Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 10 Films: 2003

Moving right along we come to the year 2003. The year was jammed packed with great action and stunning cinema, but here's my Top 10 Films from the year 2003. Check it out after the break...

10. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
The real pirate movie released in 2003! Master and Commander is epic. Directed and adapted into screenplay by Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society) Master and Commander is a brutal and realistic take on a British Commander who pushes his crew and vessel to the limits while in pursuit of a French war vessel. I have watched this film numerous times and it remains compelling every viewing. A lot of that has to do with the no nonsense approach to the hardships at sea and the other part is all Russell Crowe. Crowe like in his other epic roles, is at the top of his game here in 'Far Side of the World'.

9. The Italian Job
Arguably F. Gary Gray's best film, The Italian Job is one heck of a fun ride. I love a great heist movie and The Italian Job is one of them. Filled with outstanding cat and mouse chases, a well plotted double cross and some laugh inducing dialogue, the film makes for a rising experience. The Italian Job also has a cast that just seemed to fire on all the right cylinders.

8. The Matrix Reloaded
A controversial sequel that most either loved or hated. Matrix Reloaded represented a shift in the trilogy that made a clear statement of where the series intended to go. I for one love the Matrix Trilogy and think it is a remarkable testament to Sci Fi. 'Reloaded' is insanely fun. The action sequences throughout Reloaded are some of the best in the trilogy and the freeway sequence alone is an all time favorite of mine. Lastly it's the one film in the trilogy that I have actually watched the most out of the 3 films.

7. X2: X-Men United
X2 is Bryan Singer's best X-Men effort. Singer created the setup in his first film with Fox, but X-Men United was where he really gave the fans what they wanted. All of the characters development in X2, along with the action. Singer gave X-Men fans some fan favorites in his sequel and also gave them a setup to the Phoenix Saga. Unfortunately Brett Ratner took a dump on that storyline in X-Men 3.

6. Open Range
Ahh Kevin Costner. I love this guy probably more than any other actor alive. I don't know if it is a man crush or just his undeniable charm, but I have yet to watch a movie that I don't like with Costner. Open Range is a modern classic in my mind. A true gem in the Western genre. The story is simple a ex-gunman is forced to take arms when a corrupt lawman threatens him and his cattle crew. The film has one of the best finale's and has spectacular dialogue from opening to closing. Costner directed and he knows his stuff when it comes to the Western genre.

5. Old School
Something that has been tried over and over to be replicated is National Lampoon's Animal House and Old School is one of a rare few that actually does it! Old School is a riot and director Todd Philips best film. It is easily one of the funniest movies of the decade with a cast of characters that all deliver hysterical hijinks throughout. No one will ever forget Frank the Tank and his streaking! But that is just one of many hilarious scenes that overflow Old School.

4. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The final installment to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a thing of beauty. The best trilogy of the decade hands down is finalized with a masterpiece. A film also won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture. I remember how excited everyone was to finally see this film and the pay off was more than worth it. Just an all around flawless trilogy. The Return of the King remains a perfect ending to a perfect trilogy.

3. Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation represents a simple story of two different people who are drawn together while spending time in foreign Tokyo but includes two of the best performances of 2003 within it. Written and directed by Sophia Coppola, Lost in Translation is a poignant story of finding a friendship where you least expected it. Bill Murray is remarkable in the film and delivers one of the most touching performances of his esteemed career.

2. 28 Days Later
Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later is a game changer for the zombie genre. It introduced us to the running zombie! One of the most stunning visual horror films of the decade, 28 Days Later like every other film on this list, is a masterpiece. The cinematography utilized in the vacant London remains some of the eeriest footage seen in the past decade. The film did release in the UK in 2002, however no US release was given till 2003. Lastly 28 Days Later marks the first film I saw Cillian Murphy in. An actor I now, love to see on screen.

1. City of God
Easily the best movie of the year, City of God is a gripping account of the violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. The film follows two friends who take opposite paths and the story that coincides is gut wrenching and devastating. City of God remains of the most impactful films of the past decade. Especially the scene that is pictured above. I remember nearly having heart failure while enduring. Director Fernando Meirelles was nominated for Best Director for this film and he would have easily won had Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King not released.