5.19.2011

After 5.5 Months....Drumroll....My Top Ten of 2010

Whoo. This list took WAY too long. I blame the December films for taking too long to come out on DVD. I'm looking at you Blue Valentine. I still haven't caught up on everything (I still want to see Let Me In and It's Kind of a Funny Story,) but I'm tired of waiting and I can edit the list later if needs be. So without further ado....we'll start from the bottom and go up!

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. This is the best Harry Potter film in YEARS. The last two installments have just seemed so anti-climactic to me and while I still was a fan of the series, those films didn't make you care like this one did. The film was very action packed and exciting, and it definitely made me anticipate the final installment (whereas with all the others recently it's kind of felt "meh") It was also great to see a change from the usual Harry Potter. This is the first film not set at Hogwarts and the difference is refreshing. You can really feel the urgency in this one in the need to stop Voldemort, whereas the last were like "Oh Voldemort is on the loose, not much we can do..." Plus SPOILER ALERT: Dobby dies. How can you not be happy about that? But...I still hate Ginny.

Quote: Look away, I'm hideous!


9. Toy Story 3. I wasn't totally looking forward to this one last year. I prefer Pixar to make original films...even though I did really love Toy Story 2. I felt like this was a sequel forced on them by Disney and what story is there to tell at this point? Luckily, I was very surprised to see a very thoughtful end to this trilogy that had been made with a lot of care. It was absolute fun and just plain adorable. The Ken and Barbie love story was hilarious. And as someone who, when I was younger, loved the world of toys, the ending was very touching. Though....SPOILER ALERT. The attic would not have been a bad place to end up. Hello!? They'd just have to wait a few years to play again, and this time with Andy's children. How special would that be? Maybe he can get them back from that girl when she's older...Haha!

Quote: And this... well, this is where I live. It's got a disco, it's got a dune buggy, and a whole room just for trying on clothes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNMpa5yBf5o

8. The Town. This is a story that on paper, seems like it has been done probably a thousand times. But what's great about the film is that the attention to the characters makes it feel fresh. Scenes that we may have seen before only as common heist tropes, are filled with a new suspense in their execution and again because of our attachment to the characters. I also really liked exploring the central relationship and all of its complications. Very well-made and entertaining film. Not sure I'm sold on the ending though.

Quote: These guards like to test you though. They wanna get hurt for ten dollars an hour, don't get in the way.


7. Shutter Island. I think this was definitely one of the most underrated films of the year. It was tense and thrilling. The acting was all very solid and it featured an incredible ending. Definitely worth multiple views. Great film. The less said about it though, the better. It's one not to be spoiled.

Quote: Why are you all wet, baby?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iaYLCiq5RM

6. 127 Hours. James Franco carries this film with an unforgettable performance and he definitely earned the oscar nod he got. I loved the editing of the film and the cinematography was also fantastic. This true story of one man's survival against all the odds was incredibly powerful and inspirational...probably the most positive emotional film of the year I'd say. But some of the most crucial scenes are the hardest to watch!

Quote: You know, I've been thinking. Everything is... just comes together. It's me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock... this rock has been waiting for me my entire life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlhLOWTnVoQ

5. Black Swan. This was probably one of the darkest movies I've seen, but it is SO fascinating! And Natalie Portman gives a mindblowing performance. I just love movies that grab hold of your attention and then after it's done still make you think about it. Black Swan definitely did that. I seriously found myself thinking about it for days afterward. What is so amazing about the movie is that it constantly has you guessing what's real and what's not so that in the end we feel like we've gone almost as crazy as the main character! (Almost) I think it deserves multiple viewings, but I have yet to see it again.

Quote: I just want to be perfect.


4. Blue Valentine. When I first heard about this movie it recalled to me similar plot and structure to (500) Days of Summer so I was really excited about that. But, while they shared some similarities they were two very different films. What I loved most about this movie is what it shared with the former film. But though both were heartbreaking, I'd say that Blue Valentine would have been a broken heart that was then subsequently stomped on. There's not the whimsy and wonder of (500) Days, things feel too broken. But I love films that give honest examinations of relationships and show us two flawed characters who both share the blame, but neither are totally at fault. I like seeing relationships that feel real, both in how they were created and how they eventually crumble. It's also important to note that this isn't a film that really lays everything out, there's a lot that's under the surface that you've got to dig for. But it's so heartbreaking to see this relationship develop and you want to root for it, but you can see how ultimately it won't work. Loved the ending too. Very raw and real.

Quote: - In my experience, the prettier a girl is, the more nuts she is, which makes you insane.
- I like how you can compliment and insult somebody at the same time, in equal measure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oiY7W7nDeE

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Well since I just wrote a blog a few weeks ago over my love of this film, it's probably not necessary for me to go on and on. But, it's hilarious, non-stop fun with great music and hilarious one-liners. Crazy fights and witty humor, what could be better? Plus, as I said, the editing is fantastic.

Quote: Because you'll be dust by Monday, because you'll be pulverized in two seconds; and the cleaning lady, she cleans up dust. She dusts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_RrNCqCIPE

2. The Social Network. This is a surprisingly, gripping film. From the first scene til the last I was captivated by Jesse Eisenberg's (though perhaps factually inaccurate) portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg. There's just so much going on here. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also give pretty impressive performances in a movie that really does define the age we live in. My mom mentioned how frenetic the pacing of the film is, almost recalling the website facebook itself. It's a powerful film and was definitely one of the best the year had to offer. Even if it wasn't the most truthful as depicting what really happened, it was certainly good storytelling.

Quote: You know, you really don't need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this. If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB95KLmpLR4

And the #1 Favorite Film of 2010


1. Inception. When I first saw this I was just blown away. It is one of the most original big blockbuster films (or any film really) I had seen in years. Every single element of the film is just solid. The cast, the action, the direction, cinematography, score....you name it, it was done right. For more praise of the film just go back to the blog that I wrote when it came out because my feelings haven't changed. I know it wasn't the type of film to win best picture, because the academy just doesn't work that way, but it truly is one of the best films to have come around in a long time and every time I watch it I gain even more appreciation for it. It's wonderful.

Quote: I'll tell you a riddle. You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66TuSJo4dZM

Honorable Mentions: Tangled, The King's Speech, Youth in Revolt, True Grit, The Figther, Rabbit Hole


5.14.2011

Something Awful

So I gotta say, deciding on a title for this blog was difficult because there were just so many fitting options: "Something Stupid," "Something Unlikable," "Something Detestable" I could go on and on to describe the mess I saw this weekend. I'm referring of course to the latest offering in the rom-com genre: the soap opera-esque Something Borrowed. Actually a better title to the film would be Very Stupid, Unlikable People and the Charming John Krasinski.


I saw the preview for the film a few months ago and knew it would most likely be a formulaic silly rom-com. However, I thought "Ginnifer Goodwin is so likable! Her love interest is....extremely attractive," and then you've got John Krasinski in a supporting role (and you all know my feelings about him..) So I reasoned with all that in its favor, though it was bound to be predictable and cliched, I still thought it would be enjoyable and likable (I was wary of Kate Hudson from the start though, so at least I got that part right.) But boy was I wrong in thinking that!


Now, in the last post I talked about unspeakably bad movies. In the Elvis movie, my mind was numb and felt the need to explode because it was so DUMB! Dumb in a boring, boorish, uninvolved and ridiculous way. Something Borrowed is a completely different breed of dumb movie. It's a movie where all the characters in it (minus John Krasinski's Ethan of course) are not only dumb, but downright detestable.

It's not even really worth it to get into the plot. Watching the trailer is all you need to know in regard to what it's about...but what it doesn't show you is how spineless the two leads are. It was to be expected that Kate Hudson's character would be self-involved and unlikable as to excuse the behavior of the two leads (and she really is pretty freaking annoying), but when it comes down to it...cheating is cheating. But neither of the lead characters are strong enough to change the situation and make things right, so instead we have to suffer through a very shallow romance of the two wussiest people ever. And all the while, the only voice of reason who is strong enough to say anything is my beloved.


Now....here be spoilers, but honestly you might as well read them because do you really want to see this movie anyway? The problem with a movie like this is you cannot show a perfectly good second option such as Krasinski (who IS intelligent, funny, loyal and willing to stand up for Ginnifer Goodwin's Rachel) when your first option Dex, though incredibly attractive is a weak, pathetic coward and then have the girl choose the lesser option. Yes, I realize that if the contest were just "who would you rather make out with?" I probably would pick option one, but if it is to end up with? Come on. KRASINSKI WINS EVERY TIME!!!










When Krasinski's Ethan finally reveals his feelings for Rachel after she comes to him for comfort when man candy Dex tells her he can't choose her, she gives Ethan this "I'm sorry but don't be stupid...I'd still pick the jerk over you" smile...I knew they deserved each other. And so she goes back and it turns out they called off the wedding and then she and the wimp jerk live happily ever after. And John Krasinski ends up alone. Had the role of Ethan just been instead another girl friend (without feelings obviously) pointing out the same things Ethan did, the film would have been a lot more tolerable (but probably still awful.) You just can't bring in a perfect character and crap all over them for the sake of a terrible one. Well, I guess you can...but it won't endear you to any audience....any smart audience....well me anyway! And that's not even getting into the crap that Kate Hudson's separate storyline brings in...


What the film SHOULD have been about is John Krasinski's character moving to London to get over this awful girl when who should he meet there on holiday than a lovely brunette named Emily. I know how he loves those brunette Emilys! :) That would be Something Wonderful

5.09.2011

Worst. Movie. Ever.

So last week Laurie and I went to the library to get some movies to watch when Thomas would be napping. Among those films we took home, Laurie found and tragically brought into her home one of the worst movies, if not THE worst movie I have ever seen. And that, I realize, is a bold claim. But Laurie agreed. I thought it looked dumb as soon as I heard the title, but after reading the box I figured it would be a so bad it's a hilarious movie...I was wrong.

The offender? A romantic comedy with a past her age to be making rom-coms, Kim Basinger (it was 2004) and John Corbett entitled Elvis Has Left the Building. Nothing more than the DVD cover attracted Laurie, and I went with it for the sake that maybe the silly plot would still make me laugh (i.e. Over Her Dead Body) We should have seen it coming, but I hoped for a campy good time with this tagline: They're on the road...to true love. And this plot description: Harmony Jones (Basinger) is a traveling cosmetic saleswoman whose life is shaped by an early encounter with the King himself. That life takes an ugly turn when she inadvertently kills an Elvis impersonator and flees the scene. On the run from the FBI, Harmony discovers to her horror that she suddenly has a knack for leaving dead Elvis performers in her wake. Her hopes for avoiding all things Elvis are dashed when a handsome man (Corbett) falls for her and won't give up the pursuit...with his trusty Elvis suit in tow!



So we put it on hoping for a nice guilty pleasure laugh...and instead we just sat there. Staring at the screen in unbelief. I don't know why we didn't turn it off....I suppose we were determined to see that crapfest through til the end. But the only thing we could think about during the movie was "how does crap like this ever get made?" That's a lesson, if you haven't heard of it, it's probably for a reason.

I've seen a lot of bad movies, and I mean a lot. But usually they at least make me feel passionate in my hate and that is at least some sort of emotion from me. Instead, we witnessed this dull piece of trash that inspired a hatred in a different way...a more boring way. I hated The Fountain I wanted to run and scream out of the theater. But at least the production values were good...and at least it was so outrageous that it made me want to laugh. Elvis made me want to die....or at least fall asleep and not wake up for a very long time. The Wicker Man? An atrocious piece of filmmaking, but the absurdity of Nicolas Cage's antics makes me laugh every time. Eragon? It was hilarious to see how much plagiarism of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings that was going on that they hoped no one would notice. Saw Burlesque last week and it was also pretty awful (not the campy awful I had hoped for) but I was able to derive some enjoyment from guessing which plot cliche they'd use next. Elvis? Nothing. Absolutely nothing redeemable. Worst. Movie. Ever. I suppose there were a few campy moments in the end that were somewhat amusing in the smallest way, but the film was too far gone and we were too bored and dumbfounded at that point to really care.

The moral of the story is if it sounds stupid it probably is. Also, if Laurie picked it be wary. But let's be honest, I will probably make these same mistakes again because there's always that chance you'll be surprised. So, discuss: what is the worst of the worst that you have ever seen?

5.08.2011

Let the season of the blockbuster begin!

It's May. So you know what that means...the end of the t.v. season and the beginning of the blockbuster movie season! For practically the whole decade (the original Spider-man in 2002 is the first I can recall...) the first weekend in May has been the coveted spot to get a jump start on all the competition that the summer has to offer in the way of blockbuster popcorn flicks. The latest to join that club as well as kick off the summer 2011 season is the Marvel comic book flick, Thor.

When I first heard this film was being made I kind of had to laugh. It seemed like the folks in Hollywood were really scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas of adaptations as far as superhero films go (well, let's be honest...they still probably are.) I mean now we're getting a whole attempted franchise for the dude in Adventures in Babysitting? Oooh, a magic hammer! How much can you do with that? (Well, come to find out from the film...you can do a lot.)


The shallow girl in me perked up my interest when I heard that Thor would be played by the handsome fellow who portrayed Captain Kirk's late father in the last Star Trek film. Add to that my girl Natalie Portman was signed to star, and I was officially on board for giving it consideration. Other than watching attractive people I didn't really know what to expect from the movie. My consensus after viewing it? I was very pleasantly surprised with it, but not quite blown away. The film had a lot of strengths, the greatest being that it's pretty entertaining. At first I didn't know what to make with the fantasy world the movie gave me, but the film drew me in and I ended up digging it.


I was shocked to discover that the director was Kenneth Branagh!


Watching the film though it made sense that the mythological moments had a Shakespearean touch. However, the plot was kinda predictable, especially during the middle of the film while he spends his exile on earth. On the whole though, it was a very fun movie and the perfect start to the summer season. Let's be honest, I was just pretty happy to be back in a theater again enjoying a big movie. And the previews for all the summer movies made me think this could be a pretty decent summer.

So...while I'm on the subject I'll give a list of the summer movies and my expectations of them.

Something Borrowed - It's out now and it's gotten terrible reviews. But I was a sucker for the trailer and the movie will be seen soon so I can make up my own mind....even though I may regret it later :)

The Beaver - This movie looks apeshiz insane.

Last Night - I want to see this. Eventually.

Bridesmaids - The previews really didn't look that funny, but maybe I'm wrong. I'll judge eventually.

Pirates of the Caribbean - Meh. Give it up already Johnny. I love you but meh. But let's be honest, it's a movie...I'll see it. But I won't be rushing to the theaters...unless I'm really bored. But I really feel like this franchise should be dead and buried.

Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen is hit or miss....but I want to see this. SO. BAD. Haha purely for Paris scenery :) Hey I lived there once.

Hangover Part II - I have no feelings on this...I still haven't seen the first!

Kung-fu Panda 2 - Pixar snob here...no desire to see this. Haven't seen the first.

The Tree of Life - The trailer is bizarre. Color me intrigued.

X-men First Class - This one could really go either way...but this franchise may, like Pirates be better off in the past. I don't really have high hopes or expectations for this...but it'd be nice to be pleasantly surprised. McAvoy is a good actor. That said, I don't see him as Dr. X...ever.

Super 8 - I really want to see this. The trailers and the marketing for this film, in general, have been very mysterious, and I am very interested. I like Abrams. Hopefully, this can be a great film.

Green Lantern - This is another that I feel could go either way. But Ryan Reynolds is pretty likable and has got a nice screen presence so that will be in the film's favor. It could be really cool. I think/hope it will be as much solid fun as Thor was.

Cars 2 - My least favorite Pixar movie gets a sequel. Sigh. Feels like a waste of a Pixar film, but maybe it will be an improvement on the original.

Transformers 3 - After the last one? No, interest. At all.

Monte Carlo - ditto what I said about Midnight in Paris...except instead of Woody Allen you have silly teen flick. Either way....I've been there! Haha

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - The trailer was incredible. I'm really excited to finally see how this thing ends!

Captain America - I think this one will be the best of the superhero flicks this summer. I love the idea of a period piece superhero film. The trailer is great. I'm also a fan of Chris Evans.

Friends with Benefits
- No Strings Attached 2.0 I didn't see that one anyway. Will see both eventually. Don't expect much from either. However, I've heard this is the better of the two.

The Future - The cat narrator movie I mentioned during Sundance!!!! This is limited so who knows when it will come out. But I will be there. Haha

Cowboys & Aliens - It could go either way!! But I think it will actually be a lot of fun. Could be awful, but Jon Favreau is pretty reliable I feel like..

Crazy, Stupid, Love - I really want to see this.


The Smurfs - meh.


I'll get into my thoughts on the rest of the summer's offerings come mid-summer...but in the meantime I'm excited to spend some time at the cinema this summer!