Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Top 10 of 2010!

January 5, 2011

 

And here we are again!  Another year down and another slew of movies to comprehend and compare.  Unlike the last few years, 2010 brought a cavalcade of competent cinema that was absolutely unprecedented.  I was fully unprepared for the likes of the last few months and the intense entries into the Oscar season that began to give way as the year came to a close.  Now, as always, I’m certain that this list will be viewed as juvenile and haphazard (story of my life) but these are MY top 10 movies of the year.  I wish I could watch all of these entries over again to more properly gauge my level of enthusiasm and their prowess, however, I will stand by every one of these entries and will fight you to the death for any of them!  (Though I will admit, I give major kudos to originality and ingenuity in form over traditional cinematic bravado)  Let the ranking begin!

10.  127 Hours


Danny Boyle does so much with so very little.  In this masterful retelling of the infamous expedition-gone-wrong of Aron Ralston, Boyle makes the story of a man trapped in the desert for five days into a life-affirming, absurdly inspirational tale.  Boyle deserves immense credit for taking  a cinematically antithetical story and turning it into one of the most captivating of the year.

9.  Never Let Me Go


Mark Romanek made a big splash on the screen this year with this film, which delves into themes of humanity, fate, and despondency at the hands of one’s own demise.  All against the backdrop of a beautifully filmed, beautifully performed script.  Never Let Me Go reaffirmed Andrew Garfield’s, Carey Mulligan’s, and Keira Knightley’s prowess all in one fail swoop.

8.  True Grit


Being the second Coen brothers movie I have ever ACTUALLY enjoyed, True Grit put multiple stereotypes of mine to rest.  I was concerned about ANOTHER overly hyped Coen flick, I was concerned about another update of a classic western, and I was concerned about a story with a cliche, precocious, young female protagonist who comes across as seemingly unflappable.  But when you realize that the Coen’s entire body of work details the lives of larger-than-life characters that are seemingly unflappable, you begin to forgive this mini masterpiece for its very few flaws.

7.  The Kids Are All Right


Easily one of the best pieces of acting this year, the raw talent in this film makes me question how more fuss wasn’t made over it.  Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are irreplaceable in this comedy about the inner-workings of family and the importance of love, understanding, and functionality in the face of adversity, stress, and life’s constant ambiguity.  Did I mention that the performances are incredible?

 

6.  The Social Network


One of my more traditional choice for the year, Fincher’s techno-epic about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is truly as efficient as the hype made it out to be.  With a spot-on score produced by Trent Reznor, and cinematography that would make lawn-mowing a fascinating, IMAX-worthy venture, the film is almost incapable of NOT delighting audiences.

5.  I Love You Phillip Morris

Ironically, this may be the most contested movie on this list, as it does have its fair share of tonal anomalies and inconsistencies, however, Phillip Morris simply cannot be overlooked as one of the most adventurous and insightful picks of the year.  It takes risks and utilizes techniques just as well as 127 Hours and The Social Network, both.  It merely uses them in different regards and for different outcomes.  Not to mention that the performances are absolutely fabulous.

4.  Kick-Ass

Again, this film can be RIDICULOUSLY tonally inconsistent at times.  It can even leave viewers borderline disenchanted and at a loss.  But for fans of the genre, and just movie geeks in general, Kick-Ass lives to deliver both a send-up of the entire superhero canon, as well as overtly-indulgent entry in and of itself.

3.  Toy Story 3

If you would have told me that a three-quel to one of the biggest Disney franchises of all time would make my top 3 of ANY year, I would be forced to furrow my brow at you in extreme doubt, but Toy Story 3 is one of the most adroit offerings that Pixar has put out since…well, I guess since Up.  Still, it speaks incredibly highly of a studio that is capable of making sequels to films without losing any of the magic and without giving in to any sense of pandering or desperation.  Pixar should literally be a class that all film executives at EVERY studio should have to take.

2.  The Fighter

Going into this movie with little to no expectations of what I was about to see gave way to easily one of the most enjoyable movie-going experiences of this year.  David O. Russell truly knows how to make an incredible film, both critically and for mainstream audiences.  Visually arresting, with performances that are EASILY Oscar-worthy (I’m looking at you, Christian Bale and Amy Adams) this entry came out of nowhere and proved to be my second favorite of the year AS WELL AS my technical #2.  The film simply cannot be denied as a masterpiece on multiple fronts.

1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

If you ever wanted to confirm my absolute geekiness, look no further than this #1 pick.  Is it a stereotypical selection?  Sure.  Is it a smidge over-praised by moi?  Perhaps.  But I simply don’t care.  Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World was easily my favorite movie of the year and easily one of my top 10 favorite films of all time, as well, perhaps even top 5 (I told you I was willing to acquiesce that I may be a bit blind to this movie).  Everything about this movie takes the extravagances of previous cinematic treasures and expounds upon them.  I challenge you to find a faster-paced, funnier, better-choreographed film that speaks so directly to an entire culture and properly adapts six graphic novels into a story under two hours long.  Did that sentence just blow your mind?  Well that’s how you feel for the entirety of the movie, even after the tenth viewing.  I know from experience.

P.S. And to be fair, here is a list of the most-talked-abouts that I have yet to see:

_The King’s Speech

_Shutter Island

_Waiting for Superman

_The Town

_Fair Game

_Mother

_Tangled

_Despicable Me

_Catfish

_Blue Valentine

_Animal Kingdom

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…CAPTAIN AMERICA!

March 19, 2010

…Kind of.  There has been much contention over who would become the mightiest of all Avengers over the last few months.  Rumors have been swirling that run the gamut from John Krasinski (Jim of The Office) all the way to Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe).  Very little headway has been made and it all has felt like a great, big round-robin of sorts with the casting.  Collider was where I first heard the news today, however, that Chris Evans (The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four franchise) has been offered the role as The First Avenger by Marvel Mouse.  Interestingly, Evans has yet to accept the offer, and may even hesitate to do so.  The agreement locks the actor who will portray Cap down to a three picture deal ON TOP OF an Avengers flick, as well as multiple possible appearances in smaller Marvel vehicles, as well.  This is a fairly overwhelming amount of commitment for a role that has been rumored to only be worth $300,000, initially.  And while the argument that $300,000 is a lot for playing a dress-up IS well-heard on this blogsite, allow me to remind you that Marvel looks to make GANGBUSTERS on this franchise.  This flick, if done right, could easily put up Spider-Man numbers and Marvel is fully aware.  So the concept of being locked down for the next five to ten years of your life for a less than standard sum may not be all that glamourous to Mr. Evans.  (Granted, this writer would actually PAY to play one of his super hero childhood heroes, but I digress).  With Hugo Weaving attached as The Red Skull, I can’t say at all that I’m disappointed with this casting news.  As a matter of fact, I have quite a bit of faith in Evans over the other pile of names that have been slung around over the past month.  This, of course, is because I was taught a lesson after bitching incessantly for months about Heath Ledger being cast as The Joker.  And we all saw how that worked out.

Board Games+Hollywood=FAIL

November 16, 2009

This absolutely blew me away.  If I ever need proof that the last 10 years of Hollywood have been mostly devoid of originality, I no longer have to search any farther.  /Film recently authored a post responding to Wikipedia’s listing of the top 50 highest grossing movies of the past decade.  Of the top 50, only NINE were original titles.  That is, not based on a previous story whether that be a comic book, TV show, play, clothing line, Disney Ride, whatever.  In fact, in the top 20 only one title (#15) emerged without owing allegiance to a previously liscensed property.  That being: Finding Nemo.  It’s absolutely staggering to think that since 1999 eighty percent of the highest grossing films were adaptations of some sort. 

Now, while it is imperitive to keep in mind that this list constitutes highest grossing box offices and not ALL of cinema over the last 10 years, it does still make a very declaritive statement about the state of film as we have come to know it.  The box office numbers drive production and Hollywood’s willingness to greenlight projects.  And if you were a number’s analyst, wouldn’t you lean more heavily towards projects you knew were going to profit for the studio?  With adaptations and revamps becoming a monetary must for studios, it seems fair to assume that we have a long way to go through the storm of upcoming adaptations.  In case you hadn’t heard the apocalypse-inducing news, Hollywood just recently went on a greenlighting frenzy to board game and toy properties, each of which makes the one before it look less and less absurd.  The laundry list goes as such:

_Candyland
_Battleship
_Risk
_Ouija
_Monopoly
_Clue

And those are just the movies about BOARD GAME adaptations. When you take into account the multitude of ALL upcoming adaptations, the figures are staggering. What’s even more interesting is the cast and crew that are attached to these projects. Ridley Scott is directing Monopoly. Etan Cohen (writer of both Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder) is writing Candyland. And when I last checked, Gore Verbinski was attached to Clue! It sounds insane but these big budget, fully backed films are even getting certified production teams. So while the most prudent reaction would be to sit back and give each production its due and allow these upgrades to try to speak for themselves and deliver a compelling revamped storyline to a priceless piece of Americana, I can’t help but worry that this is going to plunge us into a period of unoriginality the likes of which Hollywood has never seen. The question I’m most concerned with is, do we really want our generation of cinema-storians to be remembered as the era of the remake and revamp?

M.A.D.

October 27, 2009

Hadouken+1297516

Hadouken can be either one of two things. First, it can be a vigilant battle cry from an anime charater right before he is about to emit a giant energy ball from his fists, ooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it can be an incredamazing dance-rock-grind band from the U.K. I prefer the latter. Hadouken produce dance songs for hardcore kids, and the track M.A.D. is no exception. Check out the video showing a less-than-friendly anthropomorphic mouse. It’s what would have happened to Mickey Mouse if he hadn’t aced that big audition for Disney all those years ago.