A fun year for movies.

Below are my favs in no particular order… (except for the first one, heh).

Please note: I’m judging these films on entertainment rather than artistic merit.


Favourites

Toy Story 3
A great way to end the trilogy – the perfect bookend.

I’m always the first to reach for the sad tissues for many of the Pixar films. My eyes were watery when watching WALL-E and my cheeks were glistening from a waterfall of tears for Up. So it was no suprise that I let it all go for Toy Story 3.

Remember that Incinerator/Fire pit scene? It was the first time I felt danger and despair for our beloved plastic heroes. It was touching (and cheesy) when they all reached out for each other. It was also sad to see Rex with his tiny arms trying to reach out, providing subtle comic relief that was quickly overshadowed by the fear and desperation in all their eyes.

Oh and that ending… I’ve never been in a cinema with so many grown ups sniffing and sobbing away.

 

Animal Kingdom
First heard about this Australian crime-drama when it won Sundance. I was gratified by its tight-knit story and pace. It’s a grim package that leaves other Aussie crime-dramas like Underbelly look like a comedy show.

Australia needs more films like this. No, not crime-dramas, just insanely great films.



Kick Ass
A suprise hit, delivering double doses of awesome one scene after another. Nicholas Cage in a gun-toting Batman-esque get up is sensational and that muther-cursin’ little girl is just, well, ridiculously good.

And that “Big Daddy warehouse shootout” scene is pure bad ass hero porn.




The Social Network
The sleeper hit film surrouding the events that led to the creation of Facebook. Zuckerberg is portrayed as the awkward, determined, back-stabbing geekatron who’s set out to make a social network to pave the way to become “the man”.

What little fact it’s based upon, you can’t help but wonder which filler between each pivotal point in the story is true. It was interesting they left out more of the thorns to Zuckerberg’s personality, like when he referred to the HarvardConnect lads as “dumb fucks” via IM chat logs. All supposedly true.


Inception
The most confusing film of 2010. Sometimes it felt like it floated between confusing-because-it’s-genius and confusing-for-confusion’s-sake. But hey, it’s from Christoper Nolan so it must be genius.

The only film of the year that sparked much debate around Friday night drinking circles. Was he still dreaming at the end? What was all that in-limbo stuff? And in the opening scene, does Leo look like he just came off from Titanic?

The list of parodies are endless too. My fav is this one (wait for the end). Oh and these are pretty great too.

(By the way, Christoper Nolan reveals in this article that he indeed has an answer to that oh-so-ambiguous ending)


TRON Legacy
You really needed to lower your expectations for this film. Once you did that, you were in for a treat.

TRON Legacy was like a 2 hr orgy of blissfully mesmerising  sci-fi art direction and heart-thumping electronic music. Everything in this film from the lightbikes and the cocktail glasses, to the ice cubes in the cocktail glasses is so beautifully designed. It’s all minimal, monochrome and is threaded with some sort of fluorescent soul.

And that soundtrack. OH. EM. GEE. THAT SOUNDTRACK!!!

Now, I didn’t quite like the film at first because I made the mistake of watching it in a medium-sized (read: shitty) cinema. Not content with the experience I went again the next night to a bigger cinema where the volume and bass were up full blast. And let’s just say, it was epic enough to give me goosebumps.

I also can’t help but feel between shots of the incredible Lightbikes scene and Jeff Bridges becoming some sort of a Silicon God, this was more of a 2 hr music video for Daft Punk. Which is fine by me.

Another note to add is that the film wasn’t as cringeworthy as I thought it would be (maybe my Cheese-Meter is broken). Everything was just so chilled and cool. And frosty (they had the air-con on full blast).

TRON Legacy is the Transformers 2 of 2010. A movie you know is bad but is oh-so-fun to watch because it’s like crack for the eyes and sex for the ears.

Also, why do almost all over-stylized films have shit stories anyway? Why is this? Pixar’s highly regarded “brain trust” supposedly even had some influence over TRON Legacy’s story…


Honourable mentions

How to train your dragon
Dragons and Vikings. Instantly sold.

The sets, dragons and characters are charming and vividly detailed. The landscapes are rendered lusciously and I loved how Toothless (the dragon) was modeled after a cat (or so I heard).

My favourite film from Dreamworks alongside Shrek 2.



Megamind
A story focused on the villain, the premise had me hooked and was glad I went along for the ride. This is a fun animation with lots of witty gags and moments of “awesome hero stuff”. Some of the jokes were a tad lame, but I still lol’d.

Normally I’d shun an animation that has a band of All-Star Actors (remember Shark Tale? *shudder*), but they managed to keep it subtle here. Will Ferrell as Megamind is brilliant.

The only thing that really annoyed the pants off me was the end. Yes, as predicted, there was a song and dance. Unghhhhh…

Sure it may not be as ‘fine’ as The Incredibles, but in the category of “superhero cartoons”, I’d pick this any day.

PS. Why, on animated-feature posters, do the characters have fucked up eyebrow poses?


Wished it were better

Robin Hood
Ridley Scott + Russel Crowe + Medieval times is an obvious equation that should’ve equaled awesome results. Sadly, it left a lot of room to be desired.







Scott Pilgrim VS The World
Okay. This film was heralded by the geeks as ” Most Awesome”, so I was sure I’d enjoy it. But in short, I did not.

I wonder if it’s because I never read the source material, or maybe because I’m not geeky/nerdy enough to appreciate it.

The gaming references were cool, the cute little pop-over graphics were sweet (kinda indie in a way), and the fighting sequences were spectacular. But, so what? I couldn’t wait till it was over. It was just, so boring.