Saturday, March 31, 2012

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 51-60

60. The Departed 

– How can a movie that won film of the year be so low on the list? Easy. It’s a remake. Granted, it’s a hell of a remake, but still, it’s a remake. All actors delivered, the script delivered, the director obviously delivered, but not being an original piece hurt it badly for me because it made me feel bummed that one of Scorsese’s most recognized films was not his best. For his best, look towards Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, Goodfellas, etc. Is it still good though? Well hell, it’s on the list.

59. Serendipity 

– WTF? A chick flick? Why yes, a chick flick cracked my top 60 and it was rated higher than the departed. Why? Well let’s put it this way, when a chick flick is unanimously liked by men and mentioned as the only chick flick they don’t’ mind watching, you better pay attention. Good story, great script with predictable yet satisfying development, classic cheesy Hollywood ending. Say what you will, but this movie has staying power with me. Besides, Kate Beckinsale is in it, so hush your criticism.

58. Gladiator

– I actually had to reconsider including this film because there are a couple of things I resent from it, namely the Actor win for Russell Crowe (which he deserved for other movies instead of this one) and the loss for Joaquin Phoenix. This movie is amazing true, but I think of it as the midpoint between 300 and Braveheart, coming short visually on one front, and on acting and script in another. It’s an amazing flick to watch, but the real standout of this movie is none other than the villain. Joaquin Phoenix got screwed this year but his performance here AND in Quills proves that if he gets his head screwed on right, the kid has talent and then some.

57. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

– Higher than the Order of the Phoenix due to its style more than its substance or loyalty to source material. As far as Potter adaptations go, Azkaban is decent, but when you consider them in the category of films, well Alfonso Cuaron is just through and through an excellent director. Decent script and amazing attention to detail means I even sat through the credits to see how they would roll.

56. Team America 

– Officially the only film to almost make me choke from laughter. Whoever thought puppets could be so nasty and who would have thought it could all work so well? Classic on all fronts for me.

55. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy 

– Any time you have an actor just meshing in perfection with their character, you know you’re in for the ride. Ron Burgundy is simply put, one of the funniest characters I’ve ever seen and probably one of the funnest to write for because he’s just so out there. Perfect hair, classic stache and a voice like an anchor angel. A movie on this list simply because I can watch it over and over and not mind. Viva la Ron.

54. Star Trek Revamp 

– J.J. Abrams can do no wrong in my eyes. True, this feels like Star Trek expressed in an almost Star Wars-y kind of formula, but I can’t deny that this movie got my attention and made me be interested in Star Trek again. That alone is enough for me to include it on the best of list. Add to this great acting, a top notch cast, strong writing, hella special effects and you got yourself a winner.

53. 300 

– Style versus substance. The story in 300 isn’t that deep but the dialogue is memorable and the visuals are simply stunning. So what if Gerard Butler capitalized on this role to appear in 45% of all 2009 movies, that doesn’t mean his performance as Leonidas wasn’t awesome. To put it simply, there has never been a no win situation on the silver screen that has looked better.

52. March of the Penguins 

– So exactly how much did I cry during March of the Penguins? More than I care to publicly admit. But like The Bear (80’s flick about guess which animal), the turmoil of an animal resonates with something in me and in their natural behavior I can see beauty that is lacking in most humans. If that doesn’t mean this is a great movie, I don’t know what it means?

51 Tie. Hero / Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 

– Kung-Fu Beauty. I often hear people debating which is better, Crouching Tiger or Hero. To me, the debate is simple, if you want to know what the better movie is, pick crouching tiger. If you want the better ending, Hero decapitates Crouching Tiger. But I put these two movies side by side because they are an important part of cinematographic history. They are pure bred kung fu movies that have such wonderful acting and such incredible cinematography that you can’t help but pay attention. Which one has the better fights? Overall, Crouching Tiger, but the first fight from Hero is the best fight scene I’ve seen in a very long time. Mesmerizing, enthralling, captivating and most certainly kick ass. Neither movie pulls its punches and we benefit in the end. Tied at #51.

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 61-70

70. Batman Begins 

– The impossible is possible. The Batman franchise was able to resurrect after Batman and Robin thanks to Christopher Nolan and company. A great beginnings story that shows a very real take on where our esteemed Mr. Wayne comes from.

69. Iron Man 

– Unlike it’s watered down sequel, the original Iron Man had Robert Downey Jr. nailing Tony Stark without going overboard and showing an origins story that truly deserves to be watched. By the way, I think it was the best super hero film of the decade.

68. Fantastic Mr. Fox 

– Quirky and loco. Wes Anderson delivers another great movie, this time based on Roal Dhal’s classic. Is this word for word the same as the book? Hardly. This is a funny, upbeat, contemporary and very Andersonian version of the classic. Add to this some pretty interesting animation and just a knife wielding rat, and well, you’ve struck gold of the whistling kind.

67. Drag me to Hell

 – Raw, disgusting, scary, really messed up. All these words and more can be used to describe Drag me to Hell but suffice to say that I think Sam Raimi put all of his Spider Man born frustration into the making of this awesome horror flick. If you want scenes that can make you scream and gag with the best of them, few people can do it better than Sam.

66. The Ring 

– Atmosphere. It’s what makes or breaks a horror suspense film and The Ring is one of those movies with great atmosphere. Is the movie flawless? No. But it does scare the way it has to. And what’s the best part? They say the original Japanese version is even scarier.

65. Juno 

– A fun movie that brought back the hamburger phone and brought me such great words as guesstimation. Why so high on this list? Soundtrack, acting, script, and dialogue. Nuff Said.

64. Lost in Translation 

– Bill Murray makes this film and he feels so real and sad that I can’t but feel for the character. Maybe a bit high on the list now that I think of it, but since the feeling was so real for me, I don’t mind it that much.

63. No Country for Old Men 

– Hell of a movie that makes you wonder if Javier Bardem should even consider taking on a role that is considered anything on the lines of normal. Pacing is odd, the premise is odd but the delivery of everyone in this film is classic.

62. Superbad 

– Never before have I enjoyed seeing so many interpretations of a penis before in my life. Further explanation means you didn’t see the film.

61. Stardust 

– There’s nothing better than a lovely surprise and that’s what Stardust was for me. A movie towards which I had no expectations and ended up extremely satisfied with, thus further proving that I’m a Neil Gaiman fan, because I went to see the movie without knowing he’d written it. 

My top 100 films of the decade (That I watched) 71-80

80. What Women Want 

–  There is simply no way in hell anyone can convince me that they wouldn’t want to know what a woman was thinking at any given moment. True, maybe you wouldn’t want that to be permanent, but some sort of hint at what’s going on in there? Of course any guy would. Add to this that Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson actually have pretty great chemistry in this film and that the movie gives a glimpse of how an ad agency works, and you have a winner.

79. Oldschool 

– “You ma boy blueeeeeeee!!!” and “Let’s go Streaking!!!!” Those two catch phrases alone are enough to make me absolutely love this movie. And just in case, I actually consider Oldschool to be the spiritual successor to Animal House and that ain’t no laughing matter, or is it?

78. Garden State 

– How many times have you felt disconnected from reality? When was the last time you truly felt something in the cockles of your heart? This is at the center of Garden State. The story of someone who’s trying to wake up the drowsy inner self of their prescription dulled pain, frustration and anxiety. Great flick, great characters, great script and just great.

77. Ponyo 

– I honestly can’t remember the last movie I enjoyed that had as little violence as Ponyo. A wonderfully creative trip down Hayao Miyazaki’s mind, it gets me thinking why I haven’t seen all Miyazaki films or why this is the only one I’ve seen in its entirety thus disqualifying his other films from the last decade.

76. Tropic Thunder 

– A film where we got to see Robert Downey Jr. earn a nomination for best supporting actor for playing an Australian that method acts to the great beyond and is lost in his character while Tom Cruise channels his worst aspects as a person, and turns them into solid gold on the silver screen. The movie is so well made and so ridiculous that I can’t help but have been surprised at what I got when I sat down in the theater.

75. Borat 

– Unlike BrĂ¼no, Borat is super wrong for all the right reasons. To boot, it gave me the opportunity to have one of my best Halloween outfits ever. Very nice!

74. Little Miss Sunshine 

– This film is here mainly because of its script. A fun movie with a lot of character, LMS made me want to have a smack smoking grandparent and a suicidal gay uncle. How’s that for good?

73. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

– One of only two Harry Potter Films on this list, Order of the Phoenix was a hell of a film with probably the best effects of all the HP films. It’s also one of the darker books and the story is solid. Great acting this time around with a good script that was well paced. Pretty much everything a Potter-head looks for in an adaptation.

72. Traffic 

– Ensemble goodness is often times quite tricky to pull off, just don’t tell anyone involved with this project. I won’t say it’s seamless but I will say that it’s a movie to get you thinking about the state of drug prevalence in the world in general.

71. Crash 

– In the line of Magnolia, Crash takes a series of events, puts them into the mix and by the end you realize that six degrees of separation is actually too large a number for what we truly live. Yes, humanity numbers in the billions, but that doesn’t mean we don’t affect each other. A powerful movie with enough OH SNAP moments to keep you on the edge of your seat.