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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Best Movies of the Zeros

The Zeros being 2000-2009. Interesting, isn't it, that 2000 was part of the 20th century and part of the first decade of the 21st century? But there you have it.

Anyway, I went through a list of movies that came out in the Zeros, and came up with 40 of them that I thought were really excellent. Interestingly, none of them are from 2009. Anyway, here they are, with brief comments where applicable.

  1. 16 Blocks (2006)
    Bruce Willis was magnificent in this. He usually plays more or less the same guy. Cocky and brash. He doesn't here. Trust me and watch this one.
  2. 28 Days (2000)
    Sandra Bullock is great to watch in general (despite some of the really horrible movies she's gotten involved with, but this is one of her better ones. I'm a sucker for redemptive storylines, where the main character starts out as a lost cause and has to work their way out of it.
  3. Bring It On (2000)
    Eliza Dushku as a cheerleader. Okay, it's more than that, but that was probably what got me to watch this in the first place. It's a fun movie. Nothing deep, but lots of fun.
  4. Coyote Ugly (2000)
    There are lots of movies about someone coming to the city to make good, but this one is really, really good. Forget the scantily clad women dancing on top of a bar. That's not what this movie is about. It left me with a warm feeling at the end, and that's always a good thing.
  5. Daredevil (2003)
    I know a lot of people didn't like this, but I thought they did a great job bringing Daredevil to the screen. One of the objections was that it was too dark, but I thought the darkness fit. If you want "too dark", look at the Christian Bale Batman movies.
  6. Donnie Darko (2001)
    Just... I can't say enough good about this movie. It's thought provoking and melancholy and truly odd. I never get tired of watching it, and the version of Mad World at the end is beyond wonderful.
  7. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)
    So... should I have counted this? After all, it wasn't a theatrical release, nor even a TV show. It aired for free on the web. But the story, the singing, the sheer talent in this one would have it near the top of this list if I were ranking them.
  8. Enchanted (2007)
    Aw... it was so sweet. Maybe a little saccharine in places, but it was a nice happily ever after story. Disney princess stuff for grownups.
  9. Equilibrium (2002)
    Do you remember Logan's Run? This is the same kind of dystopia where one of the enforcers rebels against the system. And the shooting makes The Matrix look dull by comparison.
  10. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
    Okay... guilty secret. This movie was the first (only, actually) time in my life that I've actually had a crush on an animated character. Dr. Aki Ross was amazing. The story was good, but not great, but the movie as a whole was so well done, and the animation was almost lifelike. I mean, it was lifelike enough for me to crush on a drawing.
  11. Finding Forrester (2000)
    I like movies like this, where hidden talents are nurtured. It's a little like Akeela and the Bee and other movies of that genre, but Sean Connery is phenomenal in it.
  12. Frequency (2000)
    Very cool time-bending movie. My little sister recommended this one to me, and boy was she right.
  13. Hard Candy (2006)
    This one isn't for kids. I admit that I have a weakness for revenge flicks. Eye for an Eye, Enough, The Brave One, etc., but this one is the best. Ellen Page's character is so over the top, straddling the fence between brilliance and madness. Forget Juno. This is what she should be known for.
  14. High School Musical (2006)
    If you haven't seen this because you think it's a dumb Disney kids movie, you're cheating yourself. It's one of the better musicals that's come out in years. The story is good, the acting is good, the singing and dancing is spectacular. Skip the sequels, but watch this one. You'll be glad you did.
  15. I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)
    This is a nice romantic comedy, which unfortunately was never released in the US. I don't know why. Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd were wonderful in it.
  16. Ice Princess (2005)
    This could have been the typical fish out of water story, with a mathlete turning figure skater, but it's a lot deeper than that. This was also the first place I saw Hayden Panettiere, and I was impressed with the way in which her character turned out not to be the cliche I thought she would be.
  17. Identity (2003)
    I don't like scary slasher flicks. No, I mean I really don't like them. But this is more of a psychological rollercoaster, in more ways than one. Yes, I only saw it because John Cusack was in it, but I'm so glad that I did. It was really, really well done, and I totally didn't see the ending coming.
  18. Imagine Me & You (2005)
    Girl meets boy. Girl and boy get engaged. Girl falls for florist (also girl) working on the wedding. Plus, it's Piper Perabo and Lena Heady.
  19. Iron Man (2008)
    This was hilarious. I mean, if DC could figure out how to make superhero movies with a sense of humor, they might actually have a successful one. Batman is gloomy. They even managed to make Superman gloomy. Meanwhile, Marvel is giving us smart, fun movies like Iron Man and Spiderman. Even Daredevil, which got criticized for being "too dark" had humor in it. But so far, Iron Man is the best. Downey's Tony Stark is such a charming ass.
  20. Keep Not Silent (2004)
    This is a documentary about Orthodox Jewish lesbians in Israel. I knew most of the women in the movie, and almost got involved in it myself. I probably would have if I hadn't left Israel around the time Ilil Alexander starting working on it. It's much better than Trembling Before G-d, in my opinion.
  21. Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003) Volume 2 (2004)
    I'm counting this as a single movie. Tarentino is brilliant, but this was just a non-stop rollercoaster of awesome.
  22. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
    It was almost a remake of War of the Roses , but it didn't degenerate into the pointless viciousness of that piece of dreck. This was fun. You may have noticed that I'm big on fun movies. I'll forgive a lot in the way of plot and acting if it puts a smile on my face. In this case, there was nothing to forgive.
  23. Paycheck (2003)
    I hadn't realized that this was a Phillip K. Dick adaptation. It was just so brilliant. How do you leave clues for yourself if you know you're going to forget something really important? Tattooing yourself Momento-style won't work. This one has it all, action, mystery and brains.
  24. Peter Pan (2003)
    This might have been at the very top of the list had I been ranking these. God, what a fabulous movie. This is Peter Pan for the ages. Forget the Disney movie; this is as near to perfect as a movie gets.
  25. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
    Ah, Johnny Depp. People talk about DeNiro and Streep being great actors, but they always play DeNiro and Streep playing this or that character. Depp becomes the character, and he's always someone different. Captain Jack Sparrow is probably his best character ever.
  26. Ratatouille (2007)
    This is a great movie. Not a great animated movie, but a great movie. It's about going for your dreams, regardless of adversity.
  27. Serendipity (2001)
    I love romantic comedies. I love John Cusack. And Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous. That said, this is probably my favorite romantic comedy after While You Were Sleeping.
  28. Serenity (2005)
    If you haven't watched Firefly, you're making the mistake of your life. Go. Now. Get the complete season (Evil Fox Executives didn't let it have a second season) and watch it. You'll thank me. You'll thank me a lot. And then watch Serenity, which pretty much concludes the arc of the show. There's also a three issue comic book miniseries which takes place between them which is canon and worth reading. It's like another episode.
  29. Spiderman (2002)
    Look up at what I said about Iron Man. Same thing here; just Iron Man was better.
  30. Stick It (2006)
    Missy Peregrym. Wow. The gymnastics were phenomenal, and her attitude was even better.
  31. The 10th Kingdom (2000)
    This is a 417 minutes miniseries. That's just shy of seven hours. They were some of the best 7 hours I've ever spent. Everyone is fantastic in this, even the bad guys. Scott Cohen is the best Big Bad Wolf ever. Sorry, Bigby, but Scott beats you silly.
  32. The 51st State (2001)
    I saw a preview for this under the title Formula 51. It looked marvelous from the trailer, and the movie was even better. The L. in Samuel L. Jackson stands for Awesome.
  33. The Family Man (2000)
    This movie broke my heart. There was comedy in it, yes, but it was a brilliant "what if" story. Cage was brilliant, and so was Tea Leoni. And even more so was the little girl who played their daughter. God, writing about this movie makes me want to go and watch it again.
  34. The Incredibles (2004)
    I waited a long time for this movie. There was talk about it on Ain't It Cool News for quite a while before the movie came out. I think I saw a trailer a year before the release. That's a lot of hype. That's really hard to live up to. But The Incredibles not only lived up to the hype; it surpassed it.
  35. The Island (2005)
    It's a cool premise. People being raised on an island with no knowledge of the outside world. I can't tell you much more without spoiling it for you. But it's good.
  36. The Kid (2000)
    Another cool premise. A guy gets to meet the kid he used to be. A kid he's tried his whole life to get away from.
  37. The Prince and Me (2004)
    I wouldn't have thought I'd like this. I only watched it because Julia Stiles was in it and I'd been impressed with her in something else (which slips my mind at the moment). But it's not as formulaic as you'd think.
  38. The Recruit (2003)
    Man, Al Pacino is in fine form here. He is so over-the-top nuts, but that's his thing. His scenery-chewing is wonderful, and Colin Farrell is almost as amazing in this.
  39. The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
    Two words: Hi. Larious. If you've read Nelson DeMille's Gold Coast, this is a similar premise. A mob guy moves in next door to a regular guy. Hilarity ensues. But Matthew Perry is so good as the nervous dentist who gets in over his head. And Bruce Willis is as pleasant and dangerous as you might expect from a contract killer. Don't waste your time on the sequel, but this one is definitely worth watching.
  40. Unbreakable (2000)
    And finally, the movie that should have been a trilogy. The best of Shyamalan's movies, in my opinion. Once again, Willis is great, and I've already mentioned what I think of Samuel Jackson.

So that's pretty much it. The 40 best movies of 2000-2009.

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Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...

Paycheck was good, as were a few others you mentioned. However, I didn't see a lot of movies during this time period.

Still, I must protest that "Sin City" did not make your list.

As a comic enthusiast, what did you think of the XMen films?

1:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I haven't seen Sin City. I thought the X-Men flicks were okay, except for X3. Marvel does movies so much better than DC, which is ironic, because DC's comics are a billion times better.

1:17 PM  

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