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November 25, 2009

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jbryant

Maybe Mike got bent out of shape because his scroll key wasn't working.

But I'm sure Glenn is now convinced to start tailoring the content of his blog to Mike's standards.

Asher

Not having seen Invictus, I can't comment on that, but if it's anything like Million Dollar Baby or Gran Torino, easily two of the worst films of this or any decade, this should've been an Eastwood-free list. I have no idea what the plausibility concerns are with MDB; my problem with the film is that it's a heaping pile of grossly manipulative, poorly told dreck. Sam Mendes in Revolutionary Road, or even Todd Field in Little Children, masterpieces of asinine contemptuous caricature, have nothing on the scene where Ms. Swank's family just had to stop by Disney World before dropping by to rustle up some money from their paraplegic daughter. And the whole movie's like that (see the Cowardly Boxer who could've been great but hangs out in Clint's gym and picks on retarded people), when it's not busy offering up insipid homilies to the virtues of lemon meringue pie, or trite little scenes about the big holes in Morgan Freeman's socks, or sucking the life out of your brain with aforementioned's ridiculous narration. On top of that, there's never been a worse-paced movie made. Nearly an hour of Swank begging Eastwood to coach her (sort of reminiscent of how Jolie spends two thirds of Changeling repeating the line, 'where is my boy'), followed by a 20-minute meteoric rise to the top of female boxing - I can understand scrimping on the boxing scenes, but what about the agents, the fame, the money, or a relationship or friendship or acquaintance with anyone but Eastwood - followed by over an hour of hospitalization that drags and drags and drags. As for Gran Torino, I forget the name of the critic who said that the thing was an unholy fusion of the grumpy gramps from Dennis The Menace and Paul Haggis's Crash, but he was on the money. If you had screened clips from the first half hour for me and told me they were an SNL parody Eastwood had done of his own terrible acting and directing, I would've believed you. The laughable simplemindedness and miserable craftsmanship of the whole thing (and of all Eastwood movies in the past 10 or so years) is perhaps best summed up in this bit of dialogue between Walt and his granddaughter:

Ashley: I never knew you had a cool old
car.
Walt: It's only been in here since
before you were born.
Ashley: So, what are you like going to do
with it like, when... you die?
Walt: Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
Ashley: Then what about that super cool
retro couch in the den, I'm going
to State next year and I don't
have, like, any furniture?

No kid in America is that boorish (to her own grandfather on the day of his wife's, and her grandmother's, funeral, no less), or talks like that.

Tom Russell

"Sam Mendes in Revolutionary Road, or even Todd Field in Little Children, masterpieces of asinine contemptuous caricature, have nothing on the scene where Ms. Swank's family just had to stop by Disney World before dropping by to rustle up some money from their paraplegic daughter."

Dude, there are people like that.

Hell, there are people IN MY FAMILY like that.

maximilian

my god, it's full of...movies.

One film maker from this decade who I don't believe has been mentioned either by Glenn or anyone else is Bong Joon-ho, whose "Memories of Murder" and "The Host" can slot themselves comfortably into my top 70 flicks of the new century.

Continuing NickonSunset's "it was a good decade for" theme, Johnnie To continues to crank out an impressive product. While it can be argued that he hasn't quite produced an out and out masterpiece (though I'll go to bat for "Exiled", which would make my top 70), he does, every other year or so, direct a damn fine film.

Along with To, it was a good decade for French Horror. Along with Glenn's astute choice of "Trouble Every Day", those cheese eating surrender monkeys gave us "In My Skin" and "Inside" (top 70) along with a gaggle of deeply flawed but fascinating films, at least for horror buffs ("Martyrs", "High Tension", "Them").

msic

What a marvelous list, Glenn. Sure, I'd add my voice to the chorus on behalf of "Werckmeister Harmonies," but the rollcall is quite estimable even without it.

I've given "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" two spins (one on screen at TIFF, a second time on video) and I just find it so....slight compared to other Tsai. But this line of argument quickly devolves into a religious debate, one I've had with many folks since its release. (FWIW, my favorite Tsai overall is "The River," and my favorite Tsai of the 00s would probably by "The Wayward Cloud," although I have "Face" right here on my desk and haven't yet found the time.)

jbryant

maximilian: Good call on Bong Joon-ho. MEMORIES OF MURDER is in my top ten for the decade, yet I somehow inexplicably left THE HOST off the top 100 list I made for another forum. Looking forward to MOTHER.

wefew

Un Prophete

Owain Wilson

Top of the list for me is the absolutely breathtaking UNITED 93.

I totally agree with the poster who mentioned ANCHORMAN (didn't take note of your name, sorry). For me it goes hand in hand with another gem, ZOOLANDER.

Richard

Thought the first twenty minutes of The New World was the best first twenty minutes of any film ever made with the exception of 2001 A Space Odyssey.The rest of the film is problematic. But it does deserve mention.

RL

'Silent Light' by Carlos Reygadas?

Clint

Good to see some love for REGULAR LOVERS... But Glenn, let me get this straight, you prefer MARIE ANTOINETTE to LOST IN TRANSLATION?

Tom Russell

"But Glenn, let me get this straight, you prefer MARIE ANTOINETTE to LOST IN TRANSLATION?"

I can't speak for our host, of course, but I myself prefer MARIE ANTOINETTE to LOST IN TRANSLATION; the former has more verve, humour, style, and just plain personality. It's an audacious, if not entirely successful, piece of filmmaking, anchored by strong and idiosyncratic performances. Bill Murray is fine in TRANSLATION, sure, but Scarlett Johannson's vacantness-- even if said vacantness is kinda the point-- grates on me to no end.

Scott

Surprised not to see "Spider" on this list, since, if I'm not mistaken, it was your #1 film of whatever year it came out back when I still got Premiere magazine.

Glenn Kenny

@ Scott. An unforgivable omission. I address it here:

http://somecamerunning.typepad.com/some_came_running/2009/12/because-100-is-a-nice-round-number.html

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