Archive for January, 2011

Top 10 Movies of 2010 (Part 1!)

10: How to Train Your Dragon

Or how it is alternatively named: Super Awesome Beards (and There are Some Dragons, Too)

I hate Dreamworks. I’ll get that out-of-the-way right now. I hate them with a burning passion. They make terrible movies that are criminally unfunny and rely only on pop-culture references and fake “edginess” to make them relevant as films. Madagascar is not funny in the slightest, Shrek should have only been 1 movie, and did anyone actually like Shark Tale? Dreamworks is a company that can have Stephen Colbert play a major character and still have the movie not be funny in the slightest. How is that possible? As much as I hate this company for putting out as many crappy films as it does and pulling the entire animation field into a hole that without Pixar it would never be able to escape from, they actually have put out a smattering of good films in the past decade. Actually, they only put out two (that were not made by Aardman): Kung-Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

I was fully expecting to hate this movie. The trailers did not do the film justice in the slightest. It made it look like any other Dreamworks film, but this time with dragons. I like dragons, but the film did not even enter my radar as one that I would ever want to actually sit through until I found out that it was directed by Chris Sanders. The director of Lilo and Stitch made another movie. As soon as that piece of information entered my mind, I became a machine that sought only to see it, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. The story was charming, the characters were actually very well rounded and even had meaningful character development! I know! Gasp! There wasn’t even any glaring jokes about pop culture! No characters breaking out to popular songs! In fact, all of the music was brand new and pretty damn fantastic. It is kind of like if Braveheart and Lord of the Rings had a magical musical love child that instantly grew a beard and conquered your hometown.

Ultimately, the two things in this movie that impressed me the most was the interaction between the four main characters and the hair animation. It is notoriously hard to animate hair and make it convincing, and Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ did Dreamworks do a good job on the beards on the Vikings.

9. Machete

Alternatively named: Danny Trejo is Going to Straight Murder You with a Machete

Whenever I make a list like this, there is always a movie like this on said list. It’s a super-violent action movie that is actually a terrible film. Now, if I say that it is terrible, why would I put it on my “Best Films of the Year” list? Here’s my reason, and it may blow your mind:

It’s supposed to be a bad film.

I’ll let you process that for a second. Got it?

Good.

Robert Rodriguez set out to make a hyper-violent and sex filled Grindhouse styled movie, and he damn well succeeded. Within the first 10 minutes of the film, around 15 people are brutally killed and a hot chick pulls a cell phone out of her vagina. If this does not sound like something you would like, then you will like Machete. Otherwise, get off of my internet. Unfortunately, the movie did not do well in theatres, which is a damn shame because the movie is incredibly fun to watch and has a cast that can only be rivaled by the Expendables in terms of sheer awesomeness. With a cast that includes Jessica Alba, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, and Steven Segal, how could the movie possibly be bad. The last thing I really have to say about Machete is that they really need to make Machete Kills and Machete KIlls Again, or else I will be very disappointed.

8. Tangled

Sorry guys, I don’t really have a silly alternative title for this one, but I really think that Disney should have kept the name as Rapunzel.

I love how my list goes from animated family film, to a Grindhouse film, to another animated family film. THAT’S JUST HOW I ROLL. But seriously, Tangled is really, really good. It’s a very different kind of Disney musical. On a side note, one thing that Disney does exceptionally well is the creation of characters that people can instantly relate to. Disney characters tend to have mannerisms that you can instantly see and recognize in friends and family members, this level of recognition combined with the relatively extensive amount of development that Disney puts into their characters truly elevates their animated films to a different level.

Now that I’ve spoken generally about Disney animated movies, let us talk about this one in particular. Tangled is, of course, an adaptation of the Grimm Fairy Tale, Rapunzel, but with a twist. After the box-office disappointment (?) of Princess and the Frog (seriously, Disney considers a movie that made over 260,000,000 dollars world wide “disappointing”), Disney re-tooled what was then called Rapunzel into a film that would “appeal more to both genders” and made the prince into a brand new character, Flynn Rider, and made the movie a bit more action focused. This is usually a very, very bad sign for a movie, and the trailers for it were not exactly the best at showing off the movie. In fact, they made the movie look like Disney trying to make a Dreamworks movie, but just like How to Train Your Dragon, don’t let the trailer fool you. The film is much closer to Disney movies like Aladdin than it is to Shrek, which greatly pleased me. One very noticeable aspect that sets it apart from the other Disney animated films is the fact that the characters do not necessarily sing all of the songs, they sometimes sing the song in the background and join in during certain parts, and this keeps the movie from doing the rather odd thing that musicals do when characters will randomly burst into song.

I’ll probably write up a full article about this movie, but not until it is released on Blu-Ray.

ONE LAST THING, Pascal is better than Maximus. Just sayin’.

7. The Social Network

Putting the Social Network this low on the list is probably going to be a controversial placing, as this film is probably going to sweep the big categories at the Academy Awards this year. I fully understand this and greatly enjoyed the film,

but I just do not believe that the film is the best one of the year.

It is a brilliantly composed film that is both about the creation of Facebook and not about the creation of Facebook. It is more about the legal battles that surrounded the creation and continue to plight the company and it’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. One of the things that a lot of people hated in the film is actually one of the things that made me enjoy it so much, and that is the character of Mark Zuckerberg. The movie makes him into a complete asshole with a very sarcastic and condescending tone, which added a great amount of humour to the otherwise serious film. I saw something in Mark that comes out from me when I am in a particularly foul mood, and it instantly made me relate to the technological golden child.

Coming from a person who uses Facebook (it’s one of the three tabs that are always open in Chrome, along with the Front Row Crew Forums, and my Google Reader), learning about the history and how it formed the philosophy of Facebook, inc. really allows you to understand why all of the groups that are formed on Facebook about “OMG UR G01NG TO H4VE to PAY 4 FACEB00K” are made by complete morons.

6. Inception

The Prestige is Christopher Nolan’s best film. Period. I will not argue with more people about this. I know that The Dark Knight is the greatest superhero of all time and one of the best films of 2008 and that Inception made my top-10 list, but The Prestige is all around a better film. Also, it has David Bowie. Your argument is invalid.

Christopher Nolan is one of my favourite directors, along with Edgar Wright, the Coen Brothers, and Guillermo del Toro, and whenever a new film of his is released, I am chomping at the bit to see it. His ability to create a cerebral action movie is completely unmatched and the ability to keep people guessing about the endings is an amazing skill (until either he or one of his directors spel

l out the ending). Ultimately, though, what makes him one of my favourites is that he makes exceptionally good films that are very fun to watch. Inception is a movie where the world around people with change in fantastical ways, with rooms turning around in space, buildings being bent around and attaching to the tops of other buildings, and probably the closest thing there will ever be to a Call of Duty movie.

Inception also inspired one of the best South Park episodes of the past season. It’s like a taco inside a taco, inside a Taco Bell, inside a KFC, inside a mall, INSIDE YOUR MIND!

Well, friends, that is the first half of my list. What will make the next half? What will be number 1? You’ll just have to wait to find out! (Or you could just look through my Facebook statuses to get the whole list) The next half will hopefully be up within the next week, maybe two weeks. I may decide to post something in between. WE SHALL SEE.

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