Here they are folks, my Top Ten movies of 2002. This list proves one very important thing: I need to see more movies! (More on that in my New Year's Resolutions column). Anyway, here you go . . .
10. The Rookie - Made me cry. Really. It did. Every father that has a son should see this, just for the scene where he calls his kid after getting called up. Instant tears, I promise.
9. Spider-Man - Sure, The Green Goblin's costume was a bit cheesy, and Uncle Ben was a bit of a wussy, but 'twas still Amazing (and Spectacular).
8. Changing Lanes - I know, I know, it's a Ben Affleck movie, but it's still cool - and Sam Jackson more than makes up for Alleck's weenieosity.
7. Catch Me if You Can - Not Spielberg's best (more on that in a moment), but it was definitely a lot of fun. Hanks is worth the price of admission alone.
6. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys - The best movie on this list that no one has heard of. Jodie Foster, Kieran Culkin, and Vincent D'Onofrio are really great in this. Plus, the animation is a lotta fun.
5. The Four Feathers - I got my hopes up about this one, and it didn't quite live up to them, but the direction was excellent and the cinematography was beautiful (so was Kate, of course).
4. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - What? Lord of the Rings in fourth place?!? I can hear the heresy claims now. I liked it. I did. But I didn't love it like I did the first one.
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - This movie was so much fun to sit through - pure movie-goer enjoyment. No serious art to ponder, no moral conundrum that needs solving. Chris Columbus should at least be nominated for an Oscar.
2. Minority Report - I didn't see this one until I got it on DVD as a Christmas present, and I regret so much not having seen it on the big screen. The script is polished and convincing, and Spielberg's direction is so complex and compelling that I believed exactly what he wanted me to believe every second of the movie. I really loved it.
1. Gangs of New York - Where can I start with this film? So much to say, it really deserves its own column. Daniel Day-Lewis was simply phenomenal. He will win the Best Actor Oscar. If he doesn't, close down the Academy, cause it ain't workin' anymore. Leo is good, too. Scorsese's direction is breathtaking, completely visionary. This is one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Honorable Mention: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; Jonah: A Veggietales Movie (can you tell I have a kid?); The Wild Thornberrys Movie (this one was actually pretty good, it almost made the top ten)
1. My son will only be three once - I didn’t really realize this until the very end of the year, when putting together a video for my parents of Sam’s first three years. There was a ton of video that we had shot for the first two years, but his third year was woefully underrepresented. We’ve somehow let the last year slide by with remarkably little to show for it.
2. Community is hard work - Losing a pastor was tough, but man, I never knew how tough. The responsibilities that have befallen a few of us at New Hope have already started to make my knees buckle a bit. When the work that was done before by full-time staff moves over to the shoulders of volunteers, struggles will ensue – mark it down. This provides a nice lead in to my next new realization:
3. All Volunteer work is always underappreciated - It’s understandable to take the position that volunteers should not expect recognition – it’s probably true, too. But in practice, the folks that don’t get recognized for the hours and hours of work they put in – and at New Hope there are lots of people like that – are less likely to stay in it for the long haul. Plus, they just deserve to be patted on the back every now and then.
4. Sometimes you have to be an S.O.B. - This more or less goes along with the two above it (it’s amazing how much all of this has to do with church, huh?). Sometimes decisions have to be made that not everybody likes – it seems like I’ve been in that position way too often this year. But, like it or not, that kinda goes along with the whole leadership ticket, you know?
5. A good job is hard to find - I’ve talked to too many friends this year who hate their jobs. I am one lucky son of a gun, I love my job! Sure, I can think of things I’d rather be doing, but I enjoy what I do and the people that I work with. Going to work isn’t much of a chore for me – although I’d much rather go in at 10, instead of 8. But overall, this is a good place for me to be.
6. Names are important - We’ve been wracking our brains (and plenty of other people’s brains, too) about what to name our daughter. And one of the conclusions that I’ve made from this whole process is that, from the very beginning of a life, a name will partly shape that personality. I really don’t believe that Sam would be the same kid if his name were Chester.