Been a long time since we did a The Year In Movies post mostly because we’ve always had some new movies that have been worth reviewing. Finally, this week, nothing of interest has come to my attention whatsoever…
So, let’s go back and take a look at the movies of 2002.
2002 was kind of the transitional year when it comes to summer blockbusters as Spider-Man became the first movie in the history of Hollywood to gross more than $100 million in just the opening weekend, at the time, it was unheard of back then. Nowadays, it’s standard but back in 2002, the highest opening weekend up to that point was Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone and that was $90 million and even than that was considered unheard of.
Again, nowadays we’re shocked when Star Wars makes $250 million in its’ first weekend but when Spider-Man hit $100 million, and Spider-Man was not seen as quite as popular of a Marvel character as the X-Men were and the X-Men were able to manage $54 million for that first movie in 2000.
Just goes to show how far we’ve come in 14 years.
But we’re not here to talk about the box office, we’re here to talk about what were the best and worst movies released in 2002. Let’s begin this list by looking at the 10 best movies released in 2002:
I’ve talked in the past why I love this movie and what it basically comes down to is this, I compare Spider-Man to the 1989 Batman movie, a really great and fun action movie but it has several big flaws with it. Nevertheless, Spider-Man is a great origin story for a great superhero and it was only the beginning of things to come for Spider-Man.
A really great underrated Christopher Nolan thriller, which is actually a remake of a 1997 Norwegian film of the same name. Pacino is always great and Robin Williams is excellent in this as is Hilary Swank. If you love Christopher Nolan at his best, Insomnia is one of his most overlooked gems.
8. Minority Report
An excellent, excellent science fiction adventure based off of Phillip K. Dick’s short story with Tom Cruise starring under the direction of Steven Spielberg, a visually impressive, well acted, well told science fiction film. One of Spielberg’s best from 2002.
7. 8 Mile
Who would’ve guessed that Eminem could actually be a pretty solid actor? This movie that is based on his life shows off the impressive acting abilities Eminem was able to give and has one of the best soundtracks for a movie ever, so much so that the main song, Lose Yourself, ended up winning Best Original Song at the Oscars that year.
6. Catch Me If You Can
For the first time since 1993, Steven Spielberg makes not one but two excellent movies released in one year and Catch Me If You Can is one of his best movies yet, combining the great acting legends of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks along with an excellent homage to the crime comedy capers of the 60s/70s, Catch Me If You Can is a solid and brilliantly enjoyable time at the movies.
5. Lilo & Stitch
For Disney, this one was a huge step in the right direction after a few misfires in the last couple of years prior but Lilo & Stitch was a more than welcome return combining two really wonderful lead characters, especially with Stitch, it’s hard not to love this little guy and he still remains my all-time favorite Disney character to this day, but on top of that, you have a really solid story, you have great relationships going on in this movie, you have really good laughs, spectacular animation, and it’s just a really good fun ride on all levels.
4. Punch Drunk Love
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson of Boogie Nights fame, this was the movie that tried to show that “hey, Adam Sandler can actually do drama.” And, sure enough, Adam Sandler can actually do drama. Sandler was amazing in this movie, he works great chemistry with Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman is also great in this movie as well. Visually immersive, brilliantly acted, this is one of Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler’s most underrated movies.
3. The Bourne Identity
The launch of one of the best action franchises ever, Matt Damon shines in this movie as Jason Bourne and the film creates an immersive and investing universe that brings the Robert Ludlum characters to life in the best way possible.
2. Kissing Jessica Stein
One of the most underrated romantic comedies ever made, I really dug the hell out of this movie.
If you don’t remember this one, this is the one that has Jon Hamm’s wife, Jennifer Westfeldt as the lead. Based off an off-Broadway play, Jessica Stein is a single, straight, successful, journalist, part of a bonded Jewish family living in New York City, who finds herself not as straight as she thought when Jessica meets and begins an intense friendship with career woman Helen Cooper (Heather Jurgensen) which ultimately leads to romance.
Back in the 90s, gay people were not portrayed as regular people in most movies and TV shows, they were often seen as stereotypes of what people thought gay people were like in real life but this was one of the first movies to show off gay people in a positive light and it shows.
This movie was really solid, it was extremely funny, you feel for these characters, you like the chemistry they have on screen, and the movie doesn’t go for the cliché tropes that romantic comedies tend to go for, this movie doesn’t do any of that.
This is definitely one of the most underrated comedies ever made and I think it deserves more attention than it gets. Hell, I want to see Westfeldt do more movies because of how excellent this was.
and the #1 movie of 2002 is…
This is probably the best musical movie that I’ve seen. The film’s stars Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger, John C. Reilly, & Queen Latifah are really great in the film especially when they sing. The direction by Rob Marshall is also fantastic and the set everybody’s working on is really the best part of the film.
Those are the best, now let’s look at the worst, these are the 10 worst movies of 2002:
10. Resident Evil
Add this one to another of the worst video game adaptations ever made. You know what the worst part about it is? This is actually the best of the Resident Evil movies…it’s all downhill from here, folks. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here…
Speaking of things taking a huge downfall from this point on, allow me to present the movie that began the inevitable downfall of M. Night Shymalan. This whole movie just doesn’t work, storywise, actingwise, it just fails on all levels. The fact that these aliens are immune to water…and yet they are trying to take over a planet mostly covered by water…and can easily be defeated because they have trouble getting through a fucking door, these are some of the pussiest aliens ever put to screen. Who would ever be threaten by these things? Nobody.
8. Die Another Day
Already went in depth on this one as well in the past, Die Another Day is like the Batman & Robin of the Bond franchise, it’s so unbearable to watch, it’s not even funny. It’s poorly written, poorly directed, poorly acted, and just an all around mess. This is without a doubt the absolute worst Bond movie of the entire series and you’d be better off avoiding it like it was the fucking plague.
Ah, Raja Gosnell, ruining childrens’ franchises since 1997. Scooby-Doo could’ve been a much better movie than it ended up becoming, the original plan for this was to be a raunchier much darker tone, essentially poking fun at the original series, much like The Brady Bunch Movie, and was set for a PG-13 rating. Shaggy was set to be a stoner, and there were many marijuana references. WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO THAT? Scooby-Doo was primed to have a Brady Bunch Movie vibe to it but no, heaven forbid, we actually make fun of the thing we’re making a movie of.
And here’s another insult to injury to Gosnell’s ineptness: Gellar also said her character and Linda Cardellini’s shared an onscreen kiss that did not make the final film. “It wasn’t just, like, for fun,” she said, explaining it took place in the body-switching scene. “Initially in the soul-swapping scene Velma and Daphne couldn’t seem to get their souls back together in the woods. And so the way they found was to kiss and the souls went back into proper alignment.”
Thank you for that, Raja Gosnell, thank you so very FUCKING much.
Sarah Michelle Gellar even said that after everybody was cast, they made the change over to a much more family friendly feel to it and of course, we have this pile of dreck. They ruined the possibility to make a really solid Scooby-Doo movie that makes fun of the original series but no, Raja Gosnell stepped in because he clearly has no idea how to have fun with any project he’s involved with.
It’s just a stupid decision on the part of WB and Gosnell not to go with the more raunchier tone, you could’ve actually made a much better movie than the pile of shit we got.
6. The Sum Of All Fears
The worst Jack Ryan movie, Ben Affleck himself does a decent job as Jack but the film itself is bad, its’ story makes no sense and feels rushed to appeal to a post 9/11 audience as this came out nine months after the September 11th attacks and it fails to connect like the other Jack Ryan films did. Thankfully, 12 years later, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit gave us a good Jack Ryan film again.
5. Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
Yeah, it’s easy to make fun of The Phantom Menace as it was the big fuck you of the Star Wars franchise BUT Attack Of The Clones is easily the worst Star Wars movie ever. Phantom Menace does have some good moments to it, not a lot, but some. But Attack Of The Clones is Star Wars at its’ worse, the film goes on way too long, there’s way too much talk of trade negotiations, the relation between Padme and Anakin doesn’t work, characters are undeveloped, the subplots aren’t investing, the action scenes aren’t that good, it’s just a slopfest of boredom. Phantom Menace is often regarded as the worst Star Wars movie but trust me, Attack Of The Clones is MUCH worse than you probably remember it….if you even remember it at all.
4. Sorority Boys
Just…what? What was this movie suppose to be? Nothing, it was suppose to be nothing but gross out jokes, sex jokes, objectifying women, it’s a bad college comedy at its’ worst and luckily, Van Wilder, a far superior comedy came out at the same time to get the disgusting taste of this pile of shit out of our thoughts.
3. The Time Machine
Wasted potential all around, you could’ve made an amazing adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic story plus time traveling usually leads to something excellent but in this movie, not the case. When even the great grandson of Wells, Simon Wells, mostly known for his animation work, can’t make a great adaptation of this, there’s a huge problem here.
2. The Master Of Disguise
Poor Dana Carvey, the dude is extremely funny when you give him something to do but in this movie, it really does feel like Adam Sandler forced Carvey to not be funny in this movie, this movie is just despicable in its’ we-don’t-give-a-fuck-ness, you can watch this movie and see that nobody in this movie cared whatsoever about what they were doing but were just cashing a paycheck, the whole movie is just lackluster on all levels, it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t clever, it was just a mess but not as much of a mess as the #1 worst movie of 2002, which is…
The Adventures Of Pluto Nash
This movie was Eddie Murphy at his absolute worst and trust me, that’s saying a lot. The whole movie is just not funny or clever, this was a script that was sitting on numerous shelves in Hollywood since the 1980s and it shows, there is not a single laugh in this entire movie, there is not one bit of anything clever or impressive visuals or good acting in this. The whole movie was a gigantic mess of stupidity, lack of creativity, or enjoyment. It just didn’t work, it’s the absolute worst movie released in 2002 and also one of the worst movies I have ever seen…which….yeah, I just gave you guys a spoiler for one of the movies coming up on the Top 30 Worst Movies list so, when that shows up, there will be plenty more to talk about with this dreck.
PREVIOUS YEAR IN MOVIES POSTS
Follow The Reviewing Network at our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheReviewingNetwork for continuing updates and debuts for new blog posts and also follow my Twitter feed so you can see new postings right as they are posted.