I don’t think that there’s really such a thing as a bad year of film, though I suppose there was the year before film was invented. Sure, there are years where there are less amazing and awesome films than in previous years, but one can usually pick out a handful of great movies in any given year.
So, is 2010 vastly inferior to previous years? Against 2007 which many people hold up as a great year of film? I don’t know. I do know what I watched this year though.
2010 Films I Watched in 2010
THE BOOK OF ELI
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE
CLASH OF THE TITANS
IRON MAN 2
DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS
THE OTHER GUYS
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION
On review, I would say it’s a rather populist list, and I saw more films in theater than I usually do. And no, I still haven’t seen A PROPHET, ANIMAL KINGDOM, or THE TOWN. Or EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP for that matter. Have CENTURION and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON queued up though.
There are both highs and lows. WINTER’S BONE was tense and flat out amazing from beginning to end. John Hawkes was a revelation Teardrop playing both strung-out and crazed as well as badass and scary as hell. The man scares the crap out of Garret Dillahunt. That’s saying something.
CLASH OF THE TITANS actively made me angry. The 3D was horrendously bad, and it was at the expense of an additional three dollars or so to the ticket price. Even worse, the movie’s just not very good. Sam Worthington needs a role where he doesn’t have to play so angry and dour, and things like giant sea monsters need to be in better scenes than as backdrop to a quidditch match involving a medusa’s head as a snitch. Mads Mikkelsen is good though, and well, ease your storm indeed. The film’s just a giant missed opportunity, which should be rather hard since there was the original movie to pull from. Let’s just hope the sequel is better.
And there’s the middle-ground. IRON MAN 2. Does action better than the first, but the story and characters are worse than the first. Both villains are vastly inferior to Tony Stark, yet they are supposed to be a challenge for him? And Rourke doesn’t get much screentime against Robert Downey Jr. The story/script definitely needed work. Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell being awesome are really the only things that elevated the characters.
So it comes down to what movie I thought was the best. I could give it to the awesome THE EXPENDABLES, a throwback to ’80s action featuring a cast I love. From Jet Li to Dolph Lundgren, its sheer ambition is enough to make me cheer its existence. Or even SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD which really captures being a clueless guy in his twenties looking for love while being a douche/Canadian. THE SOCIAL NETWORK gets distinction for its exploration of genius, its effect on others, and how invention can influence and change people. INCEPTION is the other “masterpiece” or masterpiece of this year. A slight year perhaps, but only in breadth, not in depth.
End of the day, even knowing the year isn’t over yet, I’d say that of the films of 2010 that I watched this year, my Movie of the Year is:
But seriously, Piranha 3D. Mermaids, man, mermaids.
They took my…
Okay, really this time, WINTER’S BONE. The story of a young girl as she weaves her way through corruption and danger and death as she tries to do provide for her family. Great performances from top to bottom. And the journey really connected with me, lack of chainsaws in my life notwithstanding.