10. Lord of the Rings Return of the King
- As mentioned before, the LOTR franchise is one made with love, dedication and passion… Return of the King is the closing installment of the series and a tour de force regarding all things cinematography. Who would have ever thought that some films would make New Zealand part of anyone’s bucket list.
9. Inglorious Basterds
– I am not riding the hype from last year. Now that I put that out of the way, brace yourself… I think Inglorious is Tarantino’s best work to date. Apart from producing one of the Top Ten Villains of all time in Hanz Landa, this movie ebbs and flows as only Mr. Tarantino can do it and I think the cinematography is by far one of the strongest we’ve seen in a while. Hell of an ending, the death of Hitler as it should have been and the best use of the Italian language in any American film and this movie is pure gold.
8. The Wrestler
– If you like your movies real, let me present to you The Wrestler. Please rest assured, that’s what happens to wrestlers after a career and Mickey Rourke’s performance was something to see. I’m glad he got the shot and the recognition, and though I didn’t watch Milk, I’m assured the result was extremely well deserved. Regardless, Mickey Rourke and Darren Aronofsky… here’s hoping we see more good work from both, together if possible.
7. Cast Away
– Having given Russell Crowe the Oscar this year was by far one of the crappiest moves ever done by the academy. When you can make a modern day silent movie, have the audience cry because of a volleyball and have product placement without damaging a movie, you hit it out of the park. Tom Hanks was on another level in this film and it’s one of those flicks I’m just happy I saw.
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
– Creativity is king of this fantastic movie that shows Jim Carrey can act (In case Truman Show wasn’t enough). With pretty much one of the best ideas for a movie since Being John Malkovich, two actors show the twisted roads love takes to finally reign supreme. Besides, just because you can’t stand someone, doesn’t mean you don’t love them.
– What an intro, what an end sequence, what a premise and what a movie. Stylishly shot, wonderfully edited and acted with pure conviction from all sides. In three words, completely f@#$#^ up. Just how I like my movies.
4. Waking Life
– A film I’ve given as a gift four times and will continue doing so until I find something that can match it. There is just so much information and things to inspire me that I need to include it. It’s smart, weird, and worth watching multiple times. Get ready to be mind humped.
– This is pretty much the sweetest film I’ve ever seen. The soundtrack is a treat and if by any chance you think the two people in the flick are really falling in love, that’s because they are. They went out for some time after the film but have since gone their separate ways. What remains is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
2. Dark Knight
– No one in their right mind should have been ready for what we were treated with the Dark Knight. Epic seems like a big word, but nothing else will do. Heath Ledger made me eat my words that he didn’t have the chops to pull off the Joker and the entire script is awesome. Throw in one of the best explosions in cinematographic history and enough action to keep you guessing every second of the way and you see why Dark Knight is by far the best Batman ever made.
1. Lord of the Rings the Two Towers
– It’s no secret from this list that I fully embrace, appreciate and recognize the value of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in cinema. To justify having each of them on this list, simply put, there has rarely been anything bigger done that holds so well after time and will continue doing so. Sure, Titanic was a grand project, but you can’t tell me that it doesn’t have some really lame parts. The Two Towers is a real highlight for me because it had action, great suspense, darkness, incredible battles, possibly the best acting all around in the series and Gollum, one of the more wonderfully twisted characters ever imagined. If you disagree with this selection, it has more to do with not liking the genre than it does with what a movie is all about. Acting is there, script is there, cinematography is there, set creation is there, music is there, variety is there and the message is there. No stone is left unturned and if you still desist, then maybe you just don’t like walking much.