2005 in (cinematic) review, part two

Read part one of this entry first, which covers January through June 2005. This entry lists the films I saw in July through December 2005.
I also noted the films I saw at various festivals: aGLIFF, Fantastic Fest, and Austin Film Festival.
It’s difficult to say how many films I actually saw in 2005. However, more than 100 films are listed in these entries. I think that’s an acceptable number. I admire people who plan to average a film a day throughout the year, but I would have even more trouble writing about all of them, not to mention that I also enjoy getting out into the fresh air once in awhile.

Films marked with an asterisk had a U.S. theatrical release in 2005.

  • *Man with the Screaming Brain
  • Sherlock Jr. (with Cops)—Alamo showed these Buster Keaton films with a wonderfully peppy live accompaniment from the White Ghost Shivers. I don’t own any silent films because they would never be as good as when I see them in theaters with live music. There was some glitch with the film and the band handled it beautifully, treating us to music the whole time.
  • *Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—Geez, I never got around to reviewing this? It was a perfectly fine summer blockbuster. I liked it better than the original adaptation, but I haven’t ever liked the 1971 movie much.
  • *Hustle and Flow—And I am totally embarassed about never writing about this movie, since it was one of my favorite this year.
  • Our Man Flint—Not as good as The President’s Analyst; apart from James Coburn, rather disappointing.
  • D.E.B.S.—Cute movie about undercover spy chicks and what happens when one of them encounters the sexy female “bad guy.”


  • *The Bad News Bears (2005)—I have at least half a review of this movie written in a notebook somewhere; guess I better find it and post it. The only thing I like more about this movie than the original is Amanda, because Tatum O’Neal got the character entirely wrong.
  • *March of the Penguins—I like penguins. I like low-budget movies that defy predictions and go crazy at the box office. Still, I’m amazed that so many people flocked to see a glorified National Geographic episode.
  • *The Aristocrats—I saw this movie the day Katrina hit New Orleans. It was the best distraction possible. Not without its flaws, but it made me laugh until I hurt.


  • *The Brothers Grimm
  • *Flightplan—Why did the filmmakers choose to make Jodie Foster look so haggard? Peter Saarsgard looks good, though. Plot is pretty standard, it’s performances that made this at all worth seeing.
  • The Big Picture (first 30 mins)—I love Christopher Guest but I struggled through the first third of his first film and then gave up.
  • Bright Leaves—Saw this on PBS. I may have liked it better than the other Ross McElwee film I’ve seen, Sherman’s March. However, like that movie, it was a little too long.
  • Chronicles of Halcyon


  • *Domino
  • The Warriors
  • Summer Storm (@ aGLIFF)—I missed the first 15 minutes of this movie. A sweet coming-of-age film until the last act, when it gets all weird and melodramatic. And I feel sorry for all the women in this movie.
  • Exposed: The Making of a Legend (@ aGLIFF)—This was a delightful documentary about the making of a gay male cowboy porn film, Buckleroos. The scene with the dollar bill was a little disturbing, but I particularly liked the sweet young men who played the innocent Mormon doorbell-ringers.
  • Lesbian Grandmothers from Mars (@ aGLIFF)—Duller than the title might have you believe. The documentary about a lesbian couple cycling across the country to support gay marriage is too long and doesn’t have a lot of highs and lows.
  • Flowers from the Heartland (@ aGLIFF)—This short documentary about people who anonymously sent flowers to gay couples marrying in San Francisco made me cry.
  • *Zathura (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • Strings (with Moongirl) (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • The Birthday (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • Night of the Living Dorks (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • *Wild Blue Yonder (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • G.O.R.A. (@ Fantastic Fest)
  • *Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (with A Christmas Caper)
  • Clear Cut (@ AFF)
  • Muskrat Lovely (@ AFF)
  • The Outdoorsmen (@ AFF)
  • *The Ice Harvest (@ AFF)
  • Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (@ AFF)—I am reviewing this movie for Cinematical later this month. Damn, it was funny.
  • *Mrs. Henderson Presents (@ AFF)
  • *Prime (@ AFF)—The problem with this movie was that it focused on the least interesting character, the guy who was dating older Uma Thurman without realizing that Uma’s therapist was his mom, Meryl Streep. Also, Meryl looked too dowdy. Weirdly structured, and it didn’t help that one of the big plot twists was given away in the previews.
  • *The Dying Gaul (@ AFF)
  • *The Corpse Bride—Lovely to look at but not memorable. Helena Bonham-Carter’s title character was the most interesting; in fact, the dead people were lots more fun than the live ones. Possibly Johnny Depp’s least lively role in years.
  • *Good Night, and Good Luck
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers—Biggest disappointment of 2005. I nearly fell asleep a couple of times, although admittedly it was a midnight movie. I had always wanted to see this film and thought it would be wonderful and clever, but it seemed drab and endless.


  • Home for the Holidays
  • Blood Freak
  • Darktown Strutters
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night
  • Infra-Man
  • *Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • *The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  • *Pride and Prejudice (2005)—I need to write a review for this movie so I can grumble at everyone who thinks this overrated mush is one of the best films of the year. Lizzy Bennet is supposed to be witty and fun and light-hearted, not moony and moody and constantly in tears. Scenery is pretty, though.
  • Beyond the Rocks—I saw this recently-unearthed silent film when the archivists were in town, with live accompaniment (I think Graham Reynolds but I could be entirely wrong). Fascinating in its way.
  • Drunken Master—I liked this movie but it deserves a better DVD release. We were supposed to be watching the subtitled version and at random points throughout, it would switch to substandard English dubbing.


  • House of Yes—I better behave myself because when I die, if I am a Wicked Person I may be forced to watch this film again. Aaaaaagh.
  • Prizewhores—I saw this movie on the KLRU show “SXSW Presents”. It was a lightweight documentary about people who frequent radio-station promotional events. Entertaining, and I was pleased it didn’t ridicule its subjects.
  • *Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • *The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
  • Big Fish
  • Sun Valley Serenade—AFS showed this 1941 movie, which isn’t available on DVD, and it was an amusing curiosity. The Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge, appearing in only one scene, stole the movie from all the goofy white people. Hope I get time to write about it.
  • Monsters, Inc.—No, I hadn’t ever seen it. Yes, I was completely charmed. I may have teared up a bit at the end. I sure do love Pixar.
  • Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy—See my rant on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which should explain why this movie made me annoyed more than amused. I felt Christina Applegate’s character deserved a better ending, perhaps one in which all the male characters were wiped from the face of the earth (except Steve Carell, who made me laugh a lot). I did like the gangs of reporters, though.
  • *Serenity—I saw this a few days ago, and want to write a review soon. Possibly the worst 2005 movie I saw this year. Every single plot point was predictable and I could not stand the dialogue style. And yet this movie is on many people’s Top Ten lists … what did I miss? I suspect it worked well only for Joss Whedon fans.

Notable movies I saw again and wrote about:

One thought on “2005 in (cinematic) review, part two”

  1. Did you see/review Crash? ensemble vehicle about the dirty gritty mean streets of L.A.? I’m actually looking for spoilers since I couldn’t get past the unrelenting anger… made me want to splode, Lucy! I’d love to hear your take.

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