Author Topic: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade  (Read 8122 times)

mgriffin

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Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:55:56 AM »
It's debatable whether Roger Ebert is the best film critic now working, but there's no debate that he's the best-known and most influential.  He recently wrote a column about his best films of the decade and I found it an interesting read, because A) I like Ebert's approach (not too intellectual, not too populist) to film, and B) I'm a huge fan of Synecdoche, New York which Ebert rates as the #1 film of the decade.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/12/the_best_films_of_the_decade.html

I certainly don't agree with the whole list.  I think Hurt Locker was very well-done and terribly real, but I'd put it fourth or fifth or sixth among films of 2009, not second among films of the whole decade.  I actually like Ebert's honorable mentions as much as his top 10, in fact I'd prefer the "almost rans" to the top 10 if not for the film he puts at the top.

Interestingly, though Ebert raved about Avatar when he reviewed it, and it's already become the highest-grossing film of all time, he makes no mention of it in this column.
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 12:16:47 PM »
Some very odd choices, to be sure. The only one I take serious exception to is Minority Report. That's not even the best SF film of the decade (certainly nowehere near as good as Children of Men). I can't imagine what in Minority Report touched him on an emotional level. The best thing I can say about that movie is at least it was better than the suck-fest which was A.I. I STILL cringe when I think of that mess.

mgriffin

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 01:26:44 PM »
I love that this ultra-mainstream critic is championing stuff like Synecdoche New York and Pan's Labyrinth and Waking Life.  I guess my thing with Ebert is not so much that he's the "best" critic as that I like his approach, I feel comfortable with him due to the long time I've heard/read his reviews, and also his writing is very engaging.  His non-critical writing, such as that on his blog recently, is great.
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APK

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 01:30:23 PM »
Some very odd choices, to be sure. The only one I take serious exception to is Minority Report. That's not even the best SF film of the decade (certainly nowehere near as good as Children of Men). I can't imagine what in Minority Report touched him on an emotional level. The best thing I can say about that movie is at least it was better than the suck-fest which was A.I. I STILL cringe when I think of that mess.

Arrrggg, Children Of Men .... dreadful movie. You surprise me, Bill.
Agree with you about A.I..
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mgriffin

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 01:36:41 PM »
Go ahead and be surprised at me, too, then!  I thought Children of Men was great.
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APK

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 01:38:39 PM »
Aarrrgggg, Mike .... you surprise me. Dreadful bloody movie !
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APK

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 01:39:51 PM »
Minority Report was, on the other hand, surprisingly good.
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judd stephens

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 04:44:25 PM »
This is the second time in a short period I've read someone not liking Children of Men.  In the first case, it was due to the previews being misleading.  I say, misleading or not, what you actually saw on the screen was a pretty darn good movie.  I wonder what it is exactly that some people are poo-pooing about it.   A dreadful movie?  APK, I think you recently mentioned not liking Dristrict 9 either.  What's the deal?  I know they're both pretty gritty and ugly.  Either movie can't be faulted for lack of good acting and decent effects, though the effects didnt really sit in the driver's seat (well, maybe moreso with D-9). 

I just watched another great sci-fi flick called Moon, that can fit into the better crop of sci-fi movies of this decade, and probably would appeal to a lot of the people here.  Good acting, a good story, some difficult themes of defining our humanity, a la Blade Runner, and nicely minimal special effects.   Not mind-blowing or anything, but definitely recommended.  Anyway put me into the arrgggg category for Children of Men.  One of my favorites!


   

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 05:30:28 PM »
Hurt Locker is the only one in the top 10 I've seen, lol. 

Incidentally, I thought it was "pretty good", but it was cliched in quite a few ways.

Saw a few in the honorable mentions, but there's no way the new Bad Lieutenant comes close to the original (don't care if it's related in title only), and I say that without having seen it.   ;)

Ejected Children of Men 20 minutes in.
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APK

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2010, 05:55:07 PM »
"Ejected Children of Men 20 minutes in."

Good to see I am not alone.  8)
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APK

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 06:03:46 PM »
Judd:
I confess to not liking the lead male actor in Children ... not a fan of any of his movies.
So I was biased going into that one. It didn't grip me at all. I doubt I finished it too.

District 9 I thought was well done, and meaningful. It was ok. Was a bit silly though.

Moon had a nice 2001 feel in the sets and pacing. But I thought it could have been
quite a bit better with respect to plot. I was a tad disappointed by it. While still enjoying it.
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 09:41:41 AM »
Really glad to City of God on the list.  Not in the top 10, but mentioned.
Interesting list, well done.  I see he does agree with me on one point.  Movies that are made to sell action figures at Burger King may be good, but they are certainly not the best.
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LNerell

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 03:30:27 PM »
"Ejected Children of Men 20 minutes in."

Good to see I am not alone.  8)

Maybe you guys should get Roger Ebert's 2007 book Your Movie Sucks;D

BTW Ebert liked Children of Men and for the record so did I.  :D

Speaking of films that suck I really thought the Kill Bill films did (particularly vol. 1), so I was surprised to see them listed in anyone's best of films list. I can certainly see them listed in a worst of list, like worst film music of all time, worst overacting of all time, worst rip off of kung fu movies of all time (which is quite a feet since most kung fu movies tend to rip themselves off).
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 07:21:08 PM »
I must admit I don't how in the hell NONE of Peter Jackson's LOTR films made it onto his list. Talk about filming the unfilmable. Every time I re-watch Return of the King I am in awe of the pure craft of Jackson's film-making. If ROTK doesn't somehow re-define the "blockbuster" for Ebert, I don't know what would.

I am tempted, now, to look over all the movies I've seen since 2000 and name my "best of the decade." Anyone else game for such a task? I'd have to resort to the IMDB because I can't recall every film I've seen (part of being 55, I guess), but I would bet there are films where I would say "Yeah, dammit, that was a GREAT movie!"

Well, I think I'l give it a shot...

Bill

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2010, 01:07:40 AM »
Both Children of Men and Synecdoche, New York were horrid movies.  Don't know what's up with this list.

Moon and District 9 = 2 best Sci-Fi movies in many years!

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2010, 01:25:45 AM »
I liked Children of Men, and even Kill Bill in a way.....

I hated, hated, hated the 'revisioning' of Planet of the Apes......some films suck - this was like a merciless black hole that destroyed all the tension, exploration and observation of human nature that the original managed to create - the comments Taylor makes before going into hibernation are really a lead into the 'twist' of the ending but it was still one of the classic moments of cinematic history.

I liked Clive Owen in Inside Man and enjoyed the film (Shoot em up was more intriguing - I don't usually go for gun fest but will have to watch again at some point)

IMO anyway.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 01:28:19 AM by Seren »

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 02:33:45 PM »
On the subject of Roger Ebert, a bunch of worthwhile links here.  I've always enjoyed Ebert's criticism (though of course he's considered too populist by the snobs and too snooty for the mainstream) and more recently his blog has been a source of some great stuff, often unrelated to movies.

An amazing profile of Ebert in the latest Esquire.  This has been linked all over the place so you may have seen it.
http://www.esquire.com/print-this/roger-ebert-0310


Here's Ebert's response, on his blog, to seeing himself portrayed as being at death's door
http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/02/roger_eberts_last_words_cont.html

Interesting Ebert 2009 film lists -- you can kind of tell what these are by the last part of the URLs:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/12/the_best_films_of_2009.html

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/12/the_best_foreign_films_of_2009.html

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/12/the_ten_best_documentaries_of.html

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/01/of_theaters_and_audiences_and.html
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: Roger Ebert's best films of the decade
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2010, 03:14:08 PM »
I have recently seen "Crazy Heart" and "The Hurt Locker".  Both well done, and "The Hurt Locker" is my choice so far for the Best Picture Oscar.  I haven't seen "Avatar" yet.  My wife and son and daughter in law are going this weekend.  I don't know if I could deal with a 3 hour 3d IMAX flick. Physically, that is.

Never saw "Children of Men".  from what I'm reading here, I'm glad.  I did like "Kill Bill".  There is nothing like the original "Planet of the Apes".  It's such a happy memory.  My mom loved those ape movies.  We saw everyone of them in a theater when it came out.  The last one was so bad, we were in tears (laughing).

I think it's odd that The Cove was left off of his documentary list.  I guess since it will probably get the best documentary oscar, he just wouldn't be as cool as cool can be if he would have it on his list.
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