Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review



The Quick & Dirty:  The film of the year.  Christopher Nolan gets better and better as a filmmaker, and this deliberately confusing labyrinth of a film is almost on par with the excellence of The Dark Knight


THE SOCIAL NETWORK

The Quick & Dirty:  Excellent acting, masterful direction and well-structured story-telling make this a top contender for film of the year.  Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake espcially shine.



TRUE GRIT

The Quick & Dirty:  The Coens do it, yet again.  Another example in a long list of films that prove that they are modern-day masters.  The cast is top notch, the camerawork beautiful.  Overall an excellent piece of filmmaking. 


BLACK SWAN

The Quick & Dirty:  Darren Aronofsky is one of the modern-day masters.  Incredible direction, slick-and-disturbing camera work and fine acting makes this one of the year's best films.


TOY STORY 3

The Quick & Dirty:  Pixar does it again.  A surprisingly existential kid's film, TS3 has some legitimately moving and terrifying scenes.  Perhaps the best of the trilogy.


SHUTTER ISLAND

The Quick & Dirty:  Billed as "Scorsese Does Horror" it should have really been billed as "Scorsese Does Psychological Thriller."  Both Scorsese and DiCaprio are at the top of their games in this well-done thriller.


ALICE IN WONDERLAND

The Quick & Dirty:  While Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter turn in great performances, the film relies too heavily on its visuals (which are often distracting) and paid zero attention to its story or pacing.


IRON MAN 2

The Quick & Dirty:  On its own, a fun, popcorn, superhero action movie.  As a sequel to the amazing first film, a disappointment.






TRON LEGACY

The Quick & Dirty:   A fun amusement park-style ride.  The story is weak and Jeff Bridges is channeling "The Dude" and not Kevin Flynn, but the incredible visuals, breath-taking action sequences and awesome music make up for it.


HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1

The Quick & Dirty:  While paced a little slow at times, Hallows Part 1 succeeds as the incredibly dark penultimate chapter to this legendary franchise.



The Quick & Dirty:  An amusing script, cool fight scenes and its video game-style format make this a fun popcorn flick.



The Quick & Dirty:  Crude, violent... awesome.  Not your typical super-hero movie and not for anyone without a sick sense of humor.


THE A-TEAM

The Quick & Dirty:  Mindless, stupid and illogical... in a good way.  A-Team is simple "turn-your-brain-off" fun... just like the television show that inspired it.


SALT

The Quick & Dirty:  A fun, if not ridiculous, action movie that delivers.  Fun action sequences make up for a less-than-believable and all too predictable plot.


SHREK FOREVER AFTER

The Quick & Dirty:  This feels like it's the last movie in the franchise.  And it should be.  To be fair, there were some laughs, but few and far between.  A far cry from the legitimately first two installments.




CLASH OF THE TITANS

The Quick & Dirty:  While nice to look at (especially on Blu-ray), this remake is missing much of what makes the original so much fun.


THE LOSERS

The Quick & Dirty:  Predicable, but fun action movie.


DATE NIGHT

The Quick & Dirty:  Much funnier than expected, this film works mainly because of its two stars: Carrell and Fey.


LEGION

The Quick & Dirty:  Dull, boring and predictable.  This film takes a great premise and ultimately does nothing original.


PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS:  THE LIGHTNING THIEF

The Quick & Dirty:  While it provides some amusement, fun cameos and decent action sequences, Clash of the Titans Jr. will not take the crown from Harry Potter as king of children's fantasy films.  


MACGRUBER

The Quick & Dirty:  Really quite silly and stupid... but what did you expect?  While not consistently funny, it is the best SNL-inspired film in years.  Plus, Val Kilmer as the villain is brilliant casting.


KNIGHT AND DAY

The Quick & Dirty:  It has its moments, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz do have great on-screen chemistry, but ultimately a mediocre effort.


Haven't Seen Yet But Hope To Soon:

THE FIGHTER
THE TOURIST
THE TOWN
EASY A
THE EXPENDABLES
THE KING'S SPEECH
RED
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
DESPICABLE ME
WINTER'S BONE
FASTER
BIUTIFUL

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 Golden Globe Nominations

The Hollywood Foreign Press released the list of nominees for this year's Golden Globes, with some interesting choices...


BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
BLACK SWAN
THE FIGHTER
INCEPTION
THE KING’S SPEECH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK

As of yet, I've only seen Inception and The Social Network, which to me are the best films of the year so far. Black Swan and The Fighter look like strong films, though.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
HALLE BERRY - FRANKIE AND ALICE
NICOLE KIDMAN - RABBIT HOLE
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - WINTER’S BONE
NATALIE PORTMAN - BLACK SWAN
MICHELLE WILLIAMS - BLUE VALENTINE

I think I'm really going to need to check out Winter's Bone.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
JESSE EISENBERG - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
COLIN FIRTH - THE KING’S SPEECH
JAMES FRANCO - 127 HOURS
RYAN GOSLING - BLUE VALENTINE
MARK WAHLBERG - THE FIGHTER

Eisenberg was very strong in the Social Network, but looks like Dicaprio got snubbed.  He put in great performances in both Inception and Shutter Island.  The buzz seems to be centering around James Franco, however.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
BURLESQUE
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
RED
THE TOURIST

Alice in Wonderland was pretty, but ulitmately failed to deliver laughs or a good story.  I'm amused at Red's nomination.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
ANNETTE BENING - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
ANNE HATHAWAY - LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
ANGELINA JOLIE - THE TOURIST
JULIANNE MOORE - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
EMMA STONE - EASY A

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
JOHNNY DEPP - ALICE IN WONDERLAND
JOHNNY DEPP - THE TOURIST
PAUL GIAMATTI - BARNEY’S VERSION
JAKE GYLLENHAAL - LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
KEVIN SPACEY - CASINO JACK

Though I wasn't enchanted with the film, Depp's performance in Wonderland was phenomenal.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
DESPICABLE ME
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
THE ILLUSIONIST
TANGLED
TOY STORY 3

I think this will be another Pixar year...

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
AMY ADAMS - THE FIGHTER
HELENA BONHAM CARTER - THE KING’S SPEECH
MILA KUNIS - BLACK SWAN
MELISSA LEO - THE FIGHTER
JACKI WEAVER - ANIMAL KINGDOM

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
CHRISTIAN BALE - THE FIGHTER
MICHAEL DOUGLAS - WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
ANDREW GARFIELD - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
JEREMY RENNER - THE TOWN
GEOFFREY RUSH - THE KING’S SPEECH

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
DARREN ARONOFSKY - BLACK SWAN
DAVID FINCHER - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
TOM HOOPER - THE KING’S SPEECH
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN - INCEPTION
DAVID O. RUSSELL - THE FIGHTER

Again, I really need to see Swan and Fighter, but my gut reaction is Nolan SHOULD win this.

As awards season for 2010/2011 heats up, it looks like the big movers and shakers are Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter, The Social Network, Alice in Wonderland, and The King's Speech.  The Town, The Tourist, Blue Valentine, Love and Other Drugs and 127 Hours are also getting buzz.  Should be an interesting next several months.

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