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Alpha's Countdown of the TOP 100 BEST FILMS OF CAYOM 2.0 - The Countdown Begins!

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An Introduction...

 

About a few weeks ago, @Spaghetti suggested the idea of a CAYOM 2.0 all time list, and at first I was a bit avert to the idea, because that’s a ton of reading and I had a lot on my hands at that time like my first summer job and a giant project for junior year. When things started to wind down for me, I decided to take a stab at the idea. It’d make for a pretty great list, and this game needs some reinvigorating, anyways.

 

Yes, the amount of time I spent at my computer screen reading everything from epic war films to horror fillers to every single Chuck Norris and Liam Neeson film was crazy. But after all this, I’ve gained a lot of appreciation for this game and the people who participated in it.

 

I first joined the game around when Year 5 of CAYOM 2.0 began, and I hadn’t even hit my teens yet. Yet, so many new and great experiences have emerged from the nearly four years I’ve spent writing for this game. I could go on and on and on about my experiences from CAYOM, everything from winning Best Picture in Year 8 for The Giver to being on the Year 8 jury for the CAYOM Festival to my “angsty, newly-atheist teen” period in Year 9 (I will never live down Kansas, @Blankments

 

I’ve visited plenty of message boards, but there’s nothing like CAYOM anywhere on the Internet. When I started, I was an inexperienced, “aspiring” writer who hadn’t really written a lot before. But after all my time spent writing, even if I haven’t completed the majority of my works (the “Nintendo Cinematic Universe” is still lying unfinished somewhere on my hard drive), I’ve become more experienced thanks to the feedback and appreciation I’ve gotten from my fellow players. I’ve matured with CAYOM, and it’s made me a better writer and it’s motivated me to start a career in writing. CAYOM was my first audience, and it’s turned my interest in filmmaking from being a hobby to a passion.

 

So before I start my list, I’d like to give a shoutout to everybody who’s participated in this game in some way. You guys and gals are the best.

 

@4815162342
@Spaghetti 
@Blankments

@riczhang

@rukaio101

@ChD

@Hiccup23
@The Creator

@The Dark Alfred

@cookie
@CJohn

@Films
@Rorschach
@Impact

@Water Bottle

@RySenkari

@Electric

@SilverShark
@Smallville944
@Empire
@Frankenberry

@alisson23
@darthdevidem01
@Hunch
@Dexter of Suburbia
@Dr Awesome
@DussyMob

@Killimano3

@Wormow

@BastienGiot
@Ethan Hunt
@GuardiaStar

 

So, I’d like to begin my COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 100 BEST FILMS OF CAYOM 2.0.

 

Of course, this list will include everything from Years 1 through 9, since Year 10 is still in progress. I’ve read nearly nine hundred films from every single game year. So I hope you all enjoy this list.

 

So without further ado, let's get started!

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#100

 

Avenue Q
Written by: @Spaghetti
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: John Tartaglia, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Jason Segel, Ellen Wong, Jay Pharoah
Release Date: March 13th, Year 6
Domestic Gross: $68.1 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

Avenue Q is sort of like Sesame Street for grown-ups. As The Times described the hit Broadway musical in its West End run: "...how Friends might be if it had Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy arguing about their one-night stand, but with more angst, expletives and full-on puppet sex.” Filled with obscenities and songs like “The Internet Is For Porn”, Avenue Q certainly isn’t as warm as its puppet stars might make it appear. But what makes Spaghetti’s adaptation a successful transition to the big screen is that it keeps the angst and likability of the original musical and is made up of solid directing and casting choices. As director, Nicholas Stoller keeps the vulgarity of the musical without sacrificing the underlying charm. Jason Segel, Ellen Wong and Jay Pharoah are all competent, fitting human performers alongside the puppet stars, especially Segel, who combines what made 2011’s The Muppets so successful with the flippant humor behind comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Knocked Up. Overall, it’s a successful adaptation, and one that should be enjoyable for fans of the original musical.

 

 

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#99

 

Killer Husband
Written by: @Water Bottle
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: John Krasinski, Elizabeth Banks, Dylan Baker, Michelle Williams
Release Date: June 4th, Year 5
Domestic Gross: $135 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

A lot of people didn’t like Killer Husband when it was first released in Year 5, but I ended up liking it a lot. Tom Hooper, an odd choice to direct a film titled Killer Husband, makes some interesting directing choices that I think pay off well. Killer Husband doesn’t go along with many of the dramatic tropes most romantic thrillers play. Instead of several smaller dramatic moments throughout, the film explodes at its climax. Rick (portrayed competently by Dunder-Mifflin sales representative John Krasinski) and his slow descent into madness is fueled with the kind of tension that makes for a thrilling, yet tragic ending. And while that subtle buildup may not work for others, especially with the 180 of a twist ending, the characterization is done well enough to make Killer Husband an intelligent infidelity drama. Certainly not what I was expecting from the title.

 

1
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#98

 

Numbers Theory
Written by: @4815162342
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diogo Morgado, Bill Paxton, Alice Braga
Release Date: February 1st, Year 9
Domestic Gross: $184.1 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

Numbers Theory originates from a forum story about box office analysis and ends up being the kind of slow-burn Liam Neeson thriller people like to see him in. Fresh off his then-recent Oscar win, Neeson proves why he can be both an action star and a dramatic actor deftly here. He remains as badass as always, but he’s also got the dramatic chops to handle a more subtle thriller like Numbers Theory. It’s a very entertaining film, and a nice addition to the Neeson saga. I give it two Neeson thumbs up.

 

 


 

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#97

 

Ready Player One
Written by: @Spaghetti
Directed by: Ernest Cline
Starring: Johnny Simmons, Penn Badgley, Emma Stone, Jeff Bridges, David Tennant
Release Date: December 12th, Year 4
Domestic Gross: $71.4 million
Oscar Nominations: 2
Oscar Wins: 0

First of all, David Tennant. Secondly, it’s a great adaptation of the novel by the author himself (Ernest Cline is pulling a Stephen Chbosky here). Ready Player One is legitimately entertaining to read, and the page-to-screen transition definitely works here. Spaghetti’s choice of Cline gives the latter’s novel an energetic presence on the screen, buoyed by great performances. The film’s fetishization of 80’s culture is endearing without feeling like a burden on the viewer or a bucket of empty nostalgia. Same goes for the worldbuilding, which never feels overbearing. For anyone who’s into 80’s culture, Ready Player One is a fun ride.

 

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#96

 

The Simulation
Written by: @Spaghetti
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas
Domestic Gross: $137.2 million
Oscar Nominations: 2
Oscar Wins: 0

The Simulation takes an intriguing premise and runs away with it. Spaghetti's choice of Duncan Jones as director elevates the film,  as Jones is the kind of director who can take a good concept and turn it into a great film (I think we can call Warcraft an anomaly). The performances are all great across the board, Gordon-Levitt being the standout in the film, and some great visuals, especially in the areas of effects and cinematography make The Simulation a home run in the science fiction department.

 
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#95

 

Stories From Eden
Written by: @Spaghetti
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Grace Jeanette, Oscar Isaac, Shailene Woodley, Steve Valentine
Release Date: June 11th, Year 5
Domestic Gross: $118.7 million
Oscar Nominations: 1
Oscar Wins: 0

How about we follow up The Simulation with another dystopian film? It's too bad Stories From Eden never really got the attention it deserves, because it's actually a well-written, interesting science fiction film. Neill Blomkamp is a good choice for director as he's able to capture the post-apocalyptic bleakness that's omnipresent through the film (it's refreshing to know his one-hit wonder status doesn't hold up in CAYOM). Dane DeHaan's performance is quite remarkable, and the supporting cast leaves their marks on the film as well. I think what really makes Stories From Eden an interesting movie is that it's clear there's a vision that went into it. It's not written as a generic post-apocalyptic drama that's becoming more and more omnipresent nowadays (I'm looking at you, young adult adaptations), but rather it shows a mature, adult concept that's been given thought and attention to detail. Overall, a very good movie.

 
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#94

 

The Good, the Bad and the Dead
Written by: @rukaio101
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Eccleston, James Franco, Sharon Stone
Release Date: January 5th, Year 8
Domestic Gross: $83 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

A great introduction to a great writer for CAYOM, The Good, the Bad and the Dead is a competently made movie. Being released on the first weekend of January would make you think this was nothing more than a dump, but The Good, the Bad and the Dead is well-crafted and well-written enough to stand out, thanks to Sam Raimi's penchant for dark humour and horror. Rukaio plays it almost like a straight Western tale of revenge. The addition of zombies isn't a distraction, but rather an inventine and entertaining move from Rukaio. The great thing is, the film never gets too silly for itself, even with humorous gags like a piss fight in the middle of a Mexican standoff. It leans on the comedic side without going overboard. It's the solid blend of comedy and horror that elevates The Good, the Bad and the Dead from standard January shlock to a fun, intriguing diversion.

 

1
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#93

 

Lucid
Written by: @Blankments
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Clark Gregg
Release Date: July 30th, Year 5
Domestic Gross: $137.8 million
Oscar Nominations: 2
Oscar Wins: 0

Lucid is the kind of summer fun that grabs your attention. It's creative, interesting and crazy. Rian Johnson, who crafted another mindbender with 2012's Looper, is able to create a dream-like action film with creative visuals, a thrilling plot and interesting decisions (Exhibit A: Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices a donkey. That's not a gag, it's a part of the entire film) throughout. It's easy to see why this was a box office success in Year 5; Lucid never feels like a cynical cash grab, but rather a playful, inventive sci-fi thriller chock full of fun.

 

 
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#92

 

Lord of the Flies
Written by: @Alpha
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Robert Capron, Tye Sheridan, Ty Simpkins, Liam James
Release Date: October 18th, Year 9
Domestic Gross: $67.6 million
Oscar Nominations: 3
Oscar Wins: 0

My first appearance on this list, and it's for an adaptation I'm pretty satisfied with. Not gonna go into much further detail since it's my film.

 

 
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#91

 

Suicide is Painless
Written by: @rukaio101
Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Colin Farrell, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chevy Chase, Emily VanCamp
Release Date:  December 6th, Year 9
Domestic Gross: $31.1 million
Oscar Nominations: 10 (including Best Picture)
Oscar Wins: 3

The title Suicide is Painless should let you know what you're heading in. The first movie on the list nominated for Best Picture, Suicide is Painless is a return for the Coen brothers to black-as-oil comedy after Riczhang's trilogy from Years 5 through 7. Colin Farrell gives a performance for the ages, and the rest of the ensemble gives great performances as well. I'm glad he won Best Actor that year at the Oscars. It's certainly not for everyone, considering it covers some pretty dark themes about suicide and depression, but for all its morbid qualities, Suicide is Painless is still a subtly humorous film and a great highlight from Rukaio's Year 9 winning streak.

 

 
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To help speed things up, I'll be doing five at a time.

 

#90

 

Clear and Present Danger
Written by: @4815162342
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Pedro Pascal, Edgar Ramirez, Noah Emmerich
Release Date: July 26th, Year 9
Domestic Gross: $211.9 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

 

#89

 

White Cargo
Written by: @The Dark Alfred
Directed by: Ken Loach
Narrated by: Michael Fassbender
Release Date: March 10th, Year 7
Domestic Gross: $27.3 million
Oscar Nominations: 1
Oscar Wins: 1

 

#88

 

The Chrysalids
Written by: @Hiccup23
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Naya Rivera
Release Date: July 29th, Year 1
Domestic Gross: $175.8 million
Oscar Nominations: 7
Oscar Wins: 1

 

#87

 

The End of the Universe
Written by: @4815162342
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Jennifer Hale, John DiMaggio, Adam Baldwin, Alfred Molina
Release Date: March 4th, Year 1
Domestic Gross: $239.6 million
Oscar Nominations: 4
Oscar Wins: 1

 

#86

 

The Seventh Seal
Written by: @The Dark Alfred
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Michelle Williams
Release Date: December 9th, Year 1
Domestic Gross: $128.6 million
Oscar Nominations: 9
Oscar Wins: 3

 

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#85

 

Wenan
Written by: @riczhang
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Jeremy Irvine, Paul Bettany
Release Date: November 21st, Year 4
Domestic Gross: $80.1 million
Oscar Nominations: 8 (including Best Picture)
Oscar Wins: 2

This isn't a typical Paul Thomas Anderson film, but Wenan is still great. He uses unconventional storytelling techniques to create a pretty epic depiction of Australian history. It's a bit overwhelming at times, and it feels a little disjointed, but not to that much of a fault. Where the film really shines is behind the camera. The technical aspects are crafted brilliantly. You don't really have to worry about directing and acting in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, so everything's done greatly in those departments. Overall, I think it's successful in carrying it's scope and even more successful on the technical side.

 

1

 

#84

 

Death Note: The Game Begins
Written by: @rukaio101
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Zac Efron, Ezra Miller, Peter Stormare, Gary Oldman
Release Date: September 14th, Year 8
Domestic Gross: $137.2 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

The first of Rukaio's anime adaptations on this list. Overall, the first installment of  the CAYOM Death Note series is both a killer popcorn movie and a pretty thematically deep character study of a teenager lashing out against what he thinks is a broken society. The performances by the two leads aren't exactly grade-A (it's kinda hard to imagine Miller at that point in his career being this hard-boiled detective), but Stormare does make a damn good Ryuk.

 

2

 

#83

 

Hired Guns
Written by: @4815162342
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Josh Brolin, Jon Hamm, Idris Elba, Ewan McGregor
Release Date: August 19th, Year 1
Domestic Gross: $118.2 million
Oscar Nominations: 11 (including Best Picture)
Oscar Wins: 2

The first CAYOM 2.0 film posted in a Part 1 thread, our good friend Numbers has done a good job of replicating many familiar Tarantino elements. It almost feels like a precursor to The Hateful Eight. Overall, Hired Guns was an enjoyable revisionist Western. The casting is pretty spot-on, and the writing gives the movie a bit of a slow-burn vibe for a Western. A good beginning to CAYOM 2.0.

 

2

 

#82

 

Catharsis
Written by: @riczhang
Directed by: Terrence Malick
Starring: Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Penélope Cruz, Sean Penn, Logan Lerman
Release Date: November 5th, Year 5
Domestic Gross: $25.3 million
Oscar Nominations: 0
Oscar Wins: 0

Released in-between the first two parts of Number's Rise of Rome trilogy, Terrence Malick offers a more romantic look with Catharsis, complete with his trademark Malick VoiceoversTM. Nevertheless, it's still nicely written and captures what makes a lot of his films great. Along with that, the descriptions of the cinematography make Catharsis sound beautiful (of course, I can't actually watch it. :P). Pretty great.

 

 

 

#81

 

Never Say Goodbye
Written by: @darthdevidem01
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Christian Bale, Kate Winslet, Michael Caine
Release Date: November 14th, Year 4
Domestic Gross: $28.2 million
Oscar Nominations: 4
Oscar Wins: 0

Never Say Goodbye is a great Woody Allen movie, and a powerful romantic drama about relationships. The performances are pretty great all around, DiCaprio, Winslet and Caine being the major highlights. While the sprawling story may feel a bit overwhelming at times, the film benefits from its raw emotion, shown exceptionally in poignant moments throughout.

 

 
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