Sunday, May 3, 2015
MrMovieETC's TOP 10 FILMS of 2010
I don't really have much more of an intro to include here, so I'll get write to business!
Here is my list of Top 10 Films of 2010:
This was one of those films where I saw the initial trailers online and thought it was a spoof in the same family as "Scary Movie" or "Freddy vs. Jason". It wasn't completely without merit as spoof comedies were still a thing at the time and the comic world was still having its giddy soul massaged by "The Dark Knight" from a few years prior (and the film was probably still cutting a profit in 2010). I was not aware or familiar with "Kick-Ass" as its own comic series, and in some ways, I assume it could be considered as somewhat of a riff on comic film adaptations due to the series creator being compared to that of a cynic as I understand it. As far as the movie itself, it's one of those that is so nutty that it works. C'mon, Nicholas Cage plays a Batman look-alike, what's not to love? More importantly, cynical or not, the film knows what it is and that's a quality that always positively gets my attention. A group of teens take their superhero geekdom to a lethal level and try to clean up the streets of their city to mostly adverse results. The film is often times hilarious, and yet, knows how to punish to keep the adrenaline pumping. All of those combined, to me, made it worthy of a Top Ten spot.
9. THE CRAZIES
It's not very often there's an opportunity for horror to break my Top Ten list, so I really didn't have to grapple with adding "The Crazies" to the prospects. Definitely check it out if you haven't done so!
8. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
Speaking in terms of financial success, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is the epitome of a fun, creative idea that was a little too late to its own party. Many blamed it on the "World is tired of Michael Cera" Syndrome, and that could partially be true, but, in my mind, this film was a victim of bad marketing. I was aware of its existence when the film began its theatrical run, but there was little word of mouth or legitimate advertising on its behalf. All of which is a shame because "Scott Pilgrim" is a hell of a good time to watch. Built upon a sort of colorful, comedic "Mortal Kombat" staging, Scott Pilgrim (played by Cera) gets a chance to win the girl of his dreams. And if you want to talk about the ideal role for somebody like Michael Cera, this would be that role. His character is nerdy, naive, and yet has that sort of asshole-esque attitude that makes him entertaining.
That's really all I can say about it. The movie transitions from straight up romantic indie comedy to a romantic indie comedy video game. It certainly has a cult following by now, and for good reason. It's a winner.
7. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
6. SHUTTER ISLAND
This film is still somewhat notorious from being ragged on by audiences for what they felt was a lackluster ending and having a twist that "everyone could see coming". You know what? Some of that is fairly true. You know what else? I do not care. "Shutter Island" is easily one of my favorite suspense thrillers from the past 10 years. It has Scorsese written all over it - from the gritty to the emotion - yet it's not signature Scorsese. It's certainly not a huge sidestep like "Hugo" a few years later, but refreshing just the same. Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingley were terrific as the leads, the atmosphere kept the tension in full-throttle mode throughout the whole duration, and I personally thought the ending was exceptionally fitting to the text of the story of paranoia and delusions. Sure, if you pay attention, you can see it coming from a mile away, although in the way it was delivered, I don't think it really hindered the overall outcome. The bullet was in the final message, and for me, that bullet was right on target.
5. BLACK SWAN
Comparing this to "Noah" may not be entirely fair to Aronofsky, mainly because they're not remotely alike, but I cannot help but believe that "Black Swan" and how much I enjoyed the hell out of it had something to do with my feelings of disappointment toward "Noah". This film is absolutely stunning; everything from the cinematography, to the superb and well-earned award winning performance from Natalie Portman, and how Aronofsky was the perfect director to bring an already dark story of "Swam Lake" to the big screen. Truly a horror film in its own right, "Black Swan" tells of a star ballerina that pushes her limits to achieve perfection to the point of borderline psychosis, and then full psychosis as her instabilities begin to project on to the world around her. Of course, it's not all her own doing with an overbearing mother and sadistic dance instructor that typically lead to a disastrous recipe. I realize many people do not care for Aronofsky with his unique style, and sometimes undeniable sense of self-importance; however, if he can make films as engaging as "Black Swan", I'm willing to forgive the flaws. I wouldn't recommended "Noah", but this one is certainly a keeper.
4. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
I vividly remember when I saw the first trailer for "The Social Network" in the theater. First, there was the slideshow of random Facebook posts, then quickly followed a haunting choir rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" in the background, and wrapped up with the film's title and my immediate thought of "A Facebook movie? Good God, why?" Remember when I said a few paragraphs up that I like being humbled? Well, a funny thing, or string of things, happened. As more information came out, I found out that this was being directed by David Fincher. Hey, I really like David Fincher. Shortly after, I learned that the score was being written by Trent Reznor. I love music by Trent Reznor. Those two facts took me from skeptical to sold, followed soon by seeing the film, which naturally, led me to loving the film. It's rather difficult to explain too, because a *mostly* factual biography about Mark Zuckerberg should not be that interesting, yet somehow it totally was. It doesn't hurt that the story unfolds the slow decline towards disaster for a guy that's hard to cheer for because he's an egotistical prick. One can't help but get behind him a little bit, however, because he's so good at it. A genius that is confident in said genius and makes those not-as-smart feel like insects does make for some genuine entertainment. The film is not for everyone, I can safely assume, but I highly recommend it nonetheless.
3. THE TOWN
Or as I like to call it, "The film that Nolan has yet to top." No disrespect to "The Dark Knight Rises" or "Interstellar"; both films have that trademark Nolan ambition, it's just that they were not executed quite as well as "The Dark Knight" or "Inception". I realize that "Inception" is mainly a fancy-dressed heist thriller. What I fail to understand is why that matters in the first place? A straight forward heist film can easily be entertaining, there's no serious debate there; however, taking an idea that simple and giving it a fresh perspective is one of the true definitions of creative thinking, is it not? Acknowledging the fact that it's impossible to make every viewer see it that way, for the more positive way of thinking, "Inception" is one of the more creative endeavors in recent years and is completely suited to Nolan's style of filmmaking. Emotional impact is not his strong suit (See: "Interstellar"), although there is just enough of it here that Nolan is able to make the audience care about the plight of the characters. DiCaprio once again does a great job in the lead role, and Nolan makes the most out of his supporting crew as well.
To me, the twists and turns that "Inception" offers takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary. By now, I've seen this film multiple times and have enjoyed it more with each repeat.
And finally, my Top Film of 2010 is:
1. TOY STORY 3
What very well be the first and only time I would give a second sequel the top spot, "Toy Story 3" was a fairly easy decision for me. The first installment broke new ground in the animation universe, the second one spotted noticeable improvements in the art, and this final one (for now) wrapped up the trilogy so perfectly that it deserved the #1 place for that only. This is also one of the few trilogies in existence where, try as I might, I cannot pick a favorite. Each one has an absorbing story, the characters get more lovable with each production, and all 3 films go for the gut emotionally each time and always lands the punch. Why is that so impressive? The film(s) make you forget that the you're looking at toys - inanimate objects - and you care for them to the degree that during the climax of "Toy Story 3", you're trying not bawl like a toddler. Disney fan or not, animation fan or not, it does not matter in this case. This is filmmaking at its finest. I'm skeptical, and even partially pissed off, that Disney found a need for a 4th, but who knows, right? "Toy Story 3" did end the story arc but also left the door wide open to new adventures with new characters. I have a feeling I won't be able to stay away from it. The series is just that good.
Thank you for reading! I'll see you next week with my Top Ten of 2009!