Friday, December 25, 2009

Trent's Decade in Review: A Retrospective Spectacular!

Well, in a few days, for some of us (those not going from 2001 thru 2010, but instead from 2000 to 2009), the decade will end. I, for one am happy to see it go. Compared to the first decade and a half of my life, this last one sucked. I am really hoping for a better next ten years.

The last ten years in entertainment have been ones with vast changes of both good and bad potential. We've seen the oversaturation of reality TV, 24 hour news, and internet serials. We've seen a proliferation of remakes, video game adaptations, and comic book movies. The last ten years started off with a boom of independent film, which has all but died in the last two years with the economic downturn.

Herein are 50 of my favorite films from the past decade, with the first 25 being my absolute favorites. Other than that, there is no order to these movies in terms of how much I liked them. I feel that would be unfair.

1. Almost Famous (2000) - This is the only movie on this list that I consider one of my five all-time favorite films. It never gets boring, because it's all about character nuances. You actually feel as if you're hanging out with rock stars.

2. Spirited Away (2001) - This is, in my opinion, the best anime film created. It's a beautiful, odd story, and unlike quite a few anime, not too short.

3. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - It's probably Wes Anderson's best movie. It's got so many characters, yet we end up knowing each one so well, and yet they still surprise us. Gotta love the quirkiness.

4. Lord of The Rings (2001-2003) - Probably the most astounding piece of film-making at LEAST since Star Wars, but in my opinion, this is better film-making.

5. Adaptation. (2002) - Charlie Kaufman's best script and Spike Jonze's best film.

6. The Eye. (2002) - This movie (the Chinese original), fits so much into this thriller that I was amazed. It's moving, haunting, frightening, and yes, a bit of romance is there as well. Seperates itself from all the other Asian horror films.

7. Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World (2003) - A seafaring movie that's full of historical accuracy and yet manages to have it's exciting parts. It's not about battles, but about life on a ship, and I like that about it. It's got great acting, music, and cinematography to boot.

8. Capturing The Friedmans (2003) - The most disturbing and provacative documentary I've ever seen. Just to see that back in the 80s, how they handled child sexual abuse cases was frightening. Moreso is the fact that even with this documentary, we don't know if the people involved were innocent or guilty of the abuse.

9. The Incredibles (2004) - My favorite Pixar movie of the past ten years. I know most prefer Nemo, Ratatouille or Wall-E, but this gets my vote because it just entertained me more. I connected better. Still, they're all great (except Cars).

10. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004) - Heartbreaking, funny, and a mindscrew at the same time. Everyone owes it to themselves to see this. Just don't expect to understand everything the first time through.

11. Serenity (2005) - Science fiction for the most part was not as good this decade, but this is one of the best ever made. Those that like this owe it to themselves to see TV series Firefly as well. It's very much a space western.

12. Batman Begins (2005) - I like this better than The Dark Knight. Sure, it's not as philosophical or epic, but it's more fun, and has a villain not seen in a Batman movie before. Also, less annoying hype and anti-hype.

13. Apocalypto (2006) - Also known as Mel Gibson's OTHER movie. Sorry guys, this is better than Passion of The Christ. Not much dialogue, but man what a chase. If only the Mayans had as many fans as Jesus this would have done better.

14. Casino Royale (2006) - This is probably the best Bond film made since The Spy Who Loved Me back in 1977. Daniel Craig is a great Bond, and the story was updated nicely for modern audiences.

15. The Departed (2006) - Martin Scorsese outdoes himself. This is the best mob movie ever made in my view. It also proves the phrase, "there's always a bigger fish"... or rat in this case.

16. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006) - This Clint Eastwood directed film is better than it's counterpart Flags of Our Fathers by a long shot. It's from the Japanese point of view, and has more humanity, action, and even humor. One of Eastwood's best.

17. Pan's Labyrinth (2006) - Guillermo Del Toro is one of the best dark fantasy directors out there, and this is his best. It's in spanish, but it's such a sad, depressing movie, and yet so beautiful.

18. Hot Fuzz (2007) - Most would probably put Shaun of The Dead instead, but this one's humor has stayed funny longer for me. It may not have as much social commentary, but it's easily at least as funny as Shaun, plus you get Timothy Dalton.

19. The Orphanage (2007) - Another movie all in Spanish, but this time it's a thriller. It's got some of the most haunting scenes in it, yet still it's sad. Think of a better version of The Others, and you get this.

20. Ratatouille (2007) - Pixar's other best movie of the decade. More for adults than kids this time.

21. Let The Right One In (2008) - A Swedish vampire movie that's both brutal and sweet.

22. Speed Racer (2008) - A lot of people hate it, but a lot love it too. I love it. It's just what a live action cartoon should be, and my god, the visuals!

23. Avatar (2009) - The move forward is special effects we've been waiting for, and it legitimizes 3D.

24. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - Another Wes Anderson film for the list. It's his first real kid friendly movie, though not just for kids. It's zany enough for kids, but is for everyone. Mr. Fox is fantastic.

25. Zombieland (2009) - It's like Little Miss Sunshine with zombies. Sound awesome? It is.

and the runners up....

26. O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)
27. High Fidelity (2000)
28. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
29. Devil's Backbone (2001)
30. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
31. Donnie Darko (2001)
32. Minority Report (2002)
33. 28 Days Later (2002)
34. Signs (2002)
35. Lost In Translation (2003)
36. Mystic River (2003)
37. Pirates of The Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl (2003)
38. Kill Bill (2003/2004)
39. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
40. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
41. The Squid and The Whale (2005)
42. Thank You For Smoking (2005)
43. Tideland (2005)
44. Children of Men (2006)
45. Clerks II (2006)
46. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
47. Darjeeling Limited (2007)
48. Grindhouse (2007)
49. The Dark Knight (2008)
50. Gran Torino (2008)

I will not do a worst of list, because while this decade did have some clunkers, I try not to see movies I know will be horrible.

Rock on 2010! Ow!

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