Okay, so I haven’t written a decent film review since…oh my…since my analysis of Let Me In last November. Such as shame. And no, I don’t consider the “6-Word Reviews” as decent reviews, as well as those lame excuses of “previews to a longer review”. Haha! But there’s no way that I’ll pass this New Year going back to school without writing something for this blog. So here are some of the “Bests of 2010”. Sorry but there will be no “worsts” list. At the most, the “worst” things that ever happened for this blog were the delayed reviews for The Lovely Bones and the review of Little Manhattan which never came. Other “worst” things of 2010 were me missing The Social Network and Tron: Legacy on the big screen. But enough “bad things”, let’s head over to good stuff.
There’ll be two lists here: the 5 Best Films of 2010 (RELEASED during the Year), and some Special Mentions which really didn’t make the cut (but enjoyed on my part).
The 5 Best Films of 2010 (which were RELEASED during the year)
1. Toy Story 3: This should come as no surprise to you guys. This is probably one of Disney/Pixar’s best works (followed closely by Up). Not only is this a powerful closure to the story of Woody and Buzz, but also one of the best existentialist pieces ever made. Wonderful use of 3D, especially in IMAX (those glasses help conceal one’s flowing tears), not to mention that the furnace sequence is likely to traumatize the film’s younger audiences.
2. Inception: Again this should come as no surprise: with Inception, Christopher Nolan probably became the most dangerous filmmaker of the millenium. This film about dream stealers featured outstanding performances (from Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and Marion Cotillard), breath-taking action sequences (just mention the “Zero Gravity” hotel fight), and one of the most debated endings in recent cinema history.
3. The Expendables: I entered the cinema not expecting much from Sylvester Stallone‘s ensemble action film, which incidentally featured a scene with the Holy Trinity of Action Heroes (Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis). But upon reaching the climactic action sequence (particularly a scene involving a human artillery strike), I just shut my brain and, for the first time in many years, enjoyed the movie. Oh, and the fact that the film actually HAD a decent plot and story made The Expendables one of the better action films released in recent times.
4. The Social Network: I may have missed the film’s run in the cinemas but I didn’t miss the film itself (Don’t worry guys, I’ll purchase the original DVD/Blu-Ray upon its release 😛 ). David Fincher’s take on the “supposed” genesis of Facebook is a well-acted (Jessie Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield’s performances are Oscar potentials), well-written film (“You have a part of my attention. You have the minimum amount.”). This film may do for the Internet what Oliver Stone’s Wall Street did back in the 80s.
5. Let Me In: Matt Reeves’ adaptation of John Advide Lindqvist’s novel Let the Right One In is one of the year’s best horror films. It is also a romantic film and a coming of age story. Plus, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz give performances which would define them in the years to come. Oh, and on a personal note, this film is better than the original Swedish film.
Some Special Mentions (in no particular order)
Yes, I just chose five films. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t anymore films which I didn’t enjoy this year.
1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Michael Cera might not have been the best choice to play the nerdy douchebag named Scott Pilgrim, but the film’s humor and action sequences (especial the final one) are also some of the best this 2010. Not a bad effort on part of Edgar Wright (his best film is still definitely Shaun of the Dead). Additionally, he is definitely the best director for a Dragon Ball live-action film.
2. Black Swan: There were times when I was literally saying “What. The. Fuck?!” at the screen but what stuck in me was the concept that “Art should always be controlled by the ARTIST”, and not the other way around. The events in the film shows what happen when the artist is controlled. I’d definitely recommend this film, though predicting a Best Actress win for Natalie Portman may not be all jazz afterall (her performance throughout reminded me of Padme Amidala, specifically when she says “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart!”). But the score, oh my God, the score! Even if it will never be nominated for an Oscar, this is probably one of the year’s best scores (Tchaikovsky’s The Swan Lake adapted by Aronofsky regular Clint Mansell).
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: You guys should’ve seen this coming (darn 6-Word Review). I was initially disappointed with it but I’m willing to give the film a second chance. Afterall, this is indeed “the motion picture event of a generation”, the generation of non-readers turned readers because of Rowling’s magical series. Hopefully the second film will define this film. Oh, and additionally, the animated segment of The Tale of the Three Brothers made this film for me.
4. The Book of Eli: Denzel Washington’s portrayal of the (SPOILER) Blind, Wandering swordsman carrying the world’s last Bible was one of the more interesting films of the year. The Hughes Brothers presented a visually stunning post-apocalyptic environment reminiscent of the Fallout videogames. Sure, the film takes its sweet time in certain moments but the action sequences and the theme of Faith makes up for the film.
5. The Crazies: The remake of an obscure George Romero flick, The Crazies is actually a genuinely scary horror film released in an era where “gorenography” is currently fashionable. This film is a testament that it is actually okay to be over-the-top in the gore as long as you have genuinely human characters. Once you’ve built the connection with them, then you’ll be scared for them. And true enough, The Crazies achieves that.
Oh all right! I’ll come up with another list. Here’s the list of films you OUGHT TO PIRATE!
1. The Last Airbender: Fuck you, M. Night Shyamalan. ’nuff said.
2. Predators: Fine, this is infinitely better than AVP and AVP 2. But in the end, a turd sandwich is STILL a turd sandwich.
3. Machete: There’s a reason why Danny Trejo will always be a “that guy” in movies. Machete is one of those reasons. Additionally, for a Grindhouse Production, this Robert Rodriguez flick takes itself too seriously.
4. Eat, Pray, Love: Didn’t watch it but I saw the synopsis. The girl’s probably one of the most selfish women on this planet. And I don’t think I’ll ever empathize with the bitch.
5. (500) Days of Summer: The film features an idiot douchebag and a hipster bitch. Why did I even bother watching this shit?
HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS! HAVE A GOOD ONE! 🙂