Monday, January 12, 2009

To Get You Ready

I am generally a lot later on my top ten lists then most people.  That's due in part because I'm slow on seeing some films and I want my list to be as comprehensive as possible.  (I still haven't seen Doubt, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, or Valkyrie among others this year).  Plus I like to do it around the time of the Oscar nominations and the actual Oscars.  If they wait that long to name the best movie of 2008, so can I.  But seeing as it is now 2009, I thought it might be fun to look and see what the top 10 films of ten years ago were, so without further ado...

The Top 10 Films of (Party Like It's) 1999

The honorable mentions...

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY  Still the most realistic football movie ever made and an underrated sports movie.  Plus the film that made us realize that Jamie Foxx could act.

GALAXY QUEST  An hilarious spoof of the Star Trek genre and a damn good sci-fi film in its own right.

MAGNOLIA  P.T. Anderson's trippy follow up to Boogie Nights.  I'm still not entirely sure what it was about, but man was it interesting.  Also featured Tom Cruise's best acting job until Tropic Thunder.

MYSTERY MEN  A brilliant spoof of the comic book genre that was way ahead of its time.  If this movie came out now it wouldn't be so underrated.

STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE  I know that I'm in the minority, and there is no question that the new trilogy is no where near the genius of the first trilogy, but the story that George concocted for the prequels helps make the entire series the most brilliant story ever told.  Darth Vader is the hero.  I had been saying that way before the prequels were released, but it was nice to be vindicated.  If only there had been less Jar Jar this probably would have made the top 10.

10.  EYES WIDE SHUT  -  The last film from Stanley Kubrick is a fascinating look at guilt, especially the guilt our society feels associated with sexual feeling.  I find it a little ironic that a film about the over sensitized view our society has about sex was edited to include fully clothed digital people in place of the action in the orgy scene.

9.  OFFICE SPACE - One of the most quotable films of all time, I will never get tired of watching this movie, and no, I haven't finished those TPS reports as of yet.

8.  SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, AND UNCUT -  What a brilliant film this is, funny, smart and irreverent.  When I saw this film in theaters, the opening scene involving the boys seeing The Terrance and Philip Movie featuring the song "Uncle Fu@%&#".  In the movie, animated adults get up and leave the theater disgusted.  Meanwhile in the very theater that I was in, adults got up and left the theater disgusted.  That my friends is some prescient satire.

7.  TOY STORY 2 -  What was originally going to be a direct to video feature ala Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar and Lion King 2: The Return of Scar (okay, I made up the second one's subtitle, but talk about synergy, Disney missed an opportunity there if you ask me) turned into a film even better then it's predecessor as well as the movie that proved what Pixar could do.  (And what they've continued to do with every movie since.)

6.  DOGMA - Kevin Smith's fantastic look at modern, organized religion.  In my opinion this is the movie to watch to understand the take that my generation has on religion (those of us who are religious).  The so-called experts talk about how The Church is dying, and this film was way ahead of its time in explaining why.  It's time for a new approach.

5.  THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY - A movie that gets better each time I watch it and without question the best acting job the overrated  Matt Damon has ever done.  Man he was creepy in this film.

4.  THE GREEN MILE - One of the best Stephen King adaptations ever, and little surprise it is from the writer/director who brought us the best, The Shawshank Redemption.  At the time this was by far my favorite movie of the year and one of my favorite movies of all time, but then I hadn't seen the next three on this list yet.

3.  BEING JOHN MALKOVICH -  Pure genius.  Charlie Kaufman is probably the greatest screenwriter of all time and this film introduced us all to his crazy, insane brain, where this is a conversation.  "Malkovich?"  "Malkovich malkovich."  "Malkovich malkovich malkovich."  "Malkovich!"  Pure Malkovich, I mean genius.

2.  THE MATRIX - I didn't see this in theaters and am eternally thankful for the technology that has since allowed me to recreate the theater experience in my home (in what is generally referred to as Home Theater, talk about a perfect name for something).  I didn't see it in theaters because I had a full on Keanu Reeves ban at the time.  It was my opinion that anything he did would suck and therefore not worth my time.  Add that to the fact that the directors prior film is among the worst movies ever made in my opinion (Bound) and I felt like this would be pure drivel doing nothing but giving a bad name to my all time favorite genre, Sci-Fi

1.  FIGHT CLUB -  Another film that I'm glad for the Home Theater experience.  I don't know why I didn't go see this movie in theaters, but somehow I missed it.  When I did see it I not only decided that David Fincher was one of the greatest directors ever to walk the earth I also fully came over to the side of good in realizing that Brad Pitt was not just a pretty face, the dude could flat out act.  And still can as evidenced by this years Brad Pitt/David Fincher collaboration.

Until Next Time, congrats to Heath Ledger (who we all met 10 years ago in the classic 10 Things I Hate About You) as he won the Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe last night.  Not much longer till he wins Oscar glory as well.  It should have been the first of many.

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