Movie Moments: 2000s
This week we have another instalment of my latest meander across the decades. In Movie Moments, we’re looking at what was topping the charts at the box office, some of the biggest names around, and which films mean the most to me when I look back in time. And there’s even a spot of music each time to bring back memories. We began in the 1950s; and moved on to the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s. Last month we reached the 1990s.
Today, we enter the new century. Millennium eve has come and gone; and we’re still all here; still operating our computers successfully. And appropriately, the use of CGI increased significantly in this decade. Popular animated films that made use of this technology included Shrek; Happy Feet; Finding Nemo; and Ice Age. I never watched many cartoons as a child, but suddenly, as a middle-aged adult, they became one of my favourite genres. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
2003 saw the release of parts 2 and 3 of the Matrix Trilogy. I remember watching The Matrix Reloaded on DVD and being completed flummoxed by the whole thing. I had no idea what was going on. It was only when one of my sisters pointed out I needed to go back to the beginning and watch part 1 first, that it started making sense. Blindingly obvious in hindsight; but I wasn’t used to watching films where I needed to really concentrate in order to follow the plot. You never need to do that with a James Bond movie for example.
It was in 2001 that another Director started to be talked about with the same reverence as Spielberg. New Zealander, Peter Jackson, had been making films throughout the previous decade, but it was with his trilogy of Lord of the Rings movies: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; and The Return of the King, that he became a household name.
By 2001, we were as likely to watch movies on DVD as going to the cinema. But for Tolkien, it had to be a proper full-screen experience. We saw The Fellowship of the Ring in the recently-opened multi-screen cinema at Blue Water in Kent. And we took my mother with us. Like me, she’d loved reading about hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and we were afraid it would be impossible to do justice to the depth and breadth of the story in the cinema. We held our breath through the opening scenes where Isaldur meets his doom and loses the ring; and shivered to the sound of the One Ring oath. But the minute we saw the sun shining on the Shire and heard that jaunty but haunting hobbit theme, we relaxed; it was all going to be fine. And for once it wasn’t John Williams, but Howard Shore making wonderful movie memories for me.