Remember 2010? I’m still really behind on my film viewing from that year but, inspired by my strange excitement about Blue Valentine being available on DVD even though I would never ever own it, I thought I’d recap some favorites again.
My favorites of 10 thus far are:
How To Train Your Dragon
Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky (though technically a 2009 release, it was a 10 release in the states)
The Secret of Kells (also an 09 release, 10 in the states)
Get Him to the Greek
Hot Tub Time Machine
Now, bear in mind that I have yet to see:
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Tales From Earthsea
So we’ll see how the list keeps shaking down. But I also wanted to touch on my severe 2010 disappointments:
The Last Airbender
The Last Exorcism
Never Let Me Go
I don’t think 2010 was a good year for genre – my few standouts are, for the most part, a kind of genre (western, children’s animation/fairy tale, period pieces, horror) but there were no good scifi/action/fantasy/religious horror like I had expected, hoped and dreamed for with Airbender, Splice, The Last Exorcism, Never Let Me Go and Black Swan.
- Obviously, Airbender could and should have been an easy home run for literally any other director given the brilliant and lovable source material;
- Splice should have been a gutsy, disturbing exploration of mothers and monsters, a female-centric Fly/Frankenstein;
- The Last Exorcism should have simply ended radically differently;
- Never Let Me Go should have been the tragic, dreamy post-modern, English countryside Bladerunner, achingly told from a doomed replicant’s point of view; and
- Black Swan should have been the sex and violence of Requiem for a Dream mixed with metamorphosis fairy tales, the tragic virginal madness of Hamlet's Ophelia/The Last Unicorn, the strength, genius and pluck of Isadora Duncan, all glued together with exceptionally filmed, sexy, athletic ballet.
Wow. Okay, now we see why my expectations, particularly for Never Let Me Go, Splice and Black Swan were outrageously high. But is that wrong? All three of those movies had stunning, captivating, thought provoking moments, all flirted with themes that I gravitate toward and love exploring, and all of them failed ME.
I’ve been saving my Social Network rage to mix up with my Aaron Sorkin rage (which hinges almost exclusively on his inane response to a televised Sarah Palin killing a caribou where he called it a snuff film and his "I hate the internet" posturing) AND my irritation with the rapt reception Trent Reznor received for his film score. But I think the sneery frown-inducing mash-up that is The Social Network can be most concisely described by this equation and you’ll get my point:
Self-satisfied, perspective-lacking Hollywood writer/director/boastful luddite,
Whiny rich kids and their deep struggles for acceptance, power, and more $,
+ Boring post grunge-goth electronic mood music
= Blech! Hollywood wrong! Fully Grown Fan right!
Do we need to talk about Burlesque? Probably not, but I will say I have seen actual burlesque and one of the key defining elements is that clothes come off burlesque performers. And that doesn’t happen in the movie. I just wanted it to be bawdier, sillier, louder, more Cher-tastic.
So, I'll keep you updated as my discoveries continue! Oh, and maybe I'll talk about 2011 too.