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A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2009 – Avatar

I don’t even think there’s a question about this one.

It’s the highest-grossing film of all time, was the event film of 2009, and was the biggest thing in the country that everybody was talking about for a good two montsh. It’s the only choice.

To the point where, I don’t really know what else there is to say about it.

But I’ll figure something out. Read the rest of this page »

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A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2008 – The Dark Knight

2008 actually has some choices. You can legitimately go Iron Man here.

But I was around for this time. And in my experience, having lived that summer, Iron Man was a great thing… until The Dark Knight came out.

This movie absolutely, 100% defined 2008. There’s no question about it. I’m going to document what happened and how it happened in a second, but trust me when I say – no movie captured the American public, the American culture, and Hollywood, the way this one did.

It’s this movie, and everything else is playing for second. That’s 2008. Read the rest of this page »

A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2007 – There Will Be Blood

I knew this one when it happened. No Country for Old Men got all the acclaim and all of the Oscars, but There Will Be Blood felt more like the film that was going to stand the test of time.

2007 is a tough year for a list like this, because a lot of the major movies are all sequels and franchises. The highest grossing movies of the year were At World’s End, Order of the Phoenix and Spider-Man 3. Transformers was there, but let’s be serious. That didn’t define the year. Only if you’re the MTV Movie Awards did that define the year.

300 was intriguing, but that really was only big for a few months. It was popular, but didn’t define the movie year that was 2007.

Juno was an example that I almost went with, but I don’t think that defined the year at all. It just was a movie that, like 300, became a part of the culture for a little while. Superbad – ehh, not so much. There’s really nothing that jumps out at you.

So I split the difference and went, like I did with 2006, with the film that felt like it was gonna be the one that was remembered best from the year.

Read the rest of this page »

A Pictorial History of the Movies: 2006 – Children of Men

2006 is by far one of the weakest years for the purposes of this list. Nothing defined it.

The top ten movies were: Dead Man’s Chest, Night a the Museum, Cars, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Da Vinci Code, Superman Returns, Happy Feet, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Casino Royale and The Pursuit of Happyness.

Of all of those, Casino Royale is the only one that can make a case for it. Because it rebooted Bond and was a great movie that gave a hurting franchise new life. But did it define 2006? Maybe on a later list, but for the first one? I can’t call that a slam dunk.

Then you look at all the other movies that came out this year. Here’s what I have that can remotely be considered a choice: Borat, Children of Men, The Departed, (I’d say An Inconvenient Truth, but that would be way too cynical a choice. Plus I hate documentaries and it’s not even a good choice) Little Miss Sunshine, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Snakes on a Plane. (And the only reason that’s there is for the joke.) There are a few more I’d like to consider (like, say, Idiocracy), but I can’t in good conscience consider them choices right now. Maybe in fifteen years. But now, I can’t. Not enough time has passed.

2006 was not a very good year for definable films. And we’re not even a decade out, so it’s hard to even gauge the time factor. So, when that’s the case, just choose the one you think is going to hold up as the best achievement in film from that year. And to me, that movie is Children of Men. Read the rest of this page »

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