Annal: 2001 Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film

Results of the Saturn Award in the year 2001.

Film:Frequency

Frequency

Gregory Hoblit

Frequency is really two different—though inextricably linked—movies. First, the emotional drama of a father and son reunited after 30 years of separation. Then there’s a science fiction thriller, in which a couple of chance solar storms, occurring exactly 30 years apart, can provide the agency through which the father and son can communicate using the very same ham radio in parallel time frames of 1969 and 1999. The son is John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel), a cop, and his father is Frank (Dennis Quaid), a firefighter who died on the job when John was 6, which…

Film:Chicken Run

Chicken Run

Peter Lord, Nick Park

There were a lot of disappointments in the 2000 summer movie season, but Chicken Run wasn’t one of them. Made by Aardman Animations, which produced the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit shorts, this is a dazzling stop-motion animation film that is both deftly funny and surprisingly touching. The concept is simple: The Great Escape—with chickens. But directors Peter Lord and Nick Park take it much further than that (and remember: there’s a whole generation out there that has no idea who Steve McQueen is). Julia Sawalha voices Ginger, a plucky English…

Film:Dinosaur (2000)

Dinosaur

Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag

Dinosaurs come alive like never before in this costly computer-animated film from Disney. After a breathtaking opening (a dino egg is kidnapped), the film changes style; realistic dinosaurs are given human characteristics and voices. The kidnapped egg grows into an iguanodon named Aladar (voiced by D.B. Sweeney), who is raised by lemurs (shades of Tarzan) on a lush island void of other dinosaurs. When a meteorite destroys their island home in a thrilling sequence, the lemur family and Aladar become part of a dinosaur troop roaming the mainland deserts…

Film:The Family Man

The Family Man

Brett Ratner

Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) is the quintessential Wall Street shark, scoring killer deals by day and shallow escort sex by night. His round-the-clock routine of empty luxuries is disturbed one lonely Christmas Eve when a gun-packing punk (Don Cheadle)—perhaps an angel of mercy—responds to an altruistic gesture from Jack by giving him “a glimpse” of the life he could have had. Could have, that is, if he had married the girlfriend (Téa Leoni) he’d abandoned 13 years earlier, raised two adorable children, worked in his father-in-law’s retail tire outlet, and…

Film:The Grinch

The Grinch

Ron Howard

Under a thick carpet of green-dyed yak fur and wonderfully expressive Rick Baker makeup, Jim Carrey is up to all of his old tricks (and some nifty new ones) in this live-action movie of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic. He commands the title role with equal parts madness, mayhem, pathos, and improvisational genius, channeling Grinchness through his own screen persona so smoothly that fans of both Carrey and Dr. Seuss will be thoroughly satisfied. Adding to the fun is a perfectly pitched back-story sequence (accompanied by Anthony Hopkins’s narration) that explains how…

Film:What Women Want

What Women Want

Nancy Meyers

It must’ve made for a great pitch meeting: Male chauvinist advertising executive gains the ability to hear the thoughts of any woman around him. Add Mel Gibson—as Nick, the divorced “man’s man” who can charm almost any woman into bed—and you’ve got high-concept comedy made in Hollywood heaven, right? Not necessarily. The smartest thing director Nancy Meyers did with What Women Want is dispose of this ludicrous plot contrivance before it wears out its welcome. It’s fun to see Mel react to a deafening chorus of female thoughts, but his dubious…

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