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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Movies I Saw This Year

The Social Network - Sorkin's dialogue is awesome as usual, and Eisenberg delivers it beautifully. It was fun to explore the irony of the socially awkward Zuckerberg creating a social network. I don't know if it says anything about our world as a whole, but it is interesting that a plot about socializing, would have totally unravelled if any of the characters would just talk to each other.

Winter's Bone - Described as country-noir this film was not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be about the devastation wrought by drugs, but it turn out to be a mob movie set in rural Missouri. It never panders to the audience and allows them to piece the story together.

Inception - Beautiful movie with little heart. I can only think that Nolan did not mean for the ending to be a twist since it was telegraphed from the beginning. A bigger twist would have been to give us a definitive answer instead of the "is he" or "isn't he."

Toy Story 3 - I wasn't as in love with this as other people. The ending was touching, but a lot of it seemed to service elaborate set pieces. I did tear up a couple of times. There just didn't seem to be as much depth to this world as there was in Ratatouille or Wall-e. Still the best animated movie of the year.

Black Swan - This makes me feel stupid for not seeing The Wrestler and The Fountain. Infinitely more complex and emotionally compelling than this year's other mind-bender Inception. Portman is awesome, even though I was a little ashamed of some of the things that Padme was doing. Aronofsky is amazing. It won't win picture of the year, but it will be nominated and should be seriously considered.

The King's Speech - M-m-m-my rrrrr-review of The K-k-k-k-k-k-k-king's Sp-p-peech. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush should both be nominated, and it was nice to be reminded that Helena Bonham Carter act and not just overact in movies by her baby daddy. "Excuse me, do you have Prince Albert in a can? Then let him out."

The Kids Are All Right - Julianne Moore nipple but after Shortcuts and Boogie Nights that not enough. Anette Bening will and should be nominated, but I never really understood the point of this movie. What is the take away.

127 Hours - Franco is a god and Danny Boyle is an underrated director. This movie is grueling, disgusting, inspiring, riveting, and amazing. It makes me thirsty just thinking about it. The cinematography was brilliant as well. We visited Canyonlands just this summer and even after seeing the ordeal he went through I was inspired to go on more adventurous hikes next time.

True Grit - "Fill your hand you son-of-a-bitch." Cohen brothers and Bridges 'nough said.

The Fighter - Christian Bale disappears into his role as a spastic, drug addicted, ex-boxer. In the final scene when I saw the real life people I was amaze at how dead on his portrayal was. Amy Adams is probably on my list after seeing this movie. The movie itself is fairly straight forward, but it is compelling and has you rooting for Mickey Ward to finally win in the ring and at home.

Greenberg - Okay, I only saw this one as I was passing through the living room. Ask Colette.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World - Edgar Wright's first movie without Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and he proves that he is more than capable of working without them. When I found out about the movie I started reading the graphic novels and I would recommend them as well. Michael Cera is perfectly cast and delivers his second great performance of the year (see Youth in Revolt). It also has a great supporting cast including Jason Schwartzman and Kieran Culkin.

Kick-Ass - Kicked ass. Again with the expectations. I thought it was going to be funnier based on the trailer, but that is not the case. I was also misled about the role played by Christopher Mintze-Plasse. Nicholas Copo. . . I mean Cage shows up and isn't embarrassing. Overall I think it was a good movie just darker than I expected.

How to Train Your Dragon - They cranked out another one. I don't remember a single gag from the movie and I didn't really care about the characters.

Tangled - If I was to rate this movie on expectations then it would score very high. Hopefully, John Lasseter's influence can continue improving the Disney product. Interesting characters and and some fun songs particularly Mother Knows Best and I Have a Dream. The film benefits from not having immediately recognizable voices that distract from the story.

Tron: Legacy - They took the cheesy movie of my childhood and try to add Matrix level mythology. The entire second act is a snooze and the character of Zeus is as annoyingly out of place and Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element. Cool special effects, but young Jeff Bridges still resides in the uncanny valley. Daft Punk created and awesome score.

Despicable Me - Of the two supervillian animated movies this year Despicable Me is the best. The minions are more memorable, and Carrell is able to deliver a more believable voice performance the Ferrell. The soundtrack also has a nice little title tune by Pharell.

Also what the hell is with all the "ell." I smell the Illuminati.

The Karate Kid - I have too much nostalgia mucking up my ability to review this movie. Jackie Chan is no Pat Morita and no villain can ever top those assholes from Cobra Kai. I think Evan liked it, but he has never spoken of it again.

The Other Guys - I went to see this with my brother-in-law Paul and enjoyed it so much that I rented it so I could watch it with Colette. I went in expecting a dumb guy comedy and growing tired of Will Ferrell. I got the dumb comedy, but I also got so brilliant set pieces, satire, and a hilarious monologue detailing how a school of tuna would defeat a lion.

Youth in Revolt - Bring back Arrested Development. Not that they will but I am required to say that about any movie starring Michael Cera. This a quirky coming of age story that everyone should see. At least that's what I would say if they wanted to use my quote in the ad campaign. Just because it is quotable doesn't make it not true. See this movie.

Alice in Wonderland - Unfortunately, I saw this at the $1.00 screen and was deprived of what was probably the only redeeming quality of this movie, Burton's visual style.
Salt - Bourne is better, but doesn't have the boobs.
Dinner for Schmucks - Best line: "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not." A good performance by Carell, and it is worth seeing just for the mouse taxidermy. Colette tells me that Paul Rudd is cute.

Cop Out - I beginning to believe that Kevin Smith does not have talent. I forgot to watch the last 15 minutes before I returned it to Redbox.

Hot Tub Time Machine - Funny as hell. Heavy doses of 80s nostalgia. If you have ever seen Better off Dead or Say Anything you will recognize the Cusack character, but the gags are funny enough to distract you from the story. Crispin Glover should be in every movie.

Date Night - If not for the greatest actor of our generation James Franco this movie may have failed. Just as the movie is about to slip into boredom Franco and Kunis pump life back into it. Wahlberg does a good job as well. I was disappointed mainly because of my high expectations of Carell and and Fey.

Iron Man 2 - Things blow up. I did you use it as a comp for Gilgamesh in my class this year.

Ramona & Beezus - Relatively innocuous kids movie. No harm, no foul.

Megamind - Not quite to the standard of Despicable Me. Character motivation was too subtle for kids and too cliched for adults.

Due Date - Downey and Gallifianakis are good together. Not as funny as The Hangover and a little derivative of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and you can't beat Martin and Candy. Still rent it if you want.

Day & Night (Pixar short) - Why?

Easy A - I enjoyed the references to 80s teen movies. It is better than most movies marketed to teens, comparable to Saved and Mean Girls.

Shutter Island - Oh yeah this is what a good director can do with a psychodrama. First of all the story is told visually and not like the exposistion laden Inception. Secondly, you get a better performance out of Leo and a character to actually root for. This movie made me realize that Nolan is just a slightly brainier Michael Bay, and that Marty is a genius even when working in pulp.

The Town - I'm not sure why I should root for a cop-killing sexual predator. I was into it while I was watching, but it does not hold up to a lot of thought.

Animal Kingdom - This may benefit from being compared to The Town, but this was a much more compelling crime drama. Now if you have a problem watching people continually do stupid shit, then this may not be the movie for you. The movie is from Australia and we all know that place was started by criminals so it must be good.


Exit Through the Gift Shop

Video and Starz

Ip Man (2008)

Moon (2009)

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