Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top 50 Films of 1998-2008: Part 6

7. The Simpson’s Movie – Being the greatest animated television series’ of all time (one of the greatest…period) means that making a movie version, has a lot of high standards to live up to; and boy did it do that. It felt like an extended version of a brilliant episode, and there is nothing wrong with that. The reason The Simpsons has been so popular for years, and why it is not going away anytime soon is three fold: the slap-stick comedy, the political and social undercurrents, and of course, the crazy and beloved characters. The reason the movie worked so well is because it combined and enhance these features, and made us wanting even more. The true tragedy is that Oscar completely missed the boat, and failed to nominate it for Best Animated Feature. If there was ever a chance for Pixar to lose, that would have been it.

6. A History of Violence – This dark, little movie was truly missed in the Best Picture race, and was one of the best movies of this decade. This film was pure thrill and excitement, and kept you on the edge of your seat, all the way till the climatic end, which simply took your breath away. David Cronenberg is a genre masterpiece, and this was the movie that brought him into the spotlight. Another aspect that really worked was the incredible and frightening story which was well written and superbly executed by the superbly talented cast consisting of Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Maria Bello, and William Hurt. But the real triumph here is Cronenberg. His non-stop, gritty, and suspenseful directing style made all of those pieces really fit together into a shocking, and incredible movie.

5. Crash – I know people are still perturbed that this movie upset Brokeback Mountain, but I personally loved it, no matter what everyone else says. I think the reason I liked it so much, is because I feel that movies that can adequately pull off so many conflicting and interacting storylines with grace, ebb, flow, and consistent excellence deserve lots recognition (maybe this is why I love Robert Altman movies). To me Crash did all of those things and more. Not only was it a great ensemble feat, but within that contained a suspenseful, socially conscience, and entertaining drama, affably put together by the talented Paul Haggis. Before I end this, I think it is once again worthy of mentioning some of the incredible SAG-award-winning cast including: Don Cheadle, Jennifer Esposito, Sandra Bullock, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Matt Dillon, Loretta Devine, Brendan Fraser, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Philippe. This was one hell of a cast and movie.

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