It's been ten years since I started doing a yearly Top Ten Movies list. I thought it would be fun to go back and see what movies were on my lists and decide which ones had the biggest impact on me over the last decade. Let's go!
1. Almost Famous - This movie stands the test of time. It's one of the only films I don't get tired of watching. "I am a golden god!" I compare this movie to
the Shawshank Redemption. It's a fantastic story that never gets old. The extended cut on DVD called Untitled is a great way to see a better cut of the movie. How this movie
does not get more respect is beyond me. I love the scene on the plane when it looks like the band is going down in a storm. This is also quite possibly the best cast
ensemble of a movie in a long, long time. Everytime I see Billy Crudup he will always be Russell.
2. Lord Of The Rings Trilogy - I know, three movies but it is really one big story. I guess if I had to pick my favorite of the three it would have been Fellowship Of The Ring. Great stuff, great story and certainly not dumbed down for Hollywood. Some great scenes in this movie. I loved the scene when the Ring Wraiths are chasing the Hobbits and they show a shot of Frodo looking down a leaf blown road. There's another scene in The Two Towers where Frodo has Samwise on the ground and is pointing his sword at him completely out of his mind. The perspective is from Sam's view. Great, great shot.
3. Christopher Nolan's Batman movies: Batman Begins/The Dark Knight - Again, two movies but I just couldn't pick one. The Dark Knight is probably my favorite of the two and Nolan hits both out of the park. Ledger's Joker is haunting and the pencil scene makes me laugh every time. Batman Begins is so good and the soundtrack adds to the haunting vision of Gotham.
4. Minority Report - In my opinion this is Tom Cruise's best film. I loved the eyeball scene. This is truly great Sci-Fi.
5. Gladiator - "Maximus! Maximus!" No self respecting straight guy can have a top 10 of the 2000's and not include this film.
6. Finding Nemo - "It's like he's trying to tell me something! I just know it!" Albert Brooks is the man. Pixar's truly great film. It stands head and shoulders above all others.
7. Spirited Away - Miyazaki's masterpiece. I love the soot balls. Laputa is my favorite Miyazaki film but Spirited Away is a VERY close second. It's very "out there" and I would describe it as Alice In Wonderland on LSD. Either way, it's hard not to get lost in a Miyazaki world and this one, although not a very nice place to spend a lot of time in, is totally magical.
8. Into The Wild - Any movie that makes me want to read the book and buy the soundtrack deserves to be on this list. This is an extremely difficult and haunting movie to watch. I really like the Christopher McCandless story. Another movie with the same theme is Up In The Air. Being so detached from humanity isn't always a good thing and both Emile Hirsch (who's become a great actor that unfortunately has Leo DiCaprio baby face syndrome or LDBFS) and George Clooney learn this lesson far too late in life.
9. Seabiscuit - Between this movie and Laura Hillenbrand's book I learned a lot about horse racing. This is a truly fun, feel good movie. It's a reason we go to movies in the first place - to escape reality and be entertained. There are too many times that you leave the theater and just get that, "Eh. that was okay." feeling. After seeing Seabiscuit I left with a huge smile on my face. Sometimes a movie is worth more than the admission price.
10. The Road Home - This movie stars Ziyi Zheng of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame and is a touching story about love that knows no bounds. It is a truly remarkable film directed by the master Yimou Zhang. Zhang is one of my favorite directors of the decade directing The Road Home and his famous Kung-Fu trilogy Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and Curse Of The Golden Flower.
1. Watchmen - I'll probably get beaten to death on this one but I LOVED Watchmen. I read the book before I saw the movie and was a little concerned about how they were going
to pull off the ending. But David Hayter and Alex Tse nailed it. Although the ending was not faithful to the book I believe it's the ending the should have been in the graphic
novel. Many people don't get Watchmen. It's a thinking man's Superhero film with a lot going on and not always a lot of action. The Ultimate cut on BluRay is the only way to see
this movie. It's long but it's as complete as it can be at this point in time.
2. Memento - Christopher Nolan's first real masterpiece. This puzzle is so puzzling it's great. Catch the special Edition DVD release of this that runs the movie in chronological order. It's almost an entirely different film.
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - This movie by Ang Lee took Kung-Fu movies to the next level. Beautiful locations and cinematography.
4. The Yimou Zhang Kung-Fu trilogy: Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and Curse Of The Golden Flower - Fantastic films that are so visually stunning you feel like you've been on a trip without the jet lag.
5. Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 - Part one was a masterpiece. Part two sort of fizzles out at the end.
6. 28 Days Later - A move that redefined the zombie genre. Great film and extremely scary.
7. The Bourne Trilogy - It is very rare that sequels are better than the original. All three Jason Bourne movies were terrific. It's an awesome thrill ride.
8. Pan's Labyrinth - What a scary world with perhaps one of the best movie villians of all time.
9. Little Miss Sunshine - This quirky independent movie took the mainstream audience by surprise. "Where is your grandpa right now?" "In the trunk of our car!"
10. The Closet - Funny French film about a guy who pretends to be gay so he won't get laid off from his job.
1. Pixar - Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up - Wow. Pixar redefined animation and was a monster this past decade.
2. Christopher Nolan - Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight - Every one a winner. Fantastic decade for Christopher Nolan.
3. Peter Jackson - The Lord Of The Rings - He took the greatest books of the 20th century and created the greatest movie trilogy ever.
4. George Clooney - Up in the Air, Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton, The Ocean's Movies, Syriana, The Perfect Storm, Good Night, Good Luck - Clooney may reach movie immortality in a couple of weeks with his first Oscar.
5. Russell Crowe - Gladiator, 3:10 to Yuma, Master and Commander, A Beautiful Mind - Just to name a few. Russell Crowe had it going on big time. Let's hope Robin Hood is a winner too!
6. Yimou Zhang - The Road Home, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and Curse Of The Golden Flower. China's premier director made four of my favorite films of the decade.
7. Tom Cruise - War of the Worlds, The Last Samurai, Minority Report, Mission: Impossible III, Tropic Thunder - Love him or hate him, he makes some good movies.
8. Johnny Depp - Public Enemies, Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Neverland, From Hell, Blow - And the list goes on and on...
9. Matt Damon - The Bourne Trilogy, Invictus, The Informant, The Departed, Syriana, The Ocean's movies - Damon had quite a good few years.
10. Phillip Seymore Hoffman - Almost Famous, Capote, Mission Impossible III, 25th Hour, Doubt - Hard to bet against this guy. He's already won an Oscar. He'll probably win another before all's said and done.
A.I. - No sense of wasting any more of my time on this crappola. I will just copy and paste my earlier review. Steven Spielberg owes me the price of admission, the cost of gas in my car and the money I spent on the soda and popcorn. But more importantly, Steven Spielberg owes me three hours of my life back. What a waste of three hours! What a waste of perfectly good film! I would have rather seen "Battlefield Earth" again! Bad! Bad! Bad! Take the first forty-five minutes of the movie, dump the next hour of the movie, take the end of the movie, re-shoot a middle that looks and feels like the beginning and end, splice the beginning with the new middle and the end and you might have a decent film. Why did Mr. Spielberg agree to do this project? There isn't a single Kubrick film that I like. "2001" made no sense, he ruined "The Shining" so bad that Stephen King had to make a new movie and what the hell was "A Clockwork Orange?" The film world is much better off without Stanley Kubrick. If only he could have taken "A.I." along for the ride.