My Movie Year: The Year 2000

Thanks to Andy for inviting me to My Movie Year blog-a-thon. This is the second time I’ve participated in Fandango Groovers’ blog event since the massively popular Desert Island DVDs. Below is the simple rule for the post:

All you have to do is pick your favourite year for movies and back I up with five classics from that year, no more no less. You can do as much or as little as you want with your selections; a simple list, images and posters, reviews, trailers. Or anything else you can think of.

It’s quite a daunting task as most of the movies I love come from different decades. I actually didn’t see all that many movies back in college, but I pick the year 2000 as this is the year where I moved in to my first ever house after living in one apartment after another in college and shortly after graduation. I didn’t watch a lot of movies on the big screen then either, but it turns out a lot of movies released in 2000 have become one of my all time favorites. So here they are:

Gladiator

I can’t possibly NOT include this movie. I mean, I’ve always LOVED swords and sandals movie ever since Ben-Hur, and this one has such a fantastic story and wonderful performances all around. I even picked this as the subject for the blog-a-thon ‘Movies that makes going to the movies suck‘ because it’s been copied so many times and studios are launching similar type of movies to capitalize on its popularity.

But this often-quoted Ridley Scott masterpiece remains on top in this genre and to this day I’m still enamored with it as the first time I saw it. It’s one of those movies that has the whole package, everything from the story, dialog, set pieces, performances, and even the soundtrack makes up for an epic entertainment.

Russell Crowe gave an iconic performance, even his name Maximus Decimus Meridius is a classic. Equally memorable are Joaquin Phoenix as the despicable incestuous Commodus, and the more I watch this movie the more I appreciate all the character actors that make this movie great, most especially Derek Jacobi with his theatrical line delivery. It’s not as popular as the others, but I pick this line as one of my favorite movie quotes of all time.

Unbreakable

I LOVE this imaginative take of a superhero movie. People tend to mock M. Night Shyamalan’s these days but I’m still willing to give him a pass because he’s made some creative work in the past, especially this one.

An intriguing concept that’s brilliantly executed, Unbreakable is a quiet but suspenseful thriller that’s rich in character development. The astute cinematography adds so much to the eerie and mysterious tone of the film, in many occasion, it even help tells the story in such a breathtaking way. That scene where Elijah falls on the stairs of the train station is such a heart-wrenching scene… it’s as if I could feel his pain as he breaks nearly every bones in his body. It’s also one of those movies where it’s not a simple good vs. evil kind of story, and we can’t help but feel sympathy for the bad guy.

Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here. – Elijah Price

It shows that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson certainly can act if they choose to. Both seem to gravitate more for the action-packed stuff and sure they’re good at it, but I’d love to see them do something more understated like this again.

Oh, and I actually do like the ending, it’s unexpected and definitely made you go ‘whoa’ the first time around. But unlike Sixth Sense, it doesn’t lose its impact even after repeated viewings.

Chicken Run

When I first saw this, I had never seen Wallace & Gromit before but I absolutely adore this Peter Lord and Nick Park’s creation. It’s odd since I’m usually not into claymation, but I think this movie is just so fun and joyful to watch. Inspired by The Great Escape, the chickens led by Ginger rebels against against the evil Mrs. Tweedy’s farm with the help of Rocky the rooster.

Right from the start, I was so enthralled and empathized with the poor ‘imprisoned’ chickens, as they’re depicted as having humanly activities like knitting, dance, bicker with one another, and seemingly having more lively existence than the humans at the farm.  The dialog is sharp and funny, with hilarious yet poignant lines like “I don’t want to be a pie.” or “We’ll either die free chickens or we die trying.” The voice cast are a hoot, especially Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson as Ginger and Rocky.

It’s definitely one of my favorite animated features of all time. I even feel a bit guilty eating chickens for a while after watching this, especially chicken pot pie! 😀

Return to Me

I think I’ve talked about this movie quite often. It’s always on my list of favorite rom-coms, and I even dedicated a whole post for it. This movie doesn’t follow the typical formula of a rom-com, in fact it starts out with a tragedy. But yet it’s a joyful movie despite its poignant subject matter, filled with a wonderful depiction of family live, sincere friendship and a love story between two people who’ve gone through a lot by the time they find each other.

Both David Duchovny and Minnie Driver are wonderful here, they’re not your go-to actors for this genre which is a shame as they’re so natural here. Same with director Bonnie Hunt as she is quite adept with creating wonderful characters and engagingly funny dialog. It’s too bad that this is her only feature film in her resume. Oh, and the soundtrack is wonderful, too!

Check out the trailer below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

X-Men

I readily admit that I have a penchant for superhero movies, and the mythology and the allegory with the reality of our world of the X-Men universe is particularly fascinating to me. I absolutely loved it when it first came out and both my hubby and I were hugely anticipating it. Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint and it’s still good after repeated viewing. Bryan Singer made superhero movies not only cool but has something meaningful to say. It’s intelligent AND fun.

The casting is key here, from hiring two British thespians as the two leaders of polar opposites — Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart — to taking a chance with a then-unknown Aussie actor Hugh Jackman as the tormented Wolverine. He may be indestructible but he’s still vulnerable and Jackman’s gruff but soulful portrayal won him many fans and launched his career. He’s got an undeniable chemistry with Famke Janssen as Dr. Jean Grey, which makes their unrequited romance quite irresistible.

It’d be nice if Singer stays on throughout the trilogy, then we’d have three solid movies in this franchise. But the consolation is that he came back, albeit as a producer, in the excellent X-Men: First Class, which has a lot of the great things I love about the original and then some!

Other great movies I like from 2000:

  • Billy Elliot
  • Chocolat
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Memento


My runner-up year: 1995

I almost picked this year because I absolutely adore Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility, plus it’s also got two other dramas I love: Circle of Friends and A Walk in the Clouds. I also like Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Usual Suspects and Se7en a lot, but in the end I feel like I have more affinity for the five movies I picked for 2000.



Thoughts about the movies listed here? Now, what year would YOU pick?

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75 thoughts on “My Movie Year: The Year 2000

  1. Great choice of year. I haven’t seen Return to Me but love your other four choices. My top five for 2000 are: Almost Famous, Battle Royale, The Claim, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memento. Thanks for taking part.

    1. Ahah, I know that the majority of people have not seen Return to Me, that’s why I keep talking about that movie hoping that more people will give it a chance.

      Thanks again for organizing this great blog-a-thon, Andy!

  2. Other than “Return to Me” (which I haven’t seen), I love all the films on your list. The interesting thing about “Unbreakable” is that when it first came out, people seemed upset to learn that it was “just” a superhero movie, despite being cleverly disguised as a character drama and suspsense thriller. Now, we have a number of movies that attempt to deconstruct the superhero genre like this film did and receive great praise for doing so.

    1. Glad you like Unbreakable, too. I actually had no idea it even had anything to do with superhero mythology, and I’m glad I didn’t as it was great to discover it as I was watching it. Once I knew what it was about, it’s still fascinating to watch again and again though, that’s what I like about it.

    1. Ha..ha.. yeah, it’s like a broken record to hear how many people have not seen Return to Me. It’s a shame as it’s truly a heartwarming film and will convince people that not all rom-coms are created equal.

  3. Great year! So glad to see the mighty Gladiator on there! Might have to check out what others have been picking! Shame Memento didn’t make your top 5 but you’ve got me intrigued about Return to Me.

    1. Gladiator is my all time fave, Pete, glad you like it too. I do like Memento, that’s why it’s in the honorable mentions. Hope you give ‘Return to Me’ a chance, it’s really a sweet and wonderful movie.

  4. 2000 was a good year mainly due to a movie you mentioned: “Gladiator”. It’s one of my very favorite films. Other movies from 2000 that I really liked were “Cast Away”, John Woo’s “Mission Impossible 2”, “The Patriot”, “O Brother, Where Art Though”, and as you mentioned “X-Men” and “Memento”.

    Great year!

  5. Pingback: My Movie Year: The Year 2000 « FlixChatter | Have You Seen This Movie

  6. “Return To Me” is the only one from the five I haven’t seen. I’ve enjoyed the other four a lot too although I kinda forgotten about “Chicken Run”. Time for a re-watch I guess. My favourite from that year would have to be “Memento”.

    1. I can’t recommend ‘Return to Me’ enough, hope you’ll give it a shot one day. Chicken Run is definitely fun, I might watch it again soon.

  7. Ted S.

    The only films on that I didn’t see were Chicken Run and Return to me, but those other three films are great. My favorites from that year were Memento and Traffic.

    BTW, did you know that Dougray Scott was originality cast as Wolverine but had to back out days before shooting starts because he was called back to reshoots for M:I-2? I’m sure he’s a little tick off now since his career never took off while Jackman is enjoying his.

    It’s hard for me to just pick a year and list 5 of my favorites, I thought 2007 did have some great films, No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, The Assassination of Jesse James and The Bourne Ultimatum. I also like 1994, Pulp Fiction, The Lion King, True Lies and The Shawshank Redemption.

    1. Oh yeah, I did know that about Scott. I can’t see him as Wolverine though, he’s got such a melancholy eyes, it’s not intense like Hugh Jackman. Still he must have been kicking himself for not taking it, though I don’t know if that character would’ve been as successful with him in the role.

      You’ve got some great movies in those two years Ted, I do like Michael Clayton, the 3rd Bourne movie, and the last 3 movies you mentioned. I should watch True Lies again, perhaps one of my fave Ahnuld movies.

  8. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Great topic and dissertations!

    2000 was a decent year for films.Opening the doors to a lot of today’s A-List
    talent. Enjoyed ‘Gladiator’ for its battlefield tactics that really haven’t changed over the centuries. Thought Joaquin Phoenix was pure, slimy , malevolent evil personified. An excellent nemesis for Crowe.

    ‘X-Men’ got a lot of things right. Patrick Stewart was made to play Xavier. Halle Berry’s Storm, not so much. Also wanted to see more of the pre Blue Furred Hank McCoy.

    That said. Being a guy and all. I am going to go against the tide and give some well deserved loving to another Russel Crowe film. ‘Proof of Life’. An
    unrequited love story I can get behind.

    For its sumptuous locations and well executed tale that starts out a bit slowly, but tightens contunuously throughout. Due to Taylor Hackford delicately mixing the chemistry that will never be between Russel Crowe and Meg Ryan. Also some of David Morse’s and David Caruso’s best work.

    Also, ‘Snatch’. For one of the few Brad Pitt films I can stomach, because Pitt doesn’t look, speak or act like Brad Pitt! In what look and feels like Guy Ritchie’s personal take on the old 1963 comedy classic, ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’.

    1. Hi there Jack! I love the way you described Joaquin, slimy and malevolent is spot-on!

      Yep, Berry is terrible as Storm, my wish for that role is Angela Bassett.

      Oh I do like Proof of Life! It’s quite underrated probably ’cause of Crowe/Ryan affair, but I remember liking it when I saw it in the theater a while ago.

      Ahah, I don’t care for Brad Pitt but I’m willing to give ‘Snatch’ a chance because like you said, he didn’t even look like himself there.

  9. 2000 is a fantastic year! My favourite movie of all time, Werckmeister Harmonies, came out in that year. So did Code Unknown, another all-time favourite of mine. I love the movies you’ve chosen too, especially Return To Me. David Duchovny makes any movie better.

    1. Woo hoo! Finally a guy who has seen Return to Me!! Yes, I’d agree w/ you about Duchovny. He’s more versatile than people give him credit for, and he’s got great comic timing, too.

  10. twodudereview

    2000, my back-up year. I love, love, love Gladiator and Unbreakable! For as appreciated Gladiator is, Unbreakable is equally unappreciated and truly is a great film. X-Men was also one of the films to set comic book films along the right path.

    A number of other films I enjoyed were: Castaway, The Perfect Storm, Frequency, Road Trip, Memento, and Almost Famous….so many good films in 2000!!

    1. Yeah I know, it’s a shame about ‘Unbreakable’ as it just gets better w/ each viewing. I think people appreciate it more now than when it was first released, go figure.

      I still haven’t seen Frequency. I should get on that as I like the story and James Caviezel!

  11. 2000 was one of my favorite years, too. But you missed the best movie from that year, Almost Famous! One of my very, very favorite films. Great list, though. Return to Me is one of the more underrated romantic dramas of the last few years.

  12. univarn

    I love Unbreakable the more and more I see it. Part of that is that my favorite part of any superhero movie is the setup portion. The initial attaining and discovery of power and the learning to cope with that. This is basically that entire concept spun on its head and run through the ringer. As for the ending, I’m 99% with you. If they would just remove that caption and end the film on Bruce Willis walking away and leaving us with the question “what will he do?” Then I think it would be perfect.

    Though 2000 was an awesome year in movie. Going through the wiki list of movies released I kept going “jesus why don’t we get this kind of quality rush more often!”

    1. All right, Uni! Glad to hear from a fellow Unbreakable fan. It’s the movie that makes me think M. Night still has it in him to make a comeback with something truly original. Maybe he should cast Willis again as he seemed to have the most luck w/ him in his movies? 🙂

      1. univarn

        I worry that M Night bought into the adoration and claims of genius too quickly for his own good. Not that the media did much to discourage him… A return to the understated supernatural thriller with Willis at the head may be just what the doctor ordered.

        1. Well, let’s hope that’d still happen, Ryan. Willis seems to be extremely busy these days though, but then again, when is he NOT busy 🙂

  13. PrairieGirl

    Well, all I can say is I’ve seen Return to Me twice, and could see it again. Love, love, love Minnie Driver. ‘Nuf said about the others. My work here is done ;-D

  14. Ruth,

    Great year and choices all around. But I am thrilled to see a shout out for ‘Chicken Run!’ LOVE IT! Great story, characters, affecting and hilarious! I was “forced” into Wallace and Gromit in an animation course I took and have been a fan ever since. But ‘Chicken Run’ is extra special, I think.

    Really enjoyed this post! Is the “My Favorite Year” an ongoing project? Or is the blogathon over? I’d love to give MY favorite year some thought. Such a great idea!

    Aurora

    1. I’m actually not crazy about Wallace & Gromit but yes, Chicken Run is extra special indeed. It’s amazing how much one identifies with a bunch of chickens, ahah, but the filmmakers really made me believe chicken are just like us! 😀

      Oh, this post is part of a blog-a-thon, so no, not an ongoing project. Feel free to join in though, it’s never too late to take part, Aurora. I’d love to see what year you’d pick!

    1. I was wondering if you or your staff would be doing this or not matey. Hey, it’s not too late to join in 🙂

      Oh come on, I’m sure you’re much slimmer than Mr. Crowe today, ahah.

    1. Oh absolutely, Nostra! Did the trailer not convince you? I do think this movie should appeal to men/women of all ages. I can’t recommend it enough.

      1. Well, as you know I don’t really watch trailers, so that’s why I asked you. If you say I should see it, I add it to my to watch list 😉

        1. Ah yeah, that’s right. Well, take my word for it, I think you’ll enjoy it. As you can see from some of the comments, a few guys who have seen it like it, too 🙂

  15. Really good choice of movies, I’m not sure I would have picked Gladiator though. I would have added the French Connection and a low-budget film I reviewed recently called All Divided Selves.

  16. Nice post, a lot of great choices here. I have seen Return To Me, and it’s pretty cute for that kind of film. I especially enjoy the old guys who play Minnie Driver’s uncles or customers or whatever (sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it and my memories are hazy). They made the movie for me.

    Good to see some love for Chicken Run…maybe Aardman’s most satisfying feature-length film so far (of course I’m bound to like it, as it references one of my favorite movies, The Great Escape).

    1. Hi Jeff, welcome to FC! Glad to hear you have sen Return to Me. Yes, the elderly actors, especially Carroll O’Connor & Robert Loggia are awesome! I love all the classic tunes throughout the movie, it’s so heartwarming.

      Yeah, I’d think a lot of people would get a kick out of the homage to The Great Escape. So brilliant!

  17. Gladiator is probably my all time favourite film. Probably. So glad to see it make your list here.

    You know, I’m not such a big fan of Chicken Run. Along with Flushed Away, it’s one of my least favourite of the Aardmans. Give me Wallace and Gromit any day over those chickens!

    1. Ahah, no big fan of the chickens huh? I just think they’re so adorable, I mean the way their mouths move when they speak is hilarious. Well, glad you’re a fan of Gladiator though 🙂

  18. A solid year in movie. Like Jaina, Gladiator is one of my very favorite movie of all-time and I never miss a chance to watch parts of it (or all of it!) when it’s on TNT. Not as big of a fan of the others aside from Memento but still a nice year to pick Ruth 😀

    1. Indeed Castor, in fact when I was writing this it made me want to watch it again. Never gets old for me.

      I was considering putting Memento on the list, but I think I’m not as keen on watching it over and over as I do w/ the others.

  19. Love every single choice you’ve made here, Ruth. Chicken Run, with its ‘The Great Escape’ motif is an under appreciated gem (if you’ve not seen that classic war film, it’s a must-see). Great idea by Andy and execution with this one on your part. Well done.

    1. Yay, thanks Michael. I’ve only seen clips of ‘The Great Escape.’ I know, shame on me, I better get on that. Yeah, Andy always comes up w/ the coolest blog-a-thon!

  20. Your first few picks I absolutely agree with until you got to “Return to Me” and you lost me…haha
    It’s a very corny concept for a film and though I think it’s certainly better than a lot of rom-coms, it’s still not more than above average for me.
    I wasn’t too thrilled about any of the X-Men movies, although it probably comes from the fact that I was die-hard fan when growing up and I wasn’t pleased with the UNNECESSARY changes they introduced to the story and characters.

    I also enjoyed films like: The Family Man, Erin Brockovich, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Requiem for a Dream and Snatch.

    1. What, you didn’t like RTM and X-Men?? We can’t be friends then man.

      He..he.. just kidding, but well, we’d have to agree to disagree then 🙂 I get where you’re coming from though if you’re a big fan of the comics, I never read ’em so I didn’t share the issues you had with it.

      I do think American Psycho displayed Bale’s amazing acting range, but no, if you know me at all, you’ll know I won’t ever put such a movie as my favorite.

  21. I knew X-Men would make an appearance when I saw that you’d picked 2000! 😀

    Chicken Run is such an excellent choice! I didn’t see it when it was released but since then it’s been on pretty much every Christmas in the UK.

    PS Sorry for being AWOL for so long, I’ve recently got a new job so have been mad busy! Moving house this weekend so after that I should be back blogging full time 😀

    1. He..he.. I do love those mutants 😀 Chicken Run is shown every Christmas? That’s awesome!

      Oh, I totally understand Claire. Hope your moving went well. Glad to hear you’ll be blogging again soon! 😀

  22. I didn’t do this meme because I don’t remember much about which movies were released in which year 😉

    Out of 3 movies in your list, I really like Unbreakable…it’s a unique movie.

  23. impsndcnma

    Out of the five movies you listed, only Gladiator would be in my list of favorites. While I love Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run did nothing for me. I remember people being fond of Unbreakable. I can’t watch that movie anymore. I hate the twist factor.

    1. Well, at least you like one from my list, Max. Funny that I actually don’t like Wallace and Gromit, but those chickens are so darn cute!

    1. Ahah, I’m quite predictable aren’t I? I actually picked 1995 first as I love Sense & Sensibility, but in the end Y2K wins out 🙂

  24. Nice pic, Ruth, 2000 was a good year, indeed, although I would probably go with 1995. I love Gladiator, it’s one of those movies that has everything- good script, amazing performances, fantastic cinematography and costumes, and it’s also entertaining!

  25. Nice selections, Ruth! 2000 must have been a great year indeed since my picks would be wildly different from yours. 😀 A few of my favorite films were released that year: Almost Famous, Requiem for a Dream, and American Psycho.

    1. Thanks Eric. Yeah, I guess Y2K does cater to everyone w/ a lot of good movies from various genres. Maybe some people in Hollywood thought it really would be the end of the world? 😀

  26. It’s a great year, Ruth. I never watch Gladiator in one whole movie, although I saw it in television couple of times (they always show late at night and even then I was interested to watch more if I wasn’t sleepy). I never heard and watch Return To Me, but it seems like a great pick for weekend. I too haven’t watch Chicken Run, fully, but I loved clay animation. I agree with Eric above, you should put Almost Famous there 🙂

    1. Oh my, you need to watch Gladiator soon! That’d be on my list of ‘Movies To See Before You Die’

      Return to Me is charming, I’m sure you’ll love it.

      I haven’t seen Almost Famous, and there’s no such thing as ‘should’ as this is my personal list 🙂

  27. I had forgotten what a strong year for cinema 2000 is. I’m with you for Gladiator, Unbreakable, and X-men, all solid picks!

    Of the titles that have not yet been mentioned from 2000, I also enjoyed:
    Meet The Parents , High Fidelity , The Beach , Pay It forward, and The Road Home(set in Asia so maybe one to watch for you, Ruth?)

      1. @Ruth: The Road Home (2000) is a love story told in flashback, so probably more suited for a female audience, I still loved it, though ( : The cinematography is out of this world, which is often the case with director Zhang Yimou.

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