February 28, 2011 | Categories: Blog Posts, News | Tags: Aaron Sorkin, Academy Awards, Adrian Brody, Alec Baldwin, Alice in Wonderland, Anne Hathaway, Billy Crystal, Black Swan, Celine Dion, Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Chuck, Cinematography, Colin Firth, Comedy, Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Facebook, Geoffrey Rush, Gwenyth Paltrow, Hailee Steinfeld, Halle Berry, Harry Potter, Hollywood, How to Train Your Dragon, Hugh Jackman, Inception, Jack Nicholson, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Josh Brolin, Jude Law, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Spacey, Kirk Douglas, Lesbians, Liveblog, Mandy Moore, Marisa Tomei, Meg Griffin, Melissa Leo, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Oscars, Pixar, Randy Newman, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Roger Deakins, Russell Brand, Social Network, Spartacus, The Fighter, The King's Speech, The Wolfman, Tim Burton, Tom Hanks, Tom Hooper, Toy Story 3, Trent Reznor, True Grit, Unkrich, Zachary Levi | Leave a comment
2010 is officially over. Now it’s time to be overly critical of the entire year and reflect upon it and judge it on the whole by the content it produced artistically. If it were up to me, the following ten films would be the nominees for best picture. But then again, I have no sway with the academy. If anything, these films will be disqualified based on my recommendation…
THE TOP TEN FILMS OF 2010
10. The A-Team (Our Review)
I think that the only other person in the world who will have this on their top ten list would be former Marvel editor Nathan Cosby who loves this film only a little less than his pet bulldog Daffy. (Seriously, check out his twitter feed. It’s amazing.) The fact of the matter is that the chemistry between the leads here is absolutely amazing. Never in my life would I have thought Rampage Jackson could be as funny as he was here. Liam Neeson gives his full effort here and never lets the fact that this is a remake of a campy eighties tv show get in the way of doing a great job playing the leader of the group. Also, Jessica Biel’s legs. So there.
9. Kick-Ass (Our Review)
You know, I’ve said that I don’t care for the original series which they based this one on and that really hasn’t changed. I think the second volume has benefited from the movie by taking what was improved upon and working it onto the page. But where the comic book series by Mark Millar was hobbled by it’s own hype and uncertain tone the film thrived by finding what it wanted to do and rolling with it. It is hard to think of a film that was more fun this year than Kick-ass. That alone earns it a spot on the list. Any film that can overcome the handicaps of it’s source material and come out the better product at the end of it deserves a little bit of praise.
While this one has some problems with pacing, but aside from that it’s a testament to how the material has grown since it’s beginnings. The biggest test that the series has had to face was the aging of its stars and keeping the tone of the films consistent with the audience’s development. A generation literally grew up alongside these characters. A new generation is jumping on as well, and they have to be able to latch on as well. The balancing act between keeping the films friendly to the childlike wonder of the earlier entries as well as pleasing the matured sensibilities of the established audience earns this one a place on the list.
7. Toy Story 3 (Our Review)
This one was a long time coming. The franchise that put Pixar on the map came back to prove that Disney can produce a sequel that isn’t complete and utter tripe. All films are made to make money, let’s be honest, but this one never felt like a cash grab. The narrative is developed, the characters feel in tune with what they should be, and the care that went into making the film is on display in every frame. While other animated fare, like Shrek for example, seem to stop about halfway through development and focus more on cheap gags and silly humor, Toy Story 3 tried and succeeded at being a top notch film first and foremost. That sort of thing earns you loads of credit in the end. The emotional heft of the film is quite impressive and is a testament to what Pixar can achieve.
6. Inception (Our Review)
I’m sure a lot of people expected this one to rank higher, but having recently revisited the film on home video I have to say that while it is still quite an amazing film, it’s not the best film to come out this year. I think that Christopher Nolan will come out better because of this film however, because he’s built himself up as a big name in Hollywood because he doesn’t seem to make films that fit the established mold and therefore will be able to make more films like Memento and the like whenever he finishes up his time on the Batman franchise. If anything, the biggest accomplishment of this film is getting the mainstream to engage in layered discussion about a film. Also, good to see that modern audiences can handle cerebral sci-fi.
5. Black Swan (Our Review)
It’s hard to argue against this one. It’s ham-fisted arthouse with a great deal of marketing hype centered around a thirty second blip in the narrative to draw in the mainstream. I honestly don’t think a lesser director could have pulled this off. It’s not Aronofsky’s best film, as I think the Wrestler is better constructed and that one had Marisa Tomei as a stripper, but Black Swan has the distinction of being his most ambitious and dangerous film since The Fountain, which seemed to crumble a bit under its own weight, a problem that Black Swan didn’t have a problem with.
4. Scott Pilgrim (Our Review)
I know I’ve run this into the ground. It’s an amazing film and one of the most distinctively off kilter than anything else that hit the cinemas this year. Edgar Wright outdid himself and the fact that so many people were alienated by the style only proves that maybe the movie was released ahead of it’s time. The only problem being that the film captures a time period very much cemented to this era, and so everything about the film works against it while making it unique. Time will do great things for this film, as it creates a bubble of nostalgia that works in ways other films only wish they could attain.
3.The Town (Our Review)
Ben Affleck you magnificent bastard. The fact that he has so redeemed himself these last few years is nice. Gone Baby Gone was excellent but The Town was just amazing. The fact that he managed to remind us that he could indeed act while proving that he is one of the better working directors of the moment is a feat that cannot be understated. Also, let’s not underestimate the novelty that at least in my eyes, this was about Daredevil and Hawkeye straight up robbin’ folk.
2. The Social Network (Our Review)
This film is a perfect storm of acting/writing/directing. This is a film that had to overcome a serious handicap in the fact that everyone in the civilized world laughed at the very concept. However, when word spread that the film was actually quite good, people felt the need to see it as if to prove to themselves that the concept was too silly to be a good film. The joke was on them as I’ve met very few people who can say with a straight face that it wasn’t one of the best films of the year. Jesse Eisenberg managed to make Mark Zuckerberg, a certifiable cunt if there ever was one, a somewhat sympathetic character and future Spider-Man Andrew Garfield turns out an impressive performance as the partner Zuckerberg pushed to the side. The film captures the attitude of a generation so succinctly that it deserves any and all praise I can heap on it.
It’s been forever since we got a straight forward western on the big screen. I think the last was probably 3:10 to Yuma a few years back. The last people you would expect to play the western straight on film would be the Coens, but they manage to pull off one of their most mainstream efforts while simultaneously reinvigorating a seemingly dormant genre by playing to its strengths. They manage to give us a film that reminds the audience why westerns were so popular once upon a time. The characters play to a part of the human condition and the stories do too. This isn’t a very complex story. It is an open and simple theme held high by complex characters. Every actor in the film gives their all to create memorable and unique characters that set the film apart from the 1969 version in nearly every way.
I have to admit that I didn’t get to see as many films as I would have liked this year. I still haven’t seen some supposedly great films like Winter’s Bone but of the films I’ve seen this year, this is the best I could put together. That having been said, if I decided to put together a list of the worst shit I saw this year it’d likely be a top twenty.
January 2, 2011 | Categories: Best Of, Blog Posts, News | Tags: Black Swan, Harry Potter, Inception, Kickass, Scott Pilgrim, Social Network, The A-Team, The Town, Top Ten List, Toy Story 3, True Grit | 2 Comments