Tuesday, January 04, 2011

10 movies I could take or leave in 2010

The movies in today's list are ones that I generally liked, but wasn't able to get really excited about for various reasons.

Number 30

I like Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue and the premise of Don McKay grabbed me. Church plays a lonely, high school janitor who gets an unexpected letter from his own high school sweetheart (Shue) asking him to come home. She's dying and wants a second chance at their relationship before she goes. When he gets there though, he finds his true love surrounded by a creepy caregiver, an even creepier doctor, and an awful aura of Something's Not Right Here. It's a great setup and while the movie's focusing on Don and his loneliness and teasing the mystery, it's good stuff. Unfortunately, once it reveals what's going on, the movie gets a bit nuts and hard to connect to.

Number 29

It's Green Zone's marketers fault that I was in the mood for another Bourne movie when I saw this, but even had I been fully on board with the different tone, the preachiness of the film would've been enough to keep me from fully embracing it. I really like the character of Freddy (Khalid Abdalla) though and the perspective he gives to the differences between American and person-on-the-street Iraqi interests in that country. That alone made the movie worthwhile for me.

Number 28

When this was first announced, I was thrilled. The original Wolf Man is one of my favorite Universal monster movies and I thought it was a great idea to remake it with new effects as long as they kept the story intact. Especially with an actor as great as Benicio Del Toro playing Larry Talbot.

Then came the reports of multiple directors and mid-shooting rewrites and re-shoots and re-edits and the whole thing sounded like a complete mess. And after that came the trailer with the Wolf Man tearing through London and all sorts of other things that didn't belong in a faithful remake and I gave up hope of ever enjoying the film.

To my surprise, it wasn't awful. It wasn't the loving homage to the original that I'd hoped for, but taken as its own thing, it held together and wasn't the complete train wreck that I'd come to fear.

Number 27

Not a great or original movie, but exactly what it needed to be: a fun warm-up act to The A-Team.

Number 26

Much much better than Predator 2 or either AVP movie. For a while there, I was thinking that I'd like it as much as the original, but a couple of things ruined that. Laurence Fishburne's character doesn't make a lot of sense, for one, but his actions are 100x more logical than the "twist" ending.

Number 25

A really fine noir movie about a man who'll do whatever it takes - however dark - to achieve his goals. The only reason it's not higher on the list is that Mel Gibson skeeves me out.

Number 24

I've already written about my major problems with Dawn Treader. But it is an adaptation of my favorite Narnia book and for the things that it does copy accurately from the novel, I can't dislike it. Still, it's a major disappointment to have it this far down the list.

Number 23

This was a very good first two-thirds of a story. Angelina Jolie is my favorite action hero right now, I just wish the movie had an ending. I understand that the Blu-Ray release has some additional scenes that help with that, but that's cheating.

Number 22

I had a lot of fun at this movie, but it wasn't as epically full of epic epicness as the poster promised. Unless of course "epic" just means "good" as often seems the case, but I've promised myself not to use it that way. Anyway, it could've used more.

Number 21

This was actually three different movies, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I wish it would've been just one movie though. Or three episodes of a TV show. I think I would've enjoyed that more.


Kal said...

Again. Nice list. You and I share similar movie sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

Green Zone did get a little too preachy, but the most disappointing aspect for me was the way it effectively killed Bourne 4. Even though I'm sure the current "Bourne Movie Without Bourne" approach Universal is pursuing will have its fans, I really wanted to see Damon continue in the role.

For starters, it would've been interesting to see how he played the role now that Bourne has retained his memory. (If you think about it, he would've essentially had three unique characters to explore: David Webb, Jason Bourne, and the man he became in between those personalities.)

The prospect of Tony Gilroy directing also reminded me of the Connery Bond era, where a core group of directors, writers, and producers took turns establishing the groundwork for the entire series.

I do give Universal credit for not simply taking the reboot route, but I also can't help feeling that we've already seen what "The Bourne Legacy" really is (ie. Taken; Shooter; Quantum of Solace; The Expendables; etc.)


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