I watched Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo. last night (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, for those of you who aren't fluent in Italian) and I was reminded again how few great films we seem to be seeing lately--specifically, in the 2000's.
Okay, so maybe my standards are too high, but seriously? The 50's had classics like Ben-Hur and 12 Angry Men, the 60's had 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and Psycho, and the 70's had The Sting, The Godfather (both worthwhile parts), and the birth of the Star Wars original trilogy. The 80's gave us a lot, including the Indiana Jones trilogy, Blade Runner, and the final two Star Wars movies. And the 90's! Horrible decade to live in, but you had Quentin Tarantino at his greatest (Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs), a Stephen King interpretation widely regarded as the best movie ever made (The Shawshank Redemption), and Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump and The Usual Suspects and Silence of the Lambs and Schindler's List and Fight Club.
The past decade (2000-2009) really failed for the most part, although near the end we had a rebound with The Dark Knight, Inglourious Basterds, and Up. Those are the only films, I think, from the '00s, which have a shot at becoming "classics".
Now the million-dollar question: "Why is this?"I think it has to do in part with commercialization and in part with laziness. In these times, effects can overshadow acting, so perhaps there is a declining emphasis on acting ability. For whatever reason, though, the 2000's seem to have been a weak decade in the "classics" field.
A final note: there were a lot of movies made in the 2000's which were "good" movies--entertaining, well-acted, well-made. Iron Man comes to mind. But these won't be remembered as "classics", in my opinion.
Discuss--I know you want to.
Long live Ludism!