Friday, May 25, 2012

The Year in Paul: 2000

What I’ve Seen

Almost Famous
American Psycho
Battle Royale
Best in Show
Chicken Run
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Dungeons & Dragons
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Miss Congeniality
Mission: Impossible II
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Pitch Black
Remember the Titans
Requiem for a Dream
Rugrats in Paris
Scary Movie
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
The Emperor’s New Groove
The Endurance
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
Titan A.E.
29 Total

The Best of What I’ve Seen

Note: For this year I've watched something since writing that's forced me to go back and add it. But I'm going to keep what I've originally wrote as well--maybe eventually I'll actually have a top 10.

6. Best in Show—My second favorite (after, of course, Spinal Tap) of Baron Christopher Guest’s mockumentary pentology. The world of dog shows has always held a bizarre fascination to me, and Guest accomplishes a very satisfying skewering/comedic examination of it here. Also has probably my favorite Parker Posey role as the neurotic suburbanite looking for the Busy Bee.

5. Traffic--Steven Soderbergh's complex interwoven film about the American war on drugs serves as a sort of stylistic antecedent to a number of films that came after it (Babel, Crash, and Syriana all being obvious examples, the last of which was directed by one of Traffic's screenwriters), but is superior to all of them. Soderbergh's vision is much more nimbly directed and thematically elegant, telling a compelling story with a clear thesis that also doesn't beat you over the head with its message.

4. Titan A.E. (Top 100)—Don Bluth’s criminally underseen/underrated space opera has a few problems (the use of CGI, which gave the film a unique look at the time, has gotten very dated very quickly), but it’s still a tremendously rousing adventure and is probably, minute-for-minute, my favorite cinematic space opera. Of course, there is a rather unfortunate lack of minutes.

3. Gladiator (Top 100)—Historical accuracy be damned, Ridley Scott’s epic reinvigoration of the so-called “sword and sandal” genre is a compelling and surprisingly emotionally hefty film. The pinnacle of the career of both Scott and Russell Crowe, the movie’s success both creatively and financially is especially surprising if one reads about the troubled production history, which involved the firing of the original screenwriter halfway through.

2. Mememento (Top 100)—Not technically Christopher Nolan’s first feature film (that would be the little-seen, including by me, Following), but this is the one that put him on the map. The intelligence, ambition, and sheer skill that went into making this backwards movie is staggering, and makes Nolan’s success over the past decade unsurprising. While not my favorite movie ever (or even of 2000), Memento is a technically perfect film.

1. The Emperor’s New Groove (Top 10)—What can I say? I love this movie. There are even times when, if you asked me and I was in a particular mood, I might even say it’s my favorite movie of all time. It’s hilarious (even on an umpteenth viewing), charming, nicely animated in its own way, but above all its just fun. And that’s that.

What I Haven’t Seen

28 Days
Bring it On
Amores Perros
Cast Away
Charlie’s Angels
Dancer in the Dark
Erin Brokovich
Finding Forrester
Me, Myself & Irene
Meet the Parents
The Road to El Dorado
Rules of Engagement

Considering I've seen a relatively small number of 2000 films (29 isn't a ton), the fact that there are so few that I consider relevant from the year left is surprising. And even some of these are a little bit of a stretch (is Bring it On culturally relevant today? Maybe). Not a very deep roster.

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