top movies of the decade!

Thursday 31 December 2009

Hey — I thought I’d give you one more quick post before we hit 2010:

Since you already got my list of 30 favorite movies of the decade, I thought I’d point to a few others out there on the web.  Enjoy!

We Are Movie Geeks: Top 100 of the Decade

Daily Kos: Best films of the decade, top 10 (bonus 7)

U.K. Times Online: 100 Best of the Decade

Complex.com: Top 100 Movies of the Decade

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my favorite movies of the 2000s’ #1, #2, and #3

Wednesday 30 December 2009

So we finally made it to the top 3! (I agree – doing this in a week or less probably would have been advisable.) In any case, I’ve enjoyed writing this list and hope you’ve enjoyed having a chance to see it. As a bonus today, I’m adding 5 more movies to make it a top 30 (though you won’t get any descriptions, sorry). I’ll refer you back to my first post on this subject for movies I still haven’t seen so they couldn’t make the list, as well as the general description of the list itself.

(See previous days’ posts for descriptions of the other movies on the list.) I hope you enjoy and post your comments somewhere for me to see any omissions or suggestions! Happy New Year!

#30: Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
#29: Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army (2004)
#28: Wordplay (2006)
#27: Children of Men (2006)
#26: Donnie Darko (2001)
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)

#10: Spellbound (2002)
#9: The Weather Underground (2002)

#8: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
#7: Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

#6: All the Real Girls (2003)
#5: Cidade de Deus (2002)
#4: Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

#3: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
When I saw this movie, I decided that if I were to make a documentary, this would be my model and inspiration. Jonestown combines rare footage and audio of the goings on of the Peoples Temple, both in California and later in Guyana, with interviews with former members of P.T. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t drink the kool-aid,” and Jonestown is where that came from. You have a vibrant leader, Jim Jones, who does talk about some great things of social justice and community, but unfortunately he uses his power in harmful ways again women and other followers and Peoples Temple becomes a cult. It also makes an excellent case that this was not a case of mass suicide, but of pred-meditated murder. It’s powerful and provocative and a true must-see!

#2: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) (Amélie)
I’m lucky that I saw this movie in the theater, as it was still early in my accumulation to the wonders of foreign film. I fell in love with this movie quickly, as the opening sequence where the various characters are introduced is so original and beautiful I just couldn’t help myself. It’s quirky and stylized (when I showed it to my parents, they just didn’t get it), but it’s also sweet and romantic like any good love story should be. Audrey Tautou‘s smile lights up the screen, and the appearance of a gnome throughout made me smile. And I’m not really sure if it would be as beautiful, either, if it weren’t in French; that just adds to the charm factor. Maybe this film isn’t for everyone (as my parents would contend), but can’t imagine life without it.

#1: The Corporation (2003)
I feel very comfortable making a documentary my #1 film of the decade, because I think films should make a difference in your life, and documentaries often times do.  And of all the films I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure this is my most recommended. I’ve lent out my copy on multiple occasions (feel free to request it yourself, or watch it online here) because the information is too powerful to be kept quiet. Based on a book by the same name, it operates on the premise that current corporations, in many of the ways they are operated today, would be defined as psychopaths if they were actually human. You see how corporations have done everything from patented genetic material (Monsanto owns most crop seeds now) to externalized costs the government picks up (where would automotive makers be without roads?), not to mention the environmental toll many corporations take on the environment. Perhaps the real culprit is industrialization, but since we can’t go back in time there, it’s up to us to patrol how corporations are operated. It is thought provoking and eye-opening, and if it doesn’t cause you to change at least some lifestyle practice, then you weren’t paying attention. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I implore you to see it as soon as possible, but definitely before the coming year is over. It will rock your world, as any good film should!


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #13 and #14

Friday 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas everyone!  Now that present opening and such is over, time to give you a few more movies to my list!

Here’s what we have so far (click on the movie to read the description on the previous blogs):
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

And now for two more!

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
I hate to admit this, but I really knew nothing about the recent history of Rwanda until I saw this movie.  Some of that is because of my age (I was still only 12 in 1994 when the movie is set), but also I think it has a lot to do with the lack of attention I, and probably many of you, give to what’s going on in Africa.  Again, I claim ignorance.  But this movie (and my current reminiscence) began to serve as a wakeup call to the horrible tribal violence and genocide happening in Africa.  In the movie, Don Cheadle plays a hotel manager who houses people to save them from being killed.  It’s really a simple story, but it’s intensely powerful.  I was able to stay steady throughout the movie, but I cried for probably three or four minutes straight once the credits hit.  It’s based on a true story, using a script and actors, but it plays like a documentary of horror.

#13: Elephant (2003) (it’s said el ih font)
This movie isn’t for everyone.  It follows a similar premise of the Columbine shootings, which is hard to take.  But I enjoy movies that take you into difficult psychological realms, and this movie does just that.  Throughout the movie, you get to see the personal vignettes of different characters: killers, victims, those lucky enough to escape.  Perhaps the most interesting part to me is watching one of the characters playing Fur Elise and then moving on to plan the massacre.  The film has a dark mood, which is usually true of Gus Van Sant, and the visual pictures add to that mood.  The characters ring true as real adolescents with problems, dreams, and questions.  No matter their status in the situation, you want them to have the chance to strive for their dreams, but you know it won’t be happening for all of them.  Perhaps that’s the true tragedy of it all.


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #19 and #20

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Today you get a few foreign films.  They’re certainly worth the subtitles!  (These aren’t the last of the foreign films, don’t you worry.  One more tomorrow, and two in the top ten!)

#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000) (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
I saw this movie with my mom in a sparsely attended screening in NW Ohio (not really an art film mecca).  But seeing this film, and any other similar films of the genre, on the big screen is the only way to do it.  An epic Chinese art film, with beautiful colors and flying martial arts, C.T.H.D. was a memorable film  more for the visual artistry than the story it told.  I saw other films of similar wonder this decade, such as Ying xiong (2002) (Hero), but since this was the first, it gets the notability.  Unfortunately, checking it out on video (even in HD on a big screen) won’t do it the justice it deserves.

#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007) (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
The tragic story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a magazine editor who suffers a stroke and is struck with “locked-in syndrome:” he can see and hear what’s going on around him but is completely paralyzed and seemingly unable to respond.  However, it is soon realized that one eye is still active, and after an arduous process, he begins the laborious process of communication.  Before he dies, he is able to, with the aid of an assistant, write a book (from which the movie is based) about life locked in.  This movie is a poem in film form, full of beautiful images and ruminations on life, death, and fragility.  It will help you think about your mortality and the temporality of life.  A great philosophical addition to filmdom.


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #23 and #24

Sunday 20 December 2009

And thus I continue with my 25 favorite movies of the 2000’s first decade.

#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
You’ll see more documentaries on my list, but just because this movie is at #24 doesn’t mean you should overlook it.  It tells the story of all things water.  It tells how corporations are raping the ground water and bottling it for big cash (not to mention how destructive all that plastic is).  It tells how in certain countries, water became a private entity, such that collecting rain water for personal use was illegal (thanks World Bank)!  It makes you realize just important water is (in case you didn’t realize it) and how much people in the U.S. take it for granted, and how if we continue to take it for granted, there could be horrible repercussions to pay.  It truly is a love poem for water, and you need to see it!  (I asked for it for Christmas, so maybe you can borrow it sometime soon.)

On a side note, the NY Times has been doing a great series about toxic water in the U.S.  Check out the various articles here.  (There are lots of great links to information for your local water supply anywhere in the U.S., so check it out if you have some time today or in the near future.)

#23: In The Bedroom (2001)
Because it’s been a good length of time since I saw this movie, I don’t remember it too much, but I do remember the awe I felt during and after watching it.  I saw this movie when I was still under 20 and early into my “serious” movie viewing, and it just hit me pretty hard.  You can get the synopsis somewhere else, but I will say it’s an intimate look at an adult family and how being dealt with unforeseen occurrences can change things more than you would ever believe.  Great performances from all involved!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow!


my 25 favorite movies of the 2000s’ first decade

Saturday 19 December 2009

Whether you believe and realize it or not, we are only a few short days away from beginning a new decade!  It’s hard to believe we are 10 years beyond all the Y2K fiasco and the days of the 1900s.  While the end of a year is always a good time to make a list, the end of a decade seems even better to me, especially for something like movies.

According to my records, I have watched 328 feature-length films make in the decade of the 00’s (which some are calling the “naughts”).  That list is early decade heavy, as I’ve only seen 10 movies thus far made in 2009.  (All my years and information are based on that given on the Internet Movie DataBase.)  That being said, a more complete list might be made in a few years when I’ve had a chance to catch up further on recent movies in a way similar to what I’ve done for movies of the earlier part of the decade.

(Upon thinking about how many movies I might have watched in the past decade, it’s easy to calculate from the above stats that I’ve averaged about 2.7 movies a month.  However, as that only accounts for “recent” movies and not older movies watched during that time, I’ve watched far more than 328 movies that last ten years, upping my average a number I cannot count.  However, since my records indicate I’ve watched 725 movies in my life, I’d guess I’ve watched more than half of those in the past 10 years.  But I digress…)

So, I wanted to share with you in the remaining days of this decade my 25 favorite movies of the past 10 years.  I must note that this list only contains movies I’ve seen, which may not include some you would put on your list.

Before I jump off with #25 today (and continue on with about two every day through the end of the year, with a few surprise lists included, too, to keep you on your toes), here are a few notable movies you won’t see on my list simply because I haven’t seen them yet!

Avatar, Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), Der Untergang (Downfall), Inglourious Basterds, Napoleon Dynamite, Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Sin City, Up, V for Vendetta, WALL-E, and any of the Bourne series
(You can see a list of every movie I have seen here: peliculas de eric)

I’d love to have comments along the way, too!

And now,  without any further ado, let the list begin!

#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
The only movie of the year to make my list, I enjoyed this movie for a few reasons.  Firstly, the script is like no other, both funny and true-to-life.  It’s a love story told all out of joint, non-chronologically, focusing on the ups and downs of a relationship and recognizing there are tons of feelings that accompany anyone who strives for love.  Some might call it “post-modern” in it’s approach to storytelling, which I of course fell in love with!  Plus, it stars the lovely Zooey Deschanel (a lovely actress AND singer — you’ll see her again on the list!) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt of 3rd Rock from the Sun fame, who was perfect for his role.  It’s optimistic without being (overly) sappy, at least for this viewer, and I’d love to see more creatively written “love stories” like this one.