This week on Psychotronic Netflix, we’re setting the wayback machine for the year 2000, when we survived Y2K, traded in our VCRs for DVD players, and all we had to worry about was whether or not they’d catch on to Napster.
10. The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick (2000)
Mark Steensland’s documentary may work better for those who are already diehard Philip K. Dick fans, but it’s still worth a look for those with an interest in the man and a tolerance for a lot of talking heads.
9. Ed Gein (2000)
The take of the Wisconsin-based corpse fetishist has been told before and since, but Chuck Parello’s film features a great performance by Steve Railsback as Gain, with Carrie Snodgress in fine form as his mother.
8. Chasing Sleep (2000)
Michael Walker’s underrated little thriller about a college professor (Jeff Daniels) investigating the disappearance of his wife went straight to video, but it’s an impressively clever, eerie film that embraces audience discomfort while keeping a dark sense of humor. With Molly Price and Gil Bellows.
7. Tell Me Something (2000)
Youn-kyun Chang’s impressive serial killer thriller came early in the recent wave of Korean genre flicks, but it still packs a punch as a potentially dirty cop is assigned to protect a young artist who may be involved with a murderer.
6. Panic (2000)
William H. Macy plays a hitman who falls for his therapist (Neve Campbell) in this entertainingly comic noir flick that seems to have gotten lost amongst a sea of similar films at the time. Macy is fantastic, and the supporting cast includes John Ritter, Tracey Ullman, Barbara Bain and a great turn by Donald Sutherland.
5. Together (2000)
Lukas Moodysson’s sweet, yet far from saccharine, tale of a young mother who takes her kids to live with her brother on a commune in 1975 is both a great portrait of the era and place and completely identifiable as a character drama, and one of the most underrated films of the year.
4. Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai (2000)
Jim Jarmusch’s follow-up to DEAD MAN (unless you count YEAR OF THE HORSE) may be the one of the most low-key mafia hit man movies ever, but Forrest Whitaker is perfectly cast as the samurai-identified leading man. With Henry Silvaa and Victor Argo, and music by RZA.
3. Memento (2000)
Christopher Nolan made a name for himself with his high concept thriller about a man with no short-term memory trying to take down the man who killed his wife with only his tattoos to aid him, and it’s a stylized gem that holds up even if you know the ending. Guy Pearce stars, with Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior and Stephen Tobolowsky.
2. The Gift (2000)
This and A SIMPLE PLAN seem to be the two solid Sam Raimi films that end up neglected, and it’s a shame, as they’re both tightly-constructed little thrillers. In the Billy Bob Thornton-written THE GIFT, Cate Blanchett plays a psychic investigating the murder of a young woman (Katie Holmes). With Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves (who is good!), Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank, Michael Jeter, Gary Cole, J.K. Simmons and Kim Dickens.
1. Battle Royale (2000)
It’s hard to believe there was a time that nobody would release Kinja Fukasaku’s twistedly compelling flick in the United States because it depicts a bunch of ninth grade students killing each other off for sport. Anyone who complains about THE HUNGER GAMES being a rip-off of this should just be advised that if it weren’t for the success of THE HUNGER GAMES, you’d still be watching this on a shoddy, region-free bootleg.
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