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.

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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!