David: Had we made this list a month ago, LotR would’ve maybe slid in at #50 on my ballot. I’ve always kept a degree of distance–too many flaws. But watching the (extended edition) trilogy once more during Thanksgiving break, I was completely engrossed through the three day stretch. Something salient called out to me. Tolkien’s bold Christian storytelling resonated with me moreso than ever. Not even a drunk driver obliterating my car just prior to day three’s final act could interrupt the experience. But also, it was the joy of seeing my sister, who had never before watched any of the three films, swept up in such wonder and occasionally brought to tears. Though the effects have already begun to fade even in these few short years since its release, this series… Well. Let us just say its story doesn’t have an end.
Taos: It’s near impossible to choose just one of the grand trilogy. Sure, artistic liberty was taken with the book, but the renewed interest in the written trilogy was well worth it. I hope we get a remake in 20 years more faithful to the source. Until then, enjoy our generation’s Star Wars.
Taos: “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!” It’s all about Daniel Day-Lewis here. Maybe the most impressive thing is that the first 25 minutes are dialogue free. It is likely most would not realize it until told.
David: The sights and sounds mark a sort of realistic unconscious imagery we all share of the subject and settings at hand; the film is a technical marvel; an experience. Daniel Day-Lewis is too phenomenal.
Taos: Gripping modernist western wrapped around a morality tale to end all morality tales. The Coen’s were born to make this film.
David: Forgive the phrasing as I myself hate it but can’t think of another way to put it: start to finish, No Country had me by the balls. People call Chigurh (the film’s antagonist) a force of nature. This movie is a force of nature.
Taos: Do you know what really happens? Repeated viewings make me constantly question my understanding of the truth. I hope I never know the magic to the trick.
David: It’s no coincidence Christopher Nolan appears three times on this list. What sets The Prestige apart from his other already outstanding work seen here, or maybe more accurately what better endears it to me: its unadulterated showmanship. It embodies the essence of cinema.
David: What was I saying? Oh, yeah. It’s no coincidence Park Chan-wook appears three times on this list. I count him my favorite filmmaker, and Oldboy his best film. I could detail many reasons why it deserves its place as our top choice. But perhaps the most telling explanation: I’m moving 7,000 miles away to the Land of the Morning Calm next month, and Oldboy is a large part of the reason why.
Taos: I don’t know how this happened. Certainly worthy of the top ten, but not number one in my opinion. The Shakespearean-esque, highly stylized flick certainly contains the requisite parts for greatness, but seems to lack the cohesion. It opened up a world of cinema to me, so maybe it is worthy on that note.