2010 in Films

 

In order of release date:

Shutter Island: DiCaprio as a 40s cop investigating a disappearance at a mental asylum. A moody, slightly trippy, frustrating film with a cliched ending that I felt robbed from the rest of the story. B-

The Ghost Writer: MacGregor hired to ghost write the Prime Ministers memoirs and uncovers a deadly mystery that he is compelled to unravel.  A mystery that builds throughout the film to a riveting climax. I highly recommend this film as it was one of my favorites of the year. A

Alice In Wonderland: Depp as the Mad-Hatter in this ‘sequel’ of sorts to the books. Over-produced, boring, waste of 3-D. Not only is it extremely dull but it is ugly to look at. Skip it at all costs. D

Repo Men: Jude Law takes back organs from recipients that can’t pay the bill. Interesting idea that quickly falls apart. There is not point in watching this movie plus it has a cop-out ending. C-

Hot Tub Time Machine: Cusack and gang are transported back to the 80s. Raunchy hilarity ensues. Despite some unnecessary gay jokes this movie is really funny. A good satire of those 1980 raunch-fest ski movies. I recommend it. A

-How To Train Your Dragon: Dragons aren’t our enemy, they’re our slaves. Animated Vikings learn that dragons are a lot like dogs. Friendly, loyal, and can be made to do our bidding. B+

Date Night: Boring married couple Steve Carrell and Tina Fey get mixed up in a stereotypical ‘switcheroo-mistaken identity’ plot. They raise the movie up a bit but you’ve seen this before and you’ve seen it better. B-

Exit Through The Giftshop: Banksy makes a film. Bizarrely captivating documentary about graffiti artists but is it the ultimate performance art or real? A must see. A

Iron Man 2: Downey Jr. mugs for the camera for two hours. What was the point of this film? It was so lame and dull. as my friend Steve said “It’s like they forgot what made the first film so great.” Very true. D-

Letters to Juliet: Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave traipse all over Italy looking for Vanessa’s lost love. Cute enough if not slightly predictable and sappy. Not a bad way to spend a winter afternoon. B-

Sex and the City 2: Not much sex and not in a city and not fun. It couldn’t possibly be worse that SATC1 right? Wrong. D

-The Karate Kid: Learn kung-fu in 18 easy musical montages. ‘Wax on, wax off’ is replaced with ‘jacket on, jacket off’. Different lesson, same masturbation allegory. C

Winter’s Bone: An Appalachian “orphan” searches for her missing father. Depressing, be prepared for a good movie that makes you glad you never will meet these people. Sure to nominated for an Oscar. B+

-Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: The rise and fall of the career of the goat faced comedienne. I used to hate Joan Rivers but after seeing this documentary I have a new found respect for the woman. It is both hilarious and heart-breaking. I loved it. A

-Stonewall Uprising: Historical documentary about the gay movement and Stonewall. A well done film, I learned a lot from it. It’s both educational and amazingly still relevant. A-

-The Kids Are All Right: J. Moore and A. Bening play a lesbian couple who’s sperm donor wants to be a part of their kid’s lives. It’s very well done and I wish I could write a movie like this. Too bad they can’t cast actual gay actors but oh well. A-

The Girl Who Played With Fire: Swedish murder mystery involving child prostitution and moody computer hackers. Not as good as the book; are they ever? I fast-forwarded through some. C+

-Inception: DiCaprio and crew invade your dream’s dream’s dreams. It’s either the most amazingly cool trip you’ll ever take or the year’s most overrated convoluted mess. You decide. B+

Salt: Angelina Jolie may or may not be a Russian spy/double-agent. Despite what critics say, I really liked this movie. It kept me entertained and guessing throughout. I would watch it again. A-

-Eat Pray Love: Julia Roberts is cranky in 4 separate countries. As in both the book and in life, the first and third things are a lot more rewarding than the second. At least it’s pretty to look at. B-

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Michael Cera ‘hipster quips’ his way through Toronto defeating his girlfriends League of 7 Evil Exes. You have to be in the mood for the crazy video game/pop-up video editing style. It runs a little long but I love this film. A

Going the Distance: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long date long distance. It’s a lot funnier and raunchier than I thought it would be. There are a few LOL moments and they have good chemistry. B

-Easy A: Emma Stone is a fake slut with a real reputation problem. Smarter and funnier than you think it’s going to be. Definitely one of the better comedies of the year. B+

-The Town: Affleck robs Boston banks. Not as good as you want it to be. B-

-You Again: Kristen Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis face their high school rivals at a wedding. This got a little mean-spirited at the end. It’s a lazy comedy but totally watchable on cable. C+

-The Social Network: Amazing film that happens to be about facebook. This is a must must must-see. A

-Red: Action fogeys kill everyone. Helen Mirren with a machine gun is the best part. The rest is blow-em-up silly. C+ 

-Fair Game: Naomi Watts is Valerie Plame, Sean Penn is her rabble-rouser husband. A very good yet overlooked film about the true story of Valerie Plame being outed by the Bush administration in order to punish her husband. B

-127 Hours: James Franco cuts off his arm. Yes, the last 3 minutes are hard to watch but the previous 94 are captivating. A-

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: Wizard gone wild! The kids aren’t alright when they are being hunted and killed. A

-Burlesque: Cher runs the most chaste burlesque club in history. One of those terrible but terribly entertaining films. Not as serious as it wants to be and not as campy as it should be. C+

-Love and Other Drugs: Gyllenhaal dates Hathaway while he sells Viagara to Pittsburghers. Kind of funny. CHEESY ending. Lots of naked naked Gyllenhaal. B for the movie A- for the nudity 

-The King’s Speech: King Colin Firth has a stutter; crazy Geoffrey Rush can fix it. Stop what you are doing right now and see this movie!! A

-Black Swan: Ballet is a killer!  Queen Amidala is being stalked by her understudy, or is she? This is a bigger WTF than Inception. A-

-I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey loves Ewan Macgregor, too bad they are in jail. A surprisingly funny, crazy and true story. Worth a rental. B

-Tron: Legacy: Deus en Machina. Neat to look at but not much story. B-

-Rabbit Hole: Kidman and Eckhart mourn the loss of their child. Pretty much you want to kill yourself at the end of the film. B-

-True Grit: Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon track down a bad bad man. Might be THE best movie of 2010. A+

-The Fighter: Marky Mark and the Funky Punch. Wahlberg has 9 of the most terrifying sisters on the planet and a crack-head brother. Say HI to your motha for me. B+