It may be hard to believe but with the year 2010 drawing ever nearer the decade is coming to a close. A ten year span featuring The War On Terror, YouTube, reality TV, Facebook, celebrity deaths as entertainment and the rise and fall of the global economy, all in glorious high-definition.
Love or loathe any of the above, the one thing that we, as a species, can all be proud of, is that the distinctly horrible phrase ‘the noughties’ never really caught on.
To celebrate this, I’m going to have a look back on the decade of movies, year by year (I write slow which is why I’m starting mid-September) with a comprehensive look at the films released each year. I’ll then write a paragraph on my mostest, favourite film of said year and you can all post comments below saying “Fuck you, ‘Battlefield Earth’ was way better than ‘Dancer in The Dark’.” Agreed? Then I’ll begin.
After the hangover from ‘The Phantom Menace’ the year before, blockbuster season decided to have a little think, giving way to more grown-up popcorn-munching fare in the form of ‘Gladiator’ and the first ‘X-Men’ movie. While ‘L.A. Confidential’ may have made Russell a star, it was the sword n’ sandals epic that made him a phone-throwing, poem-spouting household name.
Yet the lasting impact wasn’t the Roman-on-Gladiator fisticuffs but rather mutant-on-human combat, with Bryan Singer’s comic-book adaptation writing the blueprint for every comic book movie since. Without the original ‘X-Men’, we’d have no ‘Spider-man’, no ‘Hulk’ and more importantly no ‘Dark Knight’. Hats off to Bryan.
Another key to success back then was having the word ‘American’ in your title. Be they ‘pyscho’-tic, ‘beauty’-ful or the little seen ‘Movie’, each one has stood the test of 3650 days, with Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman rightfully slicing and cutting his place into icon status.
As for stinkers, they came in the form of Charlie and his angels, ‘Deuce Bigalow:Male Gigalo’, a poor re-make of ‘Shaft’ and the always good-for-a-giggle ‘Battlefield Earth’. And while perhaps the first ‘Scary Movie’ wasn’t horrendous, its offspring were so drownable at birth it may have been worth chemically castrating the first movie just for safe measure.
My Movie Of The Year
As this is the first of ten, I was kinda hoping for a certified classic to make sure any naysayers could only offer, “Well it’s not my favourite but it’s a worthy winner”. I strongly considered ‘Dancer In The Dark’, an astonishing turn from the lovely Bjork, for that very reason, but have instead decided to go for a film that I can play over and over again, ‘High Fidelity’.
“What came first, the music or the misery? Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”. Not a day goes by when these words don’t reverberate around my head. For a self-involved idiot with a penchant for pop culture, this is the defining film. And I am that idiot.
The plot, as simple as it is, sees Rob Gordon (John Cusack) navel-gazing back on his lost loves when dumped by his current squeeze. He wants to know why he is destined to die alone, destined to be rejected by everyone he loves, destined to be chucked. The results are often hilarious, painfully true and capped with the greatest soundtrack ever.
The choice of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ meant that dialogue transfered perfectly from the book. Pearls of wisdom such as “I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains” and “If you really wanted to screw me up, you should’ve gotten to me earlier” should resonate with anybody that thinks far too much about the man/woman divide.
Admittedly the idea of Brit music-lover Rob Gorden upping sticks to Chicago had fans of Nick Hornby’s novel up-in-arms before the film was released, but they needn’t have worried. The love of women and music is indeed universal. For better or worse the film gave us Jack Black, it gave us John Cusack being a “fucking asshole” and it gave those of us who didn’t listen closely enough to Michael Jackson, a second lesson in starting with the man in the mirror.
So check out Imdb, sort through your old film magazines (if you’re the kind of loser that displays them in chronological order on your shelf, *cough*) and we’ll argue the shit out of what really was the Best Film of 2000 (released in the UK only please).