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Thread: Mr. Carnelian's Entirely Subjective Guide to 21st Century Cinema

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    Yes homo Mr. Carnelian's Avatar
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    Default Mr. Carnelian's Entirely Subjective Guide to 21st Century Cinema

    I've been talking with Formalhaut a lot recently about good films, and about which films we each really like. That - combined with the fact I'm very opinionated, enjoy writing, and don't get to write quite as much as I'd like - has led, in a roundabout way, to this:

    Mr. Carnelian's Entirely Subjective Guide to 21st Century Cinema


    I've picked one film that I've seen to represent each year of the 21st century. E.g. the pick for 2000 is a film that first came out in 2000, the pick for 2001 a film that came out in 2001, and so on. I've tried to pick an interesting variety, but it IS skewed towards science-fiction and fantasy.


    Every day for the next two and a half weeks, I aim to post an entry for each year of the century, starting with 2000 (for those tempted to argue that the century actually started on 1 Jan 2001, just don't).


    Whilst it's no secret to those that know me well that I'm partial to a "so bad it's good" film (thouroughly recommend the glorious garbage that is Gods of Egypt to any connoisseurs of the entertainingly awful), I've picked out films that I think of as "good" films.


    And now, onto 2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


    The first wuxia (kung-fu fantasy, an enduringly popular genre in China) film to really break the Western market, Crouching Tiger is a truly beautiful film. It codified the framework which later imitators (House of Flying Daggers, Hero), eager to echo its success, would follow: tragic romance, balletic fight scenes and a visually sumptuous evocation of Imperial China as a lost Golden Age.


    Absolutely one to watch in the original Chinese with English subtitles, due to the character-led nature of the film. The power of the main cast's performances are somewhat lost in the dubbed version. This is particularly evident in the case of Zhang Ziyi, who plays troubled martial arts prodigy Jen Yu, living a double-life as a demure aristocrat's daughter by day and a fierce bandit by night.


    Those eager to see more of Michelle Yeoh's Yu Shu Lien, a tough and capable warrior and businesswoman carving a path through a society inclined not to take independent women seriously, should consider watching the 2016 sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Although inferior to the original, and rehashing many of the same themes and ideas, Yeoh's reprisal of Yu Shu Lien, now world-weary from the events of the first film but rediscovering her passion and her sense of duty and honour by its end, makes it worth the watch.

    Crouching Tiger 3.jpgCrouching Tiger 2.jpg

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    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    It is nuts how successful Crouching Tiger was - I mean it's great, but a foreign-language arthouse film doesn't exactly scream 'commercial'. I love the bit where Jen takes out an entire bar after some guys try to pick a fight, followed by a scene where the bruised patrons claim they were attacked unprovoked.
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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a such a great film and started an interesting renaissance for Hong Kong style cinema especially in the West.
    True beauty exists in things that last only for a moment.
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    Trial by Wombat Bubba's Avatar
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    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a great film and worthy choice for best film in 2000. For me personally that year I'd have to give it to Gladiator. Russell Crowe's best film by far and not forgetting the late, great Oliver Reed. Soundtrack was amazing too.

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    2001: Legally Blonde

    Those who haven't seen Legally Blonde might think from the poster and the film's glossy aesthetic that Legally Blonde is a dumb piece of fluff. But, just as with the main character, Elle Woods, you shouldn't judge things just on their appearance. Legally Blonde is just as witty as it is funny, one of the few "girl-power" comedies worth mentioning in the same sentence as the earlier film Clueless.

    Channeling the same energy as Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Reese Witherspoon delivers a perfectly pitched comedic performance as an archetypal Valley Girl who turns out to have more smarts and heart that anyone expects.

    Legally Blonde 1.jpgLegally Blonde 2.jpg

    Last edited by Mr. Carnelian; 05-01-2019 at 08:19 PM.

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    Crazy Scot. Cid's Knight Shauna's Avatar
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    This is legit one of my favourite movies.

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    draper hates the caley Cell's Avatar
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    Honestly find Crouching Tiger a visual treat but doesn't hold up on a rewatch.
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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    Legally Blonde is such a great movie. It's such a good take on the lady thing. That you can be feminine and still use said expertise to win a court case. you don't have to be "one of the guys" to do well. I think I will watch this soon actually. Thanks for the reminder!

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Not a bad choice and Legally Blonde has held up well over the years. Though for me personally, if I was going to choose best film for 2001, I feel my choice would either be Moulin Rouge, Amelie, or The Royal Tenenbaums. Honestly, looking at just a quick list, 2001 was a great year for films.
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    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    Mulholland Drive is the undisputed king of 2001.
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    Pshaw, you say it's skewed towards science fiction and fantasy, then your 2001 pick is not Lord of the Rings, shame on you

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    Yes homo Mr. Carnelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    Not a bad choice and Legally Blonde has held up well over the years. Though for me personally, if I was going to choose best film for 2001, I feel my choice would either be Moulin Rouge, Amelie, or The Royal Tenenbaums.
    To be clear, I never claimed that this would be a list of the "best" films from each year, just a reasonably varied list of "good" films.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarZidane View Post
    Pshaw, you say it's skewed towards science fiction and fantasy, then your 2001 pick is not Lord of the Rings, shame on you
    There may or may not be a Lord of the Rings film coming up at some point. I couldn't possibly comment.....

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    2002: Chicago

    "And all that jazz!"

    A fast-paced, all-singing, all-dancing romp, Chicago follows two "jazz killers" in their search for fame and a not-guilty verdict. Full-spirited performances from all the leads - as well as a memorably fun turn by Queen Latifah as a prison warden/saucy jazz lounge singer - help to convincingly conjure up a world where getting into the papers as good as ensures a not-guilty verdict (as long as you're a beautiful woman). That in turn, quite naturally, leads to a career as a jazz singer.

    Ridiculous, yes, but the film has so much drive and energy that you'll completely buy it.

    Chicago 1.jpgChicago 2.jpg


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    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    I usually love musicals, but could never get into Chicago. I don't think it helps that Moulin Rouge came out just a year earlier and Renee Zellwegger can't really sing. John C. Reilly is as great as ever in this though.
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    2002 - not habla con ella
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