foxx finds out in this movie, they don't come any whiter, any more emotionless, any richer than Tom Cruise. That is, in Hollywood, at least.
Seriously tho, both Foxx and Cruise step out of their thespian comfort zone to play characters outside their usual roles.
A cab driver with dreams of someday starting up his own business picks up a fare who just so happens to have started his own successful business.... as a high stakes hitman. And even tho he is a deadly assassin who never misses, on the upside, he does tend to tip really really well.

People who added this item 2049 Average listal rating (1359 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
While I respect George Romero's horror/comedy zombie flix and I understand that there's an audience out there for it, the truth is, I myself have little patience for this specific brand of subgenre.
Therefore, when Zack Snyder came along and redid Dawn with a budget more substantial than what Mssr. Romero is used to, and with a more solid story-line, along with the shlock gage turned down a couple of notches, I found myself actually enjoying watching a film about a subject that beforehand, I had no interest in: a mallful of zombies searching for something to munch on beyond the barriers of the lower level food court.

People who added this item 1818 Average listal rating (1089 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?

People who added this item 333 Average listal rating (210 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Millions (2005)
Whenever I think of the name "Damien",, especially when its applied to a little boy, I always think of The Omen, a 1976 horror film in which Satan manifests himself as the "bastard" child of a well-to-do family.
In this movie, the story also centers around a small boy named Damien. Except, instead of a little devil, this one is a more of a little angel, although it's a character trait that results from his humble Catholic upbringing rather than any kind of divine heritage.
In it, the good Damien "finds a bag of a million + dollars, and tries to spread his good fortune for the benefit of others. But his time is limited since the British currency is about to transfer into the euro, thus making the bagful of pounds useless.
A nice family flick that twists and turns it's usually predictable premise into an unpredictable fable that'll keep both adults and kids "richly" entertained.

People who added this item 1969 Average listal rating (1211 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Fahrenheit 9/11 is a film that is about as politically polarizing as it gets. But the truth is, I am a person who hates self-limiting and mind-narrowing labels such as "conservative" and "liberal". Therefore, I often refrain from letting too many people know that I watched this or any of Michael Moore's films (only those few people who really know me and are aware that I dislike participating in bullsh#t-slinging debates). Because, political partisanships aside, this is a good watch just for the sake of watching a good documentary unfold, done by an excellent film-maker. Even if I disagree with some of his points or his accuracy, the blend of humor with insights into the hubris of political, corporate and media
relations makes for an entertaining watch on discussions which, normally, my head would either shake at or just turn completely away from.

People who added this item 3866 Average listal rating (2729 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
The zom-com finally crystalizes itself with this entry, a film that features a shlockful of ghouls and gags, but without the over-the-top camp that infested the genre for such a long time.
I knew that this was gonna be my kind of zombie movie when in one early scene, the main character, Shaun (duh!), in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, stated that he liked the album Second Coming, the much under-appreciated second effort by the Manchester shoegazing band, the Stone Roses.
After that part, I knew that this was a zombie flick that I could relate to. So, from there on, i just let my fat, hairy pimp-ass sink back into my easy-chair, relaxed, and enjoyed all the thrills, chills and gags that followed.

People who added this item 3249 Average listal rating (2133 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
I grew up watching animated films during the late 70's and through out the 80's. And back then, the medium's horizon seemed vast and open and full of endless possibilities. By the new millenium, with the symbiotic monopoly of the genre by Disney and Pixar, that potential had pretty much dissipated.
The only chance we now have of seeing outside the norm of Pixney is through the rare outside efforts of non-American countries and particularly through Japan's anime industry.
Expanding on the quality of their style (although, I still feel at times that their mode of artwork can get a little stifled), anime animators can reach new heights when they cover epics like Diana Wynn Jones Howl's Moving Castle.
Twisty-turny plotlines with really big organic visuals help tp provide a healthy alternative to computer-generated hoopla that's takes up the majority pf space in theaters today.

People who added this item 1853 Average listal rating (1153 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Super Size Me (2004)
For a major part of my life, I have eaten at many different restaurants that belonged to the various giant fast food franchises of our society. And one of the things I noticed as time went on, from my childhood years and throughout my time as adult, is how big the food kept getting. There was a point when the cups for the soft drinks looked more like barrels than they did as cups. And I would think to myself "Geez, if these portions of good are this big now, how big are they gonna be twenty years from now? I mean, where's the limit?" One of those people was a guy named Morgan Spurlock. He didn't just ask the question, though. He decided to see if he could find an answer. And after documenting his journey for answers, it turns out the answer is, not only did we reach the limit, we surpassed it.
And not in a good way.

I remember going to see this documentary the same weekend that I saw another 2004 food-themed film feature, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.
Which is kind of fitting when you think about it, since this is a story of one man's expedition to reveal the ugly truth (a truth that we all most likely already suspected, but didn't want to admit to),
Super Size Me probably makes the perfect McCompanion piece to Harold and Kumar's road trip quest for artery clogging convenience food.
People who added this item 2236 Average listal rating (1404 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
What do you do when you've been comfortably numb for so long that you're can barely feel reality?
Go back to the neighborhood where you grew up, bump into your friends from high school, start becoming aware of the slightly weird idiosyncrasies in them and/or in their lives, and have one of those cathartic big talks with your dad.
Oh, and most importantly of all (and this is key), start dating Natalie Portman.
Welcome back to the world of the "living".
Welcome back to the world of the Garden state.

People who added this item 1357 Average listal rating (909 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.1

Okay, this movie is a movie about one guy named Harold (you probably can't tell by his name, but he's not a white guy) and another guy named Kumar (another non-white guy, but his name is obvious enough to give that away) and they wanna go to White Castle (now the "White" part in that name has nothing to do ethniticity) to partake in some sliders (which you probably figured out since what other reason is there to go to White Castle?). And these two guys who crave sliders are a couple of college stoners (yet another thing you probably figured out since who else craves White Castle sliders other than college stoners?).
Okay, so any of you reading who haven't seen this movie may be wondering, if a person can figure all this stuff out from just the movie title alone, why even bother going to see this flick?
To which the answer is,
what the movie title doesn't tell you is that in this sliders craving, puff-puff-passing road trip, Harold and Kumar get joined by the living legend of Doogie Howser MD.
now you're wondering "WTF?! How the heck did that happen?"
Well, in order to find out, I guess you'll just to watch the movie now,
'ey there, Mr. Smarty-pants...?
People who added this item 896 Average listal rating (590 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Layer Cake (2004)
mmmm..... cake........

During the period of his career when he often considered the king of comedy when it came to films, this is another effort by Jim Carrey to be taken seriously as an actor. An "estranged" romance story set in the not too distant future (as a matter of fact, Eternal Sunshine's future comes off so "not so distant", that it may "actually" be occurring in a parallel present-time reality) about the contradictory choice to forget an unforgettable love, if only the technology which exists would allow the human mind to do so.
An existential sci-fi rom flick that shows that even though it's absence that makes the heart grow fonder, it's absence of memory that makes the heart grow stronger.

People who added this item 3435 Average listal rating (2129 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.5
The Aviator (2004)
Howard Hughes may have been born into money, but no one can ever call him stagnant. Taking his millionaire status and raising it even higher, the high risk entrepreneur jumps from one industry to another, eventually stepping into the field of the air as an aviator and as an innovator. Not to mention, stepping into the psychological instability that would eventually claim his sanity near the end of one of the most fascinating lives in modern American history.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the wealthy industrialist and aptly directed by Martin Scorcese, it is a story that, just like the man, comes off gloriously epic and distinctively melancholy at the same time.

Y'know, I've always found it difficult to try to describe movies like this, where the idea is just out-loud laughs centered around a plot that happens in a world that seems to shift between satire hovering not too far off the ground, to cartoonishly sky-high spoof. I usually just find myself saying that a movie of the caliber of Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy is hilariously funny. If there was one thing that I could say that would add any distinction in this entry its that, in this particular case, Burgandy effectively does it's job with very few times of stooping to the level of comedy that colors itself "blue".
That's not to say that the edge of Anchorman isn't there. I mean, a man being killed by the senseless and violent act of being impaled with a trident is not funny.

Unless it's a raucous reporters' rumble that is being led by the Legend that is Ron Burgandy.
Then, just like the rest of this movie, it's frikkin' hilarious.
People who added this item 3262 Average listal rating (2174 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
The ante has been turned up on Jason Bourne as he learns more and more about his shadowy past while trying to maneuver through an international trail of espionage and conspiracies. And the one thing he learns as travels from one exotic location to the next, is that, despite his fragmented memories, with his innate abilities of that of a high level assassin still intact, this is a bumpy road he can move through as though he were born to ride.

In The Bourne Supremacy, the saga continues of the amnesiac assassin who tries to discover who or what he is before he can be "dealt with" by those who created him. The quality in which the manner of suspense, action and story-line are all meshed together here by director Paul Greemgrass, this second chapter of the Bourne franchise is what, in my opinion, makes this one of the best spies series ever on film.
And, yep, when I say that, I'm even including the one franchise that features that one 007 bloke.
Usually, one of the main consequences of love is a bun in the oven followed by getting hitched at the end of a shotgun.
However, even though there is a gun involved, that is not the case here.
Instead, we have the story, or better yet, the unstory of a loner who resides in a plush hotel with not much of a life outside of its walls. Until he meets a beautiful woman who slowly helps him to feel like not being alone anymore
But as the light romance begins to move along, we come to see that there is a reason why this is a guy who tends to keep to himself.
And then that's when the aforementioned consequences begin to reveal themselves, That, and this lonely guy's lonely story.

People who added this item 1239 Average listal rating (773 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Ray (2004)
In one of those career defining moments that most Hollywood actors spend their whole professional life chasing, In Living Color alumni, Jamie Foxx transforms himself into one of music's biggest legends, Ray Charles.

Now, I could do what I usually do here with most of the entries in my movie lists, but for this one I'll just that Ray, more than most other biopics that I have given a high rating, the reason I like it has more to do with my personal taste in music. Because as far as all time singers go, Charles has always been a personal favorite of mine. His rendition of Leon Russell's A Song For You is one of those songs that would, without question, be on my "desert island" music must have's.
So, to come across a film like this takes the time and effort to portray the life of such a favorite legend of mine, well, that's always gonna earn a spot on my list.

As someone who had no real interest in this series or it's subject matter, it wasn't until this installment that I finally watched a Harry Potter movie. And being that I never read any of the books, I was quite taken aback at the over-all consistency of balance between the fantasy element of the wizarding world and that of the personal struggles of what goes thru a young person's mind trying to deal with things like death, authority and finding one's place in the life. Compelling drama, a story-line that both successfully continues the series and yet also manages to stand on it's own, well-placed chemistry between the characters, medieval sets that visually stun, Dementors that horrify, old tree willows that whomp and even a werewolf that looks pretty damn bad-ass.
I walked into this film an indifferentiated non-fan and ended up coming out a hardcore Pot-head.

People who added this item 3588 Average listal rating (2222 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet solidly anchor this fairy tale-ish depiction behind the process of a fairy tale.
Finding Neverland starts off as a story of a man who's refusal to grow up results in the fantasy based chapters of his stage production and ends with a boy who is forced to grow up by the grim reality of the loss of a loved one.
The end is truly moving and successfully endearing enough to mask the pixie-like liberties taken with any historical fact of this story about the inner creative workings of the man who originally "found" the Lost Boys.
And when I say the "Lost Boys", I'm obviously referring to the ones from Peter Pan.
Not the two Corey's from that one punk vampire movie.

People who added this item 1672 Average listal rating (1051 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.2
Downfall (2004)
For many years after World War II, German cinema avoided any kind of depiction of one the most infamous of dictators, Adolf Hitler.
The controversy that immediately followed after the 2004 film Downfall finally broke that taboo, shows that even 60 years after the "Big One", the scars of the second war to end all wars are still there and still incredibly sensitive.

Centering on the close circle of Hitler's command during the last days of the war, Downfall details the happenings within the Third Reich as it crumbled between various desperate acts of defection and disillusioned battle plans. Although many critics disapproved of this movie's attempt of depicting Hitler in any light that might resemble a human being, the truth is, lead actor Bruno Ganz, along with the psychotically capturing script, does an exceptional job of showing the Nazi leader as a shell of a man. In the end, it reveals the final hours of an unbalanced shallow husk of a human, who's last stand was fueled to the end with only the hatred, cruelty and gibbous paranoia that was his and the Nazi movement's ultimate downfall.
People who added this item 1721 Average listal rating (1019 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1

The nine year follow-up to the masterfully written Before Sunrise.
A love story that indulges in the idea of the kinds of bonds that can form if two people actually tried to communicate in a manner mired in bared-boned honesty (to which, I must confess, the "come-down-to-reality" part of my male brain wants to smirkly say "yeah....rrriight...") and with an intention of true understanding.
The two characters in Sunset come off just impeccably convincing as two people who truly have gone on from their first meeting, but never let go of the genuineness of that first shared emotionally intimate experience.
Simply great acting, a great script, and a great sequel with a great ending.
People who added this item 7248 Average listal rating (5167 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Spider-Man 2 (2004)

After the smash success of the very first Spider-Man movie, Marvel's Cinematic Universe begins it's dominating expansion throughout the Universe, with a follow up "fly-catcher" flick in which the Wall-Crawler, no longer a "sophomore", moves up into the next step of his life, both as a man and as a masked crimefighter.
In this one, Peter Parker roughs thru his dilemmas with the same down-to-earth frustrations as in the comic-books, his relationship with Mary Jane convincingly reaches it's next level, and Dr. Octopus is portrayed much better as a villain than he ever was on the printed age.
As a hardcore nerd of this genre, I was pretty satisfied at Marvel's initial effort at trying to do what Burton did with the Batman; introduce the webhead as a serious legitimate property for film.
The most I could've hoped for this sequel was that it be at least half as good as it's predecessor.
Instead, Spidey-2 turned out to become one of my favorite movie adaptations of a comic-book superhero ever (it would've been my favorite super-hero themed of the year if it weren't for the movie that I have listed at #3).
Which I guess I should've anticipated since before I even entered the theater, I noticed that my spider-senses didn't go off, all atingling an' sh*t.

People who added this item 7119 Average listal rating (5174 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8

    If you ever were to go to a comic book convention and ask the question “Which is the best film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ most long enduring flagship title, the Fantastic Four?”, you would instantly notice a couple of things. First, you would notice what a regrettable decision it was ask such a question at a comic-con considering the long winded and overly detailed opinions you’d be barraged with. 
And second, that the most common answer to that question would be “The Incredibles”.  Although the characters themselves are not part of the MCU, the parallels between the super-powered families are pretty obvious… 

Mr. incredible = The Thing, ElastiGirl = Mr. Fantastic, Violet = the Invisible Girl, and finally, Dash = the Human Torch. In Dash’s case, his powers may not match the Torch’s, he still is the fits the role of the “little brother” of the group, and TBH, physically, he physically looks like what HT would look like if Torch was a kid. To help round out the comparisons, baby Jack-Jack’s ability to do “everything “ is quite akin to the FF’s infant non-member Franklin. Also, each group’s primary antagonists, Syndrome and Dr. Doom, share each other’s brilliant brain powers to make up for their respective lack of super-abilities. One step further, the side villain in The Incredibles seems almost like a carbon copy of the FF’s first baddie, the Mole Man. 

  Now, I could also get into the slight similarities that Frozone may share with the oft-times FF ally Silver Surfer despite that the human snowblower appears to be more of a X-Men doppelgänger, but then I would be proving the fact that I made about long winded and overly long replies of a stereotypical comic-conventioneer (yeah yeah, I know… “Too late!”).

So far, at this point in time, this is my favorite animated feature ever, but it not just because I'm a self-proclaimed nerd of the comic book medium.  As far as I'm concerned, not only does the Incredibles have one of the best voice castings for the lead roles I've seen (or is it heard?) but also, on top of that, it has a really great story, written by Brad Bird, the same guy responsible for the Iron Giant (another one of my favorite all-time animated flicks). From beginning to end, this semi-origin of the I's is full of charm, wit and a family chemistry that is entertaining beyond just the younger demographic. I always thought that Hollywood never seem to be able to put out 100% in any feature dealing with superheroes, but they able to pull it off with this one. The effects are incredibly cool (even at a CGI level), the over-all visuals are stunning and the characters are all drawn with an equally high level of quality and dynamicism. When viewed with the "Jack Jack Attack" extra featurette on the DVD, I feel pretty confident that it will probably be a long time before the family "I's" get dethroned from #1 on my list of fave computer animation movies of all time. 
People who added this item 6452 Average listal rating (4573 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
  The saga of the Bride with no name continues. Except now, she has a name. And a few others too. And those few other names are the ones that she gets to scratch off his kill list. But will she survive long enough to the last name on that list?
Tune in to find out.

  At the end of it all, only two words can be used to describe this movie: Bad ass.
Not only is this Quentin's homage to martial arts flix, but it also includes homage's to anime and those funky, grainy 70's Bruce Lee's wannabe's that made us laugh with their unsynchronized voice-overs, jagged camera movements and b-level musical sound effects. And yet, he was able to combine all this in a manner that was just plain... well... bad-ass.

  As someone who became a rather hardcore fan of movies starting at a very early age, I grew up at a time when it was widely accepted that big budbget actions flicks were the kind of cinema that had to sacrifice on story in order to make room for the expansive bangs and the expensive effects that acted as the fuel for this type of widescreen entertainemnt. This was a belief that was only intensified when applied to any action movies that were centered around a martial arts theme. Of course, as with anything else, there were a few exceptions, but still, high level action did not equate with high level scripts for quite a long time.
   By the time the 90's rolled around, there was such a massive level of influx of big budgeted blockbusters that the market was becoming quite overly saturated with 'em. As a result, the movie making machine that was Hollywood had to find better ways to for these movies to compete with each other. Fortunatey, one of the ways was by writing better material for the plots of the stories and the dialogues of the characters.

 While this was going on, another phenomenon was going on during the 90's, and that was the rise of foreign films within the American movie theater. And in particular, Asian movies were becoming a more prominat import into the industry. Eastern cinema was coming in various genres, which obviously included martial arts movies, which had been reaching U.S. shores since the 70's, but their waves were becoming more tsunamic because of the works of such talents as Jackie Chan and John Woo. But my favorite thing about these action films from the Orient was the burgeoning subgenre within the genre known as wuxia, which took the martial arts foundation of the stories and combined it with Shakespearean themed drama, along with a medieval style fantasy element between all the "kung fu fighting".
   The most widely recognized of this type of cinema is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which as good as it is, for my own personal tastes, House Of Flying Daggers is the pinnacle that wuxia has achieved so far. And with it's beautiful story of love and intrigue, combined with lavish costumes, great performances and unique individually themed action sequences (which combined with the vivid colors, gave me the same effect as when reading a really kick-ass comic-book) left such an impression on me, that not only did it become my favorite film of 2004, but also has made it into my top ten faves of all time.

2004 shaped up to be the year of minor disappointments and quiet surprises for me.
There were movies like The Aviator, Super Size Me, Ray, Sideways, Collateral, which are all fine movies, but they're also films that I expected to like more than I did.
On the other hand, there were a quite a number of films that I ended up liking alot more than I anticipated, many which are on this top ten.
When I look over the quality of the quality of films I have listed not just in the top ten and twenty, but also in those in my yet to see list that are regarded as top-notch,
it seems that, over-all, this was another solid year in cinema.

Updated entries:

36. Friday Night Lights

37. Primer

38. The Doll Master

39. 36th Precinct

Films from this year that I have not seen but am interested in seeing

- The Machinist
- Crash
- Hotel Rwanda
- The Terminal

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

Lists by decades:
Of all time:

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