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2010 year end lists

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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:18 pm

http://danielgarber.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/top-ten-movies-of-2010-black-swan-winter%E2%80%99s-bone-fish-tank-you-are-here-true-grit-enter-the-void-the-kid-s-are-all-right-kick-ass-mother-nowhere-boy/

Top Ten Movies of 2010! Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, Fish Tank, You Are Here, True Grit, Enter the Void, The Kid s Are All Right, Kick Ass, Mother, Nowhere Boy.
Posted in Uncategorized by CulturalMining.com on December 30, 2010

Well, we’re on the verge of a new year, and movie reviewers seem obligated to say which movies were the best in the past year. But I’m what you’d call a promiscuous moviegoer (I see about 250-300 movies a year), so it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. But I’ll try. (I’m not including documentaries or animated movies, just because I’m trying to narrow it down. And I’m also not counting the movies I saw at film festivals if they haven’t played publicly yet in Toronto.

The best movies all have a great story, script, direction, and acting, and are in some way new and novel. They also go beyond what’s normally expected from a movie, and transcend genres.

Fish Tank

Dir: Andrea Arnold

Mia is a 15 year old street-smart and tough-as-nails high school drop-out who lives with her mother and little sister in a high-rise council flat in England. Her hobbies are drinking, smoking, shouting, fighting, stealing, pilfering through wallets, and practicing her hiphop dancing. (She wants to be a dancer.) Her mother’s handsome Irish boyfriend Connor acts like a young father to her and her little sister – but then she sees him half dressed one day. The familial structure begins to crumble when all of their roles silently adjust themselves.

This is a great movie, with a terrific cast, especially the staggeringly good Katie Jarvis, as Mia, in her first acting role, and Michael Fassbender, as Connor. The movie itself looks almost improvised, though it clearly follows a story – and a heart pounding, tense, and engrossing story it is
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Post by Admin on Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:25 pm

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-28/top-10-movies-of-2010-that-were-overlooked-never-let-me-go-more/?cid=topic:featured1

10 Most Overlooked Movies of 2010

by Marlow Stern

For every Black Swan, there’s an ugly duckling that unfortunately fails to connect with audiences. From vampires to a Saturday Night Live spin-off, Marlow Stern brings you 10 films that didn’t get their due this year.


2. Fish Tank

Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the Best British Film recipient at the 2010 BAFTAs, Fish Tank is a gritty, naturalistic bildungsroman reminiscent of Ken Loach’s finest work. The film centers on Mia (Katie Jarvis), a headstrong 15-year-old who lives on an Essex council estate with her alcoholic mother and foul-mouthed younger sister. Mia yearns to be a hip-hop dancer and practices her routine in baggy pants in her room. Things get complicated when she establishes a close relationship with her mother’s boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender), a dreamy Irishman who works as a security guard. The performances are uniformly excellent, especially Jarvis, who had no prior acting experience and was cast after one of director Andrea Arnold’s assistants saw her arguing with her boyfriend at a train station. And Fassbender, who stole every scene he was in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, is equally captivating in his role. Fish Tank “may begin as a patch of lower-class chaos, but it turns into a commanding, emotionally satisfying movie, comparable to such youth-in-trouble classics as The 400 Blows,” according to The New Yorker critic David Denby.
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Post by Admin on Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:48 am

http://moviemoxie.blogspot.com/2010/12/2010-perfect-list.html

Thursday, 30 December, 2010
The 2010 Perfect List

Okay, it's time for the end-all, be-all list for 2010 films. The Best Of 2010 list. I've done this list a few different ways since my first list in 2006, and I'm sticking to the parameters of it any regular Toronto theatrical release qualifies to be one the list (I've seen 146 of the 353 releases), but beyond that I'm doing something a bit different this year. So, this is not a list of 10 because we had more than 10 great films. This is not a ranked list because something weird happens when I try to do that for than 10 films (although I caved and I'll give you my top 5). So, what the heck is this list, if it isn't all these other things I mentioned.

It's the PERFECT list. It's the list of the films I saw this year that felt were perfect. The films where I never felt anything was off, unfinished, unclear, too clear, underdone or overdone. Everything about the film was perfect. It was not too long nor too short for the experience it needed to be. The acting was spot on, the story was compelling and complete. Beauty, vision, message, ideas and action were all exactly as they should have been.

How or why did I come up with this lists? Well, I don't rate, grade or score films when I review films because I like to align audiences to films through clear, direct recommendations ("If you like thrillers... you'll like..."). But, this year I did actual rate all the 2010 release I saw out of 10. Then while giving them a number out of 10, I realized I wanted to define in words what that number meant so it would be more definitive and less subjective number. For 10/10 I wrote "10 is perfection". That's pretty freaking definitive! It has one qualifier: perfection. So, not only are these films that enjoyed (because if I didn't enjoy it, it wasn't perfect), but I also thought they were well done, but it also meant there was was nothing 'off' and nothing I would change or want to see changed. They are also all films that not only met but often exceeded expectations, even when those expectations were high. The list is long clocking in at 37 titles, but by that clear a definition it just isn't right to omit any film that meets such high a standard.

Due to the fact that so many titles can be rather overwhelming I will give you my top 5 films, then list all 37 titles alphabetically.

Shannon the Movie Moxie's Top 5 Films of 2010
1. I Am Love
2. Frozen
3. Last Station, The
4. Wild Hunt, The
5. Grown Up Movie Star

The 37 PERFECT films from 2010

* Animal Kingdom: Pitch perfect, beautifully understated Australian crime/coming of age film.
* Best Worst Movie Hilarious documentary with a 'where are they now' vibe to the people involved with the 'worst movie ever' Troll 2 and the surrounding fandom. Troll 2 knowledge completely not required to enjoy this film.
* Burlesque This film is exactly what you would expect it to be from the trailer: firey, fun-spirited and fantastic.
* City Island Rarely has a comedy taken me in so completely. This is a real actor-centric/appreciative film that will have you laughing and crying and the amazing juxtaposition of belief and disbelief.
* Despicable Me Absolutely delightful family flick centred on evil guru and 3 of the cutest little girls, ever.
* Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Perfect thriller. Literally perfect. Perfect script, perfect acting from 3 of my faves: Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston & Gemma Arterton. Definitely has harsh content, but it's very much worth the journey. Don't find out anything about more about it, just see it.
* Donation, La / The Legacy A lovely completion of Bernard Émond's humanist trilogy exploring Faith (La neuvaine), Hope (Contre toute espérance) and now Charity with La Donation. Quietly beautiful and profound with a stellar performance from Élise Guilbault.
* Down Terrace UK family crime drama that reads equally as brilliant as a dark comedy as it does as a family crime film.
* Eclipse, The Understated Irish supernatural drama starring Ciarán Hinds that has a lovely everyday people feel to it.
* Fish Tank Amazing coming-of-age film set amongst gritty UK apartment complexes featuring fantastic performances by both Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender. It's a hands-down must-see.
* Frozen The total definition of a small horror film that could, and it not only coulds but it does. Simple premise, brilliant execution. Fantastic performances, real human drama & relationships amongst the horrors of the elements. Loved it.
* Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The / Män som hatar kvinnor Gains entry for if nothing else but by making me see that mystery films can be fantastic, and also for having a great double protagonist team. Slightly bittersweet entry considering the disappointment of Part 2 (Girl Who Played with Fire, The / Flickan som lekte med elden) and Part 3 (Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, The / Luftslottet som sprängdes) of the trilogy, but still makes the list as Dragon Tattoo can been seen as a stand-alone film experience.
* Good, the Bad, the Weird, The I finally got to see this South Korean western after 2 years of waiting, and it was just as good as everyone said.
* Grown Up Movie Star Lovely East Coast Canadian coming of age film. I have to say it's so exciting to see so many great coming of age films this year telling girls stories from women directors, where the stories ring so true.
* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 I almost didn't even consider that this film could exceed my expectations considering it was my most anticipated film of the year, but I loved it, especially how they honoured the friendship of Harry, Hermione & Ron and are not rushing the story. I can't wait until Part II.
* How to Train Your Dragon Charming, positive, open-hearted and ... dragons.
* I Am Love This Italian drama starring Tilda Swinton is my#1 of the year for being an absolutely, truly beautiful film about love. Gets me verklempt just thinking about it.
* J'ai tué ma mère / I Killed My Mother Xavier Dolan's coming of age directorial debut is just as impressive as everyone said.
* Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work What an amazing documentary. Joan Rivers is an inspiration. Fearless, workaholic and hilarious woman.
* King's Speech, The Primed for being a big awards film this year, and thankfully completely deserving!
* Last Exorcism, The Plays like a faux doc yet wins you over with human drama. Brilliant.
* Last Station, The This Tolstoy biopic blindsided me on being actual about the beauty & power of love. Great performances from Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer.
* Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Still fresh on my mind from seeing it this week, I loved the emphasis on the power of story, belief and the animation is gorgeous to boot.
* Losers, The Easily my most re-watched film of the year with a fun-spirit, great ensemble cast and the fact that these losers are really heroes.
* Love at the Twilight Motel Powerful documentary exploring centred on the lives of people who frequent by the hour motels in Miami.
* Mao's Last Dancer Sensitive and emotional biopic on ballet dancer Li Cunxin, following his live from a very early age training in China through to travelling in the States in the early 80's.
* Misfortunates, The / De helaasheid der dingen Flemish mullets, inappropriate language and extreme drinking and just the tip of the iceberg of this Belgian beauty centred on finding the heart in the harshness of family drama.
* Mr. Nobody I call Mr. Nobody my Inception from 2010, a smart science fiction film that asks a lot of questions, and has a lot of heart.
* My Dear Enemy / Meotjin haruLovely unconventional South Korean road movie following two exes and collecting an old debt.
* Never Let Me Go I only believed in my wildest dreams that the adaptation of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel could actually work. But it does. This one I highly recommend reading the book first - a book which I'd widely and highly recommend, as I do with the film.
* Nowhere Boy This early days John Lennon biopic starring Aaron Johnson knocked it out of the park.
* Prophet, A Fascinating yet harsh crime drama following that aptly portrays power dynamics, resilience, organized crime and drive.
* Square, The This thriller is yet another entry in the awesome Australian films of the year.
* Trigger Great dual protagonist film as two women of rock catch up after many years of a strained but true friendship with the back drop of Toronto and a unique shared history.
* Trotsky, The Quintessentially Canadian film with Jay Baruchel portraying a Montreal high school student who is convinced he is the re-incarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.
* Unstoppable One of the happy surprizes of the year was the fun, high octane runaway train ride with Chris Pine and Denzel Washington.
* Wild Hunt, The When role playing and the real world collide we see the beauty in vulnerability, the brutality of restrain and above all else extremely powerful storytelling.

Trends I've noticed from the list are really embracing the love of great storytelling and the power of story, films about love, coming of age films and biopics. Thrilled at the high proportion of Canadian film, we really had a great run this year and also happy to see we are getting more and more great Australian film.

While the list is mostly limited releases over wide, I'm sure the wide release on my list are very different that other lists kicking around. I did see Black Swan, Inception and The Social Network, but none of them met the perfect criteria, although Inception was the closest. There are a few I've not yet seen (The Tempest, The Fighter, Rabbit Hole & 127 Hours), but it's a lot fewer that I've missed than previous years. I feel like I had a very different year in terms of film experiences from many of my friends & colleague, but I loved 2010 and think that any way you slice it, it's been a great year for film.



And a Few, Not-So-Perfect
I also had a few not so perfect film moments this year. Three films I went to theatrically had major problems with them. The White Ribbon stopped twice, The Man From Nowhere has subtitles that were unreadable if there were 2 lines of text and Resident Evil: Afterlife stopped 15 minutes shy of the ending. I also missed the end of The Other Guys as I watched it on the plane home from San Francisco but ran out of time. Because of all those oddities, none of those films I felt like I could review, which is too bad as I did quite enjoy each of them in very different ways.

Favourite Films Seen in 2010 that Weren't Quite 2010 Films:
Finally got to see The Fall and adored it, the campy goodness of Canadian vampire film Suck, the awesomeness of Michael Jai White in Blood & Bone, the sweet spirited Bandslam and Australian drama Somersault. Also enjoyed 101 viewings of Boondock Saints, Rebecca (1940) and Godzilla. DVD releases that wowed me include action flick Hunt to Kill, espionage drama Espion(s) / Spy(ies) and dark comedy Perrier’s Bounty. Festival films that are yet to be release that blew me away include Ip Man 2, Heartless,
Strella: A Woman's Way and documentaries Freetime Machos, This Way of Life,
Steam of Life / Miesten vuoro, Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls and Regretters.

Those were my perfect films of the year. What made your list?
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Post by Admin on Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:46 pm

http://lt-green.blogspot.com/2010/12/20-10-things-i-liked-in-2010-part-three.html

Friday, December 31, 2010
20 + 10 Things I Liked in 2010: Part Three
It's here! Part Three of 20 + 10! It's funny how writing this has clarified some of my personal passions when it comes to pop culture narratives (redemption, genre-bending, character-drivenness). Here's hoping 2011 brings us more pop goodness.

21. Bobby Womack
I don't know if you can say Bobby Womack is having a revival, but he popped up throughout 2010, enriching our ears with his raspy/smooth soul swagger. His version of "California Dreamin'" was featured in the British film Fish Tank, as the soundtrack to a young girl's lost innocence (if you could call her innocent to begin with). Later in the year, Womack showed up again, this time paired with Gorillaz and Mos Def for the propulsive "Stylo" and the dreamy "Cloud of Unknowing."


Which brings me to...

22. Fish Tank
Fish Tank was released in 2009 in Britain, but didn't hit American shores until 2010, and won't be available here on DVD until 2011. It's a rough portrait of a young girl, Mia, living in a council estate and waiting for ... something. When her mom brings home a new boyfriend, who happens to be the scorching Michael Fassbender, the results are predictable - and not quite predictable. While most American movies about kids in trouble involve at least one adult who gives the hurting child a hand up into a better world, Fish Tank's Mia has only other kids to rely on. It's the sort of gritty realism that breaks your heart, makes you nervous, and sparks a tiny ember of hope, all at once. Hopefully, the fact that Fassbender is in every movie being released in 2011 will bring Fish Tank into the Netflix queues of more Americans.
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Post by Admin on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:11 pm

http://robnolanrobrage.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-movies-of-2010.html

Thursday, 30 December 2010
The Best Movies Of 2010


Once again I present my favorite films of the year. As usual it's important to remember that this isn't the BEST films of the year, rather the movies that I've found the most entertaining; not necessarily the best crafted, most awards worthy, or most powerful dramatically, as a professional film critic might see them.

Personally I'm looking for a re-watchablity factor in all these films (do I want to purchase it on DVD for future multiple viewings?) There's a longevity factor to consider as well; I might love the film now but will I still love it in a year from now, or ten years time? Finally there's that highly subjective personal factor that means a film might have a look, or theme, or a story, or characters that talk to my tastes as an individual, more than it might to others who have viewed these films. What I'm trying to say is, this is my list. If you don't like it, go and compile your own!

As a year in movies, 2010 was disappointing. That's not to say the 20 movies listed here are poor; they're not. Primarily I wanted to see better quality blockbusters. There were so many let-downs from the studio tentpole movies; Knight & Day, The A-Team, Alice In Wonderland, Clash Of The Titans, Robin Hood, Prince Of Persia, Sorcerers Apprentice, Jonah Hex, The Last Airbender and Iron Man 2...mega-budget blockbusters all, and every one falling far short of their potential. These are the kind of movies I truly love, and wish to see succeed, and these are the ones that let me down. And there were so many that were merely "pretty good" but not great; Predators, The Wolfman, Green Zone, Expendables, Harry Potter 7, Salt, Cop Out, Piranha and From Paris With Love. All solid entertainment but nothing to get too excited over.

So, moan over, here we go:-

9/ Centurion
The top 20 is a largely worthy affair, but my enjoyment of certain 'low-brow' genres compels me to include some of the best examples of 'pure' entertainment. Centurion is Neil (The Descent) Marshall's forth film, considerably improving on 2008's Doomsday. A beautifully shot, stripped down to basics, action packed, raw chase movie with brilliant movie star performances from Dominic West and Michael Fassbender
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:14 pm

http://madcowvsbirdflu.blogspot.com/2011/01/movies-2010.html

Saturday, January 01, 2011
Movies 2010
Everyone says it's been a crappy year for movies, but I saw a bunch that I really dug. Here's the lowdown. At the end you'll find a link to the extra-special expanded episode of KBOO on which DK Holm and I talked about our picks.

10 I Liked Best

1. Winter's Bone

directed by Debra Granik, who also co-wrote the screenplay (based on Daniel Woodrell's novel)

(Daniel Woodrell is awesome!)

Jennifer Lawrence stars as 17-year-old Ree Dolly, and John Hawkes is Teardrop, her scary but ultimately honorable uncle, in a brutally sparse, Southern gothic story about meth-cookers in the Ozarks. One of several movies this year in which an adolescent girl turns out to be the strongest person in the world.

2. True Grit

by the Coen Brothers

with Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin

The first movie the Coens have made in ages (since Lebowski?) that didn't strike me as being kind of sarcastic. See above re adolescent girl.


3. The Fighter

directed by David O. Russell (who made two movies I violently hated, I Heart Huckabees and Flirting with Disaster, but also Spanking the Monkey which I thought was pretty great)

with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams

Set in the '80s in Lowell, Mass., it's the story of boxer Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his wacked-out brother (Bale), who trains Micky after crack addiction kills his own once-promising career. All the performances are tops; Christian Bale somehow makes his total wreck of a ruined-genius character seem charming, aggravating, heartbreaking and admirable all at once. There's a terrifying/hilarious gaggle of harpies in truly outlandish getups and hairstyles that reminded me of Pueblo (long live the claw!). Besides, any movie that features a slow-motion face-punching scene with flying sweat droplets is a good movie in my book.


4. Valhalla Rising

dir Nicolas Winding Refn (who also did Bronson and the Pusher trilogy)

with Mads Mikkelsen as One Eye

Definitely the weirdest movie I saw this year. Gorgeous, brutal, almost silent. Tarkovsky meets samurai warrior epic via sideways Bergman? Or something like that. (Daniel Menche was at the screening I went to!)

5. Scott Pilgrim vs The World

directed & co-written by Edgar Wright (of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz)

Michael Cera, Allison Pill, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong (as Knives), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers)

Awesome integration of story and style. Easily as tricksy and visually inventive as Inception, but with added fun, and hipster-punching. Michael Cera is a walking bag of ennui who is forced out of suspended animation by surprise battles with his new girl's seven evil exes. Vanquished foes explode into coins, guitarists battle to the death, etc. Best of all is the movie's skewering of weak-ass Portland-style breakups and weaselly pursuit/avoidance of rad chicks by unworthy dorks.


6. Fish Tank

written/directed by Andrea Arnold (Red Road)

with Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender

15-year-old Mia lives in a cruddy Essex apartment with her mom and little sister, cares about nothing but dancing until she meets Mom's new boyfriend (Fassbender, who is amazing and also has perfect teeth). The ending's a little off-the-rails in a disappointing way, but it's devastating up until then. Awesome performance by Katie Jarvis.


7. Greenberg

directed by Noah Baumbach, co-written by Baumbach and Jennifer Jason Leigh

with Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig

New York neurotic goes to his brother's house in LA to sort his life out, aka to "do nothing" for a while, and latches onto his brother's assistant, Florence. Excruciatingly horrible makeout scenes ensue. Has a fair amount in common with The Social Network, character-wise.


8. Inception

directed by Christopher Nolan

with Leonardo Di Caprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I like movies that do things you can't do in other media; why not take advantage of the form? A few scenes in this movie were so awesome that they more than made up for its flaws. I don't need the story to be profound when the telling involves so many neat tricks. (Also: man, doesn't Joseph Gordon-Levitt look good in a suit.) There's a kinda clever Blade Runner homage; I don't think the story ends up being as head-trippy as that movie, in either version, but it's still a lot of fun, and smartly put together, and well worth a good couple of viewings.


9. 127 Hours

directed by Danny Boyle, with James Franco

Based on the memoir: Aron Ralston goes canyoning in Utah, gets his arm pinned between a boulder and the canyon wall. High jinks ensue. Franco is incredible, and the impromptu surgery is beyond gross; I've never been so emotionally moved by hideous gore.


10. Mother

director/writer Bong Joon-ho (The Host)

South Korean take on a classic whodunit, but with an intensely expressive lead performance, a strangely tranquil mood, tonal variations that are typical of Bong Joon-ho, and flat-out gorgeous visual style. Your footing keeps crumbling under you, to the point that you end up feeling completely alienated from pretty much the entire human race. Haunting.

10 Worst

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Tron: Legacy

Jonah Hex

The American

The Wolfman

Hot Tub Time Machine

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Robin Hood

Letters to Juliet

Twilight: Eclipse

Most Frustrating:

Somewhere

written/directed by Sofia Coppola

starring Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning

I'll write more about this one later.

Simultaneously Best/Worst:

Hausu - initially screened by WW's BAM fest in February. Nothing else like it.

Gone with the Pope, Boxer's Omen - both screened by Dan Halstead at Grindhouse Film Fest.

Also Seen & Liked:

(in no particular order)

Micmacs: French junk-shop circus romp/revenge tale/pacifist lovenote. Adorable.

Red: Helen Mirren is smoking hot, and I still think Bruce Willis is great. The flirting is tops, and the bullet's-eye view of a bullet-strewn lawn won me over right away.

Bluebeard: Crazy.

The Good, the Bad, the Weird: AWESOME and hilarious. Almost made my top ten list and probably should have.

The Social Network: Jesse Eisenberg is insanely good. I'm sick of hearing about how smart the opening scene is; it's sad that clever dialogue is so rare it inspires paroxysms of critical adulation.

Ghost Writer: Polanski is pretty good at making movies.

Black Swan: Doesn't really hold up to scrutiny, but very effective at the time; silly and scary and pretty and squirm-inducing. Fun!

Get Low: Old dudes are the best dudes.

Centurion: Over-the-top ridiculous, with no holding back on anything, especially not the ax-chopping, sword-squishing, limb-chopping or decapitation scenes. Zoom in on that s$#!! Yeah!

Machete: A total blast. Not a good movie, but hilarious, with many moments of total awesomeness.

Never Let Me Go: Some people found it slow, but I thought it did a really good job of adapting a book I also really liked. Definitely wanted to punch Keira Knightley in the face.

I Am Love: Wacky and sad and beautiful.

The King's Speech: Describing this movie on the radio gave me a stammer, so I won't get into it here except to say Colin Firth is perfect, and Helena Bonham-Carter is still my girlfriend.

Cropsey: Scary and depressing. People are horrible.

Knight and Day: Can't really believe I liked this, but it was a lot of fun, and Tom Cruise finally seems to understand exactly how he's funny.

Unstoppable: A really tight, super-entertaining race-the-clock train movie, and I will always happily spend two hours watching Denzel Washington.

Vincere: Mussolini opera madness.

Lebanon: Get me out of this tank! I have to pee!

Shutter Island: Totally overwrought, and a disappointment in the context of Scorsese, but Mark Ruffalo was great and it looked and sounded fantastic. Irritating ending.

Green Zone: Matt Damon. Righteousness.

Exploding Girl: Should've been boring, but it didn't bore me.

Get Him to the Greek: Unexpectedly non-sucky.

The A-Team: Very good at what it does.

Salt: It was funny.

The Warrior's Way: aka Laundry Warrior. Exploding ferris wheels! Ninjas vs cowboys in the desert! Come on!


Really wish I'd seen before writing this, & will see soon:

Sweetgrass (documentary about some of the last American cowboys, herding their sheep through Montana mountains to summer pasture)

Red Riding trilogy (a British TV adaptation of David Peace's books about serial murderers, including the Yorkshire Ripper - everyone I know loved it)

The Strange Case of Angelica (Dreamy fable of longing from 102-year-old Manoel de Oliveira)

Wild Grass (A romance by Alain Resnais, with the awesome Mathieu Amalric)

Four Lions (Fumbled terrorism + British satire and the blackest humor)

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy documentariness)

Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe is never boring)

Carlos (Carlos the Jackal - everyone I know loved this, too)

White Material (Claire Denis, with Isabelle Huppert, also never boring)

Restrepo (Sebastian Junger & co in the thick of the Afghanistan war; allegedly holds its own with the best Vietnam docs)

Blue Valentine (Looks to be a corkscrew to the heart, but you know me, I like that)


Anyone who wants to hear me stumble and stutter my way through this list out loud, with frequent rescues by DK Holm, should check out the year-end Movie Talk show on KBOO here. Apologies in advance.

posted by Becky at 12:38 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:29 pm

http://blogofastoopidmonkey.blogspot.com/2011/01/2010-in-review-film.html

Saturday, 1 January 2011
2010 in Review: Film
Cinema Pictures, Images and Photos

After some careful (and some not-so-careful) consideration here's my own personal take on film in 2010 starting with the ten movies I enjoyed the most.

My top 10 favourite films of 2010

10. Easy A. Will Gluck’s witty, charming and keenly intelligent high school comedy sees the fab Emma Stone as Olive, the invisible nerd girl who tells a little lie to get herself out of a pickle. Only problem is Olive then sees that small lie grow beyond reason until she is eventually branded the biggest [insert derogatory term for women who have lots of sex with lots of different men] in the school. Stone is wonderful in the lead but she also gets great support from a sterling supporting cast especially Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Olive’s loving if slightly eccentric parents. Smart, witty, biting, Easy A sees Emma Stone’s birth as a major movie star. At least it should.

9. Centurion. Neil (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) Marshall’s Roman Britain era film sees the always excellent Michael Fassbender leading a surviving band of Roman soldiers back through the hostile wilds of Scotland to the relative safety of Northern England after their legion is devastated by fierce locals. All the while, mute psycho tracker/hunter Olga Kurylenko is hot on their heels and craving Roman blood. Centurion is one of the best looking films of 2010 thanks to Marshall’s sweeping direction and regular DP Sam McCurdy’s gorgeous (as always) cinematography. Centurion is simple yet grimly elegant with blistering and bloody action, great characters and gorgeous scenery.

8. The Losers. Similar to The A-Team and The Expendables, The Losers is by far the best even if it did make by far the least at the box office. It has a breezy, witty, snappy script and a top-notch charismatic ensemble cast led by the excellent Jeffrey Dean Morgan in rumpled George Clooney mode but with the brilliantly nerdy and funny Chris Evans stealing the show. Director Sylvain White gives the whole thing a glossy, gritty comic book feel while always keeping the ensemble cast front and centre. Also, The Losers has my favourite single shot of 2010: the gorgeous Zoe Saldana firing a rocket launcher in slow motion. Sexiest thing I saw all year. Does that make me a bad person?

7. Whip It. Drew Barrymore’s hugely charming, sweetly anarchic and very funny directorial debut sees Ellen Page’s outsider teen from a nowhere town hook up with a ‘cool’ roller derby team made up of a motley bunch of girls who can’t stop fighting and losing. Beyond the funny and the roller derby madness, the film is at heart a simple story about a mother and daughter’s stressed relationship and their struggle to connect to each other. Ellen Page is fab as is Kristen Wiig as the roller team’s mother figure but it is Marcia Gay Harden as Page’s actual mom who takes the acting gong in a perfectly pitched performance of parental strife.

6. Tron Legacy. Yep, I’m a Tron geek. Have been since 1982. I love light cycles, recognizers, disc wars etc. And though far from perfect this belated sequel is a stunning film to look at and is smarter and richer in substance than it has been given credit for. The script, though messy and choppy, is loaded with allegory and theme and the brilliant score by Daft Punk keeps your neck hairs raised. Oh, and Olivia Wilde makes for one dreamy cyber warrior babe.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Edgar Wright directs what is the single most energised and visually inventive and creative film of the year. A very funny, very cool, very smart love story and coming of age story that plays out like a super slick video game. Think Spaced with a budget. Tons of energy, tons of smarts, tons of fun.

4. Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky’s deconstruction and reconstruction of an immature, fragile and fearful girl’s psyche as she struggles to become the mature and confident woman she needs to be is a beautifully poetic and darkly disturbing piece of cinematic art. It is certainly not to all tastes but I for one adored every single frame. Natalie Portman is quite extraordinary as Nina, the troubled young ballet dancer struggling to transform in to the perfect performer. That Oscar should be hers for the taking. To my mind this is Aronofsky’s best work yet. A beautiful nightmare.

3. Kick-Ass. Mathew Vaughan’s bright, bloody, violent, sweary, funny not-so-superhero film adapted from Mark Millar’s comic of the same name is so much fun it hurts. Aaron Johnson is great as Dave/Kick-Ass, as is Nicolas Cage as nutty vigilante Big Daddy, but it’s uber-moppet Chloe Moretz who steals the movie as the viscous, foul mouthed and all round badass Hit Girl. If you’re a geek like me and you don’t love this film then there’s something truly wrong with you.

2. Toy Story 3. Pixar strike again with what is arguably their best film to date. Before TS3’s release who’d have thought they could come close to equalling let alone surpassing the previous two Toy Story films. But that’s exactly what they did. A glorious mix of laugh-out-loud fun, edge of the seat adventure and genuinely heartrending emotion, Toy Story 3 is not just a great animated film but a great film. Period. Oh, and Spanish Buzz, possibly THE funniest thing this year.

1. Inception. Christopher Nolan’s puzzle box film is an absolute masterpiece of ingenious, complex storytelling and thematic depth. It’s that rarest of beasts – a blockbuster that is unashamedly deep and intelligent, that challenges its audience and demands close attention, active thought and multiple rewatching. Nobody makes films like Christopher Nolan, nobody.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:42 pm

http://livingloud.typepad.com/bowmanblog/2010/12/top-ten-movies-of-20ten.html

December 31, 2010
Top Ten Movies of 20TEN

Best movies 2010

This list is based on movies that were released in the UK during 2010.

Inception - Not only the best movie of 2010 but the best movie I've seen in years. I saw it in Prague this summer and knowing it was a Chris Nolan movie it was sure to be good but I wasn't prepared for how good it was. The Matrix was probably the last movie that affected me in the same way; that sense of seeing something you haven't seen before. Fantastic story telling, brilliant acting from DiCaprio who just keeps getting better and a fantastic musical score. The soundtrack itself is a tremendous piece of work built around a song by Edith Piaf which itself features in the movie.

The Road - One of the best books I've read in the last few years was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. A harrowing apocalyptic tale of the last survivors of humanity after some unknown catastrophic event. The story focused on the relationship between a father and son as they walked across the devastated landscape on their journey to refuge. The movie is an incredibly faithful adaptation of the book. It is certainly not a pop-corn flick, but a deeply moving and hard hitting movie. Viggo Mortensen once again proves just how good an actor he is. He certainly should be the front runner for the role of Roland Deschain if they make the Dark Tower movie.

Town - A fantastic heist movie about a gang of bank robbers from Boston. I like Ben Afflect and think he is often a very underrated actor. In Town he not only proves his acting ability but his skill as a director. It is a well paced movie, tense with great action set pieces and as the viewer you feel right in the middle of the action. It's loud and bold but it does have a heart with a good redemption storyline.

The Book of Eli - In case you've not seen this one I won't give too much away. It's Denzel Washington which is reason enough to watch it. And like The Road it is set in a post-apocalyiptic world, unlike The Road this world is a bit less 'real life' and a bit more Mad Max. Denzel turns in a fine performance and its only when you get to the end and discover the twist you realise how great a performance it actually has been, the little touches and mannerisms you tend to miss fall right into place. The story is that Eli (Denzel) is travelling across the tortured landscape the sole guardian of a book... that book is the last Bible in existence and there are those who want it for their own ends because they recognise the words have power and can be used to manipulate people. Eli must not only protect the book, but also learn to live what he has read in it.



Shutter Island - Another excellent performance from DiCaprio (those horrendous Titanic memories are being erased). This time in a tense psychological thriller from the great Martin Scorsese. I loved the 1950's setting for this movie which really added to the eerie atmosphere. It hooked me from the start and didn't let go until the credits rolled. It is a gripping story and DiCaprio does an amazing job of portraying the growing desperation of his character Teddy Daniels.

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage - Rush are one of my favourite rock bands. This documentary charts their career, and shines the spotlight on one of the most successful and influential bands in the history of Rock music. Rush are indeed the most successful Rock band that no-one has heard of! While it might appear that way they do have a huge and loyal fan base and while other bands have come and gone they have had a long career of critically acclaimed releases. This is certainly the best rock documentary I've ever seen; the archive footage of their early days is superb as is the detailed look at how each album was recorded. But the most impressive thing about this film is the way it captures the genuine warmth, friendship and respect these three guys (Peart, Lifeson and Lee) have for each other. They play Dublin for the first time in May 2011 and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the Lighted Stage!

Unstoppable - Denzel Washington and Tony Scott have developed a very effective movie partnership. Releases such as Man on Fire and Deja Vu are two that come to mind that I thoroughly enjoyed. Unstoppable is definitely another. It is the story of a veteran engineer (Washington) and a young conductor (Chris Pine) who are racing against time to try and stop a runaway train before it crashes. It is hauling toxic chemicals and thousands of lives are at stake. It is a gripping thrill ride of a movie about the heroic actions of everyday ordinary guys.

How To Train Your Dragon - This was the best and most enjoyable movie I saw with the kids this year. It's hip, funny, witty and genuinely uplifting. It also is one of the few movies to really make good use of 3D technology.

Up In The Air - I missed this at the cinema when it was released back in January so I recently watched it on dvd. A movie about connections and not just flight connections... human connections, connections of the heart. George Clooney delivers another terrific performance as Ryan Bingham a guy who loves is life of detachment and independence until he discovers his need for belonging, community and love. He moves from being this cold calculated guy who is not really that likeable to someone you genuinely feel for by the end of the movie. Its a Jason Reitman film so the dialogue is brilliant, I liked it immensely.


Centurion - Neil Marshall can tell a tale well and this is a great tale. It is based on the legend of the Ninth Legion which marched into Scotland and then disappeared. The actual fate of the legion is unknown, this movie is certainly not historical fact but it is a lot of fun as it plays around with the legend. The main thrust of the story is that after the legion is massacred the remaining survivors led by Dias (Michael Fassbender) must escape to the south and safety. It's a great caught behind enemy lines story. A grimy, gorey, swords and sandals adventure.


Other Movies I enjoyed this year:

Kick Ass - A superb post-modern superhero story, with the best Nic Cage performance in years.

Hot Tub Time Machine - you know with a title like that some crazy stuff is going to go down, and it does. It is John Cusack though and when he is good he is brilliant and he is at his comic best in this.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World - unlike any movie I've ever seen, it is quirky and packed with video game and pop culture references. Killer soundtrack too.

The Expendables - Its like someone has gone to Stallone and told him to dream up the best 80's action movie that never got made... this is it! Totally ridiculous and over the top but it doesn't take itself to seriously. Stallone is a great director and he has done a good job assembling the biggest & best action hero cast you can imagine. Yeah sure as a movie its expendable but it is a lot of fun.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:36 pm

http://enewsi.com/news.php?itemid=19284

ENI's 10 Best & Worst Movies Of 2010!
Reported by Kristen - 08:19 AM 2010.12.28

It’s always hard to gather up every movie you see in a year and cobble together a best and worst list, yet it must be done! With another year gone comes another year of which movies were fantastic, and which were utter crap. This is ENI’s Top 10 Best and Worst of 2010!

THE BEST

9. Fishtank
This is another smaller film from Britain that will stay with you long after it’s over. The film follows a rebellious girl (Katie Jarvis) trying to escape the “fish tank” of her white-trash upbringing until her mother’s new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) arrives. The two leads are nothing short of fantastic and if you want to see Fassbender before he blows up on these shores you’d do well to see this. This is one of the best coming-of-age tales that came out this year alongside Easy A and fans of independent cinema should seek this out.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:19 pm

http://timeslikethose.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/top-10-movies-of-2010/

Top 10 Movies of 2010

January 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

What would this blog be without a few year-end lists? My laptop is getting repaired right now, so some of the lists that I’d been working on are M.I.A., but I figured that I’d at least post a couple of basic ones, which I might elaborate on later. Here are my 10 favourite movies of the past year, keeping in mind that there are a LOT that I still haven’t seen.

3. Fish Tank

I could probably write a thousand words about how much I love Michael Fassbender’s performance in Fish Tank. The physicality alone is remarkable; even the smallest gesture seems loaded with ambiguity and menace. Yet the great charm that Fassbender brings to the role makes the viewer want to have the same optimism towards him that the young protagonist, Mia, has. However, that risky, unspecified relationship between Mia and Fassbender’s Connor (her mom’s boyfriend) inevitably begins to unspool. And even though you kind of know where the film is going, that doesn’t stop the ride from being utterly compelling, in a vaguely horrifying way. Fish Tank blurs the line between ugly and beautiful (exemplified by director Andrea Arnold’s breathtaking ability to create stunning images out of England’s housing projects), good and bad, and optimism and hopelessness. I can’t get this film out of my mind.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:43 pm

http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/?p=7699

Confessions of a Film Freak, 2010

By Roderick Heath

<snipped all over the place >

At the heart of that misanthropic streak, perhaps of the most interesting, continually recurring figure in this year’s more prominent works has been the antihero who, variously treacherous, criminal, reprehensible, even downright psychopathic in their war with the world, who find themselves finally, painfully, destructively tethered to their remaining human affections and emotions. Such a description roughly fits John Hawkes’ Teardrop in Winter’s Bone, Mads Mikkelsen’s One-Eye in Valhalla Rising, Eddie Marsan’s Vic in The Disappearence of Alice Creed, Casey Affleck’s Lou Ford in The Killer Inside Me, George Clooney’s Man with Many Names in The American, Olga Kurylenko’s Etain in Centurion, Ben Mendelsohn’s Pope in Animal Kingdom, Nicholas Cage’s Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, and even, in their less flashy fashions, Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network and Pierce Brosnan’s Adam Lang in The Ghost Writer. In contrast, the need and will to escape, whether it be from literal captivity, oppressive lives and crushing weights, in defiance of whole social hierarchies or merely of a daily grind or tragic memory, saw hapless but determined Everymen and women rise in counterpoint to the general run of bastards on screen. Jennifer Lawrence’s Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island and Cobb in Inception, Jim Carrey’s Steven Russell in I Love You Phillip Morris, Katie Jarvis’ Mia Williams in Fish Tank, Aggeliki Papoulia’s Older Daughter in Dogtooth, Gemma Arterton’s Alice Creed, Keir Gilhcrist’s Craig in It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Angelina Jolie’s Evelyn Salt in Salt, the hapless heroes of Predators and The Town and Centurion and even, in their way, Stephen Dorff’s Johnny Marco in Somewhere and the unfortunate couple in Rabbit Hole—all were fighting against things as seemingly benign as the suffocating sponginess of consumerism or an inability to find their true selves, or very real, very dangerous corporeal enemies, and dread existential abysses. Even Serge Gainsbourg, as portrayed in Johann Sfar’s Gainsbourg: vie heroique, is chased around by the literalised ogre image of the anti-Semitism that terrorises and inspires him to the end of his days.

Many of those cinematic monsters, walking wounded, and wayward warriors had been raised virtually since birth to be the creatures they are, sometimes obeying their ingrained purposes to the letter, others rebelling and seeking out their own raison d’être. There’s a certain irony in this theme, insofar as there’s probably never been such a time in human history in which people are less required to master certain survival arts than today. But perhaps there is both the reaction to and commentary on the growing panic in which children are shoved into the rites of growing up and preparation for an ever more paranoiacally competitive world. Mindy “Hit-Girl” Macready, Evelyn Salt, and Etain are brought up as creatures of dynamic savagery to avenge murdered family members.

A couple of more random notes:

—It was a good year for British directors, whether overseas or at home.

—If films like Inception, Black Swan, and The Social Network, in their differing fashions, tried to choke the audience with exhibitions of their own glib brilliance, The American, Dogtooth, Valhalla Rising, and The Disappearance of Alice Creed proved how little you need to compel an audience.

—Will someone buy Leonardo DiCaprio a decent razor?

2010 in Fragments

In Centurion, after killing another Roman in her unceasing quest to avenge atrocities, Etaine releases a scream of frustrated rage that echoes only with the unfillable void that endless slaughter provokes.

Actors

From the exact opposite end of the aggressive scale, Katie Jarvis’s excellent debut in Fish Tank provided exactly the right kind of shaded progression from jumped-up brat to newly wise existential wanderer; the clear indication that she’s older at the end of the film than her character’s mother ever will be is thanks entirely to Price’s elegant evolution. Michael Fassbender, her costar, likewise continued moving from strength to strength, both in Fish Tank and Centurion.

So, lists (stop sighing!) in alphabetical order:

My Ten Favourite Films of 2010

Centurion (Neil Marshall)

There’s a lot of things wrong with Centurion—too much drive-in gore and a script awkwardly poised between providing a minimalist thrill-ride and something more meditative—but few films this year have stuck as firmly in my head. It’s a gamy, vicious, high-tensile riposte to the sloppiness of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood as far as historical action films go, and the compelling vision of warring societies on the frontier of history actually bore the weight of parable. It kicked large quantities of ass, too.

Worthy

The Eclipse (Conor MacPherson)
Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)
Gainsbourg: vie heroique (Johann Sfar)
The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One (David Yates)
I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa)
The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom)
Somewhere (Sofia Coppola)
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Post by Admin on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:52 pm

http://onedeadfish.blogspot.com/2011/01/count-for-down-my-2010-in-cinema.html

Sunday, January 02, 2011
Count for the Down: My 2010 in Cinema
Somebody asked last year why I never go for a reverse Countdown on my top 10. So I thought I'd give that a go this year. Enjoy the crippling suspense.
So: All 2010 UK releases, from 15 to 1, with some also-rans and interesting failures below:

12. Centurion (Neil Marshall) -
If its genre thrills you're after, B-Movies are where its at. They do what they do without the bloat or pretension or excess of the bigger, more expensive Hollywood blockbusters. Neil Marshall's chase Western (replacing American Indians with Picts and Cavalry with Romans in Scotland) is a case in point. Roman legionaires flee Picts. 97 minutes. Thats it.
Yes, its full of cliches, but Marshall loves his cliches, embraces them, invests them with real feeling, and so they work. Yes, it rips off tons of other, better films, but Marshall understands why the elements he steals work, and he uses them cleverly.
Its a 70s-style allegory for whatever conflict you like - Vietnam/Afghanistan/Iraq - but really all its concerned with is forward momentum and butchery. The action scenes are incredibly bloody. Lead Michael Fassbender is something special - a great actor (see Hunger for proof) and also a leading man capable of credibly carrying an action movie, and he has the credible support of the likes of Riz Ahmed, a ripe Dominic West having a high old time and a dour Olga Kurelyenko as the implacable villainess.

posted by David N at 7:02 PM
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:52 pm

http://24truth24lies.blogspot.com/2011/01/10-best-films-of-2010.html

Monday, January 3, 2011
The 10 Best Films of 2010
I have missed much this past year, my big screen outings often derailed by a variety of other obligations. Most significantly, I guess, is that I missed “The Social Network” – I arrived at the cinema only to find out that the film was only showing an hour’s drive out of town, which meant spending additional time I did not have. I’ve tried to catch up with other titles on DVD, but there was no way to see every single candidate. I missed "A Prophet", "Departures" and others. So be it.

For the record, the two worst films I saw in 2010 were “Surrogates” and “Precious”.
Bruce Willis’s shockingly outdated SF/identity thriller “Surrogates”, seems like the mangy bastard offspring of “Minority Report” and “I, Robot”, both of which are vastly superior to this film. Willis hams it up as a cop looking for the person behind a spate of robot-related killings. See, in the future, people use robotic versions of themselves to go outside of their homes and interact. Terrible.

Then there’s the exploitative, bizarrely over-the-top and mind-boggling “Precious”, which received so many accolades the past two years it made my head spin. When I finally saw the film, my head spun again, this time like Regan’s in “The Exorcist”. I’ll give credit to brave Gabourey Sidibe, but the film is crammed with misguided creative decisions. Avoid.

Writing about film is intensely gratifying, which is why I miss it so when I don’t get around to it. As I said earlier, here’s hoping 2011 is more cine-accommodating.

Let's begin with an honorable mention for "Inception". Chris Nolan’s blockbuster dream-drama boasts not only a stunning cast (look out for a delicious performance by Tom Hardy) and scene upon scene of inventive spectacle, but also a smart screenplay that doesn’t even rely on a final twist to pull the rug out from under viewers. Hans Zimmer’s score is already the stuff of legend, even if the old master is showing signs of listening to his own work too often. As good as the film is, it's a narrative second to "Memento".

Another film worth looking out for is "Moolaade". Senegalese master Ousmane Sembene’s last major work never got a release in South Africa; in fact, it showed for two weeks in a single cinema on the continent. The subject matter may have something to do with the film’s lack of local visibility: female circumcision. Sembene’s filmmaking is simple but highly effective; the film addresses not only genital mutilation but also the tension between tradition and modernity in certain African communities. It’s energetic, wonderfully acted by a cast of amateurs and to the point – track it down if you can.

10. Toy Story 3
The best way to describe “Toy Story 3” is to call it the year’s best action film. It’s an escape caper like no other and a thrilling finale to the trilogy, a beautifully animated adventure about growing up, letting go and sticking together.

9. The Hurt Locker
The Oscar winning drama is, in spite of the backlash against the film, a very, very good, tight and tense film as it details the daily work of a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. At times you can feel the sun in your eye and the dust on your teeth. Starring Jeremy Renner, the film is well acted and superbly edited. I was too hard on it the first time I saw it, mistaking its crafty narrative progression as ‘formulaic’; it deserves a place on year-end lists. (I still don’t like the final shot though.)

8. A Serious Man
The Coen brothers strike again, crafting a gorgeous looking, meticulous tale about an American Job coming to terms (or not) with one of life’s key facts: enduring uncertainty. At times the film is hilarious, at others baffling. Its questions on the nature of existence and existential ambiguity itself haunt me.

7. The White Ribbon
Michael Haneke’s films are in many ways never easy to watch but are always highly rewarding. This black-and-white, two-and-a-half-hour opus on collective transgressions and the sins of the father dressed up as a possible murder mystery just before the beginning of WWII is captivating. The cinematography is the year’s best.

6. Everlasting Moments
Jan Troell’s Oscar-nominated family drama is a sentimental, classical triumph. The film tells the story of Maria (Maria Heiskanen), whose interest in photography adds meaning to her often troubled domestic existence. The film is a powerful meditation on the power of the image, something this film itself demonstrates with aplomb.

5. Shutter Island
For some reason many critics dismissed Martin Scorsese’s moody thriller, which is based on Dennis Lehane’s novel about two detectives looking for a missing patient on a small island dominated by a mental institue in 1954. The less said about the story, the better. With this and “Inception” in a single year, 2010 belonged to Leonardo DiCaprio. Like “Inception”, this one deserves multiple viewings.

4. Fantastic Mr Fox
The eclectic Wes Anderson follows up the delightful “Darjeeling Limited” with this animated feature based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book. The film has all of Dahl’s characters and story, but the infusion of Anderson’s wit and peculiar view of human relationships makes the film into something greater than the sum of its parts. It is the year’s best animated film, with apologies to Pixar.

3. Fish Tank
Andrea Arnold is one of my favourite filmmakers working today. Her debut feature “Red Road”, about a woman who pursues a man she spotted via CCTV while at work, was deservedly a Cannes darling. Her latest, “Fish Tank”, single handedly reworks British social realism from an exclusive female viewpoint, and the result is a riveting work about equal parts youthful naivety and class tensions. Michael Fassbender is great as romantic interest Connor, but this is young Katie Jarvis’s film all the way.


2. Antichrist
When Lars von Trier proclaimed himself (only half jokingly) the best director in the world at Cannes, many derided the self serving statement. I suppose it’s easy to forget the emotional force of “Breaking the Waves” and the unnerving qualities of “The Idiots”; Von Trier truly is a leading figure in world film. “Antichrist” solidifies his position. This is a brilliant film, disturbing beyond personal expectation. In this dense, dark drama, a married couple mourn the death of their young son in a cabin in the woods, embarking on a journey of physical and psychological mutilation. As the couple, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are magnetic. Watch it at your own risk.

1. Hunger
Steve McQueen’s devastating prison drama deserves accolades for a variety of audacious directorial decisions and Michael Fassbender’s acting. By not giving the audience a protagonist until late in the film, “Hunger” makes pointed comments about social control today by positioning its story in the Irish-English conflicts of the early 1980s. The infamous 17 minute shot, where Bobby (Fassbender) and a priest (Liam Cunningham) discuss suicide and martyrdom, amongst other things, is sheer bravado.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:49 pm

http://singlarity.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/favorites-of-2010-film/

Favorites of 2010 – Film

4 Jan

Favorite Films of 2010 – Inception, The Other Guys, True Grit, Black Swan, Centurion, The Book of Eli

Favorite Performance by Michael Fassbender – Centurion
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Post by Admin on Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:14 am

http://sproots.net/?p=534

My Top Ten Movies of 2010
by Carl on January 3rd, 2011
Posted In: Blog, Reviews

Let me get a few things straight: I’m in no position to determine what the best movies of the year were. I couldn’t see everything, hell, I couldn’t even see a majority of the movies released this year. Instead, this is a list of my personal favorite movies from what I saw this year.

This list is not ordered by what I thought was formally “best,” but by what movies I enjoyed the most, which ones got the strongest emotional responses out of me personally. I guess you could argue that these are what I have deemed “the best” since they are what I believe to be the strongest films I’ve seen this year. I wouldn’t give myself that level of gravitas. This is simply what I liked the most and why.

Fish Tank (Dir. Andrea Arnold)

It’s technically a 2009 movie, but it wasn’t available in the states until January of 2010. It’s stuck with me for that long. Fish Tank is a British film about a teenage girl living in a projects building in Essex. Stuck in a terrible, nearly abusive life of poverty, her only escape is a love for hip-hop dancing. The title says it all in the deftest way possible. She is trapped. This is a coming of age movie that is as deeply moving and visually amazing. I don’t usually like handheld cinematography. This is a movie where it works wonderfully. In growing up, our heroine is not a wise-cracking teen faced with an assortment of dumb adults. She does regrettable things, makes embarrassing mistakes, and finds herself in bad situations due to her stubbornness or foolishness. There are many mysterious and smart metaphors. For example, a pony, the thing every little girl wants for her birthday, only it is an abused, unhealthy, bare bones old nag. Michael Fassbender (who played the British agent in Inglourious Basterds) plays her mother’s boyfriend, who is in some ways fatherly, and in other ways a monster. Like Winter’s Bone, there is a slight hope of escape, but the odds are against our heroine. Unlike Winter’s Bone there is less a sense of doom, and more a sense that one must play with the cards dealt to them.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:19 am

http://thenumberoftheblog.com/2011/01/04/focus-on-film-2010-a-retrospective-part-1/

Focus On Film: 2010, A Retrospective; Part 1

* January 4th, 2011
* Posted in Focus On Film
* By Quigs

Ladies and Gentlemen. First of all, Happy New Year! It is now time to look back on the year in film that was 2010. Contrary to popular belief 2010 was actually a really strong year for film, albeit not so much within mainstream cinema. I am going to take you through my Top 12 films of the year (I’m hip) as well as the films I thought were worst. The best new series’ on tv and the best returning series’. I will also outline the films I wish I saw in 2010.I will try and talk briefly about each film, but I am trying to avoid this post becoming a marathon. (Spoiler: It does.) This post will begin, however with a small tribute to the late, great character actor Pete Postlethwaite who tragically succumbed to cancer on Sunday. I am deeply saddened by this, I never even knew he was ill.

Forever charming and self effacing, constantly deflecting praise with Steven Spielberg once calling him “the greatest actor in the world”. He is one of the most prolific, constantly popping up in many a film in various bit parts but always adding immense gravitas and class to the role. Most recently he was seen in Ben Afleck’s The Town and Inception. I’ll leave you with a video clip of one of his greatest moments in his long career. Rest In Peace Sir. You bloody legend.

Without further ado, let’s kick it off with a bang!

Top 12 Films Of 2010

10. Fish Tank: Fish Tank is an Independent British film that showcases some very promising young talent as well as another brilliant performance from Michael Fassbender. Fish Tank is what is referred to as a “kitchen sink drama” in the fact that it is one of these low budget drama’s set on estates with a bit of everything thrown into it. It is gritty and it is horrible. It tells the story of a young chavvy girl who dreams of being a dancer. She starts an affair with her mum’s new pikey boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) who turns out to be more than he seems. It is a nuanced and beautiful film from the ever dependable Andrea Arnold. Even though she may not seem like the most likeable character in the world you do really feel for her. You also really feel her isolation and pain. Seek it out.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:26 pm

http://www.batrock.net/?p=963

12 Months of Movies &2010 Alex on 06 Jan 2011 12:00 pm
12 Months of Movies 2010: D-F

Fish Tank

Poverty stricken chav dreams of achieving so much more, but has to escape the council estates to do so! Featuring the memorable line “If I’m a f&amp;#! face, that makes you a c*** face”, Fish Tank was a fascinating if slow examination of a girl with aspirations. Strong performances from the lead and Michael Fassbender, whose character turns from supportive to utterly sinister on the turn of a dime, make this a film that is hard to watch but well worth the effort. It’s small and it’s subtle and kind of depressing (there really are people like this!) but should not be discounted for all that.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:29 am

http://ecrivainerd.livejournal.com/10794.html

list: best films of 2010
(NOTE: this list reflects the best films released in the U.S. within 2010)

6. Fish Tank
dir. Andrea Arnold
"But you're nothing to me. So why should I care what you think?"


Released in 2009 in Europe and then in very limited scope in the US this year, this small and powerful indie film relies on the performance of a brand-new non-actor, Katie Jarvis, as the furious and unloved Mia, whose hard-knock life is thrown into conflict when her mother brings home a new boyfriend, the charming and intense Michael Fassbender. What follows is a blunt and often uncomfortable story about a desperate need to feel wanted and the deception, self- and otherwise, that can go along with it. Jarvis and Fassbender have a chemistry that is both sweet and ominous, and the tension rises to an almost unbearable point as their relationship morphs into something beyond both of their control. The film takes several kinds of relationships—mother and daughter; men and women; sisters—and turns them upside-down, refusing to go for the easy interpretations. It’s bold and no-frills, and relies on pure talent to make it work.

OSCARS?: Highly unlikely. It racked up plenty of awards last year in Britain, but its tiny US release will cause it to be ignored, despite Fassbender’s growing popularity stateside.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:37 pm

http://briwiz.blogspot.com/2011/01/awards-wiz-awards-complete-list.html

Friday, January 7, 2011
Awards Wiz Awards: The Complete List

Thought it would be great to have one place to see all of the awards before next week when new and exciting stuff begins on the site!

The big winners were: Black Swan, 127 Hours, Fringe, Blue Valentine and The Social Network. All showing up in 3 categories.

Top 10 Films of 2010
1. Black Swan
2. Somewhere
3. The Social Network
4. How To Train Your Dragon
5. The Way Back
6. 127 Hours
7. Blue Valentine
8. Another Year
9. Let Me In
10. Racing Dreams

The Best Performances of 2010
1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
2. James Franco, 127 Hours
3. Sibel Kekilli, When We Leave
4. Michael Fassbender, Fish Tank
5. Lesley Manvillie, Another Year
6. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
7. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole
8. The cast of The Kids Are All Right
9. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
10. Joaqin Phoenix, I'm Still Here


The Honor and Dishonor Roll or 2010

Honor
1. Direct TV/Stars/CW
2. NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour
3. Documentaries
4. The Hamptons International Film Festival
5. Lifetime

Dishonor
1. American Idol
2. Bloggers v/s Critics/Commenters
3. Lost Wannabes
4. SNL plays musical (casting) chairs

The Best Television of 2010
1. Fringe
2. Top Chef: All Stars
3. Gossip Girl
4. Lost
5. Friday Night Lights
6. Mad Men
7. Cougar Town
8. The Oprah Winfrey Show
9. Damages
10.So You Think You Can Dance

Top 10 Scenes of 2010 (some spoilers here!)
1. The Social Network - opening scene
2. 127 Hours - the amputation
3. Black Swan - the Black Swan dance
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Harry and Hermione dance
5. Fringe, Over There Part II: Olivia reveals her feelings to Peter
6. How To Train Your Dragon: Toothless accept Hiccup
7. Blue Valentine: Ukelele serenade
8. I'm Still Here: Post Letterman
9. Glee, Teenage Dream
10. Salt, Salt escape
Posted by Brian Whisenant at 8:35 AM
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:42 pm

http://moonwolves.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/jarv-casts-his-booze-sodden-gaze-back-at-2010/

Jarv casts his booze-sodden gaze back at 2010

7th January, 2011 by Jarv

Seeing as Droid has done his, and we all like these lists, I thought I’d put one up as well. Fuel for debate and whatnot.

I’ve seen nowhere near the volume of “new” films as Droid, partially because when it comes to going to the cinema I’m extremely picky but mostly because I watch a hideous amount of garbage and there are so many films out there that I don’t feel an overwhelming need to inflict new crap on myself when there’s plenty of old crap to wade through. So, therefore, this list is being done from films that I’ve actually seen. Therefore, I’m just doing a top 10 , a surprise, and a worst of the year. If a film received a Cinema Release in either the UK or the US in 2010 it’s in- so no whining.

The Top 10 Films of the Year.

With the proviso that I’ve not seen Inception (sheer laziness), I’ve had to think long and hard about the order that these come in.

4)Centurion

STABBERY!!! STABBERY!!! STABBERY!!!

There was no way I was going to miss this off the list. A rollicking little film with more blood than a butcher’s floor. Superb performances from Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko and most of all Dominic West as Neil Marshall takes a stab (heh) at the legend of the 9th Legion. Let that be a lesson to you, don’t f&amp;#! with the Scots.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:51 pm

http://deathtothemovies.com/some-films-are-better-than-others/

Some Films Are Better Than Others

Posted on 07 January 2011 by Titus Richard

I’m going to go along with my counterparts here and also do my Top 10 List based off of films I saw in 2010, not necessarily films that came out in 2010 (although I think the majority of my picks do qualify as 2010 releases). However, unlike John and Susan’s lists I did not think this was the year that movies died Wink. I did see quite a bit of films this year, and there were some good ones, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a pretty lackluster year for film. Luckily, the few that were good were really good. Ok, here we go:

3. HUNGER

I was first introduced to director Steve McQueen’s work (not the actor) at an art museum where I saw a video installation of his. So, going into “Hunger”I knew McQueen would probably take a more avant-garde approach. He did, but in a way that was totally driven by the story. This film just blew me away, from the powerful subject matter to the truly brilliant direction by McQueen to the physically demanding performance by Michael Fassbender and of course to the well known 20 minute long take that is extremely impressive, especially since the scene is so pivotal. I can not praise this film enough, just writing about it makes me want to watch it again.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:02 pm

http://fastmovieblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/best-of-2010-part-ii-everything.html

Friday, 7 January 2011
The Best of 2010 - Part II: Everything

So here it is, the exciting second part of my look back at that movie year of 2010. This one's for the people that gave us the experiences we had while seeing films this year.

6. Centurion (2010)
Director: Neil Marshall

I like everything that Marshall has done, and this may be my favorite film of his after The Descent. A really thrilling men-on-a-run story, with scarcely time to catch one's breath. It is also awesomely set in the Roman era, and pretty violent. I wrote a little bit more about it at my Espoo Ciné report.

3. Fish Tank (2009)
Director: Andrea Arnold

Fish Tank has been one of the most talked-about british films of late, and so it's really strange that it debuted on DVD here. There must be some strong anti-brits in Finnish distribution companies. That, or no-one would see them if they did release them, no matter how good the films are. At least plenty of people have seen this gem at Love & Anarchy. Not me, though. I saw it only recently.

The film in question is about the teenaged Mia Williams (Katie Jarvis), living in a small Essex village. Her mum and sister usually ignore her and she doesn't have many friends. Mia keeps the boredom away by hip-hop dancing and trying to set free starving horses. Her life loses its balance when her mum brings home a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender), who might be a father figure, or a potential first crush.

Mia is an interesting, complex character. A strong female, that does as she wants to, but also has a juvenile way of showing her mind when she doesn't get what she wants. Also her relationship with the other members of her family can change drastically upon what kind of mood she happens to be on. So she's like a real teenager, then. Unlike many other stories that would concern the walls of small-town life crashing on an individual would be a lot darker. Fish Tank isn't a ray of sunshine by any means but it can find a delicate balance between teenaged frustration and good-hearted humour.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:21 pm

http://turnoffyourcellphone.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/the-year-in-cinema/

The year in cinema

2010 was a really full movie year for me – I believe the 63 new features I saw this year was probably the most in my lifetime. Clearly I have far too much time on my hands.

Looking back at 2010 one sad truth I’ve discovered is that I missed out on a whole lot of non-English language films. I blame this largely on lack of distribution/screening in my area. And it seems that even when most foreign languague features are shown in Metro-Boston they get but a one-week limited release. By my count of the 63 films I saw in 2010 only 10 were foreign language. I sincerely regret missing many of these and having to wait for a long-delayed DVD release (Mother, Carlos) but I do want to credit Netflix for picking up on-demand many others that I missed during their short theatrical run (specifically the quiet relationship meltdown drama Everyone Else.

As has been said by many before me, 2010 was a wonderful year for the narrative, non-journalistic, non- verite documentary. A number of the best films of the year were films that split the difference between artful narrative film and documentary. Eschewing the constraints of truth and organic real-life events films like Exit Through the Gift Shop and I’m Not There were able to craft films that eclipse many less “truthful” stories for pure entertainment and compelling narrative arc. It’s good to see that the popular documentary format has survived beyond the preachy propaganda of Michael Moore and his brethren.

Top 10 films of 2010:

Please note that some of these films were released outside of my area in 2009 but with the lack of consistency in release dates across geographic areas these days it’s hard to have any such consistency with regard to what year some films should count as. Deal with it.

3. Fish Tank

Andrea Arnold’s second feature cements her as one of the most vital filmmakers working today. An incredibly sensitive portrait of a marginalized British teen (a magnificent performance from non-professional actor Katie Jarvis) with big dreams of being a hip-hop dancer and escaping the run-down council tower that is her prosaic prison. Another fantastic performance, as well, from Michael Fassbender as Jarvis’ mother’s boyfriend whose interactions with Jarvis’ teen become more complicated and intimate leading to an almost-tragic third act that lets nobody off the hook. Andrea Arnold is for Britain what the Dardennes are for Belgium.

Please respond to my thoughts in the comments. What’s your top 10 of the year? Was I a freaking idiot for not liking Black Swan enough? Do I have too much of a man crush on Michael Fassbender? Have at me!

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:11 pm

http://olivercarter.co.uk/class-of-2010-favourite-films-of-the-year

January 7, 2011
Class of 2010: Favourite Films of the Year

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

Andrea Arnold's excellent follow up to Red Road (2006). Challenging but rewarding. Michael Fassbender is definitely an actor to watch.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:12 pm

http://idler-mag.com/2011/01/07/the-netflix-b-list/

The Netflix b-list

Posted by Adam Simmons on January 7, 2011 ·

Netflix instant viewing has been both a blessing and a curse for an indecisive movie fan like me. Finally the video store has come to your living room and I, for one, am a bit overwhelmed. Sometimes, I’ll lose a whole hour of my life to aimlessly scanning the catalogue finding myself attracted to so many movies of so many genres, that I don’t know what to pick. I’ve seen some interesting things via instant viewing in the last year, some old and some new. Below is a list of the five most interesting flicks I saw via Netflix in 2010. Here’s hoping that 2011 yields some similar finds.

* Centurion Centurion (2010): Neil Marshall follows up The Descent (2005) and Doomsday (2008) with another adrenaline-fueled flick that’s filled to the brim with testosterone. In Ancient Rome, the famed Ninth Legion finds itself decimated after an ambush by enemy forces, leaving only a few survivors trapped deep behind enemy lines. Think of it as The Warriors in ancient Rome as the ragtag group desperately try to make it home. There are more beheadings, slit throats, and dismemberments than Gladiator and Braveheart combined (if you’re into that sort of thing—and I know I am!) and the brisk pace and solid production values make this one exciting flick.
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