Top Ten Movies Of 2004
Top Ten Movies Of 2004
For those wanting to know what some of the best movies are out there. I have compiled a list of movies to make up my personal top ten movies of 2004. Some may shock you as to why I say they're worthy of being in my top ten for that year, while others will be expected. During my article, I will gladly explain why each film made it into my top ten. However, I'll let my readers be the judge of that. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy my top ten recommended films of 2004.
Sadly, another site called seed thought my list wasn't good enough to be accepted, so I thought I'd publish it here for you all to enjoy. I'll let you all be the judge of that.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-This was by far not only one of the most original movies ever conceived, it was also a story that spoke true about life itself. How we all tend to have our own share of heart break and love, in life. Yet it's because of these rare experiences, it shapes who we truly are, and without them a part of ourselves would be missing. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" not only explores this concept beautifully, it also paints a wonderful and tragic tale about how empty our lives would be without our memories...even tragic ones.
2. Hotel Rwanda- Perhaps one of the most under rated movies of all time. Based off the amazing true life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who helped home thousands of Tutsi refugees in Africa, during their struggle to survive the Hutu militia conflict. Like "Schindler's List", "Hotel Rwanda" tells a story of one man's attempt to save a culture from oppression of another. All while trying to keep the safety of his family in tact. However, the story is really at it's best when it focuses on Paul's family, as it allows for the audience to deeply engage his character's plight. Definitely, an inspirational movie about hope, when none seems possible, that no true movie fan should miss.
3. Collateral-A psychological thriller like no other. Starring Jamie Foxx (Max), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Annie), and Tom Cruise (Vincent). Jamie plays a normal everyday cab driver, in L.A. Things seem to running along smoothly until he meets a man named Vincent, who asks for Max's services for the remainder of the night as his own personal driver. With the promise he would be paid handsomely well, Max agrees to it. Little does he know, that one decision turns out to be possibly one of the worst ones of his life. As he soon discovers, the various spots where Vincent wants him to go are actually targets, where Vincent has been assigned to eliminate people that he was contracted to kill. Not only putting Max's life in danger, but possibly everyone that's close to him. If that wasn't enough, in a case of mistaken identity, the L.A. police holds strong incriminating evidence that Max is Vincent even though that's not true. Needless to say, Max finds himself in quite a dilemma that he may not be able to get out of. "Collateral" is definitely one the best thrillers out there, as it not only plays on man's primal instincts to destroy one another, but Tom Cruise plays a great villain. Seeing the cold blooded stare in his eyes as he hunts down his victims along with Max, is just too alluring to pass up. As the film will have the viewer constantly on edge.
4. Million Dollar Baby-A hardened trainer/manager, Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), works with a determined woman, Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), in her attempt to establish herself as a boxer. Now with that brief plot synopsis, most would believe this is just another rip off of the classic "Rocky" movie, but you'd be wrong. No, this isn't a film about boxing at all, even though it takes place in that environment. No, this is a story about love, dreams, memories, and relationships. Frankie, even though he's managed to train many prolific boxers during his career, he's managed to have a unsuccessful life with his family, as it's apparent with all his return letters he gets from his daughter. Although the movie never fully explains why he's not too close to his daughter, it does leave the viewer with enough information to know just how truly alone Frankie is in life. Combined with the fact, that Maggie comes from a family that could care less about her as well, this only adds to the potency of the relationship the two characters build over time. Reminiscent of a father/daughter relationship, as both affect each others' lives greatly. A knock out of a film for anyone to see.
5. Sideways-A couple of men travel out to California's wine country, during a vacation plan to celebrate Jack's (Thomas Haden Church) final weekend of bachelorhood before he marries. Along the way is his best friend, Miles (Paul Giamatti), who teaches Jack of all the splendors of fine wine, and how he hopes this weekend will be just another weekend for the guys to hang out. However, Jack has other plans in mind. For you see, Jack wishes to use this trip as a way to soar his wild oats before he marries. Of course, being the nice guy Miles is, he tries to convince Jack that it's not a great idea, but fails to do so as he gets pulled along for the ride. What happens next is a moving story about love, lies, and betrayal that will capture the heart of anyone who watches it. At times it can come off as funny, but at other times it can come off as sad. Where each character plays off each other perfectly, as it'll keep anyone glued to their seats.
6. Ray-Based off the real life story of famous musician Ray Charles. Jamie Foxx gives a command performance as the legendary musician. Ray Charles was not only a man who revolutionized the music industry, but he also had to endure a lifetime of drug abuse and infidelity issues. Like a modern day Beethoven, Ray Charles also had a disability that was uncommon among most musicians. Where Beethoven was deaf, Ray was blind throughout most of his life. Which makes his epic story that much more amazing. As Jamie manages to step out his comical usual self, to bring a sense of humanity to the iconic figure. Where sure Ray may not always be right in what he does, but Jamie still manages to make you feel for his character's struggles in life.
7. Kill Bill: Volume 2-In the follow up sequel to "Kill Bill: Volume 1", this one has the notorious Bride (Uma Thurman) continuing her pursuit of revenge against the ones who have wronged her. However, what she finds may not be what she expected. Although the story tends to fall into the typical spaghetti western and old samurai film cliches at times, particularly when they explain the Bride's past on how she became to be known as "The Black Momba." This probably offers one of the deepest stories ever presented in a Quentin Tarantino movie. All while delivering that same obsessively violent yet surprisingly witty humor that we've all come to know and love about all his movies.
8. Howl's Moving Castle-In one of Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces, tells the story of a young girl who becomes cursed as she gets trapped into the body of an elderly woman, by a spiteful witch. Her only hope in breaking the spell lies within a young self indulgent, yet highly insecure wizard and his companions in his legged walking house. Like all of Miyazaki's films, "Howl's Moving Castle" is a visual spectacle unlike any other. As the images defy imagination and comprehension, to where it'll bring out the child in all of us to be entranced by it's artwork. Creating a magical fairy tale of love, triumph and hope. Where there is no clear cut villain in this movie, as Miyazaki always makes all his characters sympathetic enough for the audience to engage them. A must see visual treat for all anime fans out there.
9. Ghost In the Shell 2: Innocence-Based on the cyber punk manga about an elite police force known only as section 9. Their job is to monitor cybernetic crimes across Japan. Set in a future where all of humanity is either cyborgs or their mostly machines, where the only thing real about them is their memories. Or is that really true? For you see, in this futuristic world of cyborgs, everyone's mind is tapped into the net and telepathy is possible. Sadly, as "Ghost In the Shell 2: Innocence" shows, even memories can be manipulated to where that may not even be real. And if those memories aren't real along with the rest of your body, then are you still human? Or a mere copy of someone who once lived? What if in this future machines started to grow their own self awareness through the advancement of A.I., then what makes them less human than a person who gives up their own human body for a mechanical one? Those who have followed either the T.V. series, mangas and/or films will know, that the "Ghost In the Shell" franchise blurs the lines between machines and humans like no other. A definite must see for all die hard anime fanatics out there.
10. Spider-Man 2-Although the story tends to rip off certain elements from "Superman II" where both heroes lose their powers temporarily to be with the ones they love, but it shows how it drastically affects their lives and the world in doing so. However, unlike "Superman II", "Spider-Man 2" actually offers a much deeper insight into the main protagonist's life. Not only allowing for the audience to see how it affects his life and his relationship with his love interest, Mary Jane, and the world he protects; it also displays how it affects his relationship with his family, Aunt May, and his best friend, Harry Osborne. Where just being Spider-Man forces Peter to lie and betray the trust of his best friend, as it causes a severe rift in their relationship. Peter's heroic obligations interfering with him ever pursuing a normal life, yet the world desperately needs Spider-Man. It is at these moments, the film is at it's best, as it shows the human factor of a superhero more than any other film of it's genre.