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December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10" 
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Genuinely surprised by a handful of the choices and their placement. Delighted to see Lost in Translation (2003, Sofia Coppola) garner up spot number six (I placed it at number two myself). Also great to see James use the term 'mindfuck' :D


Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:34 pm
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
This is an excellent list. However, reading it made me realize what a disappointing decade it has been for movies (at least for me). From the 1990s, James listed Schindler's List, The Sweet Hereafter, Goodfellas, Hamlet, The Three Colors Trilogy, The War Zone, Raise the Red Lantern, Dances with Wolves, Pulp Fiction, and Beauty and the Beast as the ten best. Although I believe every film on the 2000's list is excellent, the list as a whole compares to that of the previous decade. And, of course, for anyone who cares, my top 10.

10. Adaptation.
9. Requiem for a Dream
8. Pan's Labyrinth
7. Mulholland Dr.
6. Children of Men
5. Sideways
4. Oldboy
3. No Country for Old Men
2. Memento
1. There Will be Blood


Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:57 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Great list. I have little argument with it. Although I wouldn't have included Avatar, I understand why JB likes it even if I don't agree. I was particularly happy to see Memento and Requiem for a Dream listed. Both movies seem to have been missed in many other decade lists (especailly Requiem).

I may be the only person on the face of the earth to feel this way, but I absolutely hated Lost in Translation. Maybe I expected too much, maybe I just didn't get it, but I've rarely seen a movie more pointless. On my list, it would be replaced with There will be Blood.


Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:14 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
slksc wrote:
Great list. I have little argument with it. Although I wouldn't have included Avatar, I understand why JB likes it even if I don't agree. I was particularly happy to see Memento and Requiem for a Dream listed. Both movies seem to have been missed in many other decade lists (especailly Requiem).

I may be the only person on the face of the earth to feel this way, but I absolutely hated Lost in Translation. Maybe I expected too much, maybe I just didn't get it, but I've rarely seen a movie more pointless. On my list, it would be replaced with There will be Blood.
Oh believe me, i'm not at all fond of Lost In Translation either, I don't hate it, but It certianly did absolutely NOTHING for me, i'm sure pretty much EVERYONE on here will say I should rewatch it so I can "understand" I think that's a load of crap IMO, as I don't think films should require more then one viewing to fully "understand"


Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:22 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I really can't believe JB was unmoved by City of God and Pan's Labyrinth. He gave them both 3.5 stars, but I think they're both far better than Cast Away, Avatar, etc.

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Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:09 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Hmm I suppose I will spoil my Top 10 of the decade before I post it on my blog with some individual justifications added.

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical):
City of God
Downfall (Der Untergang)
Finding Nemo
House of Sand and Fog
In the Mood for Love

10. King Kong
9. Donnie Darko
8. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
7. The Village
6. Letters from Iwo Jima
5. The Pianist
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. Requiem for a Dream
2. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
1. The Lord of the Rings


Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:14 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
James and I had no overlap at all, although The Departed dropped off at the last minute. I had Minority Report at #1, followed by Whale Rider, Yi Yi and In America.

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Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:18 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Syd Henderson wrote:
James and I had no overlap at all, although The Departed dropped off at the last minute. I had Minority Report at #1, followed by Whale Rider, Yi Yi and In America.


I often wonder about the high rankings for Minority Report. When I watched it for the 1st time, the central element [contrivance, in JB speak] of the plot crashed and burned for me ... so, Max's plan was to somehow fool the system by killing the woman, after tricking an intervention using the police to frame another person, in the hope that the record of the event would not betray his involvement, while he was miles away from the personnel perusing the live feeds regarding the event [hence, unable to intervene at the base of operations]; yet, one of the seers saw everything right, which came out later but no one knew about the minority report but Max at the time of the killing ... dumb, dumb and dumb. Suspension of disbelief lost and movie ruined.


Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:55 pm
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Syd Henderson wrote:
James and I had no overlap at all


Eh, four out of ten ain't bad for me.

The Lord of the Rings (James = 1, Me = 1)
The Departed (James = 4, Me = 3)
The Dark Knight (James = 5, Me = 9)
Lost in Translation (James = 6, Me = 2)


Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:49 pm
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I have been visiting your site since before you changed your rating system and can still remember when you first added the 'fancy' star graphics to your reviews, so it was probably inevitable that I would sign up for a forum account.

I don't have a list of my own to post nor do I have any direct critique of yours but rather a few observations.

- Lost in Translation is the closest thing on the list to a comedy (even there it is very subtle and understated; which is in and of itself another strength of the film)

- In your Retrospective of the 1990's none of the top movies or performances are comedies.

- While there are several comedies on your Top 100 all of them were released prior to the 1990 calendar year.

So I guess I am wondering what the reason for this is. The reasons I can think of off the top of my head are:

1. The quality of comedic movies is less than that of the more 'traditional' top 10 fare.
2. Comedies by their nature don't linger as long after having been experienced as other types of movies.
3. Ones sense of humor can almost be said to solidify at a younger age; by which I mean that while we can always go back and revisit comedies we saw at that age and still find them uproariously funny it becomes increasingly more difficult for comedies to leave a marked impression in the same vein the further we get from that point in our lives.

Asking myself which comedies I love enough to place in a 'top ten' sort of list produces titles like The Big Lebowski which was released my senior year of high school and of the comedies to make it into your Top 100 it looks like the last one released was somewhere around your 22nd birthday. So for me personally I think reason number three is probably the most likely and number one the least.

Anyhow, I am just curious as to what you (or anyone else on the forums) think. It was just something that struck me as interesting enough to wonder out loud about.


Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:11 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I was also surprised by the apparent downgrading of Munich, from being a Top 100 movie (#91) to not even making the '00s Top Ten. So does this mean that Munich will be dropped from the Top 100 in your next revision of that list? Or are your criteria for the Top 100 different from those for your decade (and annual) Top Ten lists in such a way that Munich still merits inclusion in the Top 100?

Or, in other words, do When Harry Met Sally (#101) fans have reason to celebrate? :)


Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:17 am
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I'm digging on this list James, your taste is as good as always. I particularly agree with the placement of LOTR at #1. The Princess Bride and LOTR are the two movies that defined my childhood.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:42 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
sjlips wrote:
I was also surprised by the apparent downgrading of Munich, from being a Top 100 movie (#91) to not even making the '00s Top Ten. So does this mean that Munich will be dropped from the Top 100 in your next revision of that list? Or are your criteria for the Top 100 different from those for your decade (and annual) Top Ten lists in such a way that Munich still merits inclusion in the Top 100?

Or, in other words, do When Harry Met Sally (#101) fans have reason to celebrate? :)


IMHO, that is not necessarily a fair set of questions ... lists are inherently a "time and place" thing.

One could both place a film in a “top 100 of all time” list at one time, and not place the same film [in retrospect] higher than films that are not in said "top 100" list, in another list ... upon further reflection, one might change one's mind about both lists ... or not. In the end, whatever. The relativity of an opinion can change; and, the lists can [or not] still stay the same; again, whatever. Over-thinking this [IMHO] is a fool's errand [which, I guess, makes me a fool].

Happy new year!


Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:45 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
hi james, how come munich was only in your honorable mention list but it is in your all time top 100?

thanks.

pat


Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:25 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Interesting question.

For me, Children of Men and The Lives of Others should be up there, but these things are so terribly objective.

On a related note - thanks for everything this year, James. The website is much appreciated.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:35 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I agreed with every choice bar two: In The Bedroom and The Departed. I found The Departed to be not a patch on Infernal Affairs with a cheap ending (everyone kills each other... er OK) and In The Bedroom I found to be mawkish and cloying.

My personal top 10 is

10) 21 Grams
9) Avatar (I wanted to hate it, but I ended up loving it)
8) Inglourious Basterds
7) Requiem for a Dream
6) Downfall
5) Oldboy
4) Gladiator
3) LotR
2) The Dark Knight
1) Memento

Happy 2010 everyone. Baz


Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:26 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
Nice list, the only one I wouldn't agree with is In The Bedroom.

Mine, for what its worth.

10. Signs
9. Spider
8. The Jacket
7. Serenity
6. The Village
5. Spider-Man 2
4. Brick
3. The Fountain
2. Children of Men
1. Requiem For A Dream

Too many honorable mentions to list...


Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:05 am
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
thewatcher wrote:
I'm digging on this list James, your taste is as good as always. I particularly agree with the placement of LOTR at #1. The Princess Bride and LOTR are the two movies that defined my childhood.

that is one long childhood.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:24 pm
Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I haven't seen all the movies on your list, but here's mine.
Image

1. Spartan
This is my Patton, I don't know why, but I never tire of this movie, even after seeing it 13 times.
2. High Fidelity
John Cusack's character defines me, this is still my favorite romantic comedy of all time.
3. City of God
Brilliant movie, doesn't hurt that I love photography.
4. Pan's Labyrinth
Incredible visual style, great performances, and a heart-in-you-throat thriller of a story.
5. The Dark Knight
I expected this to be crushed by the weight of expectation and hype, it blew me away. I left the theater exhausted.
6. Hot Fuzz
I like Shaun of the dead as well, but this is just more fun for me, I think the crushed skull scene and the flying kick to the old lady's face put it over the top.
7. Kill Bill Vol. 1
The Quentin Tarantino film of the decade.
8. Memento
I spent several nights re-watching this and taking notes in an attempt to decipher the story...no other film has done that to me.
9. No Country for Old Men
The perfect adaptation, Javier Bardem's performance might make it better than the book.
10. The Royal Tenenbaums
In a decade lacking "iconic" performances, the entire cast of this movie fits that description.

Honorable mention to Ghost World, Munich, Michael Clayton, Knocked Up, Collateral, Sunshine, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Layer Cake, Shaun of the Dead, Oldboy, and Idiocracy.

Sorry if this is a little long and overdone for a forum post.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:06 pm
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Post Re: December 31, 2009: "Closing the Decade with Another Top 10"
I've seen (and enjoyed) every title on his list (HMs included) except "United 93" and "Avatar"... though how many of them I'd include in MY Top 10 I'm not sure.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:39 pm
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