Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Favorites of the 2000's: 2001

Ocean's Eleven: Director Steven Soderbergh put on his casting pants and filled this movie with the best ensemble cast to hit the big screen in recent memory. The chemistry between the characters was great, Julia Roberts didn't make me want to kill myself, and it's a heist film wrapped in slick visuals: any one of those things normally warrants a view from me, let alone all three in one package.

Swordfish: This is one choice of which the online film community (and possibly the community, in general) will most certainly not approve. But that's the point of this series - to let you know what my favorite movies of each year were, and not which one's are going to make everybody else's lists. The opening scene to Swordfish is one of my favorite ever put to screen, and each person in the cast plays their character to perfection. They completely commit to the material, even though it ludicrously features a climax where a bus is lifted by a helicopter. This is modern action-tech at its most fun, and needless to say, it's director Dominic Sena's best film.

Super Troopers: One of my all-time favorite comedies, this movie just freaking dominates. The one-liners are endlessly quotable, and the rewatchability is incredibly high; it seems like every time I revisit it, I come away with a new favorite scene. Little things from the confusion about which "biker" to dress like, to Farva's "liter of cola" line, to the "soap in the coffee" gag makes this one required viewing for anybody who likes comedy. Any day is a good day to revisit Super Troopers, so go ahead and get to it, OK meow?

Mulholland Drive: David Lynch's failed ABC television show was reworked into this feature film, and holy crap - it blows some minds. I've only seen it once and it was my first Lynch film, so it's safe to say it's changed the way I view the cinema landscape. It's so incomprehensible that it can't be explained.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: To me, this was the best of the LOTR movies because it was the introduction into the massive world that Peter Jackson created. The scope of this movie was unlike anything I'd ever seen, and I think this part of the story is the most interesting part of the overall adventure. Seeing how these characters come together was (and is) more interesting to me than seeing the inevitable conclusion (plus a tacked on 40 minutes of run time just for the hell of it in Return of the King). A Beautiful Mind won Best Picture in 2001, and in retrospect we can easily see which of these two films is still in the public's memory.

Likely to see on everyone else's "Best of" lists: Amelie, Vanilla Sky, Monsters, Inc., Donnie Darko, A.I. Artificial Intelligence


Anonymous said...

I don't have any favorites for 2001...I saw no good movies except LOTR that year that I can recall. Oh and A Beautiful Mind. But neither of those stands out to me as anything other than better than the rest of the offerings of the year.

2002 on the other hand, was quite a good year.

Jacob L

Ben Pearson said...

Yeah man, I feel you. I had a hard time coming up with this list. If I had to rank them among my favorites of the decade, I don't know if any would make THAT list, save for LOTR and Super Troopers.

Alan Trehern said...

You can't really say that Peter Jackson created that world in LOTR. That credit goes to JRR Tolkien. And even the set designs and what the world would actually look like is based on sketches and drawings of landscapes from years past by Tolkien and other authors.

Further, it would be hard for the Academy to give the best picture award to LOTR in 2001 since it was set to be a trilogy. That's why they swept it in 2005 with Return of the King. A Beautiful Mind deserved it, and the LOTR trilogy took the bag later on.

Ben Pearson said...

Alan, we'll have to agree to disagree. I most certainly will not give credit to Tolkien for creating a movie filmed 28 years after his death. Sure, he laid the groundwork in the source material - but Jackson and his team brought that to life on the big screen and they deserve massive amounts of credit.

Further, I think the Academy should award best pictures to the actual best movie of the year, regardless of that film's status within a trilogy setting. Just because a movie has a number attached to it doesn't mean that it can't stand on its own and be the best movie of any particular year.

Becki : ) said...

Donnie Darko? Really?

Ben Pearson said...

You better believe it. People love that movie. I wouldn't go as far as to put it on my list (obviously), but I'd venture a guess that a lot of people would.

Joey Joe said...

i remember not liking amelie that much, but swordfish? even that one surprises me.