Vol. 4 Num 213 Wed. December 31, 2003  

Flick review
Year of the dying sequels

As the year comes to an end, Hollywood is still trying to shake off its 'hangover' from the year's upsets and the sleeper hits. It could have been a prospective year for the movies, due to the massive line-up of sequels, most of which ultimately could not even draw as much attention or hype as their originals had.

The year started off with movies like Chicago, Confessions of a dangerous mind, and The Recruit. The three were loved and enjoyed by critics and movie-goers alike. Most people were eagerly waiting for the release of movies like Dreamcatcher, Tears of the Sun, The Hunted and Bulletproof monk, but were immensely disappointed due to the luster and stories that some lacked, while some others simply could not live up to the expectations. The sleeper hits of the season were Final Destination 2, which lived up as a sequel to the 2000 thriller and the Phone Booth, a classy thriller which should be a big boon for Colin Farrell's future acting endeavors.

Naturally, with the spring still in doldrums, the box-office still looked prospectively towards summer. With movies like The Matrix Reloaded, X-2, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Dumb and Dumberer, Bad Boys II, Lara Croft TombRaider II, T3, and many others, summer very well had the gold-mine of movies. But owing to the weak story lines in Charlies Angels, and Lara Croft II, the audience probably did not feel enough 'girl-power' in their veins as was the case previously.

Two cult inspiring movies like Matrix-Reloaded and T3 totally bombed at the box-office, due to the lack of creative storyline and script. Most of the lines in the movies were predictable and the line 'Talk to the hand' from T3 could not create half the buzz that was created by 'Hasta La Vista' from T2. The audience did not appreciate the action and humor, which were tried out in Bad Boys II, whose original sleeper hit Bad Boys had actually been a break for both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. X-2 and 2 Fast 2 Furious could carry on with the torch that the original titles had passed on.

Movies like League of Extraordinary gentlemen, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sea-Biscuit, were appreciated and enjoyed by fans of all ages.

During fall, horror and thrillers that created all the rave were Gothika, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Underworld while others like Jeepers Creepers 2, Freddy vs. Jason 'died a fast-death' at the theaters. Critics and audiences appreciated movies like The Italian Job, Matchstick men, owing to their 'unpredictable' conclusions and powerful cast. Movies like American Splendor and Sinbad also fared well.

The year ended off with 'Matrix Revolutions' brutally murdering the matrix saga. But yet 'Lord of the Rings III: Return of the king', which even though, had the weakest story of all the three episodes, still continues to be in the top ten two weeks after its release.Reasons for these are the special effects and the edge-of-the-seat suspense that the trilogy had been able to generate in the last three years since 'LOTR I: Fellowship of the Ring' in 2001. Audiences also had a good time watching 'The Last Samurai' where Cruise finally made a come-back after debacles like MI:2 and Vanilla Sky. Even though, Tarantino could not impress the crowds with the Matrix-styled Kill Bill Vol.1, but the series aims to do its best in the upcoming year of 2004.