Saturday, January 01, 2011

Movies I saw in a theater (or cinema to my Brit friends) in 2010

Heh, I guess I didn't get to too many movies this past year. Aha, a resolution I can handle.

Best movie that I saw in 2010:
The Social Network

Just missed being the best:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

2010 Reviews, in reverse chronological order:

Red 3.0/4 (Sandie described it as a laugh-filled bulletfest, a description that I can’t top. Comedy/suspenser, with a killer cast. Willis, Mirren, Freeman, and Malkovich look like they are having a blast as a black ops team getting together for one last time, with a holds-her-own Mary Louise Parker in tow, albeit most reluctantly at first. Don’t look for anything deep and don’t probe too far into the plot but you will have fun nevertheless.)

The Social Network 4/4 (The presumably close to the truth story about the founder of Facebook and the people he walked over. It’s a tour de force of the creation and growing pains of a modern phenomenon. Jesse Eisenberg shines as the lucky to have a friend Mark Zuckerberg and the other actors all hit the right notes too. )

Despicable Me 3.0/4 (Rival wannabe super villains try to outdo each other. However, the latent humanity of one is drawn out ever so slowly by three irresistible little girls. Stays just on the good side of too cute; even a saccharine intolerant movie watching grump like me had my heart captured by the animated little ones.)

Cyrus 3.0/4 (Quirky dark comedy about a suicidal loser (John C. Reilly) who meets a gorgeous woman (the getting lovelier every year Marisa Tomei) who has to be too good to be true. Well, guess what, she is. Slowly the romance becomes ever more endangered by the man-boy child (Jonah Hill) of the woman and competition for her love escalates in very uncomfortable ways. A little contrived but pretty true to itself. Reilly and Hill bite into their roles and chew them up with great relish; Tomei’s character just doesn’t get developed as much as I wanted it to.)

The Micmacs 3.5/4 (A French black comedy about a man who suffers physical and emotional trauma, thanks to weapons produced by a pair of archrival munitions manufacturers. After falling in with fellow misfits, each of whom has one and only one singular talent, our hero plots his revenge. Unique in every way, clever, with great twists, this movie is sparse in (subtitled) dialog, which gives it a very silent movie sensibility.)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 4/4 (Slow-paced yet taut, violent but not prurient, sexual but not very sexy, this is a gripping and chilling Cold Case detective story. Set in Sweden, a soon-to-go-to-jail financial reporter is hired by the scion of a family industrial empire to find out which of the family killed his favorite niece 40-odd years ago. She so happened to have babysat the reporter right at the time of her disappearance. Meanwhile a Goth hacker has been tracking the reporter on-line for her shady company. The dragon-tattooed Goth has lots and lots of serious problems of her own. One day she makes the mistake of emailing him about a clue he's been puzzling over... and the plot takes off from there. A wonderfully different movie but definitely not for the faint of heart; some of the scenes are quite graphic.)

Avatar 3D 3/4 (Sandie and I moved from the 2% who hadn't to the 98% who had seen it. Stunning technical work; I slipped off the glasses and the movie lost a lot without the 3D. Pedestrian story with characters less developed than Star Wars. That I rate a movie with lousy plot and characters a 3 is testament to its technical greatness.)

Crazy Heart 3/4 (See review in main blog --

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