As usual, 2010 delivered a mixed bag of cinematic experiences, from mind-blowing dreamscapes to four sexy women strutting their stuff in the Middle East. We look at the best, the worst and what to look out for in 2011.
Worst movies of 2010
There were plenty of bad movies to choose from in 2010. Of course, not everyone will agree with the movies that made the list; I for one enjoyed The Expendables immensely, but I’m willing to admit that I’m in the minority. In no particular order, five of the worst movies of 2010 are:
Little Fockers: This is the third in the Meet the Parents trilogy, and once again Robert De Niro is at loggerheads with Ben Stiller. All of the original cast have returned (one can only imagine that huge sums of money were involved) and they’ve even managed to secure some more big names, like Harvey Keitel. Personally I find De Niro cringe-worthy in this role and I can’t for the life of me figure out why he keeps coming back for more.
Clash of the Titans: It was meant to be the epic of the year, well, after Avatar, but unlike Avatar, which took the world by storm, Clash of the Titans bombed. It had a good cast; new sci-fi go-to guy Sam Worthington did his best and Liam Neeson did what he could with his glowing Zeus, but it was all in vain. The script was laughable and those that saw it in 3D were less than impressed with the effects.
Sex and the City 2: I need to come right out and say that I am not a fan of the series. I can manage it in small doses (like an episode every two years) but sitting through a full movie would be like scraping my forehead against a cheese grater for two hours. Even many fans agree that the movies failed to capture the essence of the series, but that didn’t stop them from trooping to the theatre to see Carrie and friends hit the desert in designer gear.
Eat Pray Love: Julia Roberts returned to the big screen in an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s true story of self-discovery. Unfortunately, the much hyped film failed to live up to expectations. Rather than capture what the book was all about, the movie was formulaic and, according to most viewers, very, very long.
The Bounty Hunter: Poor Jennifer Aniston has not had a good run of movies of late. When she does pick good roles, the movies invariably fail to attract wide audiences and her occasional return to romantic comedies also tend to implode. In The Bounty Hunter she teams up with Gerard Butler, who also somehow consistently fails to live up to expectations.
Best movies of 2010
Picking the best movies of the year is entirely subjective and depends on reviewers’ tastes. The number of lists that come out at the end of each year vary widely, but a few stand-out movies appear consistently on lists across the continents.
Toy Story 3: The Toy Story franchise is one of the few that has managed to maintain its credibility, originality and magic. Woody and Buzz (my favourite) and the gang return in what many people believe to be their most winning appearance. It was funny, but it was also sad, with many adults leaving the theatre in tears. Most agree, however, that that is a good thing and doesn’t reflect on the quality of the movie.
Inception: Inception is the movie one would expect to top the list, as opposed to an animated “kids film”, and for many people it does. Inception is a tour de force and one of the most original films to come out of Hollywood in years. Leonardo DiCaprio is winning as an anguished father with an illegal talent. Ken Watanabe works well as his nemesis. In fact, the entire cast is wonderful and if you haven’t seen it, do so, immediately.
The Social Network: Mark Zuckerberg was rumoured to be against the making of the movie, which is interesting from a guy who makes it so easy for everyone to know everything about virtually everybody. Nevertheless, it went ahead and allowed Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake to showcase their acting talents. The behind the scenes look at how the most powerful social network in the world came into being is both moving and revealing.
The Hurt Locker: It could have been dismissed as just another war movie, but thanks to the directing talents of Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker gets under your skin and makes you think about war and its ramifications in much the same way as the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.
How to Train Your Dragon: This is an animated film about a young Viking, who lacks the bloodlust of his forebears, who meets up with a young dragon that lacks teeth. They form an unlikely friendship that conveys important messages about tolerance and acceptance and friendship without once being soppy and sentimental.
Movies to watch out for in 2011
It seems that 2011 will be a year of sequels. We can expect Transformers 3, another Christian Bale Terminator movie, another episode of Fast and Furious and even xXx makes a reappearance. Some of the movies to look out for are of these sequels, some are increasingly popular prequels and some are dare we say it, original.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II: This is probably the most anticipated movie of the year. We finally see the culmination in seven years of struggle against evil. The first part laid the way for the second part to provide a thrilling end. Don’t miss it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On the Strangers Tide: Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow, the irreverent camp pirate we’ve come to know and love. Alas he is on the only member of the original leading trio to return but Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbosa and Penelope Cruz also stars.
X-men: First Class: This is another prequel in the popular X-Men series. This time we look at the budding friendship between a young Charles Xavier and Magneto. The Wolverine prequel failed to impress (for some unknown reason – I loved it), so it’s hoped that Bryan Singer can once again work his X-Men 2 magic.
Thor: In a return to the superhero genre Norse god Thor gets a crack at the big screen. Chris Hemsworth, who only had a few minutes of screen time as George Kirk in the new Star Trek film, is Thor, and he’s accompanied by Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson, who never fails to entertain, not even in Snakes on a Plane.
Cowboys & Aliens: Director Jon Favreau (he of Ironman 1 and 2) takes the helm of a movie designed specifically for sci-fi lovers, but that also throws an open invitation to Western fans. Aliens in Arizona in 1873 and a cast that includes Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Sam Rockwell can’t go wrong, can it?
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