well folks, it is january again and we all know what that means.... time to start breaking those new years resolutions and time to check out the Filmed But Not Forgotten lists of the best and worst movies of 2010.
this was maybe the hardest year, since i started the website/podcast, to narrow down my top 10. not because the films were so much better this year than any other. but moreso because i saw a whole lot more films this year, so had a lot more to choose from (this also gave me many more options for the worst of the year list).
the top two spots on both lists haven't changed since i saw each of those films, but the rest of the lists - especially the best of - have seen lots of movement over the last weeks. there are even a few films in the "honorable mention" section that were on the list until just a few days ago.
what stood out for me this year was the almost complete disappointments with the big budget flicks. stuff like Tron, Prince Of Persia and The Last Airbender were all beyond disappointing. but, on the up side were the documentaries.
and there were all kinds - from the follow-someone-around format of the joan rivers doc to the classic biography format of the hugh hefner story to Catfish and Exit Through The Gift Shop, two films that took very different turns from where they originally started. for me this was the stand out genre for 2010 in fact you will notice four docs in the best of list and one in the honorable mention section.
even though i saw a lot of movies this year, there are still some i wasn't able to get to before making my selections. so, as always, before you ask me why some film didn't make it, here are some of the ones i haven't seen that look to be making other top lists: Barney's Version, Inside Job, The King's Speech, The Tempest, Biutiful, Somewhere, The Ghost Writer, Shutter Island, I Am Love, The Tillman Story, Blue Valentine...
click the links for full written discussions of some of the movies and listen to the podcast to hear about all the films on the list, the ones that just missed and a lot more...
DON'T FORGET (THE BEST):
it jumped to the top of the list when i saw it back in march and the only time i ever thought about dropping it from that spot was when i saw The Secret In Their Eyes.
it wasn't able to push Greenberg out of the top spot, but this film (released in north america in 2010) is no less excellent. the academy was right on when they gave this film the best foreign film award at the oscars last year.
3) TOY STORY 3
pixar frickin' does it again. funny, sad, dark, dramatic, original and presented in great 3d done properly (unlike so many other films with their poor, slapped together 3d experiences just trying to take advantage of the current fad).
4) JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK/HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL
you might think you know joan rivers and hugh hefner, but these great documentaries reveal them beyond what we know and they are both very entertaining as well.
more than just a feast for your eyes, the film is a brilliantly conceived and accomplished dark comedy/quirky/fable. jean-pierre jeunet is at the top of his game (released in north america in 2010)
6) THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
like Juno a few years back, The Kids Are Alright is a film with a premise that could easily have gone the after-school-special route - but instead it went the route of being a great film with a really smart script and strong performances.
it might take a little while to understand exactly what is going on. but this really good Greek film trusts itself and the intelligence of the audience enough not to rush things. i couldn't look away. (released in north america in 2010)
8) HOT TUB TIME MACHINE/SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
Hot Tub Time Machine is simply the best comedy of the year and Scott Pilgrim isn't far behind
9) EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP/CATFISH
these are both great films. but what both of these docs also have in common is that they both began as one thing and then took on a life of their own to become nothing like what the filmmakers expected when they started.
10) THE AMERICAN/THE SOCIAL NETWORK
The American is a beautifully shot and realized film. The Social Network, beyond some playing with the truth, is really well done and features a script from aaron sorkin at the top of his writing game.
don't forget (honorable mention): Enter The Void, The Fighter, Kick Ass, Black Swan, Inception, The Disappearence Of Alice Creed, Winters Bones, 127 Hours, The Other Guys, Get Him To The Greek, 22nd Of May, Wasted On The Young, Client 9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1, A Prophet
FORGET (THE WORST):
j. lo and her co-star have no chemistry which negates the romantic part. and the film isn't funny at all, so there goes the comedy. but beyond just being a bad romantic comedy it is also just a crappy movie in general.
2) THE LAST AIRBENDER
i have been a fan of m. night shamylan's for a long time - i am one of the 10 people that liked Lady In The Water and i was able to appreciate some aspects of The Happening. but, with this one i just can't do it. The Last Airbender is awful!
3) THE PRINCE OF PERSIA
i loved the video game. but the film, not so much!
4) TRON: LEGACY
the film takes well-tred, universal themes and imposes them on the Tron world. and does it really poorly.
5) FURRY VENGENCE
not that i expected it to be very good, but it didn't even live up to those expectations.
atom egoyan has made some great films... this, however, is not one of them. it had a twist that was pretty obvious from the begining and the final act is ridiculous and uninteresting.
7) CHARLIE ST. CLOUD
while it might just a be an average melodrama, this one angered me in how manipulative it really was.
8) THE BOUNTY HUNTER
there are plenty of average/mediocre romantic comedies released every year and this is one of them. it is standard rom-com fair with nothing elevating it beyond that.
9) JONAH HEX
this one felt like it had some good potential, but alas at 81 minutes long it doesn't give itself enough time to be anything but superficial and disappointing. but, what do we expect from the sriters of Crank and Gamer (not the guys best suited for a film that might benifit from some actual depth of character and nuance).
10) COLD FISH
this is a violent and sometimes very greusome film. that isn't the problem though. the problem is that it is poorly executed and gratuitous.