January:Lord of the Rings. OK, so it came out late in 2001, but I didn't get around to seeing it until 2002. Longest ever advert for the New Zealand Tourist Board, and they never even paid for the publicity. Three hours of orcs, elves and even more orcs. I think I enjoyed the film most for the chance to see young Dominic out of Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, with hooves.
February: none. I blame the fact that I didn't go and see any films in February on the fact that this month is shorter than all the others.
March:Monsters Inc. Sorry, this has to be the film of the month, only because I didn't see any others. Actually, as Disney goes it wasn't bad, even quite clever in places, but I won't be buying the t-shirt, the cuddly toy, the video game, the Happy Meal....
April: another month I forgot to go to the cinema, sorry.
May:Spiderman. Woo, I got to see Spiderman on 42nd Street New York on its American opening night, in the very city where the film is set. A great superhero movie, mixing story, action and effects in just the right ratio. But just slightly un-nerving seeing Spidey and the Green Goblin battling out the finale over the very cablecar we'd just ridden across in from Roosevelt Island.
June:About a Boy. Nick Hornby's enjoyable tale about two North London blokes who shouldn't have got on, but did. Whilst watching this I tried to work out whether I was more like Will (thirty-something, single, happy, comfortable) or Marcus (teenage, loner, 'different', transformable), and ultimately decided I was a bit like both of them.
July:Minority Report. Blimey, an intelligent science fiction film! What would happen if the police could arrest people before they commited a crime. Not far enough away from current reality, i'm afraid. Any film with Tom Cruise in it has to be worth watching, but particularly the last five minutes of this film, I thought.
August:Austin Powers - Goldmember. You either loved this or you hated it. I loved it, and I haven't laughed more at any film (or indeed anything) all year. Who cares if it's all cheap mickey-taking and smutty innuendo, it's still exceptionally well done, and fantastically clever. Particularly the Japanese subtitles.
September:The Bourne Identity. Refreshing to see a spy film set in Europe rather than America for once, and the first car chase to do justice to the humble Mini since The Italian Job. And the only film worth watching on the plane over to San Francisco, twice.
October:Donnie Darko. It's a film about a schizophrenic teenager seemingly stalked by a 6 foot alien rabbit. It's either Back To The Future updated for the 21st century, or else it's Buffy crossed with the Lost Boys but without the vampires. It's wonderfully leftfield for an American movie, which is probably why it wasn't a big hit over there. It's one of those very rare films that I could actually watch again soon.
November:28 Days Later. OK, so I nearly chose Harry Potter, but the last five minutes shunted that film down into second place. Instead I've gone for this excellent portrayal of a post-apocalyptic Britain, full of mad red-eyed zombies. Much like the East London I know and love, then.
December:Die Another Day. Unbelievably an enjoyable James Bond film, with just the right mix of action, stunts, humour and tongue-in-cheek. I can just about forgive them the inclusion of an invisible car but, that disused tube station, I'm sorry, the platform at Vauxhall Cross wasn't even long enough to fit one carriage in, let alone a whole train.