Sunday, January 2, 2011

Movie Awards for 2010

Every year I like to do a wrap up of all the movies I've seen across the year. You can see last year's over at and links at the bottom of that page to all the older ones.

I remember when I'd hit the cinemas every week or so. Oh the terrible movies I'd see. This year I've fallen into the trap of watching TV shows all the time. It's so much easier to dedicate 45 minutes to something than two and a half hours. But I have managed to see most of the ones I was really excited about.

Now, I feel bad to have missed both 'The Social Network' and 'Animal Kingdom' but there will always be gems that sneak under the radar. It does bother me though, that the movie that I might love the most is one that I'll simply miss out on because of apathy.

Kick Ass
This comic book adaptation was sold as a wacky 'wannabe superhero' comedy but by the time the credits rolled around it was pretty obvious that this was an extremely violent celebration of testosterone and excess. Perhaps if I'd realised, going in that it had all the lightness of 'Dusk 'til Dawn' I may have enjoyed it more. As it was, I came out feeling just a little bit violated.

Toy Story 3
Speaking of being emotionally violated, the big tear jerker that is Pixar brought back their juggernaut to wrap up their most celebrated story. It was a very clever film, and full of the Pixar brand of comedy but I found it wasn't a patch on Toy Story 2. There were some thrilling moments and, as always, it was very well put together but I couldn't help but feel the story lacked a certain strong thread to join all the elements together. I certainly swelled up in the climax (If you've seen the film you know which part) but for some reason I just wasn't invested in the tragedy of toys being rejected.


Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Now from one extreme to the other. This film was all about style over substance. The story was flimsy at best, it was full of 'fan-service', the characters were impossible to relate to and the whole thing felt kind of like watching someone else play a video game. If you've picked up anything from my previous picks you'll probably guess that I hated it. What you've failed to take into consideration is the fact that I'm the fan that the fan-service attends to. Every zelda-esque ringing had me giggling out loud. I saw this film in a completely empty cinema and it was like my own private showing where I cackled all the way through it. This film was extremely close to being my favourite of the year.

People LOVED this film. It's nice to see a film explore some exciting concepts and it was a rollicking adventure. I liked it a lot. The action was thrilling and the contrivances were perfectly justified in the context of the film. (Hey look. It's a freight train ploughing though traffic.)  It was also nice to have a slightly complex element that the director didn't feel it was necessary to explain up front. I didn't find it confusing at all but I understand some people did. All I can say is that I don't feel like I wasted my time watching this but I'm probably not going to see it a second time.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Speaking of time wasting, I'm only watching these stupid films out of a tortured sense of completion. It was fine to watch I guess. As always it's nice to see the grandiose scenes you have in your head from reading the books, painted in light up on the big screen but I just have no empathy for the characters up there. The actors do a fine job but there's a difference in reading about Harry being a whiny little emo and actually watching it for two and a half hours. You can just never escape it.

And finally the esoteric one that makes me look a little bit cultured.
Exit through the gift shop
This documentary follows the underground street art culture of Los Angeles and finally the works of 'Banksy'. The first half of the film made me want to learn parcours and start climbing buildings and painting them. The second was a romp as it tested it's audience to see just how closely they were watching and how honed their sense of being manipulated is. It made me gasp and laugh and it really did enthuse me. It's still not my favourite film of the year though.

So what is?

Well, my question is 'What is a film?' and how does it differ from a telly show or a made for television movie. Aladdin was only 90 minutes long. You know what else was 90 minutes long?

Sherlock - A Study in Pink.

And it was BRILLIANT!! Well put together. Professional. You could tell that the people involved were doing it because they truly loved it. This show made me concentrate all the way through and it's so nice to not have my narratives spoon fed to me. If it had been shown on the big screen I would have walked out of the cinema raving about how great it was. Moffat's storytelling genius really made this experience worthwhile and he's blurred the lines between cinema and the lounge room in exactly the same way as those 120 inch Plasma screens have.

Is it cheating to choose a TV show over a movie? Maybe, when it comes down to it, they're all just stories that I love.

And after all, last year a book won.

And in 2005 it was my disappointment that took first prize.

1 comment:

  1. I still don't understand the massive emotional trauma people had watching Toy Story 3. I heard so many reviews before I saw it that said "You will care so much your heart will burst during THAT SCENE". This piqued my interest. But eventually when I saw the movie and THAT scene arrived I felt nothing. Why? - *SPOILERS* The Toys were going to survive. No sense of real danger. At least kill off one of the minor toys. Slinky Dog.. he could bite it and the movie would lose nothing. And seeing he was a slinky he could stretch out as he hit the furnace and die very slowly for added 'pathos'.

    It was like when ET died. *SPOILERS* He was going to survive (though I cried buckets when I first saw it because I was 4).

    It seems i just equated those that had massive emotional distress and connection to Toy Story 3 to four year olds... yes, i'm happy with that.


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