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Sean’s Top 10s of 2000

Here’s a fun little monthly feature I thought I’d take up in the wake of T3’s death. As we all know, 2009 marks the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. This requires much celebration, and I’m sure by the end of the year we’ll be writing top ten lists of the decade, along with for 2009. But I’ve only been making top tens for the past couple years. To make up for this lack of representation, I thought I’d do those lists now, posting one a month until I’m all caught up. So let’s go on a journey back to the first year of the decade.

Top 10 Films of 2000

10. X-Men
As far as I’m concerned, Brian Singer’s movie is the reason for the popularity of super hero films in the era of CG motion pictures. The first X-Men was full of great effects

9. Requiem for a Dream
This is a cool movie, and one of the most sobering cases against drug use I’ve ever seen. Our characters are stuck in such a horrbile downward spiral, it’s actually pretty hard to watch. But an important cinematic effort.

8. Almost Famous
I assume this is pretty much what it was like being a band before corporations really took control of rock and roll. I’m about it. It’s a lot of fun.

7. Best in Show
Can you believe I saw this in theaters? I guess it’s not that bonkers. But I remember my dad took me to it, and initially I hadn’t wanted to go. I didn’t understand the mockumentary concept. But I did see, and I laughed the whole way through it. Thanks, dad.

6. Croucing Tiger, Hidden Dragon
And so it came to pass that wire fu rose in popularity in motion pictures. For some reason, the Ottenis just can’t like this movie. They have some wacky problem with fantastic martial arts and actors speaking in Chinese. Everyone else, however, is free to enjoy this landmark movie.

5. O Brother, Where art Thou?
As far as I can recall, this was the first Cohens movie I saw. It seemed weird, but I was about it. Nowadays, I’m even more about it.

4. Traffic
Oh, Traffic, you think you’re so cool. You deal with a bunch of realistic modern issues and inspired beloved one word title films like Crash and Babel. But you’re better than those movies, aren’t you?

3. Gladiator
Oh man, how cool was this movie back in the day? Not only a marvel in regard to special effects, but just a damn fun movie to watch. Russel Crowe is the badass Maximus, but I think you’ve really got to give it to Joaquin Phoenix, for playing such a creepy villain. He’s just so easy to hate. Plus, back then, the violence was inspiring for the young me.

2. Memento
What a cool movie. With a fantastic editing job that keeps the viewer just as in the dark as our leading man. It really makes you wonder why Guy Pearce doesn’t get more play these days.

1. High Fidelity
Every time I watch this movie I like it more. The clever asides, the top ten lists, the effective romance, it’s all good. Of course, this was also the breakout role for Jack Black as far as I’m concerned. I love it.

Top 5 Albums of 2000
In a time without iPods, where Napster reigned supreme at the forefront of the Internet music phenomenon, I can’t say I really listened to that many albums. I probably listened to The Essential Bob Dylan and The Beatles 1 more than any contemporary work from that time. I probably should look back in time for stuff that I would enjoy, but since this was a spur of the moment type deal, for this very first feature I’m only going to have a top five. Please forgive me (that’s a reference to that David Gray album that came out in 2000 that I never listened to but became casually aware of later on).

5. Death Cab for Cutie – We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes

4. Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
The first Modest Mouse album that I cared about. Everyone’s heard “3rd Planet” and “Gravity Rides Everything,” and there are plenty of other tracks that are just a good. If you haven’t heard it yet, why not check it out? Why read these lists if you’re not going to check out the albums I’m recomending?

3. Coldplay – Parachutes
I think at this point most readers will know that I love this album. So I won’t write about it any more.

2. Radiohead – Kid A
It took me a little while to understand why Kid A is great. I think I sort of get it now. All I really know is that I enjoy hearing the sounds that come from these songs. My peers probably get the technical reasons.

1. U2All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Probably my favorite U2 album of recent years. I totally dig what they’re doing here, especially the first few tracks. I’ve noticed that’s a pattern for me, a lot of albums I’m all about the first few tracks and kind of lose interest at the end. Not that the latter songs on this CD are bad, no, quite the opposite.

Top 10 Video Games of 2000

10. MechWarrior 4: Vengeance
In this game you assemble giant robots and go to war against other robots and puny tanks and that sort of thing. It was awesome.

9. Pokemon Gold/Silver
You know how in the first Pokemon games you walked around, fought gym leaders, put together your dream team, and became a Pokemon master. This is the exact same thing. But the names and locations have all been changed.

8. Perfect Dark
The legendary follow-up to Goldeneye. Now you play as a British lady spy who has to worry about all sorts of crazy bad guys. The whole game was like “remember that other game we made? This is like that. But better. Am I right?” Were they right?

7. Tekken Tag Tournament
My first PS2 game. The Tekken series has always been among my favorites. Tag gameplay, as it turns out, is quite fun. Oh, and there was that bowling minigame. But I think the biggest draw, for me at least, was the crazy graphics. Crazy good.

6. Final Fantasy IX
The first Final Fantasy game I really spent any time on. In fact, the first PS1 game that I bought. Remember when people called the PS1 the PSX? What was up with that? Too bad that’s taken, now they can’t go all Roman when the PlayStation 10 comes out.

5. Diablo II
Yeah! Um, I haven’t really spent much time with this PC classic, which is why it’s so far back on this list. Basically you click around to move and then click on bad guys and eventually they die. This game is all about the loot, but the loot is so good! Loot lust baby.

4. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Manuals! Oh, sweet manuals. Suddenly the combo became a much more spectacular feat in this followup to the breakout original. Now, if you ask me the series really hit its pique with the third title, but God knows this game seemed pretty hard to beat back in 2000.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
The followup to arguably the greatest game of the 3D age had a lot to live up to, and mostly succeeded. Majora’s Mask followed Young Link’s three day quest to save the world from the grimacing moon that was on a crash-course with whatever city the game was set in. With the interesting mask gameplay and tons of epic moments, this is a game that really sticks with you.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Among my favorite fighting games ever made. A crazy huge cast of Capcom super stars and the legendary Marvel super heroes duke it out in teams of three. There’s not much to say, this is simply one of the most fun games I ever played.

1. The Sims
Easily the most innovative game of the year. The Sims is a wonderfully genius game, tasking players to create a house and the people within it, and guide them through their day-to-day lives. Who would have guessed that you could make a compelling game out of life! While sure, the most fun came from killing your characters in sadistic ways, no one could deny this certainly is one of the most influential games in recent years.

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