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PopMatters Picks: The Best TV, Film, and DVD of 2002


Bowling for Columbine



Far From Heaven



Talk to Her



Alias



The year’s media output was huge. Big effects, big budgets, big egos, big predictions, and big, big numbers—and the long-awaited appearances of Gangs of New York (conceived some 30 years ago), Chicago (based on Fosse’s 1970s musical), and even Frida (also years in the making) were only the tip of this iceberg. It appears that the zillions of folks lining up to see The Two Towers were happily wowed by Peter Jackson’s big screen wizardry. Even the short-term productions made bank: Jackass: The Movie trounced its opening weekend (watch out for the sequel) and Scooby-Doo has inspired not one but two sequels. What have Jackson and the Wachowskis wrought?


Television was equally focused on the bottom line: while theatrical blockbusters ranged from Spider-man to XXX, television ratings magnets included CSI: Miami and just about any reality show producers could cook up: FX and forensics, 2002’s surefire formulas.


Still, many good and several great films arrived in theaters, some quickly gone, others adored by critics and viewers, and it was possible to track down tolerable, and even excellent, television. If it was neither surprising nor consistent, the year was surely dynamic. Below, the PopMatters film and tv crew breaks it down.

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