Saturday, January 29, 2011

My top movies of 2010...

Haven't been blogging much as of late due to the whole lack of employment thing.
I've been zapped of motivation to do much of anything outside of finding work.
Also, my dumb ass messed up my keyboard on my laptop making it difficult to type at length.
That being said, I figured I'd throw my movie list up because I know some of my friends out there like my movie recommendations.
Last time I posted my list at the end of the year, but I realized that I got to see a few movies after, some of which would have wound up making my to 10 (i.e. Hurt Locker). So I waited a month to catch a few more.
Just to note, as I always do, my rankings are not necessarily about how "good" they are. I rate them based on level of enjoyment. Just because something is good enough to be an oscar winner doesn't mean you're going to like it. If I'm entertained and it's a "bad" movie, then it could be a top movie for me.

Without further ado, my favorite films of 2010...

One - Inception

The short version of the storyline is that Leonardo DiCaprio and his team are able to get inside people's dreams. There is a process to get the person's mind they're inside to produce an idea they would not have thought of. They are hired to do this in an attempt at corporate espionage. In doing so, DiCaprio would receive freedom to enter back into the US to see his son after being accused of killing his wife.
What can I say about Inception that hasn't been said? It's, simply put, the best movie that came out last year. It's smart, it's entertaining, it's technically amazing, it's heartbreaking, it has all the elements that a movie should have. It's also complicated. If you're not paying attention, I admit, it can be hard to follow. I wasn't a fan at first. Then I had an "Aha!" moment. Once I figured it out and realized what was going on, I was amazed. My only 5 star film of 2010.

Two - The Karate Kid

You might be laughing that I have this at number 2. And if you told me that this would have been one of my favorite movies of the year a year ago, I would have laughed too. In fact I remember when I first heard the concept and bitching about it on Myspace (those were the days, huh?). Then I saw the trailer and thinking, "hey, that doesn't look so bad". I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did. I wound up loving it. First of all, I knew Jaden Smith could act because he was great in Pursuit Of Happyness, one of my favorite films of that year. The story was similar to the original and yet completely different. Jaden winds up in China because his mom's job was outsourced. He get's bullied, like the original and seeks revenge in a fight tournament. When Jackie Chan was cast as the new Mr. Miyagi, I also didn't like the idea. I was wrong there as well. He's not doing the slapstick stuff we're used to. It's more of a dramatic turn for him and also pulls it off. Even though you will be thinking about the original one, if you forget about it, you'll find you're seeing a different movie and an enjoyable one at that.

Three - The Last Exorcism

Another surprise. I didn't think much of Last Exorcism when it was advertised and figured it would be just another throw away movie. It's about a documentary crew that follow a priest who doesn't really believe in demons and uses smoke and mirrors to perform fake exorcisms to help the rubes that do believe in it and think someone they love is possessed. He goes to help a family and shit gets real. But not real enough to believe that there's really a demon. And I believe that this is where the film succeeds for me. This is not really a scary film. It's definitely creepy and unnerving, but there's not much gore, there's no heavy make-up on the lead girl to make her look demonic. She does a great job when she's possessed and not, but they didn't make her "scary" looking, which kinda makes it creepier in my opinion. I won't give away the ending, but it was totally unexpected. If you're a horror fan, this is definitely recommended, just don't go in with expectations.

Four - Shutter Island

I didn't like Shutter Island at first. I knew that it was well done, but I saw everything coming. Halfway through the film, or even sooner, you know exactly what's going on.
This is another film with Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm not going out on a limb by saying he's one of the best, if not the best, actor out there right now. He plays a detective, along with his partner, Mark Ruffalo, as they investigate a missing person in a psych hospital.
It was upon said second viewing that I appreciated the movie. Without actually giving away the ending, there are things that you won't notice, or be looking for until you watch it again. I would recommend a 2nd viewing, only because it's almost as if you're seeing 2 different movies.

Five - A Prophet

Foreign movie alert. This is a French film about Muslim and Corsicans in prison. A young Muslim man gets sent to prison and winds being forced into service for a Corsican gang and winds up working with a friend on the outside selling drugs behind the gang leaders back and gets caught after being taken under his wing.
A Prophet is well acted, well directed and was nominated for best foreign film at the Oscars.

Six - The Town

Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, The Town is about a group of friends who rob banks and the FBI trying to hunt them down. Along the way Affleck falls for a girl they blindfolded, kidnapped and released after he tries to see how much information she has on them. Affleck is great as is the rest of the cast. It wasn't as good for me as most people because I felt it was a little cliche at times and I couldn't suspend disbelief for some parts.

Seven - The Human Centipede

Let me first say, I never went into Human Centipede intending to like it. 2 girls get lost in the middle of Germany and look for help. They find themselves in a house of a madman scientist who is looking for victims to make a Human Centipede. If you're wondering what a Human Centipede is, it's the process of sewing the mouth of person number 2, to the ass of person number 1 and then doing the same to person number 3 giving them the appearance of a centipede.
I thought it would be a throw away film. And maybe to some people it was, but the concept is so horrifying and disgusting, that for the first time I can think of, I actually cared about the characters in a horror movie. And that's why it made the list. Not the only reason thought because it was a lot better than it had any business being.

Eight - Unthinkable

Straight to DVD, Unthinkable wasn't on my radar, but turned out to be worth the attention. The FBI arrests a man that they believe will blow up a building in a terrorist act and call in Samuel L. Jackson as an interrogator who tries to get him to talk. I should say that the writer has an agenda. The terrorist, as you would suspect, is an Arab. SLJ has a hard time getting him to tell them where the bomb is and keeps going to more extreme measures to get the info until he goes to the... Unthinkable... extreme. The whole thing is a bit outrageous, or maybe it isn't, as the director is probably telling us, however it is an interesting watch.

Nine - Buried

Buried is interesting in that it's a one man show. Literally. The entire movie is comprised of something, I'm sure, most women wish they could have... Ryan Reynolds in a box. Reynolds handles the movie well. He's stuck in a coffin that's been burried with a light and a cell phone and is being held for ransom. He attempts to get help while going through the bureaucracy of business and government. Sounds like it could be boring but it never does get there.

Ten - Hachi: A Dog's Tale

And now for the feel good movie of the year, Hachi. This stars Richard Gere in a based on a true story film, about a guy who finds a dog and takes him in. The dog follows him to the train to work everyday and then waits for him to come home. And then Gere's character dies and the dog goes to the station and waits... and waits... It's a sweet heart breaker of a film.

Finally, here is the ranking of the rest of the films I've seen from last year...

She's Out of My League
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Nightmare On Elm Street
Remember Me
Winnebago Man
Green Zone
Winter's Bone
Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Horde
Splice
Catfish
Altitude
Kick-Ass
Frozen
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Hot Tub Time Machine
Case 39
Youth in Revolt
Legendary
The Social Network
Tron : Legacy
Iron Man 2
The American
Temple Grandin
Knight And Day
Knucklehead
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction
Alice in Wonderland
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Skyline
Get Him To The Greek
Cop Out
Mercy
Last Airbender
Damage
The Experiment
Date Night
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Runaways
Greenberg
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Daybreakers
Don McKay
Letters to Juliet
Repo Men
Micmacs
Freakonomics
The Crazies
The Secret in Their Eyes
Kevorkian
Mega Piranha
Dinner For Schmucks
The Warlords
Ondine
Legion
Predators
Book Of Eli
Batman: Under The Red Hood
The Other Guys
30 Days Of Night : Dark Days
Dear John
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead
44 Inch Chest
The Expendables
Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball
Clash Of The Titans
Robin Hood
Defendor
Mother
Fireball
Lake Mungo
Halo Legends
Circle Of Pain
Lovely, Still
Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County
Red: Werewolf Hunter
Lake Placid 3
Peacock
The Penthouse
All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
Night of the Demons
The Descent: Part 2
Road Kill
District 13: Ultimatum
Furry Vengeance
MacGruber
The A-Team
Lost Boys: The Thirst
Shoot the Hero
D.C. Sniper




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