Strike the 10
I refuse. I will not do it. I will not provide my “10 best films of 2009” — or even of the “oh-oh” decade we just commemorated.
And if you try and make me, I’ll sue. Or create a new political advocacy group. And I’ll call it the “Spare Us the 10,” or “Strike the 10,” and demonstrate on the West Steps, or the Mall.
I just don’t want to comply with whatever everyone else is doing. I have to be contrarian. That seems to be the tone and tenor of the past year — if not the last 10. If it’s not my idea, not something I want to do, not something I support or it does not comport with my beliefs, then it’s the work of evil.
But it’s also because “Top 10” lists are not only so ubiquitous as to be pointless, they also are acutely subjective. Who cares what my “10 Best” list is, when one can simply produce his or her own? Ah, but to do so is to invite disagreement — and that’s fun! And, lo and behold, that leads us right back to the motif of the 2009 and the “00” decade — in “disagreeable land.”
In keeping with this polarizing theme of 2009, here’s what some groups or individuals might select as their favorite films of the last year from their particular subjective perspectives. Uh, that is if they were so inclined to make such lists. Let the polarizing debate begin!
The Democrats in Connecticut: The Haunting in Connecticut, a film about some scary goings on in a home in Connecticut — sort of like how the Democrats of that state have been spooked by a certain senator who formerly was a member of the Democratic family.
Pro-action Climate Change Demonstrators in Copenhagen: 500 Days of Summer, a film about a flirting dalliance — sort of like our flirting dalliance with a future world likely to be possessed of “500 days of summer.” Runners up: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Ugly Truth.
Anti-action Climate Change Demonstrators in Copenhagen: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a film that involves a magical mirror that the characters enter, and each time they do so they see something different therein — sort of like the “factual” evidence of climate change presented by some “imaginative” scientific doctors that has been mysteriously “doctored” in some e-mails behind computer screens. Runners up: The Informant! The Ugly Truth.
Health Care Reform Supporters: Not Easily Broken, a film about injury and the difficult efforts to repair those injuries — sort of like the difficulties trying to get affordable health care as well as the efforts trying to pass health care reform in Congress. Runner up: It’s Complicated. (You know, because of how hard this is.)
Health Care Reform Opponents: Everybody’s Fine, a film about an elderly family man who has no trouble getting the prescriptions he needs and has a wonderful stay in a hospital room surrounded by his reconciled family — just like the rosy real world of our current health care system. Runner up: The Unborn. (You know, because of the abortion issue.)
Supporters of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” Outburst During President’s Obama Address to a Joint Session of Congress: G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra.
Supporters of a Single Payer System for Health Care Insurance: The Proposal.
Supporters of Miss California Carrie Prejean: Bride Wars, a film about rivalry between two beautiful women about to be married to…men! Sort of like the whole story of this controversy about her comments regarding same-sex marriage and her resulting dethronement. Runner up: He’s Just Not That Into You.
Opponents of Miss California Carrie Prejean: I Love You, Man, a film that shows that men can love each other, contrary to what Miss Prejean may have intimated. Runners up: All About Steve, Make the Yuletide Gay, Bruno, The Merry Gentleman.
Regulators of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Zombieland…Wait! Uh, what are they regulating again?
Bo, the Obama Family Dog: Hotel for Dogs, Bark!
Mark Sanford/John Ensign/David Letterman/Tiger Woods:
The Wives of the Above:
Los Angeles Judicial Officials After the Swiss Captured Film Director and Fugitive Roman Polanski: Taken.
Michael Jackson: This Is It. Runner up: Final Destination.
Homeowners Facing Foreclosure: The Last House on the Left. Runner up: District 9.
The Christmas Would-be Airline Underwear Bomber: Public Enemies. Runner up: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
Critics of the Airport Security Regarding the Would-be Underwear Bomber: The Blind Side. Runner up: Sherlock Holmes.
Balloon Boy Falcon Heene: Up. Runners up: Up in the Air, Astro Boy.
Parents of Falcon Heene: What Goes Up.
White House State Dinner Crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi: Duplicity. Runners up: A Perfect Getaway, State of Play, Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
Supporters of FASTER (the increase of vehicle registration fees): Fast & Furious.
Opponents of FASTER: The Road.
People Bilked by Bernard Madoff: My Life in Ruins.
Bernard Madoff: I Can Do Bad All by Myself.
Wall Street Bankers and Investors: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.
The Middle Class: $9.99. Runners up: The Hangover, Confessions of a Shopaholic.
The Pope and his attacker: Angels and Demons.
Supporters of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: A Single Man.
Opponents of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: Luck By Chance.
People Wishing for a Magical Swine Flu Cure: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Supporters of Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination to the Supreme Court: Imagine That.
Chicagoans on Losing the Olympic Bid: Imagine That.
Homes that Failed to Switch to Digital TV: Land of the Lost. Runner up: Pirate Radio.
Opponents of the Mustang Roundup on Public Lands: Donkey Punch. Runners up: Hanna Montana: The Movie, Where the Wild Things Are.
Supporters of Repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope: Star Trek. Runners up: Bright Star, Planet 51, Twilight: New Moon.
Those Who Oppose Increases in Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: The Hurt Locker. Runners up: Brothers, The Messenger, In the Loop.
Those Who Support Increases in Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Runners up: Ninja Assassin, Terminator Salvation.
Supporters of President Obama’s Stem Cell Research Initiative: Surrogates.
Congress’s View of Al Franken winning the Senate Seat: Funny People.
Al Franken’s View of Congress: Funny People.
Jon and Kate Gosselin: Shrink.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: Law Abiding Citizen.
Glenn Beck: Fantastic Mr. Fox. Runner up (regarding his comparisons to Rush Limbaugh): Me and Orson Wells.
Sarah Palin: 2012.
Those Hoping to See Less of Sarah Palin in 2010 and Beyond: Amelia.
Doug Young is The Statesman’s award-winning film critic. He also works for Sen. Mark Udall as an environmental policy adviser.