2004. Quietly amazing year. I mean, yes, I’m partial to most of the years of the 2000s just because they were my teenage years and that’s when I was most impressionable. So I made the strongest connections to movies during these years. That said, there are some really awesome movies this year.
Part of the top ten list is a very consensus set of movies. But I guarantee there’s at least one almost no one’s heard of or would think to put on their list, one that is very specific to me that most people probably won’t agree with, and a third that I don’t think enough people get that most people wouldn’t have anywhere near their list. But that’s what makes my lists unique. You get my favorites, and not what everyone else would put.
Wouldn’t it be crazy, though, if my #1 movie was Welcome to Mooseport? Don’t laugh, I considered it. (more…)
Love me some 2003. This is the 2000s sweet spot for me, where I was really all in on movies and really understood everything I was watching, who was making them, and really felt fully aware for the first time.
This is an interesting list in that it’s got not one, not two, but three Christmas movies on it. It’s got one franchise that ends, one that begins, and part of a two-parter in it. It’s a very outlier kind of list. It’s hard enough to get a single Christmas movie, but three? In the same year? That’s nuts.
There’s also some really cool stuff in the lower tiers as well. A lot of hidden gems that I feel like not enough people go back to or never saw in the first place. It’s a good year. (more…)
This is one of my favorite years of this decade. This is quite possibly my strongest top ten list of the 2000s. I’m not gonna go so far as the proclaim it the strongest year of the decade (that’s probably 2007), but I think this is arguably the strongest of the top ten lists. Every movie on it is great.
What’s great to me about it is that almost all of it (save one) is something I saw right as it came out and loved from the jump. I always appreciate those lists, because it means I’ve lived with the films more and have a certain closeness to them that I don’t necessarily have with something I only came to later on.
What’s also great about this list — here are the directors in the top ten: Spike Lee, Spike Jonze, Doug Liman, Steven Spielberg (twice), Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, Roman Polanski, Paul Thomas Anderson and Sam Mendes. Not bad company, right? That’s why I think this might be the strongest list of the decade. (more…)
2001 is the turning point in my life when it comes to movies. It was the year I stopped regularly going to the movies and instead started branching out on my film education, and watching all those big early movies that every film person watches in the early days. It’s also the year I got into the Oscars in full. So for me, that stuff will always be the big takeaway from this year over any of the films.
Though I will say, there’s some great stuff that happened this year. What’s interesting to me is how the list is bisected between stuff I saw that year and loved immediately versus stuff I saw years later that became my favorites. What’s also interesting is that there are the starts of three franchises on this list, plus another that’s a kind of institution in its own right.
This is also one of the final years with what I call the ‘films of my childhood’, which is a lot of stuff that I remember very well from that age that defines my taste as a kid before I truly got into movies. So for that, I’ll always have an affinity for this year. (more…)
2000 is probably the height of my pre-teen movie-going years. I would say that I was probably at a movie theater with my friends almost every single week that year. I can go back and look at the release calendar and go, “Saw that, saw that, saw that, saw that.” And anything I didn’t see in a theater, I probably saw from my family’s wonderful “hot box” (which, for those young folks reading this, is slang term for illegal cable hookup that got you all the Pay Per View channels. Which… for you young folks reading this, is basically what would become On Demand on cable, only there were like five Pay Per View movie channels and they all played the same movie on a loop every single day for a few weeks until a new movie showed up).
I saw so many things from this year at age 11/12 that I probably shouldn’t have. But because of that, there’s a lot of stuff that has since stuck with me and become some of my favorite movies because of it. I can’t really gauge just how strong or weak a year this is for cinema, because there’s that whole “I was in middle school and almost all of it is now permanently engrained in my head as being a great time” thing.
But there is not a single movie in this Top Ten that I don’t love, and there’s a lot great stuff below too. So I think this is one of the stronger years of this decade. (more…)
Oscar season is almost upon us, folks. This is our first prep article. Your summer reading list, if you will.
We’ll go over the Foreign Language Film eligibles in a few weeks, but for now, we’ve got the list of submissions for Best Animated Feature. There are 32 of them this year (a record).
I haven’t really noticed a glut of animated films this year, so it’ll be interesting to see what there is to eventually lose to Frozen or Toy Story. They broke the dam on nominating an anime last year, so perhaps another one of those is in store. But the first step is seeing what’s eligible. So that’s what we’re gonna do today.
Here are the 32 eligible films for Best Animated Feature: (more…)
Second batch of reviews for 2019. This will cover everything I watched between May and August.
I feel like I’ve watched a lot less in this portion of the year than I have in years past. I’ve even straight up got about 15 movies sitting on my desktop, waiting to be watched, that normally I’d have made sure I watched specifically for this article. But this year, watching movies has been secondary to me to watching other stuff and writing. I’ve routinely not watched anything for 2-3 weeks and let stuff pile up. Though at this point, I’m just watching what I watch and that’s that. Though I think less movies came out this year than last year. I’m not gonna go look, but that’s what it feels like.
I’ve also been doing my best to get the last of the Top Ten lists done, gearing up for next year, which — next year is balls to the wall content. Til then, you’re just gonna have to make due til Thanksgiving. It’ll be worth it.
Here’s all the stuff I saw between May and now: (more…)