Monday, January 4, 2010

Top 30 Movies of the Last Decade:: Intro & #30

I've been watching movies since I was a kid. Bedknobs & Broomsticks, The Land Before Time, and The Dark Crystal are all standouts from my childhood hat I can still appreciate to this day. But I didn't begin to really "watch" movies until I started high school, which coincidentally enough, was 2000. So really, these movies are the movies I grew up with, so there is an measure of autobiography to them, but really, isn't everything autobiographical?

Some rules before I begin:
1)Only movies I have seen. Yes, there are some big name movies I haven't seen nor do I want to.
2)These are my favorite movies of the decade. They are judged purely by how much I enjoyed them,.
3)My goal is, to not only explain why I enjoy these movies but persuade you to check out the ones you haven't seen. Seriously, there is a great abundance of films that come out every year that fly under the radar. Go see them!
4)No documentaries. They'll get their own, albeit shorter, list. As with TV series(Spoiler:The Wire is the best), music, etc.
5)I'm going to forget movies. I've done a ton of research, but it's going to happen. So just roll with it.

And with that, the list begins:

30) Spider-Man 2

There is something about the second movie in a franchise that seems to make it the best. Star Wars, X-Men, Star Trek, Lord of The Rings, etc. All of them, the second movie was the best of the series. Spider-Man 2 is no exception. Nearly everything about this movie is better than the first. Tobey Maquire finds the perfect mix of humor, heart, and courage as the beat down Peter Parker. Alfred Molina turns in a faithful adaption of Dr. Octopus, a much better villain than the firsts Green Goblin. But it's James Franco as Harry Osborn that I love the most. His story arc in the 3 films is by far the best, most natural. His rage against Spider-Man, his hurt at the seemingly betrayal of his best friend taking Spider-Man's pictures, and eventually, the shock upon finding out Peter Parker IS Spider-Man. They may have fucked up the payoff in the 3rd movie(fucking amnesia? the fucking butler?) But when this movie ended, you were dying to find out how things ended up between Harry and Peter. Their relationship, not the relationship between Mary Jane and Peter, was the crux of this series. Sam Raimi had a feel for the Lee/Ditko era of Spider-Man, and this New York City feels like the New York City that was created by Marvel. New York City is as much a character in the comics as anything else, so it was nice to see it represented well on screen. The background is filled with notable characters, some of which get barely and screen-time, but still make it worthwhile. J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson is an iconic, scene-chewing role. In stark contrast is Rosemarry Harris as May Parker. She's loving, witty, strong...pretty much everything you need and want in a Aunt May. Watching this movie again, it amazes me they fucked up the 3rd one as bad as they did. This was the perfect middle chapter:setting things up for the next movie while still delivering a strong tale, with actual character growth. And now they're making a fourth movie? I'll pass.

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