Sunday, December 20, 2009

Favorite Movies: 2000-2009 (75-51)

75. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist

this is probably one of the more controversial choices on here and i honestly cant tell you why i love this sweet, often cheesy, movie about adolescent love and music. perhaps its due to the extent to which i can relate to being young and in love with music and the night in new york shut it everyone

74. Letters from Iwo Jima

im in the minority of people who preferred this to flags of our fathers but there was something very kurosawa-esque of eastwood's depiction of the desperate of the japanese troops during iwo jima. i found the entire film to be very moving and beautifully shot

73. Finding Nemo

if you didnt like this movie, youre not human. pixar is pretty much perfect and ive made it no secret that i love them. all of their films are excellent (except cars) and this is one of the most human. also, the voice acting was spectacular

72. Time of the Wolf

german director michael haneke has 4 films in the top 100 so its pretty safe to assume that he is my favorite director working today. this post apocalyptic nightmare of a film is so confined and esoteric that its intentionally virtually impossible to understand why humanity was doomed. this is also one of the many great films legendary french actress isabelle huppert made in this decade

71. Saraband

and with this film, the great ingmar bergman said goodbye to films. this sequel of sorts to his legendary miniseries scenes of a marriage is really the perfect way to end his storied film career. loose ends are sort of tied up and two of his most memorable characters find a bit of closure with their lives. this really is a fine way to cap off his career

70. The Others
the first half of the decade was great for nicole kidman. there was this excellent atmospheric horror film, directed with expertise by alejandro amanebar, her oscar for the hours...and then came a bunch of shitty movies. is amanebar up for doing a sequel to this? i think it might be the only way to get her mojo magic

69. Small Time Crooks
woody allen will be more remembered this decade for match point and vicky cristina barcelona but this delightful throwback to his early years picture needs more attention. in terms of straight up comedies, this is his best since the 80s (no disrespect to scoop...that was pretty funny as well).

68. No Man's Land
this movie is vastly different from small time crooks. it won the best foreign film oscar in 2001. the plot is pretty simple: trapped in the middle ground between warring sides (no man's land) in bosnia and herzegovinia are two soldiers on opposite sides with another soldier passed out on a landmine. its a remarkable, sometimes darkly comic, morality tale that is as affecting as it is memorable

67. Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
...and now for something different. this is a spoof of 1950s b horror sci fi movies. its one of the funniest movies ive ever seen. director larry blamaire's follow up 'the trail of the screaming forehead' is almost as good.

66. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
im allowed to put one harry potter in here, right? this was my favorite and it was most likely due to the dark direction of alfonso cuaron.

65. Downfall
we are goin all over the place. downfall was another best foreign film oscar winner and rightfully so. this movie depicted hitlers last few months in the bunkers in the waning days of WWII. some say that this movie made hitler a more sympathetic character whereas i think it made look even crazier. also this movie gave us the numerous 'hitler reaction videos' on youtube. check out the avatar one.

64. Death of Mr. Lazarescu
one of two really really really depressing romanian movies on this list that will make you feel much much much better about the american healthcare system. the movie is about the title character's attempts to get a doctor to see him about a stomach problem. he gets bumped around every hospital in the city and eventually dies. happy stuff.

63. Saddest Music in the World
the director of this film guy maddin is one of the more well known experimental directors working today. his films brand up on the brain and my winnipeg made it onto a bunch of best of lists. this film is one of his most accessible films and is about a beer baroness's contest to find the saddest music in the world. simply beautiful.

62. Broadway: The Golden Age
my favorite documentary of the 00's is a simple tale of the way broadway used to be. since i often dream of being in the 1930-40s watching and starring in broadway shows this was right up my alley. combined with lots of great interviews and first hand stories, it was an awesome to broadway fans of all ages

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
shut up. this ruled. all of you. shut up and let me enjoy my star war with my depressing european movies

60. Battle Royale
not only is this a great movie but also a great idea. take a bunch of high school kids...put chips in their head and make them fight to the death. the last surviving kid gets to live. leave it to the japanese to bravely blaze a trail of unique education.

59. Wet Hot American Summer
warning! cult movie alert! this comedy stars a bunch of people from MTV's last funny thing that ever produced (intentionally funny that is) including david, michael showalter, michael ian black, ken marino and others. what resulted is one of the great summer spoof comedies of the last decade. bonus points go to law and order star chris meloni for truly bringing the funny

58. Station Agent
no one humps in this movie like in our last choice but what we do have is a subtle and very sweet film about trains and isolation. peter dinklage is wonderful as the protege of a deceased model train builder who forms unlikely friendships with other loners, including the always excellent patricia clarkson.

57. Noriko's Dinner Table
this might be the most obscure choice on the list. its japanese and its hard to describe what its really about. it is a pseudo sequel to the suicide club, directed by the same guy. in a nutshell, its a 2 1/2 hour about a group of japanese teens who people rent to give them a family or girlfriend experience though without anything sexual. honestly, its a remarkably strange and often moving picture. here is a link to the trailer:

56. Mulholland Dr.
there is a reason this david lynch mindfuck of a film is on every critics top of the decade list. it is because it is an amazing movie. naomi watts and laura harris were both remarkable and im still wondering about aspects about this. interesting that i put 2 mindfuck movies in a row

55. Punch-Drunk Love
paul thomas anderson is definitely one of my favorite directors working today. and in this film he made me briefly really like adam sandler. one of the greatest reveals of twisted love in films ever, this understated tale mixes black comedy and sincere romantic drama at almost perfect ratios

54. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
i loved the trailer to this movie. it used mr blue sky extraordinarily well but overall, the entire thing was just about perfect. jim carrey was truly robbed of an oscar nod and im sad that this is destined to cultdom rather than recognition of its outright cinematic brilliance.

53. Drag Me to Hell
speaking of being ignored, this is the best american horror film of the decade by a longshot. when it released last summer to almost nothing, i really felt like horror fans were missing out. this film is quinessential sam raimi and the film horror buffs have been waiting for him to make since evil dead II. all we needed was more bruce campbell and this would have perfect.

52. Donnie Darko
there was a magical time where everyone loved jack gyllenhaal (sp?) and i think it was mostly due to this film. another film unfairly ignored in cinematic release, it found an audience through midnight showings and DVD. its rare that a film combined time travel, existentialism, and bunny costumes so well. its a shame that the unofficial sequel to the film (S Darko) was better than Richard Kelly's follow up films

51. Barbarian Invasions
another best foreign film oscar winner; this quebecoise film is one of the 3 big right to die movies of the decade (others being million dollar baby and the sea inside [that comes later]). directed by denys arcand (the most quebecoise and one of the best north american directors as a whole), it was a whipsmart, very talk-ey movie but a very affecting and memorable one.