Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: The Movie Scrapbook

Happy Almost 2011!
Even in a year where a part time job pay check limits how often I can grace the big screen film going experience, I still saw plenty of new releases in the theater. Although, as the year of 2010 is slipping away, I am ever so behind. The beauty of Netflix has helped a little, but just not in enough time.

Then in a strive to declare another year end list, I struggled to even come up with even part of a measly list. I could include The Kings Speech...wait, haven't seen it. Or even Inception! Oh, right, long wait on Netflix. Damn!

When the thought of paying $10 for a movie made me ill, Netflix stepped in to fill the blues. Not only did tons of 2010 releases excite me, but this was also the year I had tons of free time to finally catch up on things I had never seen.

In conclusion, may I present; 2010 a year in movies, new and old.

Shutter Island

Leo and Ruffalo, alone on an island with a bunch of cuckoo crazies, in this Scorsese meets Hitchcock thriller, still creeps me out as I am currently thinking about several scenes. Beautifully filmed and with an ending which as you exiting into the aisle, head buzzing, pondering what-in-the-what just happened. This is always a good thing.

Toy Story 3

Pixar you were already better than the rest (to demonstrate what I mean; put a level hand above your head), but then with Toy Story 3 you actually went there, and now you are like this (now, move your hand even farther above your head). Please, continue to raise the bar on story telling.


This Hitchcock masterpiece, I will declare from a rooftop, has been my favorite Best Picture winner to consume over the last six months.  Do I have an affinity for crazy people in the movies? I think so! (See also; Black Swan)

The Kids Are Alright

Great cast (Ruffalo again, Julianne Moore, Annette Benning, and those kids too) meets simple, modern and well told story about a lesbian couple whose children decide to seek out the man who helped give them life. Movies that can really capture the way people act in reality, both the comedy and dramatic sides of everyday life, are hard to find, but that is what this film does amazingly well.

127 Hours

You think, " Hey, how can they turn a guy trapped in a cave into a two hour movie?" Guess what, it is possible, and James Franco acts the hell out of it, and all without the use of one of his hands. Impressive.

Never Let Me Go

Apparently this movie was not everyone's cup-o-tea, but to me, it was one of the best movies I had seen in a long time.  Mixing a sci-fi movie idea and complex story of youth and growing up seems odd, but it comes crafted together so well that the movie sucks you in. Go in without knowing the plot, it will be that much more rich as everything is revealed.

Cairo Time

Patricia Clarkson never fails to be awesome, and even through mostly playing smaller roles in just about every movie (her and John C. Reilly are in everything!). Without a doubt, my favorite simple movie of the year, finds Clarkson waiting in Egypt for her diplomat husband, and ends up touring the area with her husband's friend.

Cairo Time is the first occasion where I can remember Clarkson being able to shine as the lead, and all with the backdrop of the streets and pyramids of Egypt. That shot of the pyramids at sunrise? Seriously made me want to pack up and leave on a plane.

Let The Right One In

Scary movies used to be my ultimate thing to watch, and even though I still enjoy them from time to time, all the new horror movies are just bad. Let The Right One In, the original foreign version, is an exception.  When a girl moves to town, she befriends a boy in her apartment complex, but their relationship can't be as normal as other children, as it is discovered that she needs blood in order to survive. Never before would I imagine a scary movie could possibly have one of my favorite stories I saw this year.

The American remake was also supposedly greatly overlooked, and even though I avoided it, I still think I will end up checking it out.

The Social Network

I really wanted to hate The Social Network. With all the build up and the immense critical and audience acclaim, really, how good could a movie about Facebook be? It is not my favorite, but I have to admit, it is kind of  great. Jesse Eisenberg makes you want to hate him as Mark Zuckerberg, but he actually becomes the villian you are slightly rooting for. Really though, I think the most mad props are extended to Trent Reznor's music and director David Fincher, for taking an idea that seems dumb (to me) and turning it into a heart pounding film.

Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone is the Precious of 2010; they are both heartbreakingly hard to watch (Cue Hard To Watch II, starting Tracy Jordan, being released later this year). Set in the Ozark mountains, a teenage girl must search through the depths of the surrounding communities  for her dead beat dad, while at the same time caring for her mother and younger siblings. Very much like an old-timey noir mystery, where the true understanding of the seedy underworld that is happening around her is only slowly discovered.

Black Swan 

Watching Black Swan right before Christmas was not the best idea. Two hours inside the mind of a cuckoo ballet dancer, will take anyone out of the holiday spirit. Although, it was worth it to end up walking away from, without a doubt, the best movie of the year. The costumes! The music! Though the best is the moment before the end when you realize how it's going to end, and your mouth gapes open and you say "holy shit" out loud. Yes, that is the making of a classic. It was perfect.

Doctor Zhivago

This year marks the time I finally gave in to the epic of all epics. The sweeping Russian winter, war, and the soaring romance of Lara and Yuri, was as expected, incredible, as I had imagined.

I'll be back, sadly, only once a lot of those other movies people are picking as the best, come out on video.

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