2010′s Films We Would Actually Watch Again
Posted on January 12, 2011 by Chris Nelson
I know this article is posting a bit late, but Kris an I had to think pretty hard to come up with a list this year. There were a number of decent films, but not too many we would watch again. Many of our favorite directors actually released films, and most to critical acclaim, but somehow our favorite rebel spirits came across as depressingly neutered.
Take, for instance, David Fincher’s The Social Network. By all objective criteria, acting, direction, editing, cinematography, this appeared to be a decent film. But when we took a step back, and compared it to the rest of his work, it was his weakest film yet. The narrative, despite all the punchy dialogue, did little to differentiate itself from standard evening drama or after-school special. Nothing about it made us want to go back and explore the film further. And when the same director made Zodiac, Fight Club, The Game, and Se7en — films we’ve watched countless times due to their cinematic and narrative richness — this was just sad.
The same could be said for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a film whose build-up didn’t match its ultimate payoff. It too, was undeniably well-crafted, nicely acted, expertly paced, but when all parts were evaluated in terms of the whole, there’s just not all that much there to justify the time spent watching it.
And then there was the other end of the spectrum, where cult favorites tripped over themselves, and somehow mustered a flood of decent reviews. We’re big fans of Vincenzo Natali, what with Cube and Cypher, but Splice was so embarrassingly poor we were left to wonder if his previous successes were flukes.
Maybe we were just in poor moods from spending too much time with mainstream fare, or maybe we’re just getting old. I don’t know.
Without further ado, here’s our list of films from 2010 we would actually revisit (note: reviews linked inline).
Exit through the Gift Shop /
I’m Still Here
This year’s prank documentaries are examples of cinema at its finest. No matter how many times you watch them, you can’t quite be sure which scenes are scripted, and which ones are real. There’s quite a lot here to revisit, and quite a lot to research online. No other two films this year have spurred us to do so much extra research, and that’s saying something. Exit through the Gift Shop review and I’m Still Here review
This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s also one that underwent a minor depreciation in enjoyment its second time around. It’s very well put together, but not particularly complex. Just keep your ears open, and everything’s spelled out for you. I just wish they had gone further with the dream capabilities. By not being afraid to dream a little bigger, couldn’t they have imagined some sort of superpowers? Flying, perhaps? Anyways, it was still fun.
Holy crap, this film was amazing. A superhero film for adult adults. I’ve already watched it twice, and it was just as good the second time as it was the first. Great great stuff. Read review.
One of the grosser titles to come out this year, but undeniably original. Not the schatenfreudeic orgy you might have heard about, but a truly effective horror film. Check our pic from the Bridge Theater midnight screening. We’ll be first in line for Tom Six’s Second Sequence.
Say what you will, but Robin Hood had some of the best dialog of the year. I felt that this was quite a nice companion piece to Scott’s previous epic, Kingdom of Heaven. Further, I enjoyed the non-conventional take on the legend. And given that the film states its intention from the very first frame, complaining about this Robin Hood not being the one you know and love, is a pretty baseless argument. Approach it with an open mind (and open ears), and you might just enjoy it.
Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
The finest adult anime features in quite some time…okay, so the only adult anime features in quite some time. But nonetheless good for it. Both pictures show Japanese animation at the top of its game. Both Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance and Redline should see brief theatrical re-runs this year. Go see them on the big screen if you get the chance.
I know what you’re thinking. But go check out the film before criticising. This is the funniest action film we’ve seen in quite some time. Okay, besides Kick-Ass. There’s some amazingly smart and unexpected dialogue on display here. And the action is actually quite amusing as well. I actually think this film was superior to the similarly themed A-Team. My only complaint was that the scriptwriters didn’t see fit to conclude the story within one film.Oh well. I’ll be showing this one to friends on a forthcoming movie night.
The most painful filmgoing experience of the year. And James Franco totally sells the whole thing. Not Danny Boyle’s best film, but undeniably daring. A film depicting a single actor, pinned under a rock for 90 minutes? And managing to be captivating the entire time? I don’t know anyone else who could have pulled that off.
Jackass 3D — not as good as Jackass 1, but still darn funny. And the best 3D of the year!
Youth in Revolt — Michael Cera was pretty darn hilarious
The Crazies — Pretty effective contagion horror
Hot Tub Time Machine — What a waste of Crispin Glover
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World — Michael Cera was a little bitch
Films we missed
Saint John of Las Vegas
Survival of the Dead
The Ghost Writer
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead
Gone with the Pope
And that’s it! Here’s hoping this year proves to be a bit more interesting.