the usagi incidents

20051225

Best of 2005: Movies

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Best Movie (English):
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
From the full audio rip I managed to get my hands on and a great deal of the film itself, this definitely wins for best of the year. It's perfect. As the original short story was built upon, it can't really fit into the adaptation catagory as much. They took Proulx's basic material and built upon it so well and so perfectly, it's breathtaking. Definitely best of the year.
RUNNER-UP:
Maria, Full of Grace
Technically 2004, but wasn't distributed in the US until 2005. Technically a Colombian-US production, this film blew all of my previous preconceptions about the drug trade out of the water. It was very sad, but an excellent film. It's graphic, it's ugly, but it's the truth. We need more films like this out there.


Best Adaptation (English):
Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe
I mean, it's pretty much taken straight from the novel, and it's perfect. I finally got around to reading the novel for this last night and I was absolutely shocked at how faithful it was.
RUNNER-UP:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Because it's been established that they've cut a lot from the series while transfering it to film, I'm really happy with what they did include. They included nearly all of the best parts of the novel and that's good enough for me.

Best Indie Production (English):
MYSTERIOUS SKIN
Another production technically in the 2004 pile, it wasn't distributed in the US until 2005 due to rating concerns and finding someone who would buy the film for distro. As I haven't yet read the novel I can't comment upon its adaptation, it's still a fucking amazing movie when you let it stand alone. Gregg Araki is one of my favourite directors ever, and this film was a really nice change of pace for him even though his style did not change one bit. I cried at the end, I admit it.
RUNNER-UP:
None. It was a real drought for US indie productions this year. :/

Best Gay Movie (English):
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, MYSTERIOUS SKIN TIE.
RUNNER-UP:
None. Sadly. :/

Best Silly Fun Movie (English):
D.E.B.S.
Another one of those 2004 but distro'd in 2005 titles, even though it's a wonderful gay movie, it's not the best for 2005. But it's still the best silly-fun-wow I like not having to think about movie for 2005. It was funny and sweet, and I loved it to death. Props to the entire cast that were non-gay for doing gay scenes.
RUNNER-UP:
Fantastic Four
Jessica Alba in a skin-tight suit for most of the film, a guy on fire, and everything getting blown up. Hello, 14 year old boy wet dream!

Best Discovery (English):
Dead Poets Society
I can't believe it took me that long to see that film. Simply amazing. No words.
TIE:
Donnie Darko
I should have seen this one ages ago. >__<



Best Movie (Japanese):
NANA
I would have put this under "best adaptation", but the fact that it was completely cut in half with the original storyline, that just automatically cut it for me. Good news though - a sequel is underway and is due to start production in early 2006. Otherwise, if you see it on its own and not read the original manga, it definitely wins for best Japanese film of the year. It's just that good.

Best Indie Production (Japanese):
KANARIA (CANARY)
I hadn't gotten around to reviewing this one yet, but I have seen it. It's a very interesting take on the world post-1995 Aum Shinrikyou Sarin Attacks and how cults have affected Japanese religious and secular life. This film was absolutely marvelous in the way it handled these sensitive issues, and I would personally love to meet the director to pick his brain. I'll have a full-length review coming soon, I promise.

Best Adaptation (Japanese):
None for this year. :(

Best Gay Movie (Japanese):
Again, none for this year. Stupid Japan!

Best Silly Fun Movie (Japanese):
STACY
Even though it was made long ago in Japan (2001?) it was only distro'd in the states this year due to gore and rating concerns. It was an awful awful horror film about Schoolgirl Zombies that Eat Each Other and Everyone Else but I loved it. This is the stuff I live for: horrible B movies that really should have made it into the mainstream.
RUNNER-UP:
None. ;/

Best Discovery (Japanese):
BLUE
Made in 2003 but not to come to light until 2005, this story is a very laid-back approach to girl love in high school. A lot of reviewers either hated it or didn't even bother reviewing it, but I happened to like it. The pace was very slow, very relaxing, and it seemed more realistic than some of the other films out there by Japan about this subject. Full review coming soon.


And finally...

Best Gay Film (OTHER):
HU DIE (BUTTERFLY)
Made in Hong Kong in late 2004 and debuting in 2005, this film haunted me for days after I watched it. I cried, I laughed, I remembered my own experiences. Yeah I know, we have two other gay catagories, but this one deserved one on its own.

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