Saturday, December 4, 2010

101 Cinematic Reasons Why I Love the 2000s

I recently discovered a list in which the author stated “100 reasons why I love film”.  I could give you 1,000, so instead I’m breaking it up by decade.  In no discernable order, here is an off the cuff list of why I loved movies in the first decade of the 21st century. Confused by one…just ask, man.

1. “Is that my daughter in there? IS THAT MY DAUGHTER IN THERE?!”

2. Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)” as used in Traffic (more here)

3. The introduction of Francis Xavier Slaughtery in 25th Hour

4. Brad Pitt’s inaudible “Thank You” in Babel (more here)

5. The dinner scene in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

6. Derek Luke in Antwone Fisher

7. “I’m an old, broken down piece of meat, and I’m alone.  And I deserve to be alone. I just... don’t want you to hate me.”


9. The opening credits of Adaptation.

10. “Okay so what am I doing?  Oh, I’m chasing this guy.  No… he’s… chasing me.”

11. Hattori Honzo’s steel

12. Naomi Watts as Betty Elms (and Diane Selwyn)

13. Heath Ledger in Monster’s Ball

14. Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain (more here)

15. Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

16. The dialouge of this character at this moment:

17. A sea of hands hands desperately grab for the control stick. The plane descends faster and faster, the field below comes into clearer view. We pray the passengers get control.  But, of course, we know they won't.

18. The first 15 minutes of There Will Be Blood

19. The last 15 minutes of There Will Be Blood

20. The middle 130 minutes of There Will Be Blood

21. Monica Belluci walking into the red tunnel

22. The use of Richard Wagner’s “Das Rheingold: Vorspiel” in The New World

23. The name Carey Mulligan

24. “You’re a pianist?  Play.”

25. The three films of Alejandro González Iñárritu

26. William Hurt's one scene in A History of Violence


28. The fact that an Iwo Jima film from the Japanese POV is better than an Iwo Jima film from the American POV

29. Using dialogue as an afterthought in Hunger

30. The final scene of The Cove

31. The eyes of Marion Cotillard

32. Monique’s voice in the final scene of Precious

33. When Colin Firth sees something that excites him, the color hue of the film changes

34. Steven Soderbergh’s filmography (more here)

35. The events that lead to this man's nickname:

36.  Bill Murray screaming for help on an elliptical

37. The Rumble in the Jungle, as directed by Michael Mann

38. “Kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri”

39. The Vengeance trilogy

40. A bully’s flapping legs as they glide across the surface of a swimming pool

41. Watching the Friedmans be captured

42. Eminem, Oscar winner

43. The Vietnam vet that steps onto the bus in Jarhead

44. “He made a disparaging remark about the Knicks at a party.”

45. Tom Hanks alone on an island

46. Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing in The Departed

47. “Let Go,” by Frou Frou in Garden State

48. The rebirth of this man’s career: 

49. “I’m gonna grab a smoke you want a smoke what you don’t smoke what are you some kind of fitness freak huh go fuck yourself.”

50. The moment the gas station owner realizes his life depends on the fate of a coin toss

51. “Because I’m a fucking caveman!”

52. Rian Johnson’s Brick screenplay

53. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Manic

54. Yo Yo Ma’s cello in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

55. “Girlie, tough ain’t enough.”

56. January 27, 2003: Oscar nominations are announced, a tiny film no one has seen gets four major nominations, it’s called City of God

57. The guy that made these movies: 

58. David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow

59. Colin Farrell quickly walking into a hospital as Mogwai’s “Auto Rock” plays

60. “I live in the American Gardens building on West 81st street.  My name is Patrick Bateman, I’m 27 years

61. The ever-evolving, and grossly underrated, career of Jeffrey Wright

62. Matt Damon’s final, silent scene in Syriana

63. “YES. YES. YES. YES.” 

64. The actor who played Walter Wade, Trevor Reznik, John Rolfe, Dieter Dengler, Alfred Borden, Melvin Purvis, Bruce Wayne and Patrick Bateman

65. Michael Mann shooting in HD

66. “…improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it.”

67. Best Director, 2000

68. Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, 2002

69. Ray Charles, reborn in the form of Jamie Foxx

70. “Well… the time has come”—Barbara Streisand presenting the 2009 winner for Best Director

71. “I wish… you had… more time.”

72. Laine Hanson for Vice President

73. A kid unexpectedly picks up a phone, Eric Bana sprints toward the car, the bomb is triggered, it fails to explode.  Hitchcock would be jealous.

74. The performance of the woman on the right:

75. A man sitting on the beach, waiting for his father to come back in from a fishing trip.  Cue credits.

76. “I need you to make me ugly.”

77. A desperate man running in the street with his huge dog as a live version of “With or Without You” booms over the soundtrack

78. The wires are finally drawn, the narrative finally catches up with itself, we cut to black before slowly fading in on a picture of Philippe Petit walking on air

79. Billy Bob Thornton pissing himself in a Santa outfit

80. Eric Bana's final monologue in Black Hawk Down

81. The fact that Unbreakable is better than The Sixth Sense

83.Werner Herzog’s face as he listens to Timothy Treadwell be mauled to death

84. “I’m even in love with your anger! I’M IN LOVE WITH ANYTHING THAT LIVES!”

85. The “Mad World” montage in Donnie Darko

86. We open on a photograph of a contemporary Parisian street.  After a few minutes, a car drives by; we aren't looking at a photo, we're looking at a film clip.  After a few minutes, off camera dialouge is heard; we aren't looking at a real shot, we're looking at what the characters are looking at.  After a few minutes, the tape rewinds; we aren't looking at a live shot, we're looking at a videotape.

87. The final 5 minutes of Dogville

88. This cast:

89. Audrey Tautou hastily walking a blind man down the street, explaining in detail everything they pass

90. “Tiny Dancer” being sung on a tour bus

91. “Whoop that trick, get ‘em.”

92. Clive Owen escorting a mother and her newborn child out of a destroyed building

93. “Lying’s the most a girl can have without taking her clothes off.”

94. Jack Nicholson reading a letter from Ndugu

95. Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos

96. The events that transpire directly after this moment: 

97. Campbell Scott as Roger Swanson

98. Robin Williams with bleach-blonde hair

 99. “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.”

100. “Silencio”

 101. “And then I woke up.”

“Answer” Key
I’ve gotten a lot of shit for being too enigmatic with some portions of my list. Below is a slight “answer” key. Slight because I’m only listing the movie for each corresponding number. To give more context would take the piss out of the whole thing.

1. Mystic River
7. The Wrestler
8. Requiem for a Dream
10. Memento
11. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
12. Mulholland Dr.
16. Punch-Drunk Love
17. United 93
21. Irreversible
24. The Pianist
25. Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel
27. Dancer in the Dark
28. Letters from Iwo Jima/Flags of Our Fathers
33. A Single Man
35. Chopper
36. Lost in Translation
37. Ali
38. Audition
39. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance
40. Let the Right One In
41. Capturing the Friedmans
42. 8 Mile
44. The Squid and the Whale
45. Cast Away
48. From top left: Planet Terror, No Country for Old Men, Milk, W.
49. The Departed
50. No Country for Old Men
51. Closer
55. Million Dollar Baby
57. Gus Vant Sant
58. Good Night and Good Luck
59. Miami Vice
60. American Psycho
63. Sexy Beast
64. Christian Bale
65. Ali, Collateral, Miami Vice, Public Enemies
66. Collateral
67. Steven Soderbergh, Traffic
68. Roman Polanski, Adrien Brody, Ronald Harwood, all for The Pianist
69. Ray
71. Man on Fire
72. The Contender
73. Munich
74. Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
75. The Edge of Heaven
76. 25th Hour
77. Tell No One
78. Man on Wire
79. Bad Santa
83. Grizzly Man
84. In America
86. Cache
88. The Royal Tenenbaums
89. Amélie
90. Almost Famous
91. Hustle & Flow
92. Children of Men
93. Closer
94. About Schmidt
95. Monster
96. Eastern Promises
97. Roger Dodger
98. One Hour Photo
99. Before Sunset
100. Mulholland Dr.
101. No Country for Old Men


  1. No way, no way, no way Unbreakable is better than Sixth Sense.

    I love your list.

  2. What a delightful list. I recognized about 25% of the references but that was enough to make me smile.

  3. Ha, there is a slight demanded of me to post a key of the film that represents each number.


  4. Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

    - David

  5. Haha these are great. I really have to see There Will Be Blood already....!

  6. 49!!! I love Baldwin in this and I actually use this line to people in real life :D