|Film Title/Year and Description|
American Psycho (2000)
This unsettling, violent, and dark drama-thriller from director Mary Harron (from Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 book) was about a Manhattan serial killer who assaulted both friends and random victims alike, although it was possible that the many murders were only hallucinations in his psychotic head.
Slightly-drunken Wall Street yuppie Paul Allen (Jared Leto) took a shiny new axe to-the-face, wielded by rain slicker-wearing assailant - another obsessed and wealthy investment banker named Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in his expensive apartment. He should have been tipped off to something unusual that was about to happen. The furniture and floor were covered with sheets and newspaper in anticipation of the bloody event.
The Huey Lewis song 'Hip to Be Square' played in the background. The tune was critiqued by the greedy, vainly self-absorbed, and narcissistic Bateman, as he donned the clear rain-slicker and backed into the living room with a shiny new axe at his side:
Bateman attacked from behind after calling for his victim to turn around: "Hey, Paul!" He punctuated the gory hacking with anger: "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now, you f--kin' stupid bastard!" as blood splattered over his face from the impact of the strikes (off-screen) from the axe.
Chicken Run (2000)
This G-rated Claymation comedy animated film from the UK's Aardman Animations (its first feature film) told about a chicken farm run by the evil couple Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy (voices of Tony Haygarth and Miranda Richardson). The doomed lives of the oppressed chickens, who were raised to eventually be made into chicken pies in the Tweedy factory, were invigorated and liberated with the arrival of an American rooster named Rocky (voice of Mel Gibson).
Before Rocky, however, there was the unusually grim, memorable execution by Mrs. Tweedy of chicken Edwina (#282) when she failed to lay eggs and she was singled out of the group of hens. Mr. Tweedy snatched bug-eyed, fearful Edwina from the group and she was brought to Mrs. Tweedy (who donned red rubber gloves) outside a wooden shed.
In silhouette, Mrs. Tweedy's shadow was seen raising the axe above a chopping block. There was a dull whack sound (off-screen) as the axe cut off Edwina's neck. It caused all of the chickens on the farm to slightly flinch.
Afterwards, Edwina's gruesome fate was revealed as a pile of chicken bones on the Tweedy's dinner table.
Final Destination (2000)
The first of the series of five Final Destination films (2000-2011) had a tagline that explained the basic premise: "You Can't Cheat Death." Each film included grisly, creatively imaginative, contrived, unexpected and improbable deaths of the major characters.
In the first installment of the supernatural teen horror film by director James Wong, high-school senior and psychic airline passenger Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) had a frightening premonition of a 747 airplane crash - and deplaned with others before it exploded on take-off in a horrifying scene.
Thereafter, many of those who deplaned and escaped death would soon die when literally stalked by Death:
The second of the deaths was the most memorable. When Terry's boyfriend Carter was arguing with Alex Browning outside a cafe, Terry lambasted her friends with her last ironic words:
As she stepped back into the street, Terry suffered a splatty death when she was hit by a speeding city bus that suddenly appeared without warning.
Her friends, with their faces flecked with her blood, reacted in horror.
Director Ridley Scott's historical adventure epic, a popular Best Picture winner, revived the subgenre of 'sword and sandal' films. It told the story of the life of heroic trusted and capable Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), who was betrayed by the treacherous son, power-hungry Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), of kindly Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Commodus committed patricide in order to take the throne away from his father.
Maximus narrowly escaped execution during the change of power, although his own wife (Giannina Facio) and young son (Giorgio Cantarini) were both murdered in their home in Spain. He arrived too late to save them - he discovered the charred and crucified bodies of both his son and wife in the smoldering home of their villa. Slave-traders found Maximus and he was sold to become a gladiator, managed and trained by Antonius Proximo (Oliver Reed) in Zucchabar in North Africa, and renamed the Spaniard.
Eventually, in front of a cheering Colosseum crowd in the Roman arena, the Spaniard gladiator (after a decisive victory) was forced to reveal his name to Emperor Commodus ("My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife"). His popularity increased with the crowds for his bravery, fighting skills, and for his desire to free Rome from tyranny. His one main goal was to wreak "vengeance" on Commodus and restore his former glory ("And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next"). He was incensed when Commodus embellished the story of the deaths of his wife and child: "They tell me your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again and again - and again."
In the film's conclusion, Commodus challenged Maximus to a final confrontational one-on-one battle to-the-death in the "great arena," but first stabbed him in the chest (puncturing his lung) with a stiletto while he was bound, to gain an advantage and win approval from the crowd. During the contest, the mortally-wounded Maximus stabbed the Emperor in the throat with his own hidden stiletto and killed him, after Commodus had dropped his sword and no one would provide him with another (Quintus (Tomas Arana) had shouted: "Sheathe your swords!"). Weary and dying from his own wounds, Maximum saw himself entering into his home's wooden gates in the afterlife. Before dying, he ordered Quintus: "Free my men, Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius."
As he succumbed in the arms of Commodus' sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), his own ex-lover, he told her (his final words): "Lucius is safe." She urged him to go to his murdered family: "Go to them." As he perished, his body floated upwards and he experienced visions of his family in the afterlife as they greeted him on a dusty road and he was wading through waving yellow reeds. She reassured that he had greeted them: "You're home." Lucilla stood up and addressed everyone: "Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him." Fellow gladiators surrounded Maximus and carried his body out of the arena. The film concluded with newly-freed gladiator Juba (Djimon Hounsou) burying Maximus' two small statues of his wife and son in the dirt of the Colosseum where Maximus died ("Now we are free. I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet").
Pitch Black (2000) (aka The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black)
David Twohy's taut science fiction thriller, set in the 27th century, stated the premise that a constantly-lit, barren desert planet named Hades within a three-star system would undergo a rare one-month eclipse of its three suns every 22 years. The celestial event unleashed hibernating, terrifying winged alien creatures in the darkness from underground caves on the abandoned planet.
Amoral, vicious murderer and anti-hero prisoner Richard D. Riddick (Vin Diesel in a star-making role) was the only one who could see in the dark (with near-perfect night vision known as Eyeshine) and help save the crew from the sharp-toothed, ravenous flying birds-of-prey creatures, called "Bioraptors" or "Demons."
The ship's junior second-class pilot Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) aided Riddick when he was injured and bleeding following an ambush by two vicious, bloodthirsty nocturnal alien monsters. When she was helping him to his feet while holding him in her arms, she told him that she would die for the others, not him ("I said I'd die for them, not you. Come on!"). Suddenly, something jolted them. A Bioraptor impaled her with its tail, seized her, and ripped her body away from Riddick, and flew away. There was no scream. No cry. No final words.
Stunned and falling to his knees, Riddick expressed sadness at her death, bellowing after her with his pained reaction: "Not for me! Not for me!"
The first of a series of big-budget superhero films (based upon the Marvel Comics characters and stories) was directed by Bryan Singer, and told of an ongoing conflict regarding mutants.
The warring parties were a group of fearsome mutants (Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), Toad (Ray Park), and Sabretooth (Tyler Mane)) and psychic Professor Charles Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) opposing group of skilled, peace-keeping mutant X-Men in his X-Mansion: Rogue (Anna Paquin), Dr. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), and Cyclops (James Marsden).
Fanatical, prejudiced, and heartless anti-mutant Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison) had sponsored a Congressional bill, the Mutant Registration Act, requiring mutants (superior human beings with special powers due to DNA mutation and an X-factor) to register with the government.
After being kidnapped, Senator Kelly was flown to the island fortress of Magneto (Ian McKellen), the embittered leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants. There, Magneto demonstrated how he could profoundly amplify his abilities with a test mutation machine that he had built. His device emitted radiation that triggered mutation in the body of Senator Kelly. The politician was artificially transformed into a mutant with a malleable, jelly-like body, able to stretch into pliable shapes. He fell from Magneto's fortress into the water during an escape attempt, and was washed up on a beach where sun-bathers were astonished at his pale water-logged skin.
Senator Kelly stumbled into Xavier's mansion, suffering deadly consequences from his artificial mutation. His unstable body (with a broken-down cell structure) was rejecting the unnatural mutation it had suffered. He dissolved or disintegrated into a puddle of water, after he told X-Men member Storm:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) was the first of director Peter Jackson's acclaimed trilogy of fantasy-drama epics. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel of the same name, the setting was Middle-Earth.
On the journey to Mordor, one of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, Prince Boromir (Sean Bean) suffered a tragic, sacrificial death at the hands of Saruman's (Christopher Lee) advanced breed of warriors known as Uruk-hai.
He was shot with three big black arrows in his torso from the bow of the fiercesome Orc commander Lurtz (Lawrence Makoare), although he valiantly kept fighting and kept his honor. After the third arrow pierced into him, he dropped to his knees, and Lurtz approached to finish him off with one more arrow to the head.
Angered Ranger Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) (aka Strider) attacked Lurtz, who was soon stabbed in the leg with a long dagger, had his right arm amputated, was run through with a sword, and was then decapitated with one swing.
Aragorn rushed to the side of dying Boromir as he expired. Boromir confessed his wrongful obsession with taking Frodo's ring. Knowing that he was beyond help and would die, he offered an apology and expressed his fears for the worst after his passing:
Aragorn promised a forgiven Boromir that he wouldn't allow the kingdom of Gondor to fall into ruin:
Then with his last few words, Boromir expressed his allegiance to Aragorn as his king:
Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Director Steve Beck's intriguing horror film was a remake of the classic William Castle haunted house film many decades earlier, 13 Ghosts (1960) - filmed with a gimmick known as Illusion-O (a pair of red and blue cellophane glasses allowed the viewer to either see or not see ghosts on-screen).
The film told of a haunted mansion in a remote woods newly occupied by widower Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub) and his two children, pretty teenaged Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and grade school-aged Bobby (Alec Roberts) and an inept babysitter/maid named Maggie Bess (Rah Digga). Arthur had inherited the lavish ornate home from his late uncle, Cyrus (F. Murray Abraham), an eccentric ghost hunter. The dwelling was very strange indeed, in that it was composed of moving, floor-to-ceiling transparent glass walls (with Latin inscriptions). [A malicious group of twelve ghosts were rumored to be trapped in the basement.]
One of the first strange events to occur happened upon their arrival after nightfall, when unsuspecting shyster lawyer Ben Moss (J.R. Bourne) entered the basement to collect his earnings. After donning ghost eyeglasses, he addressed a number of apparitions who were protectively sealed behind glass walls. One was a naked female ghost of a slashed suicide victim with breast implants (known as The Angry Princess/Dana Newman (Shawna Loyer)) who reacted negatively when he quipped: "Hey, nice tits." He asked: "Wow, geez, you. What's the matter, honey? Bad representation?" Inside a clockwork room with huge gearworks, he located a black briefcase. When he picked it up, he didn't notice that something was triggered beneath the case, and gears whirred and grinded around him, reconfiguring and rearranging the walls in the entire house. He held up a large bundle of cash from the stashed treasure, and commented: "Not bad for an hourly wage."
As he left through the same corridor, he realized that the door originally holding the suicidal ghost was now open. He backed up from the nude apparition, the first ghost to be released, who approached menacingly with a butcher knife in her upraised hand to confront him for his rude comment. He nervously tried to explain himself: "Hey, I, uh, I was just kidding, before. A little lawyer humor, ha, ha, ha." An automated sliding glass door behind him activated when he stood in an open doorway, and he was instantly sliced in half length-wise, although it wasn't obvious at first.
His ghost eyeglasses tumbled from his face and his tie fell from his body as he stood in shock. The nude ghost came closer - and his paralyzed expression might have been toward the frightening figure. But then, the front half of his body slid downward on the blood-streaked glass and left the bloody back half of his body behind on the back far side of the glass. The glass door, serving like a sharp razor blade, had bisected him laterally, slicing straight through his body that slowly dripped to the floor.
Training Day (2001)
Antoine Fuqua's fast-action police drama contrasted two undercover LAPD drug-enforcement cops during a day's work among LA's toughest street gangs:
By the film's conclusion, the corruption of the villainous, unlikeable and intimidating Alonzo was once again revealed, and Jake realized he had been set up to be the fall guy. However, he was saved while Alonzo's blurred and unorthodox morality finally caught up with him. He claimed his tough bravado to neighborhood gang members while surrounded in the street:
When shot in the ass and then deserted by his partner Jake Hoyt, abusive crime-fighter Alonzo delivered his final words in the film while lighting up a smoke:
Shortly afterwards, his car was surrounded by hooded members of the Russian Mafia with machine guns - who pulverized his flailing body up against his car with an incredible volley of gunfire (similar to the finale of Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Sonny's death scene in The Godfather (1972)).
(chronological by film title)
Intro | 1915-1929 | 1930-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939 | 1940-1942 | 1943-1945 | 1946-1947 | 1948-1949
1950-1952 | 1953-1955 | 1956-1957 | 1958-1959
1960-1961 | 1962-1963 | 1964-1966 | 1967-1968 | 1969-1970
1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977-1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1994 | 1995 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1998 | 1999
2000-2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011