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The Best 10 of the Last 10

Standard “10 in the 10” rules apply.  I had to have seen the movie, and it had to have had a theatrical release, and it had to have been released in the last 10 years.

Remember, the Best 10 is subject to personal tastes, and thus, it may not match any list that you may compile yourself.

The Best 10 in the Last 10 (as always, in no particular order)

1)  Sin City 2005 – A throwback to the film noir of old Hollywood with a modern slant.  What makes this film one of the best is not only it’s highly stylized look (black and white with highlighting color), but it’s adherence to the original source material (Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels).

2)  Batman Begins 2005 – Who would have thought that a reboot of a series would be so… wow.  Batman Begins goes past the action and adventure of the caped crusader and analyzes the psyche that makes of the Dark Knight.  Use of “second tier” villains (Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul) help make the film a spectacle while still leaving ground to explore.

3)  The Dark Knight 2008 – A lot of initial buz for this movie was generated by the sudden and tragic death of Heath Ledger.  Still, even if Ledger had not died, his performance as the Joker would have been phenomenal, throwing back to the origins of the Joker while still putting a severely twisted spin on the character.

4) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 – I have to admit I did not expect much of this movie going in.  In fact, I was seeing it because I had gotten a movie pass in a pirate themes video game.  Now having seeing this film, I would have paid full price.  A true swashbuckling adventure.

5) The 40 Year Old Virgin 2005 – It’s been a long time since a movie made me laugh, really laugh, and even longer when I still laugh at movie even after repeated viewings.  Airplane does this, and so does The 40 Year Old Virgin.  Steve Carell is hilarious.

6)  Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 2003 – The final chapter in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and truly worthy of the Oscar that it won for best picture.

7)  Iron Man 2008 – I’ve never really been an Iron Man fan, except for a brief period of time when James Rhodes was Iron Man after Tony Stark “died” (lasted all of two months, but spun off War Machine).  So, a movie has to be good for me to change my opinion of a character than I never really cared all that much about.

8)  The Incredibles 2004 – Probably the best Pixar movie I’ve seen, mostly because I am a comic book fan.  It is a fun trip watching the fall and rise of a superhero.

9)  300 2006 – An adventure following the same adherence to the original source material as Sin City (also based on a Frank Miller graphic novel), even if the story if told through an unreliable narrator.

10)  Phantom of the Opera 2004– I’ll admit it, I’m a Phantom mark.  I’ve read the book… repeatedly, seen the musical traveling show, and seen a number of the movies (the original 1925 Lon Chaney version is still the best).  This version captures the majesty and wonder of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway smash.

The Best 10 of all Time

I had originally intended this to be a Best 10 in the Last 10 motif.  The only problem is that I really could not come up with ten movies in the last ten years that I’ve seen that I would classify as “best.”  So, I decided to expand my top 5 all time to a top 10 of all time.

I try to adhere to the rules that I set up in my previous “10” lists (theatrical release, had to have seen it, etc).  Also keep in mind that the list is subjective.  Some of my Top 10 will undoubtedly be on other people’s Worst 10 or Guilty 10.  As I mentioned, this is my top 10.

Now, my Top 10 of all Time (as always, in no particular order)

Phantom of the Opera 1925 – Probably the earliest of the movies I include on this list, but a true cinematic treasure to watch, especially if you manage to get your hands on a good DVD copy.  This version is probably the closest to the original novel’s story, down to the appearance of Erik (brilliantly played by Lon Chaney).

Henry V 1989 – This is the Branagh version of the Shakespearean history.  This is a brutal version of the play, leaving in much of the negative scenes that the earlier Olivier version left out.  Unapologetic in its tone, it celebrates Shakespeare with a stellar cast of British acting.

Goldfinger 1964 – the first of the movies on my list that some may debate the merits of, but this film remains the quintessential James Bond movie

Evil Dead 2 1987 – Definitely a guilty pleasure, but one of the horror movies I enjoy watching over and over again.  A lot of Sam Raimi’s style that he uses in his later mainstream movies shows up in this film, and cements Bruce Campbell as a B-movie hero

Captain Blood 1935 – The swashbuckling adventure of Peter Blood, physician turned slave turned pirate captain, this is one of Errol Flynn’s best roles.

The Great Escape 1963 – One of the best war movies, telling a tweaked version of the true story of the escape from Stalog Luft 3.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1974– An irreverent look at the legend of King Arthur, with all the hilarious mocking that Monty Python is known for.  You would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not know as least one line from this classic.

Batman Begins 2005 – Probably the best Batman movie to be release since the 1989 Tim Burton Batman, this version reboots the franchise, forgoing classic villains for the Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul (though both are classic comic villains), creating a Bruce Wayne/Batman seeking direction until he finds himself.

Brotherhood of the Wolf 2001 – Admittedly, this is the only foreign language movie on my list, this movie retells the legend of the Beast of Gevaudan, twisting and turning its way through a tale that is one part “werewolf” movie, one part adventure, and one part conspiracy movie.

Psycho 1960– Simply Hitchcock at his best.

The Worst 10 in the Past 10 – Revised

I originally did this roughly two years ago. In that time, I felt it was necessary to revisit the list, seeing what may have dropped off, and what may have been added.

The criteria for the list is simple. First (and obviously), the movie had to have been released in the last ten years (2001 to 2011). Secondly, I had to have seen it, or at least enough of it to know it’s garbage. Finally, it had to have seen theatrical release (thus eliminating a number of direct to DVD and Sci-Fi Channel movies).

I do hope to make a Best 10 in the Last 10 list, but this one is a lot easier to compile.

The List (in no particular order)

1) Piranha 2010 – Not much should be expected of a movie that is based off a Roger Corman movie.  Corman’s films are not exactly known for being… what’s the world… good.  But, at least Corman gave you a cast of characters that you could kind of care about.  With the exception of Elisabeth Shue’s Sheriff Forester, that just aren’t any character that you feel sorry for when they get eaten by the titular creatures.  In truth, this movie seems to exist only to show off the naked bodies of one-dimensional (ironic phrase, considering this movie was released in 3D) characters Danni and Crystal, but special gore effects used to show the carnage of the piranha.

2) Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones 2002 – Episode 1 was a disappointment in that I thought it could have been a lot better than it was. Episode 2 killed the magic of Star Wars for me. Where the characters were flat and uninteresting in Episode 1, the were just total jerks in Episode 2. It is sad when you have a talented cast like Episode 2 had (and Hayden Christensen), and the best acting is from a computer generated muppet. I stopped watching Star Wars movies altogether because of this one.

3) Aeon Flux 2005 – Beyond the occasional appearance on MTV’s Liquid Television, I never really got into Aeon Flux. When I watched this movie, I found it incomprehensible. Somehow, I have a feeling watching the original series would do anything to clear up the confusion.

4) Ultraviolet 2006 – It is really saying something when half way through watching a movie, you decide to do something a bit more interesting, like house cleaning. This movie just did not make me care about it at all.

5) Alone in the Dark 2005 – Seriously. Did casting really think we would believe that Tara Reid was a scientist?

6) House of the Dead 2003 – The second Uwe Boll movie on the list (Boll directed Alone in the Dark), House of the Dead was based off the arcade shooter. The movie is horribly clichéd, badly acted, and just downright bad.

7) Bloodrayne 2005 – The third Uwe Boll film on the list, and probably the one that cemented his reputation as the Ed Wood Jr. of the 21st century, though that’s really kind of an insult to Ed Wood Jr. Even more shocking is that Ben Kinglsey, the man who played Gandhi (and won an oscar for that role) was in this… movie.

8 ) Matrix Reloaded 2003

9) Matrix Revolutions 2003 – I put these two movies together not because they are both Matrix movies, but because personally, I think the two of them, edited down and merged into one, could have been a great movie. Instead, what we got were two movies with scenes that were way too long (some almost painfully long), and action sequences that were added to say, “Hey, look what we can do!”

10) Underworld: Evolution 2006– I had high hopes for this movie. I loved the first one. Sadly, I was disappointed in this one. The story seemed to go nowhere, the characters seemed to do nothing, and the love scene between Selene and Michael seemed to be there so that the director could say, “Oh yeah, that’s who I get to sleep with every night.” From what I heard, the third movie in the series is supposed to be vastly better. From what I’ve seen of this one, I don’t think it could be worse.

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