Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Movie of the Decade?

Last week, some of us were discussing what the movie of the decade (the '00s) was, now that it's almost over. And yes, we were inspired by the Bill Simmons article on the subject.

So, of course, I'm curious; what are your favorite movies of the decade? For those curious, here is a list of the Oscar winning films from these years:

2009 Slumdog Millionaire
2008 No Country for Old Men
2007 The Departed
2006 Crash
2005 Million Dollar Baby
2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2003 Chicago
2002 A Beautiful Mind
2001 Gladiator

Others to consider?

Almost Famous
the Bourne Trilogy
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
Spiderman 2
Bowling for Columbine
Juno
Traffic
Memento
Gran Torino
Mystic River
Spellbound
Born Into Brothels
Little Miss Sunshine
Napolean Dynamite
Once

What is your best-loved? I will post my own favorites to the comments in the next couple days.

16 comments:

Robby said...

My favorites are the Bourne Trilogy, Batman Begins and No Country for Old Men.

Although I haven't seen about half of these.

Ty Grigg said...

I think the '00s will be remembered for the rise of Pixar (even though they came on the scene in the late '90s) and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I also think Garden State was a pretty important movie that opened up a new sub-genre of movies - angsty, romance/comedy, great soundtrack - that opened the door for movies like Once and 500 Days of Summer. There is a return to making movies that don't have to make a lot of money at the box office if they do well in DVD sales and downloads.

Chairman said...

Wait. Was "Dude, Where's My Car?" made in the aughts, or in the 90's? Because that makes a difference in my voting.

clauff said...

Well, I didn't see many of these, but some of my faves from this list are:

Crash
Gladiator
The Bourne Trilogy
The Dark Knight
Mystic River
The Incredibles

Westy said...

Okay, so my top 5 were/are:

1. Mystic River
2. Traffic
3. The Departed
4. Crash
5. Memento

Greg said...

In terms of "movie magic," I think the Lord of the Rings trilogy probably generated the most excitement in the 00's. But it will be interesting to how people's views of this decade's movies change in time.

So how about movies of the 90s? Looking back on it, "The Shawshank Redemption" seems to be one that has really grown with time. It didn't do anything spectacular at the theater, but it was a video/DVD success. Other 90s movies that come to mind include Jurassic Park, Titanic, and The Matrix. (But I still haven't seen Titanic all the way through.)

Westy said...

Greg,
Make your official '90s list, and I'll go ahead and make mine too...

Greg said...

Hmm... well, I can come up with a personal list but I wouldn't consider it authoritative by any means. There are many important 90s movies that I haven't seen but have been wanting to (such as Schindler's List... just never in the mood when I have the time).

Off the top of my head, I have four favorite "comfort" movies from the 90s:

Jurassic Park
The Matrix
Payback
Shawshank Redemption

Regardless of my mood, if one of those four movies is on TV, I'll probably stop what I'm doing and watch for a little bit. I enjoy those movies on multiple levels and I also remember other good things in my life that were going on when I watched them at various times (such as who I was with when I was watching them, etc.).

A lot of people would have Braveheart on their list, so I guess I'm weird in the sense that I'd rate Payback above it. Braveheart was probably "grander" moviemaking, but I just enjoyed Payback more.

After the four aforementioned movies, there are dozens of others that I really enjoyed. I remember liking "As Good As It Gets." I also liked "Forrest Gump," but I haven't watched it all the way through since 1993. I've watched "Saving Private Ryan" at least 3 times and thought it was excellent, but it's the type of movie where I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch. Most often I wouldn't feel like watching that type of war movie.

On a side note, last year was the first time I watched "The Godfather." It met and even exceeded my expectations, and instantly became one of my favorite movies ever. Naturally, I was gung ho about watching the sequel. However, plenty of people warned me not to bother with the third. They said the first two were great (some even said the second was better), but most of what I heard was that the third one was a letdown compared to the first two.

Probably within a month of watching "The Godfather," I watched the sequel. While I thought it was good, I didn't enjoy it as much as the original. At that point I still planned to watch the third installment, but I was going to wait a while.

A few months later I was reading a sports article about an athlete. In it he said how much he loved The Godfather movies, including the third one. He went on to say that he thought most people "misunderstood" the third one. Finally, my curiousity was piqued and I went ahead and rented "The Godfather: Part III" (which is technically a 90s movie released in 1990, 16 years after the sequel). And I've got to say, I really enjoyed it. I thought that movie did what it had to do in terms of wrapping up the series. From my standpoint, Part III documented the crumbling of a dynasty. So naturally, we're watching on screen a bunch of has-beens and idiots screw everything up. It's OK that the acting was weaker, the characters shallower, and the plot simpler. (That being said, I can see where someone who saw the first two movies in the theater and waited 16 years for the thrid would be disappointed.)

Greg said...

One other thing I meant to note: Has anyone else noticed the similarities of Mel Gibson's roles in Braveheart, Payback, and The Patriot? In all three, he was terribly wronged at the beginning of the movie, thus paving the way to "justify" his violent rampage for the rest of the movie. There were other similarities, but it's been a long time since I've thought of them...

Robby said...

I'm adding Inglourious Basterds to my list but since none of you liked No Country for Old Men this probably won't make your lists as I feel there could be quite a bit of overlap.

Watched Mystic River and despite obvious good acting didn't really enjoy the movie because the story seemed so dumb, hated ending.

I doubt I'll ever make it through any of the Lord of the Rings as I've fallen asleep the times I've attempted to watch them.

I'm fully aware of how awful of a movie critic I would be. Outside of comedies I pretty much refuse to watch movies more than once as I usually don't enjoy the experience for the same reason that previews of movies can sometimes ruin the experience for me.

My favorites that I can think of from the 90s would be Payback, Shawshank and Good Will Hunting.

Greg said...

Robby, I agree regarding previews. If there's a movie I already know I want to see, then I try to avoid the previews. I like to be surprised.

Also, for what it's worth, I finally saw Mystic River this past weekend (and yes, Westy's list helped prompt this). As far as mysteries go, I thought it was very well done.

Mystic River might be one of those movies that I like even better the second time.

BTW, I thought about spoiling the ending to Mystic River here, but then I thought better of it... heheh.

Westy said...

Okay, for those working on their lists, here are the Oscar winning films from the '90s:

2000 American Beauty
1999 Shakespeare in Love
1998 Titanic
1997 The English Patient
1996 Braveheart
1995 Forrest Gump
1994 Schindler's List
1993 Unforgiven
1992 The Silence of the Lambs
1991 Dances With Wolves

Westy said...

Other good movies from the '90s I can think of:

America History X
Blackhawk Down
Fight Club
Good Will Hunting
Goodfellas
Heat
L.A. Confidential
Life Is Beautiful
Lion King
The Matrix
Office Space
Payback
Pulp Fiction
Saving Private Ryan
Seven
Shawshank Redemption
Swingers
Toy Story

Westy said...

Others that should be considered:

Boyz 'N the Hood
Clerks
Hoop Dreams
Leon
Scent of a Woman
Something About Mary
The Usual Suspects

Westy said...

Okay, so my top 5 of the '90s are:

Shawshank Redemption
Good Will Hunting
Seven
Hoop Dreams
American History X

Greg said...

I've seen the top two on your 90s list. Saw part of Seven on TV once, but have yet to see Hoop Dreams or American History X.

Also, I recently saw Boyz 'N the Hood for the first time recently (it was free on InDemand). Good flick.

I had forgotten about Office Space. Funny move. And I've gotta say, I laughed pretty hard at the TV ad for the upcoming Extract, which some have compared to Office Space. We'll see...

One last thing... part of the reason I was thinking about the 90s movie angle to your 2000s list is because when I was flying to Seattle last month, the guy in the seat next to me was watching Shawshank on his portable DVD player. After the movie was over (and we were about to land), I asked him if he had ever seen it before (even though I pretty much knew he had). He answered, "Oh, yeah, I've seen it dozens of times. It's probably my favorite movie." And that just got me to thinking, "Man, that movie has been around a long time and he's still not tired of it!"