If you have yet to read the "J" "K" and "L" movie reviews of 2001, click now to do so.

If you want to read the gut-busting intro. I created for the first update in this series, you'll have to head back to the "A" "B" and "C" section.  I figured, rightfully so, that people would get sick of scrolling past it every time they wanted to get to the movie reviews.  I have left in a few necessities, for you folks too lazy to click a button on your mouse:

When there is an "N/A" in a certain spot, that means that my brothers, or myself, have yet to see the movie (but want to), or that we couldn't make up our minds on what we thought about the film.  When you see a film with ALL N/A's, that means we have yet to see the movie.

Please keep in mind that we live in a town so small, that a theater owner can actually get a two year restraining order against a person for requesting (not demanding) that he play better movies.  A town so small that your neighbor is your community.  And, finally, a town so small that I was just carded for a PG-13 movie (I'm not kidding) when I tried to rent Planet of the Apes.  

Obviously,  it is extremely hard to view any art house films until they are out on cable (the video stores here consider Ace Ventura: Pet Detective "art house").  I do receive screenings for art house films, but they're 3 hours away, and they start at 10:00 or 10:30 AM, and I'm not one to get up at 6 in the morning to drive 3 hours, watch a movie, and drive 3 hours home, although I do make the journey, on rare occasion.  

In the meantime, you'll have to look over what my brothers and I did have a chance to watch during the year of 2001, and what our opinions on the marketed-for-the-masses films were (there are a few art house films scattered throughout, when I did manage to get my ass out of bed, and down to Minneapolis).  Within the next couple of months ALL of the "art house" films will be included (I always find a way to get to every one before the Academy Awards).  

I will post three letters (as in "letters from the alphabet" not "letters your grandma sends you on Christmas") worth of films per day, in alphabetical order.  I will link to all full reviews available, if they have been written for this page.  The rest is pretty self-explanatory, unless you can't explain stuff to yourself.

"M" "N" and "O"
Films of 2001

Made

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 4 Swingers, the original film written by Jon Favreau and starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, was a witty slice of the single life that everyone could identify with (except for super popular people, but they don't count, anyway).  Made was something conceived during board meetings with a bunch of suits.  Favreau and Vaughn try desperately to bring back the old chemistry that they had in Swingers, but that's the thing about chemistry . . . if you're trying for it, it's no longer there.  There are a few funny moments, just too few.  I actually fell asleep at the end, and had to watch the last 20 minutes on DVD, 8 months later. (I had fallen asleep at the initial 10 AM screening that I attended.  It made me feel sort of goofy, since everyone was looking at me.) 
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  4

 

Man Who Wasn't There, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 4 The Coen Brothers really screwed the pooch with this one.  The film noir feel is never really accomplished.  The acting is drab.  The directing is drab.  The pacing is poor.  The majority of the jokes fall flat (which is rare for a Coen Brothers' film) and the entire affair really turns out to be a whole lot of nothing.  Oh well, better luck next time.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  N/A

Memento

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 8 A perfect film the first and second time you see it, but upon repeated viewings the "lack-of-memory" gimmick grows a bit tiresome.  Still some damn fine screenwriting and directing.  Possibly the best screenwriting of the year.
The Almighty Matt Sandell 9 Probably the best movie of the year.
The Almighty Ben Sandell 8 Clever and fun.

Overall Rating:  8.3

 

Mexican, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 7 A lot better than I expected, but still not great, by any means.  Shoulda been at least 15 minutes shorter.  That Tony Soprano guy is like a God. He is my hero, and I would stick my dick in his butt if I happened to be a homo. 
The Almighty Matt Sandell 7 I would have rated it higher if Brad and Julia's chemistry wasn't so nauseating.
The Almighty Ben Sandell 8 A funny, dark comedy that drags on too damn long.

Overall Rating:  7.3

 

Monster's Ball

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 6 This movie has two things going for it: the acting and Halle Berry's wonderful tits.  Maybe that's three things.  Whatever.  The script is HORRIBLE, and the fact that it got nominated for best screenplay makes me want to suck on Berry's wonderful tits for hours until all the pain goes away.  The movie is far too convenient.  I mean, come on, (if you don't want the first 20 minutes of the film given away skip the rest of this review), first we have a racist grandfather and racist father who somehow raised a non-racist grandson/son, and the grandson/son and father conveniently execute Halle Berry's husband, only to have the non-racist son conveniently kill himself, conveniently leaving the father without a son, and then that father, suddenly, and conveniently, a racist no longer, with no explanation given, is conveniently driving by when Halle Berry's son is conveniently run down by a car and killed, conveniently leaving her without a son, so that her and Billy Bob Thorton's ex-racist character can conveniently fall in love (both of them conveniently forgetting to mourn, for the most part).  It conveniently goes on like that for another hour and 40 minutes and then conveniently ends.  The movie isn't hellishly boring, and its directing is competent, and the acting is incredible, and Halle Berry's tits are a natural wonder to behold, so I guess this film is worth watching, but don't expect anything great in the story department.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  6

Monster's, Inc.

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 9 Pixar can't fail.  What's up with these guys?  This one isn't as funny as the Toy Story films, or even as A Bug's Life, but the character development, wonderful adventure scenes, and little inside jokes for the adults are all still firmly intact.  This is a classic family film, which sucks, cuz I view the Disney corporation as Satan (and that's being kind).
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  9

 

Moulin Rouge

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 9 Remember those white, chalky candy stick thingies you'd dip into the powdery, fruity, multi-colored dust candy?  Well, watching this film is like shoving that powdery, fruity, multi-colored dust candy right into your eyeballs.  It's dazzling, flashy, and oh-so-clever.  Even the fact that it turns into a Shakespeare in Love rip-off during the second half couldn't deter my love for it.
The Almighty Matt Sandell 8 Better watched in two parts.  The first five minutes was like the best thing ever.  Unlike my brothers I actually liked the second half better than the first and thought Nicole Kidman wasn't very good.
The Almighty Ben Sandell 7 The first half crackles. The second falls flat.

Overall Rating:  8

Mulholland Dr.

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 10 Wow.  This film is perfect.  I'm as surprised as you are.  I didn't think I would like this movie.  I skipped the advance screening I had tickets for way back in May of 2001.  Once it was actually released, I avoided going to it time and time again, whenever anybody asked me to come along and give it a try.  I avoided all the praise critics heaped upon it.  I avoided the compliments friends paid it.  Essentially, I avoided anything that might lead me to Mulholland Dr..  Then the Academy nominated David Lynch for best director, and I VERY reluctantly dragged my feet into the sold-out dollar theater to sit through what I thought would be a horrendously bad film (the more Academy nominees I see, the better my annual Academy Awards' update usually is).  By the time the movie was over, I was nearly skipping out of the theater like a geek just leaving his eighteenth viewing of The Lord of the RingsMulholland Dr. is a Rubik's Cube for the mind, and you will be trying to line up the "colors" long after you experience it ("watch" isn't a strong enough word to describe how involving this film is).  So many clues are dropped, but David Lynch leaves it up to you to solve the puzzle.  This is truly a mindbender, and you will not, no matter how hard you try, be able to predict where it will all end.  The movie is also visually stunning, and the acting performances given by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring were the best of 2001 (although you must keep in mind that I have yet to see Iris).  There is a surprising amount of humor (one part had the entire audience nearly rolling on the floor) and the film contained a hell of a lot more nail-biting moments of suspense than I would have ever imagined from viewing the ads.  This is Lynch's finest piece of work, and is one of the first movies that I tried desperately to avoid seeing that I'll now be trying desperately to see again.  
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  10

Mummy Returns, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 9 It's no Indiana Jones, but it tries damn hard to be, and turns into a really fun movie in the process.  If you're a retard LOTR fan that wants to hold the fact that I like this film against me, more power to ya.  Even with more power, you're still a loser.  Click here for full review.
The Almighty Matt Sandell 9 Some of the best adventure sequences I've ever seen.  The plot wasn't any worse than for any action movie out there.  It was actually better than most lately. It beat the shit out of that Lord of the Rings' pile of cruddy junk. 
The Almighty Ben Sandell 7 Has a lot of excellent action adventure sequences-so many, in fact, they actually become tedious, no matter how good they are.

Overall Rating:  8.3

 

Musketeer, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 2 Substandard action crap and a horrible excuse for a costume drama.  Click here for full review.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  2

 

Ocean's 11

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 5 It's okay.  I've seen it a million times before, and it's been done better at least half those times.  If Julia Roberts inflates her lips any further through implants, they'll be bigger than her tits.  Gawd I hate vain movie stars.  This movie is swimming in them.
The Almighty Matt Sandell 8 Julia Roberts' horse grin drops it down a point.  I can't stand that woman.  When you watch a movie with her, don't you just think, "this is a movie with Julia Roberts?"  She plays the same fucking part every time.
The Almighty Ben Sandell 8 N/A

Overall Rating:  7

 

One Night at McCool's

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 7 If you think Liv Tyler is hot, you're gonna love this movie.  If you're just sort of normal, and don't get off over a rock star's okay lo0king daughter, you will find the beginning of this film funny as hell, and the end equally as hilarious.  The middle sags like the gut of a woman that just gave birth.  It's still well worth a rental.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  7

Osmosis Jones

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 8 WB animation CANNOT friggin' advertise (they screwed up with the best animated film ever created, The Iron Giant).  The live action parts of Osmosis were slightly okay, but sort of tepid.  The animated parts are amazing, and if you don't have fun watching them, you're one prude too many for me.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  8

 

Others, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 7 This movie would totally rule if the ending wasn't nearly a carbon copy of "The Sixth Sense."   Click here for full review.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  7

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All text is Copyright 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].  I don't know why you'd want to copy other people's opinions in the first place (but that is what made Lord of the Rings a hit), but if you do, for some pathetic reason, you must contact me first, and get my permission!

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