Monday, December 14, 2009

I Aught to Know: Movies

The 10 Best Movies of the 2000s

...Well, according to me, at least.

Anyhow, these are my relatively random picks for the 10 Best Movies of the 2000s. There's a good chance that I'll look at these next week and be embarrassed by what I picked. But, until then, here's what I thought was excellent, in alphabetical order.

City of God - This one actually just barely made it on the list. But, when going down my long list of options, I keep coming back to it. The historical angle, exotic locale, visual flair and unrelenting nature of this film makes it pretty exhilarating to watch. Tracking the life of a young man, Rocket, in the eponymous slum city; it's an often brutal film but also a dazzling one.

...Plus, including it on this list might provide me and my brother with another chance to argue about it, since he thinks its over-rated.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - I obsessed over this movie when it came out. And, rewatching it earlier this year, I was surprised to find that it holds up. I would have thought that with the wave of wire-working martial arts films that came after it, it would have seemed watered down. But, like Pulp Fiction, it set off a wave of imitators that could never quite match it.

Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind - Visually creative and emotionally resonating. It's rare that those two get effectively paired in a movie. And, it surprising how -despite its fanciful premise- this is one of the most emotionally accurate relationship films I've ever seen.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Bundled with Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds) - The Kill Bills should really be one movie, but if I was forced to pick, I'd go with the more audacious Vol. 1. Tarantino's love letter to Grindhouse cinema features a great soundtrack, an animated interlude, Uma Thurman in a yellow leather suit and copious amounts of blood. It also proves that Tarantino can even make exploitation films meaningful.

Lost in Translation - Another movie I obsessed over when it came out. I have a soft spot for films that are basically tone poems... where the director sets out to create an emotional or visual tone or feeling, and just tries to maintain it. This was probably the most successful movie of that kind for this decade. Plus, like Eternal Sunshine, its got one of the most emotionally resonate relationships I've seen on film.

Memento - Dark Knight might be more popular now, but I think I still prefer Nolan's first film. I may be 75% timeline gimmick, but its probably the most effective timeline gimmick in a movie ever. Plus, there is a great style and mystery that help keep things interesting.

Spirited Away - My animated pick. I'm still looking forward to Stella being old enough to watch and enjoy this. A visual treat that's overflowing with great ideas and characters.

Return of the King - Really, this is a vote for the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. Epic in ever sense of the word. Flawed and overlong at times, but also larger than life, visually overwhelming and constantly entertaining. If only most big-budget movies had this level of depth and complexity.

Royal Tennenbaums - Darjeeling Limited might be my current fav, and Rushmore (from '98) might be my all-time favorite Wes Anderson film, but Tennenbaums will probably end up having the most staying power for me. Regardless, Wes Anderson produced a string of excellent films over the last decade, so I had to include at least one of them.

X-Men 2: X-Men United - Really, does this surprise you? The best X-Men movie, which makes it by default my favorite comic book adaptation.

So, there ya go, those are my picks. At least until I change my mind. If reading this list helped remind you of a movie you enjoyed or encourages you to check out any of these films, feel free to buy a copy of it in my shop, the General Store.

No comments: