Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Most Underrated Films of the Past Decade

It's hard to believe that an entire decade of film has almost come and gone. Feels just like yesterday I was settling down in a theater in 2002 to watch Spider-man. Hey, time moves on.

Every decade of film is always compared to another. Filmmaking kind of goes in cycles. With this decade of film winding down, I've been wondering about what I think the best films of this past decade were? I can't come up with a definitive list as of now, but I have found five films that I think are worthy of recognition from the past decade. These films will most likely not find their way on anyone's best films of the decade list, but I think they are worth a mention.

All of these films I believe to be underrated or undervalued. They were either critical flops, financial failures, or both, and some just simply flew under the radar. Here's the five:

* Superman Returns - Say what you want about this film being more of a sequel to the Richard Donner '78 film than rather being its own entity, Bryan Singer nailed the character of Superman in this film. He daringly made a superhero film that was in actuality a character drama and not an action film. While there is some action in the film, it's more of a character study about Superman rather than it is an action/adventure. From this past decade full of superhero movies, I think it's worth taking a look at probably the most daring comic book adaptation from this generation.

* Secondhand Lions - In actuality, one of my more favorite films from this past decade. While this film made back its budget and succeeded with critics, it was so low budget it didn't take much, thus it flew under the radar of many. Secondhand Lions is one of those rare family films that everyone, from the grandparents to the children, can watch together, laugh, and enjoy.

* The Fountain - Darren Aronofsky's symbolic masterpiece was received poorly by both critics and audiences alike. The film was a daring film about life-and-death, portraying everything through symbolism. The whole film was kind of like a 90 minute visual poem, and it means something different to everyone who watches it, but to me I find a film about optimism after loss. Not to mention this film features a performance from Hugh Jackman that should have at least garnered a Best Actor Oscar nom.

* Stranger Than Fiction - This is one of those films that many people have never even heard of, but it is in actuality a charming tale about one man learning how to live his life. Featuring wonderful performances from such likable talents as Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, as well as a fine dramatic performance from Will Ferrel.

* King Kong - One of the finer remakes of a classic film ever produced. I think Peter Jackson's three-hour epic about the giant gorilla from Skull Island is way better than the original. Jackson made us care for this giant ape in a way in which none of the previous versions of this story did. King Kong was considered a failure by many box office analysts, even though it made back its budget. It's a film that is often forgotten, but I believe it deserves to be remembered.

Hopefully more people will check these films out and they will be remembered for many years to come.

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