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The Big Board
for David Mumpower

Big Board Year:

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The only great films I saw in 2005.
1. Serenity
    Quite simply the best movie going experience I have had in several years.
2. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
    Pure joy in every way imaginable.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    When we look back at the evolution of CGI effects in cinema, this will be remembered as the gold standard. Goblet of Fire has the most gorgeous set designs I have ever seen.
4. Elizabethtown
    Cameron Crowe can do no wrong. This is the film for his father that Almost Famous was for his mother. The sentimental nature of the project is impossibly winning.
5. Mr. & Mrs. Smith
    Who needs to watch porn? This film has enough incendiary sexual chemistry to carry a couple through an entire winter.
6. Murderball
    Brilliant documentary examines man's natural instinct toward aggression and the need for the handicapped to find like-bodied counterparts with whom they may hold a Fight Club. Simply extraordinary.
7. Shopgirl
    Steve Martin's self-flagellation notwithstanding, this is a marvelous examination of the life of an attractive, naive woman used by a successful man and the unconditional love that liberates her.
8. Red Eye
    Wes Craven reinvents the thriller genre just as he did the horror genre a few years again. Thematically and holistically, this is Scream at Ten Thousand Feet.
9. Batman Begins
    Dark, stylish Gotham caper returns franchise to the high life once more.
10. Syriana
    In the immortal words of Marge Simpson, "I don't understand it so it must be very good." Dense, convoluted script offers dramatic payoffs in superlative third act. At least I think it does.
11. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
    Shane Black has created the best screenplay of 2005. This is one of the best action comedy achievements since the original Lethal Weapon which was, not coincidentally, also a Shane Black work.
12. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
    A charming celebration of what it means to be a teenage girl. Warmly recommended.
13. Hustle & Flow
    Terrence Howard is a revelation, plain and simple. Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, D.J. Qualls (!) and Taraji P. Henderson are all almost as good. The best acting ensemble performance of 2005.
14. Walk the Line
    The highest compliment I can give Walk the Line is that I'm probably the only person in Tennessee who wasn't excited to see it yet I was captivated nonetheless.

I will speak glowingly of all of these.
15. Millions
    The Passion of the Christ got all the hype, but Millions is a more profound treatise on the nature of faith coupled with the struggles true believers face in modern times.
16. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Depp is perfectly cast and the remake turns out to be as close to normal as Tim Burton can be. This is the only summer remake that delivers.
17. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Religious parents over the next generation should find this movie to be a wonderful indocrination for their children, particularly the themes of sacrifice and redemption.
18. The 40 Year-Old Virgin
    A wonderful ending boosts an otherwise good movie into a great one. And it does feature the best scene of 2005.
19. Good Night, and Good Luck
    A great movie that is too clinical to be accurately described as one that I love.
20. Sin City
    This gritty new genre, comic book noir, could wind up being The Matrix of 2005.
21. Sky High
    The most pleasant cinematic surprise of 2005. The fact that it's written by the Kim Possible people explains everything.
22. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Feels exactly like a higher budgeted, better casted re-make of the BBC mini-series of the early 80's, and that's great news from my perspective.
23. Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story
    More heartwarming than a pacemaker near a microwave.
24. Cinderella Man
    Paul Giamatti redeems a potentially overlong, smug production with a soulful performance.
25. Mrs. Henderson Presents
    Delightful combination of Hoskins and Dench proves to be the best duo of the year. Film does a wonderful job balancing comic hijinks with the decimation of war. Coincidentally enough, Dench's charact
26. Lords of Dogtown
    Fabulous casting choices and a wonderful performance by Heath Ledger make for a fantastic biopic.
27. The Ice Harvest
    Clever twists infuse this dark drama with subversive energy. Keeps offering surprises until the very last moment. The Ice Harvest deserved a better fate.
28. War of the Worlds
    Apocalypse cinema is a nearly perfected art. Second half of the film blindly turns away from genius of first half, though.
29. George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
    Big Daddy will endure as one of the most memorable, captivating zombies in film history. George Romero still has it.
30. Four Brothers
    The fraternal relationships never feel forced and the action sequences are quite intense.
31. The Constant Gardener
    Rachel Weisz is fantastic but this one is simply too depressing for me. If you like your drama dreary bordering on hopeless, boy howdy, is this ever the film for you.

These are all sure-fire first day DVD purchases.
32. Chicken Little
    Charming, fancy free exploration of what it means to be an original in a world of copycats. Seeing it in 3-D is the ONLY way to go.
33. Memoirs of a Geisha
    The best looking film of the year occasionally lags but tells a marvelous story on the whole.
34. Zathura
    Vividly imaginative fare should trigger the creativity of children of all ages.
35. Hitch
    A warm hug of romanticism from start to finish.
36. Just Friends
    Anna Faris steals an already decent film with a hysterical send-up of pop divas.
37. The New World
    Powerful romance and splendid visuals excuse an overlong re-telling of this classic story.
38. The Bad News Bears
    This is a movie I am confident Walter Matthou would love.
39. Undiscovered
    One of my favorite films of the 1990s is A Thing Called Love. To my complete astonishment, this movie is both thematically similar and almost as emotionally engaging. 2005's most pleasant surprise.
40. Coach Carter
    Samuel Jackson carries the role with tremendous dignity, vastly enhancing an already wondrous (true) story.
41. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
    This documentary is every bit as engaging as 2004's sleeker, more storied work, Fahrenheit 9/11.
42. Prime
    A warm look at the nonsensical aspects of relationships that are inexplicably prioritized.
43. Legend of Zorro
    The magic is to large extent recaptured. It doesn't match the original, but still qualifies as a worthy sequel.
44. Me and You and Everyone We Know
    There are an unusual amount of subplots to this movie-going experience. A couple of them inspire me, one bores me and there are two I find genuinely disturbing. I admire the film for making me work so
45. The Interpreter
    Equal parts In the Line of Fire and Body Heat.
46. The Dukes of Hazzard
    While not a stellar adaptation, the Broken Lizard wit does shine through at times, making the movie entertaining more often than not.
47. The Producers: The Movie Musical
    Affable musical offers constant entertainment. I'm told it's inferior to the Broadway version in every way but having never seen it, this is a more than acceptable substitute for those of us not in
48. Unleashed
    The best usage of Jet Li's prowess in any of his North American movies thus far.
49. Assault on Precinct 13
    Taut thriller has weak moments but offers taut, claustrophobic drama. It reminds me more of Die Hard II than the original, though.
50. Rumor Has It
    Much better than early reviews would have you believe. It's also much more accessible to mainstream audiences than one might expect given its pedigree. Would work just as well without the tie-in to T
51. A Lot Like Love
    It's a shameless Four Weddings and a Funeral ripoff but a decent one.
52. The Transporter 2
    Delivers exactly what it promises with Jason Statham continuing to hit a perfect note as an action hero.

There's a fine line between love and like. These fall into the latter category.
53. Match Point
    Scarlett Johansson proves once more that she's got the goods. The surprising screenplay leaves me cold on the whole although it's possible that is the intention.
54. Jarhead
    The point of the movie is that the soldiers never get to the fireworks factory. The movie simultaneously lives and dies because of this.
55. Be Cool
    Wildly uneven sequel has genuinely hysterical moments. It helps that I love the original so much.
56. The Wedding Crashers
    Vince Vaughn does 'ridiculously annoying' far too well. His role in Made took me out of the movie and it happens again here. The rest of the film is fantastic.
57. The Upside of Anger
    A slapstick comedy disguised as Well Past thirtysomething: The Movie, this film's roots are in About Schmidt more than anything else.
58. Cry Wolf
    Modern spin on the 1980s horror classic, April Fool's Day, offers innumerable surprises, a rarity for 2005 horror.
59. Kung Fu Hustle
    The more serious second half of the film is night and day more enjoyable than the goofy slapstick first half.
60. Pride and Prejudice
    Keira Knightley is so winning that she carries the day in an otherwise mediocre adaptation. Having said that, let's all agree not to make another P&P-based project for a while, mmmkay?
61. Get Rich or Die Tryin'
    Fitty can't act a lick, but his story is one of the most iconic movie biopics of the past quarter century. It's a real life Scarface.
62. Inside Deep Throat
    Free speech advocates might never have a stronger ally than this neutral take on the downside of suppression. Even allowing for the subject matter, this documentary should become a classroom study.
63. D.E.B.S.
    When fairly judged as a harmless B-movie, it proves to be quite enjoyable.
64. Fantastic Four
    Chris Evans saves an otherwise forgettable movie by having the time of his life as The Human Torch.
65. Ice Princess
    The bland and predictable body of the film is counterbalanced by a charming, believable friendship between the girls.
66. The Weather Man
    This is Nicolas Cage's best performance in a while. I don't know if that's a compliment or not.
67. The Ringer
    Much sweeter and a bit funnier than rumored. When it hits the DVD market, it definitely warrants a look. Makes a smart decision in not keeping the main character's situation a secret throughout.
68. Doom
    As a lifelong fan of the videogame, I was braced for the worst but came out slightly mollified. As far as generic action films go, you could do much worse.
69. Herbie: Fully Loaded
    Yes, it's absurd but like most Disney re-makes, it perfectly parallels the tone of the older Herbie films. I got warm fuzzies a couple of times.

If this and a quarter pounder combo are the same price, you can't go wrong either way.
70. King Kong
    Could have been a great two hour and 15 minute film. Stands as a decent three hour movie with one altogether embarrassing dinosaur chase sequence worthy of Land of the Lost.
71. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
    It's best described as Boston Legal with Demons. I would have preferred Horror Film with No Lawyers.
72. Guess Who
    To my complete surprise, Bernie Mac and Kelso have chemistry together and the movie's finale is quite strong.
73. Howl's Moving Castle
    Unlike more storied Studio Ghibli productions, Howl does not translate well stateside. Its weirdness overwhelms a wonderful concept.
74. Monster-in-Law
    Wanda Sykes makes an otherwise unremarkable movie quite entertaining at times. She wins the 2005 no-prize for best comedic performance in a lousy movie.
75. Cheaper by the Dozen 2
    Perhaps it's damning with faint praise, but I was braced for much worse. God help me, I just can't ever stay mad at Steve Martin for an entire film.
76. Are We There Yet?
    My Ice Cube fandom blinds me to reason here. I must shamefully admit that I laughed.
77. Skeleton Key
    This is the best slasher film of 2005. It's an honor equivalent to being the best pitcher on the Kansas City Royals.
78. Constantine
    I might be the only person in the world who felt Chain Reaction was the superior Rachel Weisz/Keanu Reeves film.
79. Fever Pitch
    An atrocious ending mars an otherwise enjoyable exploration into the madness of sports fanaticism.
80. Rent
    Offers the best music of the year but the movie itself is all over the place. Fans of musicals might enjoy it more, but I am on the fence about it.
81. The Family Stone
    Tender, memorable ending is nowhere near enough to save an otherwise uneven mess.
82. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
    I wanted to love this movie but wound up barely liking it. One of Tim Burton's worst performances with regards to concept vs. anti-Edward Scissorhands, if you will.
83. The Island
    The first 45 minutes of the film is visceral and imaginitive. The rest of it is standard Michael Bay crap.
84. The War Within
    Alas, it's nothing we haven't already seen on 24, Spooks, Lost or Alias.
85. Junebug
    Amy Adams is so poignant that I am willing to overlook the film's numerous flaws. Quite possibly the best performance of 2005.
86. Hostage
    Hostage is infrequently riveting but oftentimes obtuse. The intense conflict among the invaders belongs in a better film.
87. Saw II
    Just like Saw in every way imaginable. Whether that's good or not is where the debate lies.
88. The Cave
    Much less than the potential sum of its parts but it does have its upside.
89. Fun With Dick and Jane
    Enron joke in the closing credits is the funniest part of the film. That's not good.
90. Broken Flowers
    The most damning statement I can make about this movie is that I love every other movie Bill Murray has done...even The Man Who Knew Too Little.
91. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
    Gross and crazy...the Dennis Rodman of 2005 releases.
92. Pooh's Heffalump Movie
    Well-intended saccharine is much better than recent Pooh outings.
93. Rebound
    I wish they had cast Terrell Owens instead of Martin Lawrence. Maybe he would have learned something.

This is right around the moment where I stop being polite and start getting real.
94. The Longest Yard
    I question the need for the film to be so dark and the homophobic stuff was moronic. There were a lot of laughs, but I left the theater disappointed.
95. Crash
    Preachier than Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton and Reverend Lovejoy combined.
96. Brokeback Mountain
    Overhyped, overlong and underwhelming. This is the most overrated critic's darling since American Beauty.
97. Boogeyman
    The scariest film of 2005 to date. Not that this is saying much.
98. Munich
    Spielberg's worst effort since Hook. The fact that it gets a Best Picture nod astounds me.
99. Madagascar
    Why oh why couldn't this have been a film about the adventures of the penguins? That would have rocked.
100. In Her Shoes
    It's not even for people with a foot fetish.
101. Layer Cake
    The official export of Britain should be the slick crime drama, but this is a convoluted, sub-par effort.
102. The Brothers Grimm
    As imaginative as one would expect of Terry Gilliam, but still a complete mess. Ledger and Damon do seem to be having fun, though, and that helps.
103. Must Love Dogs
    It was like John Cusack made a cameo from a better movie. His ten minutes saves an otherwise disastrous, rudimentary romcom.
104. North Country
    Summarizing: Men are bad. I have now saved you the two hours of suffering. This is Whale Rider's director? What a sophomore slump.
105. Man of the House
    The casting director did a perfect job. The writer and director, not so much.
106. The Jacket
    The brilliant concept leads to abject disappointment at the result. The execution here is far too straightforward.
107. Wolf Creek
    Crocodile Dundee reference almost saves entire film. Almost.
108. Supercross
    Maybe I am simply numb to the concept of bad cinema in 2005, but I have seen much worse this year. Much worse. Also, Cameron Richardson, while not a great actress, does have an engaging quality.
109. Yours, Mine and Ours
    Cinema's strongest argument for birth control.
110. Aeon Flux
    It misses the mark, but not by as much as I was expecting. Once the mystery is revealed, the whole affair does feel rather absurd, though.
111. Capote
    Philip Seymour Hoffman offers the male lead acting performance of 2005, but Capote is so despicable that I don't enjoy the film despite his excellence.
112. Transamerica
    A transcendent performance by BOP fave Felicity Huffman is not enough to ignore the limitations of the film's constant melodrama. The family scenes at the end are engaging, though.

Not quite a crime against nature, but certainly a slap in the face of it.
113. Flightplan
    The The 'twists' in this thriller are so obvious that I would swear there were subliminal message hints cut into some of the frames. Peter Sarsgaard should wear a World's #1 Villain t-shirt.
114. A Sound of Thunder
    The first twenty minutes are quite good. The rest of it makes you wish a timewave had wiped out the human race prior to your screening.
115. Oliver Twist
    Please, sir. I want no more, sir.
116. Because of Winn-Dixie
    The dog is cute. The girl is adorable. The movie is a bust in spite of this.
117. Derailed
    Single most disappointing title of 2005. Had the potential to be another Frantic but wound up being predictable and bland.
118. A History of Violence
    The most over-hyped, underwhelming movie of 2005. William Hurt offers the only engaging performance, and it lasts all of seven minutes.
119. March of the Penguins
    It's a penguin snuff film! Don't be tricked by the marketing! They lure you in then they kill the cute little dudes in tuxes right in front of you. It's like an Iron Chef episode.
120. The Devil's Rejects
    I actually recommend this for people who like their films dark and ultra-violent. It was way, way, way too much for my genteel sensibilities, though. It makes Sin City look like Mary Poppins.
121. Sahara
    Any movie that ends with Penelope Cruz in a bikini can't be all bad. Except this one.
122. Lord of War
    An intriguing story is undone by Nic Cage's thespianism.
123. The Pacifier
    Vin Diesel shows no hubris, willingly humiliating himself for the sake of various sight gags. Unfortunately, most of them are beyond redemption. Are We There Yet is the much better implementation.
124. The Wedding Date
    The moral of the movie as I understand it: man-whores are the most romantic, sensitive men in the world.
125. Kicking & Screaming
    Mike Ditka and Robert Duvall are funny. Will Ferrell is not.
126. Two for the Money
    I bet that most people who watch this movie actively dislike it. Act now and I'll give you a five point spread.
127. The Squid and the Whale
    If this is what Noah Baumbach's childhood was like, I'm glad I didn't know him. Has the most disgusting subplot of 2005.
128. The Great Raid
    Quite possibly the dullest war film ever.
129. High Tension
    I wonder if anyone involved with this project actually understands the rationale behind the big twist. Somehow I doubt it.
130. Valiant
    Makes me hope that the bird flu wipes out the entire species plus the movie's animators.
131. Racing Stripes
    As far as dumb movie ideas go, the rest of the 2005 schedule will be hard-pressed to top this one.
132. Cursed
    The time has come for Kevin Williamson fans to accept that he has lost his touch...and then some.
133. The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D
    Heavy-handed and self-serving, this lackluster outing diminishes what Rodriguez accomplished with the Spy Kids franchise.

Go to and find synonyms for awful.
134. Into the Blue
    Ever played Fable? Jessica Alba and Paul Walker would have halos while Scott Caan, Ashley Scott and the rest would have flies swarming around their heads.
135. Dark Water
    Not scary, not interesting and not a good idea for a horror film.
136. The Fog
    Easily wins the battle for Most Absurd Ending of 2005.
137. Domino
    Even after several moments of quiet introspection, I still don't understand the purpose of the 90210 story arc. And that internal debate was the most entertainment I got from the film.
138. Robots
    The animation company has since apologized for the weakness of the script. Commenting further would be rudely kicking them after they've already turtled.
139. The Amityville Horror
    Treehouse of Horror episodes have rendered it impossible to take this movie concept seriously.
140. Bewitched
    I'm hereby declaring a moratorium on any "insider" film remakes which attempt the show-within-a-show gambit. It is doomed to fail and rightly so.
141. Beauty Shop
    The only happiness in the movie comes when Kevin Bacon ditches the bad accent.
142. House of Wax
    Even the Paris Hilton slaughter scene underwhelms. Dark Castle has lost its touch recently.
143. Just Like Heaven
    If you have seen the trailer, you have seen a briefer, vastly superior version of the movie. The other 90 minutes only bring suffering.
144. The Ring Two
    Ringu 2 was every bit as good as Ringu. The Ring 2 is every bit as bad as The Ring is good. Oddly, the sequels share the same director.
145. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
    Two words: franchise killer.
146. White Noise
    Another in the recent spate of instantly disposable horror flicks.
147. Mindhunters
    Yeesh, enough with the twists. It offers enough red herrings for an Iron Chef battle. By the way, they all suck.
148. Stay
    Stop with the twist films already. I'm not kidding around any more. Just stop it.
149. Underclassman
    I liked this movie so much better in 1987 when it was called Hiding Out. Nick Cannon is no Jon Cryer, either.
150. The Man
    I want to pull out the hairs in Eugene Levy's moustache one by one.
151. Kingdom of Heaven
    A film so misguided it makes me long for the halcyon days of 2004's Alexander.
152. The Perfect Man
    This one should go down in the Creepy Subtext Hall of Fame. A daughter seduces her mother online.
153. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
    It's somehow funny because they say 'man-whore' 712 times.
154. XXX: State of the Union
    Clearly, there are limits to my fandom of Ice Cube. This is a disastrous project destined for the Bad Movie Hall of Fame.
155. In the Mix
    In the Mix: a teenage answer to The Bodyguard that comes as a student that gets its creator kicked out of film school.
156. The Honeymooners
    Worst re-make of the year...and that's really saying something.
157. Elektra
    The Evanescence music video in Daredevil made for a better movie than this.
158. Hide and Seek
    The twist in this film is more inexplicable than Paul Walker's career.
159. Waiting...
    Enough scatological humor and sex jokes to keep a fraternity laughing all night. Sober folks, on the other hand, will*not* be pleased.
160. Stealth
    Unquestionably the worst movie concept of the year. Fails on every level.

Uwe Boll territory
161. Alone in the Dark
    I want to give Uwe Boll a hydrochloric acid enema. Doesn't the Geneva Convention prevent this movie's exhibition?

What lurks beneath Uwe Boll territory. It's dark and scary here.
162. King's Ransom
    It's intended to be like Ruthless People. It proves to be a Head Office ripoff but without a single funny moment. That is *not* an exaggeration.
163. The Gospel
    Less subtle than a bullet to the brainpan. More painful than same.
164. Son of the Mask
    Son of the Mask is to The Mask as George Walker Bush is to George Bush.
165. Diary of a Mad Black Woman
    There is fine line in comedy between humorous and absurdly over the top. Tyler Perry has created a new level: Brobdingnagian and base.
166. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    So long and thanks for all the Sith. PS: good riddance, you fraudulent hack.



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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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