I’ll actually be glad to see the ass of 2010 – it’s been a fairly tough year. Not speaking about the ass rash most of us garnered sitting through ”Harry Potter : Check out the storks on Hermione” or ”Chronicles of Narnia : Will third studio be the charm?” Nor the amount of work that piled up on my desk (funnily enough, it still sits there – underneath some Roxy Music CDs and a thesaurus (needed to know what a ‘Focker’ was) throughout the year, nope just in general terms, 2010 was a bit of a chore to get through at times.
Earlier in the year I was dealt both a blow and a test when my best mate suddenly passed away (in his sleep) – obviously that’s going to take more than a new year to get over but still, kinda saw 2010 get off to a rough start (And at Christmas time, it’s amazing how much you think of those you’ve lost), then I jumped shipped from one job to the other in the hope of better pay and more respect – I got neither (my little girl’s meals started to get smaller); in October – after much traveling and a couple of rocky airplane trips – I came down with pneumonia. The bastard thing stuck around like the sticky crap that climbs the kid’s bedroom walls – drained me big time; and then, of course, opportunity knocked when a door back into film publicity and talent management swung back open… yes, that’s great, but at the same time, it’s been a really hard juggle! (and I haven’t officially even started the job yet) and I finish the year with a big bout of ‘Shit, I’m stuffed’.
But you know what makes up for all of it? Seeing my little Charisma grow, smile and take after her Dad with her Olivia Newton-John obsession. That’s the shizzle right there!
Film-wise, it’s been a pretty good year – Sure, I struggled with the Top Ten, but not because there hasn’t been enough good flicks out but mainly because, due to work, I haven’t been able to get to as many screenings this year. Still, I’m pretty sure I covered the majority of the ones worth covering – and will catch up with “Gulliver’s Travels” on DVD.
10. Remember Me
I remember getting an Atari for my 10th birthday. That was a big surprise. When I caught the top of those tiny ted joysticks atop of their black spongy controls, I knew my entry into double figure land was going to be one to remember. Wanna know what a bigger surprise was? ”Remember Me”! This truly out Gorfed Gorf and Swallowed Pac Man hole in terms of pleasant surprises – I kid you not. Say what you will about his sparkling work in those vampire pics, Robert Pattinson delivers one of the richest and most weighty performances of any actor this year with his uneasy son and lover at the center of director Allen Coulter’s love letter to 9/11 (yes, there is such a thing). Catch it on DVD – you’ll find it, unjustly, at the ‘bottom’ of the new releases shelf.
The mother-in-law of documentaries – this one amuses you, pisses you off, evokes sympathy, shocks you and mostly, scars. A great companion piece to David Fincher’s “The Social Network”, the doco fixes on a bloke who befriends a family over the Internet only to discover there’s not so much a family on the other end of the Ethernet chord is there is… well, Sybil (Search the IMDB for that one kids). We usually hook the fish, but in this case, ‘’Catfish’’ stuck me through the gut!
8. Let Me In
I use the “Prom Night” redo DVD for a coaster. I play Frisbee with the “A Nightmare on Elm Street”(2010) Blu-ray. And I’ve Sly’s “Get Carter” wrapped up under the tree to give to someone that pisses me off over Christmas. In other words, I hate remakes… hate ‘em. Like “The Departed” though, sometimes a studio – or more so, a filmmaker – goes out of their way to make sure a dub isn’t an exact copy of the master, and it’s appreciated. Matt Reeves’ “Let Me In” is an original, scary, marvelously-performed rockin’ vampire flick that makes for one heck of a “Let The Right One In” cover band.
7. Toy Story 3
This gave me a Woody, but didn’t it everyone!?
6. The Town
Then tyro director Ben Affleck bowled us over with “Gone Baby Gone” a couple of years ago, now he smashes our tricuspid into two with an iron cylinder by way of “The Town”! Hey! Scorsese, De Palma, Coppola, Lumet, Mamet…. any room over there for fellow Goodfella Affleck? I think he’s now ready to sit at the big boy’s table! “The Town”, with its captivating screenplay and bravura performances, is gonna have longer legs than Grace Jones… I just know it.
5. Rabbit Hole
As a parent, I find it really hard to watch any kind of film where someone’s child is abused, suffering and/or killed. While I may never get to “My Sister’s Keeper” (Can’t say it interests me too much anyway), I forced myself into a viewing of “Rabbit Hole” a while back and I’m glad I did. Sure, it’s a very sad and somewhat depressing film, but it’s also a film about hope and learning to push forward. You’ll experience every gamut of emotion watching this thing. Similar in tone to one of Todd Field’s flicks and swimming in the same dam as Peter Weir’s “Fearless”, John Cameron Mitchell’s ‘’Rabbit Hole’’ is so deep, touching and well-performed it’ll have you hugging your kids for days after… and asking them ‘’never to watch BMX Bandits out of sheer respect for Nicole Kidman’’ – who is brilliant here.
4. Black Swan
You know how you attend a party, laugh and giggle with friends, get way too drunk, and then wake up the next morning wondering whether or not you had a good time or not? Most will feel the same about director Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” – you’ll only realize how marvelous it is after your head’s cleared and you’ve left it to sink in for a while. David Lynch meets Altman’s “The Company” in this highly-original but mostly beautiful psychological thriller about a practitioner of the demi-plié seeking perfection. Natalie Portman, the Oscar is yours!
3. The Social Network
“If I wanted to see a movie about Facebook I’d log onto YouTube and dial up an instructional video. Costs less”. Yes, but the dude telling you how to add an RSS feed to your profile page on the screen is unlikely going to impress you with his commanding performance or compel you with his captivating tale is he!? David Fincher once again proves he can make a fantastic movie out of anything. Next for him? “The Social Security”, a powerful flick about the immobile lines you’ll discover at the unemployment office.
2. Animal Kingdom
God, I wrestled with where to put this flick. I love it so much. I think it might even deserve the top spot. This year though, I’m going to award the top spot not so much to the best film but the film that I personally enjoyed – and got the most out of – the most. Not to say “Animal Kingdom” isn’t enjoyable, it most definitely is, it’s just a different blend of broth – topical, gritty, and full of wonderful Weaver-isms. Definitely one of my favourite films of the past ten years.
The smartest popcorn flick since… well, I can’t remember. Christopher Nolan ripped the opposition a new one with “The Dark Knight” but with “Inception” he feeds off the carcass of each and every once-hopeful associate like an inexorable cannibal. Even without it’s brilliant screenplay, “Inception” would still likely be a great movie, thanks to the performances of it’s wonderful ensemble cast and the terrific visual effects, but we’d all have been robbed of one heck of a brain tease had that libretto been anything less than spectacular. Take a bow Mr. Nolan, the year belongs to you!
Note : At this point in time, I had not seen “True Grit”, “127 Hours”, ‘’ Secretariat’’
Honorable Mentions : “The Fighter”, “Brooklyn’s Finest”, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”, “Tangled”, “How to Train Your Dragon”, “Buried”, “Winter’s Bone”, “The Crazies”, “The Joneses”