Wednesday, January 05, 2011

10 movies I liked a lot in 2010

Now we're getting into the good stuff. These ten films were almost perfect, but for some minor detail that kept me from loving them forever.

Number 20

The dialogue, the setting, the acting, and the mood are all as great as everyone says they are. I loved it right up until the "25 Years Later" jump, which is where it lost me. I know people who appreciated that closure, but I would've preferred it another way.

Number 19

A powerful and moving love story, but I couldn't get behind the couple, as I've said before. And even though I suspect that was exactly the reaction I was supposed to have, it kept me from fully embracing this movie.

Number 18

I was shocked to like this as much as I did, but in some ways it's better than the original. Jackie Chan is no Pat Morita, but he acts his heart out in this thing and so does Jaden Smith. If it was an original story, it would've been a lot higher on this list.

Number 17

An enjoyable, light-hearted spy movie. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz aren't my favorite actors, but they were perfect for this harmless bit of fun.

Number 16

A powerful character study combined with an intriguing mystery. Two things keep me from loving it though. One is the knowledge that the series will never be properly completed, but more than that: though I empathize with Lisbeth, I don't actually like her.

Number 15

If you have to adapt a cheesy action show from the '80s, this is exactly the way to do it. It had everything I liked about the show (the characters' ticks and relationships; the traps and plans; the explosions) and none of the stuff I didn't (guys stumbling away unscathed from airplane crashes). Like The Karate Kid, it loses points for being a remake, but not as many because unlike the other '80s remake, this one has an original plot.

Number 14

A solid action movie that proved you don't have to have a villain to keep the excitement level up. I'm not really sure why I didn't love it more. Maybe it was Chris Pine's relationship with his wife. I didn't really buy how that subplot played out.

Number 13

It was a pretty good year for action movies. This is another solid one that entertained me the whole way through. It was exciting and funny. There's one thing I didn't care for, but it's a spoiler, so I won't go into detail. Just something I thought wasn't resolved very well. Ask me in the comments if you're curious.

Number 12

A fun, funny movie about Vikings and dragons with some great 3D flying sequences.  My only beef (and I know this isn't fair to say) is that it kills me to know that Dreamwork's is going to drive this into the ground the way it did Shrek and Madagascar and plans to do with Kung Fu Panda. That takes a lot of the fun away for me. Not the movie's fault, but that's how it is.

Number 11

It's got a great, tightly woven story with awesome twists and revelations, some really nice acting, super special effects, and an unforgettable soundtrack. The only thing keeping it out of the Top Ten for me is the ambiguity of the ending. I don't have any doubt about what happened three seconds after the fade, but I really hate having to argue about it with other people.


Siskoid said...

Can't wait for the top 10. I hope you know I'm taking notes that will lead to my buying DVDs (or not).

Michael May said...

Uh oh. That's a lot of pressure. :)

I expect my Top Ten to be slightly controversial. At least one movie in it has been almost universally criticized.

Anonymous said...

I felt The A-Team did a great job of capturing the spirit of the tv series. (Sharlto Copley's Murdock was especially good.) So I was surprised to see it garner such a weak reputation online.

I think it simply fell victim to the marketing hype of The Expendables, essentially being branded a studio sell-out to the "real old-school action" that Stallone was promising. (Of course, the irony is that Sly ended up employing the same modern gimmicks like cgi and shakycam editing.)

Michael May said...

Exactly! The biggest disappointment about The Expendables is that it wasn't actually Old School at all. The story, sure. But not the way it was filmed. Even the cameos seemed very new and gimmicky.


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