Friday, January 7, 2011

My Top 10 Movies for 2010

Happy New Year! In this blog I have decided to go over my top 10 favorite movies that were released in 2010. Some factors that I took into consideration while ranking these films were - Did I enjoy the film? (obvious factor, right?), - Would I watch it again? Would it still be enjoyable to watch 5 or 10 years from now? (on DVD, etc.) - Was the writing, directing, acting, cinematography, effects, etc. effective? I have my good friend and roommate, Sean, to thank for helping me compile this list as well. Sean is a big movie buff and a lot of these films I may not have seen if he had not rented them or gone to the movie theaters with me. You can check out his blog for his top 10 movie list, here. You will be able to see some similarities and differences in our lists - and like he says in his blog too, that is what makes to movie watching experience so great. Without further ado, here is my list for top 10 movies of 2010 -
# 10

Hereafter stars Matt Damon in a film about a man, George Lonegan, who has the ability to see people after they have passed away. Lonegan wishes to no longer use his abilities with other people looking to connect with those they have lost, but his brother, played by Jay Mohr, will not let him go easily. The film introduces audiences to young twin actors, Frankie and George McLaren. The McLaren twins play the roles of Marcus and Jason. When Marcus loses his brother, Jason, he seeks out the help of Lonegan to reconnect with him. This a very powerful film - and I saw the movie shortly after I lost a loved one myself which made parts of the movie even tougher to handle. While this movie may not be one that I watch over and over due to the subject matter, there is no denying that it was still a touching film. Frankie and George Mclaren are terrific in their film debut.
# 9

127 Hours is based on the true story of mountain climber, Aron Ralston. Ralston, portrayed wonderfully by James Franco, gets his arm stuck under a rock and is unable to movie. Ralston tries frantically to escape but with no success. As he runs low on food and water, Ralston documents his time being trapped on film, at times losing himself and imagining things that are not real. Throughout it all, Ralston keeps his sense of humor, otherwise he would be sure to go insane. In the end, Ralston resorts to desperate measures to finally escape being trapped. Much like Tom Hanks did in the movie, Cast Away, James Franco is pretty much the only actor you see the entire film. There are bits a pieces of other actors along the way, but it takes a great performance by Franco to carry this film and Franco did not disappoint. There are some great scenery shots in this film and the soundtrack is also enjoyable.
# 8

There is a good chance that you may have never heard of Cheer Up, Sam. The movie happened to be made by many current and former San Jose State University students - and is how I heard about the film. The movie stars Sam (played by Dan Trujillo), as a young adult who drops out of college, breaks up with his girlfriend, and finds himself back at his old job. A new employee, Lisa (played by Cecily Ryan), takes an interest in Sam. Sam finds himself being his happiest when he is with Lisa but everything isn't without some conflict. Sam's ex (played by Lizzie O'Hara) tries to get herself back in the picture which leaves Sam with a huge decision. Although the movie does not have the most complex plot, the performances are enjoyable, with great comedic timing, and it is a great coming of age film. Dan and Cecily have a great on-screen chemistry, which apparently wasn't a fluke, as they are now engaged in real life!
# 7

Kick-Ass is one of those films that doesn't require much thinking. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. The movie asks why does everybody imagine becoming a celebrity like Paris Hilton but nobody ever imagines becoming a superhero like Spider-man? For Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Johnson), that is not the case. An avid comic book reader himself, Dave turns himself into a new superhero, Kick-Ass. Dave suffers some pain in his transformation to being a superhero but eventually finds help from other superheros along the way, including Big Daddy (played by Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (played by Chloe Moretz). Chloe Moretz was a pleasant surprise to watch as Hit-Girl and it was hard not to fall in love with her character. At one point, Dave's friend proclaims he loves Hit-Girl and when he is told that she is 11 years old, he says he will wait for her. Of course, a superhero movie cannot exist without a villain or two. In this case the villains are the father-son team of Frank and Chris D'Amico. This movie was a lot of fun to watch and reminds you that there is nothing wrong with using your imagination. I'm looking forward to the sequel, Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall.
# 6

I Love You, Philip Morris was released overseas in 2009 but did not have its USA release until 2010 and so that is why it still qualifies for my list. The reason for the delayed release in the USA was largely in part due to the subject matter. Based on a true story, Steven Russell (played by Jim Carrey) is happily married and a member of the police force. One day, a tragic accident makes Russell realize that he can no longer live a lie and will not hide his homosexuality. He finds his new lifestyle to be expensive so he goes to great lengths by becoming a con-man in order to pay for things. In prison, Russell meets Philip Morris (played by Ewan McGregor) and the two fall in love. The problem becomes trust when Philip Morris cannot tell when Russell is telling him the truth. The question that comes to mind when watching this film is, "How far would you go for love?"
While much was said of Jim Carrey's daring performance in this movie, I thought Ewan McGregor's performance was more impressive. I guess I love Philip Morris too!
# 5

Red is a nice treat that combines action and comedy into one movie. It also features an amazing cast of Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren. Adapted from a Graphic Novel, Red is about Frank Moses (Willis) is being hunted by his own people so he reunites with his old team for one last mission. Aside from Bruce Willis, these aren't the actors you are used to seeing hold guns. There will be scenes that will make a viewer say, "yeah, right!" but that is exactly what the filmmakers had in mind. When a comedian does well, people often say, "he/she killed!" In this movie, they kill for laughs. Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) was my favorite of all the characters as he is quirky in every move that he makes. Even when he is just in the background, there is usually a weird facial expression being made by Boggs. If you're looking to take a movie seriously then this is not the film for you, but if you like action and comedy then see this film!
# 4

Ben Affleck co-wrote, directed, and starred in The Town. The Town takes place in the Charleston neighborhood of Boston which never seems to rid itself of violence. Doug MacRay (Affleck) wants out of his current life and hopes one last job is all that it will take. MacRay has to try to dodge the FBI agent (played by Jon Hamm) that wants to take him and his bank robbing crew down. What better guy than Affleck, a Bostonian himself, to have the main role in making this film? Jeremy Renner gives a great performance as James Coughlin, one of MacRay's crew members. Coughlin is the most fearless member of the crew who isn't afraid to agree to do a job even before he knows what the details of the job entail. Coughlin and MacRay are like family to each other as MacRay's mother has ran away and his father(Chris Cooper) is in prison. If I had a vote, Renner would be my pick for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Affleck continues to evolve as an actor and director. I thought there was a lot of excellent camera work in The Town.
# 3

The King's Speech is based on a true story about King George VI of Britan (portrayed tremendously by Colin Firth) who has to overcome a stammering problem in his speech so that he can address his country without feeling embarrassed and ridiculed. George's wife, Queen Elizabeth (played by Helena Bonham Carter), seeks out to find George help. At last, they find someone they think can actually help in Lionel Logue. Over time, Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) gains the trust of King George VI. Logue uses methods which are somewhat unorthodox and questioned by the King and sometimes even produce much needed comic relief. If Colin Firth does not win the Oscar for Best Actor then it would be a big shame. I really do not think there was a better performance in a leading role this year (sorry James Franco). If Jeremy Renner does not get Best Supporting Actor for The Town then it better go to Geoffrey Rush.
# 2

Inception is another great film from director Christopher Nolan. When I walked out of the movie theater, I said, "I am definitely going to get that movie when it comes out on DVD." Inception is a movie of amazing spectacle and effects. If you saw it in the movie theaters, that is where you can truly appreciate all that this movie offers.
Inception is a movie that needs your entire attention while taking in the film. Unlike Kick-Ass, this movie will make you think. Even after the movie is over, you will still be thinking and talking about the movie. That is what makes this movie so great. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers another great performance as Cobb, a thief who can steal thoughts from people while they are dreaming - a skill referred to as "extraction." The movie is so good that I do not want to mention much more about it - it might just confuse you anyway. If you haven't seen this film, do it. The bigger the screen, the better.
# 1

Black Swan gets my pick as best movie of 2010. Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballet dancer that wins the lead role in "Swan Lake." Nina is great in the role of the White Swan but then faces problems when she starts becoming more like the darker Black Swan herself. Nina is a performer who wants to be perfect (I can definitely relate to that) and fights for the role that she truly believes is to belong to her and her alone. The director of "Swan Lake," Thomas Leroy (played by Vincent Cassel) uses rough teaching methods and sometimes all Nina can do is break down. Lily, played by sexy Mila Kunis, provides competition for Nina . Is Lily a real friend or a bad influence for Nina? Time will only tell as Nina gets more in touch with her dark side. Sometimes when we want something so bad and would do anything to make it happen, we lose a part of ourselves in the process. Natalie Portman is a big reason why this movie made it to the number 1 spot on my list. I know she trained for a year to get in ballerina shape (only to get pregnant shortly after and engaged to her choreographer from the movie - but that's another story) and she delivers an incredible performance in my top pick of 2010, Black Swan.
So that concludes my top 10 favorite films of 2010 - here are other movies I saw that were released in 2010 that did not make my list - The American Book Of Eli Cop Out Date Night Due Date Get Him To The Greek Hot Tub Time Machine Jackass 3D I am Comic Iron Man 2 The Last Airbender (worst movie I saw in 2010) The Losers Morning Glory The Other Guys Secretariat She's Out of My League Shutter Island Social Network For the record, here are some notable movies released in 2010 that I have yet to see - The Fighter Toy Story 3 True Grit

1 comment :

  1. Good list! I am glad to see some movies on here that I have not yet seen, gives me something to look forward to watch and see if it would have made my list if I had the chance to see them in 2010.

    I am really glad we got to see Black Swan together as it placed really high on both our lists, there is no denying when you see a great movie and Black Swan is just that.

    I look forward to seeing Hereafter, (although I refrained because of the subject matter), Red, I Love You Philip Morris, and Cheer Up Sam (I dont see it on netflix).

    Oh and I am still sorry you decided to go see The Last Airbender but that was all on you buddy.