Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010: The Summer of Suck (?)

Ok, its official: 2010 is so far the worst summer movie season in recent memory. The reason I know this is not because I have seen all the films released so far and thought they stunk, but rather I haven't seen squat since IRON MAN 2 opened. Even though that movie was a mild disappointment, it still mainly delivered the goods and has distinguished itself as being the only major summer release that I bought advance tickets for and saw it on opening night.

Ok, I just remembered that I saw SHREK FOREVER AFTER or THE FINAL CHAPTER or whatever opening weekend, but that was because I had a nephew to entertain. Not that it was bad, mind you, but the fact that I'm just now remembering it...well, I just made my own point.

With the exception of the just-released TOY STORY 3 - which I plan to see this week after the opening weekend hysterics die down - however, the summer releases have yet to inspire any real kind of gotta-see-it-now excitement.

Memorial Day weekend? Fuhgettaboutit. Whereas last year had UP and DRAG ME TO HELL, this year's major tentpoles were PRINCE OF PERSIA and SEX AND THE CITY 2, two films that pretty much met with what Robin Williams once called a large round of indifference.

I've been meaning to see GET HIM TO THE GREEK but have yet to get to it, which has never been the case with anything produced by Judd Apatow.

The best movie I've seen this summer so far? Banksy's EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, a terrific and hilarious documentary about renegade street artists. Not anyone's usual idea of summer entertainment, but sometimes you gotta take what you can get - and there's a lot to get out of this GIFT SHOP.

To think that 35 years ago this month, JAWS, the ultimate summer movie, was released. Can any film released this summer thus far go toe to fin with Bruce the shark? I think not.

The one movie I'm counting on is August's THE EXPENDABLES, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone. If an action movie starring Sly, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts isn't enough to slap the summer movie blues right out of me, then there truly is no hope.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2009...and the Best of the Decade!

It's Oscar Sunday, folks, and I know this is way overdue, but here at long last is my Top Ten Films of 2009 along with my Good, Bad, and the Ugly list for the year.

A quick note about my Top Ten: it's in alphabetical order, not in order of preference. It's kind of the hip thing to do these days it seems, but frankly, it's much easier. Lord knows it's hard enough to narrow the best films of the year down to just ten, but agonizing over each individual slot is also just kinda silly.

Also, the list is for American films only because I saw so few foreign films this year. I intend to correct that this year by catching some of the great ones I missed, like THE WHITE RIBBON, AJAMI, A PROPHET, and POLICE, ADJECTIVE.

Did I have a favorite film of the year? Yeah, I think so. I would say UP IN THE AIR was my personal favorite, but the more I see UP, the more I realize what a true classic that movie is. And I don't care what anybody says, STAR TREK was a terrific movie from start to finish - and I'm not even that big a fan of the franchise.

I'm also including my Top 25 Films of the Decade. None of the films from 2009 are on the list, but who knows? Films often age like fine wines, so UP just might finds its way on the list eventually.

Enjoy - and thanks to all five of you for being faithful readers!



The Best (American) Films of 2009

(500) Days of Summer
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Star Trek
Up
Up in the Air


The Good:

Adam, Adventureland, A Christmas Carol, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Bright Star, Broken Embraces, Brothers, Bruno, Coraline, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Crazy Heart, Drag Me To Hell, An Education. Every Little Step, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Food Inc., The Girlfriend Experience, The Great Buck Howard, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Hangover, I Love You Man, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, The Informant!, Invictus, It Might Get Loud, Julia & Julia, Know1ng, Julia & Julia, The Last House of Left, The Lovely Bones, Me & Orson Welles, The Messengers, Monsters vs. Aliens, Monsters vs. Aliens, Moon, Paranormal Activity, A Perfect Getaway, Observe and Report, Public Enemies, Sherlock Holmes, The Soloist, State of Play, Sunshine Cleaning, Taken, Watchmen, Where The Wild Things Are, World's Greatest Dad, Zombieland

The Bad:

Away We Go, Confessions of a Shopaholic, He's Just Not That Into You, The International, Planet 51, Year One

and The Ugly:

Jennifer's Body

Split Decision:

Angels & Demons, Antichrist, Funny People, Halloween II, The Invention of Lying, Pirate Radio, Terminator: Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Guilty Pleasures:

2012, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Men Who Stare At Goats, My Sister's Keeper, The Time Traveler's Wife, Whip It, X-Men Origins: Wolverine



The 25 Best Films of the Decade

24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA TO MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
ALL THE REAL GIRLS
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
THE DARK KNIGHT
DONNIE DARKO
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
THE GANGS OF NEW YORK
KILL BILL VOL. 1&2
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY
MEMENTO
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
MOULIN ROUGE!
MUNICH
MULHOLLAND DRIVE
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE PIANIST
SPIDER MAN 1 & 2
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
TRAFFIC
WALL*E
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN