Younger readers won’t have any idea what I’m talking about, but back in the day, you were either on Team Siskel or Team Ebert.
The various iterations of the “Siskel and Ebert” television show were must-watch programming for cinephiles. Aside from a snippet in the newspaper, there really weren’t many other ways to know what films were playing in the theater, what those films were about, and whether or not they were any good. Furthermore, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were simply captivating to watch, with each boasting huge personalities and strong opinions. Hearing them talk about movies was always entertaining. But listening to them fight about movies was even better.
As for me, I’m ride or die Team Ebert. Perhaps I never forgave Siskel once I learned of his lambasting of the film “Apocalypse Now.” But more generally speaking I almost always agreed with Ebert, while my views no better aligned with Siskel’s than that of a coin flip.
That being said, I’m rather shocked by how much I disagree with Ebert’s “Best of the 2000s” list. I understand his love for “Synecdoche, New York.” Watch the YouTube video series by Your Movie Sucks about the film to see for yourself. But there are some middling titles on his list, with a couple of outright DOGS to boot, which I can perhaps see making the cut on an end-of-year list. But an ALL DECADE list? How?
For example, “25th Hour” is a good movie. Matter of fact, put Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in anything, and it’ll be better than good. Let’s call it great. But best of the decade? It received one Golden Globe nomination for the screenplay and nothing from the Academy Awards.
Furthermore, to include “Bad Lieutenant: Port Call of New Orleans” on the honorable mentions list? Preposterous! To borrow a line from Ebert himself, I hated, hated, hated that movie!
Below is the full list. Sound off in the comments below with which titles you agree with, and which are on your hate list.
1) Synecdoche, New York
2) The Hurt Locker
5) Me, You, and Everyone you Know
6) Chop Shop
7) The Son
8) The 25th Hour
9) Almost Famous
10) My Winnipeg
Honorable Mentions: Adaptation, The Bad Lieutenant: Port Call of New Orleans, City of God, Crash, Kill Bill 1 + 2, Minority Report, No Country for Old Men, Pan’s Labrynth, Silent Light, Waking Life