So, I did my top 100 movies of the new millenium last week, and it’s got me to thinking about the last decade in general. Since my thoughts seem to go in every direction at once, this is going to be more of a collection of random thoughts than a point by point rundown. So, here we go.
Stanley Kubrick didn’t direct a single movie this past decade, and has no plans for one in the upcoming. Man, is he getting slow!
The movie that had the most influence over the Aughts? Maybe Gertie the Dinosaur. But instead of a cartoon character entering the “real world”, we had live actors being fully immersed in Toon Town; The Star Wars prequels, Sin City, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and 300 are examples of films in which actors genuinly had nothing to work with. Directors, the worlds biggest children, have been given the worlds most expensive toys to play with. The forward momentum of experimental narrative stalls as we all stop to fiddle with our lenses.
I feel like an old man; I hate the youth culture of today. But while my parents hated my culture due to it’s boundry pushing and general disdain for the status quo, my hated of current youth culture stems from how boring, inoffensive and assimilationist it is. Live a little, kids!
Marvel Comics is a mess. Ditto for the DC Universe. And I thought the 90’s were bad.
Speaking of superheros, the aughts is when the superhero movie grew up. Sure, there was some depth to films like Batman Returns, but from the opening scene of X-Men when we start in a WWII concentration camp (?!!?!), we knew that the innocence of the genre was gone.
Multiple cuts of films on DVD is the house that George and Ridley built. Films are never completed, just endlessly tinkered with. Three versions of Watchmen have been released, and that just came out this year!
DVD does everything it can to kill the mystery behind the making of a film. Want to watch hours of making of footage? It’s there. Filmmaker commentaries? There are three of them! Can’t wait for the DVD? Watch the video blogs on the website, which will all be loaded onto the DVD later.
Directors have now wrung every last drop out of the “shock value” and “post-modernist” towels. The lurid thrill that would have added entertainment value to watching a movie like Hostel back in the 80’s is completely gone now; The most shocking thing is that it’s playing on two screens at your local multiplex. While watching a film like Inglourious Basterds, film reviewers keep tally of the movie references laced into the narrative in order to determine the films inherent worth.
TV is getting better. I’m talking about you, HBO. If I were to catagorize The Wire or Deadwood as films in serialized form, they would be right near the top of my favorite films of the decade list. Bully to you too, British The Office.
The fantasy epic came back full force, with mixed results. Few could say that Lord Of The Rings is not one of the towers of the last decade. Sci-fi has been getting smaller, cheaper, and more interesting. J-horror dominated the first half of the decade, torture porn the second. Glad to see zombies getting as much love as they have, but it’s time for a new fad.