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What are the great films from the last fifteen years? - Page 2

post #51 of 134

No SIDEWAYS being mentioned in this thread makes me want to get hammered and call my ex.

post #52 of 134

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco Von Doom View Post
I firmly believe that No Country will be remembered for having one of the most memorable screen villains of all time and as being the movie where the main character dies off screen.

 

Maybe true, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Putting the climax offscreen was a deliberate creative decision that intentionally subverts the audience's expectations and helps defines what the movie really is and what it's about. Just because it wasn't the ending you wanted doesn't make it a flaw in the movie.

post #53 of 134

I remember reading that Shawshank was constantly being aired for a while because it *always got ratings.*  It always attracted an audience.  Personal tastes aside, that speaks volumes about a movie's cultural impact.

 

When I read the thread title, I immediately thought of The Departed.  Many of the other obvious choices have been mentioned.  (Like No Country for Old Men.  The ending of which tears me up EVERY TIME I see it.)

 

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I'm compelled to watch The Departed every so often, and I feel gut-punched after every viewing.

post #54 of 134

The Departed is great(and immensly rewatchable), but I think it'll be come to known as minor Scorsese in 20 years. Like I said though, only time will tell. I'd prefer The Aviator got a huge following over the years as far as his recent stuff.

post #55 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus-7 View Post

The Departed is great(and immensly rewatchable), but I think it'll be come to known as minor Scorsese in 20 years. Like I said though, only time will tell. I'd prefer The Aviator got a huge following over the years as far as his recent stuff.


I think the majority of the movies being listed here will be considered 'minor' in another 15 years, if they aren't already (The Departed, Fight Club, American Beauty, etc).  

 

Defining 'great' is going to get muddy, but if we're talking about the perfect marriage of storytelling, technical achievement, cultural impact, and critical/financial success, I don't see how Lord of the Rings isn't on the top of this list, regardless of its rewatchability (even though I think the series is endlessly rewatchable).

 

post #56 of 134

Why would Fight Club suddenly be considered a 'minor' film? It's a great movie and a cult favourite, it has some classic performances, cutting edge direction, and it tells you something about the era that produced it. What more could you ask for?

post #57 of 134

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Why would Fight Club suddenly be considered a 'minor' film? It's a great movie and a cult favourite, it has some classic performances, cutting edge direction, and it tells you something about the era that produced it. What more could you ask for?


Perhaps 'minor' may have been an overstatement.  I thought we could afford to be a little more stringent with these kinds of discussions, or else it turns into people just listing movies they like.  I enjoy Fight Club quite a bit, and you can really see a great director evolving and honing his craft, but its just so glib and hamfisted at times and its a far cry from Fincher's best work.  And cult status, generally speaking, is never really a good indicator of quality. 

post #58 of 134

Not sure if it's been mentioned in this thread, but the definition of "lasting" greatness has been redefined by the internet and other mass media, where first impressions have become more valued than measured impressions. Hence, the films now accepted in the "greatness" canon are, more often than not, also box office hits. Which has not always been the case: how many AFI top 100 films, for instance, were box office flops when they were first released? Quite a few. And when the AFI updated their list, what recent film had the highest debut? The Lord of the Rings. The best film of the last decade? Really? Yes, so say the audiences.

 

Some of the TRULY best, most fascinating and mercurial films of our time will NOT survive the test of time simply because some assholes proclaimed them DOA after the first box office returns. In other words, the movies people will be proclaiming as "great" from the last decade will, with few exceptions, will also be, in a way, audience favorites.

post #59 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco Von Doom View Post

The main character dies off camera. The resoloution to the main conflict of the story happens off camera. That is jarring and unsatisfying to an audience. You can make the argument that Tommy Lee Jones is the main character, but then why are we watching Llewelyn versus Anton the whole time? Why are we seeing things that Tommy Lee Jones' character can't have possibly known about?

I think this post reveals a certain lack of understanding about the themes of the film. Jarring and unsatisfying to audiences? Maybe to some, but it was critically and financially (considering it's a dour "indie" character piece) well-received.
 

 

post #60 of 134

Put me on the side of detractors of The Usual Suspects. It's no better than the rest of the post-Pulp Fiction wave except that it has a memorable end sequence.

 

I guess the lesson here is to end on a strong note.

post #61 of 134

Echo the obvious ones:  No Country, Inglorious Basterds, Jesse James, Children of Men, There Will Be Blood, Eternal Sunshine.  I don't think there's any doubt that those will still be parts of the canon in 20 years time. 

 

Some of my more subjective picks:

 

Brick - A terrific blend of classic and modern sensibilities, the coming out party for an actor who is going to be one of our best leading men for the next decade, and, although it rarely seems to be mentioned even by supporters, it's freaking beautifully shot.

 

In Bruges - The rarest of crime comedies that manages to not only be funny (hilarious, really), but to actually be about something.

 

Moon - 2001, but with heart.  Up there with Jesse James as the most mistreated masterpiece of the decade.

 

Spiderman 2 - It feels weird not to have comic book flicks represented somehow, and as much as I enjoy TDK, this one is less bloated and features

the purer distillation of the character's appeal.

 

Anchorman - Can stand proudly next to Airplane! and Naked Gun at the top of the absurdist comedy heap.

 

The Fountain - This doesn't get much love outside of Chud, but for me it's a much more visually striking and emotionally effective than the more acclaimed, admittedly impressive yet colder Black Swan.

 

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - Great detective story, great buddy comedy, great post-modern deconstruction, and even a surprisingly good romance to boot.   A better script you'll never find.

 

Death At A Funeral -  Speaking of brilliant comedy scripts, this is the funniest movie you never watched the shitty remake of.  Finally someone realized that the one thing that had been missing from the framework of British comedy was Peter Dinklage.

 

The Departed - I can kind of understand the viewpoint that this is "minor" Scorsese, but I'll stick up for it in that even if has less on it's mind than his earlier work, it still manages to be about the most ruthlessly suspenseful, relentlessly entertaining thriller of the modern era.

 

 

The Coens have cast a really large shadow for themselves with No Country, but A Serious Man, True Grit and especially O Brother, Where Art Thou? would all be strong enough on their own to get a lesser filmmaker on the list.

 

Fincher has several that could potentially qualify, but I think it's a contest between Fight Club and the Social Network as to which will have the most staying power.  Zodiac will probably remain the film geek favorite, though.  His The Insider to TSN's more crowd-pleasing Heat.

 

Pretty much everything Danny Boyle has done almost qualifies, but it's hard for me because I think I actually like the one with the most glaring flaws (Sunshine) the most, and there's no way that will ever be considered his best.  Probably not even in his top five, when all is said and done.

 

Park Chan-Wook's entire Vengeance trilogy is fantastic, but it's hard not to put Oldboy at the top for being the most virtuosic.


Edited by Schwartz - 4/19/11 at 7:39am
post #62 of 134

I second the hopeful scifi/fantasy '06 fable trio of:

THE FOUNTAIN

CHILDREN OF MEN
PAN'S LABYRINTH

 

and nominate the inspirational "creative UK children" fable duo of:

MILLIONS

SON OF RAMBOW

 

And shit, did ONCE get a mention? Romantic as all get out, well-acted, breath-taking music. Can't recommend this one enough.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMR View Post

Put me on the side of detractors of The Usual Suspects. It's no better than the rest of the post-Pulp Fiction wave except that it has a memorable end sequence.

 

I guess the lesson here is to end on a strong note.


No better than BOONDOCK SAINTS? KILLING ZOE? 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY? Seriously? I think the script, direction, and performances all elevate this one. It's not just a typical neo-crime drama IMO.

post #63 of 134

For me, indisputably these films will be part of the canon: 

There Will Be Blood 

In the Mood for Love

Mulholland Dr.

The Royal Tenenbaums

The Hurt Locker

Oldboy

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Children of Men

Pan's Labyrinth

 

 

And these should be:

Jackie Brown

The Limey

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Rachel Getting Married

Collateral

In the Loop

Paprika

 

post #64 of 134

The thing about The Usual Suspects is that I actually really like it while it's a noir-y, violent heist flick.  Then I kind of hate it when the much lauded twist happens.  It's not really any different from "it's all a dream!", and changes what the entire movie is about at the last minute.  If it was in service of a thematic point more compelling than "don't take everything a convict under interrogation tells you at face value," I might appreciate it more.   But the twist has always felt cheap and cartoony to me.

 

I've consigned myself to being alone in this, but I actually prefer Christopher McQuarrie's follow-up The Way Of The Gun (not that it's a truly great movie either).  At least it sticks to it's crime flick guns, so to speak, all the way to the end.

post #65 of 134

As a rule, I don't qualify any film for 'All-Time Best' status until it's at least 10 years old. So, working between 1996 and 2001:

 

American Astronaut

Boys Don't Cry

Buffalo '66

East Is East

Gattaca

Grosse Pointe Blank

The Iron Giant

Last Night

Out of Sight

Perfect Blue

Spirited Away

Three Kings

Toy Story 2

Tuvalu

The Virgin Suicides

The Woman Chaser

 

Meanwhile, some titles (from the same time span) that I'm mildly surprised to find as yet unmentioned here:

 

Almost Famous

Battle Royale

Being John Malkovich

Black Hawk Down

Central Station

Chopper

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Dancer In the Dark

Donnie Darko

Election

Fat Girl

George Washington

Ghost World

Hana-Bi

Happiness

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

High Fidelity

Lagaan

Pi

Requiem For a Dream

Rushmore

The Sixth Sense

Titus

Topsy-Turvy

Y Tu Mama Tambien

post #66 of 134

Suddenly all the criticisms against this thread make sense.  I revoke my previous entry.

 

If Rachel Getting Married is a classic in fifteen years, I hope I'm dead by then.

post #67 of 134

I think the Cohen's ran out of money at the end of Old Country for Men, so they didn't end up filming the death of the Elven Moss guy. Then they lost a bet to Tommy lee Jones, so they filmed him talking about a dream he had the night before. You're all suckers for liking that movie (although the main villain was so awesome).

post #68 of 134
Yes Trevor but that doesn't excuse them for not showing some sex at the motel. Also, this movie showed they should stop working with Roderick Jaynes as an editor because the edition sucked.
post #69 of 134

Why watch that movie when you can just look at this:

 

guessit5.jpg

 

 

post #70 of 134

I think I'm most inclined to agree with the points about the subjective nature of the word "great" and how that makes it difficult to keep this thread from being about anything more than just a cluster of people talking about their favorite movies. I want to name-drop District 9, Moon, Pan's Labyrinth, Zatoichi, Friend, Irreversible, L.A. Confidential, Shaun of the Dead, and any number of other my favorite quality movies from the given period, but I don't think that's what is generally meant when the word "great" is used. "Great", for me, refers to a film being essential and influential, and having an impact that's either cultural or strictly cinematic; it also refers to a movie being iconic, recognizable, and timeless, and if we go by those definitions then the answers get a lot trickier. I'd definitely throw No Country For Old Men in that category, along with pictures like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Children of Men.

post #71 of 134

I want more people to appreciate Peyton Reed. Since 1999, he's made three excellent comedic movies, Bring it On, Down with Love and The Break-Up.


 

post #72 of 134

Broken Lizard has made a few excellent comedies in the last decade.  None of them are truly great films.


Edited by Schwartz - 4/21/11 at 8:58am
post #73 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

I want more people to appreciate Peyton Reed. Since 1999, he's made three excellent comedic movies, Bring it On, Down with Love and The Break-Up.


 

 

I've been pimping Down With Love ad nauseum on these boards for ages. It's neck & neck with Singin' In The Rain on the joy-o-meter, IMO.
 

 

post #74 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post



 

I've been pimping Down With Love ad nauseum on these boards for ages. It's neck & neck with Singin' In The Rain on the joy-o-meter, IMO.
 

 


David Hyde-Pierce is brilliant in it. 

 

post #75 of 134

I made a chronological list based on IMDB browsing, a cursory glance at some top ten of the decade (2000-2009) lists across the Internet, and of course, my own definition of "great" movies. In short, these are movies that I believe were beautifully written, acted, and directed, while at the same time influential, worthy of (and in many cases, possessing) some stature in the cultural consciousness, insightful, and consistently engaging to watch. I believe many of the movies people have chosen are buoyed by strong performances, but deficient in other areas (i.e. "There Will Be Blood", "No Country For Old Men").

 

I left out a few personal favourites (i.e. "Before Sunset", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall") because I was considering which ones can be historically significant, not just emotionally significant to me and my sensibilities. Since 2007, I've become increasingly disappointed in mainstream fare and have been drifting more towards watching older movies. The smaller number of choices from that year onwards is an indication of this. 2002 was my favourite of the last 15 years in movie history.

 

1996

"Fargo"

 

1997

"L.A. Confidential"

 

1998

"The Truman Show"

"Saving Private Ryan"

"Out of Sight"

 

1999

"Being John Malkovich" 

"Office Space" - It may be a comedy, but I think it's important. It captures the spirit of a generation. Seriously.

 

2000

"Traffic"

"Requiem for a Dream"

"High Fidelity"

"Cast Away" - Even with the lackluster third act.

 

2001

"Mulholland Dr."

"The Majestic" - Okay, not a good choice if "popular" is part of your criteria for "great", but I think it's better than a lot of the more popular movies of that year.

 

2002

"Adaptation."

"City of God"

"The Pianist"

"25th Hour"

"About Schmidt"

"Far From Heaven"

 

2003

"Lost in Translation"

"Oldboy"

"X2: X-Men United" - This is the one time I'm going to say "fuck trying to be completely objective" and sticking to prestige or at least cult movies. This is my favourite movie of the 2000-2009 decade and I have to include it.

 

2004

"Sideways"

"Kill Bill, Vol. 2"
"3-Iron"
 
2005
"Good Night, and Good Luck"
 
2006
"Borat" - Again, it's just a comedy, but there's something brave, daring, and original about it that I feel makes it worthy of being deemed "great". Also, despite being supposedly made for no purpose but to entertain, I think it does give some insights into society based on how some of the people in the movie react to the stunts it pulls.
 
2007
Couldn't think of any. I liked "Juno" and "There Will Be Blood" (well, parts of it), but I wouldn't call either of them great.
 
2008
"The Wrestler"
 
2009
"Up"
 
2010
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
post #76 of 134

You couldn't think of any great films which will probably be historically significant from 2007.  The one year in recent memory other than '99 that pretty much everybody believes has a bunch of classics in it? Okay.

post #77 of 134

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as much as I dig it, feels like a minor work.  I would say that Before Sunset is great.

post #78 of 134


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

You couldn't think of any great films which will probably be historically significant from 2007.  The one year in recent memory other than '99 that pretty much everybody believes has a bunch of classics in it? Okay.



Please give examples of these "classics". I'm not being sarcastic. I'd be really curious to know what your choices would be. Most of the ones I've seen identified by others as classics are ones I liked, but thought were very flawed ("No Country for Old Men", "There Will Be Blood", "Ratatouille", "Zodiac"), or ones I haven't seen ("Atonement", "Gone Baby Gone", "Sweeney Todd", "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford", "Into the Wild").

post #79 of 134

I don't think the term classic means a perfect film.  It certainly doesn't judging by your list.  Films like There Will Be Blood and Oldboy are not perfect, but they're going to be classics because they're  unique, dynamic visions about heady themes that audiences really respond to. (Also because they're about ten times better than Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, About Schmidt, The Majestic, The Truman Show, X Men 2, etc.)

 

And as great as I think it is, there are at least three pictures I'd put ahead of TWBB from 2007.  Zodiac, The Assassination of Jesse James, and No Country for Old Men- which you call "very flawed", but I prefer to characterize as "perfect" (and about ten [maybe even fifteen] times better than Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, About Schmidt, The Majestic, The Truman Show, X Men 2, etc.)

post #80 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

You couldn't think of any great films which will probably be historically significant from 2007.  The one year in recent memory other than '99 that pretty much everybody believes has a bunch of classics in it? Okay.


That, and there's a total lack of Starship Troopers on that list.

 

post #81 of 134

The Jim Carrey/Frank Darabont fan in me really wishes The Majestic could be a canadiate in discussions like this because it has a good heart and had potentional.

 

But god, it's awful. So awful.

 

post #82 of 134

I still really like The Majestic, but it's definitely a film where Darabont seemed too attached to making a Capra film the same way Singer was too attached to making a Donner film.

post #83 of 134

We're talking about a couple different things here.  "Great" or even "masterpiece" is one thing.  What this thread seems to be asking is which recent films will become tomorrow's "classics".  That's a different criteria.  There Will Be Blood and No Country straddle both categories, imo.  Most of the films mentioned do not.  X-men 2 might be the best superhero movie of the decade; but it's Spiderman 2 that will have the place Donner's Superman held for a previous generation, and The Dark Knight that will similarly supplant Burton's Batman.  Even there, many film buffs will insist that Batman Returns is the better film, but the ship has pretty much sailed on that ever becoming conventional wisdom.  Classic status is not (entirely) based on an objective comparison of films' respective merits.

 

I think Rounders is a truly great, near-perfect little movie in the vein of Mikey and Nicky or Mean Streets.  But like those films, while time may garner it more respect from a certain brand of aficionado, it is always going to be overshadowed in the public consciousness by bigger, flashier works, and thus will never reach canonical level. 

 

post #84 of 134

Regarding thread criteria, I think of it like this:

 

What were the most popular & critically acclaimed "future classic" films of 1987? Moonstruck? Hope & Glory? Fatal Attraction? Witches Of Eastwick? Three Men & A Baby?! Good films overall but when I think of a capital 'C' CLASSIC movie from 1987 that towers over it's peers & has staked it's position in cinematic history, one film dominates them all:

 

Robocop*

 

 

*with The Untouchables & The Last Emperor as runner-ups

post #85 of 134

schwartz, nice shout out on Rounders, love that movie...KGB Mike makes that movie an instant classic  ' pehy hyeeem iieezz moohhneeey'

 

and yes, office space deserves some type of love as well, though it covers a lot of the same ground as fight club.

post #86 of 134

Let me preface this comment by saying I love Schwartz's contributions to this message board.  He's one of my favorites.  But Rounders is no more Mean Streets than, I dunno, The Usual Suspects is Le Cercle Rouge.

 

But I guess I've had that discussion before.

post #87 of 134


Bailey, thank you for your picks and for explaining the reasoning behind your preferences/disagreements with mine. I appreciate that you didn't resort to childish name-calling ("Simpsons" reference, FTW), but I think you are laying it on a bit thick about just how much better your picks are than mine. smile.gif Regaring this discussion of perfection, I agree with you. I do not think 'classic' necessarily means 'perfect', by your definition or mine. For me "The Truman Show", "The Majestic", and "About Schmidt" are perfect, but as much as I love "Cast Away", "X2", and "Saving Private Ryan" and consider them classic, there are parts of them that I believe suck. I just think there's enough excellent material in them to make them worthy of being held in very high esteem in spite of their flaws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus-7 View Post




That, and there's a total lack of Starship Troopers on that list.

 


I don't think this movie quite reaches greatness mostly because its characters are so bland. The special effects and satire are truly inspired (as they are in "Total Recall" and "Robocop"), but I think those movies are so much greater because they have much more memorable and charismatic characters.

 

post #88 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naisu Baddi View Post


Bailey, thank you for your picks and for explaining the reasoning behind your preferences/disagreements with mine. I appreciate that you didn't resort to childish name-calling ("Simpsons" reference, FTW), but I think you are laying it on a bit thick about just how much better your picks are than mine. smile.gif

 



My math might have been a bit off... was never my strong suit.

 

And I like pretty much all the films you named.  I believe SPR will endure as a war classic, even if I think the only part that really applies is the first sequence.  That alone appears to have had an immediate impact on filmmakers new and old, not to mention other forms of entertainment.

 

Heck,  I even like Cast Away, even though I think it's basically just a mid-life crisis movie aiming for profundity.

post #89 of 134

It may not have been your cup of tea, but the bland characters were oh so integral to the satire that Starship Troopers was going for.  

post #90 of 134

The blandness of the characters seemed to be designed that way in Starship Troopers. I hate saying stuff like "it's meant to be like that!" because it feels like an argumentive cop-out, but it's truly the case for ST due to it's weird satrical message about propoganda. Take that very same story, and transplant it to WWII and it would be called Nation's Pride!

post #91 of 134

Thing is... as bland as the ST characters are, I totally get invested the Dizzy character.

post #92 of 134

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

Let me preface this comment by saying I love Schwartz's contributions to this message board.  He's one of my favorites.  But Rounders is no more Mean Streets than, I dunno, The Usual Suspects is Le Cercle Rouge.

 

But I guess I've had that discussion before.


First off, thanks for the kind word.  And to be sure, Rounders lacks the directorial panache that Scorcese brings to even the least of his projects,

so I'm not saying it is Mean Streets' equal.  But allow me to defend my poor taste.

 

There is a natural point of comparison to me because Rounders, despite being ostensibly a poker movie*, follows a lot of coming of age urban dramas beat for beat, only with a card game in the place of crime.  There's the young hero trying to go straight despite his popularity with the seedy set.  The push and pull between the love of a good woman and loyalty to a loose cannon friend whose debts and attitude endanger them both.  Dueling relationships with paternal figures on both the legit and other side.  A climactic showdown (in the most literal, etymological sense) with a charismatic, OTT gangster.  But part of what makes Rounders great is that even if you're not thinking about these connections on a literal level, the familiarity with the template still gives the ending an extra surprise factor because we've never see a low-level mob movie where the handsome, conflicted hero loses his liability of a best friend, then shrugs off losing the girl too and just embraces a life of crime.  It's almost subversive, on a meta level.  In any case, both films tell a similar story in a similar setting, and more to the original point, if neither gets the recognition from the general public that they deserve, it's for reasons that go beyond their respective quality. In Mean Streets' case, that reason is mostly that no matter how many legit masterpieces a single artist may produce, there's really only room for 2-3 of their works in a casual conversation.

 

And that is a huge part of what qualifies for "classic" status, not just for individual filmmakers but genres and time periods as well.  It's why X-Men 2 could be the greatest superhero movie ever made in some quantifiable sense, but it's not going to have the staying power to remain in a conversation dominated by Spiderman and The Dark Knight in the years to come.  It's why Ikiru could be every critic in the world's favorite film ever but never reach the same level of recognition as Rashomon or Seven Samurai.  It's also why Shawshank will continue to crop up in these discussions, even though it's more really good than Great.  It's something of a genre unto itself, and the difficult in identifying its immediate competitors means it never has to endure direct comparison the way, say, Halloween has to stand up to Friday the 13th or Saving Private Ryan has to stand up to Platoon.  I mean, when someone starts waxing on about how great Tombstone is, it's easy enough to go "eh, it's fun and all, but it's no Unforgiven."  What do you counter with when someone praises Shawshank?  "I prefer that 15 minutes of Goodfellas, actually"?  "Meh, it's no Life"?  "You know, Life, with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence"?  "Where they're in jail"?  "In like, the South"?  "And also it's like 1930 or something"?  "Fuck you, I did not make that up"?  "It's a real thing!!!"?

 

 

*Incidentally, I don't think there's ever really been a movie that is about poker the way, for example, a good baseball movie is about baseball.  The closest I've seen is probably Lucky You, which is something of a turd, overall.

post #93 of 134

IMO, Rounders greatest strength is it's razor sharp script &, despite it's young man/urban crime element, I don't think it's in the same cinematic family as Mean Streets. It's dialogue is so smart, I'd submit that it's in the lineage of films like Sweet Smell Of Success & Color Of Money. Mean Streets' poetry is in it's direction, with Rounders, it's in it's language.

post #94 of 134

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post

IMO, Rounders greatest strength is it's razor sharp script &, despite it's young man/urban crime element, I don't think it's in the same cinematic family as Mean Streets. It's dialogue is so smart, I'd submit that it's in the lineage of films like Sweet Smell Of Success & Color Of Money. Mean Streets' poetry is in it's direction, with Rounders, it's in it's language.

 

That's a question of execution, though.  I'm comparing story.

 

Although I think it should be said, Rounders is a great-looking movie in its own grimy way.  But it doesn't have the energy of a Scorcese flick, that's for sure.



 

post #95 of 134

Schwartz, I acknowledge those parallels and appreciate you taking the time to point out some things I hadn't considered.

 

I suppose I might be getting into subjective territory here, but to me the lasting legacy of Mean Streets is its authenticity and its specificity*, and how that allowed Scorsese to express, probably in more of a direct way than he ever has, his primary auteurist concerns.   I felt the danger Charlie was facing on the streets, and I also felt his spiritual turmoil.  I appreciated the way Scorsese twisted those opposing forces into a compelling drama.

 

Whereas, with Rounders, nothing felt authentic to me.   I am all but certain I'm about to repeat myself verbatim from some prior discussion, but Mike never felt like anything other than a boy scout to me.  The only character who read as real was Knish.  And I didn't think it had anything as thematically hefty under the hood(s) as the code of the street contending with the tenets of deeply felt religious belief for the heart and mind of a fully fleshed out human being.

 

 

* I always remember, as a teenager just discovering Scorsese and Coppola, reading how the wiseguys used to say that, while The Godfather got all the prestige, the movie they kept going back to see over and over again was Mean Streets.

post #96 of 134

Few films have had me leave the theatre with my ass kicked so completely as City of God, and as others have mentioned Master and Commander has aged absurdly well.


 

post #97 of 134

I'm amused by the debate over No Country here. I don't even like that movie, and I would call it a classic. It doesn't connect with me on any kind of emotional level since I just don't care about any of the characters, so I don't really enjoy it, but I certainly respect what the Coens did. It's a definite classic, even if it isn't to my taste.

 

That, to me, is what we should be talking about with what will be considered a future classic. What are the films that are so great that everyone has to at least respect them, even if they don't love them. Also, what films are benchmarks, movies that influenced this era of film, movies that captured the culture at the time. Those are the films that are going to be considered classics, not just the movies that I love. Also, we have to talk about popular recognition as a factor as well. You may love some obscure little movie, but it has to have some degree of popular recognition if it's going to be considered a real "classic". On that basis, my list would look something like this:

 

No Country

Eternal Sunshine

Memento - This could possibly swap with Inception. Nolan is arguably THE director of the decade, and to me, Memento is still his most important and best film.

Saving Private Ryan - Complain about its faults all you want, but it's going to go down as a classic. The beach scene basically guarantees that, and overall it just feels like a classic.

Fight Club and Social Network - Fincher basically captured the zeitgeist twice. You could argue that Fight Club is already considered a modern classic, and it doesn't feel like it will be long before Social Network will be in that category.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy- Monumental achievement. Cultural event. Epic scope. Great films. That's a classic.

The Bourne Trilogy - Heavily influenced (for better or worse) the way action films are shot. Made Matt Damon a superstar. I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't at least like these films

Wall-E - Pixar has to be represented, and since the original Toy Story doesn't qualify, Wall-E feels like the film most likely to endure. I know the rest of the film does not hold up to the first act, but the first act is so timeless and iconic. Feels like a classic more than any other Pixar.

The Matrix - Significant culturally and in the way it changed things visually (bullet-time, anyone?). Whether or not you think it's a great film, it's almost undoubtedly the most significant sci-fi of the last 15 years.

Starship Troopers - The events of 9/11 and the Iraq war vaulted this into classic status. It's great satire, but then when it proved to be so eerily prescient.

 

Those I would feel confident asserting that in 10-20 years, people will be referring to them as classics. Others I would be a little more hesitant on, but that are possibilities:

 

Jesse James - In addition to the reasons listed, it feels significant because of how many great young actors are in it. It could be that as these guys get bigger and bigger, more people will revisit this simply because of the cast.

O Brother Where Art Thou - It seems to be almost universally adored, and it's my favorite Coen. I don't know if it will be considered a classic, but I hope it will :)

Brick - This one is just a hunch. Nobody knows about it now, but I feel like Rian Johnson is on the verge of breaking out with the general public. If he becomes a director of note in the coming years, this one might get the respect it deserves. This could also go for Moon with Duncan Jones and Primer with Shane Carruth, depending on how their careers turn out.

Spiderman 2/Dark Knight - It just feels like superhero movies should be represented here.

Basterds/Kill Bill - Both great. Neither seem as significant as Pulp Fiction.

Royal Tenenbaums - I don't love it (need to revisit this, it's been a while), but it feels like Anderson's most important work, and he's one of the significant voices of this era. Again, I respect it more than enjoy it.

Anchorman/Office Space - I love both, but comedies are tricky because they're so subjective. I think Anchorman is the funniest film I've ever seen, but I know people who hate it with a passion.

Borat - Again, comedy is tricky, and I'm not sure Borat is actually a "great" movie. It is, however, a great concept, and such an amazing and dedicated performance. Felt incredibly fresh and original.

 

There are plenty I'm sure that I'm missing because I haven't seen them, but those are movies that feel like classics to me. I don't like all of them. I like Up more than Wall-E and Brothers Bloom more than Brick. If I had my pick of superhero movie, I'd probably take X2. These are the ones that feel like enduring classics to me though, movies that even if you don't like them, you respect them. Just my $.02

 

 

post #98 of 134

SPIDER-MAN 2, yes, THE DARK KNIGHT, no. Ledger's performance is a worldbeater, but the film itself is nowhere near as tightly constructed or energetic or ageless as Raimi's movie.

post #99 of 134

If we're going to venture beyond titles we prefer towards titles that had an inarguable, quantifiable impact, we'll have to raise Titanic sooner or later.

 

Comedies always get short shrift when people talk about 'great' or 'important' films. Here's to There's Something About Mary. And if I'm gonna be honest with myself, Dude, Where's My Car?.

post #100 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post

SPIDER-MAN 2, yes, THE DARK KNIGHT, no. Ledger's performance is a worldbeater, but the film itself is nowhere near as tightly constructed or energetic or ageless as Raimi's movie.

I don't think that matters so much, though.  The cultural impact of TDK is already set, and lasting.  And everyone has seen it.  It is already iconic, which is at least 2/3 of the battle when talking about what gets elevated to classic status (see: Heat vs. the more tight and polished The Insider for comparison).  Or are we back to talking about what we personally think is best?
 

 

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