The MoFo Top 100 of the 2010s Countdown

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This latest segment of poster revealings, gave me a couple of films that intrigue me, "Hearts Beat Loud" & "High Life". Also, a shout out to "Looper" which was a final cut.

Here are my next three...

[center]#20. HIGH LIFE
(2018, Denis)

I really enjoyed High Life and it was hard to not have it on my own ballot. It just missed out.

The good vibes between (mild spoilers)
WARNING: spoilers below
Robert Pattinson and that baby were insane

I have not seen this one yet but, by reputation, assumed this was gonna be on the list and probably in the top-50.
Even as someone who loves High Life, there's a weird tonal inconsistency to it, and it's pretty divisive among people who have seen it, even Denis fans. Between it not being as widely seen and producing a mixed reaction in those who have watched it, I'm not surprised it didn't place.

Never heard of it but I will never see "A Painted Bird", because of that pic. I mean WTF?

EDIT: Maybe I jumped the gun. What is the context of that scene in relation to the whole film?

Still, I'm holding up to my WTF stance.

The world doesn't owe you a damn thing
my #17

5. La La Land (2016, Damien Chazelle) 309 points

A wonderful, beautifully shot musical saluting old-school theatrical productions featuring Emma Stone (fanboy!!!) and Ryan Gosling (getting there cuz, oh, how the boy DOES amuse and entertain me.
Beloved High Volume Revisits was a mistype for this and was, in fact, a last-minute watch knowing it was a guaranteed position; the only question would be where it ended up on my ballot.
Why? Because I grew up on Musicals and Variety Shows and never stopped loving them.

Any hoof, Stone plays an aspiring/struggling actress working in a coffee shop, and Gosling is a Jazz enthusiast piano player. Both cannot get that "Big Break" and weave heavily on the fence of giving up or giving their all to their dreams. A familiar premise for a Musical, Director Damien Chazelle delves into the old MGM films and with a deeper devotion to French musicals such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), especially when it comes to the use of colors. Chazelle balances song and dance numbers with grounded, realistic scenarios to create a well-rounded production that explores people's dreams and the realities of life that have their own paths one must walk with a song and a dance.

4. Whiplash (2014, Damien Chazelle) 375 points

On my second viewing via the 25th HoF, I wrote this,

Hello. My name is edarsenal, and I am a proud disciple of the Church of Fletcher (J. K. Simmons) and the Doctrines therein.

This is no Walt Disney, pop culture, cue " zero to hero montage" supplied by the "everyone gets a trophy" sheep herd; their ecstatic embrace of, and pursuit of, mediocrity in all of us.
Because every epic tale is one of going forward and upward as EVERY [email protected] sh#t is jet rocketed from some of the most unpleasant projections. Directly hitting the most vulnerable targets and still moving forward.
The old saying regarding someone putting "blood, sweat, and tears" into something isn't a metaphor.
To rise above the ordinary. To attain greatness is not a happy rainbow road. Not in reality. There is a REASON why so few truly attain it.
If I may quote from Scripture, Bar 108:

Terence Fletcher: I don't think people understood what it was I was doing at Shaffer. I wasn't there to conduct. Any [email protected] moron can wave his arms and keep people in tempo. I was there to push people beyond what's expected of them. I believe that is... an absolute necessity. Otherwise, we're depriving the world of the next Louis Armstrong. The next Charlie Parker. I told you that story about how Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker, right?
Andrew: Jo Jones threw a cymbal at his head.
Terence Fletcher: Exactly. Parker's a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session, and he [email protected] it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he's laughed off-stage. Cries himself to sleep that night, but the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices, and he practices with one goal in mind, never to be laughed at again. And a year later, he goes back to Reno, and he steps up on that stage and plays the best [email protected] solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones had just said, "Well, that's okay, Charlie. That was all right. Good job." And then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, sh#t, I did do a pretty good job." End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that's just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying.
Andrew: But is there a line? You know, maybe you go too far, and you discourage the next Charlie Parker from ever becoming Charlie Parker?
Terence Fletcher: No, man, no. Because the next Charlie Parker would never be discouraged.

In Closing, and I do Quote: "If you want the part, [email protected] earn it."

Pretty [email protected] awesome to see it this high. Nice one MoFos!

Movies Seen 49 out of 97 (50.51%)
1. This may be a surprise, and OH, that would rock
2. Jojo Rabbit (2012) #89
3. Beloved High Volume Revisits
4. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) #39
5. John Wick (2014) #48
6. True Grit (2010) #40
7. Shoplifters (2018) #18
8. Hell or High Water (2016) #76
9. Beloved High Volume Revisits
10. Upper Twenty and very much in the running
11. Beloved High Volume Revisits
12. Beloved High Volume Revisits
13. The King's Speech (2010) #78
14. Phantom Thread (2017) #15
15. The Raid (2011) #10016. Her (2013) #9
17. La La Land (2016) #5
18. The Revenant (2015) #53
19. Joker (2019) #60
20. Only a few views but simply adore
21. All sorts of endeared love for this with only a few views
22. Bless ya, Miss Vicky, for this'un
23. I did not expect this to place this high but definitely expected it SOMEWHERE
24. This - this is my Heartbreaker. I utterly adore and am INCAPABLE of endearing the sadness that erupts endlessly to revisit
25. A Royal Affair (2012) (One Pointer)

One Pointers Seen 7 out of 35 (20%)

Rectification List
86. 1917 (2019)
71. Ida (2013)

Also, my streak of meh continues. Technically, Whiplash is solid. But watching two different flavors of damaged ego-trippers slug it out doesn't make for compelling viewing for me.

And maybe that's because I'm not all that conflicted on the dynamic it's examining. "Is it worth tormenting people and literally accruing a body count to produce great art?!?!?!?!". No.

I can't imagine sitting through it again. And I've watched The Velocipastor twice! (In seriousness, though, everyone should see The Velocipastor at least once).

I get that Whiplash is intense and JK Simmons owns it, but I found it ultimately too ridiculous to think highly of. A film with JK Simmons in a supporting role I did have on my list was The Accountant, in which Ben Affleck plays an autistic accountant badass, which I was surprised to find I liked quite a lot as a nice modern action film. It was my #20. Right above it I have The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen brothers’ western anthology film, one of three westerns I had on my list, none of which made the countdown.

My List:
2. Take Shelter (#67)
3. Drive (#17)
4. Midnight in Paris (#45)
5. The Shape of Water (#52)
9. Nightcrawler (#55)
11. Birdman (#21)
13. Burning (#35)
14. Get Out (#19)
15. A Separation (#90)
16. Ex Machina (#49)
19. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (DNP)
20. The Accountant (DNP)
21. Shoplifters (#18)
22. Knives Out (#74)
23. Inside Llewyn Davis (#22)
24. Paterson (DNP)
25. The Mill and the Cross (1-pointer)
I may go back to hating you. It was more fun.

22. Bless ya, Miss Vicky, for this'un
I'm really curious as to what this is. It's probably something I voted for as well.

I haven't seen Whiplash and I think a good amount has to do with Miles Teller being one of the stars. I've seen one of his other films (Two Night Stand) and I found him borderline insufferable (particularly in the last third for reasons that aren't entirely storyline related).

I've got a feeling that maybe I'm supposed to root for him in Whiplash. And I'm not sure if I can fully commit to that. I'm definitely on board with Simmons, though.

Maybe later this year?

A film with JK Simmons in a supporting role I did have on my list was The Accountant, in which Ben Affleck plays an autistic accountant badass, which I was surprised to find I liked quite a lot as a nice modern action film. It was my #20.
I can get on board that as well. As someone who's on the autism spectrum as well as someone who has studied accounting, I think the film is fairly accurate on both counts. And it's a nifty action film too.

My List  

And my number 18 is from Jim Jarmusch, a 2013 gem known as Only Lovers Left Alive. A vampire love story that travels from the dark streets of Detroit to the mystical ones of Tangier, Morocco, told in the style that only Jarmusch can. Featuring great performances from Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston alongside solid ones from Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright and Anton Yelchin, Alive is slow paced so it allows you to sink your teeth into the dialogue and atmosphere. The end result is a slice of film originality which is increasingly kind of rare.

Whiplash is gripping, compelling, exhilarating and.....flawed.
tricks the viewer into thinking they've seen something amazing when all we really did was go on a fast & loud ride.

Great review, CR. As a former drummer I was impressed with Teller's facility at playing and impersonating a drummer. And Simmons is a great actor. But the picture was overwrought and unrealistic. I've met a lot of jerks in the music biz, and even some at conservatory. But Simmons role was way over the top. He would have been fired, or somebody would have beat the tar out of him.

Whiplash is great, but didn't make my list. My review from the last time I watched it:

The film is restlessly entertaining, fast paced, and an enthralling experience. Mile Teller is very good as the determined young drummer and J.K. Simmons is absolutely ferocious and fantastic as the abusive conductor. The story is told in a very engaging way and the film is never boring.

Seen: 93/97

A lot to chew on regarding Whiplash, but I've been out all day and I just can't do anything here right now. I will share some thoughts tomorrow, but it was my #14.
Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!

Victim of The Night
My List  

And my number 18 is from Jim Jarmusch, a 2013 gem known as Only Lovers Left Alive. A vampire love story that travels from the dark streets of Detroit to the mystical ones of Tangier, Morocco, told in the style that only Jarmusch can. Featuring great performances from Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston alongside solid ones from Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright and Anton Yelchin, Alive is slow paced so it allows you to sink your teeth into the dialogue and atmosphere. The end result is a slice of film originality which is increasingly kind of rare.
It was my No.6.

Whiplash was my #13. Great ****ing movie.

I love the intensity and the drive from the main character played excellently by Miles Teller. You really want to succeed with him and you easily understand the drive and the passion for accomplishing something you truly strive for.

The acting is on point, the editing is great and the script just pushes you with the characters towards that crackling finale… a finale that left me in sweats and a beating heart rate way above the norm. I told everyone around me after “you need to see this movie”. Obviously it hasn’t been the same on rewatches, but I still think it’s an excellent movie that truly hits the stick on the drum for me.

I forgot the opening line.
4. Whiplash - Whiplash could have easily ended up with first place on my ballot. I'm sure we've all had a teacher or a boss in our lives that inspired sheer terror in us, but beyond that relatability there are fundamental questions in this film that have no easy answers. If Andrew (Miles Teller) has been driven to greatness by Fletcher (an astoundingly good J.K. Simmons) in this, then does that mean all of the torture and terrorizing he's done is acceptable? Is this the only way? Can our very best be achieved by nurturing instead of pushing people to the brink? Would you thank someone who has cured you of something by means of torture? There are no answers in Whiplash - instead it's the perfectly formulated question. I don't know why, but watching Fletcher absolutely scare the living wits out of all of his students is one of the most thrilling movie-going experiences I've ever had. I don't think it's schadenfreude, but rather the recognition of what I went through at times as a boy, when an adult with authority would purposely frighten me to try and teach me some kind of lesson. Experiences like that often made me bitter, but still the question remains. Whiplash was my #5 - I think it's a modern masterpiece, even though there were 4 movies in the 2010s that I thought were even better.

My #9 was Amour

Everybody knows that what happens in Amour happens to many of us during the last stages of our life, and it's such an overwhelming burden to bear that it has to be acknowledged that everything in this physical world has a price - even love. I'm constantly voting for Amour during these countdowns (okay, obviously not for the comedy one) but it appears that this film is too troubling for enough people to actually love it - and Michael Haneke, amazing filmmaker he is, seems to be one of the most divisive here. I think Amour is a truly great film, and that we shouldn't turn our heads away as we often do with the elderly at the end of their lives, but help and comfort them as much as we can. I just love this film - I think it's superb.

Seen 89/97

Films on my radar : 3
Films I've never even heard about : 5

Films from my list : 15

#4 - My #5 - Whiplash (2014)
#6 - My #17 - The Social Network (2010)
#13 - My #10 - The Master (2012)
#14 - My #7 - The Florida Project (2017)
#15 - My #6 - Phantom Thread (2017)
#19 - My #21 - Get Out (2017)
#21 - My #3 - Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
#25 - My #20 - Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
#41 - My #16 - Melancholia (2011)
#54 - My #11 - Under the Skin (2013)
#60 - My #4 - Joker (2019)
#64 - My #8 - Manchester by the Sea (2016)
#71 - My #12 - Ida (2013)
#93 - My #15 - It Follows (2014)
#96 - My #1 - Hereditary (2018)
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : California Split (1974)

You can't make a rainbow without a little rain.
Here are my next three...

(2017, Showalter)

Really didn't expect much of this, but I was pleasantly surprised by it, to the point that it has become one of my favorite romcoms. It follows the relationship between Kumail and Emily (Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan) as they balance and battle expectations, life goals, cultural differences, her parents, and ultimately a life-threatening illness. Partly based on Nanjiani's own life and relationship, you can pretty much feel the heart and passion behind the film. It's charming, touching, funny, but also deep and profound in the way it explores the many facets of their relationship.

(2011, Jones)

One of my favorite "mind-benders" of recent years. This film follows Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who finds himself stuck in a "time loop" while on a train in Chicago. As he tries to figure out things around him, he is tasked to find a dangerous bomber aboard the train. This is a film that I saw and liked well enough back in 2011, but it wasn't until the day after, when I found myself talking endlessly about it with my wife about the possibilities and explanations of what was happening; and that's when I knew I had seen something special. I know it's a bit polarizing; especially the ending, but that's what makes the film for me.

I watched The Big Sick for this countdown, and I liked it enough that I considered it for my list, but it didn't make the final cuts.

I've seen Source Code a few times, and it was one of the movies that was on my original list before I started watching movies for this countdown. It stayed on my list for a while, but it eventually got cut.

They're both great movies, and I'm glad to see them get some love.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.

You can't make a rainbow without a little rain.
Oh well, I might as well post a few more I know have no chance. I usually wait till the end, but there's no way, man!

16. Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Hailee Steinfeld has one of her best-ever roles as a high school teen who is seemingly terminally depressed and awkward, only to find a kindred soul in childhood friend Krista (a terrific Haley Lu Richardson) who soon "betrays" Nadine by dating Nadine's older brother. A hilarious Woody Harrelson almost steals the movie as Nadine's favorite teacher and unwilling sounding board.

Edge of Seventeen is a very good movie. I didn't consider it for my list for this countdown, but I watched it for the Movies Directed By Women Countdown, and it almost made my list for that countdown.