Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hammervision's 10 Best of the Decade: No. 2

MOULIN ROUGE (2001)

At one point in Moulin Rouge, the characters break into a song called "Spectacular, Spectacular" - fine words to describe Baz Luhrman's ballsy, bombastic, and brilliant revival of the movie musical. An even better word? Passion. Moulin Rouge is as passionate as movies get: about love, life, music, dance, art, theater, you name it. I don't know if it's possible to fall head over heels in love with a movie, but that's exactly how I felt watching Moulin Rouge for the first time. This is not a movie for the skeptical and jaded. Yes, the first 20 minutes are in-your-face and a bit screwy, but for those who stick around, there are rich rewards to be had. By the time Ewan McGregor starts singing "Your Song," the movie achieves liftoff and never really comes back down to earth. McGregor and Nicole Kidman as the doomed lovers are note-perfect, both in song and on screen, and the movie depicts their relationship in a gloriously romantic manner. One of the reasons Moulin Rouge works so well as a musical is that when the characters break into song (all memorable pop songs of the last 20 years), the audience shares in their singing because we all know those songs, and have probably at one point even sung them ourselves. But beyond the base emotional connection the movie forges with its audience through song, the technical elements are just as important. The costumes and production design are splendid eye candy, and, good god, is there a more beautiful moment from the past decade than when, at the end of their Elephant Love Medley, just as McGregor starts singing "I Will Always Love You", that big ball of stars explodes behind the singing lovebirds? Sends goosebumps down my arms every time I see it. To know Moulin Rouge is to love it.

Here's the running list:

10. Mission: Impossible III
9. The Royal Tenenbaums
8. United 93
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. There Will Be Blood
5. Memento
4. Wall-E
3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
2. Moulin Rouge
1.

We're almost there! Agree? Disagree? Did you expect to see Moulin Rouge place No. 2? Post your thoughts below, and come back early next week for No. 1, as all will be revealed. I'll also be posting the runner-ups and some afterthoughts next week as well.

- John

8 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, Blogger HVH said...

I agree with the inclusion in the Top 10, but I'm not sold on its being number two...

 
At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This movie is pure bliss. Bliss on tap! Deanne and I saw it randomly on a Sunday when we were dating. It blew us away. We just loved it. We bought the DVD when it came out and then ripped it onto a flash drive for our PSP's. I must be the only person to have ever been flying on a military flight overseas watching this movie on his PSP. Great flick.

Oh, and your number one... Children of Men.

Brian

PS - I'm right; I know it.

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to be on crack. I can take MI3 which is not even that great. I can even take The Royal Tannenbaums which I feel is just awful. But No F-ing way. This movie, while visually wonderful is not even close to the top 10 of the decade. Think of the movies you are leaving out for a blip on the radar of this past decade. And to make it number two, number two!!!!!!!???????????? Really?! How can I possibly recommend this site to people now with this being claimed as the number 2 movie of the decade, ahead of LOTR trilogy no less. You have got to be kidding me. I can honestly say, without bias, if I asked 100 people the top 10 movies of the past decade that maybe, maybe 1 person might even mention this as a concideration. WOW! that is all I have to say, wow. What the hell? If Children of Men is number 1, that is fine, at least that is a great movie, great story, wonderful idea, captivating filmwork and characters and so on. But good god. I am so saddened by this choice that it is even in the top 10 let alone where you put it. So dissappionted.

 
At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I know that EWeekley has MR on their top ten, but it doesn't make it right!

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever is posting under Anonymous and posted the drawn out rip of this list and MR as number 2, would you mind posting your top ten? In the meantime, I ask if you even bothered to read the post for this pick because I think he made it pretty clear why he enjoyed it. From my understanding, this isn't meant to be a prediction of what your top ten would look like, but rather his personal top ten. You are more than capable of posting why you disagree, but I don't think that grants you the right to be a total ass. And while I don't speak for the author of the blog, I'm sure he'd rather you not follow at all instead of posting vile comments. So do me a favor, take this blog for what it is....someone who enjoys film's attempt to share his viewpoints and feelings about film with people that might be interested. I don't think he has ever advertised this as being anything other than that. So grow up. (And while I'm not usually so petty as to point out people's spelling errors, you might want to be more conscious of that type of thing when you are taking the opportunity to blast someone's work. - Concideration? Dissappointment? Come on.)

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Whoa whoa whoa. Let's calm down people. Anonymous is free to disagree with me. I recognize Moulin Rouge is rather high for most people, and not quite as bad-ass a choice as say, The Dark Knight or Gladiator or The Departed, but still - I find the filmmaking in Moulin Rouge to be much more innovative and boundary-pushing. Maybe that's why it works so well on some people and not others. Please though - feel free to disagree, but still recommend this site to others!

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had better leave space on the list until the weekend... cause Avatar is going to be a Hammer sensation.

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on buddy and do the right thing: "City of God"!
And if your taste is more accustomed to popcorn, go with "Crouching Tiger". Even "No Country For Old Men" is better than "Children of Men".

 

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