January 5, 2011

2010 Year in Review: The Back 10 of the Top 10

2010 had a bunch of good films, sometimes they came from odd angles. They came in the form of list near-misses like Machete and Piranha 3D, yes I am serious. In any case. I thought I would double the fun of a top ten and give you my top 20. Just remember that this is no "best of" list. No matter how many movies I get to the theater for there will always be a few that got away. So, my self-imposed rules state that the only movies eligible for the list are those released in 2010 and seen on the big screen by yours truly. Without further ado, let's take a look at the back 10, aka 11-20 in the suitable order.

20. The King's Speech. This is a movie that was extraordinarily entertaining, moreso than I was expecting. It is a biopic, but a very odd one at that. It's focus is a speech impediment with a backdrop of royal implications and impending threat of war. On top of that it is quite funny. The performances are fantastic. This is a movie that is very easy to get into and have fun with. I think I liked it more for the performances than the story, but that's all right.

19. The American.This is an interesting movie. It is 70's era character film and a hit man picture. It has a very slow pace and the plot is there, but it is much more to the background forcing you to spend most of the time with the main character, played by George Clooney. This is a movie that you sort of need to be in the mood for, but it is definitely one worth spending time with.

18. Frozen. Here is a movie with a set up that made a lot of people chuckle. The thing about it is that it works. You may not exactly like the characters but the tension and the terror is genuine. This is very well made and executed film. What's it about? A trio of friends trapped on a ski lift. That's it. Watch it and you may just find yourself surprised by what you find.

17. Kick Ass. The movie is an interesting mash of amoral violent vigilantism and deconstruction of the superhero genre. It is a movie that didn't initially blow me away but it is one that grows on you. It is funny and violent and just wrong in many ways. It is not a traditional superhero movie. Plus it features a great performance as Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl.

16. Paranormal Activity 2. I am just as surprised as you are to find this here. The first film surprised me with how effective it was, color me surprised to find just how effective its sequel is. This movie builds upon the first using the same formula while not being a mere duplicate. It certainly made me jump!

15. 127 Hours. James Franco is fast becoming a fascinating figure in Hollywood, what with his performances, project choices, directorial desires, and his path from Freaks and Geeks to now. Besides all that, this is an intense movie that is absolutely riveting. In the hands of Danny Boyle, this true life story is just fantastic. See it.

14. Buried. Ryan Reynolds, in a wooden box, buried. Yup, that about sums it up. This is a movie that could have a terrible failure, instead it is an engrossing thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. It is an incredible feat considering you are in the box for the entire movie. They are able to give it a dynamic look that compliments Reynolds strong performance.

13. The Joneses. Not many people saw this, and fewer that probably like it as much as I do, but it really is an excellent film. This movie examines self-marketing and product placement but with a heart and a healthy dose of the human element and the fallout that can result when things go bad. Demi Moore, David Duchovny, and Amber Heard star with a solid supporting cast.

12. Going the Distance. Going the Distance works on a few different levels. You have love at first sight (even if they don't see it right away), troubles of long distance relationships, the difficult decisions of that get in the way, and more. I am probably not supposed to like this movie, but I do. Everything just clicked for me that helped bring this to the next level. This was a big surprise.

11.The Fighter. The acting was superb, pacing strong, and the boxing was done pretty well. The Fighter sneaks up on you with its excellence. It has moments of surprising comedy (Micky's seven sisters are a good source), the tragedy of crack addiction, the idea of overcoming odds, it all works very well and this is a movie that is worth the time.

To Be Continued......

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