If you tried to do anything with this website in the past day or so, you were probably disappointed to find that it was either 1) broken or 2) nonexistant. The crazy internet people were changing servers, which means they had to unplug my website from one magic box and hook it up to another one. This process involved wires, DNS elves, swordfights and (very likely) time travel. All should be well now, though.
So anyway, here we are in the last year of the aughts. (Well, we’re not, but most people think we are, so we might as well be.) The question that has cropped up is, what will be remembered as the greatest film of the decade? An apt question! I think the ’00s beat the ’90s pretty badly as far as quality films goes, even if you look at it on a one-for-one basis. Gladiator beats Braveheart, Kill Bill beats Pulp Fiction, Finding Nemo and WALL-E beat Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast… heck, Juno single-handedly beats any slice-of-life drama from the 90s you care to name. Our action flicks are better, our slasher flicks are better, even our cheesy comic book movies have grown up.
They made three excellent movies based on Lord of the Rings. There was a time when people said that would be impossible.
Reaching into the bag and picking just one, though, is really difficult. My first instinct is to go with The Dark Knight, but I feel like I should probably disqualify that on the basis that I can’t fairly judge the quality of a Batman movie. (I liked those horrible ones from the 90s too, you see.) I doubt I’d put Iron Man, Spider-Man or Watchmen in the running, but let’s disqualify them too just to be safe.
So what does that leave us with? Kill Bill is definitely one for the ages, but you kind of have to take both movies as a whole, which leaves you with a five hour film. I don’t have any problems with a five hour film, but maybe the people in a 2143 Film Studies course will. (Or maybe they won’t, given how movies are trending longer and longer these days. Maybe by that time four hours will be nothing.) Plus, it’s all violent and they say the F-word a lot. It feels strange saying, “This is the best movie of the decade. Half of the population probably shouldn’t watch it, though.”
Then we have Children of Men, one of the most compelling movies I’ve ever seen. This movie has almost nothing in the way of special effects, but I swear it was filmed by leprechauns. There’s one scene where four people are sitting in a car, and the camera is panning around looking at all of them. No cuts, no splices, just seamless film. Where the heck is the camera? Hyperspace is the only answer. This film is somewhat hard to re-watch, however; sure it’s breathtaking, but it’s very dark and the ending is ambiguous. The point of this movie isn’t to watch it and enjoy it, but rather finish watching it and then contemplate it.
So that leaves us with WALL-E, a movie I’ve only owned for about a week but have watched several times already. Rich characters, incredible use of technology, a film anyone can watch, and a poignant message about excess leading to disaster. That’s a 21st century movie if ever there was one. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the students in that 2143 film class will watch WALL-E and see cartoonishly fat baby-people, or just cartoonish regular people. I suppose that’s a different topic entirely.
So there we go: the best movie of the 2000’s was WALL-E. Glad we got that taken care of.