Anita and Me

(11th December 2002)
An thoroughly watchable and enjoyable British film. Based on the novel, and with the screenplay, by Meera Syal, this semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in a small Midlands village in the 1970s is amusing and at times poignant. A 'safe' film suitable for a wide audience.
That's it for 2002. A Happy New Year to all my readers.
BBC Review
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

(8th December 2002)
At almost two and three quarter hours, this film flew by. I don't think it matters whether or not you have read JK Rowlings books, as the script makes allowances. There are some excellent scenes- the spider chase is good, what magic there is is impeccable and bumbling Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Brannagh) even gets his come-uppance, but you have to wait till the very end of the credits to get the last laugh.
BBC Review
Die Another Day

(24th November 2002)
A Bond film with class. One of the best I have seen- certainly of the Sean Connery mould. Miles better than xXx (see below).
BBC Review
Rabbit Proof Fence

(10th November 2002)
A thought provoking story of the way colonial Australian society inflicted its will on the Aboriginal people in the 20th Century. Superb photography and a totally outstanding soundtrack, with music by Peter Gabriel. One of my top two films of the year.
BBC Review
Changing Lanes

(4th November 2002)
A star studded cast in a good legal drama that really does test the Chaos Theory.
BBC Review
High Crimes

(27th October 2002)
You never quite know where this military courtroom drama is going to take you, but there again you do. Enjoyable to watch but nothing to write home about
BBC Review
XXX

(18th October 2002)
Two hours of adrenalin packed action, loud music and bangs. It was quite clever to release this just before the new James Bond film. An incredible avalanche scene towards the end- enjoy the film, but don't expect deep characters or brain fodder.
BBC Review
One Hour Photo

(13th October 2002)
Robin Williams in a surprising role as phsycotic Sy Parrish 'Sy the Photo Guy', who develops a very unhealthy obsession with with some of his customers. A reasonably tense thriller with the odd surprise.
BBC Review
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

(6th October 2002)
Produced by Tom Hanks (who will make a fair amount from his financial investment), this hugely engaging romantic comedy successfully adapts star/ writer Nia Vardalos' one woman play. You'll never view Windex in the same light again.
BBC Review
Van Wilder Party Liaison

(4th October 2002)
Yet another studenty type film- it attempts to press every imaginable comic button. Some gags are funny, some cringe making. A predictable soppy ending.
BBC Review
Swimfan

(22nd September 2002)
A bit like a teen version of Fatal Attraction. Despite the obvious downsides, most teenagers can but dream of the lifestyles portayed in this film that, while watchable, is very thin on substance.
BBC Review
The Bourne Identity

(9th September 2002)
A surprisingly powerful spy thriller. Based on the international best seller by Robert Ludlum, the film is full of all the expected gismos and is pretty good for the genre. Ignore the 12A certificate- it is NOT suitable for the young.
BBC Review
Reign of Fire

(3rd September 2002)
Surprisingly watchable. Excellent special effects- esentially a fantasy, so forget the geographical anomalies. Sit back and enjoy.
BBC Review
The Sum of All Fears

(31st August 2002)
A passable attempt at squeezing the Tom Clancy epic into a two hour film. The first half had some good moments of humour- the second plenty of drama and special effects. The first real disaster movie since September 11th?
BBC Review
The Guru

(28th August 2002)
Amusing view of Bollywood meets Hollywood.
BBC Review
Austin Powers in Goldmember

(6th August 2002)
Incredibly corny. As the film went on, I warmed to the humour- the silhouette scene in the doctor's is hilarious. Good special effects and some amusing cameo roles. You get what you pay for.
BBC Review
Men in Black II

(1st August 2002)
An action packed and fun film, with lots of great special effects, a few bad ones and plenty of humour at all levels. There isn't really much soul to the film but then, with all the hype, you don't really expect a deep and meaningful story. Go if you've nothing better to do.
BBC Review
The Abduction Club

(25th July 2002)
A swashbuckling romantic picture set in a windswept Ireland towards the end of the 18th Century. Made with a slug of lottery money, I personally enjoyed the film but accept that many wouldn't. The sort of film you used to see at a Saturday Matinee.
BBC Review
Minority Report

(10th July 2002)

(and 19th September 2002)
Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell lead in the most hyped blockbuster of the Summer. At 145 minutes the plot has time to go all over the place - and it does! Plenty of action, low on emotion.
BBC Review
Murder by Numbers

(8th July 2002)
A cracking good film. I know it's all down to taste but this is one of my top two films of the year. Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin star in a splendid drama that builds to a superb climax. Don't miss!
BBC Review
Scooby-Doo

(6th July 2002)
Almost a remake of Joe Versus the Volcanoe, but with a rather splendid cartoon dog. Zany enough to be true to the television series of 25 years ago, with the same amount of mental stimulation. Go for the 'Retro' feel, but don't expect much more.
BBC Review
Spider-Man (2002)

(9th June 2002)
It didn't make me think too much, there wasn't too much gore and I really enjoyed it. A comic hero come to life, with excellent special effects.
BBC Review
The Time Machine

(4th June 2002)
Only a passing resemblance to the original HG Well masterpiece, with reasonable time travel effects and very scary Morlocks. A must see for affecionados, but otherwise give it a miss.
BBC Review
Hart's War

(26th May 2002)
Colin Farrell convincingly takes the lead (with Bruce Willis the star billing) in this compelling story of honour and racism, set in a German POW camp towards the end of the Second World War.
BBC Review
K-Pax

(21st April 2002)
Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges star in this thought provoking and well directed adaptation of Gene Brewer's novel of the same name. Enough ambiguity at the end to ferment interesting dinner party conversations.
BBC Review
The Royal Tenenbaums

(6th April 2002)
A star studded cast with a screenplay as dysfunctional as the family they play. The last half hour was perhaps the best- a good thing, because if the Earth were still flat, I would have jumped off the edge.
BBC Review
The Shipping News

(23rd March 2002)
A great story with a dark side, an understated Kevin Spacey (with a very craggy Dame Judi Dench) set on the remote Newfoundland coast.
BBC Review
About a Boy

(20th March 2002)
(Private screening preview)
A light hearted look at single parenting (with the obvious serious undertones), set in London. A Hugh Grant with more character than we have come to expect.
BBC Review
A Beautiful Mind

(24th February 2002)
A deeply moving story with some nice twists. It made me revisit my attidudes towards mental illness.
BBC Review
Ocean's Eleven

(20th February 2002)
(and 10th March 2002 in Chamonix with French Subtitles)
A ripping yarn- great fun. We spent half the day at work talking about it.
BBC Review
Monsters Inc.

(10th February 2002)
Great animation. A story line you can follow- laughter is always best!
BBC Review
Gosford Park

(3rd February 2002)
A superb British film- Ideal for the traditionalist.
BBC Review
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

(1st January 2002)
The volume meant it perhaps wasn't the ideal choice for New Year's Day! A little long but excellent fun.
BBC Review
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Updated Tuesday 31st December 2002