The Mixed Tape

Tyler’s Favorite Films of the Decade by tylercoenrrea
January 1, 2010, 12:52 am
Filed under: Film, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

And what a decade it was.

10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

In all honesty the whole trilogy belongs up here as one movie. But just like Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II the second is the best. Here are the three reasons why: Gollum, Helm’s Deep, Sam’s Speech.

9. Wall-E

The best animated film of the decade. Storytelling at it’s greatest and evidence that Pixar is one of the most creative powers in the business. Truly a remarkable film that reminds us we don’t need celebrity voices, crude humor, or pop culture references to reach children.

8. Kill Bill Vol. 1

Quentin Tarantino lets his love for cinema and bloody chaos rule the screen in an orgy of artful violence and Asian culture. One of the most entertaining films this decade, it’s filmmaking at it’s greatest.

7. The Hurt Locker

The Platoon of the 2000’s, this is the first great film about the Iraq War. No political message, no cliches, just a story about the men who stare death in the face and call it their job.

6. Children of Men

A mesmerizing look at hope in the face of anarchy. Expertly crafted with long takes, Alfonso Cuaron presents to us a science fiction tale strung together with human emotion, enchanting characters, and a world on the brink of destruction.I know it’s said a lot but this is a “one-of-a-kind” film.

5. Elephant

I’m having trouble describing the emotions of how I can praise this film. It’s a haunting portrayal of a high school and its moments leading up to an unsuspected act of violence. The camera gracefully follows a random selection of students and their interactions with each other just as their lives will be shaken by the events. Gus Vant Sant’s boldest and argubly greatest film to date as he doesn’t ask questions about the tragic lives of teenagers but simply shows us the dark abyss from which they cannot escape.

4. Requiem For A Dream

Hey kids, you don’t wanna do drugs. But don’t take my word for it, just ask Mr. Aronofsky here, in fact he’s got a little film he would like to show you. It will numb your senses, and take all your fears and trials and shove them into a pit of acid. Then it will make you watch the lives of these four individuals as they deteriorate into worthless, meaningless experiences. You’ll cry. Believe me, you will cry.

3. Slumdog Millionaire

There is nothing wrong with this movie. Everything is perfect about it and it will be remembered for years to come.

2. No Country For Old Men

Upon first seeing this film I had no idea what to think of it. This was unlike any Coen brother movie they had ever made so I was confused. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. Tommy Lee Jones’ apocalyptic words stayed in my head for days, and soon I began to realize I loved this film. Dark, disturbing, and nodding its head at hopelessness, the Coen brothers have not topped themselves yet. A movie that will stay in your mind forever and that’s what makes it great.

1. Oldboy

If you have not seen this film do yourself a favor and see it as soon as possible. Asian filmmaking is strongly generated by their powerful and creative storytelling. Oldboy is proof of that. A twisted tale of revenge that would have been a disaster in the hands of an American director (we’re looking at you Spielberg). Everything about Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece is brilliant, from the brutality to the emotinally wrecking plot. Beautifully shot and perfectly acted, this is a film that is years ahead of it’s time. It will be studied for years to come and if you can stomach the dark places it descends you will experience a film like no other.

Honorable Mentions:

Gangs of New York

The Dark Knight

The Fall

The 25th Hour

There Will Be Blood

Cast Away

Best In Show


Inglorious Basterds

– Tyler Correa


Inglourious Messages by matthewgoodnght

It is undeniable that Quentin Tarantino‘s latest picture was a stellar success after what some skeptics may have claimed, Tarantino’s “dry run”. With astounding performances from some big names in Hollywood, as well as a few “no-names”, excellent direction, witty and humorous writing, Inglourious Basterds satisfied both critics and die-hard movie fans.


However, many fans of Tarantino have finally come to question the motives behind the making of his last film, and his previous films for that matter. What kind of message is Tarantino sending through his films? Some have come to call Tarantino as “wasted talent” in that he revels in glamorizing violence (and surprisingly, not sex). My first reaction is to ignore these heretical ideas given how much I enjoyed Basterds. But you have to admit: a dark comedy-themed drama about a crew of Jewish-American basterds running around the south of France brutally killing any Nazi they find sounds like a shallow plot of a film, doesn’t it? What was Tarantino’s message? Did he truely want us to laugh at the brutal murders of Nazis?

My first answer that comes to mind is the film was more or less about killing Nazis, and more about the cultural context of World War II, how back then African-Americans still were considered to be sub-human by many. Or maybe it was a potrayal of the mind of a Nazi, as seen through Colonel Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa, who compared Jews to rats, in that we tend to show unwarranted hostility towards both.

Or maybe the answer is that his films don’t have a message and were just created for the sake of an original, interesting story, and that the message is in the reaction of the audience: did they find it funny, moving, or grotesque? Specifically, why exactly did the filmmaker have the urge to show an actual Nazi head be scalped in front of the camera? Two reactions can only come about this: thrill and disgust. With either response from the audience, this grotesque shot serves purpose to emphasize why the Nazis feared the Basterds, stress the hatred towards German soldiers in World War II, and to show what a “scalping” actually is (since scalping has not been very common since cowboys and indians).


Ultimately, the safest answer would be that Tarantino doesn’t insert a message in his films because he just enjoys watching films. Why do all films have to have a message when any message he would put in it is going to be biased, outspoken and stir a division in the audiences that it reaches? Why can’t we enjoy the story of a motion picture without having to worry about political or social messages it retains? Messages in films are NOT bad, I just don’t think they have to be a requirement in filmmaking.

But there certainly is not a right or wrong answer, I am sure thousands of movie-goers took something different after watching Inglourious Basterds because there simply may not be a universal message from, but something different for all of us, and that is art.

Should a film always have a message, or can it be purely for entertainment? Does Tarantino glorify violence just for the sake of glorifying violence? Comment below.

– Matt Perdue

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