Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Do movies of the past decade make the cut?

June 20, 2007

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Morgan Freeman hosts "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies - 10th Anniversary Edition" (7 p.m., CBS). That's right, a whole decade has passed since the first "AFI" list was selected and publicized. Over the years, we've seen these American Film Institute specials count down the 100 greatest films, stars, comedies, heroes and villains, best lines and the 100 best "Cheers," which had something to do with feel-good movies.

The passage of a decade opens up a whole new group of films for consideration in the top 100. American movies released between 1996 and 2006 in contention for the top spots include "American Beauty," "The Aviator," "Brokeback Mountain," "Lord of the Rings," "The Matrix," "Saving Private Ryan," "Sideways," "Traffic" and "Titanic."

Movies are chosen for the top-100 list based on contemporary critical reaction, prizes and nominations, historical significance, cultural impact and enduring popularity. Given these criteria, I'm not sure some of these films should make the cut. "Brokeback Mountain" is the perfect example of a movie that gets talked about in the period leading up to the Oscars and is forgotten soon after. I think the same could be said of "Traffic" and, it pains me to say, "Sideways," a film that I liked a lot. But will it be talked about 50 years from now? Does it belong in a list that includes "Casablanca" and "Citizen Kane"?

Argument and controversy always accompany these lists and make for the enduring appeal of these "AFI" specials.

¢ "REAL Sports with Bryant Gumbel" (9 p.m., HBO) presents a profile of Johnny Miller, 1973 U.S. Open golfing champ and a man who has emerged as one of the most opinionated TV golf analysts. Miller offers his thoughts about the game's great players, and his own career on the course and behind the microphone.

Gumbel also looks into the explosion of injuries and hospital visits among baby boomers who refuse to tailor their exercise habits to their advancing years.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ The top 18 perform on "So You Think You Can Dance" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ Impersonators impersonate on "The Next Best Thing" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ Special cameras capture prenatal dogs, dolphins and elephants on "In the Womb" (7 p.m., National Geographic).

¢ Taye Diggs hosts a special episode of "Dance in America" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings), featuring six works by notable black choreographers.

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