The Count Does the Naughties

A little late I know but here are my Top 5 movies of the last decade.  I did seriously consider not going for the stereotype and instead whacking a list of awesome trashy action flicks… but I realised that wouldn’t be honest.

So, for those who know me, this will be possibly rather obvious, I present to you my selection of 2000 – 2009:

Ying Xiong (Hero)

There are people that don’t like this film.  In the words of the Cisco Kid in Blazing Saddles – “You know… morons!”.  Ying Xiong (or Hero to us English speaking types) combines my love for kung fu, swordplay and visuals so damned beautiful it hurts not to be looking at the screen.  The storyline (though tarnished by the iffy politics involved in its making), though not quite as heart wrenchingly tragic as Crouching Tiger, is enough to make the hardiest warrior a little weepy eyed… and that’s before the self sacrifice comes into it.  One of my scenes of the decade (note to self that sounds like a good feature for later on) is the battle over the still lake, and is even breath taking on the small screen, but pretty much every single set piece is a benchmark for cinematography.  If you see one Chinese film from this milenium so far make it Ying Xiong.

Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In)

Do you remember as a child standing in the dark as the snow fell down about you?  That magical silence and unreal stillness? Well that’s the sensation I had when watching this masterpiece.  As Paperstacks mentioned in his review, this film suffered from terrible timing, being released at a similar time to Hollywood’s Twilight movie, but pretty much did every single thing ten times better than its high budget big sister.   Simple, elegant brilliance.

Mulholland Drive

Like Lost Highway, I didn’t actually like this the first time I watched it.  I didn’t understand.  i was confused and humiliated. However, like the majority of David Lynch movies,  Mullholland Drive is really a story within a cryptic puzzle and rewards you for deciphering the dark, self destructive tale of who Naomi Watt’s character is and why, half way through the movie, she and everyone else are somebody entirely different.  Magnificent, hilarious, terrifying and enigmatic it is heart breaking to think this was going to be a series like Twin peaks before the studio bottled it and stopped giving Lynch money.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Actually I’m in two minds as whether I should have put the very, very excellent first sequal in here (as I’m pretty sure I like it more) but regardless either of these films are flawless (note I didn’t mention the stupidly over-long and rather poorly ended third movie).  Incredible special effects (both the amazing forced perspective practicals and, the cutting edge CGI), stunning cinematography and some of the best casting seen in decades crushed the doubters of LOTR nerds all over the world and brought them together in celebration of the removal of Tom Bombadil (or was that just my joy of lack of stupid singing?).  Old school fantasy has never been this good and, rather sadly, has yet to be again.  That’ll do Jackson, that’ll do.

El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth)

Well if this isn’t a perfect film then I don’t know what is (edit: in hindsight maybe something with Ninjas, Pirates and Boobies), Pan’s Labyrinth is testament of how you don’t have to be an American working inside the Hollywood system to pull of mind blowing imagery and narratives that I quite simply think will never be beaten.  Heart breaking performances and story telling combined with a visual flair that genuinely feels like an adult fairy tale, Pan’s Labyrinth makes me cry every single time I watch it.

Runner Ups: The Incredibles, The Dark Knight, Amelie, There Will Be Blood, Moulin Rouge, Unbreakable, No Country For Old Men and District 9

7 Responses to “The Count Does the Naughties”

  1. I’ve been reminded that Transformers 2 and Van Helsing are missing from this list. Apologies.

  2. GW Paperstacks Says:

    Quite amusingly if you asked me to show people why Hero is such a retarded movie I would have used the same clip!

  3. I’m glad you put something other than that clip from LOTR where Orlando The Fuckelf surfs down some steps on a shield, slaying orcs with quick fire archery skills.

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