Monday, February 15, 2010

9/10ths Full of Movies Part Three. G to I

Welcome to Part Three of my entirely subjective reflection on a decade in cinematic expoits. Click here to see Parts One & Two. Please do chip in with any obvious omissions or disagreements.

G is for Guinea Pig
G got off to a good start in 2000 with Ridley Scott's epic Gladiator. We were definitely entertained, but the legion of inferior cash-ins on the sword'n'sandal revival were underwhelming (Alexander or Troy anyone? Thought not). In 2001 Robert Altman visited Gosford Park to explore the class system with a great ensenmble cast and a Cluedo setup.
Is there anything that George Clooney can do wrong when it comes the movies? He's a movie star, an accomplished actor and on the evidence of Good Night & Good Luck (2005) an excellent director. One of the most unsettling and extraordinary films of 2005 was Werner Herzog's documentary following the life of utterly bonkers self-styled wildlife champion Timothy Treadwell. Grizzly Man showcases Herzog at his very best, he shows Treadwell warts and all yet never judges leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions.



H is for Hod

2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon opened the door for Zhang Yimou to dazzle our eyes with his wushu antics. 2002's Hero used a Rashomon setup, gorgeous visuals and spectacular fight scenes to tell the story of a would be assassin. House of Flying Daggers (2004) was an equally beautiful, if slightly inferior tale. Also in 2004, Guillermo del Toro finally brought one of his most beloved characters to the screen. Mike Mignola's Hellboy as portrayed as by Ron Perlman was a reassuringly blue collar hero in a very enjoyable film. However, it wasn't till 2008 that del Toro truly did Hellboy justice. Hellboy 2:The Golden Army was a stunning spectacle dripping with creativity and fun. The Troll Market and the death of the elemental are among the best scenes of the decade. Two much loved books were brought to life in Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). Hotel Rwanda (2004) and The Hurt Locker (2009) approached two very different conflicts in two very different ways. The Spaced collective brought us 2007's Hot Fuzz which had style and laughs in spades and concluded with an epic punch up between James Bond and Tim from Spaced in a model village. Priceless.I is for Igloo
Robin Williams is superb and creepy as the main protagonist in Christopher Nolan's Alaskan set Insomnia (2002). Also notable as Al Pacino's last decent performance in a movie. In 2004, Pixar wowed us yet again with their first film featuring people (albeit super-people) - The Incredibles. In 2006 we were treated to not one, but two period dramas about stage magicians. The Illusionist saw Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti starring in the superior of the two. Robert Downey Jr continued his movie rehabilitation in the ridiculously fun Iron Man (2008). Indiana Jones came out of retirement and looked for a crystal skull, however all he reminded us of was how good he used to be. The man behind some of the best swearing on the small screen took his character to the movies in 2009. Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker ate up all the scenery and most of his co-stars as the awesomely foul-mouthed spin doctor in In the Loop. 2009 was also notable for the last screen appearance of Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

2 comments:

English Blogger (Davie B) said...

I have to say I would be for Inglorious Bastards probably one my favourite films for a very long time. Tarantino at his best again, back to his Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction. Although I did like From Dusk till Dawn I thought he had lost some of the edge of his earlier films.

Inglorious Bastards ***** out of 5

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