Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is the defining movie of the 2000s? PART 1: 2000

The other week the Sports Guy (popular sports columinst/pop culture enthusiast on espn.com) wrote an article suggesting Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous could be the defining movie of the 00s (or aughts, or 2000s). Casting aside the debate about when the 2000s began (you're either in the 2000 is the first year of the 21st century camp or in the last year of the 20th century camp) I sat back and thought for a moment. Could a movie based on a fictitious 70s rock band really be the defining moment of the 21st century so far?

Without doing any research whatsoever, that sounds a little silly...



So silly that I think I'm gonna have to call both it and the Sports Guy out on this one. In fact, I've decided to take a look at the decade's releases and come up with the movie of this decade - the one that when people hear the title immediately remember it. A movie that doesn't leave a lot of doubt as to its greatness. Because, for a movie to be considered the defining movie of an era, it needs to be more than simply good. It needs to be more than simply great. It needs to leave its mark and breakout of the niches it may have been originally created for. For a movie to be defining, people who haven't seen it still have to talk about it. In fact, that's probably one of the more important criteria for a defining movie.

Other criteria I'll be using? Who are we kidding? This is completely subjective. Just like the Oscars, when Michael Douglas or Steven Spielberg opens the envelope, doesn't like the answer, and chooses his personal favorite. So why should we even pretend? Let's just say a defining movie is one that when people hear the title, with few exceptions (you know who you are, contrarian hipsters!) people immediately have a positive reaction to, and can quote off the top of the head.

Now, I'm going to go through this year by year starting with 2000 (only to include Almost Famous in the mix). Not only will I call out some potential contenders for the defining movie of the era, but also highlight some films that should have gotten more play - and in some cases less. At the end of the series, I'll compile the list of movies, prune it down and come up with what will obviously be the unanimous choice.

Ready? Let's get started then!

Movie releases:2000

The year 2000 was not so special in film. Best Picture winner? Gladiator.

Personally, I felt Gladiator was a weak film. Very basic story structure with some great performances. But at no time did I ever think Crowe's character, Maximus was ever in danger. Joaquin Phoenix is a capable actor, but his villainy in this movie couldn't hold a candle to the heroic nature of Maximus. The knife scene at the end supports that, because if Maximus hadn't been wounded there, the fight would have been over in seconds. And your hero in a film is only as good as your villain. Think the good Bond movies vs. the bad. Think Die Hard. Think Star Wars.

Still, Gladiator had its moments (the beginning is great, the computer simulation of Rome, the awesome incestuous undertones of the Romans) and my take on the film is certainly in the minority, so I will still list it as a contender. As for the other nominated films of that year...

Chocolat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich
Traffic

A Spanish movie about chocolate? No. I can't imagine anyone even remembers this was even made. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a nice little film that rode some positive reviews, but when all is said and done is pretty much a kung fu movie you can take a date to; Erin Brockovich got a lot of buzz for putting Julia Roberts in a push up bra and a leather skirt, but didn't do much else.

Which leaves Traffic.



Based on a British miniseries of the same name but different spelling (Traffik), Steven Soderbergh's Traffic went against the conventional Hollywood grain and created an intersecting world drugs and their effects on different parts of society. Never preachy, the three main plots of the story lightly touch on one another to create ripples that are felt throughout the film.

An important film that shows how the war on drugs might be misguided (and certainly ineffective) it definitely earns a spot as a defining movie. It definitely has the technical aspects as well as the subject matter to make it important. It was also successful, which means a lot of people saw it.



So now let's take a look at the films that weren't nominated for best picture. Because let's be honest, the Academy might think they know everything, but they don't.

Almost Famous



Before I get into it, I have to first admit, I've never seen Almost Famous. Not because I didn't want to or hate Cameron Crowe. Quite the contrary. I think he's a great writer/director and like most of his work (no thank you Vanilla Sky). No, Almost Famous is just one of those movies everyone has on their mental list for whatever reason. Maybe it's too long; maybe it's that you never think you're in the right mood to watch it; maybe there's always something better on; whatever the reason, we all have that list of movies we should have seen but haven't.

But just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered. Obviously a personal and somewhat autobiographical film for it's creator, Cameron Crowe, the movie follows a teenaged journalist as he gets the scoop of a lifetime; detail the exploits of the rock band Stillwater (a enormously successful band that has been compared to Led Zeppelin).

This is the immediate problem I have with this film. The premise is hard to buy. I'm sure it goes into detail about how this kid ends up getting such a plum gig, and I know the 70s were a different time, but still. It's hard for me to take a movie too seriously when the plot begins with such an unbelievable twist.

I'm sure the writing is superb and the acting is great in Almost Famous, but I still have my reservations. But let's keep it on the short list, in deference to the Sports Guy.

Other movies I think are possible candidates...

Cast Away

Cast Away showed off Hanks' range not only in commanding the screen for most of the movie solo, but also for his weight loss to portray a "cast away" stranded on an island for roughly 4 years. The film also gave us the character of Wilson, a volleyball Hanks played off the entire time on the island, giving him a foil (obviously uncommunicative) to act against. Hanks did an excellent job gradually make Wilson transform from volleyball object into character you care about.

I also suspect Cast Away's success paved the road for ABC's Lost. If not directly, at least sub consciously. Both plane crashes have a lot of eerie parallels.

After those 4 titles, the list drops off a cliff. Here's a few movies I thought about including before I took my medication and rejoined the land of the sane...

Bring it On
Though not the movie that kicked off dance craze cinema, definitely a movie enjoyed by both genders and holds up to repeat viewing.

American Psycho
People certainly love to quote it (I doubt they're referring to the book when they do) and I can't get a business card without thinking about it. Might be a little too niche (and also gory, can't leave that out) to be considered a defining movie. Perhaps we can call it the defining movie of the 80s as made in the 2000s.

Dude Where's My Car?
Don't laugh, this turned Ashton Kucher into a star which led him to marrying Demi Moore, which led us to the term "cougar" which probably led us to Bravo's Real Housewives series which will undoubtedly lead us all to Hell. At this point, I think we all deserve to be in Hell though, so...

Scary Movie
Spoof films certainly weren't created in this year, but the speed in which they spoof and go for the plastic joke may have been.

Shaft (2000)
Ok, this one can't be justified. I included it to remind myself of it's existence. Please just rent the original. I beg you. This remake completely neutered the character and eliminated the racial subtext. That Shaft would ever consider being a cop is just silliness.

Gone in 60 Seconds
Again, a movie you'd think has no business making the list until you think about it. I like to consider this movie the third and final installment in the Cage Trilogy (The Rock, Con Air being the first 2): 3 movies that have no business working save for one constant...Nicholas Cage.

Tell me, how can you not like Gone in 60 Seconds after watching this scene?



It is by far my favorite part of the movie. Why? Because everything, and I mean everything is so completely over the top, you can't rationally watch it even if you want; you have to go along for the ride. And at the end there, when Timothy Olyphant utters the best line in the history of movies, "Man that guy can drive!" completely unironically, after watching him simply drive fast in a straight line...I mean, there are no words. In the previous chase up to that point, we've seen Cage drive backwards, avoid every known vehicle on busy streets and elude eleventy thousand cops; yet Olyphant's character chooses to say the line after he sees him drive away fast.

But ok, enough about Gone in 60 Seconds. I could probably write 10,000 words about this masterpiece, but I won't torture you any longer. (I could probably write 10,000 words on this chase alone - I haven't even brought up the awesome bridge jump and propane tank incident). And I can't in good faith put it up there as the defining movie of the 2000s (I'm sure TBS will be crushed - it would have been a new title card they could have used to introduce the movie 18 times this weekend). So let's recap what we have from 2000:

Almost Famous
Cast Away
Gladiator
Traffic

So, what did I miss? What did I include that was stupid? I'm certainly open to any suggestions. Leave any feedback in the comments below.

Up next: 2001 (obviously).

68 comments:

Mel said...

I would include for contention from this year O Brother, Where Art Thou? which helped establish George Clooney as a real movie star capable of branching out into artier fare. Plus, it's got one of the coolest soundtracks of the decade.

amelish said...

I second that emotion!

1. Depression-era, a harbinger of our own troubled economic times. Makes the decade appear to come full circle.

2. Folk soundtrack: the real folk music, American Roots, not Dar Williams or whatever. Introduced (or renewed interest in?) people my age (mid-20s now) to bluegrass.

3. First film to feature digitally altered cinematography (mainly desaturation and toning down the greens).

4. Despite the color shifts, it gives the impression of being visually... embellished. I can't think of a better word, just that much of the film looks like a pantomime or a stage set. It's exaggeratedly theatrical in the indoor scenes and full of stylized movement in the outdoor scenes, like the women in the water, the singers walking down to the river [to pray], and the chain gang swinging picks in unison. Inside scenes, mostly of conversation, performance, and conversation and performance in each other, are chaotic. I bring this up to try and show that it's a complete work of art (gesamtkunstwerk) because every detail fits somewhere on purpose.

5. As Mel said, it was George Clooney's first big film as a serious actor, marking a change in the direction of his career. George Clooney I think represents a number of different sides of positively received films of the 2000s, having acted in silly movies (Spy Kids, Oceans etc) and self-important ones (Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana) alike.

5. It's both uplifting and profoundly depressing to know that the decade that gave us White Chicks began with a film adaptation of the Odyssey, which was based on a scene (in another movie) about adapting the Odyssey.

Awesome idea! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

Anonymous said...

What you included that was stupid:

1. Chocolat is not a Spanish film, it's a US production.

2. The storyline of "Almost Famous" was too far-fetched and unbelievable for you? Well, too bad, considering it's strongly bibliographical, so even if it is somewhat dramatized, the basics of the story are given by Cameron Crowe's teenage reporter years...

Research doesn't seem to be a strong point here, too bad, because this series looked interesting.

As for "O Brother Where Art Though", fine film, with some impressive outcomes (revival of old time bluegrass and hilbilly music), but it probably is too weird and appealing to a cult audience to be a representative film of a decade. If the Coens managed one, that would probably have to be "The Big Lebowski" (which is also weird and for a cult audience, but somehow became a true classic) for the 1990s. Oh, and I thought Clooney's first big film as a serious actor was "Out Of Sight".

Anonymous said...

Memento. In the Mood for Love. Wonder Boys. Requiem for a Dream. Dancer in the Dark. Battle Royale.

ERIC72 said...

BILLY ELLIOTT and CHICKEN RUN !!!

Maybe HIGH FIDELITY and KEEPING THE FAITH.

Or THIRTEEN DAYS and YOU CAN COUNT ON ME!

Anonymous said...

1. Memento
2. Requiem for a dream
3. Snatch
4. Amores perros

Come on ! At least, Memento, requiem for a dream and Snatch should be there...

and with your selection, I just agree with Traffic. the other 3 are OK but deffintely not great...

Rahul said...

I can't believe no Memento and Battle Royale.. OMG!! :(

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous, definitely Amores Perros but if you only count US production then cult classics Memonto & Requiem for a Dream is pretty hard to beat even say for this decade!

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me. Your reason for not seeing Almost Famous is totally insane. "Have you seen United 93 yet?" "No, I could never see a movie with such a ridiculous plot. Same goes for Schindler's List, and Glory. Just too ridiculous." But of course you love Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings. All totally possible.

Ravenous said...

Other films that also impressed me in 2000 were:
Wonder Boys
High Fidelity
Snatch
Chicken Run
Memento
X-Men

Rigo Torres said...

I watch 'Almost Famous' at least 3 times a year - It just happens to be my favourite movie of All-Time. Memento not being include is a MAJOR oversight!!!! High Fidelity is a GREAT film too!!!

Enrico said...

Why would you waste your time (and the readers') creating an article where the only purpose is to prove that there were films in the 00's that were better than Almost Famous, a movie you haven't seen. You are correct, there are many better films, and many better films than the ones that you listed. However, you shouldn't disrespect your audience by not viewing the movie that you are slamming. What you did is analogous to saying that your girlfriend is better in bed than Paris Hilton because you heard that she didn't put out so well in her "personal" tape, but you haven't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

I think some people in the comments are confusing "defining" with "best". One could argue that Red Dawn was the defining film of the 1980's; one would have a significantly more difficult time arguing it was the best film of that decade. There's a big difference. But even with these guidelines and only including English-language productions I still think Memento deserves a mention. Its innovative, its IMDB rating proves its been accepted by movie-fans and it launched Chris Nolan's career, which would lead to The Dark Knight (a movie which could be the defining film of the decade).

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most poorly written articles about film that I have ever read. Chocolat is not Spanish and it was excellent. "No, Almost Famous is just one of those movies everyone has on their mental list for whatever reason."??? Speak for yourself dummy.

Anonymous said...

Stopped reading at a Spanish movie about chocolat...

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hated TRAFFIC & would not include it on any list. You dismiss CHOCOLAT -- but it was an excellent movie. It was filmed in England and France by a Swedish director, so I am not sure why you call it Spanish.

I say the best two movies of the year were OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOUGH and ALMOST FAMOUS.

Anonymous said...

O Brother is "too weird?" It was a weird decade!

Christopher said...

Um, what about "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"?

George said...

Before finishing this list, you MUST watch Almost Famous. Preferably the Director's Cut (called "Untitled"). The kid doesn't get a "scoop of a lifetime". He writes for an underground rock paper and someone at Rolling Stone reads his stuff, gives him a call and hires him. William (the kid) acts older on the phone, never says his age, and that's how it works. Don't worry, didn't spoil anything.

But yes, you MUST see it before culling down the list.

sam said...

Memento and Snatch are both great movies. They might not be the defining movies (thought they should be) because not a lot of people have seen either movie. I think X-Men should make the list because it was such a defining movie. It made the superhero movie genre popular again and superhero movies have defined the 2000s as a whole. Oh and High Fidelity is a classic.

Anonymous said...

It seems most comments are coming from people that found this article through IMDB this morning, like me. Well, if you're all on IMDB already, you might realize that the reason Memento isn't mentioned is because this guy's using the Oscars as a jump off, and Memento was nominated in 2001. So that said, it should be in his next entry, as it is one of the 10 best films this decade.

Which brings me to my next point: f*ck the Best Picture nominees. Everyone knows the best films each year get a Screenplay nod, and not much else.

I agree with Traffic. I think the writer criminally underrates the beauty of Crouching Tiger, the best film of that year. I agree with everyone who said O Brother, Requiem for a Dream, You Can Count on Me, and High Fidelity - one of my 10 favorite films. All of these are top 10 contenders for 2000, as is Almost Famous. Gladiator is a joke winner, pretty good at best. It was a lifetime award for Ridley Scott, and an oops Russell Crowe should have won for The Insider actor award.

I also suggest Best In Show, easily one of the best comedies of the 2000s.

saint said...

"a Spanish movie about chocolate" WTF???!!! Total lack of knowledge.

This and not including/even mentioning SNATCH and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is simply unexceptable for me.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I don't usually post but....wow! First of all, they are right. A list like this has to include "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" for the soundtrack alone...not to mention the Coen Brothers, Clooney, Holly Hunter. Second, how can you even write a list like this if you haven't seen Almost Famous. I don't mean to flame but you have to question the merits of someone who sits down to write about movies after having seen Gone in 60 Seconds, Shaft, and Bring it On but has never seen Almost Famous. The "unbelievable" plot twist in that movie actually happened. When Cameron Crowe was in High School he really did get a job following Rock Stars around (Zeppelin, The Allman Bros.) and writing about it for a magazine.

Anonymous said...

"detail the exploits of the rock band Stillwater (a enormously successful band that has been compared to Led Zeppelin)."

This is the immediate problem I have with this film. The premise is hard to buy. I'm sure it goes into detail about how this kid ends up getting such a plum gig, and I know the 70s were a different time, but still. It's hard for me to take a movie too seriously when the plot begins with such an unbelievable twist.

The minute I read this I stopped reading your article. It isn't the scoop of a lifetime, Stillwater is an UP AND COMING BAND not a huge band (in fact by the end of the movie they make it on rolling stone magazine for the FIRST time, not at the beginning when he starts writing for them), and the way he joins up with the band is 100% believable, I've never once heard a single person until now bash the plot of the movie for being unbelievable (and never someone who has seen the film).

I will never return to Popcorn Trick again because you have revealed your character in this article and it is not the kind I would like to spend time with.

Anonymous said...

X-Men, It paved the way for every comic book franchise (Good and Bad) that has dominated this past decade.

Anonymous said...

Memento
The Patriot
Pollack
Pitch Black
What Lies Beneath
Unbreakable
Billy Elliot
X-men
Wonder Boys
Hollow Man
Best in Show

How could you put "dude Where's my Car?", and "Scary Movie" on this list when these films came out in the same year?

Chad said...

Wow, did a thirteen year old write this article? There have got to be many more interesting articles out there for IMDb to link to than this one.

And I agree with a previous poster: F*ck the Oscars. Their picks rarely represent the best of film.

Which brings me to my last point: WATCH ALMOST FAMOUS. This entire article was a response to a movie you haven't even seen! Stop talking about all the Best Picture nominees and instead talk about the films (which you hopefully have seen) that do indeed deserve more recognition than the Academy gave them.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to agree with most of the posts here. I won't be returning to Popcorn Trick's series on defining films of the 00's. If you're going to take on such a task as nominating a defining film of an entire decade (that isn't over yet), then I suggest you do some basic research. Even if CHOCOLAT WAS a Spanish film, then the title would be spelled incorrectly, as that is how it's spelled IN FRENCH! Its director is Swedish, the female lead is French, and the male lead is American, and the movie takes place in a small French province. ALMOST FAMOUS is ALMOST AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL!!! For goodness sake's, if you like Cameron Crowe so much, that's something you might look into before deeming it's entire premise as "an unbelievable plot twist." It's called basic research, fella.

Anonymous said...

U HAD ME AT TRAFFIC, LOST ME AT GONE IN 60 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You forgot Wonder Boys. And how can you possibly write this without having seen Almost Famous?

But at the end of the day I'd probably go with Traffic.

the Gull said...

Wow! I couldn't disagree with you more on just about everything you wrote. I can't believe they linked this on IMDB.

Amy said...

I have never been here before, and I doubt I will return after reading this article. I read a good portion of this because I was intrigued at the mention of Almost Famous (my favorite movie of all time), and how it can't be considered the defining movie of the 2000's. Well, I got about half way through the article before discovering that you have never even seen the movie! Are you kidding? Do you know how infuriating that was? I would have preferred you just lied about seeing it. I don’t care if you have never seen it in general, but to then write an article about something you have never seen- why would you do that? This reads like someone who doesn't like things that are popular just because they are popular.

"detail the exploits of the rock band Stillwater (a enormously successful band that has been compared to Led Zeppelin).

This is the immediate problem I have with this film. The premise is hard to buy...It's hard for me to take a movie too seriously when the plot begins with such an unbelievable twist."

As everyone else said- Stillwater was not a Led Zeppelin like band. They were up and coming, thus making your entire argument wrong. This is why you shouldn’t critique movies you know nothing about. Almost Famous is amazing and instead of watching Gone in 60 Seconds more than once (or ever)- you should have probably watched the movie you were writing an article about.

Ryan said...

You lost me at Chocolat being "Spanish". Clearly you haven't seen it so how can you comment on it like that?

Anonymous said...

Personally I consider Face/Off to be part of the official Nic Cage action trifecta...not Gone in 60 Seconds.

Anonymous said...

Dismissing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as "a kung fu movie you can take a date to" is incredibly sad and shows a distinct lack of cultural awareness.

Anonymous said...

lol someone actually mentioned hollow man :o)

Andy said...

haha..the writer has been officially owned

Anonymous said...

If you want a better idea of what the critical community views as the best of the 2000s look at the list on www.theyshootpictures.com/21stcentury.htm
There are definately movies being left out in this discussion.
And Crouching Tiger blows away Gladiator. That villian is so one dimensional.

Rio said...

Like so many have already stated, Chocolat isn't a Spanish film. Maybe you were confusing it with Like Water for Chocolate, a Spanish language film from Mexico, that has some similarities with Chocolat but is not at all the same film.

Someone mentioned In the Mood for Love, which is gorgeous movie. Wong Kar Wai made some of his best work during the 2000s (In the Mood for Love, 2046) so In the Mood for Love definitely deserves a mention.

And I especially agree with the above poster about your take on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There was certainly more to that story than Kung Fu.

Interesting premise for an article but lack of basic research isn't doing it any favors.

Repo_man1 said...

Re: Amelish - O Brother... was the "first film to feature digitally altered cinematography".

Wasn't Three Kings, made the year before, the first to use such a technique?

Anonymous said...

this is awful. Are we talking primarily American films? 'cause Crouching Tiger helped bring foreign films to a wider audience for sure and Ang Lee went on to make the catastrophic Hulk and uber-popular Brokeback Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Umm. "Chocolat" is not a Spanish film. The word "chocolat" is a French word, the story takes place in France, and everyone in it has a French name. Were you asleep while watching it?

Anonymous said...

No "Requiem for a Dream"?? Blasphemous.
Oh and I suppose everyone is sleeping on "The Beach". It's probably one of the best movies of that year!!!

Simon Paiva said...

I think that "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was the best movie of that year, it´s Ang Lee at his best, so much more than a kung fu movie. And i also agree that "Memento" should be on the list. It´s in my opinion Christopher Nolan´s second best movie, number one being "The Dark Knight" of course.

argento2665 said...

No further comment required on the article however one of the many 'anonymous' commenters wrote "The storyline of "Almost Famous" was too far-fetched and unbelievable for you? Well, too bad, considering it's strongly bibliographical". This provided my unintentional laugh of the day.

Daniel said...

He said "defining" movie not best. The defining political movement of the 1930's was nazism - doesn't mean it was the best. That said, anyone who raves so much about gone in 60 seconds may have misinterpreted the parameters of his own argument. Everyone knows the defining movie of the year 2000 was What Women Want. A middle-aged Mel Gibson dancing around in a pair of women's tights singing along to alanis morissette orsomesuchthing. The definition was shite.

Anonymous said...

actually American Psycho could be the poster child for this decade. Irrational obsessive fixation on greed, perceived perfection and things inconsequential.

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it...

Memento was crap by the way. If it had been run forward(a completely lame gimmick) it would have been one of the dullest films of the decade. No crap please about that being the point, the picture still has to hold up to scrutiny. A gimmick does not a brilliant film make unless you're a Hollyweird mogul.

Anonymous said...

@Argento - I didn't even notice that 'bibliographical' error until I read your post. I almost choked to death when I reread it.

Anonymous said...

Memento ABSOLUTELY holds up to scrutiny. The film centers around memory loss and is edited around the lapses in time within the protagonist's mind. If you think it's just a "gimmick" then you clearly weren't paying attention.

It's also a shame that you would reduce creative narrative structure to being just a gimmick for "Hollyweird moguls". Does that mean that only "established" directors can innovate?

I would definitely have Memento and O Brother, Where Art Thou on here.

bipnuts said...

The defining movie of the 2000s is Lost in Translation (2003). Eternal Sunshine - while a great movie and one of my top 10, is kind-of timeless - something a defining movie of an era must have, i believe, is something really central to the time period. I love Garden State too, but it has the same problem I think.

Horacio said...

You're only analysing mainstream Hollywood? Because you're missing great independent and foreign films. I would have included:
-Requiem for a dream
-Dancer in the dark
-Amores perros
-Memento

For 2001 I would include:
-Moulin Rouge
-Amelie
-Mulholland drive
-Y tu mamá también
-The others
-La pianiste (the french one)
-Shrek
-Monsters INC

Darren Baker said...

Let me disabuse you all of your insane notions about CAST AWAY, or STOMP 2 THA STREET YARDS, or whatever. *THE* defining movie of the 2000s, the one movie that set the tone for the decade - the one that influenced film immeasurably (for better or worse, mainly worse) was 1999's THE MATRIX. I defy you to find a more influential movie in the last fifteen years. It can't be done, end of story.

bipnuts said...

Darren Baker's absolutely correct - who said the "defining" movie had to come from that decade? The Matrix did influence everything! Good job. Does anyone agree with Reality Bites as the defining movie for the 90s?

Sara said...

The premise of Almost Famous is entirely believable. Because it happened. Crowe may have been sixteen, but it was pretty close. So, in terms of reasons not to see a movie, that's pretty weak.

Luke Annand said...

Hey

I'm actually doing the exact same thing on my blog, Ramblings of a Film Geek in Regina, but I'm going by what the best YEARS for films for this decade rather than try to narrow it down to one film. It's going to take a while for me to get through, but I did do my 00 paragraph. And I'm surprised at how much alike our views on that year were. I too think GLADIATOR is an incredibly overrated film. But I did see ALMOST FAMOUS and loved it. I would also say that REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is an equally amazing movie as ALMOST FAMOUS and TRAFFIC. I'd also give a shout out to WONDER BOYS, Curtis Hanson's follow up to L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. Very underrated, but still an amazing film.

My personal top five for that year is ALMOST FAMOUS, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, TRAFFIC, WONDER BOYS and X-MEN. For that last one, that was the first comic book movie to take it's subject matter seriously, thus sparking off the comic book film renaissance that's defined this decade.

As for the best film of the decade, for me it's a toss up between GARDEN STATE and GONE BABY GONE.

Anonymous said...

"A Spanish movie about chocolate? No. I can't imagine anyone even remembers this was even made."

That says more about your cultural insularity/provincialism than anything else. Some of the best films aren't even American you know. Or probably don't.

If you only watch Hollywood films, you'll end up with about as much cinema experience as someone who watches the Disney Channel and nothing else would do of rock music...

Anonymous said...

Hey Dummy! Almost Famous is Cameron Crowe's life! He lied his way into a job at Rolling Stone and interviewed bands like the Allman Bros. and Led Zeppelin - the reason why they allowed their songs in this movie, the first time they've allowed this.

Also, this plot twist is too much, but Dude Where's My Car is perfectly acceptable? You're ridiculous. Stupid.

Anonymous said...

OK. I watched the car chase. It was boring. I like Nick Cage (although not in much recently), but so clear he wasn't doing the driving, what's appealing? Yet another dull and empty Hollywood editing job. To each his/her own...

Anonymous said...

BEFORE NIGHT FALLS.

Anonymous said...

This is such a poor movie article. You haven't even seen Almost Famous. 'An unbelievable twist'? Ridiculous! Know your topic before you waste people's time with an article featuring what you clearly consider your learned opinion.

Anonymous said...

There Will Be Blood featured the most defining performance, i know that much.

Anonymous said...

WONDER BOYS, hands down the best film of 2000. So good they released it twice.

Anonymous said...

first off, it's completely idiotic to Judge a movie you haven't seen. Secondly, The cage "trilogy" is, The Rock, Face/Off and Con Air.

Anonymous said...

From 2000, the most defining movie of the decade would have to be X-Men. It rocked, it gave the superhero movie such a kick in the ass that it resulted in Marvel actually MAKING movies.

Definitely X-Men.

Oh, and where did you get "Spanish" for Chocolat. It was set in friggin' FRANCE! Hence the title "Chocolat".

But I can see how you'd pick Traffic, as it was one of the first of those movies with loosely strung-together characters and stories that seemed to get churned out every other week thereafter (eg. Crash, Babel, Syriana).

But no, X-Men.

Anonymous said...

These are movies being considered for the best movie of 2000 and possibly most defining movie of the 2000's?? WOW, Terrible selections IMO!!! Unreal!

Bring It On, Scarey Movie, Dude Where's My Car, Shaft, Gone in 60 Seconds?? What a joke!!

Crouching Tiger was my fav of 2000! But there are so many greats not mentioned!!

Snatch
Requiem for a Dream
Memento
Remember the Titans
Boiler Room
Unbreakable
Thirteen Days
O Brother Where Art Thou
X-Men
Love's A Bitch

even the likes of The Patriot, Pay It Forward, Frequency, U-571, so many others are better than most of your suggestions!!

PS in my book you have to at least watch a movie before you can publish an opinion of it!!

Anonymous said...

from chocolat to almost famous to the blasphemy of getting the nicholas cage trifecta wrong. i say you hace pretty much failed at writing an article. nicely done.

Pat said...

What decade has a defining movie? Is the 1970s' The Godfather, Star Wars, or Aguirre: The Wrath of God? Is the 1990s' Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, or Fight Club? As much as I like The Sports Guy when he's talking about sports, he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about when it comes to movies. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about proving him wrong.

Bananafish said...

I wanted to like this article...I really did, but nearly from the beginning it was just one inane point after another. At least Bill Simmons' column was well written and constructed. Very disappointing. Hopefully you're better at writing about sports because movies clearly are not your thing (unless it just has to be about Gone in 60 Seconds).