Best of 2010

December 30, 2010

Notes from the Back Row appears weekly in Whistler, BC’s Pique Newsmagazine

Angelina always wins hottest actress of the year so this time around let's give it to Black Swan's Mila Kunis.

Notes From the Back Row

Best of 2010

There were 649 movies released in North America in 2010 and I didn’t watch nearly enough of them (not to mention all the foreign flicks I missed) but 2010 seemed an overall weak year for movies and an especially poor summer. It was a year plagued by hit-and-miss 3D technology and too many remakes and sequels but there were highlights and from where I sit (in the back row) these were the best films of 2010.

Best Romantic Comedy – This is usually a contest of which pile of shit stinks the least but Cyrus is the darkest, weirdest, creepiest rom-com of the year, and it’s also pretty good. John C Reily, Jonah Hill, and Marisa Tomei use their acting and craft a rare romantic comedy that doesn’t make you want to gouge your own eyes out with a straw.

Best Comedy– 2010 was a decent year for laughs– Russell Brand’s Get Him to The Greek overachieved and Hot Tub Time Machine proved that no idea is too out-there if you have a strong cast (and Jessica Pare topless in a hot tub) but the winner is Fubar 2 for being smart, hilarious, heartwarming, Canadian, and a sequel that rocks as much as its predecessor.

Best Documentary–Marwencol played at the Whistler Film Festival and it was one of those strange/awesome docs that transports you to a place you could never imagine but the winner is Exit Through the Gift Shop. Director Banksy mixes incredible old-school street-art footage with a film-within-a-film-within-a-role-reversal-mindfuck that hints at how the concept of ‘Art’ as we know it might just be bullshit.

Best Action– Lots to choose from (Hollywood loves action movies ) but I’m giving it to Kick-Ass. Runner-up– Machete.

Best Drama– Inception was big, brave, and well executed. It also confused most of its audience and still made $800 million Worldwide. The Social Network was slick, smart and very timely. So who wins? Especially considering I haven’t yet seen Black Swan or 127 Hours or that King’s Speech movie? I’m giving it to David Fincher’s The Social Network– no explosions, no severed arms, just real human drama.

Best Horror– A decent year– Hollywood’s unnecessary remake of Let Me In was nearly as good as the Swedish source material and The Crazies, another solid remake, mixed up the zombie genre a bit. There can be only one winner though, and it’s Piranha 3D.

Prehistoric piranhas attack scantily clad college Spring Break-ers and the only person who can stop them is Elizabeth Shue? It’s as if the team from Inception went into my dreams and found my perfect film. A piranha puking up a guy’s severed dick and then another piranha eating it again, all in 3D, should also win scene of the year.

Best Animation– Toy Story 3. While Pixar milked that franchise for all they could, they also knew when, and how, to go out with a bang.

Best Movie you didn’t see– The Runaways ­– Sex, drugs and apathy amplified through the minds of some seriously young girls. Michael Shannon, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning kill it in this overlooked gem.

Worst of the Year– Now I love Amanda Seyfried, last summer I even described her as “creamy”, but what is up with Dear John and Letters to Juliet? The only thing more un-visually stimulating than watching a movie about writing letters is watching two of them.

Best of the year– I couldn’t fit it in any other category so Scott Pilgrim vs The World wins. Director Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead) videogame-saturated tale of love, ego and growing up was adapted from a graphic novel, filmed beautifully in Toronto, and is chock full of fresh filmmaking and honed storytelling. Plus the chick is hot. Happy New Year and thanks to all my faithful readers for sticking through another year with me.


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