Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Top Ten Movies of the Decade

The movies are a great escape from real life, and in the 2000s, we all were in need of a lot of little breaks. So it's time for the big one folks, my personal favorite, The Top Ten Movies of the 2000s. So without further rambling, let's see what's on the list...

10. Casino Royale

A stunning revival of the Bond franchise with a whole new level of seriousness. Featuring the unexpectedly great performance of new Bond, Daniel Craig, this movie set a new standard for a formerly campy and stagnant franchise. With its only weak points to audiences being extended scenes of poker playing replacing excessive action, it truly shined with its strengths which were in plot and character development. What was a great beginning to the new Bond franchise was cut somewhat short by the extremely disappointing follow up, Quantum of Solace.

9. Walk Hard (2007)

At first glance, Walk Hard is just another comedy, vulgar, goofy, and featuring John C. Reily. However, where Walk Hard differentiates itself from the rest is its features as a parody. With half of the parody being done in the casting itself, which such hilarious choices as having Frankie Muniz play Buddy Holly, or having Jack White play Elvis, the movie seals the deal with songs depicting different musical styles in a hilarious manner. Throw in some general hilariousness and inappropriate jokes, and you've got yourself a great movie.

8. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Though, in many peoples eyes, the following statement is punishable with death, The Darjeeling Limited is my favorite Wes Anderson film. With richly developed characters who share a brotherly relationship so real that it feel as though you're at a family dinner, this movie endears you to its possibly far fetched concept quickly. In the film three brothers share a vacation traveling by train through India in order to reaffirm their relationships with each other, and work through their own personal problems. With a wonderful soundtrack featuring some rarely heard songs by The Kinks, and a beautiful setting, this movie is hard not to love. So who says this can't be my favorite Wes Anderson movie? After all was Royal Tenenbaums really all that amazing?

7. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings trilogy maintained a standard of excellence that earned this particular chapter basically every oscar ever. While a bit overlong (especially on the dvd version), the film still never let up in how interesting and exciting it was, as we finally got to see the most epic film journey of the 2000's, and possibly all time, come to a close.

6. Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are is based on a book that is under 20 pages. So it seems to be a bit crazy to think that the source material was turned into such a rich tapestry of beauty and childlike wonder. With director Spike Jonze at the helm, the movie was definitely going to be different than most that you see, but luckily Jonze put together a beautiful visual world in the land of the Wild Things, and characters that were easy to relate to, while still maintaining a unique style. With a perfect soundtrack done by Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O, the movie stands as a testament to how wonderful childrens movies can be for people of all ages. The only real way to describe this movie and do it any justice would be to say that it's like being 11 again, if only for a precious few hours.

5. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to play to a crowd and stick to a stereotype. It gives you a chance to expand the concept a bit. 500 Days of Summer sounds like just another indie romance movie at first glance. Two witty hipsters lost in their own relationship troubles, while set to a wonderful soundtrack. However, 500 Days of Summer really becomes its own because of the performances of the leading couple, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt, both of whom knock their role out of the ballpark. With very interesting direction by Marc Webb, this movie stands out from the crowd, and then some.

4. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The beginning of the Lord of the Rings trilogy created a lot of anticipation for future continuations of the series. With the obvious successes that made the rest of the movies in the franchise so successful, where this particular installment really shined was in its setting of the overall tone and scene of middle earth and the shire, with soundtrack and set choices that almost made you nostalgic for a place that's fictional.

3. Big Fish (2003)

Typically, I'm not a fan of Tim Burton. Now I'll admit I haven't seen any of the movies I'm about to make fun of, but correct me if I'm wrong when I say that movies like Coraline and stuff are all just set ups for new tee shirts for emo tweens to buy at Hot Topic, while still harkening back to their bible, The Nightmare Before Christmas. With that being said, Big Fish is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, so maybe live action is what it takes for Tim Burton not to make me angry, but this tale of a man who was awesome at everything really tugs at the heart in all the right ways, as much a story about the age of American story telling as it is a story about a father and son finally getting to know eachother. The movie is amazing, though I feel like the movie would have better merchandise if all the characters were skeletons of some kind.

2. Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers (2002)

With consistent character development, action, and adventure found in the previous installment, The Two Towers shined as my personal favorite in the series mostly because of its inclusion of the most well made battle scene in film history and an ending fit for any movie viewer, that left me almost more satisfied than I was at the end of the entire trilogy itself.

1. Dark Knight

Really? No one saw this coming? This movie made Batman cool again! With the almost excessively honored, but in no way overrated performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, this movie already had everything it needed to be a success, however the movie stepped it up a notch with a script so well written, that it's still hard to believe after all this time that this movie didn't get a Best Picture nomination. After all, the themes of this movie were themes that purveyed through this past decade. A lack of trust for those around you, a constant questioning of our own decisions, and the pursuit of some sort of peace, even if it's nearly impossible to reach. Who knew that Batman was the one who knew us best? Because, in a way, it feels like everywhere in the world has a little of Gotham City in it somewhere.

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