Sunday, December 4, 2011

Top Five Directors to Start From 2000 Onward

These are the directors that have really made a name for themselves in so little time. Some have become film legends in so little time while others are getting there, and should be recognized for their accomplishments. So here are my picks for favorite new directors of the past 11 years

5. Zack Snyder- Some of you who know my taste in movies know that I am not a huge fan of overusing CGI. It’s not a bad thing, but a lot of the time, the director will get too warped in creating a dazzling shot and forget to concentrate on story, characters or dialogue (George Lucas and Michael Bay, take the hint). Zach Snyder is one of those directors who spends a lot of time on special effects, but it actually works really well. He has a knack for adding a visual style to his films. If you look at some of the shots in 300 or Watchmen, it almost looks like you are viewing a painting or something right out of a comic book. That’s pretty cool. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing what he does with Superman.

 4. J. J Abrams- He is more of a TV icon than anything else, making such loved shows as Lost and Fringe, but the movies that he has made have all been very enjoyable. The Mission Impossible movie that he directed was very good, and I’ve never been a huge Star Trek fan, but I really got a kick out of the movie that he made, and I look forward to the sequel that will be coming out hopefully in the near future. I will admit that at the time of typing this, I have yet to see Super 8, but I hope to remedy that soon because I have heard so many great things about it.

3. Ben Affleck- If you had asked me what my opinion was of this guy five years ago, I would have said that I hated his guts. I never thought he was that good of an actor and he just seemed like a total douche. However at some point in the past five years, Affleck must have matured a little bit because he directed two films that clearly show he has what it takes to sit in the director’s chair: Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I know that two films is a little early to decide that he’s good, but I think these movies show that Affleck may have gotten into the wrong area of show business when he decided to become an actor.

2. Jon Favreau- Technically he’s been in the film business a lot longer than the last ten years, he was, and still is, an actor, but he was always that guy that you point at and say “Oh hey! It’s that one guy!” nobody really knew his name and he never got that many big parts. Usually just the quirky supporting character. However he has really made a name for himself through his directing. I already mentioned how he directed Elf but he is also responsible for Hollywood taking Marvel Superheroes seriously again when he directed Iron Man. DC didn’t have to worry, they had the Wachowski’s and Christopher Nolan helping them out, but Marvel was still suffering. All of the franchises that were supposed to be bringing in big bucks were beginning to go downhill. Both X-Men and Spiderman had two great films and then a third that was a bit of a letdown, something commonly known as "Godfather syndrome". Dare I bring up the tragedies that were Hulk, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider? Nope, I won’t. When Jon Favreau directed Iron Man, we were all skeptical considering this was right after Spiderman 3 was released. I think we were all pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. It was the perfect mix of action, drama and comedy, and it still took itself and it's audience seriously. While I will say that they aren’t the best movies in existence, Iron Man and the other Avengers line-up movies that followed are definitely some of the most entertaining. And to be honest with you, I really liked Iron Man 2 and even Cowboys and Aliens. He may not be the best director in the world, but he has definitely proven to be a competent one, making good summer action movies without totally surrendering to CGI, and he is among the few to say no to 3D.

1. Christopher Nolan- Kind of a no-brainer, really. Not only is he my pick for best director to get his start in recent years, he is one of my favorite directors of all time. There are some directors that I like, but have made some movies that were kind of a letdown. Chris Nolan has yet to do that. In fact, he has yet to fail to knock me completely off my feet. The first movie that I saw of his was Batman Begins, and needless to say, I loved it. And then The Prestige came out, and I loved that one too, and so on and so forth. He really is a director that knows how to take his audience seriously and treat them like adults, especially in the comic book genre, which had been through a bit of a dry season before Begins came out. If I had to sum him up in one sentence for somebody who had never heard of him, I would say “Christopher Nolan is a director that knows how to get his viewer to buy another ticket” because honestly, since Batman Begins came out, I have yet to see one of his movies only once while in the theaters. The Dark Knight I saw three times within opening week! It was also the first movie that I saw at a midnight showing. The main thing that I love about his movies is that he avoids using CGI and green screen as much as possible. In fact, he used next to none when he made his Batman films and Inception, which would have normally have been the first route that any other filmmaker would take. He is also one of the few remaining directors who has said no to 3D. In fact, I heard a story that even Warner Bros. told him that he had to make The Dark Knight Rises in 3D, and he flat out told them “No way”. And as luck would have it, they actually respected his wishes and let him shoot it without 3D. In fact, he even said he had a distaste for it. God bless you Mr. Nolan!

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