Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Decade In The Making

For years my friend Jesse Walker has been listing his top ten film--from decades ago. (In fact, I think he's been doing it for more than ten years, so he'll be repeating himself.)  He feels he didn't see enough titles in 2014 to have a fair top ten list, but he's caught up to 2004, 1994, etc.  So over the next few weeks, we'll be going back in time.

He just put up his top ten list for 2004 (which happens to be the year this blog started). Here it is:

1. Bad Education
2. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
4. The Wire 3
5. Deadwood
6. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
7. Sideways
8. Palindromes
9. The Incredibles
10. Team America: World Police

I can see putting Bad Education in the top 10, though #1 seems a bit high.  The second Kill Bill improves on the first, but I still see them as Tarantino's low point--some great sequences (which is why be probably made the film/s) but I don't give a damn about the Bride's quest or even the Bride; Tarantino, as outrageous as he could be, generally operates on a human level, which he left behind here.  Eternal Sunshine has a good concept, and there's certainly a lot of cleverness, but once we get the idea, there's not enough forward motion.  The Wire and Deadwood are TV shows which, as Jesse knows, I don't think should be on film lists. Life Aquatic, like other Wes Anderson films, has grown in my estimation over the years, but I'm still not sure I like it.  Sideways should be here.  Palindromes has the Solondz Touch, which once was a good thing, but I'm not so sure any more.  The Incredibles might make the top of my list.  Team America should certainly be here (and is it wrong to admit you find marionettes sexy?).

Here are Jesse's honorable mentions:

11. Nobody Knows
12. Howl's Moving Castle
13. In the Realms of the Unreal
14. The Assassination of Richard Nixon
15. Panorama Ephemera
16. Before Sunset
17. Garden State
18. Light Is Calling
19. Kung Fu Hustle
20. Primer

Howl's Moving Castle might be my #1 (good year for animation).  I find Before Sunset sort of dull.  Garden State I liked. I'm not a big Stephen Chow fan (and he may be the biggest HK star of all), but Kung Fu Hustle is one of his better films.  Primer is baffling but fascinating--probably should be top ten.  Haven't seen the rest.

Here are a couple other films that would have made my top ten:

Downfall--the film that launched a thousand YouTube parodies is pretty great itself. (Now I suppose someone should make a video of Hitler ranting about not making the top ten list.)

Shaun Of The Dead--Simon Pegg's best, and the top zombie comedy around.

Other films I liked.

50 First Dates, Battle At Kruger (a famous YouTube short--I don't believe in shorts on these lists, but Jesse does), Collateral, Dhoom, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Ella Enchanted, Finding Neverland, The Good Girl, I Heart Huckabees (which hasn't gotten the respect it deserves), Incident At Loch Ness, Jiminy Glick In Lalawood, Layer Cake, Mean Girls, Napoleon Dynamite, National Treasure, The Nomi Song, Ray, Starsky & Hutch, The Village (yes, I am the one person in the world who will defend this film)

Other films of note:

13 Going on 30, 2046, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, The Alamo, Alexander, Alfie, Alien vs. Predator, Along Came Polly, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Arizona Summer, Around the World in 80 Days, Art Heist, The Aviator, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Be with You, Being Julia, Beyond the Sea, The Big Bounce, Birth, Blade: Trinity, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, The Bourne Supremacy, Bride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Butterfly Effect, Catch That Kid, Catwoman, Cellular, The Chorus, Christmas with the Kranks, The Chronicles of Riddick, Clifford's Really Big Movie, Closer, Club Dread, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Connie and Carla, Crónicas, Cube Zero, D.E.B.S., Dawn of the Dead, The Day After Tomorrow, De-Lovely, Dhoom, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, District 13, Employee of the Month, Envy, EuroTrip, Exorcist: The Beginning, Face, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Fallen, Fat Albert, Flight of the Phoenix, The Forgotten, Friday Night Lights, Garfield, The Girl Next Door, Going the Distance, The Grudge, Happily Ever After, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Head in the Clouds, Hellboy, Hidalgo, Hotel Rwanda, House of Flying Daggers, Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, I, Robot, Imaginary Heroes, In Good Company, Intimate Strangers, Jersey Girl, King Arthur, Kinsey, Ladder 49, The Ladykillers, Laws of Attraction, The Libertine, Little Black Book, Look at Me, A Love Song for Bobby Long, The Machinist, The Manchurian Candidate, Meet the Fockers, Melinda And Melinda, The Merchant of Venice, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries, Mr. 3000, Ocean's Twelve, Outfoxed, The Passion of the Christ, Perfect Strangers, The Phantom of the Opera, The Polar Express, Raising Helen, Saved!, Saw, The Scarlet Letter, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Shark Tale, She Hate Me, Shrek 2, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Soul Plane, Spanglish, Species III, Spider-Man 2, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Starsky & Hutch, The Stepford Wives, Super Size Me, Surviving Christmas, Taxi, The Terminal, Troy, Twisted, Van Helsing, Vanity Fair, Vera Drake, A Very Long Engagement, Walking Tall, Welcome to Mooseport, White Chicks, The Whole Ten Yards, Wicker Park, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!


Blogger Jesse said...

We agree on less in this year than I thought we would. But Shaun and Huckabees would probably make it into my next 10, if I were to keep extending the list. Mean Girls and Napoleon Dynamite could conceivably land there too.

I must confess I've never seen Downfall. I hear it's great, but I suspect that when I get to that scene I won't be able to keep myself from cracking up.

6:40 AM, December 16, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why no love for Anchorman?

8:45 AM, December 16, 2014  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I've seen 2 of Jesse's top ten (2004 was a busy year), so my opinion isn't worth much. But my list of the top 10 I saw would include:

Spider-Man 2 (it holds up great),
Hellboy (better than all the Marvel comic-book films),
HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban (clearly the best of the Potter series),
Around the World in 80 Days (I'm probably alone in this one),
Napoleon Dynamite,
Ella Enchanted,
Shaun of the Dead,
Howl's Moving Castle

9:27 AM, December 16, 2014  
Blogger New England Guy said...

These lists remind me of how little I have actually seen.

10:54 AM, December 16, 2014  

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