Saturday, 1 January 2011

BamBi's Filmography 2010

Simple really. Every film released in 2010 that I've seen, reviewed in no more than twenty five words. See 2009's, 2008's and 2007's editions for reference.

Released in 2010:

Up In The Air
Very difficult to fault. Clooney, Farmiga and Kendrick collectively barely put a foot wrong. A sharply written and directed film of very high quality.

Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
Too slow, with flat characters and decidedly average execution. Feels like it's being forced into filling the Potter-shaped hole on the cinematic horizon.

Alice In Wonderland
Burton and Carroll should have been the perfect combination. Instead we get a "lite" version of both and a storyline reject from Narnia.

Valentine's Day
Think Love, Actually set in America on February 14th and you're pretty much there. Cardboard cut-outs tumble through the paper-thin story. Yawn.

A tour de force of action and superhero cinema. Original, highly polished, pleasingly gritty yet authentically comic book in style. The cast are collectively superb.

Whip It
Page impresses again, counterpointed superbly by Harden, Wiig and Lewis. Indie style direction from Barrymore gives this a satisfyingly rough finish. Well made, very enjoyable.

Iron Man 2
Downey Jr. shines again, Cheadle, Rourke and Rockwell are welcome additions. A simple yet effective story allows the characters and action to successfully drive this.

Sex And The City 2
Self-indulgent, too long and barely a storyline in sight. A generous helping of cultural ignorance makes sure this one goes down painfully and uncomfortably.

Toy Story 3
Pixar at their charming, beautiful best. Masterful, with genuine humour and emotion in perfect balance. The ideal swan song for a loved and respected franchise.

Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
One part emotionally uplifting to three parts punishing. Mo'Nique stands out from a wealth of strong performances. Powerful and well-crafted. Steel yourself before watching.

I Love You Philip Morris
Carrey is strong in the lead, and McGregor provides solid, understated support. Unfocused and meandering at times, but ultimately funny, entertaining and well made.

Outstanding human drama that is cerebral, tense and enthralling. Sets the bar high and exceeds it continuously. Virtually flawless. My film of the year.

Shutter Island
Tense, psychological and engrossing. Scorsese and DiCaprio make a perfect pairing once again. Classically Hitchcockian with a charmingly modern finish. High quality cinema.

The Social Network
Sorkin's tight, sharp writing marries brilliantly with Fincher's raw, moody direction. Eisenberg steals every scene; Garfield and Timberlake are winningly strong in support.

Four Lions
A disconcerting, albeit satisfying, mix of realism and farce. Despite somewhat lacking focus, Morris' searing humour and pitch-perfect satire are as sharp as ever.

Hot Tub Time Machine
A simplistically ludicrous plot allows plenty of genuine humour. Cusack is a strong and agreeable lead. Knows what it wants to be, and succeeds.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Better and darker than recent Potter outings, but still pedestrian from Yates and most of the cast. Half a film, so ultimately imbalanced and unsatisfying.

The Lookout
Great heist film that presents familiar genre elements well yet adds enough originality to the mix to elevate it further. Gordon-Levitt is superb.

The Tourist
Depp and Jolie do well, but this is plodding with an ending that renders the story ludicrous. Especially disappointing considering this could have been excellent.

Brave cinema, captivating from start to finish. Pleasingly gritty, breathtakingly fantastical cinematography. A wealth of outstanding performances from the year's strongest cast. Difficult to fault.

And those from 2010 I missed...

A Prophet
A Town Called Panic
Bitch Slap
Death At A Funeral
Dinner For Schmucks
The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
Exit Through The Gift Shop
The Expendables
Green Zone
The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
The Killer Inside Me
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Undead
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
The Town
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Valhalla Rising
The Wolfman
Youth In Revolt

And to finish, my top five films first watched (but not released) in 2010
A Serious Man
Blazing Saddles
The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters
Synecdoche, New York

Not the most film-packed year compared to previous lists, but I've managed to see quite a few films from previous years on DVD or online this year - I saw nine of the twenty one films I listed as ones I missed at the end of my 2009 list - so overall I'm satisfied. 2011 looks to be an interesting year in terms of cinema - lots of franchises continuing or finishing (Transformers 3, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, HP7 Part 2) so I'm hoping there'll be plenty of quality to fill in the gaps between the box office pleasers.

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