Enjoy some (belated) April Fool’s fun from Seattle-based critic Sean Axmaker!
By Sean Axmaker
Special to MSN Movies
What a long, strange trip it will be. Markets peak and crash like yo-yos. Snowfall in Florida. Canada’s startling leap into geopolitical domination. Skeet Ulrich’s transcendent success as host of “Skeet Shooting With the Stars.” North Korea’s transformation into the world’s largest theme park. The rise of New Jersey. James Cameron’s misguided run for Governor of California (in 3-D!). The rise of curling from cult oddity to America’s new favorite pastime. Sarah Palin’s embarrassing slide to shopping channel sales personality and Steven Seagal’s signing on as Sarah’s on-air sidekick.
You can’t make this stuff up. Well OK, you can make this stuff up, and that’s the fun of looking ahead. I mean, why wait until the last minute to make a 10-best list? To get a jump on the rush, we’ve put on our prognostication caps, hit the flash-forward button and come back from the future with this snapshot of the 10 best films of the 2010s. We were just as surprised as you at the results.
“The Matrix: Devolution” (The Wachowski Siblings)
After the bizarre journey of Larry Wachowski’s transformation into Lana and a hermitlike retreat following the debacle of “Speed Racer” (only recently resurrected as a subversive blast of cinematic surrealism), the Wachowski Siblings relaunched their brand with a return trip to the virtual world that made their fame and fortune. Drawing liberally from the New Testament, the New Wave and various volumes of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “Devolution” pairs the messianic Neo with a sassy Southern society lady (Sandra Bullock, back with Keanu Reeves for the first time since “Speed”) who gets caught in the program while playing what she thinks is a cutting-edge version of fantasy football. Impressed with his ability to surf the Web and dodge bullets at the same time, she tries to adopt the jacked-up orphan and ends up marrying him rather than face deportation. The virtual romantic comedy of cyber-geddon took the country by storm: “Titanic” meets “Tron” with a dose of Southern comfort and a flashback soundtrack that turned “Freedom of Choice” and “Mongoloid” into anthems for the new generation of techno-rebels.
“Pride and Prejudice” (Guy Ritchie)
After the debacle of Zack Snyder’s green-screen epic adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and Roland Emmerich’s misjudged end-of-the-18th-century-world epic “Pride and Predator,” everyone figured that the endless recycling of Austen’s period romance for every genre was dead. Ritchie’s convoluted crime caper take on Jane Austen proved to be the key to unlocking the corset of this femme favorite for the lad market. With Reese Witherspoon as the feisty Elizabeth Bennet, girl gang leader at war with the male-dominated underworld (doing her own singing and her own stunts in yet another career reinvention) and Jason Statham as a streetwise Mr. Darcy plotting heists between his flirtations with the kick-ass rival turned dream girl, the film became the first chick flick with macho credentials and the ultimate date movie to please both swoony romantics and adolescent action junkies.