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Films 2010 - The Ex-Communicator

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December 24th, 2010

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10:46 am - Films 2010
And I think this is the complete list of films I saw at the cinema this year, roughly one every two weeks. I don't think it was a very good year for films. This is in chronologial order.

1. The Road

At the time I thought it was a flawed film of a flawed book. In retrospect one of the best films I saw this year. Bleak of course, relentless and patriarchal, but like the book it is based on, deep and influential.

2. A Serious Man

This is probably the best film I saw this year, certainly the most thought-provoking. A deceptively complex film from the Coen Brothers, about a Jewish academic in the 1960s and his moral and religious struggles. Like 'No Country For Old men' I think this is a dramatisation of radical uncertainty and faith.

3. 44-inch chest

A philosophical brit-gangster film. How the hell this odd sub-genre arose I don't know, but it's a major strand of British cinema. Like In Bruges this is more theatre than cinema, and I quite enjoyed it at the time, but it's a bit silly.

4. The Crazies

Ibsens 'An Enemy of the People' in zombie-outbreak form, starring Timothy Olyphant. Quite a lot like The Walking Dead. Not overly memorable.

5. The Green Zone

Paul Greengrass thriller starring Matt Damon. This is why Marxists use 'Liberal' as a term of abuse - there is hand-wringing about the war in Iraq, but no overall structural analysis, instead all the evil is attributed to individual bad apples. The corruption is exposed and sterilised by a heroic white guy passing leaked information to the New York Times and the Guardian. Wait.

6. Shutter Island

An excellent performance from Leonardo Di Caprio, in a Hitchcockian psychological thriller which ultimately didn't make a lick of sense. Hard to say anything about it without exploding the premise, but in the end I thought it was more fun to watch than to recollect.

7. I Love You Philip Morris

What a hoot! I really enjoyed this 'taken-from-life' film about amoral con-man Jim Carrey falling in love with Ewan McGregor in prison, and concoting ever more elaborate escape schemes in order to be with his beloved. Though the poor guy this is based on is in hideous solitary confinement right now, as we read this. I assume he's going mad, like Bradley Manning. Sorry, that's a bit of a downer.

8. Centurion

A British film about Roman legionaries having their arses kicked by Picts, over and over again in gory detail. Quite liked the fighting. The overall premise was ridiculous. The legionaries spend a couple of months travelling to civilisation through prehistoric Scotland, but when they get back to the Empire - oh noes - someone built a big wall across the country. That was quick.

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Everyone knows this. Pretty extreme violence, and an exciting female character. I think the film and book use violent women to act out the power fantasies of liberal wishy-washy men. But I still liked it. Probably wont read the book.

10. Black Death

Another British historical film, of the folk-horror genre, not unlike Witchfinder General. Horrid monks and soldiers clash with isolated pagans in a village deep in the fens. Sean Bean as a nasty piece of work.

11. Inception

Ha. More written about this than any other film this year I think. I personally didn't go for it in a big way. Di Caprio continues to be exemplary though.

12. Toy Story 3

This might have been the best film of the year. Certainly the best popular success of the year. Exciting, meaningful, emotional, animation of some talking toys.

13. Salt

Jason-Bourne-alike starring Angelina Jolie. I like watching her do her stuff. Had no long term impact at all.

14. The Last Exorcism

Promising US hand-held-horror about a televangelist who stumbles accidentally on a real demonic entity. The last five minutes kind of ruined it, but I thought the rest was frightening and effective.

15. Buried

Completely minimalist film about one guy trapped in an underground coffin in Iraq. Only a partial success.

16. The Girl Who Played with Fire

Sequel to 'Dragon Tattoo' and not quite as disturbing or harrowing. I will see the third in this trilogy.

17. Paranormal Activity II

Hmmm. Another hand-cam horror. Did genuinely scare me. Could have been much, much better.

18. Deathly Hallows part 1

I wrote about this quite recently. I personally liked this much more than most of the other Harry Potter films, to the extent I went to see it twice in the end. The only film on this list I watched more than once.

19. Monsters

Yet another shaky-cam horror film. Cloverfield in Guatamala. I thought this was a jolly effective ultra-low-budget monster picture. I enjoyed it a lot.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
Loved Ewan McGregor in I love you Phillip Morris, too, but Jim Carrey seemed kinda out of place. I know he can be amazing in serious films, but he was too comedy in that one sometimes...

And Inception was the only one I've actually seen in cinema. Leo DiCaprio's big comeback for me *lol*
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
He was utterly over the top, and that set the tone for the whole film. I think partly it was defensiveness in playing a potentially vulnerable role - he was hamming it up to put distance between himself and his character. ( still liked it though.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
Inception is the only one I've seen! We watched it last week and I really really enjoyed it and then the ending completely and utterly ruined the whole thing in retrospect. Bummer.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I seem to be the only one who didn't really go for it. I know there's a massive fandom.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
I saw Toy Story 3 on the plane coming home, and it was really quite wonderful.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, and quite full of anguish too - so matches your icon :-)
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)

I'll tell you who did this, it's that Banksy prick

Aw, you never saw Exit Through The Gift Shop?

I worship Inception cultishly. I'm sure you are shocked.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)

Re: I'll tell you who did this, it's that Banksy prick

I should have gone to see it. The trouble is minority films like that are on at the Arts Centre and you have to be organised to get there at the right place and time. I missed Winters Bone for that reason, and I really wanted to see that,
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Only saw "A Serious Man" recently: absolutely knockout.
[User Picture]
Date:December 24th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yes. I felt the whole thing was like Schroedinger's Cat - perfectly poised between different possibilities, will he die or live, is god real or not, which were never resolved.

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