Bullitt's Bros

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Top (sort of) Ten Movies of 2006

Wow, what a crappy year.

Although I saw more than ten movies this year, I tend to think of top ten lists as having certain basic standards. Not just any movie is allowed into the top ten list, even if it was the tenth best movie of the year. Thus, if a year is so bad that the tenth best movie of the year really, truly, was White Chicks, then, dammit, you just have to make a top nine list and leave the tenth space open for Elijah.

So without further ado, my top eight list, followed by my speculation on three movies that maybe could have made the top ten if I'd seen them by the time I wrote this:

1. The Queen: like The Wire, but about the queen of England! What do I mean by that? Well, one of the many awesome things about The Wire is that it reveals to you a bureaucratic logic that allows you to understand how certain institutions work, and which is so important that without it you really can't understand much about why certain things happen in the world. That's a bit opaque, so let me give you an example. The Baltimore police department has a thing for statistics. More particularly, they very much don't like opening homicide cases without knowing in advance who they think is responsible for the murder. So, if they're pretty sure that designating a death as a homicide won't also bring with it an arrest, they would rather designate the murder as a suicide or an accident or ... well, they'd just rather avoid it altogether. Similarly, about the queen of England: she really does believe that she has certain responsibilities as queen; in particular, she is supposed to conduct her affairs with a certain dignity. So, when Princess Di dies, the queen doesn't go out and make a statement because, well, the royal family has never done that for anyone else, so why should she do it for Di?

2. The Departed: This was really entertaining. Alec Baldwin and Marc Wahlberg in particular were hilarious. I have the feeling there were big flaws with this movie, but I can't really think of them, nor could I think of them at the end. Though, the rat crawling across the railing at the end was a bit much.

3. Inside Man: Now, this really was flawed (it really went downhill in the last act). However, like The Departed, it was a lot of fun, and it was a love-letter to New York City that I wouldn't have been able to appreciate had I not lived here.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Truth be told, I probably would have rated this higher than Inside Man if I thought that literally no one was reading this. I laughed a lot, I got caught up in the swordfighting ... I was just really into it. I saw it twice! However, I seemed by far to have the warmest reaction to this movie of my friends. So number 4 for you!

5. Borat: It was pretty dern funny. The "running of the Jews" was priceless. But it wasn't that original or the greatest comedy of all time or whatever.

6. Casino Royale: Okay, I saw this movie twice, too, but the second time was because I wanted to see something with Mom. I have to admit, it was a lot better the second time because I knew "how" to watch it, if you will. I knew it wasn't so much about beating an arch-villain as it was explaining why Bond was the way he was. Thus, the five endings were more bearable. And let's be honest: Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever, and the first hour made my socks orgasm.

7. Little Miss Sunshine: It was okay. The "sexy" dance that the nine-year gave at the end was cute and funny. Thank God it wasn't Dakota Fanning in that role.

8. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Sascha Baron-Cohen really made this movie. Without him, it would have been pretty mediocre. But besides Baron-Cohen, I have only one word: cougar.

Now, I assume two out of the following three would have made my top ten.

I think The Last King of Scotland would have come in at #2, because (a) it is supposed to be really bloody; (b) it's about a historically evil figure, which relates to my dissertation; (c) it's got great acting; and (d) it got good reviews.

I figure The Descent would have finished at #8, because (a) I heard from my brother and Mikey Y that it was good; and (b) I love horror movies.

Finally Mel Gibson's Apocalypto probably would have finished at #7, knocking out Ricky Bobby, because it (a) has gotten reasonably good reviews; (b) is supposed to be a high-class action movie; and (c) is supposed to be really violent. Awesome.

Now, to give you a sense of how bad 2006 was for movies, the following movies from 2005 and 2004 all would have been good enough to be in the 2006 top ten:

2004 (in order of box office grosses):
1. Spider Man 2
2. The Incredibles
3. The Bourne Supremacy
4. Mean Girls
5. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
6. Sideways
7. Kill Bill: Volume 2
8. The Manchurian Candidate
9. Dawn of the Dead
10. Saw
11. In Good Company
12. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
14. Team America: World Police
15. Cellular
16. Open Water
17. Hotel Rwanda: The Chronicles of Riddock
18. Shaun of the Dead

Here are the top movies of 2005, also in order of gross:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
3. War of the Worlds
4. King Kong
5. Wedding Crashers
6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith
7. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
8. Brokeback Mountain
9. March of the Penguins
10. Cinderalla Man
11. Red Eye
12. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
13. Crash (according to Mom)
14. Fever Pitch
15. In Her Shoes
16. A History of Violence
17. Capote
18. Serenity
19. Hustle and Flow
20. Kung Fu Hustle
21. The Matador
22. Junebug

11 Comments:

  • Wow. This year looks REALLY bad next to the last two...and even those only have a couple 4-star gems like KILL BILL and SIDEWAYS.

    I had to note that THE DESCENT was -in the Great Chuck Moore Evaluative Method- (the GCMEM for short) a movie that "Didn't suck".

    It's got quite good structure for somebody to follow that wants to learn how to write a horror movie, but it has a couple of concepts that are really super-flawed.

    Finding a bunch of cave paintings in a cavern inhabited by blind troglodytes being only one of them...

    By Blogger Mikey Y, at 2:35 PM  

  • 'Hotel Rwanda: The Chronicles of Riddick' ...... ?

    By Blogger Professor Mouth, at 5:42 PM  

  • Yeah, Prof. Mouth, that one made me put down my coffee.

    Typo? Tasteless joke? I can't tell.

    By Blogger Akrasia, at 7:18 PM  

  • I was assuming they both made as much sense as one another...

    Am I way off Bobbo?

    By Blogger Mikey Y, at 7:47 PM  

  • Uh...there wasn't much thought put into it. I just thought of a serious movie (Hotel Rwanda) and thought of a stupid movie (Chronicles of Riddick, which is really funny-sounding to me) and decided to conjoin them.

    This isn't quite the same thing, but Joe and I used to have a lot of videotapes of movies--usually three movies to a tape--and we would put labels on them, of course to indicate the contents of the videotape. Well, one movie had both "Mr. Saturday Night" and "Double Impact" on it, which I always accidentally read "Mr. Double Impact", which sounded funny to me.

    (Sort of like Dale Pigg's old line, "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot" "JFK".)

    By Blogger Bobcat, at 9:34 PM  

  • Adding Pirates to 2006 is a pretty bold move. Don't feel like it's top 10 material.

    I would add The Matador. That was a great movie.

    The Descent was creepy but not great. His first movie Dog Soldiers is a lot more interesting.

    By Blogger Piper, at 10:50 PM  

  • I was just taken aback because it was the ONLY joke title. Well played, sir.

    Also, if you think 'Chronicles of Narnia' deserves to be on a top ten list, then you are smoking some top-shelf crack, my friend. That movie was fucking DULL. I don't know how you manage to make talking lions and minotaurs dull, but they found a way.

    By Blogger Professor Mouth, at 1:23 AM  

  • [...] "The Top (sort of) Ten Movies of 2006"[...]

    By Anonymous top Ten Lists, at 6:15 AM  

  • Wow.

    "Brokeback Mountain" made more than "The Dukes of Hazzard."

    What does that tell us?

    By Blogger kmosser, at 9:55 AM  

  • Surprised to see Descent make the list. I thought it had some genuinely spooky parts, but overall pretty dull.

    By Blogger BIG, at 1:48 AM  

  • Actually, I forgot to mention a few movies that might have made my top ten:

    Dreamgirls
    Little Children
    Half-Nelson

    By Blogger Bobcat, at 10:49 AM  

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