Thursday, December 24, 2009

Favorite Movies: 2000-2009 (50-41)

thats right people...we are now going 10 at a time. im going to include things as well like clips.

50. The Prestige

when this movie came out, it was first known as the other magician movie as the illusionist was garnering rave reviews and this one almost seemed like an afterthought. turns out though it jumped into the IMDB top 250 movies and firmly stayed entranced in the top 100. its garnering some impressive cult status and gave david bowie his juiciest film role in years. this is an incredible sci fi drama. it was noirish, dark, twisty, and truly a mindbending film. i wouldnt be surprised if this joins the echelons of top films of all time in the future

49. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
it says something when a movie made from alternate plots and outtakes is funnier than most comedies. thats right, Anchorman spawned an alternate film called 'Wake Up Ron Burgundy.' It's not nearly as good as Anchorman proper but its still a pretty funny watch. that is the greatness of anchorman, easily one of the funniest and most quotable films of all time. anyone who doesnt think the news anchor gang fight its incredibly hilarious has no sense of humor. why does brick have a grenade? who knows!?

48. Ratatouille
this round of movies is pretty conventional and dare i say...mainstream so far! the trends continues with the 2nd of 4 pixar films in the top 125. ratatouille was probably the one i was looking forward to the least but saw simply based on the pixar name. as usual, i was blown away by the heart, humanity, and honesty of the simple story of a rat who wants to be a chef. not as funny as some of the other ones but a great story nontheless and a great voice acting turn from patton oswalt.

47. Ten
RIGHT! here is where the conventional stuff ends. another iranian movie and the only showing from LEGENDARY iranian director abbas kiarostomi. roger ebert has said that his films dont exist for public consumption but for film festivals and classes. while i would like to disagree i cant. his films are so raw and experimental that it makes godard seem like speilberg. ten is simply ten conversations in a car set between the woman driving and the various passengers. there are only 2 camera shots and the film is obviously claustrophobic but the dialogue is amazing and fantastically real. few directors have captured the feel of a changing nation as well as kiarostomi.


46. Frailty
here is a rare example on my list. an american release. not independent. a box office disappointment. not remembered by many people. and starring ... matthew mcconaughey? no i didnt go crazy for his crazy abs. this is a rare non-stupid romcom or lame action adventure. frailty is a flashback film of mcconaughey's character talking about his father, a man who thinks god is communicating to him to kill certain people who are evil, to a stranger. things happen. twists. turns. and by the end, this is one of the greatest sleeper films ever made.

45. Dirty Pretty Things
this movie didnt get a lot of attention in this country but in its native england (bet you thought i was gonna say somethin' move exotic!), it won a lot of awards. the story is that unlikely relationship forms between a turkish illegal immigrant (audrey tattou) and a nigerian illegal immigrant (Chiwetel Ejiofor). directed by the great stephen frears, the film is gripping, intense, private, and of course, depressing. there have been a lot of touching and sad illegal immigrant movies (the visitor, etc.) but this one is particularly sad given the subtlety of the production and the acting of the two leads.

44. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist!
ok. there is no other list in the world that has dirty pretty things and kung pow next to each other, especially in a best of list. this redubbed spoof on 60s chop sockey kung fu cinema is incredibly divisive and has a very love-it-or-hate-it vibe and a cult following. done by the mostly awful steve oedekerk (of um...barnyard fame), this is one of the funniest movies ive ever seen in my life and i continue to quote it today. there has been a rumored sequel long in the works but i doubt that will ever get made. on the upside, it did made twice its budget in its theatrical run ($16 mil. not bad eh?)

41. Talk to Her
and we are back to more accepted top of the decade films. pedro almodovar's storied career began more than 30 years ago and some might say he is making his best work now. for me, my favorite of his films was this. the plot is pretty standard. boy barely meets girl. girl gets injured ends up in a coma. boy that barely knows comagirl stalks her whilst under. other boy falls into a similar situation with a matador. both men bond over the relationships they have with comatose. cue B&W dream sequence of small shrunken man walking into life size vagina. yup. standard almodovar.

42. Moulin Rouge!

who doesnt love this scene? seriously!

thats it.

41. Hidden/Cache
the second of 4 films by master german filmmaker michael haneke. this one took me a while to get into which was probably due to it being more confounding than haneke's usual esoteric style. the story is simple enough. a television personality is terrorized by a series of increasingly personal videotapes. he seeks out to find them and revisits sordid details of his past that he wanted to forget. what makes this film especially infuriating is that there is no real ending to the film...if you werent paying very close attention to the final scene which reveals all. problem is that the final scene is a 4 minute crowd shot in which the real action of the film takes place buried in the background. its "hidden" -- OOOOOH THATS WHAT THE TITLE MEANS!!!!