We wrap up the decade with eternal sunshine, angry inches, Pixar superheroes, hobbits, the zed word, a hidden dragon, black gold, and Werner Herzog.
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2. "Lord Of The Rings"
This is, in my opinion, the accomplishment of the decade. Peter Jackson was a mad bastard for thinking he could tackle Tolkien's magnum opus on film, and what future generations won't remember is just how profoundly negative the atmosphere was leading up to the release of the first film, "Fellowship of the Ring," Not only did fans think the books were unfilmable, they were outraged by the idea that Peter Jackson, a New Zealand splatter filmmaker, was the guy for the job. Working with Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, though, Jackson found the way in, and the result was one massive story divided into three annual installments that built to an emotional crescendo unsurpassed in fantasy cinema. His sprawling cast was perfectly chosen, to the point that many of them will remain identified with these roles forever, and the worldbuilding on display made WETA Workshops and WETA Digital into world-class FX houses. I have to count these as one film, as with "Kill Bill," because I can't imagine any of them without the others. The bitter irony is that by taking this chance, New Line became a major instead of a mini, and that sudden shift in perspective ultimately destroyed them. Still, as long as gambles like this one are part of the cinema landscape, and as long as filmmakers are allowed to dream big, "Lord Of The Rings" will stand as one of the high watermarks to which other artists aspire.