#28 (tie) – The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)
DAN: In what is probably the best sports documentary of the century (take that, 30 for 30), filmmakers Chapman and Maclain Way tell the story of the Portland Mavericks, a Class-A short season minor league baseball team operating in the early 1970s and owned by actor Bing Russell (father of Kurt). Like any great team movie, it features a collection of ridiculous characters who somehow work together against fearful and powerful enemies (the MLB). Unless you enjoy rooting for fat-cats, you’ll love this underdog story.
#28 (tie) – Saving Silverman (2001)
JOHN: When this film first hit theaters, it really didn’t seem like the kind of movie that would make a multi-decade “best of” list. But the re-watch value is absolutely incredible. Saving Silverman is like a fine wine that gets better as it ages. Jack Black and Steve Zahn work insanely well as a comedy duo, especially when performing in a Neil Diamond cover band. In fact, Jack Black’s character J. D. sums it up best: “COME ON AH YEEEEEEEH-HA!”
#28 (tie) – 2 Guns (2013)
TONY: Not a ton of huge laughs, but a good batting average in this action-comedy that seemed to slip through a lot of people’s cracks. Great shithead villains, including an awesome Bill Paxton, and EVERYONE is crooked/corrupt/screwing someone over. In a career highlight, Marky Mark farts and then wafts the fart with his hand into the trunk of a car before slamming it shut on a captured foe!
#28 (tie) – Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
JOHN: The premise is simple but brilliant, as the lead characters travel back in time to a single significant night during their high school years. The cast is brilliant—John Cusack basically reprises his role from High Fidelity (only now he’s funnier), and Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry are amazing wingmen. Despite the well-worn paths of time travel in modern cinema, this movie remains amazingly fresh.
#25 (tie) – Gigli (2003)
DAN: This website is not the place to ironically adore films, but an exception has to be made for Gigli, Bennifer’s disastrous romantic comedy, because it was so much more than that. It was a horrendous, horrendous film. But it also had a pitch-perfect Christopher Walken talking about apple-pie, Al Pacino trying out for Jack and Jill, and Roger Ebert weirdly giving it 2.5 stars.
#25 (tie) – Hostage (2005)
TOM: Bruce Willis heavy-sighs his way through this film while Kevin Pollock literally sleeps. Also features Ben Foster as Mars, his first dollar villain role. I’m pretty sure crooked (or fake) FBI agents also make an appearance. But don’t worry Tommy, Captain Wubba WILL save Planet Xenon!
#25 (tie) – A Mighty Wind (2003)
DAN: This is an incredibly funny mockumentary about folk music by the “This is Spinal Tap” team. Quotable (“whaa happen?”) and sing-along-able (“Well…there’s a puppy in the parlor / and a skillet on the stove / and a smelly old blanket / that a Navajo wove”), this is also a touching film, and one song might even make it a little dusty in your room (“The Ballad of Bobby and June”). That makes A Mighty Wind a rarity: a successful comedy with heart.
#24 – Superbad (2007)
TONY: My praise for this flick is qualified, because once Jonah Hill gets hit by that car, the movie slowly spirals down the toilet. But up til then, Superbad depicts, with disturbing accuracy and utter hilarity, exactly what my high school was like: poorly-resisted urges to cuss in front of teachers, hassling people for pissing their pants 15 years prior, and compulsive penis doodlings (I knew at least 3 guys with that SAME problem).
#22 (tie) – Black Dynamite (2009)
PAT: Black Dynamite is a case for keeping parody/homage tight and focused (clocking in at just under 90 minutes…much like, arguably the best of the genre, 1980’s Airplane!). For fans of blaxploitation this is absolutely the best. (Sorry, Pootie Tang.) Black Dynamite has got everything you could possibly want in a parody/homage…also nunchucks, which is probably a thing you wanted if you’re tuning in. I really admire the aesthetics–it feels like a movie made in the mid-70s.
#22 (tie) – Bernie (2011)
TONY: Jack Black goes against type and hilariously portrays a fey small-town murderer in this half-documentary, half-dramatization from Richard Linklater. Equally great is Matty M as the Big Red-swilling, swaggering DA who realizes the town likes Bernie too much to prosecute him. But the real stars of the flick are the authentic Texans providing local color and discoursing on the varied sub-regions of Texas.
Check back next week for more entries on our Top 50 Comedies Since 2000 list!