Movies Of 2005

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events (3) -- Didn't read the books. Loved the dark scenery and Jim Carrey's scene-chewing. The orphaned children were all played very well by unknown youngsters.

White Noise (1) -- Michael Keaton plays a widower trying to find his dead wife in the static of a security-tape recording. He spends hours -- day and night -- listening and watching a TV screen as his wife is trying to tell him to stop trying to reach her. In the meantime, three dark shapes are killing off people in the neighborhood and there appears to be a connection. My advice to anyone wanting to see Michael Keaton when this movie hits cable TV: rent Beetlejuice or change the channel.

The Polar Express (4) -- Saw this movie at our local IMAX theatre in 3-D. Very nice work and a good story, too. Having Josh Groban sing the big hit song in the film also raises it a couple of notches. If there had been a train like this running through my neighborhood when I was a kid, I wouldn't even have left a note.

Robots (3.5) -- Visually stunning. Decent moral. Very good voice-casting. Better than Disney and almost as good as Pixar. Not much else to say about this one, other than it's worth a rental and mostly safe for the kiddies.

Miss Congeniality 2 (3) -- I told my wife I wasn't sure if I should see this movie because I hadn't seen the first one yet -- didn't want to get lost in the complex storyline. I did have a difficult time that anyone could be ditzy and clever exactly when it was necessary. This movie also had so much Las Vegas stuff in it that I may not ever need to return to the real place.

Ocean's Twelve (3) -- This movie was mostly silly and I have no idea why someone thought a sequel of a remake would be a good idea. I agree with another review I read (before I saw it) which stated that the cast looked like they were having such a good time that they forgot to include the audience in the party. I'm not being superstitious when I say that "Ocean's Thirteen" would be a bad idea.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (3.5) -- I'm very happy this series finally got the big-budget treatment. I'm disappointed, though, that Douglas Adams didn't live long enough to see it. More than one story in the "five-book trilogy" was used, but I hope that doesn't mean there won't be any more movies. Zooey Deschanel (Elf) was adorable once again as "Trillian" and Mos Def was an inspired choice as "Ford Prefect".

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (3) -- Back in 1983 -- when Return of the Jedi was released -- I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad that's over. Sure, the CGI looks cooler (and may even be easier to produce) than the stop-motion and animatronics of the "original" Star Wars trilogy, but somehow it all looks less real. I know, this is science fiction we're talking about, so almost none of it is real and this was the third prequel for the older movies so, again, we lose some drama and tension because we already know who lives and who dies because the next three stories have already been shown.

Madagascar (3) -- Once again, DreamWorks can't quite measure up to Pixar, but they get a little bit closer with this story of four zoo animals who realize they might have been happier in captivity. There were a few too many pop-culture references that only adults would get, but there were enough things to keep the kiddies entertained, too.

The Interpreter (4) --

Sahara (3) --

Batman Begins (4) --

The War Of The Worlds (3.5) --

The Fantastic Four (3.5) --

The Island (3.5) --

Sky High (3.5) --

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (4) --

Serenity (4) --

Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire (4) --

Zathura (3.5) --

Aeon Flux (3) --

Syriana (4) --