2002 Leaman Awards - The Part-Time Critic

Thursday, June 11, 2020

2002 Leaman Awards

*Last Updated: 6/24/2022

In favor of waiting until I've seen absolutely everything (a bottomless task), I've decided to take a "running list" mentality to the awards. I've got many projects and only so much time so I've just decided to post the awards once I hit a critical mass, mention what I haven't seen and then update them as I (re)watch more 2002 films over time. You can see the last time I've updated it at the top. To help get the projects done, commentary might be light as well - mostly graphics and winners. Enjoy!

2002 Films Seen: 88
Number of Films with A or A+ Grade: 5
Key Films Still to See: n/a

Brief Summary: A deep and diverse year of cinema with several legitimate films that can claim classic status.

Not a "best of" list or a "favorite" list - but a list of the films and sequences (action, drama, comedy, & musical) that I think represent the best the year had to offer. So think of it as a strange mixture of favorite, best, and defining. Once you get to the top ten films, it definitely becomes more defined as a Top Ten list of the year. The number one film is my favorite of the year. 

Honorable Mentions: The Rookie, Equilibrium, The 25th Hour, Star Trek: Nemesis
25. Jackass: The Movie (B)
24. Treasure Planet (B)
23. Blade II (B)
22. The Pianist (B)
21. Gangs of New York (B)
20. Panic Room (B)
19. About a Boy (B)
18. About Schmidt (B)
17. Punch-Drunk Love (B)
16. Frida (B)
15. Bloody Sunday (B)
14. Changing Lanes (B)
13. Signs (B)
12. Insomnia (B+)
11. Chicago (B+)
THE TOP TEN
10. K-19 The Widowmaker  (B+)
9. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (B+)
8. Spirited Away (B+)
7. Y Tu Mama Tambien (A-)
6. Road to Perdition (A-)
5. Catch Me If You Can (A)
4. Bourne Identity, The (A) 
3. Minority Report (A)
2. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (A)

1. Adaptation (A+)

Commentary: n/a



FAVORITE ACTION SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
The Very Good:
  • "Betrayed and Thrown Into the River" -Drunken Monkey
  • "British Desert Column Square vs. Majhdi Army" -The Four Feathers
  • "Dock Shootout to Bus Station Brawl" -The Transporter
  • "Finale: Taking Revenge Out on a Trading Company" Drunken Monkey
  • "Opening Robbery Getaway in Nice" -The Transporter
  • "Speeder Chase Through Coruscant for an Assassin" -Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • "Surfing to Change the Portal and Escape the Exploding Planet" -Treasure Planet
The Great:
  • "Keeping the Towel On...From Turkish Baths to the Markets" -The Accidental Spy
  • "Anderton Runs from Jet Pack PreCrime & Escapes the Car Factory" -Minority Report
  • "Paris Chase in a Mini-Cooper" -The Bourne Identity
  • "Pen vs. Knife Fight" -The Bourne Identity
  • "Ultimate Gun-Kata: Vanquishing Entire Hallway & Killing Father" -Equilibrium
The Best: "Finale: The Battle of Helm's Deep & Destruction of Isengard" -The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 
Commentary: This is one of the finest fantasy war sequences ever put to film. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to combine all of the battle sequences into one or consider them on their own – since they are intercut with other storylines at times- but in the end, it’s clear that all the Helm’s Deep sequences are essentially meant to be one giant battle and the destruction of Isengard a secondary element to it. If you’ve watched any of the making of The Lord of the Rings footage, you know that large scaled miniatures (bigatures as they called them) were used for much of the Helm’s Deep wide shots and computer animation for any of the large army shots. If this film had been done a few years later, with more developed CGI, they likely would not have used the bigatures, and I think it would have suffered worse for it. While the keen eye can tell it’s a model, there’s a tactile and practical nature to bigatures that gives this action set piece a grounded feeling that few CGI battles can match. Watching this sequence in theaters in 2002, there are several sweeping camera shots that are so inspired, so unique to the time, that they make me feel like I was watching something I'd never seen before. This happened for me when the wall was initially scaled with propped up ladders, when the wall exploded with grandeur and scale, the tossing of Gimli, when the giant ladders were knocked over (!!), Theoden's charge and especially when Gandalf’s riders charged down the hill to save the day. Incredible setting, sweeping fantasy war action, and an ebb and flow to the battle give this sequence the epic reputation it handsomely deserves.


FAVORITE DRAMATIC SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
The Very Good:
  • “Warren Receives a Letter from his Adopted Child” –About Schmidt
  • “John Laroche Discusses with Susan the Troubles of his Past” –Adaptation
  • “Kaufman attends McKee’s Seminar & Talks With Him” -Adaptation
  • "Grief and Misery in the Hospital as the Names are Passed Out to their Families" –Bloody Sunday
  • “Bourne finally remembers that He is the Attempted Wombosi assassin” –The Bourne Identity
  • "Ben Affleck and Amanda Peet discuss Going to the Edge at Lunch" –Changing Lanes
  • “Adult Sedgewick is Exposed After an Overheard Conversation in the Bathroom” -The Emperor’s Club
  • “Bill and Amsterdam have a Conversation after Bill Can’t Sleep” –Gangs of New York
  • "The Exorcism of Theoden" -The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • “Szpilman Plays the Piano for a German” –The Pianist
  • "Barry See's his Girlfriend in an Accident, Beats Up the Perps and Calls the Owner and Asks for His Name" –Punch-Drunk Love
  • “Watching the News in Shock as an Alien Appears at a Birthday Party” -Signs
  • “A ‘Stink Spirit’ Arrives at the Bathouse” -Spirited Away
  • “Picard is Forced to Kill his Clone and Data Saves Picard” –Star Trek: Nemesis 
The Great:
  • "Three Reactor Crews Brave the Radiation to Repair the Leak" –K-19 The Widowmaker
  • “Sam Recalls to Frodo Why They Continue to Go On” –The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • “Smeagol tells Gollum to Leave and Never Come Back” –The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • "Anderton is Confronted with the Man He is to Kill...and Arrests Him" –Minority Report 
  • “Michael takes out Rooney and his Son, then returns Home to his Son” –Road to Perdition
  • “Julio and Tenoch Learn Luisa’s secret and Share a Final Discussion, Their Lives Drifting Apart” –Y Tu Mama Tambien  
The Best: "Forth Eorlingas! Theoden & Gandalf Charge the Field at Helm's Deep" -The Two Towers 
Commentary: n/a


FAVORITE COMEDIC SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
Not a category I kept good track of - One of the toughest TBH

The Very Good:
  • n/a 
The Great:
  • n/a
The Best: n/a 


FAVORITE MUSICAL SEQUENCES OF THE YEAR
The Very Good:
  • “Mr. Cellophane” -Chicago
The Great:
  • "He Had It Coming" -Chicago
The Best: “Give Them the Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” -Chicago
Commentary: n/a

BEST DIRECTOR
Nominees: 
  • Alfonso Cuaron Y Tu Mama Tambien
  • Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Spike Jonze Adaptation
  • Sam Mendes Road to Perdition
  • Steven Spielberg Minority Report

FAVORITE FILM ENSEMBLE
Nominees: 
  • Adaptation
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Chicago
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien


FAVORITE MALE PERFORMANCES
Nominees: 
  • Adrian Brody The Pianist
  • Nicholas Cage Adaptation
  • Chris Cooper Adaptation
  • Tom Cruise Minority Report
  • Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York
  • Leonardo DiCaprio Catch Me If You Can
  • Jack Nicholson About Schmidt 
  • Andy Serkis The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Christopher Walken Catch Me If You Can
  • Forrest Whitaker Panic Room


FAVORITE FEMALE PERFORMANCES
Nominees: 
  • Selma Hayek Frida
  • Nicole Kidman The Hours
  • Ana Lopez Mercado Y Tu Mama Tambien
  • Julianne Moore The Hours
  • Samantha Morton Minority Report
  • Meryl Streep Adaptation
  • Nia Vardolos My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • Emily Watson Punch-Drunk Love
  • Renee Zellweger Chicago
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago


FAVORITE SCREENPLAY
(original or adapted)
Nominees: 
  • Adaptation
  • Bloody Sunday
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Changing Lanes
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Punch-Drunk Love
  • Road to Perdition
  • Spirited Away
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Nominees: n/a



BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Nominees: 
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Return to Neverland
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • Spirited Away
  • Treasure Planet

BEST FILM EDITING
Nominees: 
  • Adaptation
  • The Bourne Identity
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Nominees: 
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Road to Perdition
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien


BEST ART DIRECTION
Nominees: 
  • Chicago
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Road to Perdition

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Nominees: 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Men in Black II
  • Spider-Man
  • Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Nominees: 
  • The Bourne Identity
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Road to Perdition
  • Spirited Away


BEST SOUND DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • The Bourne Identity
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • Road to Perdition
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • Chicago
  • Frida
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Road to Perdition


BEST MAKE-UP & HAIR DESIGN
Nominees: 
  • Adaptation
  • Frida
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Hours
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

BIGGEST GUILTY PLEASURE
Nominees: 
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember
  • Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
  • Equilibrium
  • Jackass: The Movie 
  • Star Trek: Nemesis


MOST SURPRISING FILM
Nominees: 
  • Adaptation
  • Chicago
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien


MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM
Nominees: 
  • Die Another Day
  • The Four Feathers
  • Master of Disguise
  • Orange County
  • The Tuxedo


MOST UNDERRATED FILM
Nominees: 
  • Changing Lanes
  • K-19: The Widowmaker
  • Treasure Planet


MOST OVERRATED FILM
Nominees: 
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
  • Orange County
  • The Rules of Attraction


WORST FILM
Nominees: 
  • Master of Disguise
  • The Rules of Attraction
  • Scooby-Doo
  • Super Troopers
  • Time Changer
Eric Bana Award: 
Nominees: 
Reese Witherspoon Sweet Home Alabama 
Best Compilation of Work: 
Nominees: 
Steven Spielberg for Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report 


BEST COMPILATION OF WORK
Nominees:
  • Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can & Minority Report)


ERIC BANA AWARD
*Given for the best performance in a bad film (See 2004's Troy)
Nominees:
  • Ewan Mcgregor Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Reese Witherspoon Sweet Home Alabama

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