And 2006 was definitely the year I got really into movies and really excited about them–sort of switching my love for roller coasters over to my love for film. This Top Ten is more like a tie for #1, since I thoroughly enjoyed all of these movies. Out of the whole 12 I actually enjoyed enough to place here (most comedies got omitted because they’re good but they’re not transcendental “Oh my God” movies. Except for a few, and I’ll explain.).
The year had its bad too, lest we forget Apocalypto and Date Movie. Most would cry heresy seeing Apocalypto in the same breath as Date Movie, but, hey, that’s my opinion. And my opinion is that Apocalypto was absolutely shit. Talladega Nights and Beerfest were two really good comedies that were released this year, but, once again, not good enough to be considered for the list.
Here’s my Top 10, with explanations… Some are esoteric but all are highly, highly recommended.
So, basically, this movie is about Bobby Kennedy. And, as a democrat, I must include it. Although there were some needless plot lines within the movie, it was overall a very touching and sentimental story about the effect of RFK, bringing up many “What ifs” along the way.
9. This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Compelling and angering as all shit-get-out. This documentary was muckraking at its best. It was enfuriating enough to get me to do a speech about the issues with the MPAA in my Speech class last quarter at the college. Frustrating who controls everything because no one wants art to speak for itself.
8. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Ah, comedy #1. A movie that was hilarious and also showed off some very bigoted ideals still alive in America. We hate Iraqis, just watch the rodeo scene. This movie was funny and infuriating all the same. And funny, again. I can’t not recommend this movie. Or leave it off of the list.
7. Monster House
This spot was between Monster House and Cars. What made me choose Monster House was that it was a coming of age tale that I could relate with. Not the house part, the girl part. It was awkward for the boys to be around her. And the prophet at the video arcade was genius. And, c’mon, the house died. And the ending wasn’t happy at all. It was fucking masterful, though. Rarely do I like a kids movie as much as I enjoyed Monster House.
6. An Inconvenient Truth
Another “typical socialist necessity movie,” it was boring and engaging at the same time. To hear not only about global warming but to have the pictoral visual aids, and all of it punctuated by Gore discussing his own life and why he was doing it, gave it a ton of heart. This good Earth is being destroyed. And now everyone knows it.
5. Little Miss Sunshine
The first great movie of the year. When I heard about it from trailers and reading preliminary reviews online, I dragged my friend JP along to Hollywood where there was an exclusive engagement… The hype was basically a setup for disaster. Driving 50-odd miles, paying out-the-ass for parking, and for the Arclight’s higher-than-average ticket prices made us beg for this movie to be great. Hopes were high. And this movie definitely delivered. Funny and touching and sentimental and sad and real and definitely different. Offbeat and genius and wonderful.
4. The Departed
Ever since Titanic, I didn’t like Leonardo DiCaprio. He was hokey, and I lost faith in him. I knew this movie, with all its a-list stars and its a-list directors, had a lot of weight. And it could have definitely collapsed under that weight. Instead, it delivered a top-notch mobster movie. So good that, hell, Mark Wahlberg actually looked like he was acting.
3. Dirty Sanchez: The Movie
The grossest movie I have ever seen. Based on the show “Dirty Sanchez,” or “Team Sanchez” in the USA, it’s basically the same premise as the Jackass movies and show. Only taken four steps further. The stunts are nasty (tattooed penises, liposuction and the subsequent eating of that liposucked out during a “drinking” game), and fucking insane. If you saw Jackass 2, you’ll recognize the drinking beer by the anus stunt that Steve-o did, but, instead of shying away, the Sanchez boys drink the beer. Gross gross gross. And fucking hilarious. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. If you’re into gross-out, stupid human tricks, I highly recommend this movie. If you have a weak stomach, and don’t want to see a lot of full frontal male nudity and brutality, don’t see this. Although you definitely will be missing out. Although the version that gets released in the US straight to DVD will probably be hacked and cut by censors. Find a UK bootleg. Hah.
2. The Fountain
This movie posed the ultimate question for me: What if you could live forever? And it also solidifed Darren Aronofsky as one of my all-time favorite directors. It’s a transcendental love story that spans across 2000 years and confuses and awes and strikes and retreats and plucks and prods. See this film. The scene where everything collapses into a single dot is worth it enough. I absolutely loved it. Except Tai Chi in space. That’s why it’s not #1. Oh and because the next movie is the greatest fucking movie of all time. Yea.
1. INLAND EMPIRE
I love David Lynch. He’s a genius. Okay, I didn’t like Eraserhead, but this is, definitely his magnum opus. This is David Lynch off the Deep End. And he took us with him. Convoluted and incomprehensible and absolutely mashed up, it’s a nightmare that stirs and destroys without remorse. It’s not cohesive, and it’s confusing, and I love it so much. Go to Pasadena and see this movie. It will mess you up. And you will love it. Okay, maybe you won’t. But I definitely did.
Go ahead and disagree with this list. I don’t care. It’s mine.