2001 House Clark “Simpson” Awards
Most Annoying Performance
JULIA ROBERTS - Erin Brockovich
Best Comedy Performance
Sandra Bullock – Miss Congeniality
Best Ensemble Cast
High Fidelity – John Cusack, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Tim Robbins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Cusack, Iben Hjejle,
WTF did I just see?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Most overrated movie
Best juvenile performance
Suzi Hofrichter, age 11 – How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog
Notes from awards committee:
The year 2000 was great for movie fans. We saw outstanding high drama with Gladiator and Perfect Storm, a bonanza of fun comedies, and for a bonus – Pitch Black, a clever sci-fi/horror genre mix with memorable characters. In a surprising turn of events, the HouseClark committee agreed with the Academy’s top choices for Best Picture and Best Actor. Gladiator was number three at the box office, and Number One at HouseClark for Best Picture and Best Actor, Russell Crowe. And thank you Ridley Scott for presenting the grandeur of Ancient Rome on the silver screen. In real life there is not much left of Ancient Rome – only a faint shadow of the past.
HouseClark did not shy away from awarding a Best Actress award for a comedy performance. Miss Congeniality is a near perfect comedy, and star, Sandra Bullock, could not have been better. Her transition from tomboy to Knock-out was stunning.
Fun Surprises -
O Brother, Where Art Thou? A lighthearted comedy, with surprisingly good musical touches, that spins a story around a trio of hillbillies (escaped cons actually) and old time country music. This unlikely combination is loaded with wit, intelligence and non-stop humor. The soundtrack was a phenomenal success and won four Grammys in 2002.
Other HouseClark comedy favorites for 2000 – High Fidelity, Small Time Crooks, How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog, Best in Show, Meet the Parents, and the seriously underrated dark comedy Lucky Numbers. All are good enough to make the Must Watch List, and have a place on your private DVD shelf. Very re-watchable. These movies are on in my Private DVD collection; not because they are masterpieces but because it managed to entertain me its entire length.
American Psycho – Christian Bale puts in a star turn as the ruthless sociopath, Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street high-roller who considers murder just another day at the office. Good luck getting a table at Dorsia.
Almost Famous – This movie tells the story of a young journalist on tour with a big time 1970s rock band, and his sometimes jarring introduction to life in the fast lane. Powerfully critical of the rootless hedonistic rock culture and mores. Does our young hero have the right instincts to survive the road tour unscathed?
Perfect Storm - The movie is perhaps the best ever big screen display of the awesome power and total indifference of Mother Nature, and ranked #4 at the US Box Office. The film also shows a realistic version of how a series of bad decisions, bad weather and a few mechanical problems can lead to disaster on your unlucky day.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Here we go with fly-by-wire Kung-Fu. Is this film bold and inventive, or the silliest flick you ever saw? You make the call. In any case it is a visual feast for the eyes.
What Lies Beneath – The star power of Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer vaulted this mystery/horror film into the $100+ million Box Office Club. Does upper-class Vermont suburbia have haunted houses? You bet it does.
Erin Brockovich – Our problem with this film is Julia Roberts, the most overrated actress in the business. Her too cheeky Hollywood version of Brockovich mostly registered as a small town hooker. Also the film had the look and feel of a cable-TV docudrama.
Traffic – A dismal, boring dirge on the failed “War on Drugs”. Overlong, preachy with an unrealistic portrayal of drug culture.
Patriot – The definitive epic film on the American Revolution has yet to be made. Patriot took a shot and missed. Too much of the story line was fake. Historical accuracy is a serious matter at HouseClark.
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