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Part 1: The Thin Red Line to Star Wars Episode I (January - May 1999)

The first part of PopMatters' look back at the films of 1999 is bookended by the long awaited return of two cinematic auteurs of wildly different styles, Terrence Malick and George Lucas.

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The Treatment

Jason B. Jones
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Ratatouille

Ratatouille is wholesome entertainment that everyone's going to be happy with because it pulls off the feat of managing to be hilarious and engaging while offending pretty much nobody.

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Ratatouille (2007)

Like the gourmet food it so exquisitely renders, one fears that the sensational Ratatouille will end up being a decidedly acquired commercial taste.

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Ratatouille (2007)

The exuberant voice performances in Ratatouille immerse the audience in its world, one enhanced by richly-colored, sophisticated animation and a lively score.

Daynah Burnett
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The Treatment (2007)

Just as you're questioning your own capacity for sympathy, the best reason to keep watching The Treatment shows up: Famke Janssen.

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Part 4: Challenging Convention

As cinema went completely commercial, abandoning art for artifice, true aesthetic acumen was hard to come by. Luckily, for the movies included herein, it was their difference, as well as their diversity, that helped them stand out from the rest of the high concept hackwork.

Film

Future Shock: The Death of Serious Science Fiction

The serious Science Fiction film genre is dead or at least on cinematic life support. As the new millennial marches forward, and an omnipresent production paradigm that substitutes spectacle for smarts, futurist filmmaking is definitely gasping for breath.

Film

Monkey Business (Part 2: June)

Apparently, as the sun's strongest rays finally settle over the movie going public, sequels are the remedy to cool down an overheated demographic. This month alone holds five examples of such redux refreshment. The rest of the choices are a variety pack of genres, ideas and possibilities.

Film

Renaissance (2006)

Illusion is frequently the threat in noir (the dark alley hides a killer, the femme is fatale), but the SF angle in Renaissance tweaks the possibilities.

Film

Lord of War (2005)

As Yuri plainly gets off on risk, he's also broadly representative of cavalier attitudes toward risk concerning vulnerable individuals and communities.

Cynthia Fuchs
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Wetherby (1985)

Crippled by their past and unable to function in the present, these characters represent what David Hare calls 'the part-emotional landscape that is England.'"

Kevin Jagernauth
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Garden State (2004)

Natalie Portman brings to this sad, strange, vibrant girl her own remarkable, brilliant energy.

Cynthia Fuchs
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The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator portrays Hughes as a rebel and a genius, a dashing young man with ambition, hope, and nerve.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Even as it lays down a scary geopolitical scenario and a few partisan gauntlets, The Day After Tomorrow aims to please.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Day After Tomorrow (2004)

As the 'eye of the storm' speeds across the screen, instantly freezing everything in its path, Jack looks up to see a flag, turned spastically solid in a second. Here it is, the money shot: the emblematic United States, stuck in time, blind to consequences, fixated on its own reckless self-love.

Cynthia Fuchs
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