Saturday, October 1, 2011

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 81-90

90. Shrek 2

 – And yes the same goes for Shrek. Sure the first one is a classic because it introduced the whole Shrek universe to the world, but #2 did it funnier and better on all fronts. Too bad they dropped the ball on the third one. And the fourth… well I haven’t even seen it yet cuz I suspect it blows that much.

89. Lord of War 

– Nicholas Cage is an ever rolling crapshoot. Sometimes he’s brilliant, other times he’s menacingly bad. Case in point compare Leaving Las Vegas and Kiss of Death with the likes of Ghost Rider or The Wicker Man. Enter Lord of War. Raw, biting, real. To be honest, it’s probably one of his best 5 flicks in my book. It’s Tony Montana meets Tony Stark. A rags to riches to emotional rags story of a weapons dealer that truly puts the question, when will too much be enough when it comes to the arms race.

88. Snatch 

 – Oh man what a hell of a film. Funny, dark morose, funny, well written, superbly acted, funny, messed up, funny and funny. It’s not that this is a laugh fest by the way, it’s just that the movie is so messed up, you can’t help but laugh sometimes and feel bad for doing so. Well not really.

87. Slumdog Millionaire 

– I almost hate to put this movie on the list anywhere simply because the hype was so ridiculous and I stand by my stance that this movie is overrated. Good? Yes. Quite good actually. But movie of the year AND song of the year this was not. To be honest, it seems some political interests were being served with all the Slumdog hoopla and it’s a bit disappointing because the movie is actually quite excellent and it might be a preemptor of things to come. Regardless of the collateral BS that comes with the flick, good acting, great editing and a satisfying script means that the movie gets a slot on the list, even if it’s leagues lower than slum fans would like it to be.

86. Sweeny Todd
 – The Demon Barber gets the Burton twist. A musical for the Mortal Kombat generation, Sweeny Todd gives Kill Bill a run for its money in the blood sloshing department. Most everyone in the movie does a great job but high notes need to go to Sasha Baron Cohen for taking the pee selling Pirelli to new heights.

85. Finding Neverland – Well shot, well acted, fun, interesting and inviting you to find your own Neverland. This movie was just a great experience for me even though the best parts were the ones alluding directly to the timeless classic. Funny how Johnny Depp was able to land in so many flicks on this list, yet is managing to annoy the hell out of me lately.

84. Dodgeball 

– Hear me out. A movie is great for me if it gets me laughing and Dodgeball had me in stitches from the ridiculous story to Ben Stiller’s moustache and his Purple Headed Cobras. BTW, special things happen to me when this movie is on, so I HAD to include this on the list, which is MY list. Feel free to disagree in the comments section.

83. Identity 

– Interesting, kind of creepy, unexpected ending. Identity is all the things you want from a suspense thriller, including an ending that isn’t happy.

82. Rocky Balboa
 – Finally the venerable series gets the sendoff it deserves. (I’m ignoring Rocky IV and V in this little rant). After the lame fifth outing, round six proved to be the winning round in the contest. The script was pretty damn good, Stallone did a great Rocky and Paulie shall forever be one of the greatest fuckups in existence, which you can’t help but hate and love in one sentence.

81. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 

– WHATTTTTT??? A full on chick flick is on this list? Why yes and do you want to know why? Because when you make a movie so good that it’ll become a TBS staple for years to come, you know you did your job right. A thoroughly enjoyable comedy anyone in the family can adopt as their guilty pleasure and one of the reasons why people even know when to say Opa!

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 91-100

100. Casshern
 – I need to mention this movie for one main reason. The story is weird, the acting isn’t always top notch and the overall flow of the movie is just odd, but WOW does this movie look simply incredible. Whether you like the wtf Neo Evangelion concept or not, you can’t deny the sheer visual strength of this movie and this is probably the only movie on the entire list that makes it solely because of one criteria, hence it being #100.

99. Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events 

– This is not the most awesome movie ever, but I think it was so beautifully shot and its wardrobe and stage direction was so amazing, that not mentioning it would be kind of a foul. Tag on an excellent score and you have a sleeper hit of a movie that merits at least one watch, though probably a few. Too bad developmental hell kept sequels from being produced, but it might mean animated features in the future, which might work as well or even better.

98. Spider Man 2 

– By far the best Spider Man Movie since the first one was ok and the third one… well let’s not even mention the third one. Effects got a good bump, the storyline was much more solid, Doc Oc was awesome and the movie was pretty much the main reason for me thinking the third one was going to be epic... too bad I simply got Spider Man the High School Musical instead.

97. 28 Days Later 

– A good zombie flick needs gallons upon gallons of fake blood and a scene or two where you might even cringe a little. A REALLY good zombie flick is also gruesome but brings a story, innovation within the genre and best of all, running zombies.

96. Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
 – Another movie that made my list based mainly on its visuals is FF VII: Advent Children. Add to a stunning CGI film some great music and some pretty incredible boss battles and you can forgive the odd bits in between. Simply put, if you played the series and like animated films, you will put this on your list because unlike Spirits Within, this movie DID NOT suck.

95. Bruce Almighty
 – Tell me you haven’t fantasized of parting a bowl of tomato soup ever since you saw this flick. Witty, fun, and without getting remotely close to the hackneyed efforts of its sequel. In short, this movie was güd!!

94. Spanglish
 – Call this my Sandler trio. Starting off with Spanglish, Sandler has a knack for making movies I watch and enjoy. True, not all of his flicks are best of the decade worthy, but I can’t deny that I loved the silky smoothness of You Don’t Mess with The Zohan or the predictable fun of The Longest Yard. However, Spanglish was a different kind of movie in the sense that it had a plot you saw and could actually believe. It might be uneven but when you break it all down, it’s pretty real and it has Paz Vega, so #94 it is.

93. Reign Over Me 

– Second in the Sandler Trio, Reign Over Me is a movie that surprised the hell out of me. Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler don’t always work well together, but it was Sandler’s show to steal anyway, which he did. A movie about coping with grief and the pain of leaving things unfinished. Clumsy at times, graceful at others; a lot like life if you ask me. And as a huge bonus, Pearl Jam offered a cover of The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me.

92. Click – 

The final Sandler flick in this entire list, what sets Click apart is that in addition to good laughs, it has a good message to take with you. Besides, it’s got Christopher Walken as a kooky guy from Bed, Bath and Beyond, Master Hasselhoff and Kate Beckinsale. But apart from that, the whole message of “work too much and life will pass you by” and “make sure you appreciate the people you love” before it’s too late resonated with me.

91. X 2

– Like Spider-Man, the best was left for second. X 2 is all that the first movie wanted to be and all that the third movie forgot to be. The best effects, best action sequences, coolest characters and most solid plot are found in this installment.

You have been gifted

In life, there are thousands of lessons to learn, but one of the hardest is to learn to value and appreciate every single day of your life. People often morph into creatures of habit living each day as if it is scripted, doing the minimum to get by and complaining just about everything. “My job sucks, my life sucks, this day is lame, I wish it were Friday.” You hear these comments from people throughout the week and it’s as if they wish they could fast forward through life just to get to the good parts.

Luckily, you have them all beat. You have been given the gift of knowledge that makes you a far more complete person than they are. In reality, we are all terminally ill because in the end, no one survives life. It’s just that the time we have varies from person to person… but that’s nothing compared to the QUALITY of the life you live.

Think of it this way, what good is living to be a hundred if you’re bitter, hate life, stop learning and continually settle. Now think of living half that time but being productive, being loved, writing, making music, surfing, loving, having a family, helping people and whatnot. The quality of those 50 years far eclipse someone who achieved the milestone of reaching a century’s worth of life… because it was a bitter century.

Some of the people who live life to the fullest are people who have been diagnosed with what in reality is the most real deadline any of us could ever be given. The veil has been taken off and the illusion of conformity is destroyed, replaced by the reality of how much you want to live. Adverse events have that way of impacting our lives.

In the life of Jesse Billauer, it took an accident at Pipeline when he was 17. Rendered quadriplegic, most people would be bitter with their life. Jesse accepted his situation, adapted his life and didn’t take no for an answer. With the help of a strong support group and unwavering faith in himself and his beliefs, he still surfs. Don’t take my word for it, check the links below.

Here’s Jesse chargin:

Motorcross superstar, Travis Pastrana knows the value of life from what happened to his friend Matt Bigos. Because of Travis driving irresponsibly, he crashed his car leaving his friend paralyzed. After being told he wouldn’t walk again, Matt showed what he thought of those diagnoses… even in his condition, he does Iron Men triathlons and shows that nothing and no one is going to tell him what he can or can’t do. He also forgave Travis and told him things just happen.

Check his blog at

Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham was born with Spina Bifida, which means he’s probably wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. His response? Becoming the pioneer of freestyle wheeling, landing air 360s, double backflips, and a superman air… all on a wheelchair.

These people didn’t take no for an answer, they didn’t give up and they didn’t let days slip by without doing what they loved. How many people do you know who can say this? How many healthy people? How many people with a smart phone, with Internet, with endless amounts of possessions and heaps of money?

In my personal experience my aunt was diagnosed with AIDS and my father was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of crumbling under the pressures of treatment and pain, my aunt published a book and spoke to people to create awareness and offer support. My father rekindled lost faith, prayed and finally broke down years of emotional barriers to finally show outwardly how much he cared for his family and in those 6 years he told me he loved me more than the rest of my life combined. If that isn’t worth more than 100 bitter years of life, then I don’t know what is.

Unlike countless millions, you have been given the gift of knowledge. You have been exposed to the one undeniable truth that binds all of us and which is your mission to share with everyone you come into contact with and it can be summed up in 5 words:

Every day is a gift

So my best to you and always remember to keep your head high because in everything, life is about quality not quantity.