I don’t know if Moon belongs on the best of the last decade list, but District 9 is an exemplary action/sci-fi film not only because it starts out so unconventionally (any action/sci flick should be unconventional in some respect) but that it also gives us a bit of hokey action movie redemption we want to see at the end.
There are some really strange choices. Why pick the Two Towers over Fellowship? Fellowship was the superior film. Kill Bill 1 over 2? Really?
And probably most of all (of the film’s I’ve seen on the list)… AI? Really? Upon a second viewing, I came to appreciate it more (especially the ending) but the middle parts are so ridiculously clumsy that I don’t really think it deserves to be on a best of the decade list. There are too many good films out there to include something like AI.
Edit: And as to the topic, I thought Citizen Kane was the quintessential, I dislike it but I have to respect it kind of movies.
That’s a very apt description of AV Club, and appropriate advice for how to read their articles. I find the site to be a really interesting read but I would in no way suggest taking their lists seriously. Although, given the fact that I created this thread, it would appear that I did not follow my own advice.
Caché did this for me. On the one hand, I see all the clever and cool ways the movie plays with perspective. It does some of the most interesting stuff with a camera I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, the ridiculously long intro shot pretty much sums up my dislike. To get across all those clever nods about what a camera is and does, they have to have really boring scenes where nothing happens for 10 minutes. Or cameras that never move, making the scenes boring. There was that one brilliant flash of drama that the movie built up to so well, but for me the slow pacing was definitely not worth it.
I believe you can hate a movie but still respect it. But why you would respect it varies.
For example, I hated Natural Born Killers, but found myself enraptured by the fever-dreamlike quality Oliver Stone infused the film with. It was discomforting and unpleasant, but impressive nonetheless. So, I respect the craftsmanship, even if I disliked the film as a whole.
As for the A.V. Club list, I completely disagree with their #1 pick. I couldn’t stand that film. I’d much rather they included Requiem for a Dream somewhere on the list.
Sure, that seems like a close enough cousin of this thread to count. I think Schindler’s List falls under that weird category that you almost feel dutybound to like. But really, who wants to see a movie about people being imprisoned and gassed? As uplifting as it tries to be, it’s still about a relative minority of the camp’s population that is rescued from execution. But you can’t hate the movie (oh I don’t know, probably someone can), it’s well acted and filmed and tells a significant story. But yeah, I don’t want to see it again.
But Omniscia mentioned Requiem for a Dream – now there’s a movie I would unwatch if I could.
25th Hour has been getting a lot of love on these kinds of lists. I think it’s this decade’s Shawshank.
And definitely Spike Lee’s best movie.
And I like the AV Club list.
I mean sure it isn’t perfect (Memento is too high, no Lives of Others or Let the Right One In) but the only list that is ever perfect is your own. Until you think of another one.
District 9 is my first thought. I went in hoping for some awesome but thoughtful science-fiction and walked out having received two-hour reality check of mankind’s complete depravity. I suppose if I had expected a drama, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed with this film and so I can appreciate what they were actually doing with it.
But going in for an alien adaptation of 28 Days Later and instead watching an alien adaptation of Hotel Rwanda was a serious negative emotional shock for me. I nearly left the theater after the first half hour. Maybe in a few years I’ll rewatch it knowing what they meant to say and evaluate my thoughts anew.
American Psycho is my second thought. It’s one of my top three books in American lit and I guess I wanted it more like the book. I liked the book better, in terms of how it flowed and led the reader through a psychotic maze. In comparison, the movie was too overtly dramatized for a movie audience (dropping a chainsaw down the stairway shaft for the kill?) and lost some of the mind-locked flavor which really was a primary theme in the novel. I think it could be revisited rewardingly emphasizing the psychological over the horror, a la Vanilla Sky or The Cell. Confuse the watcher as to what is happening in reality vs. the mind, as the book does.
On the other hand, watching the movie as it stands, without reference to the book, it is actually a very good thriller-horror. Plus Christian Bale’s wallet says “Bad Motherfucker” on it. So I don’t care for it at all, but as a horror buff I can definitely appreciate it.
I had to read this twice to fully grasp that you were saying getting what you got instead of what you expected was a bad thing. I had a similar expectation of the film but what it was totally blew me away in a positive sense.
I felt nauseous while watch Requiem, and it basically ruined me for the rest of the day. I watched it while I pulled an all-nighter with a couple of friends I had to drive to the airport at 4am, and we did the hour-long drive in complete silence. It’s a brilliant movie, but I don’t want to ever see it again.