Day Twenty-Three – I Miss the Drive-In

23 01 2010

About the same time that Christmas ends, my hatred for winter begins to take hold. No longer can I drive without worrying about the little old lady behind me, following a little too closely. Trips to the beach are the most depressing sight, with half melted snow barely covering the litter left in the fall. Yet, most disappointing of all is the closing of the drive-in.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a touch, but the drive-in has always been a metaphor for the care-free summer nights of the yesteryear. Watching the sunset behind the big screen. Hearing the crunching of gravel and sand as movie-goers find their parking spots. The smell of popcorn mixed with a cool summer nights breeze. There’s nothing like it.

Though the backdrop in Oakville isn't quite as spectacular, it still gives me that warm feeling inside.

I must confess, I didn’t get to the drive-in more than once last year due to the awful summer weather. If the weather-man is nice to us all this coming summer, though, I’m ready and willing to make up for it.

As far as specific venues go, I’m a big fan of the 5 Drive-In in Oakville. They really sell the family aspect of going to the drive-in and love to play up the nostalgia. They used to play a Woody Woodpecker cartoon before the first feature and they still play the “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” song and dance.

It’s also a lot more affordable than going to a regular movie theatre. You get two, sometimes three, new releases for $11.00. It can get as low as $5.00 for the same movies on Tuesdays or $15.00 for “Carload Thursdays”. Not to mention you can control who you sit next to.

The 5 Drive-In was open all the way until Christmas last year, thanks to the mild weather. As much as I like having it as my special thing to do in the summer, I really hope more people go and support this theatre. The summer nights at the drive-in are something I look forward to all year-round and I would hate for that to end. So if you have a car, grab yourself a comfortable pillow and drive your way down to Oakville to catch a couple flicks.

I plan to this summer and I can’t wait.

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Day Eighteen – Golden Globe Results: I’m 11 for 22

18 01 2010

The Golden Globes have come and gone with a few surprises. Some I was happy for, others not so much.

Let’s go through ’em. Once again, I got the results from EW.com.

FILM AWARDS

Best Picture, Drama
Avatar WINNER
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
Up in the AirMy Pick

When I had made the prediction, I hadn’t seen every film nominated, but I did by the time the Globes aired. I stand firm on my choice for Up in the Air. The hype for that film was right. The Hurt Locker was just as worthy, even according to Cameron himself. Avatar is an excellent version of Transformers. It’s fluff, not Best Picture.

Best Picture, Musical/Comedy

The Hangover was the only true comedy in the category and deserved the win.

The Hangover WINNER
500 Days of SummerMy Pick
It’s Complicated
Julie & Julia
Nine

It’s nice to see something that most people had seen to win an award, but this makes me worry for the Oscars. The Hangover was a great comedy, but I still think that (500) Days of Summer was a more complete film. It wasn’t so much of a Comedy and based on that alone, I think The Hangover was the only true comedy there. I’m definitely not upset about the win.

Best Director
James Cameron, Avatar WINNER
My Pick
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

I thought Cameron would win this award to acknowledge his box office success, but they’d give Best Picture to the better film. I was wrong.

Best Actor, Musical/Comedy
Robert Downey, Jr., Sherlock Holmes WINNER
Matt Damon, The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 500 Days of SummerMy Pick
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

I’m shocked. I haven’t seen Sherlock Holmes yet and I didn’t expect him to win. It seems like they were going more for box office this year, and given that, this seems like the right choice.

Best Actress, Musical/Comedy
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia WINNER
Sandra Bullock, The ProposalMy Pick
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Julia Roberts, Duplicity
Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated

This probably shocked me the most. I thought the Meryl Streep vote would have been split, allowing Sandra Bullock to come up the middle. Somehow, she managed to win yet again. If she had one nomination, I would have chosen her, but even a split vote can’t stop her.

Best Actress, Drama
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side WINNER – My Pick
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

They still managed to get it to her.

Best Actor, Drama
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart WINNERMy Pick
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

If you sing and act, you almost guaranteed to win. Not to take away from Jeff Bridges, who was owed this for a while.

Film, Best Supporting Actress
Mo’Nique, Precious WINNER – My Pick
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Julianne Moore, A Single Man

I don’t think anyone expected her to lose. I almost wanted her to after hearing about her refusal to campaign.

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds WINNER My Pick
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones

If anyone else won this category, it would be a huge upset.

Best Screenplay
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner,
Up in the Air WINNERMy Pick
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Definitely the most deserving screenplay of the bunch. There’s not a wasted line in this entire film. Everything leads to something.

Best Animated Film
Up WINNERMy Pick
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess & The Frog

Pixar maintains its dominance.

Best Song
“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart WINNER
“Cinema Italiano,” Nine
“I Want to Come Home,” Everybody’s Fine My Pick
“I Will See You,” Avatar
“Winter,” Brothers

I thought they’d go for the celebrity pick, but McCartney was a presenter so they didn’t need to give him the award to put him on stage.

Best Score
Up WINNER
The Informant!
Avatar
A Single Man
Where the Wild Things Are My Pick

If I had picked with my heart, this would have been my pick.

Best Foreign Language Film
The White Ribbon WINNER
My Pick
Baria
Broken Embraces
The Maid
A Prophet

I thought so, just based on the buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Cecil B. DeMille Award
Martin Scorsese

My guess is George Lucas wins this award next. Him or Francis Ford Coppola.

TV AWARDS

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Mad Men (AMC) WINNER
My Pick
Big Love (HBO)
Dexter (Showtime)
House (Fox)
True Blood (HBO)

Any of these shows, except this season of True Blood, could have won this award and I would have been happy. All were deserving this year.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Glee (FOX) WINNER
30 Rock (NBC) – My Pick
Entourage (HBO)
Modern Family (ABC)
The Office (NBC)

I thought Glee would win if 30 Rock didn’t. It’s the new popular show. Modern Family deserved it a little more though.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Toni Collette, United States of Tara WINNER
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Edie Falco, Nurse JackieMy Pick
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Lea Michele, Glee

My guess is because she played four different roles on the same show, people think she’s a great actress. I used to watch the show, but didn’t make it to the end of the first season. I wasn’t a huge fan.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock WINNERMy Pick
Steve Carell, The Office
David Duchovny, Californication
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee

This is his award until he retires.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Michael C. Hall, Dexter WINNER

A deserved win for Michael C. Hall, wearing a toque to cover the effects of recent cancer treatments.

Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Jon Hamm, Mad MenMy Pick
Hugh Laurie, House
Bill Paxton, Big Love

I was really happy to see Michael C. Hall win this award. He’s definitely deserving, especially for this season of Dexter.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
DRAMA
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife WINNERMy Pick
Glenn Close, Damages
January Jones, Mad Men
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

This was a pick I made based on what people are saying. I haven’t seen the show, but expected her to win.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES,
MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
John Lithgow, Dexter WINNER

Michael Emerson, Lost
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your MotherMy Pick
William Hurt, Damages
Jeremy Piven, Entourage

I thought this was the year of NPH, but I’m very happy with John Lithgow’s win. It was such a chilling performance. NPH will be back, but this was the only year that Lithgow could have won for him pitch perfect Trinity Killer.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Chloe Sevigny, Big Love WINNER

Jane Adams, Hung
Rose Byrne, Damages
Jane Lynch, GleeMy Pick
Janet McTeer, Into the Storm

I’m surprised, but I agree. Chloe Sevingy is the reason Big Love is interesting. Without her, they’d be able to live their lives conflict free and who wants that?

It was a good show overall. The Oscars can take note on how quickly they go to the awards. No time wasted with long intros or excessive speeches. The only thing I noticed this year was people were quicker to list names. That’s got to be the most unentertaining thing possible. They need to find some way around it, like have the names listed behind them and just let them talk.

I’m worried about the Oscars though. Will they be trying to make up for last year by giving the Best Picture to Avatar as well? They want people to watch, so they might lean towards box office rather than quality. We’ll see, but hopefully they can put together a tight, quick and clean show like the Globes this year.

And hopefully my score is a little better.

The Hangover was the only true comedy in the category and deserved the win.





Day Sixteen – Golden Globe Predictions

16 01 2010

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen all the nominees. That doesn’t seem to make much of a difference when making predictions like this, whether it’s the Globes or the Oscars. In the end it’s all a popularity contest, but most of the time they’re popular for a good reason.

I’ve taken the list of nominees from EW.com, who have their own predictions as well.

I’ve seen most of the TV shows that were nominated, so we’ll start there. I’ve pulled out mini-series because, aside from the fact that I haven’t seen one, I don’t understand why the category still exists.

Here are my best educated guesses:

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Big Love (HBO)
Dexter (Showtime)
House (Fox)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

Mad Men will likely win the category. It’s been a favourite of awards shows since it’s inception. They’re the cool kids and I suspect they will stay that way. I would really like to see Dexter win, though. The show gets better and better with every episode and it’s the only show I can’t wait to see.

Mad Men is the obvious choice for best TV drama. It's the new Sopranos and will likely win this category until they're off the air.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 Rock (NBC)
Entourage (HBO)
Glee (FOX)
Modern Family (ABC)
The Office (NBC)

30 Rock will likely win. It’s the other cool kid. I could see Glee stealing it as well. Personally, I think The Office has earned it more than anyone else. They’ve managed to sustain the awkward yet likable feeling of the show over so many years. I’m loving Modern Family, but it’ll have its chance in coming years.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Bill Paxton, Big Love

Jon Hamm will probably take this one. He’s been in the public eye a lot more recently, so people will actually like to see him get on stage this time. Don Draper is one of the deepest and most conflicted characters on television and this season was no different. Michael C. Hall definitely deserves to win one of these years. His ability to make a cold, hard killer so lovable is an achievement in itself and he should get his recognition for it.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
DRAMA
Glenn Close, Damages
January Jones, Mad Men
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Anna Paquin, True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Here’s where things get murky. I’ve seen two out of the five nominations here. Julianna Margulies is the name I’ve been hearing a lot lately, so my shot in the dark would have to go with her.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
David Duchovny, Californication
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee

Alec Baldwin will likely take this again. Movie stars turned TV stars always take the awards. I would like to see Thomas Jane take it. His pathetic yet likable man-whore on Hung seems like he’s always on the cusp of a suicidal jump in the river, but always seems to pick himself back up and pull through.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –
COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Lea Michele, Glee

This one is really hard to pick. I’m going to say Edie Falco as more of a make-up vote for her work on The Sopranos. I wouldn’t be shocked if it was given to Tina Fey, since the TV world seems to love her so.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES,
MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Michael Emerson, Lost
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
William Hurt, Damages
John Lithgow, Dexter
Jeremy Piven, Entourage

Neil Patrick Harris has been getting a lot of attention this year. Between his award show hosting stints, his web series Dr. Horrible or for his role as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, NPH has become the guy to watch. John Lithgow really deserves it though. His role at the Trinity Killer on Dexter was so chilling, I can never look at him the same way again.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A
SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Jane Adams, Hung
Rose Byrne, Damages
Jane Lynch, Glee
Janet McTeer, Into the Storm
Chloe Sevigny, Big Love

I keep hearing about how incredible Jane Lynch is on Glee. She’s funny and everyone seems to love her, so anyone else winning would be a shocker.

Next up, we have the Film predictions. I’ve seen a lot fewer of these, so many of them will be outright guesses. I’m working on seeing them before the Oscars, so we’ll see how they sync up then.

I got these nominations from EW.com as well.

Here we go:

Best Picture, Drama
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
Up in the Air

I haven’t seen Precious or Up in the Air yet, but from what I’m hearing everywhere, it’ll go to Up in the Air. Since the Toronto International Film Festival I’ve heard about how Up in the Air is a lock to win. I tried to get tickets at the festival and it was nearly impossible. The rush line was to big for a normal human being to take. I was lucky enough to be there for Juno, but this seems to be Jason Reitman’s best film yet.

I will be shocked and upset if (500) Days of Summer doesn't win Best Comedy/Musical

Best Picture, Musical/Comedy
500 Days of Summer
The Hangover
It’s Complicated
Julie & Julia
Nine

It’s nice to see The Hangover on here, but I doubt it’ll get any recognition outside of the nomination. I would say it will go to (500) Days of Summer. Its quirky style and heart-wrenching story really make it a favourite and it’s easily one of the best films of last year.

Best Actor, Drama
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Tobey Maguire, Brothers

My guess here, since I’ve seen none of these pictures is Jeff Bridges. Voters, in this case the Hollywood Foreign Press, seems to love people who can act and sing. Bridges does both in Crazy Heart, and from what I saw on Conan last night, he seems to be quite good at it.

Best Actress, Drama
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

The way early release of Precious may have cooled off any potential win by Gabourey Sidibe. Had this been last September, she would be a lock, but I almost feel that Sandra Bullock has stolen the spotlight from her. She’s had a career year with two major hits, and one major flop, so I have to go with the popular vote on this one.

Best Actor, Musical/Comedy
Matt Damon, The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine
Robert Downey, Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 500 Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

This one is a hard one. Matt Damon was excellent in The Informant!, but I don’t know if the movie itself will take away from his performance. I’d like to see, and based on that will guess, Joseph Gordon-Levitt win this one. The hopeless romantic in (500) Days of Summer was one who was so pathetic that you should hate him, yet you still liked him. You knew he was setting himself up for heartbreak, but you honestly believe he doesn’t see that himself.

Best Actress, Musical/Comedy
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Julia Roberts, Duplicity
Meryl Streep, It’s Complicated
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep will end up spliting her own vote, otherwise this would be easy and I would say she’s a lock. Instead it’s between Julia, Marion and Sandra. I’m going to go with Sandra Bullock again. I get the feeling if they give her one award, they have to give her two to make a statement. I’m not sure what that statement is, but that is just how I feel these award shows tend to go.

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

If Christoph Waltz doesn’t win for this category, it’ll be the biggest snub in years. He’s created a villain to go right next to Darth Vader and Hans Gruber in the Movie Baddy Hall of Fame.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo’Nique, Precious
Julianne Moore, A Single Man

I’m hearing Mo’Nique will take this one. She might get this before her unwillingness to campaign makes her lose an Oscar that she would otherwise win.

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

I think James Cameron will win this, not because he made the best film, but because he has paid for this decade of films with profits from Avatar’s theatrical run alone.

Best Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

I’m guessing Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner will win this one. Mark Boal would be a safe bet, but The Hurt Locker just wasn’t popular enough outside of film critic circles. I wouldn’t be shocked if they gave it to Tarantino, just for the sake of giving it to Tarantino.

Best Score
Up
The Informant!
Avatar
A Single Man
Where the Wild Things Are

I honestly have no idea here. I’m just going to say Where the Wild Things Are so that they can give that film something.

Best Song
“Cinema Italiano,” Nine
“I Want to Come Home,” Everybody’s Fine
“I Will See You,” Avatar
“The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
“Winter,” Brothers

I’ll say I Want to Come Home by Paul McCartney will win. This category is always a popularity contest at the Globes. Paul McCartney wins that race.

Best Animated Film
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess & The Frog
Up

I say Up, hands down best animated picture of the year, if not the decade.

Best Foreign Language Film
Baria
Broken Embraces
The Maid
A Prophet
The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon was getting amazing reviews around the Toronto Film Festival. If it could sustain that hype, it’ll take this category.

And those are my picks. I’ll see all of the Oscar nominations by the time those come out, but for now I had to make some guesses.

We’ll see how I do Sunday night!





Day Five – My Movies of the 00’s List: Part 2 of 2

5 01 2010

I neglected to mention yesterday that every title is a link to its Wikipedia page, if you’re interested in checking out something you don’t know about. I doubt that though.

Though it was slim-pickings, 'One Week' is my favourite Canadian movie of the decade.

Anyway, moving on…

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)

A heartbreaking flick about an underdog trying to win a title from a man that is the wonderboy of the organization responsible for handing out the titles. For this Kind of drama and tension to be present in a documentary without the highly manufactured style of a Morgan Spurlock or Michael Moore film is astounding.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

This viewing experience was tainted by an odd crowd at TIFF that felt the need to explain to the director what his movie was about. Still, I really enjoyed the quirkiness of it all. It never really feels the need to devolve into a silly comedy, even though it’s a pretty silly topic.

The Last Kiss (2006)

No film out there felt as real as this one. For some reason, the raw and gritty arguments really got me into the movie. They were situations I could believe, with a bunch of people in over their heads and having true to life reactions.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Who didn’t love this movie? A funny movie that had its share if drama without ruining the tone.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Worst trailer ever. I thought they ruined John McClane, turning him into the confident action hero. Thankfully I was wrong. It’s the same old John McClane, though it does go overboard at times (he fights a jet!), but I still loved it.

Lord of War (2005)

Easily the best use of “Based on a true story” of the decade. Plus it’s the good Nic Cage!

The Machinist (2004)

If for nothing else, it’s incredible to see Bale, months away from becoming the 240 pound Bruce Wayne, at a meager 120-some pounds. The flick ain’t so bad either.

Mean Girls (2004)

I drove into this movie by accident after skipping out on Envy at the Drive-In. I missed the first 10 minutes the first time, but I watched it multiple times afterwards. I really enjoy it. It’s funny. Sure, I’m not the intended audience, but that didn’t stop me for a lot of flicks on this list. Funny is funny.

Minority Report (2002)

In 2002, this would have been the #1 pick of the decade. The future shown in this movie is so believable, it’s eerie. Not to mention the boatload of ethical and moral questions it brings up with each new scene. The technology all makes sense, too. Nothing like Total Recall or Robocop had predicted.

Monsters Inc. (2001)

I like this flick better than Wall-E. The ending scene where they have to say goodbye to the little girl forever made me tear up a bit. Nothing until Pixar’s other bookend was able to do better.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

The playful and fun nature of this flick is what had me coming back constantly. Not to mention that the stars, that’s right I mean both of them, are pretty easy on the eyes.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

I wish they hadn’t killed it with tv shows, sequels and other ethnic copy cats. This movie was great, but not great enough to warrant all the attention from sequel loving execs.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Even more playful than Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but thankfully a lot less sexual.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2004)

Though over the top, I found this to be a perfect ending to the El Mariachi series. Robert Rodriguez was a God when I was in film school and this flick was the New Testament.

One Week (2008)

The best Canadian film I had seen all decade. Not that there’s very many to choose from. What this film was trying to do wasn’t very hidden either. It was Canada as Canada. Not much story, just a bunch of landmarks as what they are. Still, it gave me a warm feeling inside that made me proud to be Canadian.

Phone Booth (2002)

Much in the vein of Rodriguez, I loved how little was happening with nothing in this movie. So much tension in a 3×3 foot box.

The Prestige (2006)

How do you follow bringing Batman into the new millenium? Create a mind-bending mystery about magicians with David Bowie.

Rambo (2008)

Though it nearly fell into torture porn jurisdiction, Rambo brought back one of the greatest action icons without re-tarnishing the reputation that was built two decades ago.

Red Eye (2005)

One of the few horror flicks I was into. Sure, it’s campy like the rest of them, but I was really on the Rachel McAdams bandwagon at this point.

Rescue Dawn (2007)

Christian Bale drops weight again, but this time there’s a great story to go with it.

Rocky Balboa (2006)

Probably the best recovery to a downward slope of films ever. Rocky V was awful. Even Sly admits it, which is why I give this flick way more credit than it deserves. I really enjoyed it.

The Rundown (2003)

This was a step in the direction I had hoped The Rock was taking. Instead, it’s an example of what could have been had he chosen to be the new Sly Stallone rather than the new Tim Allen.

Scary Movie (2000)

Though it started something awful, the first Scary Movie was pretty well done. It nearly replaced Scream in my mind. It did everything right, made its jokes within the context of their skewed story and didn’t just re-enact scenes like they were funny the first time.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Where Scary Movie was a great spoof of a specific film, this movie was a better spoof of an entire genre.

Sicko (2007)

Though the Canadian health care system doesn’t quite resemble reality in this movie, it made some very strong points without Mike getting in the way too much.

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Just more proof that The Simpsons can still be funny. Sadly, that only lasted the run-time of the movie.

Sin City (2005)

More from the Church of Rodriguez. He did what Watchmen failed to do, which is to be extremely faithful to the text, but didn’t leave the uneducated audience hanging.

Star Trek (2009)

I was never into Star Trek before this film, so I was surprised when I enjoyed it as much as I did. I like the way they managed to do it without destroying everything built before it.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

A brilliant high-concept executed to perfection.

Super Size Me (2004)

Though it rests mainly on its gimmick, the gimmick is good enough that I really enjoyed this movie. It made its point with first-hand proof. No need to make anything up when the evidence is happening right in front of you.

Team America: World Police (2004)

I’m not sure if the puppets or the soundtrack is funnier. That’s a good thing.

Training Day (2001)

Though I had a problem with the Scarface, blaze of glory ending, I enjoyed the tension of not knowing what might happen at any moment. Most of the time in close quarters. Nothing rivaled that tension until Collateral.

Up (2009)

This movie gets the credit for making me tear up the most. That opening is just so sad, I didn’t want to watch it a second time. I did…and I did, again.

V for Vendetta (2006)

It’s aching to be epic. The speeches really want you to understand how epic it really is, without really showing you. Still, I bought into it.

Walk the Line (2005)

Ray disappointed me. This is what it should have been.

War Of the Worlds (2005)

I’m not too into horror or thrillers, they don’t do anything for me. This movie gave me more chills up my spine than anything I saw all decade. Nothing can mimic being in a dark theatre and hearing that noise of the tripods coming from behind, no matter how many body parts you splash across the screen.

X-Men (2000)

This technically started the superhero revolution. I give that credit to Batman Begins, but this film did enough to clear the brush for that movie.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

It’s basically the story Kevin Smith has been telling about himself, masked as an original idea. The film feels like a big in-joke, but that’s what I like about it. Sadly, it’ll be remembered more about the title/poster controversy than the film itself.

Zombieland (2009)

It felt like a mix of everything I enjoyed in the decade all wrapped up in a neat, decaying bow.

And there it is. My favourites of the 00’s. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch, but that’s what came to mind. A bunch of these made it into my Blu-ray collection and will be watched over and over. Hopefully the 10’s has even more to watch.





Day Four – My Movies of the 00’s List: Part 1 of 2

4 01 2010

Lists have to be the easiest form of writing out there. It’s just placing ideas with bullets in front of them and making them seem like a complete thought. Entertainment Weekly seems to make a living of lists. The constant debate they cause definitely makes them interesting, so I figured it’s not a complete cop out.

My Favourtie Movie of the 00's - Probably the Most Watched by Me This Decade As Well

Without further ado, my favourite movies that I have had the pleasure of seeing from Saturday January 1st, 2000 to Thursday December 31, 2009. I could have ranked them, but that would be unfair. These movies share similarities in only one way: they are movies. So many things are different about them, and effectively so, that ranking them arbitrarily on a list just didn’t feel right.

So instead, they are listed in alphabetical order:

28 Days Later (2002)

Revolutionized the zombie movie. Rather than a slow shuffling mass of decaying humanity, you had a threat constantly bolting after you trying to tear you to shreds.

300 (2007)

A comic book adaptation stripped to it’s bare essentials, the way it should be. All of the iconic scenes were still there, in slow motion to be sure you’d notice, but everything else was stripped to tell an effective story. Something Watchmen lacked entirely.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Easily the best western since Unforgiven.

Alpha Dog (2007)

This movie really gives you the sense of people way in over their heads. However, they choice to end it 20 minutes too late takes away from what could have been a really effective moment. Instead, it turns into a weird case of too much information.

American Pie 2 (2001)

A sequel that effected my life more that a movie ever should have. This is what I wanted to experience when I graduated from high school. The only thing I realized when I got to that age was the movies always do it better.

American Psycho (2000)

This movie lives and dies on the performance by Christian Bale. He has a creepy, yet charming sense to him. His thorough knowledge of music and music videos has to be the most disturbing thing of all.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Easily the most quotable film of the decade.

Batman Begins (2005)

This was what I had dreamed for. A serious look at a superhero, giving it the same respect you can find in a 22 page comic. I believe this is even stronger than The Dark Knight, in my opinion.

Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

Sadly, people wanted this to be the most quotable film of the decade. Sadly, no one could really mimic it. It also doesn’t hold up to repeat viewing without completely forgetting it before revisiting. Still, the visit was gut-bustingly hilarious.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

This series is the new Die Hard. Bourne is the most bad-ass, yet intricate action series in years. Not only did Bourne take the ball that Bond dropped, but he ran out of sight with it.

Brick (2005)

Juno takes the cake for the funny talking, but Brick also had a weird, complicated mystery that had me hooked. It takes a while to get absorbed into the world, but once you do, it’s hard to leave the same.

Bruce Almighty (2003)

I was over Jim Carrey for a while, but this movie reminded me why he’s funny. Not to mention, it’s one of the few movies left that I can watch with my parents without being uncomfortable.

Clerks II (2006)

Kevin Smith at his finest. I think this is his best movie of the Askew set. A perfect capper. I’d even give it the nod over Zack and Miri.

Collateral (2004)

My #2 overall favourite film of the year. I saw this movie only because it was a double-feature at the drive-in, and I’m so happy I did. The tension is on a constant rise throughout this picture, even though they’re just sitting in a cab together. People over-look it all the time, but I think this is Mann’s masterpiece. Screw Heat.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger made this film legendary, but its a worthy sequel to a film that revolutionized the superhero genre. Though they chose to hang the Bat up on a women who shows no desireable qualities, the film still lives up to the hype.

The Departed (2006)

A gritty, complicated flick where I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering where this run away freight train was headed. Totally deserved the Best Picture nod, even if Scorsese has done better.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

My favourite chick flick of the decade. I’d totally watch this on my own. Make it a guy trying to make it at a law firm and any guy would watch this flick as well.

Die Another Day (2002)

Bond gets captured! C’mon! Sure, it gets a bit over the top with ice castles and satellite beams, but since when was Bond based in reality?

District 9 (2009)

Though I don’t like to secretly preached to, the story and atmosphere was interesting enough. I was also impressed with how they dropped the documentary angle for a chuck of the movie without anyone complaining.

Elf (2003)

In instant Christmas classic. I make a point to watch this every year.

Enchanted (2007)

Like Elf, this tapped into my childhood of watching Disney cartoons with my cousins as I grew up. Thankfully, it got Disney to restart their hand-drawn animations. And James Marsden as the Prince was so excellent!

Equilibrium (2002)

The best B-Movie of the decade, especially because it wasn’t trying to be a B-Movie. That’s right, Grindhouse.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

I had an entire theatre to myself with my new girlfriend I had dated for just a couple of weeks, and yet I couldn’t pull myself away from this picture. I don’t regret it one bit. (Sorry, lady)

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Though I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it, I really enjoyed this flick. It’s an action movie that felt a little more modern. Sure, it convinced everyone around me that the Honda Civic was a racing vehicle (it’s not), but it was still thrilling. Even with the lack of story telling or purpose.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

My pick for #1 of the decade. People jumped on Richard Roeper for saying this is one of the 50 best romantic comedies of all time, but I’m going a step further and saying it’s my favourite of the aughts. I can pick up this movie at any point and get stuck watching it through to the end. No film this year had that ability to draw me in every time.

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs (2008)

Proof that Futurama shouldn’t have been cancelled so hastily. How does Family Guy still exist, yet this show doesn’t have a home?

Garden State (2004)

I’m a sucker for movies about the quirky dream-girl. Garden State is the most “indie” flick on the list, but that’s because it’s the only one that left me with the warm feeling even days after I first watched it.

The Girl Next Door (2004)

Roger Ebert hated this movie. Apparently I should have hated this movie as well, but I really liked it. Sure, there’s a porn star in it that’s never even remotely naked. Sure, it doesn’t have much of a commentary on the porn industry or promiscuity. Sure, its third act is an utter mess, but I liked it and still do.

Gladiator (2000)

I was entertained. (Ha ha.)

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

The darkest movie of my favourites. It’s technically two movies spliced together, but it juggles so many different conflicts so effortlessly. It’s hard to watch more than once, but it’s so good you almost have to.

Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)

Another terrible action pic that got too much of my attention. Angelina Jolie wasn’t quite Angelina Jolie at the time it came out and Nic Cage was post-Con Air, but pre-a bunch of other embarrassments. I still like it though. There’s something about its playfulness that I really enjoy.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

I really thought they were onto something here before they made a sequel that was the exact same movie done worse. I loved the concept of a journey about something so bloody simple. Not to mention the best re-discovery of this movie: NPH.

A History of Violence (2005)

Gritty to the point that it didn’t get the attention it deserved. Though, the violent sex on the stairs was more awkward than anything else.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

An ode to the movies I love. Therefore, I love this movie.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Another chick-flick I got into. This one is really bad though, yet for some reason I like it. Is it the chemistry between the stars? Fools Gold proved that wrong, but I’d like to this they just could get struck by lightning twice.

The Hurt Locker (2009)

A movie that everyone heard was good but never cared to go see. I made the effort and I really enjoyed it. A war movie as an action movie. Truthfully, it could have been set on a ski-hill and it would have made its point. I think that’s why it’s the only movie about Iraq to work.

Idiocracy (2006)

Though it was one running gag over and over, I really liked the running gag. I thought a future dumbed down that an average joe was considered brilliant was a good enough idea to sustain a feature. I think I was one of a handful though.

Into the Wild (2007)

It has its shots that are a little over-bearing, sure. A slow-motion shower sequence is not really necessary for any reason but to show that Sean Penn knows how to use the feature. Still, Into the Wild was one of those depressing movies that after I got over the depression it cause, I really enjoyed.

Iron Man (2008)

Who says all superheroes have to be brooding? If Chris Nolan was handling Iron Man, he probably would’ve jumped straight to the “Demon in a Bottle” plotline, but Favreau had the guts to do something different than The Dark Knight. He treated the material the way it deserved to be, and thankfully I didn’t need to sit through another dark superhero flick about a hero that isn’t very dark.

Juno (2007)

Getting past the first 10 minutes of this flick is hard. I watched it at the Toronto International Film Festival in a packed Ryerson Theatre, so a walk-out wasn’t entirely possible, and I’m glad I stayed. The dialogue grows on you, and once it’s out of the way, you get an interesting story about a pregnant teen who just wants to live her life. Even with the funny way they talked, it felt more real than a lot of films this year.

And that’s the first half of the list. Though the alphabetical format got my top 2 flicks, there are a bunch more that I really enjoyed this year.

The rest tomorrow!