In compiling a list of the best movies I’ve seen this year, I didn’t lose any sleep. There was little struggle in determining what 10 films would make the list. After a slow start and a bleak summer, 2001 offered few movies worthy of the much sought after Mad About Movies “A” for excellence grade. One trend is encouraging: Well made family-oriented movies. There were a lot more of them this year and most of them made lots of money. So why is Hollywood so surprised? (Point of fact: 91 out of the Top 100 grossing movies of the 90’s were NOT rated “R”)
The highlight of the year for local movie fans was the opening of the new state-of-the-art “Stadium 8” movie Cineplex at the corner of Sunset and Bluff here in St. George. Westates Theaters should be applauded for building the theater that, even with its flaws, offers a technically superior movie going experience that rivals anything between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
The butter on the popcorn of this significant upgrade is that Westates is holding admission prices steady at no higher than $6 at a time when theaters in major cities are nudging prices upwards of twice that amount. We’d still like to see the theaters cleaned with greater diligence and Westates has not made good, yet, on their promise of using the older theaters to show independent and art house films of critical acclaim.
Let’s hope stellar movies such as “Memento,” “Amelie” and “The Dish” can find a big screen here in St. George so we don’t have to wait for them to come out on DVD/VHS. (Or require a trip out of town). And let’s not forget how important local film festivals are–they need our continuing support. My final wish for the coming year is that those inconsiderate parents who bring babies to the movies either get a dose of common sense and learn the word b-a-b-y-s-i-t-t-e-r or pick up another leisure time activity that doesn’t involve ruining movies for the rest of us.
Here is the Mad About Movies Top Ten List of 2001. I’ve also included the lists of my local movie critic counterparts:
1) LORD OF THE RINGS/FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Fantasy fulfilled.
2) MEMENTO. Finally a thriller smarter than its audience. The “Sixth Sense” – in reverse.
3) MOULIN ROUGE. Outrageous. Weird. Daring. So was Picasso. Forget Tom and Penelope, Nicole and Ewan rocked my world.
4) MONSTER’S INC. More clever than “Shrek” and no fart jokes. God Bless Pixar.
5) BEAUTIFUL MIND. Schmaltzy ending-but if you don’t like this film you’re the one with the mental illness.
6) OCEAN’S ELEVEN. If liking cool movies with glitzy stars makes me a sucker, I’m in.
7) RAT RACE. Laughed so hard my gut hurt. Guess that says a lot about me.
8) SPY KIDS. Non-stop action, imagination, believable kids, and better gadgets than MI:2
9) PEARL HARBOR. Yeah, I was moved. Yeah, I liked the old fashioned romance. Other critics missed the point. United I stand.
10) THE DISH. Nostalgic, reflective, delicately funny.You never heard of it. Just go rent it.