Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Decade's Perspective

My friend Jesse Walker has an annual tradition--top ten lists of movie from previous decades ending with the number of the present year.  And at Pajama Guy, we have a tradition of critiquing these lists.

So here's the first, for the year 2006.  His top ten:

1.  Deadwood 3
2.  Pan's Labyrinth
3.  Children Of Men
4.  The Wire 4
5.  Everything Will Be OK
6.  The Lives Of Others
7.  Volver
8.  Meditation - Light
9.  The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
10. Dreamgirls

Jesse breaks my rules for top ten movie lists by including TV shows for 1 and 4. They may be good (The Wire) but they are not movies, so shouldn't be here.  He also includes a short--Everything Will Be OK is pretty special, but it's also 17 minutes, and shouldn't be competing with features.

As for the others, Pan's Labyrinth and The Lives Of Others would make my list.  Volver's okay, but not for top ten.  Children Of Men didn't impress me like it did others--I had trouble with its tone.  Dreamgirls isn't much of a show (or much of a score) to begin with, and I thought the movie lost the one thing it had going for it--its staging.

The other two I haven't seen.  Haven't even heard of 8.  I'd definitely like to check out 9.

Here are his honorable mentions:

11. Time
12. Veronica Mars 2
13. Bug
14. Tell No One
15. Stranger Than Fiction
16. Inland Empire
17. The Host
18. The Departed
19. A Scanner Darkly
20. Tekkonkinkreet

Haven't seen 11, 13, 17, 19 and 20 (though I've caught bits of 17 and 19). 12 is another damn TV show.  Doesn't leave much.

Tell No One, if I recall correctly, is good faux-Hitchcock.  Stranger Than Fiction came from a script by a hot writer who wasn't so hot after his films came out--Jesse, being a good auteurist, only mentions the director at his website. The movie (which features a lot of actors I know from Chicago in bit parts) is a good idea that doesn't work, mostly due to the writing.  Inland Empire certainly has moments of interest, but at three hours is a compendium of some of the worst habits of David Lynch--he hasn't made a feature since. The Departed, which won the Oscar that year, is not one of Scorsese's best (and I'm not even that much a fan of his work to begin with).

Here are other films that would have made my top ten or twenty list:

Clerks II (not everyone loved it, but I think it's one of Kevin Smith's best)

The Devil Wears Prada (expert Hollywood entertainment is nothing to sneeze at)

Heart Of The Game

Infamous (the good film about Truman Capote)

Jackass Number Two

Little Children

Little Miss Sunshine


The Queen

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (saw it before I knew there was a TV series)


Other films I liked:

Art School Confidential (seemed disappointing after Ghost World, but has held up well), Cars (weak for Pixar, but still fun), Casino Royale (the only Daniel Craig Bond I liked), Friends With Money, Idiocracy, The Illusionist, Mission: Impossible III, Pittsburgh, A Prairie Home Companion (Altman's last--flawed but fascinating), The Prestige, Rocky Balboa, RV, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, Thank You For Smoking, Tristram Shandy, The TV Set, Venus, Wristcutters: A Love Story

Other films of note:

16 Blocks, Akeelah And The Bee, American Dreamz, The Ant Bully, Apocalypto, As You Like It, The Astronaut Farmer, Away From Her, Babel, Basic Instinct 2, The Black Dahlia, Borat, The Break-Up, Click, The Da Vinci Code, Date Movie, Death Of A President, Deja Vu, Delirious, The Descent, Factory Girl, Factotum, Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Find Me Guilty, Flushed Away, For Your Consideration, The Fountain, Freedomland, Fur, Game 6, The Good German, The Good Shepherd (some have noted they should have worked together and made "The Good German Shepherd"), Goya's Ghosts, Grandma's Boy, The Green Hornet, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, Half Nelson, Happily N'Ever After, Happy Feet, Harsh Times, The History Boys, The Hoax, The Holiday, Hoot, I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Idlewild, Inside Man, John Tucker Must Die, Lady In The Water, The Lake House, Letters From Iwo Jima, Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World, Lucky Number Slevin, Madea's Family Reunion, Man Of The Year, Matador, Miami Vice,  Monster House, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Nativity Story, Neil Young: Heart Of Gold, Night At The Museum, Notes On A Scandal, The Omen, Over The Hedge, The Pacifier, The Painted Veil, Paris Je T'Aime, Penelope, Phat Girlz, The Pink Panther, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dean Man's Chest, Precinct B13, Puccini For Beginners, The Pursuit Of Happyness, Red Riding Hood, Saw III, Scary Movie 4, School For Scoundrels, The Science Of Sleep, Skinwalkers, Slither, Smokin' Aces, Snakes On A Plane, Southland Tales, Step Up, Stick It, Superman Returns, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Underworld: Evolution, United 93, We Are Marshall, Who Killed The Electric Car?, Who The $&% Is Jackson Pollock?, The Wicker Man, Wild West Comedy Show, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, World Trade Center, X-Men: The Last Stand, You Me And Dupree


Blogger Jesse said...

Just as you haven't seen many of mine, I've seen just two of the other pictures that you say would make your top 20 list -- *Little Children*, which I don't remember very well, and *Little Miss Sunshine*, which I did like (especially Alan Arkin) but evidently didn't like enough.

2:57 PM, December 27, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised neither of you included Borat. It's become a classic.

3:03 PM, December 27, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE DEPARTED may not be Scorsese's best, but that doesn't mean it's not the best of 2006.

10:17 PM, December 27, 2016  
Blogger New England Guy said...

My son was 9 and I spent the year doing a lot of travelling so I think I missed most movies- I saw part of the The Departed later on HBO (OK- mainly for the locations I recognized- I used a temp office right next to the place they filed the one scene on a pier and I was there that day- stuck in the office until they finished)

A Night at the Museum (OK for kiddos) & Pirates of the Caribbean installment (if its the second one, I liked it). There are so many I would like to see- I actually own a few of these on DVD (Volver, Pan's Labyrinth) and haven't got around to seeing them (DVD player hasn't worked for years and laptops don't have disk drives any more). With all these interesting movies out there, why do the 26 movie channels in my cable subscription always manage to have dreck on?

8:44 AM, December 28, 2016  
Blogger Bream Halibut said...

I think I started getting sick of Deadwood by the third season, but loved Season 4 of The Wire. Saw Everything Will Be OK at an animation festival in 2007 and thought it was great, but the sequels wore me down and now I'm not sure where I'd put it.

I thought Pan's Labyrinth was okay but that's it. Felt too cleanly resolved at the end or something (or maybe I'm just miss-remembering).

I also didn't think much of Tekkonkinkreet even though I like Taiyo Matsumoto's manga a lot (especially Sunny, No.5, Takemitsu Samurai, and Hanaotoko, the first three of which were made after he moved on to a cleaner style than in Black and White).

As for the rest, The Lives of Others, and Children of Men would both make my top ten, along with The Host and A Scanner Darkly from the honorable mentions. (Tell No One and Inland Empire would be in my top twenty but I'm not sure about putting them higher.

I liked Art School Confidential a lot, but haven't seen it since it came out.

I think my over-all top ten would be:

The Prestige
The Host
Nacho Libre
This is England
The Lives of Others
Ten Canoes
A Scanner Darkly
Children of Men
The Black Dahlia

Honorable Mentions:

Art School Confidential
Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Blood Tea and Red String
Everything will be OK
Inland Empire
Tell No One
Monster House

I hated The Good Shepherd and LiTTLEMAN (White Chicks is a guilty pleasure though).

9:23 AM, January 03, 2017  
Blogger Jesse said...

Bream: I thought THE PRESTIGE was a good movie but it suffered when compared to the book it was based on. (Though that's also true of A SCANNER DARKLY and I still included that one in my list. Guess it earned some points back for its visual approach.)

9:27 AM, January 03, 2017  
Blogger Bream Halibut said...

Hmmm, I remember just thinking the book (Prestige) was okay (unlike Inverted World, which is great), but it might not have helped that I saw the movie first. In any case it's been a good while and it's probably worth a re-read.

I liked the book Scanner better than the movie, but the Philip K. Dick novel is so good that I don't feel weird having the movie on a top ten list as well.

10:20 AM, January 03, 2017  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter