Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Decade of Movies

I thought I'd go ahead and throw a quick list of my favorite movies of the decade that I saw in the theaters. I didn't start keeping track until 2004. For 2000 to 2003, I had to scan a list of movies and see what I had seen. I probably missed several, so I have a lot more from 2004 on. Also, I didn't go to the movies as often early in the decade. This means that movies like American Psycho, Memento, and City of God that I saw at home aren't on this list. And finally, I'm just throwing it together quickly, so whatever.

I have three that came close, but I chose to leave them off. They are my number 1 and 2 from this year (which I'll get to in just over a week) and The Aristocrats. Quite a few of the comedians were guests on Penn Jillette's radio show, so got to "know" many of them even more. It is a good introduction to many comedians as well. Really, really funny movie.

10. Gangs of New York

I enjoys Scorsese movies, but I love me some Daniel Day Lewis. He drinks my milkshake. I'm still not convinced that Leonardo DiCaprio is such a great actor, since no matter how much he ages, he's still Luke from Growing Pains. But in Gangs of New York, he needed to naïve. I love the setting and the look of old New York.

9. Thank You For Smoking

I love Nick Naylor, the character. Aaron Eckhart is perfect in a role that should be a horrible person, but he isn't. He has a horrible job. Jason Reitman showed up what he could do before Up in the Air, which I also loved. It will make an appearance in my top 10 for 2009.

8. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

The funniest movie of the decade. Yeah, I said it. It's the most quotable as well. I've had this movie with me on road trips and just listened to it while I drive.

7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Crazy movie. it never takes itself seriously, and I like that. The dialogue is all smart ass,and I feel close to that. Watch it to see why Robert Downey, Jr. is one of the best. I haven't seen this in a while, something that I need to correct soon.

6. In Bruges

When I made my list for 2008, I came down to the top four and kept switching around the order. I picked Slumdog Millionaire at the time. I didn't pick In Bruges, most likely, because it had been awhile since I had seen it. After rewatching both over the course of this year, In Bruges sticks out. It has its moments of crazy, but Ray (Colin Farrell) is a GREAT character. Speaking of Colin Farrell, he had one of the best cameos in 2009. His role might actually be bigger than a cameo. But don't go looking for it on IMDB - that will spoil it for you (through it wasn't the best cameo of the year - that was in Zombieland).

5. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

I loved absolutely everything about it. I even liked all of the endings. if you think about it as 20+ minutes to end a three hour movie, that's overkill. But it's 20+ minutes to end three three hour movies. In that case, is it so much? I even liked the extended versions on DVD. And yes, this really is for all three movies. But each one was better than the last, so I agree with the Academy and I'll give it to Return of the King.

4. Sin City

See Avatar? I can enjoy a movie that is nutty for CGI. For me, my reaction watching this movie was the one I read about from other people with Avatar. Except this was almost five years ago. And I think it's a more beautiful movie. I like how the stories fit together. I like the characters. But most importantly, it looks perfect. Possibly my favorite few seconds of a movie of the decade? Watch here starting at 1:55. Stuka's (the guy who gets hit) reaction is priceless.

3. Garden State

This, along with my #2, are mostly about the music. I love the soundtrack to Garden State. A lot of the songs appeared scattered throughout Scrubs as well. It's a soundtrack that sets a definite mood. But I also love Zack Braff and Natalie Portman in here. Here's a quote from Braff character, Andrew Largeman. "I spent 26 years waiting for something else to start." How many people wait 26 years to start living? Or even more? Time to wake up.

2. Once

My expectations were raised before I saw this movie. I liked it quite a bit, but didn't love it. Then it started to sink in, and I bought the soundtrack. Over the next couple months I started to love it. I've watched it a few times since, and it doesn't get old. I love the music even more. I love the characters even more.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I've come close to answering "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" when I've been asked my favorite movie. I've always hesitated because it seems too new. But it's been more than five years, so I'm going to go ahead and declare right here that it's my favorite. Since I talked about music for the past couple movies, I love it here, too. I love the soundtrack. Take a listen:

And I love the music video with Light and Day from The Polyphonic Spree. It's kinda creepy, but fits alongside the movie.

Why do I love this movie? It's everything. It's the Academy Award winning script from Charlie Kaufman. It's Jim Carrey's perfect performance as Joel. He isn't too subtle, and he isn't over the top. It's Kate Winslet's perfect performance as Clementine. You fall in love with her along with Joel, and you want to forget her for all the right reasons - because you're in love with her, too. It's the great scenes and images that not even Lacuna, Inc. could make you forget.

I've flipped movies around on this list a few times. Every year, I state that my list is never really complete - I just have to make a decision before I post it. But Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has never moved from the number one spot on this list.


Lance Christian Johnson said...

Eternal Sunshine? Not a bad choice. Not a bad choice at all...

asf said...

I definitely agree with your #1-3 and #10 picks. Great movies. ESOSM is always one of the movies that I forget to mention as one of my favorites. Great choices. Also, we need to talk about the shit-fest that is Avatar. Pretty movie but absolute shit otherwise.