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|100 Favorite Movies, 2000-2009: Mike Schulz|
|Movies - Feature Stories|
|Written by Mike Schulz|
|Monday, 04 January 2010 06:00|
After telling friends and family members that, for 2010's first issue of the Reader, I'd be compiling a list of my 100 favorite movies from the last 10 years and ranking them in preferential order, a few of them asked me, "So how do you do that?"
It was simple, really. First, I gathered titles from my DVD cabinet, my reviews since January of 2000, and the past nine years' worth of Oscar nominees, and winnowed that list of 130-ish down to 100 movies I could/can happily watch over and over again. Then I broke those 100 titles down into separate lists of 10, starting with the movies I'd ditch if composing a "desert island" list of absolute favorites; the first 10 to be excised would consequently be ranked 91 - 100, the second 10 would be ranked 81 - 90, and so on. Then I broke those down, deciding which title would be the first to go from each individual list of 10, and voilà! Instant Top 100!
Hey, it was the holidays. I had a lot of free time on my hands.
So what did I learn from the experiment?
Well, I apparently don't have much repeat-viewing use for effects-heavy blockbusters once their big-screen thrill has worn off; despite my adoration for them, none of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films made the list, nor did such deserving possibilities as X2: X-Men United or the first two Spider-Mans. (I continue to doff my cap, though, to entries 17, 64, 86, and 97.) And despite outstanding offerings by Nick Park, Hayao Miyazaki, the geniuses at Pixar, and others, fewer animated movies made the cut than I initially expected. (I've only included five here, although all of them cracked the top 50, and two landed in the top 13.)
I obviously continue to be knocked out by first-rate documentaries, with 12 of them making the line-up - 13, if you count the nonfiction/fiction hybrid at #27 - and am deeply embarrassed by the paucity of foreign-language titles, with all of two - ranked at numbers 39 and 89 - on the list. (My sad excuse for their lack of repeat-viewing appeal? Like many, I'll oftentimes re-watch DVDs with only half an eye while paying bills or housecleaning or whatever, activities that don't much allow for the reading of subtitles.)
My favorite filmmakers of the nineties, the Coen brothers, were also my favorite filmmakers of the aughts, with five of their works - including their most recent three - landing on the top 100. Beyond the Coens, directors with multiple titles on the list include Christopher Nolan and Gus Van Sant with three each, and Robert Altman, Wes Anderson, Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood, Stephen Frears, Christopher Guest, Spike Jonze, David Lynch, Bryan Singer, Andrew Stanton, and Quentin Tarantino with two. (As a lifelong Woody Allen devotee, it was with regret that I didn't find room for any of the prolific auteur's 10 titles from 2000 - 2009. Though, dishearteningly, not much regret.)
I learned - or rather, was reminded - that you should never take critics' first impressions as their final words on a subject; after subsequent DVD viewings, three of the included titles (at rankings 36, 40, and 67) were movies I didn't care for the first time around. I was reminded how some films that you initially like (numbers 23, 31, 45... ) can, over time, morph into films that you love. I was reminded of the unapologetic joy that can sometimes come from a really, really, really bad movie. (Thank you Tommy Wiseau for inclusion #100!)
And I was reminded that no matter how thorough your planning, there's always going to be a title you just plum forgot about. (Damn it!, I thought when scanning my editor Jeff Ignatius' own top-100 list, how did I miss The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada?!?")
I hereby submit my favorites of the last 10 years for your perusal and mockery... with titles and rankings subject to change within minutes of publication.
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