29 December 2017; Best of 2002 Films Throwback

Everyone was eager to see what cinema bought them 15 years ago. Welcome to MMM and today I’m counting down the best of 2002 films based on my own enjoyment of them.

Before I begin, this is part of a list of film countdowns spanning over a 5 year radius from 1967 to 2017 from today to the 31st December. If you don’t see a film that you think should have made the list, please comment.

On an extra note, I apologize that I did not send out the list yesterday due to exciting events.

#10: Catch Me If You Can (Crime biography)
Directed by Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, the film follows the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio) who, before his 19th birthday, forged millions of dollars’ worth of checks while taking on many disguises such as a doctor, and the FBI agent (Oscar winner Tom Hanks) out to pursue him.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 nominations (Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Christopher Walken, and Original Score – John Williams).

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, and music score.

#9: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Fantasy action adventure)
Based on part 2 of J.R.R Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novel (1954), the film continues Frodo Baggins’ (Elijah Wood) journey with his companions which is divided in 3 subplots; Frodo and Sam (Oscar nominee Sean Astin) on their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring joined by Gollum (voiced by Golden Globe nominee Andy Serkis), the ring’s former owner. Aragorn (Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen) and the others coming to the nation of Rohan and are reunited with the resurrected Gandalf (Oscar nominee Ian McKellen) before going into battle elsewhere, and Merry and Pippin (Primetime Emmy nominee Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd respectively) escape capture, meet Treebeard the Ent, and help to plan a battle strategy.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 2 wins (Best Sound Editing, and Visual Effects), and 4 nominations (Best Picture, Art Direction – Set Decoration, Film Editing, and Sound).

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, visual effects, thrills, and music score by Oscar winner Howard Shore.

#8: Chicago (Crime dramedy musical)
Before he directed “Into the Woods” (2014), Oscar nominee Rob Marshall directed this well-known musical. The film follows singers and murderesses (Oscar winners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger) both on death row and fight for fame in 1920s Chicago.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 6 wins (Best Picture, Actress in a Supporting Role – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Art Direction – Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, and Sound) and 7 nominations (Best Actress in a Leading Role – Renée Zellweger, Actor in a Supporting Role – John C. Reilly, Actress in Supporting Role – Queen Latifah, Director – Rob Marshall, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, and Original Song – “I Move On”).

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, and musical numbers.

#7: Bend It Like Beckham (Sport romantic dramedy)
The daughter (Parminder Nagra) of Indian residents in England rebels against her parents’ traditionalism to join a soccer team where she befriends and is befriended by another female soccer team member and enthusiast (Oscar nominee Keira Knightley).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None but 1 Golden Globe nomination (Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical).

Highlights: Themes, story, cast, performances, and humor.

#6: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Fantasy adventure)
Based on J.K Rowling’s best-selling book series (1997 – 2007), the Boy Who Lived (Daniel Radcliffe) returns in his 2nd outing, this time, having to face a presence responsible for strange attacks as well as a voice that is haunting him.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: None but 3 BAFTA nominations (Best Production Design, Sound and Visual Effects).

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, occasional moments of humor, visual effects, and music score by Oscar winner John Williams.

#5: About a Boy (Romantic dramedy)
A pessimistic and immature young man (Golden Globe winner Hugh Grant) learns life lessons from a 12-year-old boy (Nicholas Hoult).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Adapted Screenplay).

Highlights: Story, cast, performances, and humor.

#4: Ice Age (Animated adventure dramedy)
A mammoth, a sloth, and a sabertooth tiger (voiced by Golden Globe nominees Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary respectively) find a lost infant and venture out to return him to his tribe.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Animated Feature).

Highlights: Story, animation, cast, vocal performances, and humor.

#3: Lilo & Stitch (Animated sci-fi dramedy)
A lonely girl (voiced by Daveigh Chase) adopts and befriends an alien fugitive (voiced by Oscar nominee Chris Sanders) and teaches him lessons about family.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Animated Feature).

Highlights: Themes, story, animation, cast, vocal performances, soundtrack, and message.

#2: The Wild Thornberrys Movie (Animated dramedy adventure)
Taking place somewhere in the middle of the successful series “The Wild Thornberrys” (1998 – 2004), 12-year-old Eliza Thornberry (voiced by Lacey Chabert) has the power to talk to animals. When she hears that poachers are out to capture thousands of elephants, she sets out to rescue them along with her pet chimp and best friend Darwin (voiced by Tom Kane), and her 2 siblings; the older and sarcastic Debbie (voiced by Danielle Harris) and fun-loving little brother Donnie (voiced by Flea).

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Original Song – “Father and Daughter”).

Highlights: Story, cast, vocal performances, some moments of humor, and message.

Before I unveil my top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
Gangs of New York
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

#1: Treasure Planet (Animated sci-fi adventure)
John Musker and Ron Clements, the aforementioned Oscar-nominated directors of “Aladdin” (1992), and “Hercules” (1997), appear once again on this list with this underrated Disney flick. Serving as a science fiction take of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel “Treasure Island”, the film follows a teen (voiced by Golden Globe nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is given a map that leads to the titular planet and thus ventures out to find the treasure along with a group of colourful characters consisting of a feisty captain (voiced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson), and a charming cyborg cook (voiced by South African actor Brian Murray), to name a few.

Oscar wins and/or nominations: 1 nomination (Best Animated Feature).

Highlights: Animation, intriguing take on the source material, cast, characters, vocal performances, humor, music score by Oscar nominee James Newton Howard, songs, and charm.