Monday, February 28, 2011

Best/Worst/What the What? of 2010

Since I'm a huge follower and couldn't come up with an original concept if it punched me right in the duodenum, I decided to again do something everyone and their mother has done every year since lists were invented by cave wives who were sick and tired of their cave men going out and forgetting to bring back any goddamn pterodactyl eggs.  Yes, I'm writing a list of things I liked and didn't like, movies to be more specific.  How f'n original.  I know.  Shut up.  I decided to make a best of list right before the Oscars because if nothing I've got great timing.  Twenty-ten (2010) was a good year for movies, I think.  It's a hell of an Oscar race this year and I still can't quite narrow down who's gonna take home the big prize.  Maybe it'll be Toy Story 3 and we'll all start crying because that movie was too freakin' sad...stupid Pixar.  I need a tissue.

So I'll start off with my Best of 2010.  Remember this is my 'best of' so if you don't agree...bite me.  Oh, and I never call movies, films.  I heard too many people in film school call their five minute, odes to themselves, piles of garbage, films.  I saw a lot of good ones, you know who you are, but I also saw a lot of terrible ones.  I just can't stomach that word anymore.  I'm not saying I'm the new Bergman and my movies were great but...actually admitting that firmly set me apart from most of them so I'm happy with that.

I won't watch any films that don't have subtitles because I'm a grumpy-ass. 

That was the first picture that came up when I Googled grumpy.  It's not my picture, don't sue me.  I couldn't resist.  On to the list!

#10.  Jackass 3D - Ha!  I know right?  A film of the highest caliber!  Out of the remainder of the movies I've seen this year that are going to be award winners and were good but didn't make this list, none made me laugh so hard and almost throw up as much as Jackass 3D.  You could say it's not really a movie, but it's entertainment at it's basest form.  I will watch everything these guys do because that means I don't have to try any of the insane things they do and sometimes they get hurt and I think self-inflicted human pain is hilarious.  Someone walking into something unawares makes me giggle.  Also, this is the second best use of 3D this year...and I hate 3D.  I think it's worthless, unless you use it like the Jackass gang did, knowing it's a worthless medium and playing that up in every bit.  I'm gonna be sad when this comes to 3D Blu-ray and I don't have a 3D TV.  I hope Jackass 4ever hurries up and gets here.  I made that title up.

#9.  127 Hours - Remember those stories you might have heard about people passing out at early screenings of this movie, because of the realistic self-amputation?  Well, it was all true, because I seen it! My buddy passed out, hard.  And I wasn't feeling too hot myself.  I see heads explode and limbs torn off all the time in movies, but the realism of Aron Ralston's fight for survival is what makes this film stand out.  James Franco lives every dehydrating moment and makes us feel it and when the time comes to free himself, they don't hold anything back.  Danny Boyle hits directing gold again here.  I still haven't seen a movie of his I don't like...and yes that includes The Beach.  If you do see this, make sure you're plenty hydrated, have eaten an ample amount during the day, and have no problem seeing someone cut through's like a broken bass guitar string, if you were wondering.

#8.  Social Network - I remember when this was announced and everyone in the theater just groaned.  And now look at it, the little Facebook movie that could.  I read a review of the script that said it was one of the best written scripts of the decade and that surely wasn't a lie.  It's a talky, that's for sure, but you can't really expect less from the guy who created The West Wing.  The story is great, the music is awesome, and most of the acting is top notch.  I'm still not on board with Jesse Eisenberg...I swear it's that voice...but maybe he'll grow on me.  The real acting credit should go to Armie Hammer who plays not one but both Winklevoss twins, something I didn't know until weeks after I saw it.  I coulda swore that was a set of twins.

#7.  Toy Story 3 - If they show that damn end scene from this just like they did at the Globes, I swear to Buddah I'm gonna...who am I kidding, I'm just gonna start crying again.  Way to go Pixar, thanks for reminding me what it felt like to be a kid and say good-bye to childhood.  It's crazy for a sequel to be as good as the original, but a threequel?  That's kind of unheard of.  Pixar has some magic movie wand that they just wave over their finished movies and people around the world just up and love every damn minute of them.  If you haven't noticed I really haven't mentioned anything about the movie because I don't want to bring up any memories of it...ah dammit there we go.  It's a humbling thing to sit in a theater full of parents and kids as a twenty-six year old and realize that every kid in the theater isn't paying attention, but you're near tears.  Stupid Pixar.  Just...go see it.  I need my teddy bear.

#6.  The Town - Why yes, it was directed by Ben Affleck.  No, don't go away!  He's coming back!  He's a good director, honest!  Gone Baby Gone was one of my favorites of 2007 and he's taken a big step getting in front of the camera again and even directing himself.  I'm proud of him.  The Town doesn't really break any new ground when it comes to heist movies but the story and acting is enough to set this one up above.  Ben does okay for himself but Jeremy Renner, the uber-badass from The Hurt Locker, you know, the movie that put Avatar in it's place last year, tears some shit up acting-wise in this movie.  The scene by the graveyard alone should have guaranteed him another statue...if it hadn't been for Christian Bale that is.  I'm excited to see what else Ben has for us in the future.

#5.  Get Him to the Greek - This semi-sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall really didn't do it for me the first time I watched it.  I thought it was as funny as Sarah Marshall but didn't think it was terribly special.  And then I watched it on video, and I laughed my ass off...through pretty much the entire movie.  The amount of effort they put into making these characters real fake celebrities is ridiculous.  People hate Russell Brand but I'm not really sure why.  Yeah, he's a doofus but holy shit he's a funny doofus.  I really want to see him in The Tempest to gauge his acting chops but for now, I'm happy enough with Aldous Snow and his increasingly ridiculous escapades.  There's even a couple touching scenes at the end of the movie...and a Jaws reference!  I love Jaws.  And Kristen Bell is in it for ten seconds so that's gotta count for something.  But seriously, crack a beer and just enjoy the inanity, it'll do you good.  The world doesn't have to be all about your hang-ups, you can just have a good time sometimes.  Oh, and P. Diddy is hilarious.  Never thought I'd say that.

#4.  The Fighter - Two minutes into this movie, I leaned over to my friend and said, "Can we just give Christian Bale the Oscar now?"  It seriously only takes two minutes to realize this is his best role ever and that it's probably the best performance of the year.  That being said, I wasn't too sure this was one of my fav movies of the year, but then I thought about it quite a bit, watched it again, and realized it really was.  Obviously Bale makes it, but everyone else in this movie just nails their roles.  Melissa Leo as the overbearing mother and her gaggle of harpy daughters.  Amy Adams kills it as the tough as nails girlfriend.  And yes, after thinking about it for a very, very long time, I have to admit that Mark Wahlberg as the soft spoken lead amongst a sea of insane people is exactly what the movie needed to hold together.  And I like the almost documentary, almost not feel of the movie.  I just wish the director wasn't such a prick.  Doesn't sway my opinion on the movie but I can still think it.

#3.  Inception - Bwaaaaaaaaaan.  Bwaaaaaaaan.  Yeah, that's the sound.  It's Inception.  I don't care if he stole the premise from a Scrooge McDuck comic, it's still awesome.  I'm glad Leo forgot about being a pretty boy after Titanic (My second James Cameron burn of the evening?  Maybe it's because he's an unoriginal hack?) because he has made up for it with just pure talent after.  This movie is the blockbuster of the year.  Yeah, it had a lot of exposition but, if it didn't, would we really get it?  Seriously?  And that ending, jeeeeeeeeeeeeezus.  If it doesn't win the visual effects Oscar for its not quite CGI visual effects, I might throw a fit.  An original film, with great actors, done in a traditional style of filmmaking, and entertaining as hell, summer movies don't get any better than this.  A lot of movies don't exactly get any better than this.  Overrated you say?  Maybe...wait...hell no.  You're overrated.

#2.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - Mark this one down as my most watched movie of 2010.  I have never gotten tired of it after many a repeated viewing.  Turning a comic/video game world into a film world can't be easy, but Edgar Wright and company made it seamless.  I don't know how many times I nerdgasmed when Legend of Zelda music started playing.  The only person in the cast I was weary of was Michael Cera (as you'll see later on the list) but he turned around and sucker punched me with a laid back, quirky performance as the titular hero worthy of George Michael Bluth himself.  Their greatest success was creating a world where video games melded seamlessly with reality, where people broke into wire-aided kung-fu as seamlessly as they break into song in musicals, but with an actual reason.  Scott Pilgrim wins his movie, and so do we.

#1.  Black Swan - If you would have said that a horror movie would be my favorite movie of the year, I would have slapped you and then laughed in your face.  I hate horror movies.  They are dumb.  Black Swan is very nearly a horror movie.  It scared the ever-loving shit out of me.  I have never been so anxious in a movie as I was in this one.  I even jumped a couple times, and it wasn't because the music just happened to get louder at that moment, it was a true scare.  Natalie Portman went all out for this one and showed us that she's not just playing around anymore.  She proved she's willing to go to some dark depths for her role.  Throw in an always good Vincent Cassel as a crazy dance instructor and a 'completely forgotten about That 70s Show' Mila Kunis as the 'nemesis', and you've got a well rounded, terrifying look into the pressure of success and the necessity for perfection.  I don't know about all of you, I've always hated nail files and nail clippers...and now I'm terrified of them.  I haven't tended to my cuticles since December 3rd.

Not in the face!  Not in's too late, it's in her face.

So, there you have it.  Black Swan wins!  It won't.  It won't win the big award, but Natalie Portman should and she'll make a really awkward speech because if we don't give these people something to say, they're lost.  Now I'll thrill you, as if you already aren't, with my picks for the Worst Flicks of 2010.  A bit of a disclaimer, I know what movies I'm going to like and won't, so it's possible that I didn't really see the very worst of last year because I kind of figured I wouldn't like them anyway.  These are the worst of the movies that I saw because I had an inkling that they might have some potential.  Boy, was I wrong.  Dead wrong...

#5  The Wolfman - I had a little bit of hope for the remake of The Wolfman, mostly because I didn't exactly like the original Wolfman and I'm not really a big fan of werewolves.  I got excited because Anthony Hopkins decided to not be retired anymore, for like the month that he was, and did this movie.  And Benicio Del Toro is always good stuff.  This movie was not.  It was the same old, same old, packaged in a shiny new box, with a whole shit load of gore.  The gore was good.  I enjoyed the gore.  But when that's the only good thing I can say, that when the Wolfman stuck his claws into that guy's throat and they came out his mouth that was really cool, that's not a shining endorsement for the intellectual foundation of the movie.  And Anthony Hopkins, come on!  Act for God's sakes!  I know it's probably just a paycheck but...please!  We need you!  Now more than ever!

#4  Buried - I really thought this would be good.  I did, I swear.  I like Ryan Reynolds.  He's got a lot of stuff going for him.  And a movie about him in a coffin buried alive for a whole movie?  I'm interested!  Oh, wait, it really is just him in a coffin for that long.  Oh.  Okay.  I'll keep watching.  Oh here comes the end.  Oh...oh...oh!  Wait what!?  Oh, goddamn you Ryan Reynolds.  How dare you!  I stuck up for you!  Is there a hidden meaning I'm missing?  No?  Okay, still, goddamn you.  With all the buzz this movie was getting, and all the reviews, and it turned around and just pissed on my feet.  I hate it.  "But it's avant-garde..." Shut your face!  I'm sick of you.  I don't even know what avant-garde means and if I did, I'd still probably think it was talking down to me.  Dumb sack of...I'll get you for this!  I will!  Like Dr. Claw...

#3 The Killer Inside Me - Nobody saw this movie.  And if you did, congratulations, hopefully you were as bored as I was.  It looked like an interesting movie.  Cop turns out to be crazy, cooks up some scheme to screw over some people and get out of town.  At least I think that's what it was about.  Just seemed a little plodding and, what's the phrase I'm looking for here...oh yeah, not good.  Yes, I'll admit, I liked looking at Jessica Alba for a few minutes, but after that, there needs to be something going on there.  She's not exactly the actress you look towards if you want to find something going on.  She doesn't even follow scripts.  I like Casey Affleck.  Like I said, Gone Baby Gone is one of my favorites.  But I just don't get this.  Maybe that's my fault.  No.  It's not.  Dumb.  I read some guy thought this missed out on an Oscar nod...that guy was dumb.  Have you noticed I'm partial to the word dumb?

#2 The Other Guys/Dinner For Schmucks - I wanted five worst movies, I ended up with six, so I'm bunching these two together because I saw them back-to-back weeks and I hated them pretty equally so they felt like the same four hours of bullshit.  I wanted to like both movies, I really did.  I'm not trying to be uptight here, honest, my tenth favorite film is Jackass 3D and its diarrhea volcano.  But these movies were just...bad.  I had higher hopes for The Other Guys and it let me down.  I mean just pile-drived my favorite childhood pet into the ground, hard.  I'm not sure how Marky Mark got into one of the best movies of the year and one of the very worst, but he pulled it off.  Dinner For Schmucks was slightly better, but being slightly better than shit isn't a shining endorsement.  About halfway through I realized that I didn't know what I was doing there anymore.  I just hated Steve Carrell's character, all of the other people in the movie, and god forbid Paul Rudd.  I usually love Paul Rudd!  Not this year.  Dammit.

#1 Youth In Revolt - Pretentious doesn't even describe this garbage.  If you spend your days glancing at a thesaurus because you need to find a more educated synonym for words that peasants use, this is your movie.  Have fun gagging on your own hubris.  Teenagers, who range from the ages of thirteen to nineteen, like the ones in this very movie, do not speak like they have already graduated with a double bachelors in poetry and classic literature like the characters in this movie do.  Teens that I've overheard talking at the mall say the f-word a lot and then giggle when somebody says boob.  Ha!  Boob.  Sorry.  Maybe this movie wasn't made for me.  It's possible.  Maybe these kids exist, I don't care.  I hate them.  I hated Michael Cera for this until Scott Pilgrim came out and then I forgave him, because he talked like a normal human being in that movie.  And I know it's not his fault that his character liked the smell of his own ass, so I'll blame it on Gustin Nash, the hipster dickhole who wrote the script for this pile of shit.  Gustin.  What a stupid, hipster name.  Oh and Michael Cera acting like a badass?  Nope.  Again, I'll watch Scott Pilgrim, cause he didn't act like a badass in that, he was a badass, although very insecure.  Good character!  Best fighter in the province.  Oh, hey, people who like Youth In Revolt, you suck.  Look that up in a thesaurus all you want, doesn't change the meaning.  I'm sorry, I mean, it's just your opinion against mine so yada yada yada yada terrible.

This guy.  This guy likes Youth In Revolt.  STOP SOILING THE GOOD NAME OF PBR!

Wow, that was a fair amount of complaining.  For a finale, I thought I'd throw out some movies from 2010 that I was for sure that I'd call shitty.  Surprisingly, they were pretty much the opposite, as you'll read presently.  Or don't.  No skin off my nose.

Grown-Ups - Ughhhh.  I know.  It hurt me to admit it too, trust me.  But when I started laughing at several of the jokes, I realized I didn't hate it.  I laughed terribly hard at a joke about prohibition.  By the end of the movie, I saw that I was still living and hadn't smothered myself with a pillow.  I think that's as ringing an endorsement as any.  I miss the days of Adam Sandler being the immature dolt like Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, but I can understand if he's trying to do I put this without a pun?  Oh I can't?  Oh well, grown-up roles.  This seems like a step back for him but I laughed and I'm not gonna lie and say I'm above this kind of comedy.  'Cause to be honest, I love a good immature joke, and so does everyone else.  Kevin James still isn't terribly funny to me, though.  All of my street cred...gone, after that review.

Daybreakers - What is this movie you may be asking?  It's fair, it wasn't exactly celebrated on it's January or February or whenever that was.  And yes, it's a vampire movie.  "Oh my god, it's dumb, vampires are dumb."  No, Twilight vampires are dumb, and they're not vampires.  Real, gruesome, kill-your-whole-family vampires are sweet.  That's what you get in this, with the added pleasure of the entire population being vampires and humans are farmed for blood.  Cool.  The story was good, the acting was good, the special effects were awesome.  When the vampires got staked they exploded into fire.  Good stuff.  The world they created was great.  There was a School Zone Speed Limit sign that said, 'When children are present between the hours of 8PM to 3AM.'  Detail!  And there was lots and lots of blood.  Did I mention Willem Dafoe?  Just a cool movie.  And you probably would have never wanted to see it if not for my ringing endorsement.  You probably still don't.  I hate you.

Piranha 3D - Remember when I said Jackass 3D was the second best use of 3D this year?  Well, this was the first.  Schlocky, gruesome, and hilariously self-aware of it's own awfulness, this movie won me over almost instantly, with a big name cameo and homage to Jaws to start it all off.  3D was used to, what I consider to be, it's absolute fullest potential.  Evil fish flying at your face, dismembered... members... limbs I mean, and an underwater ballet of women, all rendered in glorious triple-dimensions.  Everybody knew they were making a B-movie and that doesn't usually end up with good results.  It usually just means they made a bad movie and tried to play it off like they were being clever.  And Christopher Lloyd!  Doc Brown!  Genius.  Pure, campy fun and the only reason 3D should make fun of 3D.

I'm starting a 'More Adam Scott in 3D' club.  It was like I could touch him.

Well, those were my picks for Best, Worst, and WTF? of 2010.  Just to be clear, I wrote all of my Bests and Worsts before I watched the Oscars, which is why I didn't say who won or not.  'Cause hell if I knew. I know it's seems high and mighty of me to tell you what movies I thought were the Best and Worst but, that's what blogs are for, because there's gotta be somebody out there who thinks my opinions are valid.  Hello?  Anyone?  Dammit.  My mommy does...probably.

1 comment:

  1. Not bad there Siskel. I'll give you "Black Swan" as a number 1, cause I could argue Natalie's performance was the Best performance of the year. Even better than everyone's precious Bale. But INCEPTION was clearly better than "Scott Pilgrim". The performances alone (Levitt, Hardy, Ellen Page, Cotillard and Leo on the window ledge...) were just goose bump inducing. Plus Leo could beat up Cera in a fight. Other than that I agree. Although I did have "127 Hours" in my top 5, considering I'm the ninny whom it made faint. And as for your worst...well I never even saw half of them, so u must be right. P.S. Sign me up for the 'More Adam Scott in 3D' club