The Year In Film: 2000

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-When we look back at great years in film, there are some years that stick much more than others. For me, the year 2000 is definitely one of those. There were numerous films released during this year that really caught my attention, and although most of those weren't the Oscar nominated or critically highlighted films, those were the movies that I gravitated to. With the year in film series, the goal is to look into the years passed and see how strong the releases were. After our look at 2012 came with slightly mixed results, I figured why not take a look at a year that has so many choices to discuss. Let's take a look at the year 2000 in film.

As the years pass, we tend to forget how significant certain years were in music and movies. It’s only when we focus on each year at a time that we realize how good it really was. Today, we’re talking films and those that were released 17 years ago. This was a “stacked” year so it was tough to narrow down my choices but here are (IMO) the best movies that were released in the year 2000. 

The first choice for me has to be Cast Away with Tom Hanks. When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it would be boring with an incomplete and lackluster storyline, yet I was pleasantly surprised. The storyline is simple, a Fedex executive is off on a Fedex plane for a business trip when the plane crashes and forces him to survive on a deserted island. I think the appeal here for the audience is the millions of hypothetical conversations we have about being on a deserted island, and then we see this one is brought to life. We see the panic, the worry, the acceptance and finally the survival. We see the growth and learning Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) experiences throughout the four years he’s stranded. He creates a new “person” out of Wilson (the ball) and masters fishing and of course the impressive way he looks after his many ailments. I don’t know if this could be considered a classic film but its close. This was a standout in the year. 

My next choice is Coyote Ugly. Let me just be clear, by no stretch of the imagination do I think this is a good solid movie, but it’s probably one of the most fun movies to watch. Is it a little corny? Yes. Does it have a generic storyline of making it in a big bad city while juggling a love interest? Yes. But what makes it fun is the cast, at every moment throughout the movie everyone seems like they are having a great time and that permeates to the audience. The bar scenes are the most entertaining and of course following the attempts of Violet trying to make it as a songwriter in New York is a fun parallel story. Tyra Banks and Bridget Moynahan are my absolute favorites in this movie but overall the whole cast and film was great. 

A surprise enjoyment for me this year was Final Destination. Usually I’m not a fan of anything scary, thrilling or psychologically messed up, but this movie was a good one. It did make me terrified of planes for a while also but that was short lived. So, what made this stand out? The storyline. People are obsessed with death, dying and fate so the way this was centered around that made it a gripping flick. The twists are also fun and keep the “edge of your seat” feeling throughout the movie from the premonition on the flight to Paris, all the way to each death and the attempts to “cheat death” while trying to understand the rhyme and reason of death is eerie but somehow enjoyable. I also really liked how they focused on details around “how” each character was going to die. We saw each fiber of the electric cord break while droplets of water traveled down to create an electrocution. Conceptually, this was incredible and a very well put together and crafted suspense thriller. 

Another film I enjoyed on the year was The Family Man. This is one of my favorite Christmas/holiday movies ever. Nicholas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven and a whole bunch of others make up the cast of this wildly entertaining movie. Jack Campbell (Nick Cage) is an extremely successful single man living in New York, working on Wall Street and seems to have the perfect life. The entire story revolves around the concept of “what could have been if that one thing happened”. One day, literally, he wakes up and is living this alternate life with his ex girlfriend from college and is constantly trying to figure out how to get back. This is just filled with heartwarming realizations and a very sweet and sappy take on soulmates, love, and fate. I’m a total sucker for this genre of film and this one did not disappoint. 

Another favorite of mine is Snatch. Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt and Jason Statham are the headliners in this fast paced and highly entertaining film. There’s a lot that goes on here, as first we have the story of the diamond heist and then that of the boxers. This all comes while not being able to understand 90% of what Mickey (Pitt) is saying with his Irish gypsy accent and the rest of the heavy British accents. There are some hilarious parts (anything involving the dog biting, chewing and squeaking its toy) and things just seem to go from bad to worse quickly as the story just becomes more twisted. This movie has a ton of characters and such different storylines to it, so it appeals to a wide audience, and as much as I dislike European/British humor I was pleasantly surprised by this and really enjoyed it. 

I have to mention a top 3 favorite on the year in Love & Basketball.
This movie makes top 3 in almost every category I can fit it in. Of course I love the “love prevails” ending but not without hurt, pain, sadness and some very tough obstacles. I think the reason we love this movie so much is because it’s relatable on some level and of course the chemistry between Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps is so realistic. I also really like that they managed to revolve the love story in and around basketball. This is a great movie and as corny as some lines are, I think it merits all the praise it has gotten and is good to rewatch at any time. 

Of course, as a fan of heist films, I loved Gone In Sixty Seconds. This movie surprised me. I’m not a huge fan of Nicholas Cage (even though he’s on my list twice) but I watched it because it’s a heist film and as we know that’s one of my favorite genres. I’m glad I did watch this because was pleasantly surprised. The cast is older and the actors/actresses are fantastic. There is a great dynamic amongst them, as they bring humor, action, drama, and emotion perfectly. As for the story line, it’s simple but fantastic. Memphis Raines (Nicholas Cage) has to steal 50 cars in one night to save his brother's life. He gathers a team he’s worked with before and they begin the boosts and each car is named after a woman so you know the dialogue is going to be hilarious. We see some amazing cars, some amazing techniques and of course great dialogue.

Finally, my favorite movie of the year, X-Men. I love every X-Men movie so of course this would rank as my number one choice of the year. This is the first of a long list of X-Men and X-Men related films and it was a great starting point. I often talk about Professor X and Magneto and while we all have our opinions on them, I really appreciate them equally. They fight towards different causes but their hearts are in the right place depending on which perspective you want to take. In this movie, all my favorites make appearances from Wolverine, Mystique and Professor X and of course we see Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, and a few others. We learn of Magneto’s intentions of looking out for mutants only and Professor X’s of saving and preserving both mutants and humans. Action packed and filled with incredible characters, X-Men was the best part of the year 2000 in film for me.

These were the movies that stood out to me in the long list of over one hundred movies released in 2000. Other notable ones were Traffic, Pay It Forward and of course Next Friday. Movies have this incredible ability to whisk us away (for a short time) to places and situations we’d otherwise never experience and the ones listed here are truly amazing that did just that.

The year 2000 wasn't a great year in film for me. There were a lot of just decent movies and subpar sequels and trilogies, but there were some gems that I enjoyed. Either I liked the originality of it, the idea, a great story or it was just hilarious to me so here's a few.

The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio centers around a man who obtains information and  map about a secret oasis euphoric Island in the Gulf of Thailand. Once he and two other travelers (one being the girl he has an infatuation for and her boyfriend) are accepted into the island's society, things start to go south when infidelity, jealousy and blackmail kick in. Remember The Titans starring Denzel Washington was a great film. One of those films about racial tension, desegregation & overcoming adversity to achieve a goal and in doing that, gaining respect and love for each other. I remember watching this in class in school and just the film alone was causing tension in the class amongst students.

Meet The Parents is another gem. Ben Stiller (Gaylord Focker) visits his girlfriend's parents house in hopes of getting her father's (Robert DeNiro as Jack) approval to marry her but many unfortunate events happen that may thwart his plans from happening. For the horror side of things, there was Final Destination. A movie about a teen who cheats death after having a premonition but cheating death has its consequences and it'll come for you one way or another. Death arrives in this movie in pretty much the most freakish, clever accidental ways you can die by unseen forces. I'd be lying if I said this movie didn't change the way I looked at life. I was watching every move calculating my moves trying to avoid accidents.

Love & Basketball starring the beautiful Sanaa Lathan and the great Omar Epps is another one. A coming of age story about two childhood friends who aspire to become basketball pros who fall in love but experience ups and downs, highs and lows with all obstacles leading back to one another. This would go on the become one of the most notable love stories. Me, Myself and Irene starring Jim Carrey & Renee Zellweger was another great one. A state trooper named Charlie raising three black sons after his wife cheated and abandoned them has a mental breakdown when he's finally fed up with suppressing his feelings so he develops a split personality (Hank) and total chaos ensues. So many funny characters including Tony Cox's character makes this a fun watch throughout the duration.

Next Friday, the sequel to the classic Friday is the next one to discuss. This time around its more comical and less serious. Craig leaves the troubles in his old hood behind and moves with his uncle, but finds himself in more trouble with his cousin Mike Epps (Day Day) along with Debo trying to get his revenge. For fans of parodies, Scary Movie is a great choice as it comes just a couple of years after parody of the gangsta hood movies we loved in Don't Be A Menace. The Wayans were back to make parodies of the most popular horror films we love with its own hilarious ridiculous storyline.
The year 2000 wasn't the best in film, but it had enough greatness to be an enjoyable year despite the lackluster movies.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-The thing about the year 2000 is that the movies released had variety. In today's society, everything is superhero films and sequels and remakes. Back then, sure, there were unnecessary sequels and remakes here and there, but there was a bit more originality in the films. For every Scream 3, there was a Final Destination (which would end up turning into an overdone series but that's besides the point). For every Next Friday, there was a Love & Basketball. For every Mission Impossible 2, there was a Men of Honor. No genre went untouched in the year and every genre featured a plethora of styles in their films as well. For me, films like Nutty Professor 2, Romeo Must Die, Bamboozled, Next Friday, Remember The Titans, 3 Strikes and The Original Kings of Comedy really entertained me (all young True watched at the time was the hood favorite films), but I would grow to appreciate films like Finding Forrester, Gladiator, Unbreakable, Requiem For A Dream, and many others. You have films that sit in the middle (or below) in terms of quality like Shaft, Big Momma's House, Coyote Ugly, Held Up, Bait, The Perfect Storm, Pay It Forward, and so many others that I can see why someone wasn't a big fan of the year.

Still, for the award crowd, movies like American Psycho, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Castaway, Memento, the aforementioned Gladiator, and some others were right there for you. If hilarious comedy was your thing, you could turn to Meet The Parents and Me, Myself, And Irene and be completely entertained. When I look back at the year 2000 in film, my fondest memory is in the variety of films, the vast amount of releases, and the ability to make every audience come to the theaters. While the year 2000 wasn't the best, it was certainly an entertaining year.



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