Saturday, December 25, 2010

13 on 25 for 2010

So it was a year ago today when I planted flag on this piece of virtual estate, telling longtime friend and wandering stranger alike that I had a foul mouth and a firm opinion on what my 13 best stretches of flickering images were from the calendar year. Since then, I've been lucky to amass lots of new readers, respect, and my fair share of fortran spitballs to the face, and I'm grateful for it all. And so it's time to do it again.

There was every reason to believe that 2010 was going to be a washout instead of a watershed. While plenty of good, solid movies were released in the first half of the year, most did not make the crucial dent in the public sphere, but those bad, sordid movies in the first half of the year, they not only dented the sphere, they nearly crushed it into a battered rhomboid. Rom-coms bereft of compelling rom or amusing com. Action epics that only provided epic fail. Dramas so dry and boring that they were easily overshadowed by one lone Bed Intruder for keeping people's attention. Shall we utter those names for one last public shaming? No, we shan't; the law I have followed from the Streets of Laredo is Speak Not of Their Name, and Their Name Will Pass On.

But then July came around, and it seemed almost instantly that things became right again. Innovation was presented. Intelligence was rewarded. You weren't encouraged to turn off your brain, but to let it fire all synapses. By the time December rolled around, yet again, I was faced with the problem that using an already indulgent baker's dozen to indicate my favorite films of the year would seem too little to capture it all. Thus reinforcing my longtime belief that no matter how many toy adaptations, brainless remakes, and rickety sequels would suggest Hollywood is finished, there will always be enough quality films to make the whole enterprise worthwhile.

First, I want to give one last special Jury Prize of sorts to acknowledge the delirious pleasures of both GONE WITH THE POPE and STANDING OVATION. There's no way in this world or the next I can remotely suggest either of these as among the best films of the year, but I must say I don't think I had a bigger amount of fun and good cheer than when I saw them in the theatre multiple times, and I'm extremely happy each of these peculiar outings are finding an increasing body of fans. If you're the kind of brave soul who doesn't need stodgy things like coherent storytelling or grounded reality to enjoy a movie, you're in for a grand time if you seek these out.

So meanwhile, for the rest of you who have sensible tastes, working up the hill...

10 worthwhile films nobody saw but me:

Cemetery Junction
Centurion
Four Lions
Leaves of Grass
Mother
The Slammin' Salmon
Splice
The Square
Tiny Furniture
Valhalla Rising


And now, for your viewing irritation, The Top 13 of 2010:

13. ENTER THE VOID

12. RED RIDING TRILOGY: 1974/1980/1983

11. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

10. TRUE GRIT

9. SHUTTER ISLAND


8. WINTER'S BONE

7. TOY STORY 3

6. 127 HOURS

5. INCEPTION

4. BLACK SWAN

3. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

2. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP


1. THE SOCIAL NETWORK


So that's 2010. And for me, that's also the end of the Noughties. So in a few days, we'll take a look at that super-perfundo Best of the Decade.

Thank you, vocal supporter and anonymous troller alike, for taking the time to visit this here tourist trap on the information superhighway. This year of validation is a fine Christmas present for me, and I hope my thoughts have kept you similarly pleased.

5 comments:

  1. I only saw 2 of those films. True Grit and Toy Story 3. It is the price I pay for living in the middle of nowhere.

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  2. I've seen Mother. And almost all the movies in the top 13. So have, like, five people I know in Da Real World. You give people too little credit.

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  3. The "nobody but me" designation is a little tongue-in-cheek; it takes into account that many of these weren't easily available to view in many cities, or they went straight to DVD, or they're just too offbeat for most tastes. I think it's awesome that you and your friends are proving me wrong. Thanks!

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  4. Gone With The Pope was the funnest movie experience I had this year.

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  5. I saw 6 out of the 10 "nobody saw" list! Woohoo! I'm also pleased to see how much we line up together on our lists. 8 out of 13. Considering I didn't see 2 of those movies (Enter The Void and Red Riding) that's a pretty good overlap. The one I'd maybe disagree with you about is Shutter Island. Out of all the movies I saw this year, I have that one ranked at #28.

    My list:

    1. Black Swan
    2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
    3. The Social Network
    4. Inception
    5. Toy Story 3
    6. 127 Hours
    7. True Grit
    8. Animal Kingdom
    9. The Fighter
    10. Please Give
    11. Exit Through The Gift Shop
    12. Mother
    13. I Love You Phillip Morris
    14. The Ghost Writer
    15. Winter's Bone
    16. The Town
    17. Machete
    18. Kick-Ass
    19. The King's Speech
    20. How To Train Your Dragon

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