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Fischer’s Friday Five

Here’s the simple concept.  Every Friday I’ll put together a Top 5 list of something, anything, whatever random idea comes into my head or suggestion into my mailbox.  You can read along, argue with my choices, or present your own take on the topic, whatever fits you best.  I’m Fischer, it’s Friday, and here’s my five for the week.


Sure I may be late to the party, but it’s never too late to talk about the first decade of the new millennium.  Ok, I imagine if I wrote this a few months now, I’d be toeing the line of “way too late”.  So without further delay, here’s my look back on the 2000s.

Honorable Mention: The Dark Knight, Insomnia, The Prestige, Million Dollar Baby, There Will Be Blood, Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, Love Actually, O Brother Where Art Thou, Inside Man, Wall-E, The Hangover, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2

Batman Begins – do I have man crush on Christopher Nolan?  With two spots on the top 5 list AND another three in the honorable mention (Dark Knight, Insomnia, Prestige), I might be a little obsessed.  While Dark Knight is the more popular of the two, I’ve got to give more props to the original resurrection of the franchise.  Nolan does a great job of telling the back-story of Bruce Wayne and his rise to crime-fightery (I make up words).  Not to mention we got to see Liam Neeson as a badass, and it was even nice to see Katie Holmes free of her shackles for a few hours.  Basically, there is no Dark Knight or Heath Ledger’s awesome Joker performance, without Nolan taking the reigns and making this movie and telling this story first.

High Fidelity – I’m a sucker for a good rom-com (that sounds more like a terrible software company).  You can’t be my age and not appreciate John Cusack.  His parents even cloned him and out came Joan Cusack, just so you’d have someone to compare John to and favor John over.  It’s the type of movie where if you’re in your early twenties and just got out of a bad relationship, you watch and start to see similarities to your own love life (so I’ve heard, not mine of course).  Throw in a not-annoying Jack Black, a funny-looking Tim Robbins cameo, and the themed use of Top 5 lists (my inspiration?) and you’ve got me hooked for 90 minutes.  Plus it has a great soundtrack, not the kind that you rush out and buy afterward, but more so the kind that just suits the movie as you’re watching it.

What movies cracked the top 3?

Almost Famous – speaking of great soundtracks.  Forget Jerry Maguire, this is Cameron Crowe’s masterpiece.  It was so good, that he hasn’t directed another movie since. (I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’ve never heard of Vanilla Sky or Elizabethtown…they never happened, we understand?).  Perfectly told, “fictional” story of a middle-of-the road band’s rise to popularity, followed by them crashing back down…almost literally.  Everything about this movie worked.  Young William bumbling his way through his interactions on the road with Penny, Russell and the rest of the band, but then watching him grow through each experience and aided by the passion of music that he had within him.  Kate Hudson in her (only?) best performance ever - seriously, I saw Bride Wars, she’s a couple movies away from following in her mother’s footsteps and making First Wives Club 2.  Even Jimmy Fallon, the worst thing to happen to late night TV since Chevy Chase, was good in his role.  It’s just the perfect movie to have on during a lazy rainy day Saturday.

Step Brothers – I’m sure this probably doesn’t register on anyone’s top 50 or 100 list for the decade, but called me biased, especially since Maggie and I have watched this movie at least 50-60 times in the past year.  Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration, thanks to FIOS On-Demand (shamless plug), we put this movie on every night and fall asleep to it, but not before quoting the first 10 minutes or so, (“I didn’t want salmon, I said it FOUR TIMES…this wedding is horse s***).  What surprises me is how few people I know that have seen this movie.  I think that’s partially due to people giving up on Will Ferrell and comedy after having to sit through Semi-Pro, Blades of Glory, Talladega Nights, Bewitched and Battlefield Earth. Ok, he wasn’t in the last one, but it was hard to find many laughs in any of those other movies.  The chemistry between Ferrell and John C. Reilly is flawless as they do a great job of working off of one another, and provide many memorable quotes that have somehow worked their way into daily conversations between me and Mag, (“you wanna go do karate in the garage?”) Also, the supporting characters are hilarious, with subtle, but great moments. Like the mom (Mary Steenburgen) when talking about Ice Ice Baby as a great song saying, “it sure is,” or the dad (the hilariously underrated Richard Jenkins) who after being told it’s Christmas Eve when he decides to go down the Cheesecake Factory for a drink, replies, “oh, Merry Christmas” and then exits.  And if you can’t laugh at the scene in the car with Derek (Adam Scott) and his family singing “Sweet Child Of Mine,” then I just feel sorry for you.  I could go on, but it’s almost time for the Catalina Wine Mixer!!!

Memento - I’m easy to please, tell me a unique story that will captivate me and I’ll be fan, and that’s exactly what Nolan did. And add to that the believable performance of relatively unknown Guy Pearce, who character suffers from short-term memory loss and uses photos and tattoos to figure out who killed his wife. Granted, Seinfeld did this concept in an episode several years earlier, but to tell a dramatic story backwards was something unreal to me at the time and still has an impact ten years later. The whole concept of a movie revealing itself from finish to start was such a bold decision. This is a genius movie written by him and his brother. It’s only fitting to give Nolan the top spot.

I was trying to be creative there, and I put that above paragraph backwards from what I originally wrote ("I'm easy to please...," that was my original last line). So yeah, writing backwards, it doesn’t translate as well in blog form, but hopefully you got the point.

Next Friday – Top 5 TV Shows of the 2000s


11 Responses

  1. 1. Shawshank Redemption
    2. Swingers
    3. Dark Knight
    4. High Fidelity
    5. Tao of Steve

  2. I like this friday idea and I am interested in your TV show list. These are certainly some interesting choices. I relaly like Memento, though I can’t see it as best of the decade. Batman Begins is outstanding though.

  3. The Departed????

  4. Stepbrothers??? man there are a lot of good 2000’s movie left off even the honorable mention list…. The Departed, Gladiator, Pans Labrynth, Slumdog, No Country…. all said, im a sucker for lists and looking forward to more!

  5. And if you love movies that go start backwards you have to love Swordfish!

    • That doesn’t really count. Lots of movies show us part of the final scene, before flashing back to the beginning and showing us over the next 2 hours how we got back to that final scene. I can’t think of any off the top of my head other than Usual Suspects, but I know there’s plenty.

  6. I definitely agree w/Memento. I also like The Departed and No Country for Old Men (mentioned above) in the mix or possibly on the outside looking in. But I think you have to make room for Lost in Translation, There Will Be Blood, and Traffic.

  7. I like Memento being in there. Fantastic movie. And many have mentioned The Departed, possibly my favorite gangster movie of all time. But what about Gladiator? Definitely the main reason movies like 300, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven were made (uh, forget that last one) Or some fantastic action flicks like Bourne Ultimatum? Badass Matt Damon? Munich? Badass Jews?

  8. […] 29, 2010 by jarrettfischer Thanks for the good feedback on the first Fischer’s Friday Five (Top 5 Movies of 2000s). Can’t believe how many people were disappointed that I didn’t include The Departed on the list. […]

  9. So I got around to watching Memento even though I had never heard of it before this list. Although it was an interesting concept, it would def. not be in my top 5 nor top 10 movies of the decade. I was pumped through the first stages of the movie but it slowed down for me. The fact that I knew the end result/killer took the suspense away from the movie. Just my .02, keep up the good work.

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