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Dec 22, 2009

The Really Drawn-out Blog Cabins Decennial Spectacular: #9

Decennial, in case you're not hip to the term, means 1. relating to or lasting for ten years, or 2. occurring every ten years. It's really a word that we should hear more often. Anyway, this will be my series where I count down my favorites from the last decade, and since I don't plan on it taking 10 years to finish, we're going to go with the second definition.

Previous day's posts:
12/21: Intro/#10: Idiocracy

Number 9 on the RD-oBCDS is...

Children of Men (2006)
It's funny that Neil Blonkamp was raked over the coals for turning District 9 from a faux-documentary about serious social issues in South Africa into a balls-to-the-wall sci-fi action film in its second half. Three years earlier, Alfonso Cuaron did the same thing with Children of Men.

Then again, Cuaron, working from an excellent piece of source material, did it a lot better, which is why this film is on the list of the decade's ten best and Blonkamp's isn't (though it might pop up in another list at a later date).

Worldwide infertility. Immigration. A government at odds with its people. Like the best science fiction, Children melded these big issues with world-class action, technological advances, and (oh by the way) some of the best camera work you'll see in a theater, to say nothing of the A-list, Academy-bred cast, from star Clive Owen to Julianne Moore to Michael Caine and Chiwetel Ejiofor. What resulted was a contemplative action film that jolted your heart with a million volts of electricity and sent them all to your brain for processing.


15 people have chosen wisely: on "The Really Drawn-out Blog Cabins Decennial Spectacular: #9"

Univarn said...

Now you're speaking more my language. Absolutely loved Children of Men, was my favorite of all the movies I saw that year and still retains that spot.

Big Mike Mendez said...

Probably the best movie that year and that was a good year for movies. Children of Men sits way up on my list, it will show up in a few days, for sure. Excellent choice.

Fletch said...

2006 was really good. So good that it holds spots 10-8 in total (hint). That ties it with 2001 for the most entries in the top 10.

JacksSmirkingRevenge said...

I'm with you here Fletch. Definitely in my decade top and in a virtual heat with The Prestige for best film of 2006.

Paul Arrand Rodgers said...

District 9 was awesome! Pshaw, social issues. If you want to learn about Apartheid, which I'm sure plenty of people who saw D9 had hardly even heard of, read a book.

I...uhh...haven't seen Children of Men.

Rachel said...

Definitely in my top 5 of all time. I think what gets me everytime is how REAL it all seems. I honestly believe that the world could get to a point where mass infertility is an issue. I look around me and count numerous friends my age (myself included) who've already had a miscarriage and we're not even 30 yet.

Daniel Getahun said...

Even though I haven't even seen this since the theater that first week out, I can remember almost every scene. Takes a pretty special movie to do that.

Fletch said...

JSR - I REALLY need to see The Prestige again. This ground was kinda covered in a post I did a long, long time ago, but I saw it once in the theater and didn't love it. I even went so far as to say that I liked The Illusionist more. Bought The Ill, watched it again, and was really disappointed at how poorly the film held up in my mind (though Norton and Giamatti were still great). Anyway, I want to give Prestige another chance as well.

Paul - tsk, tsk...

Rachel - Amen. By not being set too far into the future and not going too willy-nilly with potential effects (and by having a plot point that you reinforce, thanks to P.D. James), Cuaron definitely grounded the film to a believable level.

Daniel - I'm shocked that you've only seen this once. You don't own it?

Daniel Getahun said...

Man, you'd actually be much more shocked at how few DVDs I own...

Film-Book dot Com said...

In the last two months I watched Children of Men three times.

This is what I would call a smart drama or action film, a movie with an agenda besides sh*t blowing up.

Looking forward to reading this book.

District 9 could have gone one of two ways. It choose the action approach in its second half. Its unfortunate it left the issues it raised in the first half behind.

You DEFINITELY need to see The Prestige.

Fletch said...

Daniel - believe it or not, I figured you might say something like that. I would finger you for someone that would love Children of Men (and own it), so your lack of doing so raised a flag. Combine that with the sheer number of new releases you see (when would you have time to re-watch anything?) and it makes a bit more sense. Or it could be a different reason altogether...

Though now you gotta tell us - approximately how many do you own?

Film-book - yes, it's the best kind of sci-fi (or action film) - heavy on the story and mechanics, low on the theatrics.

I didn't mind D9's 2nd half at all; though I see where it bothered some, it didn't strike me as unnatural. But when re-examining this, I found it ironic that it followed a similar structure and yet received no flak (I don't dislike the 2nd half, but I vastly prefer the first half).

And I've seen The Prestige...just not since the theater.

Daniel Getahun said...

Yeah, it's mostly due to always wanting to see something new (even if not a new release, something I haven't seen before). But of course there are movies that I love to revisit. I don't have a hard number down, but it's probably not more than a couple dozen. Let's just say I have to depend on TV and/or On Demand and/or Netflix if I want to see something again - but inevitably I come across something new if I'm tracking down something old. Go figure...

Nick said...

I have to say, Fletch... I'm surprised you don't like The Prestige. I actually was with your opinion for a long time. I was in that minority who loved The Illusionist more than The Prestige, thinking the latter was just okay. But after seeing The Prestige a couple more times, I grew to love it and see why so many people thought it was fantastic. So I actually agree that you need to see it again.

Fletch said...

I don't dislike it - you just perfectly described my opinions on both circa 2006. You're just more evolved than me now, I suppose. :D

BostonSucksMyBlog said...

Children of Men was ok. I was expecting it to be better