Supposedly, this year brought on a SLEW of trite garbage, like The Bounty Hunter, Valentines Day, Last Airbender, etc. I have not seen most of these films, but I'm sure 2011 will bring a few to our podcast. If we give it at least a year, at least we have perspective.
That being said, I've put together a list of enjoyable cinematic experiences for 2010. . I have not seen all of the films I was "supposed" to see, but of what I've seen, this is what I dug the most!
BEST WORST MOVIE - It was a pleasure interviewing Michael Paul Stephenson and Dr. Hardy this last summer for the podcast. Everything about this documentary is genuine. In the age of irony, this documentary proves that Troll 2 isn't just a joke, but a sincere look into an eccentric mans mind and the joy films can bring to people, whether it's "good" or "bad".
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP - On the other hand, here's a documentary that is about art and how the media and money turn it on its head and make it something it actually isn't. It's brilliantly executed regardless if it's a hoax or not. Sorry, Joaquin Phoenix......
BLACK SWAN - As I watched this in a crowded theatre, I realized I was the only one laughing... Is the joke on me? Not sure, but seeing this bombastic piece of dare I say, exploitation, made me want to go read Fangoria and watch Suspiria again. I was not expecting to react the way I did, but I commend Darren Aronofsky for bringing this to the table. This may be his best work yet. It's simplicity is, I believe, on purpose and I appreciate that because on the surface it seems more than it is. See this in a big, loud movie theatre.
INCEPTION/SHUTTER ISLAND - Speaking of bombastic...This film had to be so big, that Hans Zimmer commissioned a Dinosaur orchestra to pull off his score. How great is it that in this "recession" era, we get an original movie that costs more than a few European countries and it actually worked? Christopher Nolan's epic wasn't as emotionally involved as Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" but both looked amazing and hopefully we can see more stuff like this in the next few years.
TRUE GRIT/ WINTERS BONE - Two films about young girls putting their noses where they shouldn't. One is brown and dusty, the other blue and muggy. One is uplifting and fun while the other is kind of slow and heartbreaking. Both had amazing performances in the young female protagonists, a creepy villain (John Hawkes was especially outstanding in Winters Bone) and an off kilter crew of supporting players that I wasn't sure if I should laugh or feel sorry for them. Most importantly though, they both gestated in my brain long after watching and after I initially shrugging BOTH off, I have come to love them both and can't wait to see them again.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK / SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD - My two most enjoyable filmgoing experiences of the year came from 2 very opposite films. While Fincher's Social Network uses words as action, Edgar Wright's SPVTW uses intricate, A.D.D. editing and video game visuals as action. Both leads (Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera) are mistaken for each other in real life and both characters are tragic, yet confident social misfits who will do whatever it takes to get a girls attention. On the surface they seem to be about something else, but really they're both about young men figuring themselves out, even if it involves the loss of friends or digital dragons....
Honorable mentions: Machete, 127 Hours, Despicable Me