2004 wasn’t the geek-genre paradise that 2005 appears to be shaping up as, but there were still a few stand-outs for me:
LOST: I actually missed the premiere episode of this series, and only tuned in when The Dastardly Best Friend gushed about it. From the second episode, I was hooked. I remember saying that I was sure that the show would be cancelled after a handful of airings. That always seems to be the way with network TV shows that I like (I fare better with cable)…but ABC suprised me by keeping the show on the schedule, and the American viewing audience surprised me by making the show POPULAR. We’ll see if it lasts–I have all-too-clear memories of the craze-and-later-abandonment surrounding Twin Peaks to be entirely comfortable.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: I started gushing about this in my blog when I first heard it was being filmed, and the final product didn’t disappoint. Sure, it performed about as well as I expected in the theatres–the modern audience doesn’t quite know how to react to 30s-period pulp stuff that doesn’t feature Harrison Ford–but I loved it.
Van Helsing: Another bit of popcorn fluff, but one that I really enjoyed nonetheless. I’m an absolute nut for the Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s, and the Hammer horror films of the 60s and 70s, so I had zero problem with the goofiness. Made me feel like I was a teenager, staying up to watch Crematia Mortem again.
Ghost In the Shell 2: Innocence: I had the good fortune to see this in the theatre, and I’m glad that I did. The story was fairly standard Japanese existential cyberpunk…but the visuals! Easily one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen.
Hellboy: I’ve been a Hellboy fanatic ever since one of my Skull & Bones co-authors (T.S. Luikart) hipped me to the big red lug, expressing his disbelief that I wasn’t already a fan, since it was a melange of nearly all of my major interests. Now, I’ve got all of the trade paperback collections, the novels, and both short-story collections…and now, thanks to this film, I’ll forever hear Ron Pearlman’s gravel-rumble voice in my head when Hellboy speaks.