Y’know, everybody seems to have their own “Top 10″ lists for movies at this time of the year. But in addition to that, everybody seems to have their “Best Movies of 2000′s” list. Well, I’m not one to follow the trails of critics. I mean, most of the time critics are just full of hot air…looking for movies with meaning or direction or something that they never really seem to be able to explain. And most of the time, critics don’t appreciate movies that the public appreciates…and in an effort to sound smart, they come up with movies that most people haven’t heard of to round out their top ten lists.
Me? I like to be entertained. Period. I don’t care if it’s an intense thriller or a turn-your-brain-off popcorn movie…just entertain me.
I’m a huge movie buff, so I figured as we enter the 2010′s I’d throw out my own list of favorite movies of the decade. So here is the first half of my Top Ten…
1. Anchorman – I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched this movie, but it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Add to that the intense pleasure that Sunshine and I get from watching it to gether and you’ve got just one more reason for me to love this film. The style, the story, the acting…everything is just so unique and subtle in its tongue-in-cheek delivery that you forget that the whole thing actually is supposed to be taken as tongue-in-cheek. To me, this is far and away Will Farrell’s best movie. What I love the most is that just when you think he’s about to take things too far, he reigns it back in just a bit (something he fails to do in lesser movies like Land of the Lost and Semi-Pro). I can easily say that this is my favorite movie of the past decade…just a pure joy to watch.
2. Cloverfield – I’m sure there are a LOT of people rolling their eyes at this one, and that’s fine. I loved how this was a mixture of The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla. I loved how this was totally filmed in the style of somebody’s camcorder recording an actual event. I loved the directing. I loved how this was actually a love story with a monster thrown in for good measure as a background piece. I love how we are left having NO IDEA just how this whole thing started or how it will eventually end…which a lot of people hated. This movie was 100% original and I find it to be an absolute joy to watch on repeated viewings.
3. District 9 – Much like Cloverfield, this movie was 100% original. I mean, the style of this movie made you think you were watching a documentary 50% of the time and seeing “real life” 50% of the time was extremely entertaining. And the biggest thing was that the “documentary” footage made everything look so real, you truly felt like you were watching legitimate footage. Lead character Sharlto Copley is absolutely amazing in this film. This movie was made on a pretty small budget but you would never know it as the special effects were second to none. Be advised that this movie isn’t for everybody…between the language and the violent scenes, it can be a major turn-off for some. But this, to me, is one of the most fun movies I can remember seeing; just a spectacle that I’ve already seen multiple times and can’t wait to own on DVD.
4. The Dark Knight – What else can you say about one of the greatest movies ever made? Honestly…who would have thought that a Batman movie would be so incredible from beginning to end? For me, the true highlight of this movie is Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker. It is absolutely one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. Every time he is in front of the camera he is mesmorizing…and it’s a shame that he was not around to receive the accolades that he so greatly deserved. And the rest of the movie? It’s just awesome from beginning to end. The story, the characters, the directing…everything is spot-on to make this the new template for all comic-book movies being made on a go-forward basis.
5. Lord of the Rings trilogy - I couldn’t just pick one of the three as a favorite, primarily because this really needs to be taken as one massive movie. I actually spent a full day over my Thanksgiving weekend to watch all three movies…and they were made in such a way that it’s a shame to not see them in sequence (even if they do add up to about 9 hours of viewing). I never read the original novel and had never even heard of it until my ex-wife made me go see the first of the trilogy. After my initial viewing, I was confused. VERY confused. But when she bought the extended box-set dvd of Fellowship for me as a Christmas gift, I gave it a second chance. I’m REALLY glad that I did. “Epic” doesn’t really do these movies justice, but it’s the best description I can come up with.
I’ll round out my Top 10 Favorite Movies of the 2000′s tomorrow, but there are definitely a few movies that never made my list that totally deserve mention for being awesome…
I Am Legend – Will Smith’s best movie, imo.
The Wrestler – It’s brutal truth about an industry most don’t take seriously and acting at its finest with Mickey Rourke.
Tropic Thunder – One of the funniest movies of the decade, bar none.
Napoleon Dynamite – This almost made my Top 10 list, but it’s definitely one of those “love it or leave it” type of films.
Did your favorite(s) make the list? Do you have any favorites of your own?