Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A&M Top 50 Movies of The Decade (part 5)
Last Friday: #40-31
Last Thursday: Intro and #50-41
I have a funny relationship with Gladiator. I really, really liked it in the theater, but didn’t love it. I got the DVD randomly for Christmas one year, watched it a few times, liked it but didn’t love it, stuck it on the shelf for a while and forgot about it. But then the imitators started coming out, big budget, super-hyped movies like Troy, Kingdom of Heaven and 300, and they all sucked big fat donkey dicks, especially Troy which was like a trip to a butt-fucking dentist. Anyway, I saw all these movies and kept saying to myself, “fuck, Gladiator was so much fucking better.” So I revisited the movie, watched it a few more times and now I can appreciate not just how good it is, but how difficult it is for a movie like that to be a great movie. The cards are stacked against it from the beginning, but Gladiator is up for the fucking challenge.
9. City of God
Anyone seen this? Probably not, huh? Okay, answer the following question: do you like Good Fellas? Ah, I figured you did. What if I told you that City of God was essentially the Brazilian version of Good Fellas? Interested now? I thought so. What’s that? You want to show your gratitude by blowing me? No, no, that’s thoughtful, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it, but honestly, just knowing that maybe I convinced a few of you twats to skip The Ugly Truth and reach for something artistic, something meaningful, oh who am I kidding, go ahead and suck it.
8. The Truman Show
I watch Jim Carrey act in this movie with my jaw on the floor; how the fuck does he do that? There is so much fucking talent in that man’s body it’s amazing that he hasn’t spontaneously combusted like the drummer in Spinal Tap. Twisted, dark, funny, endearing, honest, great acting, great direction and one of the better original screenplays of all time, The Truman show is also one of the most thought provoking concepts of all time. How crazy is it to think that when this movie came out, reality TV was just a phenomenon and not a staple of everyday life like it is now? How long until a TV station adopts a baby and puts every second of his life on TV? Ten years ago that seemed absurd, sci fi even. Now, with shows like “So You Think You Can Dance With a Monkey” and “Neighborhood Proctology” it doesn’t seem that far off, huh? Fucking crazy.
(Note* I just realized that this movie came out in 1998. God fucking damn it. Oh well. If I can write things on this blog like “John Mayer sucked my dick last night and he loved it” without any repercussions, then I can also change the release date of The Truman Show to 2001. Continue.)
Pixar has made a shit ton of great movies, in fact they’ve never made a movie that was less than a B+ (Bug’s Life) everything else is in the steady A or A- range. But for me, Wall-E is the best of the whole lot. Amazingly original, thoughtful, beautiful, with a real message about how we live and why. I’m stating the obvious here, but what Pixar does better than anyone else in history is make films that appeal to both kids and adults at the same time. Simple enough, but don’t underestimate how difficult that is. Wall-E is the best example of this, you ask someone aged 5, 15, 25, 35, and 55 what the movie was about and they’ll all give you a different answer. That’s an incredible skill.
6. Brokeback Mountain
Crash winning best picture over Brokeback has slowly evolved into the Bowie over Jordan movie debate of our time. How the fuck did that happen? Was Hollywood simply not ready to crown a gay-themed picture? How is that possible, isn’t that like a group of retards voting for Pulp Fiction over Forrest Gump in 1994? I digress, I’m amazed by how rewatchable this movie is on cable, in fact, I’d go as far to say that this movie has been improved by being on cable, mostly because we get to skip the tent part and that weird “is it gayer to watch or look away?” feeling that every straight man feels during that scene. Whoops, digressed again. Let’s talk about Heath for a second. Heath’s career-defining turn as the Joker has helped make the rest of his resume stronger and more amazing. Watching him in this movie, which we knew at the time was an incredible performance, has only gotten better with his subsequent work. What a fucking talent he was. Sigh.
(Bonus tidbit: one of my favorite all time jokes about Brokeback came from Magglio. We were talking about this movie and how uncomfortable the sex scene is for everyone in the theater and Magglio said, “yeah, it’s crushing everyone. Especially Jake Gyllenhaall.” That still kills me.)
5. The Departed
The highest ranked movie on my list to win best picture, The Departed was ranked in the top 20 on this list before I even saw it. Lurid, tight, unbelievable acting, especially DiCaprio, and a plot that is so dense that it’s still unfolding even though I’ve seen it six or seven times. Great movie. Not sure what else there is to say.
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I imagine this will surprise a few people. I’ve seen a bunch of similar lists come out over the last few weeks and can’t remember seeing this movie once. I fucking LOVE this movie, amazing fight scenes, real emotion, great story line, there’s so much happening right below the surface that might get missed if you’re watching just for the action. The death scene at the end is as moving as anything I’ve ever seen. Rewatch this movie sometime; it deserves it.
3. Almost Famous
Over the last few weeks, as I started to make and remake this list, the following three movies each spent time at #1. I love Almost Famous, it’s just such a well-made movie, perfect length, perfectly paced, perfect music, perfect direction. Eminently rewatchable, fun, enjoyable, sure it’s get a little heavy-handed at times, but it’s a love letter to rock, and love letters are supposed to be heavy-handed.
2. Dark Knight
The greatest action movie of all time; the greatest comic book movie of all time; the greatest villain of all time; the most complex and interesting hero of all time. Does that about sum it up?
Coming later today: the #1 movie of the decade