5. TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE - Good parody is rare these days. In fact the only place I still see true parody is on 'South Park' which comes as no surprise that Trey Parker and Matt Stone created the best parody, and one of the best films, of the last ten years. Making fun of one side is not parody. It's called defamatory. Parody is when all sides are made fun of. The powerful are held in check through comedy. The fact that this film is done in all marionette (with strings showing and all) makes it all the more hilarious. Making fun of right wing ultra military use and excess patriotism to left wing compliance and hypocrisy made this a film all sides got around. Every time I watch it I swear I laugh harder. And as a great parody it works on its own accords to be so entertaining long after the jokes have passed. Easily my favorite comedy of the decade.
4. STAR WARS EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH -As a huge Star Wars fan I was pretty much predestined to love the prequels. It was easy for me to look past the lesser qualities and just concentrate on the story at hand. I admit it was hard (and exhausting) to constantly defend the first two. The third film though made most people see what George Lucas was building towards. As a young kid wondering what that fight between Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi was like was nothing compared to how it is in the film. In a good way. Plus all of the nods to the original trilogy, especially A New Hope, made this such a treat. It marveled the adult in me while exciting the kid in me. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this and just love it every single time. We can debate the first two but not this one. It's just a great film. It's a Star Wars film in every true sense.
3. THE DARK KNIGHT -Talking about hitting me over the head with a stone. As mentioned earlier I loved the first film but was not ready for what this film was going to be. Not just a spectacular summer film in every sense of the term but an all around great film. It literally has drama, action, suspense, great characters. It's one of the few times I walked out of a theatre in the last couple of years and knew I didn't need the film to grow on me. This was a pure masterpiece and I knew I just saw an amazing film. Plus it's message about what it means to be a true hero is a very mature approach. Not something you find in your popcorn entertainment. A daring film as well as an entertaining one. I keep forgetting how good it is until I watch it again and then I remember how great films can be.
2. GLADIATOR -What a way to start the decade. I saw this film several times over the summer of 2000. I could not get enough of it. On one level it's a very simple film but that is why it works so well. It's richness comes from the characters. I've watched the film dozens of times over the years (even within the last couple of weeks) and the film has lost nothing. It is very much like the old epics of yesteryear but also a modern sense of drama and realism that brings it to life. A film I felt was so deserving of the Academy Award. And a devastating loss for Ridley Scott not winning for Best Director. If it wasn't for the next entry this would be my pick for favorite film.
1. THE LORD OF THE RINGS -On occasion you know you are experiencing something that is literally part of film history. When I first heard that this was being made I was like ok. When I read that Peter Jackson, a filmmaker I loved even though very few had heard of him, was doing it I became excited. I thought there is a perfect match. I knew he could do it. What I didn't know is how well he could do it. He created a landmark that is truly stunning in all aspects. This is what you point to when you say why movies are magic. This is true movie magic. Every aspect to it is just so amazing that I almost wonder how Peter Jackson pulled it off. I think I would have gotten lost but perhaps making it so far away from Hollywood he was able to basically have the entire production technically live in the world they were creating. I was not alive when such monumental films like 'Citizen Kane', 'Casablanca', 'Gone With The Wind', 'Ben-Hur', etc, were released. But I can say I was alive to see two modern examples of films that set a new benchmark and that would be 'Star Wars' and now 'The Lord Of The Rings'. Without a doubt it is my favorite thing done in the film world in the last decade. It inspires me as a movie fan, as a filmmaker, and as a historic landmark of cinema. Now this is how you kick off a new millennium.
So there you have it. My picks for my favorite films of the last ten years. What will the next ten years have in store for us? Who knows? Will one of my films be on anyone's lists? Hey, I can wish can't I?
Happy New Year everyone!! Thanks for reading the blog. All my best in 2010.