Monday, December 20

2010 Roundup

I have not seen every movie that was released this year. In fact, I have probably seen less then half I wanted to see this year. There still is a slew of movies I'm absolutely going to see when they get released here (Black Swan, Somewhere, True Grit, The Kings Speech). So this list of "awards" is going to be lacking at best. Nevertheless, I would like to point out some of the highlights of this year.

2010 has been a bit of a weird year in terms of movies. A lot of established directors have turned out great films, some new names have appeared out of the blue and some potentially game-changing movies were released. It was also the year the 3D really got hold. But overall, I think it's one of the better years in recent memory in terms of Hollywood movies. I'd like to give credit to some of the best ones here.


Special Mention: Hans Zimmer for Inception. Not only was it a really good score, but the sound BRAAAAAW suddenly became a very funny punchline. Thanks for that. 

Runner-up: Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy. A mix of classical sounds with their catchy beats which is just absurdly epic.

WINNER: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network. They would have won this award for their reworking In the Hall of the Mountain King alone, but the rest of the soundtrack is just as good. It made a movie that was already great even better, yet it also holds up on it's own. Without a doubt the best soundtrack of the year, and perhaps even one of the best albums period.


Honorable Mention: Mary and Max. Even though it was a complete surprise to many, those already familiar with Harvey Crumpet knew what to expect. Even so, it's a delightful little movie that uses clay to convey moods, which just might be the best way to use the stuff.

Runner-Up: Exit Through The Gift Shop. Most people went to see this movie for a single reason: Banksy. This enigmatic figure is one of the revered artists of the last decade, and possibly the one that made us all look the silliest. But the movie didn't really reveal anything about the man: in fact, it only shrouded him in mystery even more. It was, however, a very funny documentary (mockumentary?) that made some pretty nasty comments about the state of art right now. 

WINNER: Kick-Ass. Even if it didn't turn the superhero mythos as much on it's head as I would have liked, it was still a major surprise to anyone who didn't follow the comic book world closely. Empire opened their review with "Where did this come from?". Roger Ebert gave it one star, his lowest possible rating. And nerds everywhere witnessed what's perhaps the first indie superhero movie. Hate it or love it, there's no denying that this really shook up some dirt.


Runner-Up: Another Year. This movie shows us a married couple and their friends going through a pretty typical year in their lives. Nothing much happens, very little changes, and it ends in much the same way as it starts. I was spellbound for an hour and a half. Only Mike Leigh could have pulled this of, and made one of his best movies ever while doing so.

WINNER: Four Lions. The basic question Four Lions asks is this: what if the terrorists aren't a network of highly-trained radicals, but a bunch of absolute idiots? The answer to this is of course: that would be hilarious and terrifying at the same time. Four Lions's main characters are a group of gormless fuckwads who decide to participate in the holy war, but even though they're made fun off a lot the movie never sympathizes with their cause. It's one of the most original and interesting movies made about terrorism to date, precisely because it tells us a story from the inside that isn't as serious as you might expect. Kudos  also to director Chris Morris for having the enormous balls to flip terrorism the bird.


Runner-Ups: a tie between Inception and The Social Network. After years of only Pixar and Tarantino telling us some really intelligent stories, the success of these two movies just might bring the good screenplays back into mainstream Hollywood. I certainly hope they do.

WINNER: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. This wins solely for the fact that it didn't just mix established genres, it mixed entire media. Comic book storytelling and video game logic were all seamlessly blended in with film by Edgar Wright. This is made all the more impressive by the fact that it's still simply a blast to watch.


Nowhere Boy
The Kids Are Allright
Un Prophete

So, yeah. I haven't seen them yet. 


The Human Centipede
Valentine's Day
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

I honestly wonder which one of these would make me puke first. Not that I'm any hurry to find out. 


Runner-Up: Toy Story 3. It simply does everything right, and then goes the extra mile. It's the best Pixar yet. What's more to say?

WINNER: Inception. There are two things that Hollywood films have always been good at: character-driven stories and special effects. Cristopher Nolan, in one of the bravest moves of the year, blended a complex and refreshing plot with stunning visuals, and made one of the most unique films of the last 10 years. It's not since The Matrix that a blockbuster movie has both challenged and entertained us so much, and for that it gets my title of Best Movie of the Year.


The best song of the year? Nah. But certainly one of the most overlooked ones.

1 comment:

  1. I am so far behind on movies this year. I'm not sure if I've seen a single thing on your list.