Resin Heroes

Top Movies of 2004



Here’s my annual list of the top movies of 2004. Look for an in depth column on this subject appearing over at The Fort Wayne Reader in a few weeks. This year was one of the better years in recent memory for movies. It makes going to the cinema on a weekly basis worth while again!

(In an odd bit of coincidence, one actor appeared in two of the movies in this list in featured supporting roles. If you can figure out who HE is, send me an e-mail and I’ll publish your name in this column.)

Here’s the bare bones list:

The best movie of the year – Collateral. Tom Cruise plays Vincent, an assassin assigned to kill the prosecutor and witnesses of a major case set to go against a crime family in modern day Los Angeles. Jamie Fox plays Max, an unlucky cab driver that just happens to pick up Vincent as a fare but is wrangled into driving him around all night as he goes from hit to hit. Shot on digital video, Collateral gives it’s setting of L.A. an almost nightmarish quality. Eyes glow from ambient light and the night sky burns a putrid orange from the light pollution below.

The rest, in alphabetical order:
The Alamo – I thought The Alamo was a unique look at the Alamo siege while, at the same time, providing an interesting perspective on the defenders such as David (don’t call him Davy) Crocket. I felt that The Alamo did one thing that the multitude of Alamo movies and specials have failed to do; humanize the characters.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – The movie unfolds in a seemingly jumbled manner, with events from the past being intermingled with current and future events. But it somehow all works in the end. And on second viewing all makes perfect sense.

Garden State – It’s hard to say just how much Garden State hit home with me when I first saw it. Many of the details in the movie seemed to mirror my own life; from a death in my immediate family, growing older and even meeting friends from high school after not seeing them for nearly a decade. It is once in a rare while that a movie strikes me in such a way.

Napoleon Dynamite
– It’s wild and wacky. The kids and teens of today will be watching Dynamite on TBS twenty years from now reliving old memories. (And I along with them.)

Spartan – Spartan sounds like the generic spy-drama that has been made a million times before but Spartan is wholly different. Like in real life, the characters don’t spell the plot out for the audience or talk in an unnaturalistic manner. And, like in life, the plot of Spartan is a bit messy. People are killed when the audience least expects it. Major characters die.

Read the top movies of 2003 (according to Dangerous Universe) here.