Sunday, January 10, 2010


So, we here at Idiot Ballroom are always pointing out the worst in people. We could easily have gone through our archives to create a “Best of the Worst of 2009”, but we went for something a little different. A new year is a time for resolutions and a hope of something better than the last year. This first week of the new year we got to thinking what this new year really meant… 2010 marks the start of a new decade. 10 years flew by and with it some pretty awesome things. So we decided to look back at the past 10 years and bring you a “Best of Decade” thing.
We thought we’d start this whole decade recap with and in no particular order....


1. High Fidelity (2000). John Cusack’s best role since Say Anything. It’s a movie about a music lover who lives his life creating best of lists. We thought it was poignant to start this list with this flick.

2. The Dark Knight (2008). Heath Ledger as the Joker is one of the decade’s greatest displays of acting.

3. Batman Begins (2005). Yeah, Christian Bale’s voice is raspy as the Cape Crusader, but how else are you going to disguise your voice? The film brings a sense of realism to the typical superhero story.

4. Memento (2000). Another film directed by Chris Nolan (see #2 and #3 above). Guy Pearce. Carrie Ann-Moss. A film told in reverse. The main character is searching for his wife’s killer. Oh and he has short-term memory loss and forgets events after about fifteen minutes. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud.

5. Kill Bill Volume I (2003). Tarantino’s Chop Socky Kung Fu flick is destined to be classic cinema.

6. Kill Bill Volume II (2004). Tarantino continues the tale of the bride. This half is less frenetic as the first and resembles more of a spaghetti western.

7. Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Wes Anderson’s film about the dysfunction of the Tenenbaums is both tragic and comedic. Gene Hackman really outdoes himself as the patriarch. Of course like any other Anderson flick the music is great as well.

8. Lost In Translation (2003). The opening shot is Scarlett Johanssen’s butt. That should make you want to see it based on just that. But yes, Bill Murray is great as well.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Jim Carey has done some really bad movies since… sheesh since Man on the Moon. But this Michel Gondry directed and Charlie Kaufmann written movie was a shining moment this last decade.

10. Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, and 2003) triology. Yeah, it’s three movies but you have to watch them all, people.

11. Sexy Beast (2000). Sir Ben Kingsley, who played benevolent roles like Ghandi and Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List, creates one of the most dramatic sociopathic madmen you will ever see in modern cinema.

12. Napoleon Dynamite (2004). This flick launched Jon Heder’s career, albeit none of his films will ever live up to this quirky comedy of a nerd and his tots.

13. Stranger Than Fiction (2006). Will Ferrell is a comedic genius. There we said it. So it was a surprise to see him pull off a more subdued role in this flick about a man who’s life seems to be playing out as an unfinished novel accompanied with a narrator that only he can hear.

14. Punch Drunk Love (2002). Another film where a comedian plays against type. Paul Thomas Anderson’s flick stars Adam Sandler (yes, Adam Sandler). It’s about a lonely man searching for happiness by amassing a million frequent flyer points through a loophole he’s discovered in a food company’s promotion. He finds love along the way.

15. Science of Sleep (2006). Michel Gondry creates such quirky tales about love. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stephane, a man whose vivid dreams and imagination sometimes hinders his ability to relate to the real world.

16. Big Fish (2003). Any guys out there with father issues will weep at this tale. Tim Burton asks the question “is it better to remember one’s life the way it happened or the way we wish it had happened?”

17. Be Kind Rewind (2008). Another Michel Gondry flick (hey, he does good films). Mos Def and Jack Black create “sweded” videos after their entire video store is erased by a magnetized Jack Black. A tale of bringing a community together through film.

18. Primer (2004). For those geeks/mathematicians out there that think time travel can exist, this is the flick for you. Warning, though… you might want to surf the web for a crib sheet to really get this flick. It’s a heady, mind scratcher for sure.

19. Anchorman:The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004). Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, quintessential 70’s fictional anchorman from sunny San Diego. His whole male dominated world is turned asunder when the first female co-anchor is introduced.

20. The Baxter (2005). An idiosyncratic story about that guy in those films that gets left at the altar. Michael Showalter, from The State and Michael and Michael Have Issues, directed this heartfelt indie.

21. There Will Be Blood (2007). Paul Thomas Anderson directs Daniel Day-Lewis in this epic story of an oil tycoon and his son. The story unfolds with a lesson on the early days of the oil industry.

22. Gerry (2002). Gus Van Sant’s first anti-Hollywood film after mainstream ones like Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester. This minimalist, poetic film is about “two guys who get lost in the desert”. Haunting.

23. Adaptation (2002). Spike Jonze takes another Charlie Kauffman written piece and makes great film. Nicholas Cage in all his Nicholas Cage glory plays the author and his fictional twin as he stumbles through trying to adapt a non-fiction book about flowers.

24. Revenge of the Sith (2005). Yes, there was stilted dialogue and some pretty soap opera like acting. But this film was the culmination of decades worth of waiting. The transformation of Anakin Skywalker into the feared Darth Vader. It’s like a tragic Shakesperean tale for the geek in all of us.

25. Children of Men (2006). A tale of a dystopian future where the human race can no longer bear any children and the insanity that it creates. Director Alfonso Cuaron shows what can be done with intrinsically detailed long unedited shots. This movie should be taught in film schools everywhere.

Next week we'll recap the best music the last decade had to offer... so stay tuned.