Hornet on Hollywood: The best of 2002 in film Part One: Jason Okamoto gives his ‘unofficial’ awards


Image: Hornet on Hollywood: The best of 2002 in film Part One: Jason Okamoto gives his ‘unofficial’ awards:Photo courtesy of Buena Vista Entertainment:

Jason Okamoto

Every year, some random movie award show presenter will say “this year has truly been a year for film.” Usually, that sentence could be virtually reduced to wind. But this year they can actually get away with it. 2002 will not go down in history as being “The Year of Independent Film,” or “The Year of the CGI Blockbuster,” but truly a year filled with good movies.

The year?s most celebrated movies somehow appear on critics? top ten lists like a dysfunctional family rolling up to Grandma?s Christmas dinner in a station wagon. Who?d ever thought that films as diverse as “Bowling For Columbine,” “About a Boy,” “Far From Heaven,” “About Schmidt” and “Minority Report” would end up in the same conversations at the end of the year? With all of the outstanding films this year, not one has the nerve to stand above all of the rest. This display of humbleness is a sign of hope for great things to come in 2003.



Charlie Kaufman wrote a brilliant script, directed by the prolific Spike Jonze, with outstanding performances by Nicholas Cage and Chris Cooper. This is proven for the first half of the movie, but it finishes as a morbid highbrow type of camp. A movie that could have been so much more is undeserving of its praise by most critics.


“The Ring”

Classic chameleon actor Brian Cox usually picks his roles well. But in this horror remake we aren?t sure what to make of him. He steps into the role of some farmer with a dark past and a mean-ass stare down. Late in the movie he instantaneously turns creepy. This wouldn?t have been such a bad thing if he were alive for the rest of the movie.


“The 25th Hour”

Spike Lee?s latest Joint is blessed with great performances by Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. However, none of these performances match the masterful acting of veteran Brian Cox. Playing the father of a conflicted drug dealer, Cox?s character doesn?t show up much in the body of the film, but this is made up for at the end with a beautiful monologue which had me in tears.


“Y Tu Mama Tambien”

Any of the sex scenes featuring Spanish actress Maribel Verdu are in contention for the hottest of the year. Director Alfonso Cuaron knows how to show sex as both raw and beautiful. His next film is the third installment to “Harry Potter,” which I hope not to have an erection while watching, unlike “Tambien.”


“8 Mile”

The semi-biographical film about rapper Eminem, starring Eminem, is one of the most well-rounded movies of the year with good acting, solid screenwriting, and gritty cinematography. It?s a shame that the rap battle climax didn?t seem believable, as those rhymes were too good to be freestyle. In this case, the rhymes should have been written better than mediocre.


“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”

In the second installment of the series, Frodo and his companion Sam exchange awkward dialogue that may lead one to believe that in the next film the two are going to start full-on making out.