Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Movie Faves

Because of rising ticket prices and Netflix not getting new releases right away, I don't see a lot of movies the year they came out. So this is just a rundown of my favorite 2010 films that I've seen so far. I don't claim to say they are the 'best', they are just the ones that I enjoyed the most. Engage!
The Social Network

It's funny how when this film was first announced, everyone flipped their shit about how stupid a 'Facebook movie' would be. And now it's set to win all the Oscars ever. I came around to the idea of it when Fincher was announced as the director (as he is one of my favorites) and then, like most everyone else, when that creepy-as-hell trailer popped out, I was sold. I absolutely love it when you're not really sure how to feel about the protagonist. Is he good? Is he bad? Am I supposed to like him? In this case, I fucking loved him. I can't wait for this film to come out on DVD so I can play it over and over again and let the dialogue turn into music for my brain.
Black Swan

I've been eagerly awaiting this one for a long time. Everything I'd read about it completely piqued my interest, and I actually started getting worried that I'd overhyped myself. Nope. That was not the case. I went to see it by myself on Christmas Eve and it was one of the most enjoyable cinematic experiences I've ever had. Two other things I love in movies are genre-combinations and watching people go crazy. And this film delivers on both of those points. While on-point (hi-yo!). I've always been a sucker for dance movies (even the terrible ones like Center Stage), but with Black Swan, Aronofsky took the glitz and grandeur out of dance and broke it down to almost a torture regiment, which only makes the whole movie even creepier.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I'm a little torn on Scott Pilgrim. It was one of the movies I was most excited for in 2010, and I loved it, but at the same time I didn't. I think it ended up reading like Watchmen did, in that it basically serves as the perfect trailer for the books. Edgar Wright did a phenomenal job created this universe and making a really, superbly unique film. But unfortunately, so much of the heart and soul of the books was lost due to the condensing of the story. I really would've loved for them to have waited till O'Malley finished all the books, and then created a miniseries or two or three films in order to flesh everything out. But I know that that couldn't have happened. So I'm happy with what we got.

I know a lot of people lost their shit over Inception and hyped it up to the be most mind-blowing thing ever. I think a lot of those people don't watch a lot of non-mainstream movies. I went into seeing it expecting to understand nothing and end up completely confused. But I was wonderfully surprised to find out that everything was incredibly straight forward. Everything made perfect sense, except for a few points that required further discussion. What I loved about it was the seamless-ness and beauty with which this crazy, multi-layered story was executed. And the creepiness of the underlying Mal/Cobb plot was delightful, as were all the handsome menfolk running about.
How to Train Your Dragon

I think the name really worked against this movie, especially in terms of getting non-children to go see it. The animation was brilliant. The dragons are basically cats and dogs. The actors are hilarious. It's not your typical 'everything works out 100% fine' ending. There's so much about this movie that is amazing, and I hope more grown-ups give it a chance.

Generally when I hear a movie is about a love-crazed woman determined to find 'the one,' I run the other way. But when it factors in science-fiction and an awesome actress like Emma Caulfield, I'll totally give it a shot on a Sunday afternoon. I came across this movie on Netflix Instant Queue, and I'd never heard of it, but the user ratings were really high, so I gave it a shot, and I was super delighted. Overall, the movie is pretty simplistic and focuses on how relationships have changed and what love really means now that your 'timer' tells you when you'll meet your soulmate. I highly recommend giving it a chance.

Despicable Me

The movie is pretty straight forward and predictable, but really funny and adorable. Between Horton Hears a Who and this, I think I far prefer Steve Carell as a voice actor than a live action performer, as he is super brilliant. There's some brilliant slapstick comedy, and a lot of it stems from the wonderful little yellow minions. I know I'm a sucker for cute things, but there are some genuine hilarious moments in this movie, and it's all around a feel-good experience.
Best Worst Movie

I'd heard of this documentary, and knew it was about Troll 2, considered to be the worst movie of all time, but I didn't know much else. I thought it might be kinda sad and weird, so when I discovered it was actually really delightful, I was pleasantly surprised. I always feel really skeeved out by washed-up celebrities who bank on movies they were in 20 years ago, so to see these people embrace a movie they previously wanted nothing to do with, all because it found a cult fan base, was really amazing. There are still a few pings of awkwardness, but in general, it's great to see the cast and crew join together with the fans to celebrate the awfulness.
From all the movies I didn't see, these are the ones I most want to, and potentially could've been featured on this list:

True Grit: Growing up I hated westerns, but Deadwood, Firefly and No Country for Old Men have changed my outlook. I'm excited.
127 Hours: Danny Boyle is another of my favorite directors, and James Franco has done some pretty awesome stuff, so how could I possibly not like this?
Monsters: District 9 was one of my favorites last year, so I'm up for another stripped-down, alien invasion film. Especially one so highly recommended.
Never Let Me Go: Unfortunately I've had some stuff spoiled for me, when I wanted to go in blind, but I'm still very interested.
Easy A: This is at the top of my Netflix Queue, and it looks hilarious. I love everything Emma Stone's done so far, and the rest of the cast seems awesome.

So yeah. Hopefully this year will have some more kick-ass films. 2011!!

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