Friday, December 25, 2009

A Decade in Review - A freEk's view!

Hello my freEk fellows,
As the first decade of this century comes to a close, it is but arbitrary that us self professed lovers of cinedom, huddle together to bitch, bicker and banter about what constitutes as the best films of the decade, to give it our freEky twist we throw in a worst – of in each category that we cover…

The Best of:
The Jason Bourne Series:

Why: The impact of this movie series, can be determined by the fact that it forced the suave, slick, gadget friendly Bond series to go through a revamp, and come back with a grittier franchise. Directed by Paul Greengrass and featuring some frenetic action sequences, and a solid performance by the unlikely action hero : Matt Damon, the Bourne series is the meter against which spy movies in the future will be judged.

The Worst of:

G.I. JOE – the rise of the COBRA!: With a multimillion dollar budget, and a every little boy’s favorite childhood cartoon at hand, Director Stephen Sommers deserves the credit for directing probably the worst stinkpile in cinematic history in a long time. With a screenplay that bordered from ludicrous to insane, this turd could not even be saved with the presence of solid actors like Dennis Quaid and Joseph Gordon Levitt.


The Best of :Anchorman – the legend of Ron Burgundy:

That Will Ferrell is a comedic genius is now a redundant fact, given his successes in movies such as Talladega, Step- Brothers, hell the man even lit up movies such as wedding – crashers with his presence; but perhaps Will Ferrrell’s defining performance in this movie as the sexist, self – obsessed news reporter is above and beyond anything that this decade churned up.
Runners Up : The 40 year old virgin, The Hangover, TROPIC THUNDER

Worst of :
Freddy Got Fingered :

This movie, the cinematic creation of comedian Tom Green, is the cinematic equivalent of getting hit in the crotch with a blunt, rusted iron rod. Filled with Green’s trademark gross-out humour, it features a scene where he whirls a newborn around his head by holding onto its umbilical cord. Enuff said?

Best of:
There will be Blood / Syriana

There will be Blood is written and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is loosely based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil! (1927). It tells the story of a silver-miner-turned-oil-man on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California's oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although many complained about its slow pace, There will be Blood is a masterpiece in the lost of method acting, as delivered by that reclusive genius : Daniel Day Lewis.

Syriana is
2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's screenplay is loosely adapted from Robert Baer's memoir See No Evil. The film focuses on petroleum politics, and the global influence of the oil industry, whose political, economic, legal, and social effects are experienced by a CIA operative (George Clooney), an energy analyst (Matt Damon), a Washington attorney (Jeffrey Wright), and a young unemployed Pakistani migrant worker (Mazhar Munir) in an Arab country in the Persian Gulf.. No film that I can recollect has managed to draw a balance between the industrial, political and religious aspects of the oil industry – which this movie amazingly does; all the while remaining a taut thriller. Kudos to Mr. Clooney, who went on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of a CIA agent suffering bouts of conscience!


The Kingdom is a 2007 film directed by Peter Berg and starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper,
Jennifer Garner
, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, with Kyle Chandler, Jeremy Piven and Ali Suliman. The film is fictional, but inspired by bombings at the Riyadh compound on May 12, 2003 and the Khobar housing complex on June 26, 1996 in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is the cinematic opposite of the balanced approach that Syriana takes in understanding the middle east crisis, and propagates America’s “war-for-peace” approach. Coincedentally, the original cut of this movie featured a truer to life ending which was changed in favour of a audience friendly one.


500 Days of Summer:
Directed by Marc Webb, produced by Mark Waters, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel., this brilliant rom-com told the bittersweet tale of a romance gone sour between Tom ( Levitt) and his girlfriend Summer ( Deschanel). The film’s usage of non-linear narrative, and split-screen narrative – where an ideal circumstance is shown at the same time as what actually conspired between Tom and Summer is brilliant. The impact of this movie has been felt as far as Bollywood, where Imtiaz Ali used a similar non-linear techqniue for his latest picture “Love Aaj Kal”

The Worst:

Down To You :
Starring 90s hearthrob Freddy Prinze Jr., this awful pastiche of weepy melodramas, features a scene where Freddy’s character drinks a bottle of hair conditioner in grief! Enuff said?

Blockbustery (as in, the potential to earn a gazillion dollars):
The Best Of :
The Pirates of the Caribbean Series / the Lord of the Rings:

This was a good decade for spectacle, and no movies evidence that better than the two named above. With all the thrills, chills and spills that the escapist demanded, we waited year on year for the sequels of both these franchises to enthrall us, and while it is impossible to rank one over the other, for sheer entertainment value alone; I would put ahead the Pirates series for the inclusion of this man, who single-handedly threatened to steal the show from all the explosions, thrills, and cleavage that co-existed on screen besides him.. Captain Jack Sparrow…savvy?

The Worst of:
G.I. JOE : The rise of the COBRA!
This one goes to G.I. JOE again follks!!

Mind F*ck: (as in the potential to make you go : What the F!)
The Best Of:

The Butterfly Effect:

is a thriller film directed and written by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The film stars Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Eric Stoltz and others, and was distributed by New Line Cinema. The move boasts of a warped storyline, where the lead ( played by Ashton) has the ability to change his past, by re-imagining it differently. Each re-imaginig however brings about unforeseen changes to his future, rather than the pleasant aftermath that he had hoped. The Butterfly Effect is a mish-mash of the Wonder Years and the Omen!



2001 American science fiction film written and directed by Richard Kelly. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Featuring random time travel sequences, a ten feet long Bunny Rabbit and an in essence a plotline to convuluted for its own good, Donnie enjoys a cult fan following, I have yet to come across someone who has figured out, WTF goes on in the movie ( which, perhaps is what the director set out to do after all!)


The Best:The SAW Series:

Little did James Whanell know that the short feature that he had pitched in 2003 as a movie idea, would become a monster hit, and go on to spawn five sequels. Hailed as the movie responsible for the "torture porn" genre, We haven't seen the last of Jigsaw and his accomplices yet!

The Worst

Otherwise known as the movie that effectively removed all memories of M. Night Shyamalan as the guy directed the "SIXTH SENSE


OLD BOY (Hangul: 올드보이, the phonetic transliteration of "old boy") is a 2003 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook, is perhaps the definitive revenge cinema. It's impact is seen in the fact that Sanjay Gupta directed a frame-by-frame remake of the movie called Zinda.


This is a wonderful gem, directed by Georgian filmmaker Géla Babluani. Tzameti is the Georgia
word for thirteen. Tzameti's impact is seen in the fact that Babluani has been called by Hollywood to make a mega-budget remake of the original ( which in my opinion worked due to its miniscule budget!)


A visual treat, Pan's Labyrinth - directed by Guillermo Del Toro, is as wild and fanstatic as a fantasy film can hope to be!

So there you have it folks, a great decade with some great cinema. Do you agree with the above lists? Have a great next decade!!


extra freeky:

The freEk's favourite movie, of the decade, in case you wondered is this masterpiece...

Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce will probably the decade defining movie, in my freEky little opinion for the sheer impact that it had on cinema, storytelling, and yes Bollywood's Ghajini - which was a pathetic rip-off!

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