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.

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