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Who needs the Academy?

Teens pick top flicks of the year

Teens pick top flicks of the year

February 01, 2005|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

And the Oscar goes to ... "Resident Evil: Apocalypse"?

The popular horror flick didn't earn a nomination for the upcoming 77th annual Academy Awards - but it would have if local teenagers comprised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Teens interviewed recently at Washington County Technical High School gave their Oscar nods for films aired in 2004 to titles ranging from "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" to "Meet the Fockers."

"I'm a movie-aholic. And I love scary movies," said Alexandra Norton, 17, of Hagerstown. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" topped Alexandra's picks for top 2004 flicks, but she also raved about the animated comedy "Shrek 2" - especially the character Puss In Boots with voice by Antonio Banderas. "That was hysterical," she said.

Josh Lum, 17, of Hagerstown, said he bought the "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" DVD as soon as it was released. But he gave his teen Oscar vote to "National Treasure." He said the adventure film, which stars Nicholas Cage, "held your attention the entire time. It kept you guessing." Jeremy Hose, 18, of Hagerstown, ranked "National Treasure" as one of the best two movies of 2004. The volunteer firefighter in Boonsboro also admired the strong performances of John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix in the fire-fighting flick "Ladder 49."

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"It kind of hit base with me," he said.

Amanda Lowman, 16, of Clear Spring, also picked "Ladder 49" as the year's best drama. She chose "Without a Paddle" as her "stupid-funny" flick of 2004. Fellow comedy fan Mat Wright, 16, of Hagers-town, chose "Shaun of the Dead" and "Dodgeball" as his top movies of 2004.

"That movie was sooo funny," Stacy Knight, 17, of Boonsboro, said of "Dodgeball."

Many teens said "Meet the Fockers" - a comedy sequel starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Blythe Danner - scored highest on their laugh meters.

"That's an awesome movie," said Cody Brown, 16, of Big Pool.

"I almost lost it. It was so, so funny," agreed Megan Carpenter, 18, of Clear Spring. On the flip side, she loved "Resident Evil: Apocalypse."

"Meet the Fockers" and "Walking Tall," which stars The Rock, earned teen Oscar votes from Brittni Pereschuk, 16, of Hagerstown. Action movie fan Basil Kuhn, 17, of Hancock, gave his vote to Will Smith's "I, Robot." "The graphics were really good," Basil said.

Stephanie Miss, 16, of Hagerstown, most enjoyed the magical special effects in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

"I love 'Oceans Twelve.' I don't care what the critics say," said Ashley Vaughn, 16, of Clear Spring. She said director Steven Soderbergh's film - which features an all-star cast including heartthrobs George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon - boasted a great plot. Jabari Emanuel, 16, of Hagerstown, said the same of "Collateral," which starred Tom Cruise as a hit man opposite cab driver Jamie Foxx.

"Friday Night Lights" scored a touchdown with "big football person" T.J. Wallech, 16, of Hagerstown. "Spider-Man 2" caught 17-year-old Heather Andrews in its blockbuster web with the movie's "great romance" and "good suspense."

The surprise ending in "Taking Lives," a crime thriller that stars Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, impressed Amber Draper, 16, of Hagerstown. Andrea Betts, 16, of Hagers-town, preferred the chills coming from Johnny Depp's "Secret Window."

Cory Bush, senior class president at Washington County Technical High School, said he and friends Tim Cooper, Kevin Jaye and Bobbie Miller are "major movie buffs." The teens - who like indie flicks, action movies, comedies, thrillers and horror films - ran through a long list of revered movies from 2004 before choosing their favorites. Tim, 17, of Hagers-town, was impressed with Julianne Moore in thriller "The Forgotten." Seventeen-year-old Cory of Huyetts Crossroads ranked "Blade: Trinity" with Wesley Snipes at the top of his list, but he also gave kudos to "Meet the Fockers," "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," "50 First Dates" and "Napoleon Dynamite."

"That was hilarious," Cory said.

And "Resident Evil: Apocalypse"?

"That movie rocked," he said.

Kevin, 18, of Smithsburg, said he bought the "Resident Evil" soundtrack. But he cast his Oscar vote for "The Incredibles," an animated movie featuring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson. Bobbie, 17, of Williamsport, preferred "Closer, a drama that follows the tangled relationships among two couples. "It's so good," she said. "You just want to know what happens next."

Tara Gladhill agreed with Academy voters that the acting in "Closer" was outstanding. Clive Owen and Natalie Portman received Oscar nominations for their supporting actor roles in the film. "It's hard to follow, but once you get into it, it's great," said Tara, 16, of Hagerstown. "I loved the acting."

Portman's star turn in the coming-of-age comedy-drama "Garden State" helped move that movie to the top of Ashley Monroe's 2004 list. "'Garden State' was really good," said Ashley, 17, of Williamsport. "It's a family kind of movie."

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