One day left in the decade (not really, but let’s not be technical).Can I look back on the spirituality of the past decade…not if I don’t want to be depressed for a week (lets be honest the biggest thing to happen in religion in the last 10 years was 19 guys proving that Islam may not be qualified to be recognized as a legitimate sane religion and not as a suicide cult… #2 Muslim’s can’t take a joke about Mohammad, child rapist that he was, being in some cartoon, #3 Some Christian kills an abortion doctor and Christians the world over quickly denounce his evil…maybe some other religions should take the hint about this whole publically denouncing the evil acts of members of your religion instead of say, oh I don’t know, dancing in the streets over the death of 3000 people, #4 The cult of His Divine Holiness Obama, blessed be the brain that he thinks with so thatI do not have to…)…so religion is out.
Politics for the decade is equally depressing.See here.
So it’s back to movies.Besides I like talking about movies.I’d talk about books, but then nobody would read this blog.
Now, there was an objection that I had no criteria for my last picks for films of the year and that is not true.Here is my criteria for great movies (great art in general actually…and in case you’re wondering, yes this is a lecture I give in my English class).
1.Great art mixes High Tragedy and High Comedy.Basically, I should be crying, either from having my heart ripped out and stomped on or from laughing so hard I’m hyperventilating….preferably both in the same movie.
2.Great art has a deep understanding of the human psyche.All good drama is character drama, and good character drama comes from understanding how people actually act.If character don’t act realistically there can be no suspension of disbelief and thus nothing to do with point one.The best are reveals something about the human psyche that reveals truth about yourself.
3.Great movies must understand how to use language and a camera, and all the other aspects of a movie.Good acting.Good writing.Good directing.Goodmusic.(For instance the Celestine Prophecy has a beautiful message, but is very poorly done and thus will never qualify as a great movie).
4.Finally great movies must have a underlying hopeful, positive, and ethical philosophical base.
So here we go the Top 16 movies of the decade (with honorable mentions).
Honorable mentions: Juno, 50 first dates, Failure to Launch, Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, Revolver, Hancock, P.S. I love you, Waitress, The Guardian, and Ocean’s 11.None of them are great, but they’re all fun and entertaining and can be watched over and over again.
#16 Thank You For Smoking
Witty and poignant.Calling every side on their BS and calling for personal responsibility among a cast of wonderfully insane characters.
#15 500 Days of Summer
We’ve all been here.We’ve all fallen in love and had our hearts broken
#13 Tie Lucky Number Slevin and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
God I wish people could actually maintain the sustained level of witty banter that exists in these movies.
#12 Kill Bill
Tarintino focuses a little too much on style over content, but there is still enough content about revenge, redemption, and identity to make it worthwhile.
#11 The Lord of the Rings
Do I have to explain why?
#10 The Incredibles
If Ayn Rand wrote cartoons…while Pixar is the only bright point in Disney these days, this is by far their best and deepest work.
#9 The Lake House
A beautiful and moving romance.Not to mention strange proof that if you actually give him a good script Keanu can act.
#8 The Hangover
The greatest comedy since Ferris took a day off.
Clear morals, good dialogue,Makes me yearn for the epics of yesteryear.
Joss Whedon, the greatest artist of TV, hits the movies and finishes off his masterpiece of Firefly.
#5 Lady in the Water
What may be Shamalan’s last decent movie, and his best movie yet.
#4 The Fountain
Never has the path to Enlightenment been more moving.
Not since Plato’s Symposium has there been this in depth a look at the nature of love.And Plato was never this sweet and endearing.
#2 Gran Torino
The culmination of an entire career.Every theme Eastwood has brought up in his previous films comes into clear focus in this beautifully done film.I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t see Invictus surpassing this masterpiece.
#1 The Dark Knight
Beyond question nothing can surpass this beautiful work on what depths people can sink to and what height they can reach.