Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 in Review: Movies

What is a good way to come up with some posts to make up for the broken modem-induced shortage lately?  Start to think about the past year.  And my first thought was: I haven't really seen that many movies this year, so can I come up with a top ten list?  My second thought was: damn, I have seen a ton of movies, although mostly via Ye Olde Blockbuster Shoppe.  Third thought: pretty easy.  I went through a website that had the list of movies for this year and just separating out the ones I like the most produced the following list of ten (in order of descending desire to see again pretty darn soon). 

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part I: My review is here.  It took out the draggiest parts of the book, kept most of the fun scenes, added a few really great touches, and made the movie theater sniff a great deal at the end. 
  2. Scotty Pilgrim: I just want a t-shirt from the Vegan Academy.  Just a heap of fun.  Now I need to read the comic book a bit to see how well the movie got the book.
  3. Kick-ass: Compelling take on the dream of being a super-hero sans skills.  This and Defendor (with Woody Harrelson) show that being a hero is a very tough gig. 
  4. Easy A: Teen trash movie of the year.  Although the irony is that there was little sex and heaps of fake/non-sex.  I just loved the premise and seeing Emma Stone rock a Scarlet A.  Best use of a great book since Ten Things I Hate About You?
  5. Toy Story 3: Best ending of a trilogy since the Matrix?  Ok, we can do better than that.  Best ending of a trilogy since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Oh, they made a fourth Indiana Jones movie?  Ok, best ending of a trilogy since Return of the Jedi.  How about that?  Woody or Dobby for the most tears jerked in a semi-kids movie?
  6. How to Train Your Dragon: In any other year, this would have been the best animated "sort of for kids but also for adults" movie, but TS3 takes that cake. Just a fun, fun ride.
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine: Adult trash movie of the year.  Great to get John Cusack flashing back to the mid-1980s when his career started.  And I don't include this hear because the future Mrs. Don Draper is top-less.  Really.  Just one of the funniest movies of the year.
  8. She's Out of My League.  Jay Baruchel as a TSA employee, a "5" or "6" getting a "10" makes us like TSA folks.  That is, until we get groped.
  9. Despicable Me: A villain with a big heart after three orphaned girls enter his life.  Sweet, funny, nice take on super-villainy, including nepotism at Lehman Brothers Bank of Evil.
  10. Inception: I enjoyed it greatly, did a great job of ramping up the tension.  But does not re-play that great, at least to me.  Rented it last week for my daughter, and found spots boring instead of tense since I knew what was going to happen next.
  11. I forgot to mention Avatar.  Hmm, what does that say?  Well, whenever the expert in warfare decides to have a front attack by the insurgents against the high tech folks, I always have to give a lower grade.
To be clear, not all comic movies or realizations of teen books made my top ten.  I enjoyed Iron Man 2 and Percy Jackson but they were not as much fun as the movies above.  Sorceror's Apprentice was more fun than I thought it would be.  Prince of Persia was not as bad as I thought.  Jonah Hex, eh.

Worst Movie of the Year--that I Saw: MacGruber.

Movie Most Different from the Book: Green Zone.  "Adapted" from Imperial Life in the Emerald City is a great book about the failures of the Occupation of Iraq.  Green Zone was a fun but entirely unrealistic movie about the search for WMD and the failure to find them. 

Wish I had Seen: Piranha 3d, Tangled, Red, Survival of the Dead, Devil, The Town, Megamind, Buried, Social Network, the Kids are Alright, Love & Other Drugs, Hereafter.  Most of these came out late this year so I will be seeing them on DVD in the spring.  Survival of the Dead will be for the weekend my wife is busy--she is not as big a fan of the Zombie movies.

Movie on my DVR That I am Looking Forward to the Most: Restrepo

Movies I am Most Glad I Missed: Grown Ups, Eat Pray Love

I am open to argument.  What did I miss or over/under-value?

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