Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top-10 1/2 of the Decade

         With the close of 2009 and the new decade here, I thought a great way to kick things off with the blog would be a Top-Ten Movies of the Decade countdown, which actually turned into a top-10 ½ countdown, because I simply couldn’t narrow it down further.  Come back to the site every day or two for my updated list.  What are my qualifications to determine this, you ask?  Well, for starters, I’ve seen all 45 movies nominated for Best Picture since 2000, and 178 movies nominated for any Oscar since 2000 (not that the Oscars are the end-all and be-all of movies).  I’ve probably watched more movies in the last year than you have in the last five.  I would beat the crap out of you in “The Movie Game” (© Brown, Freeman & Dickinson).  I constantly read message boards dedicated to debating these matters.  Martin Scorcese calls me for advice at least three times a week (—lie).  In short: I’m a nerd.
         So I don’t want you to think that I just picked my ten favorite movies.  I took a lot of different factors into account, and yes, a couple of my favs ended up on the list, but that wasn’t the final authority.  There was a rigorous process involved in whittling down my first list of 30-something movies that I thought were quality nominees.  I almost blacked-out while trying to decide which movie would be number ten, and it was so hard that I ended up just choosing two number 9’s instead.  It was rough on me, okay?  So cut me some slack if your favorite movie didn’t make the cut.  So, without further adieu….

10.  Once (2006)

            This is the one movie on my top 10 ½ that I can pretty much guarantee that everyone will like.  Let’s see…great, heartfelt music?  Check.  Non-gratuitous love story?  Check.   Authentic human emotion played out through a realistic plot?  Check.  If you can’t appreciate those things in a movie, then go read another blog (seriously, leave).  The basic plot: two musicians meet in Dublin and begin writing and recording music together; love story ensues.  There are so many things I could praise about this movie, i.e. great acting and on-screen chemistry from the leads who aren’t even actors, the outstanding music that is wonderfully-woven into the film in a natural way, and a love story that is incredibly realistic and works on so many levels because of that.  Some people may be off-put by the home-video look, but for me it just added to the realistic (third time I’ve used the word “realistic” in this review—there’s four) nature of the film.  Not only is this one of the best 10 ½ movies of the decade, but it’s gotta be near the top in the feel-good department.  Do yourself a favor and go to blockbuster—actually, scratch that, just go to Target and buy it right now, I promise you won’t regret it—plop down on the couch with your significant other and let the movie do it’s magic.  Did I mention how realistic it is?

-Oh, and while we’re at it: top-5 musicals of the decade:

1.  Once (by default)
2.  Sweeney Todd
3.  Enchanted
4.  Chicago
5.  Walk the Line (Does this count?  I say yes.)
734. High School Musical