Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010: Movies

Top 5 Movies of 2010
1. Inception
2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
3. Toy Story 3
4. Iron Man 2
5. How To Train Your Dragon

I saw only a dozen movies in theaters last year, and I saw about that many this year, too, if you count the viewings at Paramount of classics like Casablanca and The Thin Man movies. My "if you know it's going to be a shitty blockbuster, skip it" philosophy continues to work for me, although I did get suckered in by Tron Legacy. I also saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but I knew what I was getting into with that one, and I saw Karate Kid, but that was for Katy, and she liked it and I found it tolerable, at least.

There were disappointments, though. I thought Shutter Island was OK, but probably not worth a theater viewing. Ditto The Good, The Bad and The Weird, which had an *amazing* trailer but I found the story just bewildering, and the action often disappointing.

Overall, though, my top five represents a pretty good series of films, I think. Any of the first three could easily be my favorite movie of the year, and my love for them is separated out by only the barest of degrees. And Kick-Ass just barely misses the cut-off, as does the Spanish film [REC] 2, which is even better than the first one. But I couldn't make room for 10 great movies in 2010 without including movies I haven't seen, so I left it at top five this year. If I'm being 100% honest, [REC] 2 is probably better than Iron Man 2 and How To Train Your Dragon, but I'm much more likely to rewatch the latter two, so the genre (horror, not my favorite) drops it a couple points for me.

On DVD was another story. I saw a couple through Netflix that I missed in theaters: Daybreakers, Hot Tub Time Machine and The Losers. In every case, I was glad I didn't pay theater money to see them. The Losers was the worst of the bunch, I didn't even finish it.

Of course, I missed a few in theaters just because I haven't had time to see them. I wanted to see Megamind, Despicable Me and Due Date, although it sounds like I may have dodged a bullet with that last one. I also wanted to see The Warrior's Way, but I expect it's not as interesting as the trailers make it look, ditto for Machete and Predators.

I am legitimately sad that I haven't made time for Black Swan or True Grit, but I expect I'll see those on Blu-ray in 2011.

On Netflix streaming and DVD, I filled a few holes in my cinematic education, as well as watching a few movies from the last year or two that I'd heard were good. Despite my general disinterest in documentaries, I found both The King of Kong and This Film Is Not Yet Rated pretty compelling, although the latter was a bit too strident in its point of view. When I agree with you and I still find you preachy, that's a problem.

From recent years, I caught Moon (great sci-fi), Black Dynamite (way more funny than I expected), Sunshine Cleaning (disappointing indie-by-numbers), The Goods (hysterical comedy with a great cast, Craig Robinson steals the show as DJ Request) and Cashback (great little British twenty-something angsty romance with a narrative trick I really liked, and guest starring the gorgeous Michelle Ryan).

Going a bit further back, I watched Excalibur (liked it OK, didn't love it), Dr. Strangelove (bizarre and fun, but I probably won't watch it ever again), Donnie Brasco (solid if cliched crime thriller), The Man With Two Brains (one of Steve Martin's weirder and weaker movies, but funny in parts) and Jaws (just as good as everyone always said it was).

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