Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 2000

After some tougher years, 2000 was almost a breeze in comparison.  I had plenty to choose from.  A lot of smaller movies dominated the chopping block, but it was a painless crawl to the required 6.  2000 was big year in my life as I had graduated high school in the summer and began college.  I also noticed on the list that there were a fair amount of movies that I enjoyed back then and kind of sort of have grown to detest over the years since.

Here's that Oscar part

WINNER - Gladiator
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich

And here's my part

Almost Famous

This is what a perfect movie looks like.  I have zero qualms with anything here.  Its a shame that this would be both the start and peak of Kate Hudson's career barring some sort of comeback.  She was tremendous in her Penny Lane role and showed so much potential.  They even nominated her for an Oscar.  Crazy to think that we were thinking the daughter of Goldie Hawn was going to just dominate us for years to come and she's pretty much nowhere to be found now.  This is a great film and Cameron Crowe's finest hour as he tells a very personal journey of a boy following a rock band in the 70s.  There are so many great characters, performances and songs that you just can't help but love this movie.

Battle Royale

Nope, I didn't see this in 2000.  I didn't get my hands on a bootlegged copy until 2005.  And the film JUST finally got an official release in the US until last year.  And you haters can surely thank The Hunger Games for that.  Its a film taking a concept similar to The Running Man and using it with kids in a futuristic overpopulated society.  This is a more raw concept and execution than that of the prestigious Games.  It provides a lot more shock, gore and what makes it much different (and a little better imo) is that isn't afraid to sit and laugh and kind of poke fun at the whole ordeal.  The film also contains 2 of my all time favorite film villains in one movie.  This is an underground classic that I really urge everyone to see.  But stop here, DON'T DARE VENTURE TO THE SECOND ONE!  PLEASE!

Ginger Snaps

There's been The Wolfman, The Howling, An American Werewolf In London and many countless other werewolf movies.  But this, is my absolute favorite of them all.  This manages to blend becoming a werewolf through the tale of girls coming into womanhood.  It features a dynamic sister duo by two actresses that it sucks didn't go on to huge things.  This little Canadian film is pretty underground, but its getting Blu-ray treatment finally this summer.  I rented this from the bargain VHS section at Family Video (they didn't have this one on DVD) one summer in college on a friend of mine's whim and was absolutely surprised and fully captivated by this film.  I guess us fans of it are in elite company as there's not a whole lot of discussion of it all the time and it doesn't seem like a of people (even "experts") have given it a whirl.  For that reason, I don't want to digress into much plot discussion other than I love this movie.

O Brother Where Art Thou

This film was my reward for having to read the damn Odyssey scholastically 4 times in my life.  Yes, 4 times.  So when the Coen Bros came along and made this film I was right in tune with the adventure.  And it was incredibly amusing to see the twists and turns they took with their adaption.  Also, the film has a really good Bluegrass soundtrack.  They've recently done the same with folk music (but folk was on the rise for a couple years prior to Llewyn Davis, so it didn't really spotlight it as much as O Brother).  George Clooney plays one of his wildest and most fun roles to date.  This is kind of the closest you'll get to the Coens taking on an epic fantasy story and it pays out in spades.


And here we have M. Night's best film and his own masterpiece.  This film was much ahead of its time and I don't think got the full appreciation upon release as it should have.  With the trailer built upon some ultimate secret within, people flocked to find out this movie was about...comic books?  It seemed a bizarre choice to many at the time, but image if this film had been released maybe a mere 4 years later.  It would have been a resoundingly brilliant film to many.  I enjoyed the movie upon arrival although most of my friends really didn't.  The film still holds up too and works as one of the best origin tales we've ever seen.  Also of note, its another terrific pairing of Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis.


Believe it or not, readers, at one time this was one of the greatest comic book films ever made.  It certainly has been surpassed many times in the last 14 years, but when it came out it was held up with Batman and Superman in greatness.  Most of the comic book movies in the wake of Tim Burton's Batman were big time whiffs and not the type of heroes the public was wanting.  Though the press material and early photos of this film made it looked pretty crummy, the result stunned and was quite acclaimed.  Marvel did the smart thing by breeding fans with creating a popular cartoon series that got everyone up to speed and made it an exciting announcement when a live action film was being made.  I still think this is a solid film that really could be more, but the series is better for this film holding back.

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