10 · Shrek 2

I like a good dose of CGI as much as the next geek, and you can’t get much more computer-generated or imag(in)ery than this. If I’d had a chance to see The Incredibles before starting this countdown it might have pipped the jolly green ogre at the post, but that doesn’t mean Shrek 2 is no good: a sharp script made it as much fun as the first one, and the sight of Puss in Boots coughing up a hairball had me laughing harder than anything else at the movies this year.

Less-satisfying CGI fare included Spider-Man 2, which six months later I can hardly remember anything about (oh yeah; Doc Ock. And that scene where Spidey stops the runaway train and gets carried inside reverently by the passengers); and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a failed attempt to create a new Indiana Jones with a bunch of G5s and a cast of six. The retro-future look was intriguing for a while, but the whole thing felt surprisingly devoid of life, and Gwyneth Paltrow was surprisingly annoying. It was annoying, too, to realise that this wasn’t supposed to be a 1930s vision of “the Future”, this was supposed to be the 1930s—a parallel 1930s where skyships ply the air and giant robots attack New York. Yet all the familiar details of the real 1930s were still there. So this was a 2000s imagining of the 1930s as if the 1930s was the actual 1930s’ idea of what 2000 would be like. Maybe the director’s grandfather stepped on a butterfly and broke his grandson’s brain.

Here’s what people said about this entry.

Spider-Man 2 was one of the most memorable blockbuster films I've seen in the past few years, complete with its spectacular opening pizza sequence, its underlying humanity, the great gag in the elevator, the Evil Dead 2-like operating room sequence, Bruce Campbell's cheesy cameo, and the like. Granted, I had similar reservations about the first Spidey when I saw it in the theatres. But I found myself appreciating the film more on video. But I guess you have to be a comic book geek or something.

Added by Ed on a Sunday in November.

Maybe so, Ed; I was never a Spider-Man reader. I did like the elevator gag, now you remind me of it, but not as much as the wrestling match in the first Spidey.

Added by Rory on a Sunday in November.

Well, saw The Incredibles tonight, and it really was. The best designed film I've seen in ages, and a sharp script. It's a toss-up whether it beats Shrek 2; the latter was perhaps a little more predictable, just by virtue of being a sequel. It still got my biggest laugh, though, with that hairball scene.

Added by Rory on a Thursday in December.