Peter Greenaway's films are an acquired taste. I've never been to one where I haven't seen people walking out of the theatre in disgust. Look - here's what to expect from Peter Greenaway: clever seriocomic art films about sex, death, and revenge, showcasing copious amounts of grisly violence, corpses, illicit sex, ample nudity (both male and female), witty dialogue, and… read more!
Movies Released in 2000 (in alphabetical order)
Imagine True Romance as directed by deadpan filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and starring an all-Japanese cast, and you'll have a good idea of what Adrenaline Drive is like. A shy, rather geeky young couple - a slacker rental car employee and a studious nurse - bump into each other and into about $2 million of stolen Yakuza money, which after a… read more!
After years of struggle, writer/director Crowe finally got studio money to make his dream project: His life story. Uh-oh! Now, many good writers have autobiographical elements in their work; by drawing on their own experiences, they can make their characters more real. But when somebody comes out and makes the grand announcement that "This is essentially my autobiography", you know… read more!
Based on Bret Easton Ellis' notorious 1991 novel, American Psycho follows the life of rich, handsome and empty 27-year-old stockbroker Patrick Bateman (a perfectly cast Christian Bale) as he plays with his fellow Manhattan Yuppies during the greed-drenched late '80s (as opposed to the greed-drenched late '90s?) and then goes on endless murder and mutilation sprees when nobody's looking. Director Harron and… read more!
I am slightly jealous of Amores Perros, because it has a story set-up very similar to one I have long thought of using: taking a tragic traffic accident, and then telling the stories of all the previously-unconnected lives affected by it. Here we have three victims: the first is a punky teenager who enters the world of dogfighting in order… read more!
It's hard to talk about this film without revealing its big "twist", ala the sudden change of direction that Hitchcock's Psycho was so famous for, but I'll try to be discreet. For its first third, Audition plays like a dry romantic comedy, as a lonely widower (Ryo Ishibashi), goaded by his teenage son to find a new woman seven years… read more!
Veteran crime director Fukasaku's sixtieth(!) feature has been met with great controversy in its native Japan for its subject matter, and with good reason: The story takes place in an alternate-reality Japan where, as a response to growing teenage violence, the government has set up a system wherein high school students chosen at random are sent to a remote island… read more!
A biopic about the dissident Cuban novelist Reynaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem), who alternately triumphed and suffered through Fidel Castro's revolution because of his homosexuality, Before Night Falls is entertaining if shapeless, with Spanish actor Bardem's convincing, low-key performance agreeably dominating the film. Of course, there are problems. For one, director Schnabel's notorious arrogance seeps into his film. Though Before Night… read more!
I caught this drama at a film festival, which is probably the only place in America that one will see it, being as it is all about George Best, the Northern Irish soccer player whose rise and fall as Manchester United's superstar forward in the 1960s is hardly a household name to those outside the UK. In the title role,… read more!
The folks who brought you Waiting for Guffman are back with another mockumentary, this one on dog shows and the people who enter them. Nearly the entire cast from Guffman returns, mostly in fine form, and once again Christopher Guest directs from a script he wrote with costar Eugene Levy. It's cute, but it's no Guffman, and it's certainly not… read more!
Set against the backdrop of the 1984 coal miners' strike in England, Billy Elliot follows its titular character, an 11-year-old boy raised by his macho father and older brother in a depressed Northern town, as he discovers a talent - and a love - for ballet dancing. You can pretty much guess every plot point from there on out, which… read more!
Crackling drama about a young New York hustler (Giovanni Ribisi) who's dropped out of college to make a small fortune running his own casino in his apartment, but, due to his father's (Ron Rifkin) consistent disappointment, decides to go "straight" by joining up with a hot shot stock brokerage on Long Island, where each broker (all male, all under 30)… read more!
Under his stage name "Beat" Takeshi, middle-aged Japanese superstar Kitano plays Yamamoto, one of his typical tough guy characters, a Yakuza warmonger who is forced to flee Japan after a Yakuza alliance decides he's better off dead. So where else should he go but Los Angeles, where his younger half-brother (Claude Maki) has adopted hip hop style and deals drugs… read more!
One of this teenage lesbian comedy's cast members, Melanie Lynskey, starred in my film Foreign Correspondents, and in fact she gave me this film's script (by Brian Wayne Peterson) to read the very night before she started work on it. Even then, I didn't care for it. As Mel's friend, my primary complaint was that her character wasn't given enough… read more!
I feel no guilt in laying out the three acts of Cast Away, as it's important to touch upon each one separately. Act I: A chubby Tom Hanks plays Chuck Noland, a workaholic FedEx representative who is decent enough, but married to his job, and leaves his long-suffering girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) on Christmas in order to tend to work.… read more!
The titular Cecil (Stephen Dorff) is a rough-trade Baltimore filmmaker who wants to not only subvert but destroy the Hollywood empire. On his quest, he kidnaps bitchy, middle-aged movie star Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) and forces her to act in his own underground movie, essentially a series of filmed acts of sabotage, from spray-painting cineplexes to trashing the set of a Forrest… read more!
A comatose serial killer (Vincent D'Onofrio) is captured by the FBI (led by agent Vince Vaughn) and, as only the unconscious murderer knows the location of his soon-to-die final victim, the Feds decide to "pick his brain" with the help of psychiatrist Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez), who's been experimenting with a device that enables her to literally enter the mind… read more!
A guilty pleasure if ever there was one. Charlie's Angels is, of course, based on the popular '70s TV series, which featured three sexy women doing detective work for their forever unseen boss Charlie (voiced, then as now, by John "Blake Carrington" Forsythe). Charlie's Angels was American TV's first true jigglefest, where viewers were less interested in the thwart-the-bad-guy plots… read more!
I was shocked the other day when a friend of mine said she'd never heard of Aardman Animations, their Wallace & Gromit series of clay animated shorts, or their three(!) Oscars. So for those of you living in that cave with her, Aardman are these clever British folks who've been making excellent clay animations for over a decade, and now… read more!
That this film garnered five Oscar nominations - including Best Picture - says more about Miramax's aggressive marketing campaign than it does the film's quality. Forgettably slight, this shallow tale of a free-thinking woman who invades a small French town in 1959 with her addictive chocolate recipes, and upsets the town's frumpy powers-that-be, is a predictable and pointless bore. Miramax… read more!