Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Top Movies of the Aughts

I used to be an avid movie watcher. Even movies I couldn't see, or didn't have the time/money to catch I would read about. Somewhere during college when I was a film major something snapped and I lost my intense interest. I still loved movies, still liked going to the theater, and reading about films - but the intensity with which I sought movies out was lost. So when looking at Dawn's list and the Wikepedia list she linked I realized I can't really say which movies are the best, since I haven't seen 90 percent of them. But I know these movies have proved a special place in my heart and they are great entertainment. The first film is actually an all time favorite of mine. (I wanted to include more films but realized they are heavily from 2000 & 2001 time - when I actually watched films.)

1. In the Mood for Love
Nostalgia, regret, love, integrity, gorgeous acting, gorgeous sound
track, gorgeous film. Can't be beat.
2. 2046
Sequal to In the Mood for Love. Trippy but great. Just as poetic as the first film.
3. Amélie
Loved it when I first saw it. Audrey Tautou is adorable. Still like it but I don't love it. Lost it's luster as I grew more cynical.
4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy/Old School
Hilarious and highly quotable.
5. Brick
Reinventing the film noir genre. More people need to see this film. Smart. Suspenseful. Funny. Well acted as well. Made me fall in love with Joseph Gordon Levitt.
6. Coffee and Cigarettes
Pure Jim Jarmusch. Sometimes boring and extraneous. But the scenes that work, like Bill Murray with RZA & GZA, are pure surreal fun.
7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Imaginative. Captured my interest in Chinese action flicks, made me excited to go see Hero. Made fighting sexy.
8. The Darjeeling Limited
/ Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Loved the dynamic between the brothers. Thought it was a good Anderson effort.

- Anderson exploring the son-father relationship again - but in a much more fantastically way. Loved it.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
One of those "generation" films. Love is the new religion and this film is a sort of a Bible for the Xers and Ys.
10 Y Tu Mama Tambien
Sexy. Vulgar. A film about the limits of friendship. Makes you want to get into a car and head south of the border.
11. Gone Baby Gone
I hate Ben Affleck but his directorial debut was impressive. A nuanced piece of film making. Captured Boston very well.
12. Gosford Park
A well crafted film I could watch over and over again. It's a mystery with so many layers. Well acted and put together meticulously.
13. Grindhouse
The whole Terrantino-Rodriguez experience was pure awesome fun. I saw it opening night at midnight and it was like going to the movies for the first time.
14. Little Miss Sunshine
The first time I saw it I was crying laughing. On subsequent viewings it has proved less funny but more poignant. Greg Kinnear continues to blow my mind as an actor.
15. Mamma Mia!
This movie is cheesy and there's definitely many flaws (horrible acting/dialogue by most), but it's pure fun. I especially commend it for reaching out to the middle aged women like my mother. Meryl Streep is great fantastic. Don't touch Meryl.
16. Reprise
Imaginative. Nuanced.
17. Monsoon Wedding
Funny and sweet. A bit melodramatic at times, but captures the big family dynamic beautifully.
18. Superbad
Funny. Poignant. True. Can watch over and over. Seriously in my top ten of all time.
19. The Pianist
A Holocaust movie that didn't feel like a Holocaust movie. Amazing.
20. Punch-Drunk Love
I relate to Adam Sandler's character more than I want to admit. Such a beautiful portrait of rage and redeeming qualities of love.
21. Shaun of the Dead
Made me want to watch horror movies. It's funny and sweet. Adore it.
22. Sin City
Imaginative. A well told story. Completely kicked ass.
23. Spirited Away
Hayao Miyazaki blows me away. Although he has a predictable formula to all his films I can't wait to see each new one. There is a little bit of magic in each film.
24. There Will Be Blood
As perfect as a movie can be. I've written before that if it wasn't for the anti-religious/anti-capitalist message I would love it even more. It's a perfect movie. Daniel Day-Lewis is amazing.
25. Wonder Boys
Loved Michael Douglas, Tobey McGuire, and Robert Downey Jr. A good story of a man finally becoming an adult. I didn't even hate Katie Holmes in this.
26. Melvin Goes to Dinner
Although you might have not seen this little indie movie, it's great. It's a bit of a mystery, but mostly just a great story of four friends talking over dinner. Ghosts, G-d, and social awkwardness make an appearance. (Plus the girl from is one of the leads and David Cross makes a cameo as a crazy cult leader.)
27. Heaven
Unfinished script by Krystof Kieslowski (it was supposed to be a trilogy), directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Cate Blanchett. It's an imperfect film which I loved. Made me fall in love with Blanchett, she is an amazing force.
28. Adaptation
Meta, clever, fucks with your mind in a good way.
29. Batman Begins
Really loved the Christian Bale & Michael Cane dynamic. Hated Katie Holmes. Also the ending blew but I still loved it.
30. The Prestige
Michael Cane & Christian Bale dynamic. It works for me. Loved the twist. Bale's acting is impressive. High Jackman also impressed me. Scarlet Johansen was watchable but can go fuck herself anyway (hate her).

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