With just a few days left in the year, it is time for every blog and
site in the world to do their "Best of 2010" lists for whatever they talk about it. This one is no different. This top 10 list covers all genres, theatrical releases or straight to disc. I pondered over the list for a while and even though there are still plenty of movies that were released this year that I haven't seen yet, I feel this is a pretty good look at my favorite movies of the year.
So for my final entry of the year, I leave you with the Top 10 Of 2010
10. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Director: Edgar Wright)
I wanted to hate this movie so bad when I saw the previews. I know nothing of the graphic novels, I just know that the trailer looked like stupid hipster garbage to me that wanted to be quirky and ironic. After finally giving it a chance I was entertained throughout. The cast is great together, and everything I thought I would hate about it really worked. Its far from perfect or a favorite of mine but I can't deny that I had fun with it, and that is more than I can say for most other movies I saw this year.
9. Kick-Ass (Director: Matthew Vaughn)
When this one was released the trailers looked okay, nothing special and just another superhero type movie. Similarly to Scott Pilgrim I had no idea about a graphic novel and I feel it certainly aided me in enjoying in the movie with no preconceived notions. Nicholas Cage is great in this role and I think its the only type of role he can succeed in anymore. Chloe Moretz is probably the best performance in the whole thing as Hit-Girl. Another entertaining take on superheroes that got the word of mouth moving early in the year.
8. Frozen (Director: Adam Green)
A suspense thriller/horror film about three people trapped on a ski lift over a weekend. This doesn't sound like anything that could possibly fill an entire feature film with any success, right? Well it does. Adam Green known mostly for his director credit of the gory horror/comedy Hatchet takes his film making in a much more serious direction. Most of us had to wait months to see this on disc as only a select handful of theaters and festivals showed it in the early winter months. If you want something to keep you on the edge of your seat check it out.
7. Inception (Director: Christopher Nolan)
A very cool premise and some great visuals aid this one into being a lot of fun to watch. It does have a longer running time however it is paced very well and is full of solid performances. It is certainly entertaining and the technical side of things make it stand out.
6. Machete (Director: Robert Rodriguez)
More than 3 years after Machete's faux trailer debut in Grindhouse, we finally get the real deal. Danny Trejo was born for this role and Rodriguez made sure to keep our appetite for over the top violence and sexy women satisfied. Its just what you expected.
5. Hatchet 2 (Director: Adam Green)
Adam Green is the only director to show up twice on this list and for two very different movies. While Frozen was a tense thriller, Hatchet 2 is the follow up to 2007's over the top slasher romp in the swamp (that was bad, I know). Victor Crowley is defending his swamp from anyone that steps foot. The blood and gore is upped here to insane levels and there are some of the most ridiculous things you'll ever see in a slasher film. Hopefully you got to see it in theaters before the film got pulled from theaters after less than a week. At least they were showing it unrated for those few days.
4. Piranha 3D (Director: Alex Aja)
The French director who has shown his talents in far more serious fare gives us (another) remake on the Roger Corman classic which was directed by cult director Joe Dante. Aja knew exactly what kind of movie he was making here. Having no intentions of making this heavier or more artsy than it ever needed (or wanted) to be he over loaded our senses with boobs, blood, guts and laughs. This was a horror film that had you hootin' and hollerin' at the screen. The 3D was totally unnecessary but for a one time viewing with it, it was fun. Cannot wait to watch this one again with a few (or 12) beers. One word of advice, watch out for that first jump scare... its a doozy.
3. True Grit (Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen)
This adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis is a revenge tale in pure western form. Little 14 year old Mattie is out for revenge on Tom Chaney who murdered her father. She enlists the aid of a drunk U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger to get the job done. The Coen brothers give us what is possibly there most straightforward film of a single genre to date. And I couldn't be happier that it is a western. They get the look and feel just about right, and just make an overall fine film. Jeff Bridges is just great, as he usually is and he always works well with the Coens. Matt Damon is a very convincing Ranger, and is a strong character. But the whole movie is stolen by Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie. Her acting is flawless and refined for such a young newcomer. She owned the role. This is a fine film to end the year on and I'm glad to see how well it has done at the box office in its opening week.
2. Toy Story 3 (Director: Lee Unkrich)
The final chapter in the trilogy came to us this summer. The teasers dating back about a year had me excited to see it, and though I missed it in theaters, I was incredibly anxious to view it once the Blu Ray came out. Director Lee Unkrich has been with Pixar since 1994, he has had a hand in every Toy Story movie from editor, to co-director to fully directing this one. And this was one that was made for those of us that were kids back in 1995. As an elementary shcooler in 1995 I loved the first Toy Story, of course I love it now for so many more reasons. This 3rd entry into the series was something for us. Yes, children will love to see it, but watching it... watching it was something for us. It brought us back on the same adventure we had 15 years ago and brought it right up to a place we can relate to with recent events in our lives. It was a movie that would make you laugh one minute and then totally rip your heart out. The last 20 minutes of the movie had me in tears... ugly tears.... really ugly tears. I'm not ashamed to say it. I love this movie and it reduced me to a sad shell of a man for quite a while after watching.
And finally, the top movie of the year....
1. Black Swan (Director: Darren Aronofsky)
Who doesn't remember the feelings they had when they heard this new movie was going to feature a lesbian scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis? You can read it now and you're probably thinking about how cool that sounds. Well it was cool, but the movie itself is why it is number 1. From Aronofsky's direction with his use of close ups, hand held cameras, mirrors, imagery, POV shots to Clint Mansell's masterful reworking of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet, to Natalie Portman's Oscar worthy performance this movie is phenomenal. Aronofsky could pull a great performance from a dead sheep if he really needed to, and proves it here. Every actor, lead or supporting is flawless. I could go on and on about this one, but just go see it. Support independent cinema and see it. Dare I say it was... perfect?
Thanks to those of you that read, look out for more in 2011... I'm gonna get crazy!