Annal: 2004 Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

Results of the Saturn Award in the year 2004.

Film:Kill Bill: Volume 1

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Vol. 1 is trash for connoisseurs. From his opening gambit (including a “Shaw-Scope” logo and gaudy ‘70s-vintage “Our Feature Presentation” title card) to his cliffhanger finale (a teasing lead-in to 2004’s Vol. 2), Tarantino pays loving tribute to grindhouse cinema, specifically the Hong Kong action flicks and spaghetti Westerns that fill his fervent brain—and this frequently breathtaking movie—with enough cinematic references and cleverly pilfered soundtrack cues to send cinephiles running for their reference books.…

Film:Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain

Anthony Minghella

Freely adapted from Charles Frazier’s beloved bestseller, Cold Mountain boasts an impeccable pedigree as a respectable Civil War love story, offering everything you’d want from a romantic epic except a resonant emotional core. Everything in this sweeping, Odyssean journey depends on believing in the instant love that ignites during a very brief encounter between genteel, city-bred preacher’s daughter Ada (Nicole Kidman) and Confederate soldier Inman (Jude Law), who deserts the battlefield to return, weary and wounded, to Ada’s inherited farm in the…

Film:Identity

Identity

James Mangold

A whodunit revolving around a group of 10 strangers who find themselves running from a desert storm. They hole up in a roadside motel that proves as hospitable as the Bates Motel. The patrons are killed, one by one, and the survivors must try to figure out who the killer is before they, too, check out…permanently!

Film:The Italian Job

The Italian Job

F. Gary Gray

Though it bears little resemblance to the original 1969 thriller starring Michael Caine, the 2003 remake of The Italian Job stands on its own as a caper comedy that’s well above average. The title’s a misnomer—this time it’s actually a Los Angeles job—but the action’s just as exciting as it propels a breezy tale of honor and dishonor among competing thieves. Inheriting Caine’s role as ace heist-planner Charlie Croker, Mark Wahlberg plays straight-man to a well-cast team of accomplices, including Mos Def, Jason Statham, and scene-stealer Seth Green in a…

Film:The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai

Edward Zwick

Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him.

Film:The Missing

The Missing

Ron Howard

The Missing is the story of Maggie Gilkeson (Cate Blanchett), a young woman raising her two daughters in an isolated and lawless wilderness. When her oldest daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) is kidnapped by a psychopathic killer with mystical powers (Eric Schweig), Maggie is forced to re-unite with her long estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) to rescue her. The killer and his brutal cult of desperados have kidnapped several other teenage girls, leaving a trail of death and horror across the desolate landscape of the American Southwest.

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