The 100 Greatest Moments Of Lost, part 3: Only fools are enslaved by time and space!

We’re creeping closer and closer to the return of Lost on Tuesday, and the hits just keep on coming!

And let’s return to our countdown looking back at how we got here with…

The 100 Greatest Moments of Lost!


50. Locke, bouncing around through different time periods on the Island like a skipping record in “Because You Left,” asks Richard Alpert possibly the most important question one can ask in that situation: “When am I?”

49. Ben produces a shotgun from the piano bench in “The Shape Of Things To Come.” A classic example of the other reason we love Ben: He’s seemingly prepared for anything (which makes those times when he encounters a situation he’s not prepared for all that more delicious). He’s got a hidden room of suits and passports in his home, so of course he’d have a sawed off shotgun hidden in his piano bench in case Charles Widmore send killer mercenaries to the Island to get him, right?

48. Sayid makes a wager on the golf course in the Seychelles with Mr. Avellino at the beginning of “The Economist.” It ends with Avellino, a target on the list of people that Sayid is murdering in these flashforwards for Ben, ending up dead and Sayid being his own caddy.

47. Arzt explodes in “Exodus, part one.” Such a simple, cheap gag, but an entertaining one, and a brilliant one, especially since we were told in the media that Daniel Roebuck (previously famous for playing Jay Leno in The Late Shift) was joining the cast in season 2. Those few Arzt lovers out there instead had to wait for his awesome return in season 3’s “Exposé.”

46. Boone’s surgery and aborted amputation in “Do No Harm.” How, this was a forever ago. Boone was the sacrifice the Island demanded, and rightly so, because he kind of sucked. And because his death was needed so that Aaron could be born? Jack went all out trying to save him, even giving him a transfusion of his own blood and was prepared to amputate his leg to save his life before a delirious Boone finally said, “Jack, just let me go…”

45. Faraday’s rocket test in “The Economist.” Our first real glimpse at the time distortions around the Island.

44. Locke reveals in ” ” that he’s the one who knocked out Sayid to prevent the radio test.

43. Charlie’s dive into the ocean to go down to the Looking Glass station at the bottom of the ocean in “Greatest Hits.” As much as we hate Charlie here at Counterforce, “Greatest Hits” was a pretty great episode, and this was an epic swim, the first part of the hero quest that would lead to Charlie’s death.

42. Jin runs out of the jungle at the end of “Adrift,” screaming to the newly washed ashore Michael and Sawyer: “Others! Others!”

41. Sawyer’s running for cover in “The Shape Of Things To Come.” If you haven’t watched this episode again recently, you need to. It’s fucking amazing, but nestled right there in the middle of it is a bizarre action sequence in which Sawyer is running away from bullets in Otherton/the Barracks as Keamy and the mercenaries are clearly just toying with him. Either that or the picnic table, the picket fence, and the barbecue that Sawyer uses for cover are just that good and perhaps James Ford belongs in an 80s action movie?

40. Mr. Eko’s speech to Locke about Josiah and the discovery of the old testament before revealing the missing portion of the Swan’s orientation film, the one that warns of what could lead to another “incident.” Eko also gives Locke a brilliant piece of advice here that Locke will only seldom take: “Do not mistake coincidence with fate.”

And #40 is another TIE with a favorite moment of mine: Locke’s speech to Boone about Michelangelo in “Hearts And Minds” as he’s mixing up the psychedelic paste to give Boone a hallucination of what he needs to see, in this case to let go of his obsession with his step sister Shannon.

39. While Sayid, Ana Lucia, and Charlie are off to find the balloon of “Henry Gale,” to check the validity of his story, Jack and Locke feed Henry/Ben some breakfast in the Swan station, where he casually tells them a “what if” tale of how, if he was actually an Other, he’d be sending their friends off into a trap… And for the first time we see the menace and ease of which Ben can and loves to manipulate people that goes so perfectly with his bug eyes and Vincent Price-like voice.

38. Sawyer kills the original Tom Sawyer/Locke’s dad in, quite literally, “The Brig” on the Black Rock. It’s not so much the kill here that’s interesting, but the confrontation itself, which we had been waiting for since the first season. Locke’s dad, Anthony Cooper, the old time con man starts recounting off the various aliases he’s used in the past, Sawyer stops him after the mention of Mark Twain’s literary hero. “Sawyer’s my name too,” he says through gritted teeth.

37. Vincent uncovers the bodies of Nikki and Paulo in “Exposé,” and really, just all of “Exposé” in general. Not only do Nikki and Takes A Shit Guy get one of the most cold blooded offings in all of television, but you get some awesome glimpses from a different perspective of events that have occurred on the Island with the 815ers.

Bonus: Mr. LaShade is The Cobra!

Extra bonus: The original intention of these two characters was for them to actually have two episodes in the third season. In the first one, we’d learn that Nikki was an Alias-like spy prior to coming to the Island, and in the second, much like this one, we’d learn that she was actually just an actress on an Alias-like show. Personally, I kind of love that. Razzle dazzle!

36. Richard carries young Ben, whose been possibly fatally shot in 1977, into the temple of the Others to be saved in “Whatever Happened, Happened.” And we still don’t know what it means! All we were told is that if the Others save Ben’s life, he’ll lose his innocence and forever be one of the Others.

35. Ben is judged by the smoke monster/Alex in “Dead Is Dead.” And thus begins the endgame of season 5 as Ben is told that he’d better do everything that (fake) John Locke asks or Alex/the smoke monster will kill him.

34. Ben and Widmore have a nasty late night conversation in Widmore’s penthouse in “The Shape Of Things To Come,” the episode that seems to get the most hits in this round, right? The venom between these two gents is palpable and I feel like we still haven’t begun to see all of what they were referring to as threatens to kill Penny in retaliation for the loss of his daughter, and Widmore, made of grit and steel, reminds him: “I know who you are, boy. What you are.”

33. From “Not In Portland,” Sawyer and Kate are trying to make their way off of Hydra island, and Alex will help them on one condition: They have to rescue her boyfriend, Karl. And where is he? Room 23! The trippy brainwashing room that looks like something fresh from A Clockwork Orange, where Karl is drugged up, forced to watch bizarre videos with subliminal messages and listen to blaring jungle music with backwards voices playing through them…

Just remember, kids: “God loves you as He loved Jacob,” and “Only fools are enslaved by time and space.”

32. Ethan Rom is not on flight 815’s manifest!

31. The Swan station’s orientation film from “Orientation,” giving us our first glimpses of Pierre Chang, and first whispers of just what the hell the DHARMA Initiative is.

Just as Locke says after the first time he saw, “I think we’re going to need to watch that again.”

30. Michael’s death in “There’s No Place Like Home, part 3,” as the bomb explodes on the boat, but not before the ghostly Christian shows up and says one of the most chilling things ever: “You can go now, Michael.”

And then:

29. The opening to season 2 in “Man Of Science, Man Of Faith,” as we meet Desmond for the first time down in the hatch and hear Mama Cass’ lovely, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music.” There’s a lot of people who saw that scene for the first time and said it wasn’t that impressive to them or that their minds weren’t blown by it, and we have a simple name for those kind of people here at Counterforce: Liars.

28. Michael shoots Ana Lucia and Libby, making them “Two For The Road,” ha ha!

But, no, seriously, kids, don’t drive and drive, okay?

27. Mysterious Walt visitations all over the place! One of my many unanswered questions that I’d like to see the show take a stab at in it’s last season is WTF was going on with Walt, and why exactly did the Others need him so badly? Presumably they had him in Room 23 for a while, but how was he practicing the art of bilocation, the first few times to Shannon…

and then…

…to John as we get to our last moment for today…

26. Locke and Ben go to visit Jacob’s cabin in “The Man Behind The Curtain,” and have what you might call… a strange encounter.

A strange encounter and a half, really.

And Locke clearly hears the words of somebody other than Ben or himself say, “Help me.”

Which upsets Ben a good deal:

…who then leaves Locke to rest with the remains of the DHARMA Initiative, and that’s where we’ll also leave you for today…

See you tomorrow with Part 4!

The 100 Greatest Moments of Lost, part 2: “You knew… and you sent me anyway.”

Awwwwwww yeeeaahhhh. We are just getting started.

The best part of making this list has been that, after me and Marco locked down the top 100, I’d go back and watch an episode and it was like, “fuck, I totally forgot about this moment! It’s not top 100, but it’s still fucking awesome.”

For example, In an early Season 2 episode, Sun loses her wedding ring. Jack tries to make her feel better by telling her a story about how he lost his ring once and had to fake a replacement. Then Yunjin Kim delivers the slightest of glances down at Jack’s left hand. Pregnant Pause. Jack looks down at his empty ring finger too and shrinks a little.

It’s a perfect snapshot of a character who’s both the calm, reassuring hero and also a manic, damaged failure. And it didn’t even make the list.

Continuing on with Counterforce’s list of Epic Lost Moments, we find ourselves at the electric encounter between the mysterious one-eyed man and Motherfucking Sayid.

The 100 Greatest Moments of Lost!


75. Cut to “Enter 77,” with Mikhail and Sayid taking turns tightening the screws on each other. Sayid sez: “At least we were able TO KILL one of them.” and then Mikhail tosses off this immortal, badass line: “Why are we continuing to play this little game… when it all know it has moved to THE NEXT STAGE!” Fight!

74. Charlie gives Kate her shirt back after they ran from the broken hive and delivers what might be his best and nearly only good line of the series. Kate: “It was full of bees.” Charlie: “I’d have thought C’s, actually.” Even Jack laughs, so you know it was a good joke.

73. Faraday meets the young Ellie, stares at her enough to lay the creep on her (must be weird to meet your mom back when she was a young hottie), and then gets a look at jughead, the massive Chekov’s Gun of Season 5.

72. Jack’s first fistfight with Ethan, where he gets his ass handed to him, then discovers Charlie left hanging in “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues.” Unfortunately, Jack is able to revive Charlie.

71. Pierre Chang questions a helpless Hurley on 1977 to out him as a time traveler. “So you fought in the Korean War?” snarks Chang, “There’s no such thing?” Hurley flails. Also during this moment we finally see Miles and Pierre acknowledging their connection.

70. Sayid kills a guy with a dishwasher in the safehouse/hotel room in “Because You Left.” Not only was this move awesome, but it resulted in an entire episode where and unconscious Sayid gets toted around “Weekend at Bernies”-style.

69. Team Jack finds the dump of forgotten tube canisters sent from the Pearl Station in “Live Together, Die Alone.” A kind of haunting image of futility, and a seeming answer to the question of whether or not the hatch was just a psychological experiment.

68. Richard Alpert walks into Dharmaville in ’74, slams the torch into the grass. This is where Richard was officially elevated to “This guy could walk into any scene in any timeline and I won’t bat an eyelash” status. It’s not often we get to see him display the kind of authority he levels at Horace here. “That fence may keep other things out, but… not us.” Nobody sticks torches into dirt like Nestor Carbonell.

67. Sayid meets Rousseau, and we finally get a face to the mysterious French Woman on the radio distress loop.

66. Locke blows the Hatch door. I love the way John just ignore’s Hurley’s plea to stop. What a way to end the season: a long shaft into the darkness.

65. The monster kills the pilot in the “Pilot.” Our first taste of the mysterious Island security system.

64. Sawyer and Jack meet Mr. Friendly in the jungle, “Light ‘em up!” from “The Hunting Party.” Just when Jack is feeling cocky enough to call bullshit on Tom Friendly, the Others call bullshit on Jack and we finally get to hear a little about their point of view. “This is not your island.”

63. Montand loses the arm in “This Place is Death.” It was teased so long ago, and finally seeing how Montand lost his arm in the Dark Territory, as Rousseau mentions in “Exodus” was extremely fulfilling and satisfying.

62. Sawyer puts down the US Marshall in “Tabula Rasa.” Or, tries to. Wonderful that Sawyer does what no one else has the guts to. And fucks it up. So Jack goes in and finishes it, bare-handed.

61. Teams Jack and Locke form and split at the cockpit in “The Beginning of the End.” Marco and I love quoting the Jackface standard, “Are you INSANE!?!?” at each other. Later in the series, Locke would softly comment, “You put a gun to my head, and you pulled the trigger.”

60. Ben confronts Jacob, and stabs him. I didn’t make the connection for months, but the “What about me?” “What about you?” exchange is basically an allegory for Man confronting his God. Ben wants validation, but to Jacob, he’s just not important in the grand scheme. Even Ben killing him means nothing to Jacob. It’s as though you were given a chance to ask the Supreme Being about your purpose in life, and God responded, “I really don’t care, fuck off.”

59. Ellie shoots Faraday in “The Variable.” I love the stunned realization on Daniel’s face. “You knew. You always knew… And you sent me anyway.” Only at the end, does the last puzzle piece for Faraday fall into place. He neglected to consider the one threat that would kill him: his own mother.

58. “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” The one who will save us all.

57. If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be MY constant. And we begin to grasp just how deep into the rabbit hole of time Lost is about to take us.

56. Locke says “I was wrong” to Mr. Eko right before the Swan implodes in “Live Together, Die Alone.” Terry O’Quinn does such an excellent job revealing the shame and fear of Locke’s failure. Despite the wonderful, fantastical elements of the show, it’s these kinds of raw, honest character moments that make Lost the amazing drama that it is.

55. The return to the Island in the opening of “316.” We all thought it would take a whole season to get back to the Island, and then BAM, six episodes in and they’re back.

54. Meeting the tail section of Oceanic 815 in “The Other 48 Days” Really the whole episode was excellent, but getting to relive the crash, from the spinning tail fuselage falling out of the sky, to the desperate panic to rescue survivors on the beach, was the perfect less-hopeful mirror to the same scenes from the Pilot. You just kinda knew from the start that these tailies were fucked.

53. The Others purge the Dharma Initiative in “The Man Behind the Curtain.” With bonus points for Ben killing his own father with gas. Horace sitting dead on the bench, the sad realization on his face that he would never understand the Island. Or perhaps he’s grasping that Alpert really meant it about the 15-year limit on their truce.

52. Desmond talks to the older Eloise in “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” sees the man with red shoes, and learns about “course corrections.” Just another brick in the “fate” wall that Team Eloise is building against Free Will. I love that a popular television show has been dramatizing the philosophical debate between fate and free will for 6 years.

51. Jack says “Forgive me” and almost jumps off a bridge. Another thing I love about this show is its willingness to give us characters at their absolute lowest. Jack is the hero, the lead, the protagonist, and here he is about to kill himself. But even in his darkest hour, he’s still inexorably pulled towards an emergency he can fix. Excellent direction in this scene: the off-screen car crash, the cry for help and the fire brightening Jack’s face. Some of Michael Giacchino’s best musical work as well.

See you tomorrow with PART 3!

The 100 Greatest Moments Of Lost, part 1: WWAAAALLLTTTTT!!!

There was a year, probably the year that Return Of The King and the third Matrix movie came out, where I kept hearing the same tagline: “Everything that has a beginning has an ending.” Talk about pompous and wanting to be epic (and falling short, especially that year). And yet, sadly, this phrase works for Lost, but maybe with some modifications: Everything that has a beginning, a middle, and an ending will end, but not necessarily in that order.

Fuck me, this has been a long time coming. It feels like those last few moments of “The Incident” ended a forever ago and we’re so close, and I’m freakishly excited. You know how you finally go on that date with that hot person and you’re nervous and you’re worried about having shit in your teeth or how your hair looks and are you funny enough? And you’re freaking out this date is just tanking (this is obviously a very cliched date, I know), but then that hot, amazing guy/girl says, “Hey, why don’t you come back to my place for a drinky drink?” I’m like that excited. That kind of excited with a mixture of a 100 Hiroshimas. So, you know, the return of this show on Tuesday night is serious business.

And let’s start looking back at how we got here, and how I could possibly be this excited as we begin looking at…

The 100 Greatest Moments of Lost!


100. Workman: “So are going to go back and kill Hitler or some crazy shit like that?” Marvin Candle/Edgar Halliwax/Mark Wickmund/Pierre Chang: “Don’t be absurd! There are rules!” From the season 5 opener, “Because You Left,” this is quite the meta statement. And I think it’s safe to say that Miles’ dad is one of Counterforce’s favorite characters.

99. Ben ditches the sling after the Ajira 316 crash in “Namaste.” This is a personal favorite of Benjamin Light and Occam Razor, and makes you wonder if Ben’s broken arm could be fixed after such a short time back on the Island or were his injuries just another ruse?

98. Jack shoots the oil cans in “The Variable,” while loading up on guns with Faraday and Kate before heading out to see the Others. Jack in 1977, when not making sandwiches and doing janitorial duties, is pretty nuts, man.

97. Regina (stunt woman Zoe Bell) kills herself on the Galaga. (Sea madness!)(Or, is it… time madness?)

96. Locke breaks his leg on his fall towards the frozen donkey wheel/meets with Christian/Smokey down there in “This Place Is Death.” The sound is so visceral and you feel Locke’s pain as he struggles to get up and move to that wheel, to pull it, and then… “Say hello to my son!”

95. “WAAALLLTTTTT!!!” from “Adrift.” I remember this annoying the shit out of me all 700 times that Michael screamed it out, but it clung to the inner walls of my memory like a tattoo.

94. Locke meets young Charles Widmore in “Jughead.” This moment, to me, is classic Locke, the man who deals with obstacles, but considers no one his enemy. Has any of the other characters met this 17 year old piece of snot who would cause them so many troubles in the future, they’d probably kill him. But not Locke. Once he learns the young man’s identity, he unleashes that trademark smirk. When asked what the name means to him, Locke merely replies, “Nothing. Nice to meet you.”

93. Jack and Sawyer’s poker game in “Lockdown.” It doesn’t take long before Kate, who’s watching the whole game, appropriately adds, “Should I get a ruler?”

92. “I screwed her, man.” From seeing who has a bigger dick to this, this touching confession that Sawyer makes to Jack about Ana Lucia in “Three Minutes” is some damn near heartwarming potential bromancery, right?

91. Rose and Bernard re-united in season 2’s “Collision” after 50 days apart.

90. Kate and Jack’s hate sex encounter the night before Ajira 316.

89. Jack’s “I married her!” line to Desmond in “Orientation.”

88. Jack and Kate get caught in a net. Why is this one of our favorite moments? Because of the SEXUAL TENSION! Duh. And it’s kinky.

Also, I’m gonna cheat here a bit and declare lucky #88 a TIE with another of my favorite moments: the scenes between Jack and the then (and still, as a lady sometimes should be) Juliet in the aquarium in “A Tale Of Two Cities.” Jack is held captive, at his wit’s end, his entire being frayed and stressed to the limits, and there’s Juliet, with the face of an angel, pushing him just a little further. It’s an amazing mash up of smoldering and vulnerability and one of several examples I would provide to anyone foolish enough to tell me this show isn’t sexy. (Another example would be #90, obviously.)

87. Sayid, in the rain, with a gun, from season 1’s “Homecoming.” Ethan is back and he’s threatened to kill someone every day until Claire is returned to him, so our 815ers form a posse to take him down. And of course Sayid is the badass Angel of Death.

86. Phil gets killed during “The Incident.” This guy was a serious itch in second half of season 5 and then they scratched it.

85. Karl and Rousseau are killed by Keamy and the mercenaries at the end of “Meet Kevin Johnson.”

84. Ana Lucia and Goodwin face off in “The Other 48 Days.”

83. Jin and Mr. Eko hiding from the Others, in season 2’s “…And Found,” and those bizarre glimpses of dirty bare feet, and teddy bears being dragged along, further tantalizing the mysterious of who the fuck are these people?

82. Hurley is writing The Empire Strikes Back in in “Some Like It Hoth.”

from here.

81. “He walks among us, but he is not one of us.” It’s what it says, but it’s not what it means,” Jack, from “Stranger In A Strange Land.”

80. Sayid hears the mysterious whispers while escaping Rousseau in “Solitary.”

79. Jack and Kate’s conversation in the Others’ rec room in “The Man From Tallahassee.” Just another link in the long chain that has been the Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet/Ana Lucia love “triangle.”

78. Faraday sends the message to the future via Desmond’s head and his being an exception to “the rules” referred to at#100 at the end of “Because You Left.”

77. Jack gets to see the Red Sox win the world series in “The Glass Ballerina.” This is a simple but powerful moment that shows why Lost is more than just some gimmicky show, taking a simple line of dialogue from season 1 about Jack’s dad’s baseball team, the Red Sox, always  the team of losers, and showing that sometimes losers can win. Emotional resonance!

76. Nadia the cat silently judges Sayid at the end of “Enter 77.”

See you tomorrow with PART 2!

“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

from here.

“That’s the whole trouble. You can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write ‘Fuck you’ right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it’ll say ‘Holden Caulfield’ on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it’ll say ‘Fuck you.’ I’m positive, in fact.”

RIP J. D. Salinger, 91 year old reclusive author of 1951’s The Catcher In The Rye, which is almost universally and immortally beloved, and several other books, including his collection, Nine Stories, featuring the fantastic short story, “A Perfect Day For Bananafish.” And, you can find more of his short stories here. He’s been on the run from fame and possibly the rest of society since 1965, being both a hater of the world of phonies and drawing inspiration from it. Salinger is a writer that loved the art of writing, but just for himself, and it’s said that he’s written as many as 15 books since he stepped away from the public eye.

from here.

“I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddamn cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”

“It’s fate. Some people are just supposed to suffer.”

We thought we’d start with a countdown of some of the great flashback moments of Lost. Surely this list alone could be dozens of moments long, but in the end, you just have to make some cuts and go with it. We decided to slant these towards character more than plot.

So without further adieu…

The 10 Greatest Character Flashback Moments of Lost

10. Jin visits his father in Korea

Season 1, …In Translation

We forget sometimes that Jin started off the show as kind of a chauvinist jerk. And Sun’s first flashback episode didn’t do anything to dissuade us of that notion. But Jin going back to the father he was ashamed of, and getting some much needed support, was the kind of moment that Lost is famous for: taking a character who was two-dimensional and giving them depth and nuance.

9. Kate and her childhood friend dig up the time capsule

Season 1, Born to Run

I’m cheating and also using this to rope in the part where Kate goes to see her mother and the mom totally freaks out. But the scene with Kate and her childhood friend Tom who became a doctor has the right kind of burned nostalgic poignancy. Hearing their own hopeful, naive younger selves on tape is a punch to the gut. ‘It’s not fair you know, you coming back,” the doctor says.

8. Boone and Shannon have hate sex in Sydney

Season 1, Hearts and Minds

“We’ll just go back.” “To what?” “To what it was.” It’s kinda surprising in retrospect that a show that aired at 8pm was able to work in hate sex between two step-siblings. Not just the gratuity, but the idea behind it. Boone gets what he wants, only it’s horrible, drunken and fleeting.

7. Desmond meets Faraday at Oxford

Season 4, The Constant

Always thrilling to see two characters meet in a flashback, and putting time-crossed Desmond together with physicist Daniel Faraday was A) awesome, and B) perfectly allowed the writers to establish a little science behind the time travel they were about to dive into. Suddenly the purple sky, the electromagnetic phenomena and the Island started to make sense. A little. Plus, Faraday is rocking some righteous hair.

6. Juliet’s Ex-husband gets hit by a bus

Season 3, Not in Portland

You knew it was coming, and Hollywood has really perfected the special effect of someone getting hit by a car, but it was still pretty sweet to see happen anyway. As an audience, we begin to learn what the Others are capable of, even off the Island.

5. Ana Lucia shoots her attacker

Season 2, Collision

Other shows might have had Ana Lucia confront Jason before backing down and just arresting him. On Lost, she kills him. And when she says, “I was pregnant,” it’s easy to see her side of things.

4. Christian and Sawyer meet at a bar in Sydney

Season 1, Outlaws

Up to this point, Christian had seemed like a pretty terrible father, but drinking with Sawyer, we get to see another, more humble side of him. “To Sawyer, may he find what he’s looking for in the bottom of a glass,” Christian says. It would have been impossible for Christian to ever share a moment like this with Jack, but due to cruel twists of fate, at least Sawyer was able to relay the message.

3. Desmond and Penny first meet

Season 3, Catch-22

It kind of came out of nowhere, this whole episode where you’re like ‘Holy shit, Desmond was a monk?’ And then he gets fired and boom, there’s Penny, love at first sight and all that.

2. Young Ben encounters Richard in the jungle

Season 3, The Man Behind the Curtain

A fateful meeting and the kind of flashback scene you watched over and over after it happened. 1) Richard Alpert appears to be ageless. 2) Richard doesn’t appear shocked in the slightest at the idea of Ben seeing his dead mother. 3) “Maybe this can happen, maybe… but you’re going to need to be very, very patient.”

1. Locke gets thrown out of a window by his dad

Season 3, The Man From Tallahassee

The writers had been teasing this moment for years. You knew something terrible happened to cripple John Locke, but you never knew how it happened. When the writers finally revealed it, they didn’t disappoint. Locke flying out the window was one of the more shocking events of the series, and there really isn’t a single other flashback moment that compares.

Ready to be heartbroken.

From Phonogram: The Singles Club #6 (out of 7), by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie:

from here.

Also interesting, to me at least, is this lovely blog here, How Fucking Romantic, about illustrating short stories based on The Magnetic Fields69 Love Songs, a favorite album of mine. Just awesome stuff.

Lost in real time…

As a nice prelude to the upcoming 100 Greatest Moments of Lost, an awesome new discovery on the internets…

The crash of Flight 815 in real time, done 24-style. Culling material from: The Pilot, “The Other 48 Days,”  “Live Together, Die Alone,” “A Tale Of Two Cities,” “One Of Us,” “The Other Woman,” and also the mobisodes “The Envelope” and “So It Begins,” and I believe that’s it, but I could be wrong. Am I missing something? Anyway, kudos to whoever put this together and I’ll have to agree with Damon Lindelof about it: Wow.

Also, new season 6 promo, finally with new footage:

Exciting, right? Claire in Rousseau mode. And kind of heavily hinting at the return, which we already knew about, and just isn’t that exciting. Oh well. Everything that has a beginning also has an ending.

Counterforce at the movies: Best of the decade.



50 films we won’t forget:

by Benjamin Light and Marco Sparks

In no particular order…

Let me repeat that, since there’s always some asshole who doesn’t read it the first time and whines about movie x over movie z: these are in no particular order.

◊ ◊ ◊

High Fidelity

Benjamin: A movie about guys who love making top 5 lists, in a big top 50 list. How meta. The opening lines sum it up:

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

◊ ◊ ◊

The Departed

Benjamin: My favorite thing about this film is the way it’s edited together almost as one long montage rather than a simple scene-to-scene cut. Mark Wahlberg is stunningly good. He and the other young actors were so good that Jack Nicholson actually got kind of ignored by the critics. Which is amazing. My favorite lines: “Just fucking kill me.” “I am killing you.”

Marco: Great film, great direction, great acting, just something fantastic and raw. I feel like a more talented person than I could make a serious gender studies write up with this movie because you literally have every kind of man in it.

◊ ◊ ◊

Children Of Men

Benjamin: Makes the list for the two tracking shots alone. Managed to capture the post 9/11 zeitgeist without pandering to it.

Y’know that ringing in your ears? That ‘eeeeeeeeee’? That’s the sound of the ear cells dying, like their swan song. Once it’s gone you’ll never hear that frequency again. Enjoy it while it lasts.

◊ ◊ ◊

Donnie Darko

Benjamin: Richard Kelly did everything he could to make me want to strike this from the list, but the original theatrical cut still works. Just because the hot topic kids jumped all over this and the director re-cut it in the most obvious and hackish way possible doesn’t make my old first run DVD any less good. And as a bonus, it’s got Maggie Gyllenhaal before she hit menopause.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: I’ll be honest, I tried watching this once (sic) for five minutes and found I would need subtitles to continue. Marco?

Marco: The sum is more than the whole and it’s a slow build up, but before you know it, you’re immersed in the gradual easy attraction of this busker and the immigrant and their mutual love of music. Their real life story is a bit weirder, but not scandalous, and hey, whatever. Life is weirder, and this movie feels more realistic as if you there in the grime and poverty and creative joy with them.

◊ ◊ ◊


Marco: What you take out of life is about how you perceive it and even scarier than that, the the thing we never ask ourselves is: What do others see when they see us. Haneke, who’s no stranger to strong, controversial filmmaking, gives us a very raw, paranoid movie here about a French couple who start receiving video tapes of themselves. There’s much you could say about this film and I feel it’s one that people will come back to more and more in the years to come. It feels like the kind of cinema I’d like to see Hitchcock making if he was alive today.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: I think we all remember the same thing from this film: the Erika Christiansen “gettin fucked” POV cam. Also, it nicely exposed the general pop to the harsh realities of the war on drugs. Then we all watched for a whole decade while the reality got worse.

◊ ◊ ◊

Mulholland Drive

Marco: This is a film you watch once, enjoy it or not, but after that, it’s no longer a film. It lives inside you, hovering just over you, out of the corner of your eye, always just out of sight. It’ll influence your dreams and always feel like the cold fingers of a dead man crawling up your spine for a gentle caress. And it’s beautiful and perfect, too.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Prestige

Benjamin: The Plot, the Turn, and the Prestige. It’s hard not to like the clockwork structure of this film. Plus, it has Tesla in it, and Tesla invented half the new technology in the 2000s.

Marco: I think it was actually Benjamin Light who saw this before me and convinced me to see it (not that I needed much convincing). “How was it?” I asked. “Not bad at all,” he said. “It’s got magicians trying to fuck each other over and a mad scientist and-” “I’m sold,” I said. Easily one of the strongest, smartest movies of the decade. And secretly one of the most fun.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Dark Knight

Marco: “Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Benjamin: Probably the most important film of the decade. No, seriously. The Dark Knight took the soul of America to the brink of post-9/11 despair, and then pulled us back a few feet and let us stare out into the abyss. Anarchy has never seemed so terrifyingly seductive. There’s a reason this film made shitloads of money, and it’s got nothing to do with bat-arrangs and secret identities. This was America’s acceptance stage.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Others

Benjamin: My favorite horror film of the decade, and so much more worthy of praise than the Sixth Sense.

Marco: We’ve talked about how few filmmakers can really produce actual, real dread in their movies, the kind you can feel floating around in your blood with you, or a that constant presence out of the corner of your eye. This had that, plus that feeling of gripping your knees or fingernails digging into your armrests and your teeth grinding. And I’d hate to ever review based on its twist, but this movie’s? Perfect.

◊ ◊ ◊

There Will Be Blood

Marco: The perfect horror movie to precede a recession.

Benjamin: Perhaps the only way to show the sociopathic urges of unchecked capitalism is to embody it in a man.

You’re not my son. You’re just a little piece of competition.

◊ ◊ ◊

Lost In Translation

Marco: Too often are own lives drift towards being half asleep, confused, and having a shoegaze soundtrack. Bill Murray and ScarJo do this one easily, with charm and grace. Some movies need helicopter chases and explosions and lots of shouting to be something, and then there’s movies like this: It starts with a plane landing and ends with a plane taking off and in between it’s just two people.

Benjamin: Just like honey. Watched this at 3am drinking zima. Hit me like a cement truck and I knew I wasn’t a kid anymore. I would go so far as to throw the adjective ‘timeless’ at this film.

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The Royal Tenenbaums

Benjamin: A nice little gift to Salinger fans. It can’t be easy to pastiche the aesthetic of J.D. while still maintaining your own style, but Wes Anderson did it.

◊ ◊ ◊

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Benjamin: True story: I once set up my roommate with a girl I used to live with in college. They broke up half a year later. The day they broke up, me and the girl and a few other guys went to see this film. I asked the girl: are you sure you feel like seeing this? And she said no, it’s ok, I’m fine. So we saw it, then went to IHOP afterwards for some dinner. A couple minutes after we sit down in our booth, the girl just totally breaks down, completely devastated. That’s the kind of film this is.

◊ ◊ ◊

Before Sunset

Benjamin: As much as I dislike Richard Linklater, I really do like this film and its predecessor. Would these movies be 10 times better with a different male lead actor? I think so.

Marco: Yeah, I think you can see so very much of Ethan Hawke’s own personal story within the film, especially when his character talks about his off screen wife. But that’s art. There’s something wonderful about the world of Jesse and Celine, something that’s perfect to watch as they reconnect and get past themselves to each other. I wouldn’t mind a return visit to their world.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Hurt Locker

Marco: One of the most tense movies that I’ve seen in a while, and one of the most effortlessly strong ones as well. Kathryn Bigelow knows how to make intellectually muscular movies that don’t shy away from action in the slightest. Compare this to Peter Berg’s The Kingdom for poof that Bigelow shouldn’t wait another 8 years to make another movie and that Berg should.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: Only Pixar could make a CGI movie about robots with more heart and soul than nearly every live-action film of the year. Wall-E and E-va’s “dance” through space was the work of true artists. Also, E-va always reminds me of Peanut St. Cosmo.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Lives Of Others

Marco: I wonder now if this movie would make a good double bill with Cache… Hmm. Regardless, this is an interesting movie, so very quiet but heavy, about how Big Brother really is watching you. They know everything about you, all of your plots, your secret desires, and soon your privacy will become theirs.

◊ ◊ ◊

V For Vendetta

Benjamin: In retrospect, it’s amazing this movie ever got made during the Bush years, even if it is set in England. The whole film is just a complete rebuke of post 9/11 America.

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

◊ ◊ ◊

Synechdoche, New York

Marco: One of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. Charlie Kaufman tackles life and getting old and dealing with your mistakes through an abstract eye, bulky with dream logic, but you can’t help but embody the Phillip Seymour Hoffman character’s sadness. And through the characters, your own. This one stuck with me for a while and, honestly, I think I’m glad it’s so misunderstood and underrated. It feels like my pain and I’m glad I can hold onto it just a little bit longer, just for me.

◊ ◊ ◊

Let The Right One In

Benjamin: It seems like you can never go wrong with a snowy setting, cinematically speaking. This film reminded me in some ways of “The Shining.” Mostly in how there are long stretches of antiseptic dread between moments of shocking gore. and I always appreciate a film that portrays children as the soulless sociopaths that they are.

Marco: Seriously. And this film is just gorgeous, and slick as any Hollywood remake could hope to be (but more on that later). There’s warmth in the cold here, nuance in the horror, and amazingly, I find myself still debating aspects of the ending with people.

◊ ◊ ◊

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Benjamin: There were a ton of Crouching Tiger knock-offs after Ang Lee’s film won the Foreign Film Oscar, but none could touch the real thing. There is a fierceness to Zhang Ziyi’s performance that takes what was already an excellent adventure drama to the next level. And it wasn’t the wire-work and martial arts that made this film special, it was the way Lee used them to tell a somewhat timeless story.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: The scene that always stuck with me from this film was the hit on the female assassin. Her sadness in  knowing she’s about to die, that nothing she can say or do will save her. And then, after being shot, walking all the way to her chair to sit down before taking a breath and bleeding out. When Spielberg wants to, nobody puts a more haunting portrayal of realistic violence on the screen than him. And he might be the only man alive with the clout and stature to make this film without getting savaged on all sides.

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Marco: This film should not work nearly as well as it does, but it does. A lot of wild elements combine wonderfully, glued in by strong vision and good actors. Every time I watch this, I find myself intoxicated by the language.

Benjamin: Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes from being the kid from 3rd Rock to the next great hope of American acting. Film Noir in High School; perhaps a precursor to Veronica Mars. Gordon-Levitt’s nervy performance makes eyeglass cases and library research seem totally bad-ass. And the noir dialog is killer.

Brendan Frye: All right, you got me. I’m a scout for the Gophers. Been watching your game for a month, but that story right there just clenched it. You got heart kid. How soon can you be in Minneapolis?

Brad Bramish: Yeah?

Brendan Frye: Cold winters, but they got a great transit system.

Brad Bramish: Yeah?

Brendan Frye: Yeah.

Brad Bramish: Oh, yeah?

Brendan Frye: There’s a thesaurus in the library. Yeah is under “Y”. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: A movie that should have been about 5 times more popular than it was. There’s really not much not to like. Just an excellent, original sci-fi adventure film with engaging characters, fun action scenes and an intelligent message at its core. “I’m a leaf on the wind.” Poor Wash.

◊ ◊ ◊

Gosford Park

Benjamin: A “classic British murder mystery” that’s much more concerned with the crumbling traditions of Class in England. The dry English wit is razor sharp without ever calling attention to itself.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Ring

Benjamin: The first, and perhaps only, successful American translation of the J-Horror movement. I thought the atmosphere and all the cold blue hues of the pacific northwest really made the movie. Like “The Others,” this film was genuinely creepy and unnerving to watch. A taut little thriller of slowly-building dread.

◊ ◊ ◊

(500) Days Of Summer

Marco: A mature look at an immature ideal of love. This is a slick film, ideal viewing for anyone who’s ever been in love, thought they were in love, washed out of a relationship that still keeps them guessing, or just likes well produced, well acted movies. There’s an awesome top ten list of films for romantics out there and this is on it.

Benjamin: I’ve already reviewed this elsewhere, so I’ll just say that I really liked this film and look forward to the director’s next project.

Marco: Which may or may not be a reboot of the Spiderman franchise? Benjie and I have suggesting Joseph Gordon-Levitt as worthy of taking of Heath Ledger’s Joker mantle for a while now, but JGL as Peter Parker? I’d more than buy that.

◊ ◊ ◊

In The Mood For Love

Marco: One of the most visually beautiful and emotionally resonant movies I’ve ever been lucky enough to see. Calls back to an era of filmmaking that is not only romantic and sweeping, but in which characters had integrity.

◊ ◊ ◊

Bad Santa

Benjamin: Would I like this movie less if I hadn’t seen it opening day in a crowded theater half-full of middle-aged patrons who had no idea what it was actually about? Maybe, but this was one of my most enjoyable movie-going experiences ever. “I’m really sorry Grandma, I didn’t know it was going to be like this.” The scene where everyone is punching each other in the balls made us all laugh way too hard.

Marco: This movie will ensure that “you don’t shit right for a week.” But only the “January 2003 Pasadena test screening cut.”

◊ ◊ ◊

Mean Girls

Benjamin: Yay Tina Fey! Once upon a time, speaking Fey’s dialog, Lindsay Lohan looked like she was going to be the can’t miss superstar actress of her generation. There’s kind of an amazing collection of young talent in this quirky little film about Girls. Who would have predicted that Lizzy Caplan would grow up to be the hottest of them all? I once made a comment that 10 Things I Hate About You was the last honest teen movie, but then Mean Girls came along and gave the decade at least one shining example of the genre.

◊ ◊ ◊

Pirates of the Caribbean

Benjamin: Forget the over-stuffed, unessential, paycheck-cashing sequels. Before parts two and three made a muddle of everything, the first Pirates movie was shockingly entertaining. Due in no small part, I think, to Geoffrey Rush’s bravado performance. When he actually yells “ARRRRGGGHHH!!” at Keira Knightly, it’s so genuine that you can’t help but smile. “Bring me that Horizon.”

Sidebar — Gore Verbinski is on this list twice for two entirely different movies. Isn’t it about time a studio let him make a vanity project instead of just throwing franchises at him?

◊ ◊ ◊

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Benjamin: A lot of people didn’t like the “happy” ending to this movie when it came out. Never mind how bleak the ending really is. Gigalo Joe: “I am. …I was.”

Marco: This movie and Munich are really the most mature movies that Spielberg has ever made and, to me, they’re perfect. Do they have flaws here and there? Yeah, sure. But they’re perfect because of them, speaking to my nerdy, pulpy heart.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: Memento came out right at the start of the decade when there was a little quicksilver running in the veins of so many promising young directors. A tight, clockwork little story that turns the simple tactic of a reverse edit into a brilliant exposition on memory and identity.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: Peanut loves this movie. It’s hard to top Clive Owen growling, “Because I’m a fucking caveman!” followed by “Like you, but sweeter.”

Marco: “Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, WRAPPED IN BLOOD! Go fuck yourself! You writer! You liar!”

Benjamin: Fuck yeah!

◊ ◊ ◊

X2: X-Men United

Benjamin: A thoroughly enjoyable comic book film that works on many levels. Finally a film that didn’t seem afraid of its characters’ super-powers.

Marco: Bryan Singer was on to something here, definitely, the idea that a comic book or genre movie can be fun and true to it’s source material, though not a slave to it, but more importantly, can treat it seriously, let it be complicated, and very human. And then Christopher Nolan took those notions and dragged them into the gritty real world.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Benjamin: Saw this with Peanut and August on Christmas day. Thought it was “just decent” at the time and I like it more every time I’ve watched it since. “I wonder if it remembers me?” is a fantastic line, but I think my favorite moment in this movie is right after Steve meets Ned the first time. He makes some small talk and then excuses himself and runs to the bow of the ship to have a minor freak out. Such a true to life moment.

Marco: “OK, man.”

◊ ◊ ◊

I Heart Huckabees

Benjamin: Jude Law plays an American Asshole disturbingly well. The Mayo Story is one of those painful, can’t look away, show-stoppers.

Marco: The kind of smart, “quirky” cinema that I feel like mainstream audiences should have more exposure to. Also, “how am I not myself?”

◊ ◊ ◊

The Fountain

Benjamin: The “present day” search for cancer cure parts stick with me the most.

Marco: There’s something so beautiful about the tragedy in this movie, and I think the splintered storytelling reflects that, how in these situations where life seems to be ripping apart in front of us, we’re stuck in the past, we’re stuck in the present, and we’re dreaming of a future where we’re not so damn helpless. I don’t think this movie has it all figured out, kind of like life, and I like to hear people’s theories about, espeically since this isn’t for everyone. As for me, the future stuff? Clearly that’s the last chapter of the book, right?

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: Ellen Page FTW! It’s hard to fully put into words why I enjoyed this movie so much, but thought “Knocked Up” was shit. Diablo Cody’s script is over-written, but Jason Reitman managed to breath tons of humanity into a relatively standard story-line. I suppose it works because it’s ultimately not a story about pregnancy, but a story about growing up.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: A depressing, yet hopeful little story about coming to terms with having your dreams crushed.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Incredibles

Benjamin: Pixar does comic book meta-jokes and puts most other comic-to-film adaptations to shame.

◊ ◊ ◊


Marco: Again, another movie that shouldn’t work nearly as well as it did (for me, anyway). This is part innovative monster flick, and, to me, part new way of exposing the mass audience to an arthouse flick. The new wave turned into a monster crushing the happy little lives of a bunch of well to do twentysomethings in New York. And all of it dripping out of the magic mystery box that is J. J. Abram’s brain.

Benjamin: A brisk, fun little monster movie that never runs out of clever ways to exploit it’s first-person POV format. After a decade of almost all remakes, sequels or adaptations, it was nice to see something new and creative on the screen.

◊ ◊ ◊

Inside Man

Benjamin: Warner Bros.’ formula of star actors and high concepts works perfectly here. Spike Lee shows us with this and the 25th hour that he works better when he’s only got one foot on the soapbox. This is the kind of taught little thriller that you can recommend to nearly anyone. And if they don’t like it, they must have no taste at all.

Marco: People who tell me that they didn’t get this movie make me laugh a little. Everyone brings their A game to this sleek beast, and there’s enough fascinating stuff going on here to fill up at least a season or two of quality television.

◊ ◊ ◊

Star Trek

Benjamin: An all-around enjoyable movie that stands out for an excellent opening sequence and the fact that it was surrounded by total dogshit competition in the summer of 09.

Marco: You may definitely have to turn your brain off for parts of it, but it won’t disappoint in that regard, though I feel like it’s almost like watching the cast of Cloverfield (you could make the argument that every J.J. Abrams joint, aside from Lost, features “the cast of Cloverfield” in form or shape) taking on Romulans, time and space, copious amounts of lens flares, and one of the oldest American sci fi franchises out there. You’re right, Commander Light, last year really was the year of time travel.

◊ ◊ ◊

American Psycho

Benjamin: Makes the list for its first half; act 3 gets a little shaggy. But meeting Patrick Bateman and seeing him go about his lifestyle is required viewing.

Marco: I feel like there’s a whole generation who watched this film and realized that there was really something sick out there in the world, and that if you were to take a step or two back from it and appreciate it for what it was worth, the sickness was also hilarious. The beginning of Christian Bale’s understanding and assault on the satire and attire of the young, rich, professional American male.

◊ ◊ ◊


Benjamin: It’s Ian McEwan, but it reminded me in a lot of ways of a Margaret Atwood story. For people who like to write, the ending may hit you harder than others.

Marco: Writers love to fall back on the idea of a writer character, someone to massage out all of your flaws and let you hide from your sins in a perfect world of your own devising, and I love that aspect of this, amongst many other things. Words and stories can damn us or save us, and I love that the sounds of a typewriter are even used as percussion and soundtrack here.

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Brokeback Mountain

Benjamin: An Asian guy makes an American film about gay cowboys. And it works, seriously. I think Ang Lee was successful because he told a story about characters who happened to be gay instead of camping it up and trying to force the audience into a queer viewing experience like some hack film school grad would try to do.

◊ ◊ ◊

Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith

Benjamin: Fuck the haters, I’d still rather watch the final duel set-pieces in this than the action scenes in any other big-budget effects movie made this decade.

And the honorable mentions:

Half Nelson

Quantum Of Solace

The Contender


Morvern Callar

Wet Hot American Summer

28 Weeks Later

Up in the Air

Eastern Promises

Mission Impossible 3

Gangs of New York


The 25th Hour


Hard Candy


Michael Clayton

Ghost World

No Country For Old Men

The past ten years have been an interesting one in film. We’ve had to sit through a lot of really stupid shit, but with it has come some truly excellent cinema. Most likely a lot of the trends we’ve hated will continue in the next ten years, but let’s hope they’re tempered with the same level of quality we’ve seen here.

Within and without.

“Each of us lives in two realms, the “within” and the “without.” The within of our lives is somehow found in the realm of ends, the without in the realm of means. The within of our [lives], the bottom — that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion for which at best we live. The without of our lives is that realm of instrumentalities, techniques, mechanisms by which we live. Now the great temptation of life and the great tragedy of life is that so often we allow the without of our lives to absorb the within of our lives. The great tragedy of life is that too often we allow the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

from here.

If only it looked as easy as it does in that picture. But it’s not. Nothing is. And it shouldn’t be. The best things are meant to be strived for, to work so hard to achieve, especially the idea that someday people will get along with each other. We just try to get closer and closer.

from here.

The decade gone past (through the eye of the film projector).

from here.

Tomorrow we’ll be presenting our best films of the decade list, and yeah, we’re a few weeks late, but you know what? Fuck off. That’s what.

Now, normally, I don’t like to talk needless shit, but as Benjie Light and I were waxing and musing about various films that we felt deserved to be on this list, we also, of course, were taking a gander at others’ lists. Some of them are really, really interesting. Some… not so much.

If you click over to the trainwreck of a website that is Ain’t It Cool News these days, you can take a look here at the best of the decade lists by one of their regularly featured… I don’t know what you call them. Are they writers? I’ll be charitable and just say: bloggers. Anyway, the fella calls himself “Mr. Beaks.”

Now, there’s some quality films in this list, there really are. In The Mood For Love in the top five? I respect that. You Can Count On Me in the list at all? I can definitely get behind that. There’s two films by Michael Haneke on the list, which is surprising, but I applaud it. WALL-E‘s on the list, which is a no brainer, and so are films like The Constant Gardener, which people always told me were good but I never saw. All of this sounds fine.

But the list itself? Deeply flawed. For example, there’s way too Ridley Scott happening here. Way too much. I’m surprised that Peter Berg isn’t on the guy’s list. And Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale. Seriously. There’s weird caveats as well, like, sure Bad Santa makes it onto the list of top 100 films of the decade, but only the “January 2003 Pasadena Test Screening Cut?” What? That’s ridiculous. Oh, and the that the #100 film is Bring It On, seriously, and the #1 film – and it’s important to note that this appears to be a ranked list – is Irreversible. Which is… wow. Indeed.

Also, here is a list of films that “Mr. Beaks” says “just missed” finding a place on his best of the decade list: The Dark Knight, Juno, May, Closer, Old Joy, Bad Boys 2, Unfaithful, Lovely And Amazing, Unbreakable, Mission To Mars, Humpday, The Prestige, Paranoid Park, and I’m Not There. And The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Just consider for a moment that these titles are together in one section, and then think about how they’re good enough to make it onto the best of list. A-mazing.

Then again, this list is perfect for AICN, and their larger than life founder, Harry Knowles, who once deserved mention in early 90s when it came to how film was discussed on the internet, at least upcoming films. Benjamin Light’s been saying it for a while, and maybe he’s right: I don’t think we care about spoilers anymore. Not that AICN has had them for a while. The system merely absorbed them and spit them back out.

Harry Knowles = the anti-Roger Ebert?

So, it just goes without saying: Reviewing anything is a careful process. Take any review with a grain of salt. If you’re reading a review of a film you’ve never seen before, the review should be enlightening, only slightly spoiler-ish, giving you a good tease, and in clear, firm, and smart language, illustrate for you whether this is something you’d like or not, for whatever reason you like or don’t like things. A review for a film you’ve already seen should feel like a conversation with somebody you’ve either just met or feel like someone you’ve known for years. It should be smart, of course, and thoughtful. It should point out things to you and and excite you, and bring you into a conversation you’d be lucky to engage in. Or not. It’s up to you.

Hell, maybe Bring It On is on your 100 best movies of the decade list. SPOILER: I’m pretty sure it’s not on ours.

That said, our 100 Best Films of the Decade list is (most likely) dropping tomorrow. It’s fantastic. Trust me.


Who are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, really?

Joss Whedon could potentially be going to FX.

The new memoir by Patti Smith.

Scientists turn stem cells into pork.

Ben Kingsley in Bollywood.

The 100 greatest sci fi/fantasy novels of all time?

Diamond oceans possible on Uranus and Neptune.

The founder of Taco Bell made a run for the border…