Throughout the 2000s, the film industry flourished with creative and technological ingenuity. The world saw that with the right tools, imagination becomes cinema reality.
At Number Five-Pirates of the Caribbean. Based on the original boat ride adventure at Disneyland, this billion dollar film franchise brought back a pirate world of ships, riveting battles and treasure chests of gold.
Phil Pearson from London, UK, says the success of the four films in the series can be largely attributed to crazed pirate, Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.
"Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a rollicking good ride, isn't it? You've got Johnny Depp giving a fantastic performance. Ladies want to be with him, men want to be him I suppose."
At Number Four -Avatar- This is the top grossing 3D movie in history and one of the most expensive to produce. James Cameron's precious creation of Pandora was hailed as the first of its kind. The film brought us to a lush and rich land in the future with the most technologically advanced effects.
Cameron proved that good things do indeed, take time.
John Zhao from Beijing believes that the film addresses a more important message.
"I think it does touch on a very important theme-the balance between urban development and people being able to maintain their way of life. The story is good; I think it has a very good theme and special effects."
Marcus Gadau from Weimar, Germany agreed.
"I thought it was quite an experience to watch the movie in 3D on a big screen, and especially, if you live in this urban jungle here in Beijing, then seeing a planet with all these colors and this natural world, that was very refreshing and very inspiring. In some ways I realized, I don't want to spend my life in a big city like this. You're too far from nature. When you see a movie like Avatar, it's like, got to go back to a place that's more natural. It's where we come from and where we're most comfortable at."
At Number Three-Shrek. The world of pixels launched a whole new realm of animated entertainment with DreamWorks Pictures. This series brilliantly reflected both fairy tales and modern references to pop culture.
This loveable ogre with the voice of Mike Meyers captured hearts worldwide, including Vicky Zhang's from Beijing.
"I always thought those kinds of cartoons are for kids, but now I also think that they're for adults."
Marcus Gadau explains another reason why the film appealed to all ages.
"In the Shrek movie and in other modern animated movies, they always make little side hints and comments about our current political issues or pop stars and stuff and it's always really funny to see how they integrate that into a little kids' movie and the kids don't even know what's going on and yet they are laughing about it. What I like, especially with the Shrek story is that it's the ugly guy who, just because he has a good heart, gets everything done and is the big hero at the end and the girl falls in love with him and sees through the whole exterior and sees the beauty of his inside."
At Number Two- Harry Potter. Not surprisingly, this is the highest grossing film series in history. Director David Heyman takes this award winning book series by JK Rowling and has created seven of eight total fantasy adventure films.
In addition to the natural appeal of magic, Phil Pearson explains that the messages of Harry Potter are easy to grasp.
"I think it also has a clear dichotomy between good and evil. It's never in doubt what the hero's main objective is. It's always to go the evil castle, lair of the evil master and kill him. It's a clear sort of message that everyone can latch onto. People like the idea that someone who is ordinary can suddenly stand forward and fulfill their destiny which I think is the ultimate form of escapism."
Number One- Lord of the Rings. Based on the book series by J.R.R Tolkien, director Peter Jackson's artistry created this highly anticipated and exceptional trilogy. The films circle the adventures of hobbit Frodo Baggins and took almost a decade to produce.
With a budget close to 300 million dollars, the movies brought us into the hobbit world of folklore and magic.
But Phil Pearson says there was more to the movie than just effects.
"Lord of the Rings, was really a succession of very moving scenes. The director, Peter Jackson, wasn't afraid to shy away from the very emotional aspects of the story. For example, the one scene where a band of men is holed up in a place called Helm's Creek, which is like a little valley surrounded by mountains. And their entire survival depends on their ability to defend off these orks. The way Peter Jackson creates that atmosphere of impending doom is very moving and very satisfying to watch as a cinema-goer."
It's hard to say where the future of cinema is going the next ten years. Is the popularity of car chases and action movies waning? Maybe what the world really wants is to keep dreaming instead of just being entertained.
For CRI, I'm Andrea Hunt.
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