Beware, many lists to follow. I’ll start with what I’m sure you’re really here for:
Best 10 out of ’10
Honorable Mentions — The Other Guys; The Next Three Days; Salt; Knight and Day; The Karate Kid; The Good, The Bad, and The Weird; The A-Team; Iron Man 2; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Let me note that all of these are very worth watching, even though they didn’t make it to my top ten.
10. Easy A — This one came as kind of a surprise to me as I was winnowing down the list. But the truth is, I enjoyed this film too much to leave it off. Out of all the comedies this year, this one had the cleverest writing, and I haven’t been so impressed by a “teenaged” female character since Juno. Emma Stone is comedically brilliant.
9. How to Train Your Dragon — This was easily the most delightful surprise of the year. I’m not sure anyone expected it to be so good. I certainly didn’t.
8. Toy Story 3 — Pixar’s (let’s hope) final installment in this wonderful franchise only barely beat out Dragon, but ultimately, Pixar retains the title of Best Animators Ever (no less significant because I just made it up.)
7. TRON: Legacy — The technical and visual achievements of this film are nearly inestimable.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 — Despite my frustration over having to type out an entire sentence to include the whole of this film’s title, I must admit the Harry Potter franchise is becoming something truly remarkable.
5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World — Edgar Wright should be proud. Really. Because if he’s not, he should be taken out into the street and beaten to death.
4. True Grit — How do you make a perfect Western? Go ask the Coens.
3. The Social Network — My guess for this year’s Best Picture. And I wouldn’t be disappointed.
2. 127 Hours — Danny Boyle has an ability to imbue his films with a resonance that is somehow both deeply universal and startlingly intimate. His latest work might very well be his best, and that’s saying something.
1. Inception — Well, what did you expect?
As much as I’d like to see every good film that comes out in a year, time and money are always holdin’ me down. So here’s a list of…
10 Films I’m Sorry I Missed
1. The Town
4. Shutter Island
6. Waiting for Superman
7. The Fighter
8. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Over the past few years, I’ve developed a talent for avoiding movies I’ll certainly hate or that will disappoint me. That said, the following four SHOULD have been good, but…
They Were So Disappointing
1. Robin Hood — For Ridley Scott, this was painfully formulaic and forgettable.
2. Alice in Wonderland — Has Tim Burton sold out? I don’t know. But he sure seems a lot less clever and daring than he used to be.
3. Clash of the Titans — I find myself lost in the contemplation of what it means to not care at all.
4. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief — Okay, we all knew this one was a long shot, but COME ON!
As a disclaimer, I haven’t seen ANY of the following, but let me be clear…
I Don’t Care What You Say, I’m Never Going to See Them
1. Hot Tub Time Machine — They shouldn’t make movies out of ideas spawned late at night by a bunch of drunk dudes.
2. Kick-Ass — One day, the people who most violently advocate the artistic value of graphic novels will realize the novelty has worn thin. Just because it was a good graphic novel doesn’t mean it’ll be a good movie.
3. Get Him to the Greek — I. Hate. Russell Brand.
4. Shrek Forever After — The idea of a fourth Shrek movie just makes me tired.
5. Megamind — No. No no no no no. I’m trying to understand why Will Ferrell’s comedic talent has been confined to a chair in a sound booth. Voice acting for a mediocre animated film seems to be a rite of passage these days.
Every year, Hollywood (yes, specifically Hollywood) churns out a whole crapload of films that are, well, crap. Not in the sense that they’re terrible, per se, but that they are so mundane, pointless and insignificant that by the end of the year…
They’re Already Almost Totally Forgotten
1. The Tooth Fairy — It’s funny because it’s The Rock. Get it?
2. Eat, Pray, Love — Julia Roberts plays a woman who indulges a lot in the first and talks a lot about the other two.
3. Dear John, I just remembered I have nothing interesting or important to say. Love, Some Chick.
4. Remember Me — No.
5. Letters to Juliet — “Dear Juliet, Remember when I was in a movie called Dear John? Apparently, neither do I. Love, Amanda Seyfried.”
6. You Again — I keep hoping someday Kristen Bell will get to be an actual actress.
7. Resident Evil: Afterlife — Please. Just. Stop.
8. The Bounty Hunter — Gerard Butler decided it was time to stop being so popular.
9. Secretariat — Give me a break.
10. Green Zone — Congratulations, Matt Damon, you brought Jason Bourne into a juvenile frenzy of political axe grinding. Doesn’t it feel good to have opinions about things?
And then there were the obvious choices of movies to avoid. Well, I guess I’ll admit there were a couple of these I wanted to see just to provide myself with an opportunity to write a really scathing review, but, ultimately, I couldn’t because…
The Titles Alone Filled Me with Rage and Despair
1. Little Fockers
4. Furry Vengeance
5. Sex and the City 2
6. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
7. Piranha 3D
8. Saw 3D
9. Jackass 3D
Alright, well, that’s it. Let me just say thank goodness for the good films, if only for the fact that they help us survive the never-ending barrage of steaming refuse.
Tags: 127 Hours, 2010, Best Movies of 2010, Best Of, Easy A, Film, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, Inception, Movie Review, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Social Network, The Town, Top 10, Toy Story 3, TRON, True Grit
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